Wildlife and water in eastern Europe, Rotterdam festival films

This video series is called The Danube – Amazon of Europe.

The organisers of the Wildlife Film Festival in Rotterdam in the Netherlands write about this:

Influenced by weather and climatic extremes, the Danube is in constant motion. Floods and drought determine life just as much as the seasons. They influence migration, mating and breeding, as well as hunting and hibernation of animals. Wherever the Danube flows, it impacts nature and people’s lives. The mighty river ends in a unique labyrinth of water, mud and reeds: the Danube delta. It is the last remaining major river delta in Europe and the largest reed bed on earth, used by huge colonies of pelicans, cormorants, sea eagles and spoonbills for breeding and nesting.

This video says about itself:

The cinema trailer of our natural history film “Wild Hungary – A Water Wonderland“.

The organisers of the Rotterdam festival write about this film:

A country like no other in Europe, Hungary is influenced by the rhythms of its rivers. White-tailed eagles, otters and enormous catfish share the wetlands with many other species living close to the local people often unnoticed. Wild Hungary is their intimate story.

German human rights activists help refugees escape from Hungary

Some of the over 100,000 who marched in London, England on September 12th 2015 against the Conservative government's asylum policies and in support of refugees

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 5 October 2015


GERMAN ‘escape helpers’ are driving to Hungary with cars and vans to collect refugees and ferry them across European borders, and back into Germany to start a new life.

Volunteers are with an activist group called ‘The Peng Collective’, they have helped organise and coordinate more than 100 volunteers. The 100 Germans call themselves ‘Fluchthelfer’, which roughly translates as ‘escape helpers’. The term has a unique historical significance in this country. During World War II, German Fluchthelfer helped Jews escape and hide from the Nazis.

The heroic actions, though carried out by volunteers and unpaid, are still considered ‘human smuggling’ under European law, meaning that ‘escape helpers’, if caught, can face jail. ‘Peng Collective’ movement has arisen in reaction to a controversial European Union law called the Dublin Regulation. It states that asylum seekers must be processed in the countries in which they first arrive in Europe.

On September 2, when Ole Seidenberg flicked on the morning news in Berlin and saw an image of a 3-year-old Syrian refugee who had washed up on a Turkish beach, he decided to become a ‘Fluchthelfer’. Seidenberg cancelled a holiday in the countryside that he and his wife had planned.

Instead, the 32-year-old drove out of Germany, through Austria, and into Hungary to pick up refugees and ferry them back to his home country, a move that would help them gain asylum.

Modern-day Fluchthelfer, for their part, are creating an underground ferrying service to sneak people from Hungary into Germany, so that the asylum seekers could have a better chance at gaining refugee status in Europe. ‘At the moment, there’s a lot of acceptance in society for Fluchthelfer,’ said Max a volunteer with the Peng Collective. ‘All the escape-helping movements in the past have been illegal,’ he said. ‘But they were justified in the books of history afterward.’

Ole Seidenberg’s first ‘escape helper’ journey began in early September. With a friend, he rented a silver Volkswagen Sharan, and left Berlin at night, driving through the Czech Republic and Slovakia to reach Hungary by Saturday morning. They heard that an area about 31 miles from the Austrian-Hungarian border had become a hotspot, and that if they drove through the countryside toward the border from Budapest, they would find refugees looking for a ride.

The group drove their two cars through Budapest’s streets and on to the refugee hotspot. As they neared the border, they saw hundreds of refugees, along with a handful of cars opening their doors. When Seidenberg opened the doors of his Volkswagen, a family from Iraq immediately got in. The car was so full that Seidenberg’s friend had to get out and wait while Seidenberg drove the family to the border.

By 1am, after ferrying several groups of refugees back and forth, Seidenberg and his friend reunited at a gas station on the Austrian side of the Hungarian border. They spotted a family carrying a bunch of plastic bags, seemingly left behind. The family, originally from Syria, was hesitant to accept a lift. They had just paid 500 euros to traffickers who left them at the gas station in the middle of the night, and were wary of strangers.

‘They thought we must be traffickers ourselves,’ said Seidenberg. ‘Why would we appear in the middle of the night in the gas station?’ After a tense negotiation, Seidenberg and his friend agreed to drive three men and three children to Frankfurt. Alex and his driving partner took another three adults who were headed to northern Germany. In Seidenberg’s car, the refugees fell asleep within 10 minutes.

