english news

Libya may shut migrant detention centres after deadly airstrike

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Libya’s government is considering closing all migrant detention centres in the wake of an airstrike that killed 53 people after it was reported that guards shot at detainees trying to flee the attack. Overnight the air force of Gen Khalifa Haftar kept up its bombardment of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, mounting raids on the international airport.

A UN humanitarian report said there were two airstrikes in the early hours of Wednesday morning, one hitting an unoccupied garage and one hitting a hangar housing about 120 refugees and migrants. Reports, including from UN agencies, suggested guards forced the refugees to stay in the Tajoura detention centre after the first strike hit the garage, only for the second missile to hit the hangar. “There are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape,” the UN report said.

The UN-recognised government of national accord (GNA) has accused the force led by Haftar of mounting the air raid. Haftar launched a military assault on the capital on 4 April in an effort to oust the GNA, which he claims is supported by terrorists and Islamists. The GNA interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, said on Thursday his officials were discussing closing all detention centres and releasing the refugees and migrants for their own safety.(Theguardian)…[+]

Many missing as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia

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At least 80 migrants are feared dead after a boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia.

Four people were rescued from the inflatable vessel – which sank in waters near the town of Zarzis – but one died later in hospital, reports said. The three Malians who were rescued said that they had set out from Zuwara in Libya. The country is a main departure point for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Libya has been torn by violence and division since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011. Thousands of migrants, many from sub-Saharan Africa, are being held in detention camps in the country. On Wednesday at least 53 migrants were killed when a detention centre in Tripoli was hit by an air strike.(BBC)…[+]

CDB Moves Closer to Finalising Youth Policy and Strategy

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BRIDGETOWN- The Caribbean Development Bank is moving closer to finalising its first Youth Policy and Operational Strategy (YPOS), which will guide its youth-related investments in the Region.

On July 27 – 28, stakeholders from 17 of CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) met in Barbados for a regional workshop to discuss recommendations coming from the consultations and youth study the Bank has been conducting to inform and shape the YPOS. The workshop brought together a range of stakeholders in youth development, including permanent secretaries, directors of youth, youth leaders, and representatives from academia and development organisations. Director of Projects at CDB, Daniel Best noted that the Bank has provided over USD1 billion for youth development programmes and projects over its nearly 50 years of existence, but has not, to date, adopted a dedicated policy and strategy to guide these investments.

Despite encouraging results from projects which impact our youth, we acknowledge that there is room for even better youth development outcomes,” stated Best. He said the YPOS is an important initiative for CDB as positive youth development outcomes align with CDB’s strategic priorities and are essential to the Region’s sustainable development.  “This forum matters a lot to us at the Bank given our mandate to reduce poverty in our Borrowing Member Countries. This will only be possible if we create societies in which our youth can thrive. More than 60% of our region’s population is under the age of 30; this group represents a valuable resource for the sustainable development of our Region,” emphasised the Director…[+]

 

Clashes as Ethiopian Israelis protest over police shooting

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Protesters have clashed with police across Israel following the funeral of a teenager of Ethiopian descent who was shot dead by an off-duty officer. Thousands took to the streets of several cities on Tuesday, blocking roads with sit-ins and burning tyres.

A police spokesman said 111 officers were wounded during the disturbances and that 136 people were arrested. The prime minister acknowledged the Ethiopian community faced “problems” but told protesters not to block roads. Tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel in the 1980s and 1990s. They say they have faced systematic discrimination, racism and a lack of empathy for their hardships ever since.

The killing of 18-year-old Solomon Tekah near Haifa on Sunday caused outrage among the Ethiopian community, with one member of the teenager’s family accusing the off-duty police officer of murder. A police statement cited the officer as saying he had tried to intervene in a fight between two groups of youths. After he identified himself, the youths began throwing stones at him and he opened fire after “feeling that his life was in danger”, the statement added. However, Israeli media cited witnesses as saying the officer was not attacked. The officer has been placed under house arrest and questioned by investigators.(BBC)…[+]

EU leaders choose France’s Lagarde for ECB after marathon summit

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BRUSSELS/STRASBOURG– European Union leaders agreed yesterday to name France’s Christine Lagarde as the new head of the European Central Bank and sealed a deal on filling the EU’s other top four jobs after marathon talks that have exposed deep divisions in the bloc.

Three days of summit negotiations that at times looked close to collapse ended with a deal that now must be approved by the European Parliament and was immediately rejected by the socialist and green bloc in the assembly in Strasbourg. “Done!” said Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who was first to break the news on Twitter that leaders had finally clinched a deal.

