By Plane and Bike to Norway

In a largely painful and dismal story about refugees and asylum seekers, here is an account that shows the importance of geography. Syrians wanting to leave get a Russian visa and a plane ticket to Moscow from Beirut, train to Murmansk, car to Norweigan border and bicycle across the border to Norway. Bicycle required because walking across is not allowed.

UPDATE: Here are some charts showing EU quotas set for refugees in May. The numbers seeking asylum have increased. The charts show which countries have exceeded their quota; which have not; and what would happen if the increasing flow of immigrants were to be proportionately received by the May quotas. A bit surprising that Ireland has not taken more. Access? Hard to know.   NYTimes.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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