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July 31, 2016

Italy initiates €1.5million social media campaign to discourage migrants

Italy initiates €1.5million social media campaign to discourage migrants

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

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The Italian Interior Ministry has collaborated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to produce an on- and offline media campaign aimed at discouraging refugees from entering Europe. The campaign, titled “Aware Migrants”, was launched Thursday, exposing high levels of violence and danger in transit, and discouraging migrants from attempting passage through illegal trafficking.

File photo of Angelino Alfano, 2015.
Image: European People’s Party.

The 1.5million campaign features videos on social media to target the 16–35 age demographic, believed to be most likely to attempt the move. The videos are to include testimonials from more than 150 refugees, citing rape, child abuse, and exposure as potential threats. Each video concludes with the phrase “Be aware, brother” or “Be aware, sister”. This slogan is also thematic in Malian musician’s Rokia Traoré‘s official campaign song: “Be aware brother, be aware sister”.

Italy’s Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, said they will still welcome refugees fleeing war, but that others may be declined. Recent large numbers of arrivals and migrant deaths has been cited as the reason behind the campaign, with the Interior Ministry recording over 70,000 refugees arriving in Italy in the first half of 2016. Federico Soda, the Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, asserts most of those migrants did not expect the level of danger involved in transit.

Migrants are invited to share their own experiences in response to the videos posted on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, in order to spread the warning to other potential migrants.



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June 24, 2016

David Cameron Resigns as British Prime Minister

David Cameron resigns as British Prime Minister

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Friday, June 24, 2016

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After expressing the need for Britain to remain part of the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Friday he will be stepping down from his position.

It comes after 52% of the British population voted to leave the European Union. According to an 9news.com/au, It appears that the outcome of the Brexit (British exit from the European Union) referendum was won by voting percentages which would represent over 1 million votes. The exit may take years to accomplish, However According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel “what the consequences of this would be… would depend on whether we — the other 27 member states of the EU — prove to be willing and able to not draw quick and simple conclusions from the referendum in Great Britain, which would only further divide Europe”. Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2016/06/24/08/01/britons-vote-to-remain-in-eu-early-exit-poll#dIBhJKb7JMeSBeJO.99

In a short speech, Mr. Cameron stated Britain will now require a new and determined leadership to deal with the change.If elected next year, Le Pen has declared she would become “Madame Frexit” and call a referendum on France’s EU membership within six months. Read more at [http://www.9news.com.au/world/2016/06/24/08/01/britons-vote-to-remain-in-eu-early-exit-poll#dIBhJKb7JMeSBeJO.99-9news.com.au}. Notably, until an election occurs, the question of who will become the new British Prime Minister remains.



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November 12, 2015

South African judge jails eight police for Mido Macia\’s \’barbaric\’ murder

South African judge jails eight police for Mido Macia’s ‘barbaric’ murder

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

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A judge in Pretoria, South Africa yesterday sentenced eight police officers to fifteen years’ imprisonment each for the 2013 murder of Mido Macia. Mozambican immigrant Macia was dragged behind a police van and beaten in what the judge called a “barbaric” attack.

File photo depicting an officer on patrol in Cape Town.
Image: Shi Zhao.

Judge Bert Bam rejected the 25-year maximum sentence, citing a lack of premeditation and the otherwise good records of the officers involved. Judge Bam said he could not be more lenient owing to a lack of remorse.

Officers confronted Macia, whose illegally parked taxi was obstructing traffic in Daveyton, near Johannesburg. Macia remonstrated; an angry crowd formed. Police responded by binding the cuffed Macia to their van and dragging him through the streets. Video footage of this sparked worldwide media attention, but the assault continued out of public view in a holding cell where Macia was beaten.

Macia succumbed to head trauma and internal bleeding. His attackers were detained when the footage emerged; President Jacob Zuma called the film “horrific, disturbing and unacceptable”.

The sentence, which follows an August conviction, was welcomed by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate which says over 900 die annually either in police custody or from police action. Prosecutors and Macia’s family were also welcoming; the prosecution hope the sentence has a deterrent effect although the family had hoped for stiffer punishment.

The defence has indicated an appeal is likely. The convicted officers are Meshack Malele, Thamsanqa Ngema, Percy Mnisi, Bongamusa Mdluli, Sipho Ngobeni, Lungisa Gwababa, Bongani Kolisi, and Linda Sololo.

