Migrant arrivals to Italy by sea tumble by a 3rd in 2017


Migrant arrivals to Italy by sea fell by a 3rd in 2017 when compared to a calendar year previously, the Inside Ministry explained on Sunday, as Libyan authorities assisted to slow departures all through the next 50 percent of the calendar year.

FILE Photo: Migrants wait to disembark from the Vos Hestia ship as they arrive at the Crotone harbour, immediately after currently being rescued by a “Preserve the Small children” crew in the Mediterranean sea off the Libya coastline, in Crotone, Italy June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

ROME: Migrant arrivals to Italy by sea fell by a 3rd in 2017 when compared to a calendar year previously, the Inside Ministry explained on Sunday, as Libyan authorities assisted to slow departures all through the next 50 percent of the calendar year.

Extra than 119,000 came to Italy by boat this calendar year immediately after a history 181,000 manufactured the crossing in 2016, the ministry explained in a assertion. Given that July, arrivals have declined by more than two thirds as opposed to a calendar year previously.

“We have been able to govern the stream since we have been the very first to believe that an agreement with Libya was a turning stage,” Inside Minister Marco Minniti explained in an interview with Corriere della Sera, commenting on the decline.

In February, Italy signed an agreement with the United Nations-backed authorities in Tripoli, promising aid, equipment and training in exchange for its aid in preventing men and women smuggling. The deal was endorsed by the European Union.

Given that then, armed groups supported by the Tripoli authorities have pressured smugglers in the city of Sabratha – a essential hub on the western coastline – to cease sending out boats. Italy has also bolstered the Libyan coastguard’s ability to turn back boats.

But rights groups and humanitarian organisations running rescue ships in the Mediterranean have criticised the coverage, saying that it traps migrants in a state the place they facial area appalling therapy, together with rape, torture and pressured labour.

Whilst criticised by some, the figures are regarded great information for the ruling Democratic Bash (PD) forward of a countrywide election in March. Extra than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy by boat over the previous four several years, producing immigration a hot-button political challenge.

Extra than 20,000 are estimated to have died trying the crossing to Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates, producing it the deadliest border for migrants in the world.

But deaths at sea have declined as perfectly, according to the IOM, with 2,833 this calendar year, down more than 38 p.c from 4,581 past calendar year.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer Editing by Gareth Jones)



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Singaporeans queue for ultimate style of popular salt baked hen


SINGAPORE: For 36-yr-outdated Benjamin Tan and his three mates, the vacation from Singapore’s west will be worth the work after they get their hands on Chakey’s Serangoon Salt Baked Chicken for the ultimate time.

The four arrived exterior the outlet on East Coastline Road at about six.30am on Sunday (Dec 31), experienced breakfast nearby, then proceeded to make by themselves at ease on foldable chairs they experienced brought with them.

They were third in line to acquire the hen.

“I came in this article on Friday and Saturday, but there were far more than twenty folks in the queue every time and by then, the hen was sold out,” Mr Tan said.

“So this time, we came previously, and we came organized to hold out.”

Mr Tan read about the popular salt baked hen about 5 a long time ago, and along with his mates, preferred to have a person ultimate style of nostalgia.

By ten.30am, 50 percent an hour ahead of the shop was slated to open for the ultimate time, far more than 80 folks experienced fashioned a queue, stretching along the entrance of 5 places to eat.

Amid them was 21-yr-outdated Ryan Chan, who experienced read about the hen on social media and experienced preferred to try out it but by no means acquired the probability.

Yet another particular person in the queue, Linda Goh, said she was a regular customer, stopping by the shop soon after church to get the hen for the spouse and children.

“It goes actually well with pasta and hen, so for the duration of test time for my children, I’d also arrive and get it for them,” she said.

Ms Linda Goh, a regular customer, is queuing for the salt baked hen for the initially time. (Image: Monica Kotwani)

Ms Goh said this was the initially time she has experienced to queue for the hen.

“When I utilized to arrive soon after church, it was constantly peaceful. I believe we took it for granted that it would however be in this article but there was constantly a sensation it could possibly a person day near.”

For the shop’s operator, Richard Chak, opening for the ultimate time came with combined emotions.

“I’ve been pressured out about the crowd for the very last several times, with producing confident folks get their hen and don’t go property vacant-handed.”

The shutters of Chakey’s Serangoon Salt Baked Chicken open for a ultimate time. (Image: Monica Kotwani)

The shop prepares to provide the very long queue of prospects waiting exterior. (Image: Monica Kotwani)

But he has experienced to disappoint many and apologise for not possessing enough, despite doubling the number of chickens he bakes.

Mr Chak said he has experienced to impose a quota of a person hen for every customer to be reasonable to other individuals in the queue.

Even as he opened the shop’s shutters this morning, he experienced to convey to folks to arrive back again in the afternoon when he found there were far more than 80 folks waiting in line.