‘They were completely exhausted,’ Seidenberg said. They were on their feet for 17 days. They had lived in Turkey in a refugee camp for 10 months.’ From Turkey, they had travelled by boat to Greece and from Greece to Macedonia, Serbia, then Hungary. We drove through the night, scared, because there were so many police at every gas station,’ Seidenberg said.

The ‘escape helpers’ risk serious consequences. In Austria, they could be fined for smuggling people in this fashion. In Hungary, they could face up to four years in jail. In Germany, they were risking up to 10 years of prison time under trafficking laws. ‘Hungary is closing their borders more and more; there are more controls on the Austrian-Hungarian border,’ said Seidenberg.

But the ‘escape helpers’ adapt to these changes, often communicating with encrypted messages. ‘As the refugees’ routes change, so do the routes of the escape helpers. They are not going to stop us,’ Seidenberg said. The situation will only become more dire during the winter, worsening what is already Europe’s most urgent refugee emergency since World War II.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday that refugee and migrant arrivals in Greece are expected to hit the 400,000 mark soon, despite adverse weather conditions. Greece remains by far the largest single entry point for new sea arrivals in the Mediterranean, followed by Italy with 131,000 arrivals so far in 2015. In September, 168,000 people crossed the Mediterranean, the highest monthly figure ever recorded and almost five times the number in September 2014.|

As of Friday morning, a total of 396,500 people have entered Greece by sea since the beginning of the year, more than 153,000 of them in September alone. The nine-month 2015 total compares to 43,500 such arrivals in Greece in all of 2014. Ninety-seven per cent are from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries, led by Syria (70 per cent), Afghanistan (18 per cent) and Iraq (4 per cent). All three are countries that imperialism has attacked and bombed.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said: ‘There was a noticeable drop in sea arrivals this week, along with the change in the weather.’ Edwards said that on Sept 25th, for example, there were some 6,600 arrivals. The next day, it dropped to around 2,200. From an average of around 5,000 arrivals per day recently, it has fallen to some 3,300 over the past six days with just 1,500 yesterday.

‘Nevertheless, any improvement in the weather is likely to bring another surge in sea arrivals.’

The current cooler, windy weather has made the crossing from Turkey to Greece even more perilous.

Last Thursday, there were at least two rescue operations in waters off Lesvos. On Wednesday, there were four separate rescue operations on Lesvos in which 283 people were recovered. But the death of a woman and a young boy brought the total toll of dead and missing in Greek waters to at least 102 this year.

In all, nearly 3,000 people have died or gone missing this year crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Despite daily ferry departures carrying between 3,000 and 6,000 refugees and migrants from the islands to Athens, new arrivals continue and island ports can still be crowded with some 10,000-14,000 people on any given day awaiting transfer. UNHCR said it is concerned that the lack of reception capacity in Greece could seriously jeopardise the relocation programme agreed upon by the European Council, as eligible refugees have nowhere to stay while awaiting relocation.

Greece’s Prime Minister told the United Nations on Thursday that Athens was doing all it could to help the refugee and migrant crisis, and criticised the building of walls to keep them out. In cooperation with the EU and other international organisations, we are doing all we can to manage these flows in an effective and humane way,’ Alexis Tsipras told the General Assembly.

Greece is ‘improving reception facilities and identification procedures’ and setting up hot spots to facilitate relocation, Tsipras said, criticising European countries trying to keep them out. On Thursday, Hungary attached razor wire to a fence erected at its border with Croatia and last month sealed its border with Serbia, cutting off the main entry point for tens of thousands of migrants. ‘We do not believe that the future of Europe or our world can be built on ever higher walls, or children dying at our doorstep,’ said Tsipras.

‘We cannot allow racism and xenophobia to destroy our common principles,’ he added.

Some 500,000 people have come to Europe so far this year, the International Organisation for Migration says, many of them taking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean on inflatable dinghies.

The bodies of at least 95 refugees have been found washed ashore in Libya over the past week according to the country’s Red Crescent charity, in the latest tragedies stemming from the region’s unprecedented refugee crisis: here.

Hungarian, Czech pro-refugee voices

Syrian refugees at the platform of Budapest Keleti railway station (Pic: Mstyslav Chernov)

By Dave Sewell from Britain:

How activists in eastern Europe are resisting attempts to block out refugees

Deadly border fences are going up across eastern Europe as its governments whip up Islamophobia. Dave Sewell spoke to activists there about how the refugee crisis is spreading in the east—and what people are doing to fight back

Tue 22 Sep 2015, 15:00 BST

Twenty five years after the Iron Curtain fell, eastern European states are once again building walls to stop people fleeing westward.

