Asylum seekers have thrown themselves onto train tracks and fled from police trying to take them to a reception centre in Hungary, as authorities sought to end a standoff that has become symbolic of a European asylum system brought to breaking point.
With the government promising to close the country off to migrants by September 15, chaos broke out after a train bound for Hungary’s border with Austria was stopped some 35 kilometres outside of Budapest in the town of Bicske, where Hungary has an asylum seeker reception centre.
Riot police ordered them off, but many asylum seekers resisted, laying on the railway line or fleeing. Some wrestled with police, trying to get back on board.
Those who refused to disembark banged on the windows of the train and shouted “No camp, no camp!”
A family — a man, his wife and their toddler — made their way on the track next to the train and lay down in protest. It took a dozen riot police wrestling with the man to get them up again.
The train left from Budapest’s main railway station on Thursday morning after police, who for two days had barred entry to more than 2,000 asylum seekers, stepped aside and a crowd surged past. Read More →
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Two polio cases have been confirmed in western Ukraine, the first to be recorded in Europe since 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
A 10-month-old baby and a four-year-old child were diagnosed with the polio virus in Ukraine’s southwestern Zakarpattya region, which borders four European Union member states, after paralysis associated with the disease was detected, the Ukrainian health ministry had said on Tuesday.
“It’s the first polio case in Europe since 2010,” WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told AFP.
The last case of polio had previously been recorded in Ukraine in 1996, he added.
In a statement released Tuesday, the WHO said it believed “the risk of international spread from Ukraine to be low” but noted the infected region shared borders with Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
The WHO Regional Office for Europe said it had been notified of the cases late last month, adding it would help Ukrainian authorities tackle the virus.
“WHO and UNICEF are providing the ministry of health with both technical and on-site support in planning and implementing large-scale supplementary immunisation activities with oral polio vaccine (OPV) to rapidly stop (the) circulation of the virus,” the WHO said. Read More →
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Dr David Hoile
It has taken Africa just over a decade to conclude that the International Criminal Court (ICC), established in 2002 by the Rome Statute, is simply unfit for purpose. That certainly is the conclusion of the South African government following the recent African Union summit in Johannesburg. The institution African countries signed up for post 1998, a court that promised to pursue injustice without fear or favour, is not the one they see before them today. They were sold a false bill of goods. The ICC’s claims to international jurisdiction and judicial independence are institutionally flawed and the Court’s reputation has been irretrievably damaged by its racism, blatant double-standards, hypocrisy, corruption and serious judicial irregularities.While the ICC presents itself as the world’s court this is simply not the case. Its members represent just over one quarter of the world’s population: China, Russia, the United States, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are just some of the many countries that have remained outside of the Court’s jurisdiction.
A court is also only as credible as its independence. Far from being an independent and impartial court, the ICC’s own statute grants special “prosecutorial” rights of referral and deferral to the Security Council – by default its five permanent members (three of which are not even ICC members). Political interference in the legal process was thus made part of the Court’s founding terms of reference. Read More →
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One person was killed and another seriously injured when a rubber dinghy carrying migrants headed for Italy came under fire off the Libyan coast on Monday, Italian media reported.
Reports said one migrant had collapsed into the sea and drowned while another, a Gambian national, had been helicoptered by the Italian navy to hospital on Lampedusa, an Italian island located between Sicily and North Africa.
Italian prosecutors in Sicily have opened a homicide investigation against persons unknown.
Officials at Libya’s coastguard were quoted as denying that one of their patrol boats had been involved in the shooting incident, as was reportedly claimed by survivors. Read More →
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THE British Navy has found and rescued over 400 migrants from the Mediterranean and has put them in Her Majesty Ship, Bulwark.
The Royal Navy’s flagship was alerted to four rubber dinghies, just 30-foot in length, in a ‘perilous state’ 40 miles off the coast of Libya.
Its passengers – including pregnant women and children – were expected to be taken directly to either mainland Italy or Sicily with a diplomatic source insisting there was ‘no chance’ they would be given asylum in Britain and all 400 would be registered in Italy.
The 400 rescued are said to be ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ as British defence sources said they expect hundreds, or potentially thousands, more migrants to be rescued in the coming weeks. Read More →
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Europe’s main concern in confronting the Mediterranean migrant crisis is to save lives, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told the UN Security Council on Monday.
Mogherini was addressing the 15-member council to seek support for a controversial European Union plan that provides for military action to stem the tide of refugees making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.
“Our first priority is to save lives and prevent further loss of lives at sea,” Mogherini told the council.
But Europe’s chief diplomat said the migrant crisis “is not only a humanitarian emergency but also a security crisis since smuggling networks are linked to and finance terrorist activities.” Read More →
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…tasks him on dividends of democracy
Abuja – The European Union (EU) on Saturday urged the President-elect, retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed the democracy dividends.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion, made the call at the Europe Day 2015 in Abuja.
Arrion explained that democracy meant nothing to the common man except it led to the improvement in their standards of living.
“But democracy only makes meaning to the common man to the extent that it delivers good governance, creates opportunities and improves the quality of living.
“Nigeria is rich, but Nigerians are poor. The incoming administration will have a lot to do in this regard. Read More →
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