Mr Chak handing out queue figures. He gave out seventy four for the morning batch and experienced to change away many. (Image: Monica Kotwani)



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Schaeuble does not rule out minority federal government for Germany


Previous German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday urged quick formation of a new federal government by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and Social Democrats, but claimed he could not rule out a minority federal government if no deal is arrived at.

FILE Photograph: Wolfgang Schaeuble of CDU, president of the Bundestag, German lessen residence of Parliament, is viewed through a session of the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN: Previous German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday urged quick formation of a new federal government by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and Social Democrats, but claimed he could not rule out a minority federal government if no deal is arrived at.

Germany’s structure did not favour a minority federal government, but that remained an choice, Schaeuble, a top conservative who is now president of the Bundestag lessen residence of parliament, informed the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

A deal amongst Merkel’s conservative camp (Union) and the centre-left (SPD) is the German leader’s finest prospect of securing a fourth time period in workplace, but her probable coalition partners are angling for concessions before talks start off following 7 days.

“A steady alliance amongst the Union and the SPD would be preferable,” Schaeuble claimed, adding that the chancellor could nonetheless kind a minority federal government. “It would get the job done one particular way or one more,” he claimed when requested about that probability.

Coalition talks should be concluded “quicker rather than afterwards,” he claimed, noting that the Bundestag was not thoroughly able of action until eventually a federal government experienced been shaped.

He noted that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier experienced urged the political parties to access an arrangement as before long as probable, and claimed Merkel and other politicians experienced supported that call.

Horst Seehofer, head of the CSU Bavarian sister get together of Merkel’s conservatives, informed Germany’s DPA news company a new “grand coalition” should be concluded by Easter, which falls on April 1 in 2018.

Seehofer claimed he favoured new elections around a minority federal government.

Social Democrats on Saturday turned down a call by the CSU to raise army paying out, complicating exploratory talks thanks to start off among the the parties on Jan. 7.

A draft CSU resolution viewed by Reuters on Friday termed for army paying out to access NATO’s concentrate on of two % of economic output and turned down the idea of an “ever closer” European Union backed by SPD chief Martin Schulz.

SPD deputy chief Ralf Stegner claimed on Twitter that his get together was targeted on paying out for families, training, wellness treatment and training. He claimed the CSU could carry out its army paying out options “when it wins the complete the vast majority.”

A new poll done for Die Welt newspaper confirmed waning guidance for Merkel, who has unsuccessful to kind a new federal government a few months following nationwide elections.

It confirmed that 46 % wished Merkel would resign promptly as chancellor, with an additional 17 % of individuals polled declaring that she should resign if the coalition talks with the SPD collapsed.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal Modifying by Stephen Powell)



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Australia remember spinner Agar for Sydney Ashes take a look at


Still left-arm spinner Ashton Agar has been recalled to Australia’s squad for the fifth Ashes take a look at in Sydney as the hosts ponder a twin-spin attack against England for the useless rubber.

Cricket – England v Australia – 2013 Investec Ashes Exam Collection 1st Exam – Trent Bridge – 12/seven/thirteen
Australia’s Ashton Agar celebrates the wicket of England’s Jonny Bairstow (Not Pictured)
Photograph: Reuters/ Action Pictures / Andrew Boyers
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MELBOURNE: Still left-arm spinner Ashton Agar has been recalled to Australia’s squad for the fifth Ashes take a look at in Sydney as the hosts ponder a twin-spin attack against England for the useless rubber.

The 24-12 months-previous, who played his last take a look at against Bangladesh in Chittagong in September, has been bundled together with frequent spinner Nathan Lyon for the Jan. four match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Still left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc, who missed the ongoing Melbourne take a look at because of to a heel damage, and middle get batsman Peter Handscomb, who was dropped from the aspect right after the second Adelaide take a look at, have been retained in the fourteen-man squad.

Agar broke a finger all through Australia’s limited-overs tour of India in September but returned to domestic motion before this month.

If Starc proves his health and fitness, Agar could be bundled at the price of seam bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.

Agar’s inclusion will admirer speculation that 33-12 months-previous still left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe’s global job is over in spite of his look in five assessments on the subcontinent this 12 months and his match-winning 12-wicket haul against India in Pune.

O’Keefe was belatedly termed up for the Bangladesh tour right after paceman Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the Chittagong take a look at with a aspect strain, but selectors have manufactured no secret of their need to glimpse to groom a younger spinner for the lengthy expression.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom Enhancing by Peter Rutherford)



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Alpine snowboarding – Brignone upsets favourites to gain big slalom in Lienz


Italian Federica Brignone upset favourites Mikaela Shiffrin and Viktoria Rebensburg to gain the women’s big slalom Earth Cup race at Lienz on Friday.

