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Paris attacks cast doubts on Schengen vision of a borderless Europe | Letters

The depravity of terrorists knows no limits. We can only shed tears of sorrow for hapless victims. The innocents and the powerless have always been pawns in wider proxy wars, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Haven’t we been here before? Drone attacks in Pakistan, aerial bombardments, home demolitions, extra-judicial killings, detention in the occupied Palestinian territories, rocket attacks and stabbings in Israel, barrel bomb attacks in Syria, suicide attacks in New York, Nairobi, Beirut, London, Paris, and airliner explosions over Sinai and eastern Ukraine. Terror has no religion, race or ethnicity – it is politics that creates fertile grounds for terrorism. Violence begets violence. It is time to address the root causes that nourish terror, namely: poverty, unemployment, Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism, food insecurity, religious void, social injustices, occupations and wars.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London

• One lesson from the Paris atrocities is the need for proper border and other immigration controls. It is clear that in the current circumstances, the Schengen vision of a borderless Europe is not simply dead but deadly (Report, 14 November).

Related: Paris attacks: European leaders link terror threats to immigration

Related: Paris attacks: police hunt ‘dangerous’ suspect and brother of Isis attacker – live updates

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Tory press in EU referendum thoughtfulness shocker

Conservative newspapers don’t quite know who to back on the EU issue but it’s OK: there’ll always be plenty for them to get indignant about

This will be a long, slow burner. On some inside page, David Cameron was detailing his EU referendum terms, but the Mail was more concerned about public service fat cats, the Times about greedy doctors doling out contracts to mates, and the Telegraph about a speech on inequality from John Major. The Sun buried a lead about EU “wobbles” beneath “Hollywood HIV panic”. What happened to the expected outpouring of Eurobile as the UK revealed its key demands? What’s going on (apart from the Express doing its usual Daily Farage act)?

Welcome to a period of unexpected thoughtfulness. The Times thinks the PM’s aims “moderate and attainable” and “important for the EU’s sake as well as Britain’s”. The Telegraph reckons he’s “effectively preparing the ground for a referendum that invites voters either to support the status quo with some modifications, or to leave – and that at least has the virtue of clarity”. Even the bouncing Bun seems deflated: “Mr Cameron is no fool. He has clearly calculated thatwhen it comes to the referendum, … Britain will stick with the devil we know … He may even be proved right.”

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Britain says Irish won’t be affected by benefits curbs on EU migrants

David Cameron’s demand for restrictions on EU citizens’ access to welfare will not apply to nationals from Ireland

The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, has privately assured Ireland’s government that the hundreds of thousands of its nationals living in Britain would not be affected by any new conditions that may be introduced by the UK to restrict EU migrants’ access to the welfare system.

Hammond discussed benefits restrictions with Ireland’s foreign minister Charles Flanagan on two occasions in the past year – in December and in June – providing explicit assurances, according to an Irish government document seen by the Guardian.

Related: The Guardian view on David Cameron’s speech on Europe: time to end the phoney war | Editorial

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Merkel promises to help Turkey deal with migrants ‘step-by-step’ – video

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, says help for Turkey to handle the influx of migrants into Europe will be offered on a ‘step-by-step’ basis as EU leaders work to secure a deal with the Turkish president. Recep Tayyip Erdogan would receive €3bn over two years in exchange for Turkey patrolling the EU’s southern border and stemming the flow of refugees

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Britain must respect the rights of refugees | Letters

We support our colleagues from the legal community in their call for an “urgent, humane and effective governmental response to the refugee crisis” (Report, 12 October). As social workers, we also want to see appropriate funding of specialist social and health care support for refugees and asylum seekers and for coordination of volunteer community initiatives. This should particularly apply to support for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum. The immigration bill needs to be shelved. If passed into law, it will curtail support for those people refused asylum who have legally previously been supported. This would clearly not be in a family’s or child’s best interests and it is impossible to see how these proposals will comply with the need to safeguard children.