Macia had left his girlfriend Biuda Mazive, their young son Sergio, and other family including his parents in Mozambique. He headed to South Africa to join around five million immigrant workers and support his relatives, who are suing the South African government. They seek 6.5 million rand. The government say they intend to pay but are negotiating the value.


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August 29, 2015

Four men go before Hungarian court after 71 found dead in lorry

Four men go before Hungarian court after 71 found dead in lorry

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Four foreign men have today gone before a court in Hungary on suspicion of people smuggling. Their detention relates to Thursday’s discovery of a lorry full of corpses in Austria. The death toll was yesterday finalised at 71.

Today’s hearing took place at the Palace of Justice in Kecskemet, pictured here from file.
Image: Tothsandor92.

The lorry had been abandoned since Wednesday on the hard shoulder of the “Eastern Motorway“, near the Hungarian border. Roadworkers became suspicious of dark liquid seeping from the vehicle, and responding police found the bodies. Initial police estimates were that 20–50 were suffocated in the back of the lorry which was near Parndorf.

The arrested men are thought to include the vehicle’s owner and at least two drivers. Three are Bulgarian and one is from Afghanistan. Criminal suspects in Hungary can generally be held for 72 hours before charge but prosecutors, citing the seriousness of the case, want the period extended. Extradition to Austria is possible.

Of the 71 dead, 59 are men, eight are women, and four are children. The children are thought to be aged three, eight, and ten years, alongside an eighteen-month-old baby. “There was also a Syrian travel document found” police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil told journalists “so of course our first assumption is that these people were migrants, and likely a group of Syrian migrants. We can rule out that they were Africans”.

The four accused were escorted into court in Kecskemet, central Hungary, by a police convoy. Reportedly the lorry traveled from Kecskemet. Hungary is presently building a border fence across the Serbian frontier, as migrants from war-torn Syria and other regions seek access to the Schengen Area of free movement, which covers most of the EU.

Screengrab of Hyza graphic from the company homepage.
Image: Hyza.

Slovak chicken meat company Hyza, a previous owner, previously told Wikinews the lorry has changed hands several times in roughly the last year. After they sold it they say it was exported to Hungary; it now bears Hungarian plates but still features Hyza branding including pictures of meat.

On the day of the discovery Hyza quickly removed a graphic from their homepage featuring cartoon chicken stowaways in a car being inspected at a customs post. The stowaways also appeared with a line through them alongside the word “imigranti” and the site www.imigranti.sk in one corner. On the other side was Hyza’s logo. Imigranti.sk is also unavailable.

Police today found 26 migrants in a lorry near Braunau am Inn, Austria. The driver, from Romania, refused to stop for police and was arrested following a chase. Police said three children were hospitalised for “severe dehydration”. Found near the German border, the migrants were from Afghanistan, Syria, and Bangladesh.



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August 27, 2015

Austrian police find dozens dead inside lorry

Austrian police find dozens dead inside lorry

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

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The turning for Parndorf off the A4, from file. The lorry was found on the road nearby.
Image: My Friend.

Screengrab of Hyza graphic from the company homepage.
Image: Hyza.

Austrian police today found an estimated 20–50 decomposing corpses in an apparently abandoned lorry.

Roadworkers who spotted the vehicle, which had been there since yesterday at least, alerted police. Responding officers found it full of corpses. The lorry is on the so-called “Eastern Motorway“, the A4, close to the Hungarian border. It was on the hard shoulder between Neusiedl and Parndorf, closer to Parndorf.

The victims are thought to have suffocated. Police are seeking the driver. The Krone published an image of a non-articulated food lorry on the hard shoulder, which they report is the vehicle in question. The photo shows a pool of dark liquid on the ground beside the vehicle.

Video from a passing motorist shows at least one helicopter on-scene. The truck, which has pictures of meat on the side, shows branding for Slovakian food firm Hyza. Earlier today the company’s website sported an apparent anti-immigration graphic, which has since been removed.

Wikinews got in touch with Hyza. “We are truly sorry about [the] tragedy” they told us in a statement. They said they have checked GPS trackers on their fleet and all their vehicles remain in Slovakia. The statement says the lorry in question was one of 21 Hyza vehicles sold on last year. It was then sold again and exported to Hungary, where it is now registered. Hyza told us the new owners have not changed the branding on the vehicle. According to the Bild newspaper, Agrofert — the parent company of Hyza — said in a statement the new owners were required to do so.

