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Women are the key to integration

The NY Times has a very informative article on how Muslim women in Europe bridge the gap between traditional religious values that are often times represented by their church leaders, parents, brothers and husbands, and Western culture, including equal rights for women in every aspect of life. The journalist, Marlise Simons, points out that one of the most important means at hands for women to reach a certain amount of freedom and equality without breaking with their Muslim background is education, including religious education.

Germany loses the brightest minds to the US

In an interview with the leftwing/liberal German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, migration expert Klaus Bade paints an unpleasant migration-picture for Germany: While immigrants often times don't fulfill the requirements to fit in socially and professionally, more and more well educated, German-trained professionals turn their backs on the country, increasingly so not only for certain period of time, but for good, he says. Two of the reasons he mentions are the continuingly unpromising outlook for the German job market and "absurd practices within the German academia," which will soon drive so many experts abroad that we can expect a distinct shortage of trained professionals in certain sectors. Among the highly and very highly qualified experts Germany is loosing are IT-professionals, many of whom migrating to the United States. Canada is among other favored countries of immigration. Predominant among the emigrants are young, educated people "in their best years of earning," Bade laments. "Germany is on her way to find herself on the loser's side of the competition over the brightest minds." An additional problem he contends: While many second- or third generation immigrants to Germany are now leaving the country for better opportunities abroad, their parents and grandparents tend to stay in order to enjoy their retirement benefits in Germany." In times of retirement crisis, this is a problem that should not be underestimated", Bade warns. All in all, he contends, this is "a thoroughly unpleasant migration scenario, which should neither be talked nor calculated away."

Marla Ruzicka, civilian victims and reconciliation

Yesterday was supposed to be Marla Ruzicka's 29th birthday. The humanitarian extraordinaire from Washington State California was the founder of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC). According to United Press International (UPI) she worked with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.,

to put money in the annual Foreign Operations spending bill -- providing a total of nearly $40 million dollars for individuals and communities in Afghanistan and Iraq that suffered what the military calls collateral damage. In the latest bill, passed over the summer, the civilian assistance program was named the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund, in her honor. (…) The funds are used to provide in-kind assistance, such as medical care, equipment to start a business, or the replacement of damaged or destroyed property like homes and schools, said the Leahy aide, Tim Rieser. And millions of dollars in cash have also been paid out by the military, under U.S. regulations that give unit commanders access to a special fund to "respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements." In many parts of Iraq, the U.S. military uses these funds to run programs generally paying out up to $2,500 per victim to the families of those killed, and smaller amounts to those who are injured or have property destroyed or who were detained. (…)

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