A Senegalese immigrant in Italy set a school bus with children inside on fire as a way of seeking revenge for Italy’s tough asylum and migration policies.
Ousseynou Sy, 47, doused the school bus he was driving with petrol and set it on fire in the province of Cremona near the city of Milan. Sources described him as having been an Italian citizen since 2004, having arrived in the country some time before.
A police spokesman described Sy as demanding Italy “stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry out a massacre.” Fortunately, the 51 school children on board the bus were able to exit the vehicle before it was lit aflame, averting any casualties.
Sy is also said to have a criminal history involving sexual assault of a minor, raising questions about how such an individual was able to become a school bus driver. He allegedly ordered a teacher on the bus to tie the children’s hands with zipties, who declined to follow his command and endanger the middle school children.
Italy has been on the front lines of waves of mass migration from Libya and North Africa, usually consisting of migrants from sub-Sarahan African countries making dangerous attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.
Many migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean making the dangerous crossing, and Italians have shouldered the considerable burden of hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in the southern European country. Discontent with an open-door migration policy has led to the election of a left-populist and nationalist coalition government in Italy, and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has implemented policies to deter the arrival of migrant boats.
Vessels associated with pro-migration non-governmental organizations, previously involved in picking up migrants just off the coast of Libya and shuttling them to Italian ports, have been denied access to the country. Increasingly, such vessels are choosing to bring asylum seekers to Spain as a way of avoiding Italy’s crackdown on what many have called institutionalized human smuggling.
Salvini’s nationalist immigration policies have become widely popular in the country, even though it appears one discontent individual was motivated to resort to violence and threats in an attempt to derail them.
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Canadian Police Report Almost 2,200 Home Visits To Monitor Quarantine Compliance
Canadian police officers reportedly have conducted almost 2,200 home visits to ensure travelers into the country are complying with quarantine rules.
In late March, the Canadian government announced the start of the Quarantine Act, which mandates that anyone entering the country, with the exception of essential workers like truck drivers and those in healthcare, must self-isolate for 14 days.
Failure to comply can incur a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison. However, so far there have been no arrests, and only one fine of $1,000.
Still, many may find unsettling the degree to which the Canadian police, in coordination with official border and health services, are enforcing a nanny state by paying home visits to incoming travelers deemed at risk of non-compliance. In addition, prime minister Justin Trudeau has hinted that even tougher measures could be coming, even once Canada begins easing cross-border travel.
Also in late March, the Trudeau government announced a halt to all immigration in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, current immigration applications would not be closed or denied due to failure to meet typical requirements.
Still, many pointed out that Canada’s response was actually stronger than the US’, which has continued to import thousands of H-1B workers even while under lockdown due to a global pandemic.
The border between the US and Canada has been closed since the end of March, and this was recently extended, likely into mid-June. Trudeau has stated that the closure and its extension were implemented with full cooperation from the US.
While travel into Canada has not stopped completely, it has fallen drastically since the implementation of restrictive policies. However, critics of the government question whether Trudeau reacted quickly enough, and argue that the policy going forward is too vague and requires more explanation and accountability.
As stated by Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus:
“It was the Trudeau government’s failure to close our borders that allowed the virus to spread in the first place. It is incumbent on the Trudeau government to explain how they plan to ensure that travelers who are coming back to Canada are not spreading COVID-19… Unfortunately, right now the Trudeau government is telling Canadians to ‘wait and see’ without explaining what metrics they are relying on to make decisions.”
While Canada is doing significantly better than the US in terms of the number of cases, one tragically sobering area in which it has exhibited clear failure is the fate of its elderly, particularly those in state and private long-term care institutions.
It is estimated that up to 86% of the Canadian death toll is from facilities such as long-term care, retirement, and corrections, with the first two making up the large majority. In one privately-run nursing home, as much as one third of residents have died from coronavirus.
While the situation is complex and there are few countries that do not seem to have significant problems with their approach, it is clear that something is wrong with Canada’s. Perhaps the government should focus more on taking care of its elderly than intrusively monitoring its citizens.
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