'We live in a crisis in Honduras': New US-bound caravan forms - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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‘We live in a crisis in Honduras’: New US-bound caravan forms

San Pedro Sula, Honduras – It was still dark when hundreds of Hondurans set out for the border with Guatemala as part of new caravan of US-bound migrants and asylum seekers. “The economic crisis has been tremendous, with unemployment going up and corruption getting worse,” Daniel Munoz, a 38-year-old from Honduran department of Cortes, said…

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‘We live in a crisis in Honduras’: New US-bound caravan forms

San Pedro Sula, Honduras – It was still dark when hundreds of Hondurans set out for the border with Guatemala as part of new caravan of US-bound migrants and asylum seekers.

“The economic crisis has been tremendous, with unemployment going up and corruption getting worse,” Daniel Munoz, a 38-year-old from Honduran department of Cortes, said as he joined his 16-year-old daughter and others on the second group of the caravan on Tuesday. Another group, which eventually grew to more than a 1,000 participants, left late on Monday.

“These are the reasons why we must migrate to another country,” Munoz told Al Jazeera.

The family, like so many that joined him on Tuesday morning, has seen their cost of living steadily increase in the last three years, but the amount that Munoz earned transporting sawdust was not enough to cover their bills.

“The cost of water and energy went up,” Munoz said. “There are times when we did not have enough to cover the costs.”

His daughter, Stephanie, hopes that she will be able to continue with her studies in the United States, and attend university where she wants to study journalism, and then get a job.

Youth like Stephanie face a difficult reality in Honduras where there are few opportunities for work.

“There are so many youth looking for work, but they are unable to find work,” she said.

“People look, but they don’t have the education that is required,” she said. “It makes me sad that they are unable to find work.”

Others caravan participants are fleeing violence or political persecution.

Migrants and asylum seekers part of a new caravan leaving Honduras set off from San Pedro Sula [Jeff Abbott/Al Jazeera] 

Marta Grady, who departed on Monday, said she cannot “endure this crisis (in Honduras) any more”.

“There is no work here. How are we going to eat. Since (Honduran President) Juan Orlando (Hernandez) entered office, things have gotten worse. There are no solutions,” she told Al Jazeera. 

The 35-year-old has owned different businesses, including selling fruit and selling fresh meat, but failed to earn enough to support her family. She began planning on leaving with the caravan in December when she first learned about the caravan.

“We were not prepared when the first caravan left,” she said, referring to the thousands of Central Americans who left the region in October of last year. “Now we are ready to go. We are leaving everything.”

The group will make their way to the US border over the next several weeks. They will eventually join the thousands from October’s exodus still at the border awaiting processing by US immigration authorities, who have implemented a “metering system”, limiting the number of asylum applications that are processed each day. Others from last year’s group have either crossed the border between official ports of entry, found work in Mexico or returned home.

Carlos Maldonado holds a sign addressed to Trump outside the San Pedro Sula bus station [Jeff Abbott/Al Jazeera] 

US President Donald Trump has attempted use the caravans as a way to sow fear among Americans and make his case for a wall on the US-Mexico border. Key parts on the US government shut down on December 22 after Trump refused to back down on his demand for $5.7bn in wall funding on the US southern border, saying there is a “humanitarian crisis” at the border. Critics, including Democrats, argue the wall is immoral and a vast overreaction. 

Carlos Maldonado, a 26-year-old from Paradiso, sat next to Grady holding a sign addressed to US President Donald Trump.

“Trump, we request humanitarian asylum,” the sign read. “We are fleeing gangs, extortion, sexual discrimination, violence and insecurity and corrupt politicians.”

Maldonado said this is the only opportunity he has.

“I need to take advantage of it,” he told Al Jazeera.

Exodus from Central America

Caravans from Central America are not rare. Those fleeing hope to find safety in numbers as they travel more than 2,000km north. According an Associated Press tally, nearly 4,000 migrants and refugees have died or gone missing along the route since 2014. 

