Global Review – 4th June

Denmark passes law to send asylum seekers outside Europe

MPs in Denmark have passed a law that will see asylum seekers sent to countries outside of Europe to have their cases considered. Euronews reports that the law, which was approved by 70 votes to 24, is the latest anti-migration measure passed by the Danish Parliament and aims to discourage migrants from ever setting foot in the country. Under the law, which was proposed by the Social Democrat-led government, Denmark would be able to transfer asylum seekers to detention centres in partnering countries, potentially outside Europe. Their cases would then be reviewed from those countries. Ansasays there has been widespread concern over legislation: Brussels says it risks undermining the asylum system. UNHCR says it goes against the principles of international cooperation for refugees.

Norway summons US embassador over spying allegations

The Norwegian Government has summoned the US embassador on Thursday over a bombshell report that the US spied on its allies with the help of Denmark. Aftenposten quotes Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen saying the Defence Ministry “made it clear that spying on allies is unacceptable and unnecessary”. The meeting comes after Denmark’s public broadcaster reported that the country’s intelligence service had helped the US to spy on European officials between 2012 and 2014, under the Obama Administration. Among those reportedly targeted were officials in Norway, Sweden, France and Germany.

‘Biden wants an agreement with the EU for digital data exchange’

Joe Biden wants to secure a political agreement with Brussels at the US-EU summit on June 15 to restore confidence in the exchange of digital data between the two sides of the Atlantic, according to Politico. Confidence undermined by the revelations of former NSA agent Edward Snowden on US espionage of leaders of various countries was further damaged by the recent discovery that Washington used Danish intelligence to monitor European personalities.

US to give 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

President Joe Biden has outlined his plan for the first of 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses that the US would distribute globally, with 75% of shots disbursed via the COVAX programme. CNN quotes the White House saying that for the doses shared through COVAX, Washington would prioritise countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and Africa.

Netanyahu fights against new coalition

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu immediately came out on the attack on the new governing coalition between the centrist leader Yair Lapid and the right-wing Naftali Bennett. Haaretz says he issued a call to all deputies “elected with the votes of the right” to oppose the coalition, defining it as “left-wing and dangerous.” Netanyahu also accused Lapid and Bennett of “selling the Negev to Raam”, the Arab party that is part of the government agreement. Bennett, the next prime minister, will meet all the deputies of his party this morning at his residence in Raanana, not far from Tel Aviv.

Olympic volunteers resign, citing health concerns

Around 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers expected to take part in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have resigned in recent months, organisers have revealed, with 50 days to go before they are due to open. Tokyo-2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto told Fuji TV the volunteers had quit mainly because of health concerns due to coronavirus infections. Others dropped out because of scheduling problems after the Games were postponed for a year, or to protest against sexist remarks made by Tokyo-2020 President Yoshiro Mori, who was forced to resign in February and was replaced by Seiko Hashimoto. Some volunteers could also be among the estimated 80% of Japanese who oppose hosting the Games this year, according to national polls. Polls in Tokyo showed a more even split (50-50) between supporters and opponents of the Games.

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