Tag Archives: Europe

UN urges Europe to allow 500 migrants stranded on rescue boats to be allowed to come ashore

UN urges Europe to allow 500 migrants stranded on rescue boats to be allowed to come ashoreThe UN’s refugee agency made an urgent appeal for 500 asylum seekers stuck on boats in the Mediterranean to be allowed to disembark, calling it a “race against time” as bad weather approaches. The 507 migrants and refugees are stranded on two NGO rescue vessels, which picked them up off the coast of Libya in recent days. “It is a race against time,” said Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR’s special envoy for the central Mediterranean. “Storms are expected and conditions will only get worse. To leave people who have fled war and violence in Libya on the high seas in this weather will only inflict more suffering.” NGO rescue vessels should be applauded for their work, not “stigmatised and criminalised,” the UNHCR said, adding that many of the migrants have suffered “terrible abuses” in Libya. But the agency got short shrift from Italy, where ports have been closed to rescue vessels since last summer, in a policy forged by Matteo Salvini, interior minister and leader of the hard-Right League party. In a Facebook post, he said he was working to block the boats. "I will let you know how this ends. I will not give up," he wrote. A "rhib", an inflatable dinghy, belonging to the 'Ocean Viking' rescue ship, operated by French NGOs SOS Mediterranee and Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), transports rescued migrants  Credit: Anne Chaon/AFP Around 350 of the migrants are on board the Ocean Viking, a Norwegian-flagged rescue ship operated by the humanitarian charities SOS Méditerranée and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The other 150 are on board the Open Arms, a Spanish rescue ship.  The UN called for them all to be allowed to disembark in a safe port. Mr Salvini and the populist government have repeatedly suggested that  Tunisian ports should be considered safe, questioning why migrants should be brought to Italy, Malta or other European countries. So far this year, around 600 migrants have died trying to reach Europe from North Africa by sea. Mr Salvini has drastically reduced the number of migrants reaching Italy by sea – just 4,265 have arrived so far this year, down nearly 80 per cent on the same period last year. His mantra that “the good times are over” for illegal migration has gone down well with millions of Italians, with the League polling around 38 per cent as Italy looks set to face new elections after Mr Salvini pulled the plug on the 14-month coalition with the Five Star Movement.



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Immigration official Ken Cuccinelli: Statue of Liberty poem refers to immigrants from Europe

Immigration official Ken Cuccinelli: Statue of Liberty poem refers to immigrants from EuropeThe Trump administration's acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director was criticized Tuesday after creating his own revised version of the famous poem on the Statue of Liberty. At day's end, his effort to explain himself was seized on by Democrats as racist.



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Iran steps further from nuke deal, adding pressure on Europe

Iran steps further from nuke deal, adding pressure on EuropeIran increased its uranium enrichment Sunday beyond the limit allowed by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, inching its program closer toward weapons-grade levels while calling for a diplomatic solution to a crisis heightening tensions with the U.S. Iran’s move, coupled with earlier abandoning the deal’s limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile, intensifies pressure on Europe to find any effective way around U.S. sanctions that block Tehran’s oil sales abroad. While Iran’s recent measures could be easily reversed, Europe has struggled to respond, even after getting a 60-day warning that the increase was coming.



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Ford Cutting 12,000 Jobs in Europe as Global Restructuring Continues

Ford Cutting 12,000 Jobs in Europe as Global Restructuring ContinuesPlant closings and production cuts in Europe will also happen by the end of 2020 while "Smart Redesign" continues at the automaker, even as demand for its SUVs and pickups continues to rage in the U.S.



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Erdogan accuses US, Europe of 'meddling' after Turkey vote

Erdogan accuses US, Europe of 'meddling' after Turkey votePresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday accused the US and Europe of “meddling” in Turkey’s affairs after statements from Western allies following his ruling party’s challenge to local election results. Erdogan and his AKP suffered an upset in Sunday’s ballot when results showed the party lost the capital Ankara and was narrowly defeated in Istanbul, the country’s largest city and economic hub. While the United States has called on Turkey to accept the results, the European Union urged Ankara to allow elected officials to “exercise their mandate freely”.



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New Zealand gunman entranced with Ottoman sites in Europe

New Zealand gunman entranced with Ottoman sites in EuropeBELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The white supremacist suspected in the mosque shootings that left at least 50 people dead in New Zealand had traveled to the Balkans in the past three years, where he toured historic sites and apparently studied battles between Christians and the Ottoman empire.



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Iran's Khamenei doubted Europe could help Tehran against U.S. sanctions

Iran's Khamenei doubted Europe could help Tehran against U.S. sanctionsA closed-door speech last year by Iran’s Supreme Leader voicing doubt about the Iranian government’s diplomatic overtures to Europe was released on Monday in a sign of feuding over foreign policy that led to a short-lived resignation by the foreign minister. The address by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in mid-2018 appeared to forecast difficulties European countries would have in honoring pledges to protect trade with Iran from new U.S. sanctions after Washington abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.



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Pence and Biden in Munich: Stark contrast shows how Trump is ruining relations with Europe

Pence and Biden in Munich: Stark contrast shows how Trump is ruining relations with EuropeFormer ambassador: We're safer in NATO than outside it, but Donald Trump doesn't seem to realize that and is separating us from our closest allies.



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Trump urges Europe to 'take back' hundreds of captured IS fighters

Trump urges Europe to 'take back' hundreds of captured IS fightersU.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States was asking European allies to “take back over 800″ Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial. “The Caliphate is ready to fall,” he said in a Tweet. “The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them…” U.S.-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Islamic State’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat.



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IS 'caliphate' on brink of defeat in Syria as Trump urges Europe to do more

IS 'caliphate' on brink of defeat in Syria as Trump urges Europe to do moreJiya Furat said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had cornered the remaining militants in a neighborhood of Baghouz village near the Iraqi border, under fire from all sides. “In the coming few days, in a very short time, we will spread the good tidings to the world of the military end of Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State. Trump on Saturday said the caliphate was “ready to fall and that the United States was asking European allies to take back more than 800 Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial.



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