Leaders hope the decision to nominate two women, Lagarde and German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, to the top of EU decision-making for the first time will send a positive message and repair damage wrought by such a fractious summit, diplomats said. The discord echoed a wider fracturing of the EU’s political centre that was evident in May’s European Parliament elections that delivered a more fragmented assembly in which no bloc won a majority and far-right and far-left groups performed strongly.(Reuters)…[+]

Trinidad man shot dead by carjacker

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A late night rendezvous with a woman in a car parked roadside in Caroni, ended in the death of the driver. Keenan Lutchman was shot and killed by a man who came to steal the vehicle. Police said Lutchman, of Felicity, Chaguanas was sitting in the car with the 32-year-old woman at Laundry Road.

At around 10p.m. a masked gunman walked up to the Nissan AD wagon, and ordered the couple to get out. Lutchman was told to hand over the keys and as he moved to obey, he was shot in the upper body. The gunman left in the station wagon. The woman went looking for help and paramedics were called. Lutchman died at the scene. Sgt Elvis is investigating the case.(Trinidad Express)…[+]

More than €1m raised for rescue ship captain detained in Italy

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Two online campaigns to help the German captain of a rescue ship under house arrest in Italy have between them raised more than €1m. Carola Rackete’s arrest on Saturday, after she forced her way into port in Lampedusa carrying migrants and refugees she had rescued off Libya, prompted a fundraising appeal by two prominent German TV stars that by Tuesday morning had raised €917,195 from more than 33,000 donors.

A second campaign, started by an Italian anti-fascist group on Facebook, had raised a further €433,993 by Tuesday, well over the page’s stated goal of €349,000, bringing the total raised in support of Rackete to more than €1.3m. “The wave of solidarity is wonderful,” Ruben Neugebauer, a spokesman for Rackete’s migrant rescue NGO Sea-Watch, told Spiegel Online. “We certainly also need the money.”

The funds will go towards paying Rackete’s legal fees if charges are brought against her. Otherwise, Neugebauer said, the NGO would need about €1m to buy and equip a new ship if Rackete’s vessel, Sea-Watch-3, remained out of action.(theguardian)…[+]

Sri Lanka police chief, ex-defence secretary arrested over bombings

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COLOMBO – Sri Lankan police today arrested their own chief and the former defence secretary for failing to prevent attacks on churches and luxury hotels that killed more than 250 people in April, a police spokesman said. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara and former secretary to the Ministry of Defence Hemasiri Fernando, while they were receiving medical treatment at state-run hospitals, the spokesman, Ruwan Gunasekera, said.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera ordered their arrest on Monday and urged the acting police chief to bring charges against the two, including for “crimes against humanity”. Jayasundara and Fernando were not immediately reachable for comment, though both had previously appeared before a parliamentary committee investigating the attacks and denied the allegations. They are the first two state officials to be arrested for allegedly failing to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks, claimed by the militant group Islamic State. The bombings took place despite repeated warnings from Indian intelligence that an attack was imminent.(Reuters)…[+]

Jamaica: Two alleged gang members freed

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Junior Rose, who has been on trial for allegedly being a member of the notorious Uchence Wilson Gang and who spent the last 16 months behind bars, could not contain his excitement yesterday when he and co-accused Shadday Beckford walked free from the Supreme Court.

The 33-year-old mechanic from Denham Town in west Kingston was charged with being part of a criminal organisation and facilitating serious offence by a criminal organisation. Beckford, meanwhile, was charged with being part of a criminal organisation and accessory after the fact in the carrying out a serious offence by a criminal organisation.

Rose had been identified by one of the two main witnesses who are ex-members of the gang. Beckford had been implicated for possession of a stolen phone which had been given to her by her lover, Michael Lamont, who is also on trial for reportedly being a member of the gang. Yesterday, when the trial resumed after a month-long break, the prosecutor told Chief Justice Bryan Sykes that the Crown was not in a position to successfully prosecute them.(Jamaica Observer)…[+]

Iran nuclear deal: Enriched uranium limit breached, IAEA confirms

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Iran has breached the limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium set under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a watchdog has confirmed. The International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors had verified the 300kg (660lb) cap had been exceeded.

Iran stepped up production of enriched uranium, used to make reactor fuel but also potentially nuclear bombs, in May. It said it was responding to sanctions reinstated by the US after President Donald Trump abandoned the deal. The UK and Germany have called on Iran to reverse its decision, while the US said its strategy of “maximum pressure” would continue.(BBC)…[+]