FILE Photograph – Alpine Snowboarding – Women’s Alpine Snowboarding Earth Cup Tremendous G – Val d´Isere, France – December 17, 2017 Italy’s Federica Brignone in action all through the Women’s Tremendous G REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

LIENZ, Austria: Italian Federica Brignone upset favourites Mikaela Shiffrin and Viktoria Rebensburg to gain the women’s big slalom Earth Cup race at Lienz on Friday.

Rebensburg led following the first run with Shiffrin 2nd even though Brignone was fourth but the 27-calendar year-outdated overhauled equally on the 2nd leg to gain by .04 seconds from Rebensburg and assert the sixth Earth Cup gain of her profession.

Shiffrin, winner of Thursday’s slalom at the exact location, was 3rd, a even further .04 seconds at the rear of Rebensburg.

Titleholder Shiffrin retained a commanding direct in the all round Earth Cup standings on 881 factors, with Rebensburg 2nd on 510 and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova 3rd on 385.

(Composing by Brian Homewood Modifying by Christian Radnedge)



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Trump says he believes Mueller will treat him relatively in Russia probe


U.S. President Donald Trump explained on Thursday he believes Particular Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating attainable collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, will treat him relatively.

FILE Picture – U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he comes at West Palm Seashore worldwide airport in West Palm Seashore, Florida, U.S., December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

REUTERS: U.S. President Donald Trump explained on Thursday he believes Particular Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating attainable collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, will treat him relatively.

“You will find been no collusion. But I believe he’s going to be good,” Trump told the New York Occasions in an job interview at his golfing club in West Palm Seashore, Florida.

Trump also told the Occasions he has “been gentle” on China on trade and complained about oil shipments to North Korea despite sanctions more than Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. “Oil is going into North Korea. That was not my offer!” he explained.

(Reporting by Eric Beech and Yeganeh Torbati in Washington Modifying by Sandra Maler)



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&#039Forgotten&#039 little one otters rescued, reunited with family members by volunteers


SINGAPORE: A pair of 11-week-old otter pups that were “overlooked” and left without food items were being reunited with their family members on Thursday (Dec 28), with the support of a dedicated workforce of volunteers.

Mr Jeffery Teo, from the local community team OtterWatch, said the family members of smooth-coated otters was initially noticed with no two of their pups at about 6am on Wednesday.

The family members, which is known to have six pups, took four of them to Gardens by the Bay but two of them were being dropped along the way.

Grownup otters from the family members were being noticed at Gardens by the Bay. (Image: OtterWatch)

On Wednesday evening, the two missing pups were being sighted near Nicoll Freeway, but their family members was throughout the drinking water at Gardens by the Bay.

The pups are much too younger to swim throughout the deep drinking water and would have had “zero” probability of survival if left on your own, Mr Teo said.

The little one otters were being noticed close to Nicoll Freeway. (Image: OtterWatch)

He discussed that the pups are commencing to try to eat fish, but can not catch fish on their personal and they were being nevertheless suckling.

The volunteers regarded as the alternative of maintaining the little one otters alive in captivity but were being “rather self-assured” that they could reunite the family members.

“From our observations, this is not intentional abandonment by the families,” Mr Teo said. 

RESCUE Procedure

The operation involved a few teams – 1 to observe the otter family, yet another to remain with the pups, and the very last to make absolutely sure there were being no adult otters in the area exactly where the two pups were being, Mr Teo said. 

The Animal Worries Analysis and Instruction Modern society (ACRES) led a rescue operation at about 10.30am on Thursday. 

ACRES deputy chief executive Kalai Vanan with 1 of the rescued otter pups. (Image: OtterWatch)

The two otters were being in the beginning hiding in their holt, a tiny den Mr Teo believed was about 30cm huge, and rescuers had to wait patiently for them to arise onto a grass patch so they could be trapped.

The initially pup was caught at around 11.30am. As he was showing indications of pressure, he was introduced back to be returned to his family members initially, OtterWatch said in a Facebook put up. 

On the other hand, its sibling slipped via the internet and rescuers had to wait for the pup to settle down before hoping once more, inevitably catching it at 1.15pm, Mr Teo said.

On the troubles of the rescue operation, Mr Teo said: “The pups were being really warn … There were being a lot of tries to make absolutely sure the pups don’t run back so simply into their holt.”

OtterWatch estimated that as of midday at Thursday, the pups had gone with no food items for about forty two hrs, due to the fact their very last meal on Tuesday evening. Thankfully, each were being reunited with their family members. 

“We are actually pleased with the final result due to the fact time was about to run out for these two pups,” the local community team said in a Facebook update following the rescue. 

One of OtterWatch’s extended-time associates, Mr Teo said he felt that otters in Singapore should really be cherished. 

“With clear drinking water arrive otters. These organic creatures are direct endorsements of Singapore’s many years of attempts in our eco-friendly and blue tasks they are a wonderful final result of the government and people’s years of effort.”

The team also saved two otter pups following they were being divided from their families very last year, and assisted to remove an o-ring which was hurting a younger otter this year.



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