Hyza says they will “actively cooperate with Slovak police”, and “express [their] sincere condolences to the bereaved families.”

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner called it “a dark day” and called for European Union-wide measures to protect immigrant refugees and tackle human traffickers. Neighbouring Hungary is constructing a border fence across its entire frontier with Serbia. Yesterday alone saw a record 3,241 attempts to enter Hungary illegally, according to authorities there.

Conflict in Syria and other parts of the world has led refugees to Europe. Once inside, they can move freely inside the Schengen Area, which covers most of the EU.

Austrian police earlier this week arrested three motorists suspected of people smuggling. One driver is accused of moving 34 people, ten of them children, into Austria from Serbia. The group were left by the roadside near Bruck an der Leitha and reported struggling to breathe in the van.



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February 12, 2015

Dominican murder draws light to anti-Haitian sentiment

Dominican murder draws light to anti-Haitian sentiment

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

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Cquote1.svg They shouldn’t have to apply for residency. They are Dominicans. Cquote2.svg

—Human rights advocate Santiago Canton

Yesterday’s discovery of a bound man, believed to be of Haitian ancestry, hanged from a tree in Santiago, Dominican Republic has drawn attention to anti-Hatian sentiments in the nation.

The Dominican Republic and Haiti between them make up the island of Hispaniola and Dominicans have grown concerned by Haitian immigration in recent years. Police say they believe the man, known to his friends as Tulile, was murdered during a robbery. Police officers anonymously told reporters a winning lottery ticket may have been the motive.

Aged around 23, Tulile made his living shining shoes and taking commissions from money lending in the area he was murdered. Bound hand and foot, his body was found at dawn in Ercilia Pepín park, Sabana Larga street. The scene is close to the University Hospital Jose Maria Cabral y Báe, around which Tulile worked.

This week saw the public burning of Haiti’s flag in Santiago by local residents, saying it symbolised their rejection of Haitian immigration. The issue is a hot topic, with a court ruling two years ago retrospectively stripping Dominicans born to unregistered Haitian parents from 1930 onwards of their citizenship.

Santiago, from file.
Image: “Greifen”.

Only 7,000 of an estimated 200,000 eligible residents have signed up for residency cards, a scheme instigated by the government in the face of international pressure. The deadline to apply for the permits, which allow citizenship after two years, has passed.

“They shouldn’t have to apply for residency,” said Santiago Canton of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Human Rights in a Guardian interview. “They are Dominicans.” Canton said the murder should be viewed “in the context of constant discrimination and violence against Haitians”.


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February 20, 2014

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, February 20, 2014.

Help Wikinews! Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

Ukrainian truce established

Kiev’s Independence Square before violence erupted.
Image: Noobuster007.

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych declared a truce after a violent evening in Kiev’s Independence Square. There was brief peace just five days ago when protesters agreed to unblock downtown streets. That was soon broken as violence occurred when interior ministry troops, special “Berkut” security forces, and police officers confronted protesters.

So far 26 people, including protesters and ten police officers, have been killed in Independence Square clashes. This is the most violence the country has seen since it gained independence 20 years ago.

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Facebook plans to purchase messaging service for US$16 billion

WhatsApp logo
Image: WhatsApp Inc..

Facebook yesterday announced a plan to purchase WhatsApp for US$16 billion. Facebook’s plan says it will pay US$12 billion in stocks and US$4 billion in cash. All parties are still waiting regulatory approval. The deal could potentially be worth US$19 billion with US$3 billion more being offered to employees. Employees who remained at Facebook for four years would be offered restricted stock.

WhatsApp is a messaging service where users can send text, picture, and video messages using their data plans, instead of their messaging plan. The company has over 450 million world-wide active users, with about 70 percent of those users being active daily. WhatsApp adds about one million new users per day. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the app will not change for users.

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Australia releases confidential information of thousands of refugees

The records of around 10,000 asylum-seekers in Australia were made available by the Australian government until The Guardian made authorities aware yesterday the data was freely accessible. Confidential refugee files were accessed, featuring the names, nationalities, locations, and arrival information. Paul Power, chief executive of the advocacy group Refugee Council of Australia, said the situation risked those in refugee centers in Australia, as well as their families.

In a speech delivered last November, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the Australian government was responsible for protecting the identities of refugees. Now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is being called to account for its role under Australia’s privacy laws, including negligence.

