Here's an idea: Let the migrants stay with you

GlobalPost
A girl looks out of the window of a train being used by migrants to travel to Germany at Hegyeshalom train station, Sept. 6, 2015 in Gyor, Hungary.
Matt Cardy

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Need to know:

We all know the migrant crisis has reached behemoth proportions. Just yesterday, 6,800 migrants entered Germany — through Austria, from Hungary, where they had been stranded for days — and another 5,000 are expected today.

And we all know that the EU is deeply divided about how to handle the situation. On the one hand, we've got Angela Merkel giving the green light for migrants to enter Germany, and the UK saying it will use part of its foreign aid budget to house Syrian refugees. On the other hand, we've got France, which isn't so much on board — nor are most of the EU's newest member states.

So, what happens next? The pope has an idea, and it's a radical one: let them stay with you. Pope Francis in his Sunday address at St. Peter's Square in Rome, called on each European parish to take in at least one migrant family.

It's not just about saying "have courage, be patient," Francis said. It's about taking action. "The closed couple, the closed family, the closed group, the closed parish, the closed country, that comes from us, it has nothing to do with God." The Vatican will lead by example, he said, and its two parishes will take in two migrant families "in the coming days." 

The pope isn't the only one getting practical. Faced with the bureaucratic inertia that is the EU, others with means are offering up tangible, immediate solutions — albeit ones that may not correspond to the scale of the problem. Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila is hoping to set an example for his countrymen by opening his own spare house to refugees. 

Meanwhile, Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian telecom billionaire, has gone one further. He said he wants to buy an island in the Mediterranean to shelter refugees, at least temporarily. On Tuesday, he tweeted an offer to the governments of Italy and Greece: "... sell me an island, I'll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs ..."

Want to know:

Here's a lesson for Trump from Latin America: Border walls don't work and they're ugly. 

Donald Trump has become known for many things so far in his presidential campaign, not least of which is his belief that building a wall to stop illegal immigration along the entire Mexican border is a great idea. 

Try telling that to the South American neighbors currently split apart by one. In recent months, residents from the leafy Paraguayan town of Encarnacion and its equally verdant Argentine neighbor Posadas have found themselves divided by a stark concrete wall, measuring 15 feet high and nearly a mile long.

As GlobalPost's Simeon Tegel reports, they’re not happy about it. In fact, they’re so mad that nearly 7,000 of them have already signed this Change.org petition started by a Posadas man demanding to have the structure torn down. 

The principal purpose of the wall, which protects a new customs center, is to stop the flow of contraband goods, including drugs. But locals say the wall impedes important flows of students, tourists, and trade.

Strange but true:

Have you ever wondered what it's like to see Japan as a cat? Or wait, no. Are you a cat wanting to go to Japan? Wondering what to see and do? Look no further! The tourism board of Hiroshima has a special website just for you. 

It's basically a Google street view map of Onomichi, a port town east of Hiroshima known for its large population of cats. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hiroshima prefecture used 360-degree cameras similar to those used for Google street-view maps — they just placed them significantly lower down.

Their interactive map works in much the same way, with camera angles and info about local shops — and also profiles of 11 pet cats in the area.