But this time they are blocking African and Middle Eastern refugees fleeing wars and dictatorships. And the European Union (EU) is using regional governments as its frontline border cops.

But refugees have been forcing their way through. Thousands travelled through Croatia last week, after Hungary locked down its border with Serbia.

A new wall [at] the border. It was constructed just in time for new anti-migrant laws coming into force on Monday of last week.

Migrant Solidarity (Migszol) activist Karmen Kollar went to the newly-blocked border at Roszke, southern Hungary on Tuesday morning.

She told Socialist Worker, “Hundreds of people were stuck on the border—within hours it became thousands. People started desperately camping on the empty motorway.”

Refugees chanted, “We want the gate open.” The state responded with terror. Karmen said, “By Wednesday afternoon, people were gathering at one of the old border crossings. Then the anti-terror police turned up.

“Somehow the people had got hold of a loudspeaker and tried to negotiate with the police.

“In the end they started throwing empty bottles, and then two or three stones. I heard one of the cops say “finally”—and without warning they started pepper-spraying everyone.

Refugees in Hungary (Pic: Mstyslav Chernov)


“People tried to run, but the crowd was too dense. I saw people crying, throwing up. Some migrants pushed back, setting fire to T-shirts and throwing them at the police. The police answered with tear gas and water cannon.”

Serbian ambulance workers ended up hospitalised themselves after a tear gas grenade hit their ambulance.

The lockdown follows six months of racist scaremongering across the region. Jan Majicek, a revolutionary socialist in the Czech capital Prague, told Socialist Worker, “A refugee boat sinking in 2013 was reported as a tragedy. Now the media talk about a ‘migration crisis’.

“They talk of an ‘uncontrollable wave’ or a ‘threat to our security’. Along with Islamophobia, this created a toxic cocktail that’s helped the far right.

“The Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian governments are all repressing refugees—and using this to raise military and police budgets. The most serious situation is in Hungary.”

Karmen said, “The new law is the culmination of a xenophobic campaign. The government put up billboards in spring telling migrants, ‘If you come to Hungary, don’t steal Hungarian jobs’. But they were written in Hungarian, so the aim was obviously to create hatred.

There’s opposition, but in this political atmosphere it can be hard to get a hearing.

“And the far right party Jobbik organises dangerous anti-migrant rallies—one of them forced refugees to be evacuated from Budapest’s Keleti train station.”

Hungary’s government in particular is also virulently Eurosceptic.

Both Jan and Karmen say the politicians are using the EU as an “alibi”. But Karmen added, “The problem is that there is some truth to it too.”

The EU’s Dublin Regulation says refugees have to apply for asylum in the first country they reach—and can be turned away elsewhere.

Karmen said, “These rules should be completely replaced. They are one reason the situation is so extreme.”

Both Germany and Denmark closed their borders before Croatia did. The authorities in France and Austria have tried to criminalise helping migrants—though resistance has stood its ground.

Meanwhile, Britain’s border at Calais is increasingly fortified. Cops pepper spray refugees there too.

EU politicians have criticised Hungary’s fence, but it was a condition of EU membership.


This follows a pattern already seen in Greece. The EU demanded a wall along the river Evros at its Turkey border. Hundreds of Syrian refugees held a sit-in protest there last week.

They rightly argued that this land blockade forces people onto the dangerous sea crossing. It has also given an alibi to any Greek politician who tries to use racism to shore up support.

Now EU border policies are poisoning the politics of newer eastern Europe members states in the same way. …

Jan said, “We should demand our governments open the ­borders and stop their war games. But that’s only one part of our task. The other is to fight for better jobs, wages and welfare—to undercut the Nazis and racists’ claims that refugees are the problem.”

Much of the debate about how to stop the violence at the EU’s border has revolved around the need to “share the burden”.

But this reinforces the idea that refugees are a problem—and the repressive system that tries to control them.

It’s a contradiction Karmen struggles with. “It’s a big question and I don’t know what to do about borders,” she said.

“There needs to be some control. But the more I hear from the migrants, the more I think the EU shouldn’t get to decide where they stay.

“People might enter in one country, but have family in another.

