Protests in Chicago

  Demonstrations follow the release of a video of the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

A French police officer stands guard by the Eiffel tower

A French police officer stands guard by the Eiffel tower a week after a series of deadly attacks in the French capital Paris, France.

Stranded migrant sits on rail tracks near the Greek village

Stranded migrant sits on rail tracks in front of Macedonian riot police guarding the border between Greece and Macedonia near the Greek village of Idomeni.

Migrant Crisis : A woman tries to protect her daughter

A woman tries to protect her daughter as refugees scuffle with the Greek police in their effort to reach the borderline with Macedonia, near the Greek village of Idomeni.

Macedonian policemen block migrants at the Greek-Macedonian borders

A migrant girl holds her toys as Macedonian policemen block migrants at the Greek-Macedonian borders, near the village of Idomeni, Greece November 20, 2015. Balkan countries have begun filtering the flow of migrants to Europe, granting passage to those fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan but turning back others from Africa and Asia, the United Nations and Reuters witnesses said.

Number of displaced Syrians in Europe

Very few of the 11.8 million Syrians who have fled their homes during the current conflict are now in Europe.

Passing through the Gevgelija refugee transit camp

Even if their numbers continue to increase, scenes with refugees sleeping on the train tracks, out in the rain, are rarely seen these days in Europe. The process has become more organised. Transit camps have been established near the borders, such as the one in Gevgelija, at the border between Macedonia and Greece. Around 7,000 refugees arrive in the transit camp in Gevgelija every day. “A huge increase” since July, when there were 1,200-1,500 refugees arriving daily, according to Lorenzo Leonelli, a UNHCR field officer.
Refugees arrive in groups of around 50. They cross the border on foot from a similar camp in Greece. Past the 59km milestone, after a vineyard, they arrive outside the fences of the Gevgelija transit camp. Once there, they wait until those who have arrived before them are registered by the Macedonian border police. Once inside, they allow themselves to rest for 15-20 minutes or a few hours, depending on the train schedule. They receive medical care, food, clothing and blankets. Children find a safe place to play. When the train arrives, they move on towards Tabanovtse, at the border with Serbia. And then the next group arrives. And then the next. Day and night. Every day.
Macedonia is a small country with an estimated population of two million people. It is not an EU member state, but faces the same influx of refugees as the other European countries. Dr Bertrand Desmoulins, a UNICEF representative, said he was concerned about what will happen to countries such as Macedonia as borders to the north close. He believes they need to prepare for the possibility that thousands of refugees will be stranded in Macedonia. “The EU should be helping countries like Macedonia […] So far, we cannot be very enthusiastic about what the EU has done in terms of trying to solve or mitigate the refugee crisis.” “Countries should not be left alone,” Leonelli agrees. “This is a regional issue and should be dealt [with] at a regional level.” 

Paris under attack

On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of mass shootings and suicide bombings occurred in Paris and Saint-Denis, France. Beginning at 21:16 CET,  three separate explosions and six mass shootings occurred, including bombings near the Stade de France in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis.  The deadliest attack was at the Bataclan theatre where attackers took hostages and engaged in a standoff with police until it was ended at 00:58 CET 14 November 2015. Eight attackers were killed and authorities are searching for any accomplices that remain at large.  It is reported that at least 128 people were killed, 87 of them at the Bataclan theatre.   In addition, more than 200 people were injured during the attacks, including 99 people described as being in a serious condition.
In response, French President François Hollande announced a national state of emergency, and subsequently placed temporary controls on the borders of France in a televised statement at 23:58 CET. Hollande declared on 14 November that the attacks were organised from abroad “by the Islamic State with internal help.”  The attacks were the deadliest to occur in France since World War II,  and led to the implementation of the first nationwide state of emergency since 1961 and the Algerian War. Prior to the attack, France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed seventeen people. On 14 November, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attacks.  President Hollande described them as “an act of war”.Gunmen and bombers attack restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium in the French capital.

Paris attack aftermath

Gunmen and bombers attacked locations across Paris, killing at least 127 people in a rampage that President Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack.  

Myanmar’s historic vote

Supporters of Myanmar’s pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi gather outside National League for Democracy headquarters (NLD) in Yangon, Myanmar . Myanmar’s ruling party conceded defeat in the country’s general election on Monday, as the opposition led by democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi appeared on course for a landslide victory that would ensure it can form the next government. “We lost,” Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) acting chairman Htay Oo told Reuters in an interview a day after the Southeast Asian country’s first free nationwide election in a quarter of a century.

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves at supporters as she visits polling stations at her constituency Kawhmu township.

Supporters of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi celebrate as partial results are shown on a television the outside National League for Democracy (NLD) party headquarters in Yangon.

A woman shows her inked finger after casting her ballot during general elections in Yangon.

Candidate Naing Nan Lynn, who was attacked last week while campaigning, waves his hand during National League for Democracy (NLD) party campaign rally in Yangon.

Volunteers count votes at a polling station during Myanmar general elections in central Yangon.