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In Honduras, Most Returnees From Caravan Hope to Try Again

The Metropolitan Grand Central bus terminal in this city where the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico originated more than three weeks ago is a place of crossing destinies for Hondurans dreaming of seeking a better life in the United States.

Some of the dozens of people sleeping on the concrete floor or outside on the grass underneath palm trees bathed by the light of street lamps are awaiting buses to the Guatemalan border to begin the journey north. Others are arriving after failing to complete the trip and are being ferried back to the precarious lives they left behind.

Hundreds of the mostly Honduran migrants who set out with the caravan that has traversed hundreds of miles through three countries before arriving in Mexico City this week have returned home, according to the Mexican government. Some grew disillusioned. Others simply wore out. Still others were detained and returned, or gave up on waiting for possible asylum in Mexico and accepted bus rides back home.

Disembarking at the bus station in San Pedro Sula, nearly all of those returning said the same thing: Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they intend to try again.

“I would go 30 times more if possible,” said Daniel Castaneda, an 18-year-old from the central city of Comayagua. He was detained shortly after migrants in a caravan following in the footsteps of the first one clashed with police on a bridge on the Mexican border with Guatemala late last month.

“I can’t say when, but I am going to keep going. … This country is going to be left empty,” he said.

Reny Maudiel a fresh-faced 16-year-old in a green T-shirt, a mop of curly hair sticking skyward from his head, said he was turned off by the violence of last month’s border clashes. He was also exhausted, and his feet hurt _ but already his mind was turning northward.

“I hope another opportunity emerges,” he said.

While U.S. President Donald Trump seized on the caravan as a campaign issue for Tuesday’s midterm elections and suggested that criminals had infiltrated the group, the migrants say they are fleeing poverty, lack of jobs and rampant violence.

In a country that is one of the world’s deadliest by homicide rates, San Pedro Sula is among the most violent cities as the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 street gang, fights street-by-street with the rival 18th Street gang for territory. It’s also seen a harsh crackdown by security forces including documented abuses. Nationwide nearly two-thirds of Hondurans, or some 5.5 million people, live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

Pablo Alba choked up thinking about how his 11-year-old son wrapped his arms around his neck and begged to be taken on the journey north. Alba said no, not wanting the boy to risk the arduous trek.

“If there must be suffering, I will go alone,” he said, recalling that Oct. 13 day when he set off to join the caravan with only the clothes on his back.

The 64-year-old had never thought about emigrating before because he had always been able to find work. A trained veterinarian, he ended up selling tamales cooked by his landlady, and it wasn’t nearly enough to support his family.

Mexican authorities say some 3,230 migrants from the caravan have requested refuge. Alba used to be one of them. But shut in at an immigration center and unable to communicate with his children — he had no money or cell phone — he dropped his application and agreed to return to Honduras. Some 480 others have done the same, according to the Mexican government.

He intends to try again in March — only this time he will bring his kids.

According to data from Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, on average 136 Honduran migrants per day have been returned to their country this year. Women and children are taken directly to a shelter in San Pedro Sula. Men go by bus to the Caribbean coastal city of Omoa, and from there are transferred to the San Pedro terminal.

Some days they’re met at the bus station by government officials sitting behind a plastic table offering “solidarity bags” of basic goods such as rice and dried spaghetti, along with a photo of President Juan Orlando Hernandez and a note saying it comes from his government.

Jorge Marquez said they were taking returnees’ information to “follow up with them” and allow them to benefit from aid that Hernandez has promised in response to the caravan, which at its peak numbered more than 7,000 people.

But such vows largely ring hollow in this deeply troubled and politically unstable country. In interviews with The Associated Press, most returnees said they faced only a bleak future if they remained in Honduras.

However, some, like Gerardo Castillo, a 35-year-old mason, did find encouragement in promises by Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1, to give special visas to Central Americans to work in his country.

Castillo, who left two children back home in Olancho and has two more in the United States, complained that immigration agents under the current Mexican administration were detaining migrants who separated from the main caravan, as happened to him. In Lopez Obrador, he sees a possible future in Mexico.

“On Dec. 1, I will be in Tecun Uman,” Castillo said, referring to the Guatemalan city across the river border from Mexico.

Olvin Fernando Murillo, 20, made it almost 200 miles (300 kilometers) north of that crossing to the town of Arriaga – still far from Phoenix, Arizona, where a brother lives.

That’s when his 16-year-old girlfriend got sick. When it became clear she wasn’t getting better they decided to return to their Honduran hometown of El Paraiso on the border with Nicaragua.

He sold his cellphone to raise a bit of money and had little more than a donated green backpack he picked up after crossing into Mexico.

But his plans were clear. “To rest for a while, and in January, another caravan,” he said.

Rumors that yet more caravans will form are flying in every corner of Honduras. They’re attractive for the perception that they provide safety in numbers, and because they’re a way to avoid paying thousands of dollars to a smuggler.

But the reality is far less certain.

Those few who make it to the United States face a tough road to be able to stay legally; poverty and violence are not supposed to be considered as qualifying factors for asylum. Trump has talked of making asylum even more difficult, of detaining applicants in tent cities and of sending 15,000 U.S. troops to the southern border.

Still, 27-year-old Claudia Noriega was determined to risk it, saying she can no longer make a living selling sweets since sugar prices have soared. She was aware she could end up back here in a few weeks’ time, just like the men sleeping on the bus terminal floor.

“The important thing is to try,” she said. “And if you can’t, you’ll have to see what to do then.” (Source: VOA NEWS)

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India News Brief

15 August 2020

COVID-19 Cases: 2,461,190 Death Toll: 48,040

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 30 June: Schools, colleges, educational institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, and even metro services will continue to remain shut until further notice.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No no Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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