“Why should we tell someone they have to stay in Hungary if they want to go to Sweden, for example? I believe they should have this freedom of movement.”

Abandoned in Belgrade

Hungary’s new law states that Serbia is a “safe country”. That allows the government to deport anyone coming through there—or jail them for several years if they enter Hungary.

Just a few dozen metres from Roszke’s closed motorway checkpoint is one of the two remaining legal crossings. Karmen described a small, unmarked prefab building where a small group of people are allowed inside every 15 minutes.

“A Syrian man told me they’d let him in, kept him in a room for 30 minutes, then handed him some forms he couldn’t read.

“A translator told him to sign them. The forms said he had been returned to Serbia and wouldn’t be coming to Hungary.”

But Serbia is not a place where many refugees expect to find a future. British campaigner Tom Ullman went to the camp in its capital Belgrade.

Many stay at the camp because Serbia’s new laws mean refugees are kicked out of hotels after three nights. Tom said, “Over the past week refugees have had to face abrupt downpours.

“Heavy rains are followed by a flurry of activity as those without storm-worthy tents head for what shelter they can find.”

Tom said, “Sombre stories are told, and affect the mood of the camp. A ship sank the previous week, its passengers only rescued because one of them happened to have a flare.

“But for all the suffering there’s a peculiar festival spirit where strangers become friends.

“The most joyous moment came when a local organisation brought supplies to make tea and music. Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans danced to familiar songs.

“We should be thankful to welcome such people into our countries.”

Racism helps our rulers

Our rulers’ biggest lie about border controls is that they protect the working class.

Even a piece in the supposedly liberal Guardian newspaper argued that letting in refugees would “hit the UK’s working class areas hardest”.

And some trade unionists argue that immigration harms workers’ wages and conditions.

But pressure on services comes from politicians slashing funding. Bosses push down wages and conditions.

There is plenty of wealth in our society. Workers produce it—and when we stand together we have the power to reclaim it.

The racism and repression we are seeing at borders from Roszke to Calais only help our rulers divide us.

The Communist Manifesto famously ends with a call for international solidarity. “Workers of all countries unite—you have a world to win, and nothing to lose but your chains.”

David Cameron understands this. That’s why he wants to extend the border controls we are seeing in Hungary throughout the EU.

Our side must understand that we can only win if we smash them.

Hungarian army anti-refugee violence threatens

This video says about itself:

Hungary: ‘Shame on you Orban!’ Pro-refugee protesters rally in Budapest

13 September 2015

Supporters of the ‘Egyutt’ (‘Together’) party and other opposition groups held a pro-refugee protest in Budapest, Sunday, under the name ‘Shame on you Orban!’

By Markus Salzmann:

Hungary deploys army against refugees

26 September 2015

The parliament of Hungary passed a constitutional amendment Monday permitting the deployment of the country’s army at the country’s borders to repel refugees. With 151 votes in favor, including the votes of the ruling Fidesz party and the far-right Jobbik party, the bill received the two-thirds majority required for changes to the constitution.

The new law will allow the armed forces to stop people at the border and search vehicles. The army will also be allowed to use batons, rubber bullets and nets. The initial draft also allowed police to search homes without a court order if they suspected the presence of refugees. This provision was then deleted from the final text following a wave of protest.

Hungarian soldiers have already been mobilized on the country’s border with Serbia to erect a high barbed wire fence. They are also permitted to reinforce police units at the border.

On Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán defended closing the border in parliament: “Many say that fences are not a good solution, because everyone would have to build a fence. But that is precisely the solution,” he declared.

He denounced the impoverished and desperate refugees as a threat to the EU: “They are overwhelming us. They are not just banging against the door; they are kicking it down.” Hungary and the EU had to counter this “brutal threat.”

The Orbán government has already built a 175-kilometer-long fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia and is currently building similar fences on its borders with Romania and Croatia. On September 15, a law also came into force that made the illegal entry into Hungary a serious crime, punishable by three years in prison or deportation.

The mobilization of the military at the border, while targeting refugees, aims at annulling fundamental democratic rights for the entire population.

Civil rights activists have criticized the new laws. In an open letter, a group of lawyers complained that child refugees do not receive the protection entitled to underage persons by law. They pointed out that accused refugees cannot read the accusations and judgment made against them in their mother tongue, although this is required by law. Moreover, persons restrained in a camp under “house arrest” are not allowed to make phone calls or have personal conversation with a defense lawyer.