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September 30, 2013

Norway\’s Conservative, Progress parties form minority government coalition

Norway’s Conservative, Progress parties form minority government coalition

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Erna Solberg, leader of Norway’s Conservative party.
Image: Christian Fredrik Wesenberg.

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Following three weeks of talks, the leader of Høyre, Norway’s Conservative Party, Erna Solberg announced today that the Conservatives will form a minority government in a right-wing coalition with the Progress Party. The coalition will be the first time the Progress Party have been in power in the executive branch.

The coalition government plans to change policy on immigration and asylum, reduce inheritance tax, and reform provision of healthcare and pensions. The parties also agreed to not allow drilling for oil on Jan Mayen Island or in the Lofoten archipelago. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said the decision was “disappointing and undemocratic”.

Solberg said that she intends to continue working with other parties. The new government is due to take office on October 18. Solberg will replace the current Labor Party Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.



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February 5, 2013

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore centers

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore centers

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) echoed criticism from other human rights groups yesterday as its new report called on Australia to cease the practice of holding asylum seekers in an uncertain status in its offshore facilities.

The UNHCR spent three days in January at an Australian facility located on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Following Australian mandatory policy, the more than two hundred detainees held there were detained upon requesting asylum. More than 30 children are being held at this Australian facility. The UNHCR report raised the crowded conditions at the camp as a cause for concern, as well as the impact isolation could have on the children. Australia has another facility for asylum seekers on the island of Nauru. The UNHCR report made clear Australia does not have a process for clearing the asylum seekers, which means their detention in the camps is indefinite and a violation of international human rights.

Caught in the middle of the debate is the new immigration minister Brendan O’Connor. O’Connor was named immigration minister this weekend. The following night, a boat load of 60 refugees who were approached near Christmas Island sought asylum. Monday, the UNHCR issued its report. Union leaders, amongst them Brendan’s brother Michael O’Connor who is national secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, are calling for and end to current migration deals.

A report from Monash University found immigrants have taken 200,000 jobs created during the last two years, depressing employment of young, lower skilled Australians. Polls show a 70 percent majority of Australians stand opposed to the growth in population that will result from immigration.

Amnesty International points out that those migrants held in offshore processing facilities are not typical immigrants but rather asylum seekers. It says the latter category accounts for only three percent of Australia’s influx from immigration. Moreover, Amnesty International says the practice of offshore facilities for asylum seekers runs afoul of Australia’s own international agreements, such as the UN Refugee Convention, and laws, Australian Migration Act 1958.

In August, Prime Minister Julia Gillard indicated in talks with Nauru and Papua New Guinea that Australia was interested in quickly processing the asylum seekers.



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February 4, 2013

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore immigration centers

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Monday, February 4, 2013

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is echoing criticism from other human rights groups on Monday and its new report calls on Australia to cease the practice of holding asylum seekers in offshore facilities.

The UNHCR spent three days in January at an Australian facility located on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Following Australian policy of mandatory detention, the 221 detainees held there were immediately sent to the island upon requesting asylum. More than 30 children are also being held at this Australian facility. The UNHCR report raised the crowded conditions at the camp as a cause for concern, as well as the impact that isolation could have on the children. Australia has another facility for asylum seekers on the island of Nauru. The UNHCR report made clear that Australia does not have a process for clearing the asylum seekers, which means that their detention in the camps is indefinite and a violation of international human rights.

Caught in the middle of the debate is the new immigration minister Brendan O’Connor. O’Connor was named immigration minister this weekend. The following night, a boat load of 60 refugees that were approached near Christmas Island requested asylum. Monday, the UNHCR issued its report. Now union leaders, one of whom is his brother Michael O’Connor, who is national secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, are calling for and end to current migration deals, a stand that is increasingly popular among Australians.

A report from Monash University found that immigrants have taken 200,000 jobs that were created during the last two years and those were jobs that could have gone to young, lower skilled Australians. Polls show that a 70 percent majority of Australians stand opposed to the growth in population that will result from immigration.

Yet Amnesty International points out that those migrants held in offshore processing facilities are not typical immigrants but rather asylum seekers. It says the latter category accounts for only three percent of Australia’s influx from immigration. Moreover, Amnesty International says that the practice of offshore facilities for asylum seekers runs afoul of Australia’s own international agreements, such as the UN Refugee Convention, and laws, Australian Migration Act 1958.



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