The Trump administration deployed thousands of active duty US troops to the border, falsely labelling the collective exodus an “invasion”.

After a number of large caravans left Honduras in October, the Trump administration pressured the governments of Central America to stop the caravans from advancing. As a result, the governments of Honduras and Guatemala deployed military and police to the border crossing to turn back potential migrants and refugees headed towards the US.

A family migrating with the Honduran caravan tails behind the rest of the group as it leaves San Pedro Sula [Jeff Abbott/Al Jazeera]

In December, police and members of the US-equipped Honduran inter-agency task force, Maya Chorti patrolled the popular routes for migrants. The officers and soldiers stopped vehicles and asked travellers for identification and whether they had a visa to travel in Mexico. Those who did not were turned back. 

The Honduran Government announced on Monday that it would uphold laws that cover child trafficking in the region. The Honduran Directorate of childhood, adolescence, and family issued a statement that reiterating that those that try to take children out of the country without the proper documentation could face up to three years of imprisonment. Some 60 children were stopped by Honduran authorities on Monday and Tuesday for not having proper documentation, according to officials.
Citizens of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua are free to travel without a passport between the four countries due to an agreement signed between the governments in 2006.

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Miss Universe UAE announces 15 of 30 official candidates

The first batch of candidates to compete for the title of Miss Universe UAE have been announced. Fifteen names have so far been released on official social media accounts – Marwa (23, Sharjah), Sara (25, Dubai), Jasmin (22, Abu Dhabi), Dilnoza (23, Dubai), Alma (24, Dubai), Bahar (26, Dubai), Emilia (24, Dubai), Frank (27, Dubai),…

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Miss Universe UAE announces 15 of 30 official candidates

The first batch of candidates to compete for the title of Miss Universe UAE have been announced.
Fifteen names have so far been released on official social media accounts – Marwa (23, Sharjah), Sara (25, Dubai), Jasmin (22, Abu Dhabi), Dilnoza (23, Dubai), Alma (24, Dubai), Bahar (26, Dubai), Emilia (24, Dubai), Frank (27, Dubai), Razan (28, Abu Dhabi) Natalia (24, Dubai), Victoria (26, Dubai), Reem (25, Abu Dhabi), Asher (28, Dubai), Anna (28, Dubai) and Anita (24, Dubai).
pic.twitter.com/4ShjATL77n— missuniverseuae (@missuniverseuae) October 20, 2021
The Miss Universe Organization and Yugen Events announced the historic first-ever Miss Universe UAE on October 7, 2021. The event is set to take place in Dubai.
A few hours after the announcement of the pageant, the Miss Universe website crashed as over 12,000 candidates logged in to apply. The delegation whittled the applications down to 300 and selected its 30 official candidates on Thursday.
Couture Designs by @furneamato @amatoofficialPhotographed by @lucasalvesofficial @studiolucasalvesMakeup by @vimijoshiCreative Inputs @chanelayan#MissUniverseUAE#BreakingStereotypes#UAEToUniverse@josh_yugen #JoshYugen#YugenEvents @yugenpr #Top30 pic.twitter.com/Jl6NXCvrsL— missuniverseuae (@missuniverseuae) October 21, 2021
All women, between the ages of 18 to 28, who had a three-year residency, possessing a valid Emirates ID and passport, were qualified to join.
The 2022 event will be held in Dubai for three hours, where candidates will get the opportunity to showcase their intelligence, style and talent.
#MissUniverseUAE#BreakingStereotypes#UAEToUniverse@josh_yugen #JoshYugen#YugenEvents @yugenpr #Top30 pic.twitter.com/dDSyNzOPL1— missuniverseuae (@missuniverseuae) October 22, 2021
According to an official press release, the swimwear category will be dropped from the event this time “in respect of the UAE’s culture and traditions.”
A charity dinner will formally present the candidates on November 4.
The preliminary rounds will then take place on November 5, where the Top 15 will be chosen. From the semi-finalists will be selected the top five.