Apart from some superficial criticism there is general approval for the brutal refugee policy among Hungary’s main political parties. The social democratic MSZP did not vote against the constitutional amendment, but merely abstained in the vote.

And despite their occasional criticism of Orbán, other European countries support Hungary’s crackdown on refugees.

On Wednesday, the German Christian Social Union, the Bavarian party that shares power with Angela Merkel’s CDU and the social democrats, welcomed Orbán as guest of honor at a party meeting in Banz. CSU leader Horst Seehofer assured “dear Viktor” of a “high level of agreement” and emphasized that “Orbán is indispensable for the correct solution of the problem.”

The Latvian government has also demanded that the EU provide additional funds to build border fences. The country plans to close its border with Russia and Belarus and install monitoring systems along the newly-reinforced border.

Bulgaria plans to deploy around a thousand soldiers at its border with Turkey. According to Bulgarian news sources, about 660 refugees tried to cross from Turkey to Bulgaria a week ago. They were discovered by Bulgarian border guards and intercepted by the Turkish border police.

The government in Sofia has already sent thousands of additional police officers to its 260-kilometer-long border with Turkey, and built a 30-kilometer-long barbed wire fence, which is to be extended along the entire length of the border. A representative of the Ministry of Defence said a plan for joint patrols of army and police was already in force.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said that the relocation of troops to the border was aimed at “spreading respect and contributing to the security of the local population.” It was impermissible for “tens of thousands to cross our border” without the government taking “elementary precautionary measures.”

Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Pro Asyl criticized Bulgaria’s crackdown on refugees. Pro Asyl had already reported last Spring on numerous cases where refugees were violently forced back across the Turkish border. Such “pushbacks” violate international agreements such as the Geneva Convention on Refugees. In addition, Pro Asyl criticized the conditions in Bulgarian refugee camps as inadequate.

In Bulgaria, just 7,400 asylum seekers have been registered this year. Refugees have largely avoided Bulgaria as a transit country because of the terrible conditions and long delays in the country’s refugee camps.

Slovenia has also sealed off its border using the harshest of measures. Last week Slovenian police used tear gas against hundreds of refugees, including children, on its border with Croatia.

There have also been growing conflicts between Serbia and Croatia after Croatia closed its border. The result was kilometer-long traffic jams on Serbian highways. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić called the move a “brutal attack on Serbia and the Serbian economy” and issued Croatia an ultimatum to open its borders.

Additional conflicts have erupted between Hungary on the one side and Serbia and Croatia on the other, following the closure of border crossings and restrictions on the transit of refugees. The Serbian government went so far as to threaten Hungary with its army should Hungary continue to push back refugees to Serbia.

Hungarian regime insults Croatia for ‘insufficient’ anti-refugee xenophobia

This video says about itself:

Refugees break through newly-built border fence in Hungary

12 September 2015

A refugee family breaks through a hole in the wire fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia. Report by Sarah Kerr.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Hungary sends arrested Croat police officers back

Today, 09:41

Hungary has returned to their own country 36 Croatian police officers who were arrested yesterday for accompanying refugees in Hungary. The Croats were arrested because they were armed and because they had brought refugees ‘illegally’ into Hungary.

Also the driver of the train bringing more than a thousand refugees on their way to Austria was arrested.


The majority of the approximately 14,000 refugees who yesterday were left by Croatia at the border with Hungary, has arrived in Austria, says correspondent Marcel van der Steen from Croatia. Last night the first buses with refugees arrived in Austria.

Hungary on Monday closed its borders to refugees, but now they seem to work with Croatia to make travel for the continued flow of asylum seekers to Austria possible. Croatia speaks of a coordinated approach with Hungary, where people at the Croatian border may change from Croatian buses to Hungarian buses and are brought directly to Austria.

But the Hungarian authorities call that a “lie” and announce that they will vote against Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area.

The fuss about the refugee train with Croatian supervisors should be seen according to Van der Steen as a political statement by Budapest underscoring their harsh clampdown on the refugee crisis.

A woman and child use a blanket to keep warm as refugees gather on the tracks at the train station in Tovarnik, Croatia. Photograph: Antonio Bronic/Reuters

Slovenian police said on Saturday that 1,287 had arrived as of midnight Friday, of which 483 were from Afghanistan, 470 from Syria and 126 from Iraq: here.

