Cramm for 5/27/22
All eyes are on the Biloela family.
Nearly a decade ago, two people named Priya Nadaraja and Nadesalingam Murugappan separately made their way to Australia from Sri Lanka, seeking asylum. Both were Tamil: an ethno-linguistic group that continues to face persecution in Sri Lanka. Both settled in the Australian town of Biloela, where they met, got married, and had two girls. Fast forward to 2018, and the Australian gov ruled that the family had no legal rights to be in Australia. Then detained them. The case gained national attention, and after two attempts to deport the family, a court ruled that they couldn’t be removed from the country until it was resolved.
The family has spent more than 1,500 days in immigration detention. Priya says the years in detention have left her with depression. Meanwhile, her daughter, who was just 9 months old when the family was detained, has dealt with multiple health issues. As the years have gone on, people throughout Australia have continued to bring attention to the Biloela family, fighting for their release.
Last week, Australia elected a new gov. Well, that new gov just granted visas to the family - meaning they can temporarily live in Biloela. Big deal, since this pretty much puts an end to a years-long legal battle - not to mention the years in detention. Now, supporters of the family are calling on the gov to grant them permanent residency.
The Biloela family came to represent Australia’s strict policies on asylum seekers. TBD on whether this marks a turning point for immigration law in the country.
UKRAINE: Here’s your daily update on Russia’s war on Ukraine. More than three months into the war, Russian forces have started to make some gains in eastern Ukraine. See: the Russians captured the city of Lyman following intense artillery bombardments. In response, Prez Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia is trying to turn cities and towns in eastern Ukraine “to ashes.” And as the civilian toll continues to mount, Zelensky claimed that Russia’s actions added up to “an obvious policy of genocide.” A new report from international legal scholars backed up those charges, pointing at mass killings, deliberate attacks on shelters or evacuation routes, and the bombardment of residential areas in Ukraine. Stay tuned.
USA: Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened debate on issues such as gun safety. The bill passed the House last week after mass shootings in Buffalo and Southern California that targeted people of color. Speaking of which, the National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention in Houston today - just days after 21 people were killed at a school shooting in Uvalde. Lots of Republicans are slated to speak at the meeting, though Texas Governor Greg Abbott reportedly dropped out. In other US news, the Supreme Court will let the Biden team continue to take account of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions in regulatory actions. This comes after some states attempted to challenge a gov program that quantifies the harm caused by emissions.
PEOPLE: Earlier this week, in the Brazilian city of Umbaúba, a 38 year old Black man named Genivaldo de Jesus Santos was forced into a police car boot where officers had set off a gas grenade. Two officers kept him trapped inside before he went motionless. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The death has sparked widespread protests and outrage over police brutality and racism in Brazil. Meanwhile, at least four people were killed when a house exploded near Philadelphia. Two people were hospitalized and there are reports that two other people are missing. It’s not yet clear what caused the explosion.
WHAT TO KNOW
“Geetanjali Shree:” the first Indian author to win the International Booker prize.
“Taiwanese people stuck with the name ‘Salmon’ after sushi promotion” - an actual headline. It’s led to debates in Parliament over whether to let people change their names back.