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Woman dies after Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on film set

US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and wounded the director on a film set in New Mexico, US law enforcement officers said Thursday. The incident happened on the set of “Rust” in the southwestern US state, where Baldwin is playing the lead in a 19th-century western. Halyna Hutchins and…

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Woman dies after Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on film set

US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and wounded the director on a film set in New Mexico, US law enforcement officers said Thursday.
The incident happened on the set of “Rust” in the southwestern US state, where Baldwin is playing the lead in a 19th-century western.
Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin,” the sheriff in Santa Fe said in a statement.
Hutchins, 42, was transported to hospital by helicopter but died of her wounds, while Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance and is receiving treatment.
No charges have been filed over the incident, which is being investigated, with witness interviews ongoing.
A spokesperson from the production told The Hollywood Reporter the “accident” involved the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
A sheriff’s spokesman told the publication that the director was in “critical condition.”
The incident took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location near Santa Fe which is popular with Hollywood filmmakers.
Movie sets usually have stringent rules over the use of prop weapons, but accidents have happened.
Most famously, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died during filming of “The Crow” after being shot by a gun that was supposed to fire blanks.
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In Iraqi Kurdish city, women gain power without parity

DUBAI: Stepping into India’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is like being instantly transported from the skyscraper-dominated skyline of the Middle East’s commercial capital to the hustle and bustle of South Asia. The pavilion, located in Al-Forsan Crescent in the expo’s Opportunity District, is one of the largest at the event. Designed by CP Kukreja…

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In Iraqi Kurdish city, women gain power without parity

DUBAI: Stepping into India’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is like being instantly transported from the skyscraper-dominated skyline of the Middle East’s commercial capital to the hustle and bustle of South Asia.

The pavilion, located in Al-Forsan Crescent in the expo’s Opportunity District, is one of the largest at the event. Designed by CP Kukreja Architects in Delhi, it features an innovative kinetic facade made up of 600 individual blocks in assorted hues of brown and beige — not entirely unlike the desert landscape outside — arranged in a mosaic of panels, each of which rotates on an axis.

The Indian pavilion’s design represents the country’s dynamism and forward-thinking vision, echoing the theme of an “India on the move.” (Credit: Supplied)

The design is intended to represent India’s dynamism and forward-thinking vision, echoing the theme of an “India on the move;” a country rooted in its rich heritage but also avant-garde and innovative in its approach to technological and economic advances.

The pavilion is also a nod to the nation’s fight against COVID-19 and the various reforms implemented by the government to prepare for what is hoped will be a period of high and accelerated growth as India strives to become a $5 trillion economy.

Combining both its heritage and its ambition, the Indian pavilion features yoga demonstrations alongside displays on its space program. (Credit: Supplied)

“The pavilion takes visitors through the numerous phases of development and the unparalleled growth trajectory that India has experienced in all sectors, ranging from health and wellness, climate change, biodiversity, food agriculture to accomplishments in space,” Aman Puri, the pavilion’s commissioner general and the consul general of India in Dubai, told Arab News.

“We have a wide assortment of festivals and celebrations to offer at the pavilion, which provide our visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience to get the … feel of the diverse Indian culture.”

Visitors are greeted warmly as they arrive at the state-of-the-art pavilion, which occupies a 1.2 acre site and showcases the nation’s cultural treasures and technological marvels.

Combining both its heritage and its ambition, the Indian pavilion features yoga demonstrations alongside displays on its space program. (Credit: Supplied)

As they move along a winding pathway they pass by a live yoga display in an area surrounded by greenery, a demonstration of Ayurveda, India’s ancient art of wellness, and a sharply contrasting area dedicated to India’s space program.

Visitors then move up through several levels that offer insights into various aspects of Indian culture, heritage and modern-day achievements. Massive floor-to-ceiling LED screens show images of Indian dancers and traditional ceremonies, and showcase the nation’s successes in the fields of robotics, energy, e-commerce, healthcare, cryptocurrency and blockchain.

A number of conference rooms and meeting spaces will be used to host talks and networking events in the coming months in an attempt to encourage the forging of new international business relationships with India.