Good refugee news, from The Bike Comes First:

Marco Polo Cycling Team to relaunch as a team for refugees

Sep 17, 2015

The Marco Polo Cycling Team issued a press release today stating their intention to start racing again next year, with a team comprised of refugees, mainly from Eritrea.

NEW EU figures on asylum have spectacularly exploded the lies perpetuated by the Tories and the right-wing media that Britain is being besieged by “swarms” of refugees. Statistics published yesterday by the EU data agency Eurostat show that Britain received just one in 30 of the total number of the asylum claims made by new applicants in EU countries between April and June: here.

Hungary, from removing barbed wire to erecting it

27 June 1989: The Foreign ministers of Austria, Alois Mock (L) and Hungary, Gyula Horn (R) cut through the barbed wire that separated the two countries

From German weekly Der Spiegel in 2009:

When the Iron Curtain was torn open for the first time, on June 27, 1989, an image made its way around the world. It showed two men dressed in suits, using bolt cutters to nip holes in a barbed wire fence.

The men, then-Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock and his Hungarian counterpart Gyula Horn, had traveled to the Austrian-Hungarian border that day to send a signal that the division of postwar Europe was coming to an end. Shoulder-to-shoulder, wielding the bulky bolt cutters against the wire fence, they seemed to be conveying the good news that the fence was finally coming down.

In reality, as then-Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Németh says today, speaking in a coffee shop close to his home on the north shore of Lake Balaton, the removal of the border fence had already been underway for several weeks at the time. When Foreign Minister Horn proposed the fence-cutting ceremony along the border, Németh replied: “Gyula, do it, but hurry up — there isn’t much barbed wire left.”

That was 1989, that was then.

And now …

This video says about itself:

28 August 2015

Screaming in agony, a young migrant girl gets her hair tangled in barbed wire as her family scramble through mud seeking a better life in Europe.

Barely old enough to understand what is happening to her, the girl was forced to crawl under a razor-sharp fence to get across the border into Hungary.

But as she wriggles through the dirt, her hair becomes caught and she lets out a cry of pain.

A woman, believed to be her mother, who is carrying a baby in one arm, uses her other hand to untangle her and the family rush to safety.

On 27 June, 1989, an image from Hungary went around the world. A staged media stunt, it showed Hungarian Foreign Minister Gyula Horn and his Austrian counterpart, Alois Mock, cutting a hole in the barbed wire fence that separated Eastern and Western Europe. The opening of the Hungarian border contributed greatly to the collapse of the Stalinist regimes and restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe. Twenty-six years later, the front pages of the world press once again carry pictures from Hungary. They show a razor-sharp barbed wire fence guarded by heavily armed police who are attacking desperate refugees with tear gas to prevent them from crossing the border: here.

Refugees Welcome supporters fight anti-migrant memes with satire – but not everyone gets it: here.

Three years in Hungarian jail, for fleeing Syrian, Afghan wars?

This video from the USA says about itself:

“Imperialism & Fundamentalism Have Joined Hands”: Malalai Joya on 12 Years of U.S.-Led Afghan War

3 October 2013

Ahead of next week’s 12th anniversary of what has become the longest war in U.S. history, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the United States is seeking to sign an accord to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the indefinite future.

The United States plans to pull out the bulk of its 57,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but the Pentagon wants to retain a smaller force of around 10,000 forces after 2014.

We are joined by Afghan activist and former member of parliament, Malalai Joya, author of the book, “A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.” A survivor of numerous attempts on her life, Time magazine has named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. “We need the support of justice-loving people of the U.S. to join their hands with us,” Joya says. “Unfortunately, we see that today imperialism and fundamentalism have joined hands.”

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Hungary arrests first refugees

Today, 09:49

In Hungary since midnight at least sixteen refugees have been arrested because they illegally crossed the border from Serbia. A spokesman for the Hungarian authorities told Reuters that they were nine Syrians and seven Afghans.

Tonight at 00:00 Hungary closed the border with Serbia to prevent refugees from traveling to Germany. …

According to the Hungarian police the arrested refugees tonight possible crawled under the fence. Refugees crossing the border from today on are risking a prison sentence of three years.

Migrants who cut a hole in the fence can go in accordance with the new laws to jail for five years. The border is guarded by special police units and possibly the Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán will send the army to the border region to support the police.

UPDATE 15 September 2015: 60 refugees arrested.

UPDATE 15 September 2015 again: 174 refugees arrested.