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UK scraps scheme to take in lone child refugees

The British government today defended its decision to end a programme to take in unaccompanied child refugees less than a year after its introduction, saying the scheme encouraged human trafficking. Under a change to immigration law known as the Dubs amendment, which was passed by parliament last year, Britain agreed to accept “vulnerable” child refugees who had arrived in the European Union before 20 March 2016. But Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said late yesterday that the government would scrap the scheme once the number of arrivals reached 350, sparking criticism from aid agencies, opposition lawmakers and the Archbishop of Canterbury. “The government has always been clear that we do not want to incentivise perilous journeys to Europe, particularly by the […]



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UN seeks $2.1bn to save Yemen from famine

The United Nations yesterday appealed for $2.1 billion to provide urgent food and humanitarian aid to save some 12 million Yemenis threatened with famine after two years of war in the country. The UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick said in the appeal document: “The situation in Yemen is catastrophic and rapidly deteriorating.” The UN said some 19 million Yemenis – two-thirds of the population – need help and protection. Read: Saudi remains committed to Yemen offensive According to the agency: “Ongoing airstrikes and fighting continue to inflict heavy casualties, damage public and private infrastructure and impede delivery of humanitarian assistance.” The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 63,000 Yemenis died avoidable death, mostly due to poor nutrition. Secretary-general […]


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Russia warns Iran could withdrawal from nuclear deal

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that Iran could withdraw from the nuclear deal due to the United States’ anti-Iran rhetoric. The ministry said this scenario would signal the failure of the international community, stressing that Moscow has been in regular contact with the US and Iran to reduce tensions over the 2015 nuclear deal. Moreover, the statement warned that any potential initiative to restrict Iran’s missile programme through the UN Security Council would be incorrect. Read: Iranian MP threatens reprisals at US bases Russian Ambassador to Iran, Levan Dzhagaryan, said Moscow was concerned by the escalation of rhetoric between Washington and Tehran, adding that his country would do all it could to reduce tensions. He was quoted by the RIA […]


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Profitable Once Again: Copper Miners Report Better Numbers

It’s a big day for copper. With workers at Escondida, Chile — the world’s largest mine – having signaled they intend to start strike action today, earlier than expected. That would likely mean upward pressure on prices. Which could be very good news for copper miners, especially in light of new research this week – which shows production costs are falling exceptionally fast in the global copper sector. That work comes from metals industry experts CRU Group. Who released a study Tuesday detailing production costs at…


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The botched raid on Yemen is a sign of things to come from Trump’s America

Donald Trump’s first military raid into the Middle East was, even after the most generous application of “alternative facts”, a full-blown disaster. If we are to believe the US media, the target of the raid was Al-Qaeda leader Qassim Al-Rimi, who escaped unharmed. Al-Rimi is the commander of “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP), a fearsome organisation which has endured years of drone strikes under Barack Obama, and has now been gifted yet more recruiting propaganda by Trump’s ill-advised foray into the conflict. The photogenic daughter of Anwar Al-Awlaki, aged eight, adorned most of the international front pages after the raid. She was killed and, like her father, was a US citizen; she has now become a rather unlikely poster-girl […]



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Norway Slowly Recovers From Oil Price Slump

Norway’s economy has started to recover from the blow dealt by the oil price slump, but things are improving slowly, according to the latest data from the country’s statistics agency. Statistics Norway said today that gross domestic product, excluding oil and gas income, expanded by 0.3 percent on a quarterly basis between October and December 2016, versus analyst expectations of 0.4-percent growth, as estimated by Bloomberg. Including oil and gas income, GDP expanded by 1.1 percent, the authority said, on the back of rising oil investments…


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Algeria’s Jaballah: Participation in elections not proof of regime’s approval

The head of Algeria’s Justice and Development party, Sheikh Abdullah Jaballah said the Islamist parties’ participation in the upcoming elections is not proof of an endorsement from the current regime. “Anyone who choses political change through public participation must participate in the elections,” he said in remarks to Quds Press. He also denied that the Islamists parties’ dialogue is motivated by the elections, saying: “The alliance for progress, justice and improvement is not an electoral alliance.” He added that the Islamists parties’ unity is “a duty and a life necessity”. Jaballah pointed out that “the unity of the Islamic parties does not mean their entry into the elections on one electoral list.”


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Hungary ready to build second fence to keep refugees out

Hungary is ready to build a second line fencing on its southern border to keep out migrants if the situation worsens this year or next, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said today. Janos Lazar also told a news conference that the government plans to set up container camps on the southern border, where it wants to detain refugees while their asylum requests are being assessed. He said there were close to 600 refugees in Hungary waiting for their asylum application to be processed, mostly in open camps, which posed a “security risk”, and the aim was to restrict them in their movement, keeping them on the border.