Prior to the pandemic, bilateral trade between India and the UAE was worth $60 billion. As business begins to return to normal, the governments of both countries hope to facilitate investments totaling $75 billion in the coming years.

“The expo is an important occasion to exhibit and invite the world to participate in India’s economic growth by utilizing the existing Indian talent base, creating additional employment opportunities, and empowering the secondary and tertiary sectors,” said Puri.

“The plethora of global discussions, business and investment summits will focus on creating synergies and providing opportunities to explore and accelerate trade partnerships.”

Prior to the pandemic, bilateral trade between India and the UAE was worth $60 billion. As business begins to return to normal, the governments of both countries hope to facilitate investments totaling $75 billion in the coming years.

INNUMBERS

8.5 million – Population of overseas Indians in the Gulf states (2018).

(Source: GoI, Ministry of External Affairs)

Noting that India is “a country of start-up unicorns, and with an ecosystem of more than 50,000 recognized start-ups,” Puri said that “the Innovation Hub at the India pavilion will host several leading startups from India. Expo 2020 Dubai will be an excellent platform for these startups to engage with the global market.”

As it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, India has set its sights on becoming a high-tech, $5 trillion economy. (Credit: Supplied)

Among the events the pavilion will host is a World Majlis, which includes a program of talks including: Lessons from Space, on Oct. 19; Cities on the Move, on Nov. 2; and Off the Beaten Path, on Jan. 13.

For those interested in sampling some of India’s heritage, arts and crafts, and cultural treasures, the pavilion features a retail area with shops selling gemstones, textiles and pashminas from Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Jaipur.

And of course there is also a food court offering a wide range of Indian delicacies, along with a fine-dining restaurant, managed by Taj Hotels, where visitors can feast on a selection of the country’s rich culinary offerings.

The pavilion will also offer a packed schedule of indoor and outdoor performances of traditional Indian music and dance. In addition, visitors are invited to take part in festivities such as Diwali, the festival of light, and Holi, the festival of color.

 India’s state-of-the-art pavilion, which occupies a 1.2 acre site, showcases the nation’s cultural treasures alongside its technological marvels. (Credit: Supplied)

There are plans for the pavilion to remain as a permanent space for cultural and business exchange after the expo concludes, a testament to the long-standing relationship between the UAE and India.

About 2.75 million Indian nationals live in the UAE, representing 27 percent of the Gulf state’s population of about 10 million. The majority work in the service industry, which was badly hit by the precautionary lockdown measures during the pandemic. As a result, many Indian expats were forced to return home.

India’s participation at the expo coincides with the Indian government’s Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative, also known as [email protected], a year-long celebration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule.

The Indian pavilion’s design represents the country’s dynamism and forward-thinking vision, echoing the theme of an “India on the move.” (Credit: Supplied)

The Indian consulate has launched a number of special events, in addition to those taking place at the expo, to mark the anniversary, including competitions, documentary screenings and art exhibitions. The consulate is also reportedly planning a joint celebration to coincide with the 50th UAE National Day on Dec. 2, in celebration of the bond of friendship between the nations.

Expo 2020 Dubai is the 35th World Expo. The previous one was in Milan in 2015, and the next is scheduled to take place in 2025 in the Japanese city of Osaka, which also hosted the 1970 World Expo.

People attend the opening ceremony of the Dubai Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on September 30, 2021. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo)

The event dates back to 1851 and the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London, the first of what came to be called World Expos. In recent years have been staged every five years in a host city for a period ranging from three to six months.

Since 2013, when Dubai impressed a selection panel in Paris with its bid for the 2020 event, the expo has been one the most talked about and eagerly anticipated events in the UAE.

Organizers say the expo, which was delayed by a year because of the pandemic and finally got underway on Oct. 1 this year, provides a showcase for more than 200 participating entities, including 192 countries, and features 60 events. About 25 million visitors are expected before it closes in April.

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• Twitter: @rebeccaaproctor

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