Here are our top picks for what the world is saying about the U.S. today.
Published on the tenth anniversary of former President George W. Bush’s “mission accomplished” speech, a new report (called “Mission UnAccomplished”) from the charity War Child says the plight of Iraq’s children is “one of the world’s most neglected crises.” Between 2005 and 2011, international development aid fell by $19 billion; in the last five months, 692 children and young people were killed, reports the BBC.
“Iraqi children are falling behind in education, [the report] adds, with fewer than half of 12-17 year olds now attending secondary school and enrolment in primary school higher than before the invasion,” according to the BBC.
France 24 reports that a U.S. panel has released scathing review of Europe’s increasingly “aggressive secularism.” The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom cites bans on full-face veils worn by Muslim women in France and Belgium, as well as restrictions on “symbols, ritual slaughter, circumcision, and the building of mosques and minarets.”
“One of the problems with these sorts of laws,” said Elizabeth Cassidy, the commission’s deputy director, “that are singling out a particular minority religious group, is that they send a signal that some people may take justified discrimination against members of that group.”
Immigration, guns, drugs
As President Obama embarks on a visit to Mexico, two issues will dominate his meeting with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto: immigration and drugs. Of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., around 8 million are originally from Mexico. Peña Nieto will need to put pressure on Obama to work out an immigration reform deal with recalcitrant Republicans in Congress, according to an in-depth piece on U.S.-Mexican relations by the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
The Mexican President will also reportedly ask Obama to redouble his efforts on gun control, as American firearms continue to fuel Mexico’s brutal drug war. “We are completely with President Obama and completely against the National Rifle Association,” explained Manuel Camacho Solis, Mexico’s former foreign minister.