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Geopolitics

Calais Crossing: An Inside Look At The Ugly Business Of Human Trafficking

Calais, France along the English Channel has served as a hub for UK-bound illegal migrants for more than a decade. Now Egyptian, Kurdish and Albanese traffickers are fighting for control.

Illegal immigrants in a Calais "jungle"
Illegal immigrants in a Calais "jungle"
Arthur Frayer

CALAIS Inside, the convenience shop sells the usual selection of beer and whiskey, chips and candy. Outside in the parking lot, just a few meters away, human trafficking is underway. Welcome to the Transmarck freight zone, on the outskirts of the northern French city of Calais.

Here, two hours away from both London and Brussels, Africans, Afghans and Syrians basically become merchandise, often spending several thousand euros to get across the English Channel to search for work in Britain.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 126: Russia Watching NATO, As Path Cleared For Finland And Sweden To Join

As NATO leaders meet in Madrid, Finland and Sweden look much closer to joining the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections to their membership. It's yet another momentous change underway since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

International leaders after having their photograph taken before the start of the NATO 2022

Anna Akage, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

A high-stakes NATO summit has kicked off in Madrid, as leaders of the world’s largest defense alliance discuss the war in Ukraine and key decisions that will shape the organization’s future direction. NATO Secretary-GeneralJens Stoltenberg said the Russian invasion of its neighbor had prompted a fundamental shift in its approach to defense.

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Finland and Sweden look much closer to joining the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections to their membership. The three countries released a joint memorandum that “extend[ed] their full support against threats to each other's security," FinnishPresident Sauli Niinistö said.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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