German Cabinet declares Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria ‘safe’

Germany’s Cabinet wants to add three Maghreb states and Georgia to a list of “safe countries of origin.” But will the change pass Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, where it failed last year? The German government will put forward legislation declaring Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Georgia “safe countries of origin.” The decision was reached after the weekly meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday in Berlin. If enacted, the change in the law would make it easier for Germany to turn back people from and deport them back…

EU foreign policy chief visits Libya to reopen mission

“The return of the diplomatic presence of the EU in Libya will further strengthen co-operation with the government,” said the EU Europe is keen to see stability return to Libya to help stem the flow of migrants The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini visited Libya’s capital Tripoli on Saturday to reopen the bloc’s diplomatic presence and border assistance mission. “The return of the diplomatic presence of the EU in Libya will further strengthen co-operation with the government, local authorities and the United Nations,” the EU said in a…

Nearly 580 undocumented migrants held across Turkey

A total of 577 undocumented migrants were held across Turkey on Monday, according to security sources. In the northwestern province of Edirne, 390 migrants were rounded up in Bosnakoy and Yenikadin districts said coast guard sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. The migrants were from Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco. Another 142 migrants were held in Canakkale, another northwestern port city. Among them, 78 were from Afghanistan and 64 were Iraqi nationals. In the Aegean sea coast…

EU seeks Africa money to pay for migrant screening centers

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is urging EU member countries to put more money into an Africa trust fund as the bloc looks to set up migrant screening centers outside Europe. Mogherini said Monday that the fund “has proven to be useful, it has brought results and this is why we are asking for more money from member states.” EU leaders are set later this week to greenlight plans to screen migrants for eligibility as asylum-seekers at centers in countries including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.…

Turkey’s Erdogan claims election victory, opposition wary

Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party claimed victory in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary polls on Sunday, overcoming the biggest electoral challenge to their rule in a decade and a half. However, the main opposition party said it was too early to concede defeat and said it believed Erdogan could still fall short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a presidential runoff on July 8. “Our people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive posts,” Erdogan said in a short national address, even as…

Divided EU leaders hold emergency talks on migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked EU leaders on Sunday to stop asylum seekers moving freely around the bloc during emergency talks on migration, an issue that is threatening her ruling coalition. Heads of government meeting in Brussels are trying to bridge their deep divisions over migration, which has been undermining the European Union for years and is now putting a strain on Merkel’s coalition. “One large part of today’s discussions will be protecting the outside borders and how we reduce illegal migration to Europe,” Merkel said on arriving for the…

Libya vows to close border with Tunisia over “harassment” against travelers

Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Metig, on Saturday threatened to close the land border with Tunisia, if the “harassment” of Libyan travelers on the Tunisian side continues. According to a statement issued by the prime minister’s media and communication office, Metig had instructed the Foreign Ministry to take measures to “ensure the safety of the Libyan citizens in Tunisia.” He also instructed the Ministry of Interior to “close the border if the Tunisian government does not take firm measures against those who seek to break the relationship between the two…

Russian factory workers plan protest during England World Cup match

The Red October steelworks sits in the shadow of the Volgograd Arena, where England will play Tunisia on Monday. Angry workers at a Russian factory near the stadium where England’s footballers will play their first World Cup match are planning a protest to coincide with the game. The world’s largest sports tournament has brought the Red October steelworks in Volgograd to a partial standstill. Under measures intended to reduce stores of hazardous materials which could be used by terrorists, Russian factories have been asked to change the way they work…

World Cup 2018 opening ceremony: Robbie Williams and giant fire bird feature in snappy show

The World Cup got underway this afternoon in a short and sweet opening ceremony, with Robbie Williams dominating the centre of the park with a short medley of his hits. Where previous ceremonies have featured lengthy performance art projects about the environment, the football family and children being the future, this Russian effort was snappy: long on energy, and short on too much tree-hugging.  Williams was excellent, there were representatives from the competing countries, and a giant fire bird made out of crepe paper. There was, naturally, juggling, and the obligatory giant footballs.…

Governor of parallel Libya central bank opposed to economic reforms

The former governor of the parallel Central Bank of Libya in al-Bayda, eastern Libya, Ali Al-Hibri, said the economic reforms announced by the CBL governor in Tripoli Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer and the Presidential Council in Tunisia are “harmful” and could lead to the collapse of the Libyan economy. Al-Hibri said in a televised statement that the tracks of reforms proposed by Al-Kabeer and the Presidential Council, including raising the family dollar allocations to $1000, would be fatal to the Libyan foreign currency reserves as Libya would lose 8 billion dollars. He…