Equally, the “detained fast-track” system must end. Currently, many people arriving in the UK are detained from the minute they claim asylum here. The entire asylum claim is processed while they are locked in a high security immigration detention centre. People whose claims are heard while in detention are not dealt with fairly and the decision to detain them violates their right to liberty. We urge the government to consider all appellants on the “fast track” and offer suitable, community-based, accommodation.

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Alan Moore donates £10,000 to help friend bring his African wife to the UK

V for Vendetta author makes public donation to assist Graham Cousins’s struggle to be reunited with his Mozambican wife

Alan Moore, the comics legend who created the vigilante V in his acclaimed graphic novel V for Vendetta, has waded into an old friend’s battle to bring his wife to the UK, publicly donating £10,000 to Graham Cousins and expressing his “continuing incredulous disgust” over the way Cousins and his wife have been treated.

Cousins, a 60-year-old window cleaner, married his wife Paula Cousins, from Mozambique, three years ago, but the two have fallen foul of the Home Office’s minimum income threshold of £18,600 a year required for a foreign spouse to live in the UK, and Paula remains in Mozambique. Introduced in 2012, the law is estimated to have meant that 33,000 couples cannot bring their spouses in to the UK or remain with them.

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Modern slavery is harder to recognise when it’s right under our noses | Felicity Lawrence

Allegations of human trafficking into the fishing industry make us queasy because of our hypocrisy over cheap labour

Human trafficking is an evil we like to think happens somewhere else; in impoverished countries, or if nearer to home only as part of activity that is generally illegal – the sex trade perhaps, but not the mainstream economy. It is a jolt to be confronted with evidence suggesting that human trafficking for labour exploitation – a form of modern slavery – may be happening under our noses and in relation to goods that we ourselves consume.

The Guardian has uncovered suspected cases of undocumented African and Asian migrant workers being trafficked into the Irish prawn and white fish fleet as part of a wider investigation into the exploitation of undocumented migrants in fishing. We know that similar allegations are being investigated by police as part of a formal inquiry into trafficking in the Scottish fishing fleet.

Related: Revealed: trafficked migrant workers abused in Irish fishing industry

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Our asylum system is forcing vulnerable teenagers to relive their trauma | Gillian Hughes

Time and again, we witness unaccompanied refugees suffering mental health problems when they apply for asylum at 18. They need support, not uncertainty

At the age of 13, Janan witnessed his father being beaten to death by members of the Taliban in Afghanistan and his mother dragged off into the night. Recognising the danger to Janan, his relatives sold his parents’ land and paid traffickers to take him to safety. Traumatised and vulnerable, he set off on a horrific nine-month journey. He recalls gruelling marches over mountains in the snow and witnessing the shooting of fellow travellers who fell behind through hunger and fatigue. Every new day that dawned, Janan thought would be his last. Sadly, his story is not uncommon.

Related: At 13 I found sanctuary in Britain, now we’re failing refugee children | Gulwali Passarlay

One part of our system – mental health care – is acting to repair the damage done by another part – the asylum process

Related: Providing the right support for young asylum seekers

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EU migrants on benefits: separating the statistics from the spin

Britain’s referendum on EU membership may decided in large part by the issue, but the information available is scant at best

Here’s what David Cameron wants you to believe. EU nationals are a drain on the British benefits system. So on Monday night, Downing Street selectively released a set of figures to the Times that claimed to show 43% of EU migrants drew benefits during their first years in the UK.

Related: Cameron’s willingness to adapt EU reforms riles Eurosceptics

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Theresa May warns police: cuts mean ‘fewer people, fewer buildings’

Home secretary says previous cuts showed how to do more with less, as West Midlands force prepares to axe 528 jobs

The home secretary has warned the police and immigration services that there “is no escaping” the fact that the next round of Home Office spending cuts will mean “fewer people, fewer buildings and less room for error”.

But Theresa May also made clear in a speech in London that the need to find deep Treasury reductions would not slow the pace of “fundamental, urgent and radical reform” across her department, including continuing “the quiet revolution” in policing she has overseen over the past five years.

Related: Bobbies on the beat or scarecrows on the street? How cuts are changing policing

Related: Police cuts put penny-pinching before protecting the public

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