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Sunday 15 September 2019

EU ministers formulate new plan to send illegal migrants back to Africa

European ministers have devised a dramatic plan to solve the migration crisis, offering a series of sweeteners in exchange for sending illegal migrants back to Africa.

They will provide cash and visas to persuade African countries to take back some of the 800,000 asylum seekers who have flooded across the Mediterranean into Europe this year.

But in return, the proposed deal, details of which has been leaked, would give thousands of African students, doctors and entrepreneurs an open door to move into the European Union.

Officials are preparing to justify the highly controversial arrangement by saying only professionals who will contribute to society would be allowed into the EU.

Bucharest nightclub death toll rises

NINE more people have died a week after a fire broke out in a Bucharest nightclub, bringing the number of fatalities in the tragedy to 41.

Two people had died at the state burns hospital, while the manager at University Hospital said a man there also died of his injuries.

Interim Prime Minister Sorin Campeanu said three other victims had succumbed yesterday.

He said 109 other people still remain in hospital, 48 of them in serious or critical condition, from the October 30 blaze at the Colectiv basement nightclub during a heavy metal concert. Panicked people fled for the sole exit in a stampede, leaving 180 injured.

More fatalities likely in dam collapse

The death toll from two collapsed dams at a major Brazilian mine will surely rise in coming days, a local mayor said yesterday, while search and rescue teams worked to reach villages more than 80 km (50 miles) downstream overrun by the massive mudflow.

Up to 10 residents of the nearest village remain missing, along with 13 workers from the mine, but only one death has been confirmed in what the governor of Minas Gerais described as the state's worst environmental disaster.

Cheers mark end of Ebola outbreak

Cheers and dancing in the streets erupted yesterday as Sierra Leone marked the end of the Ebola outbreak within its borders, although neighbouring Guinea still struggles to stamp out the deadly virus that has killed more than 11,000 mostly in West Africa.

Nearly 4,000 people have died in Sierra Leone of Ebola since the outbreak began in late 2013. The World Health Organization said 42 days have passed since the country's last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged on September 25 after two consecutive negative test results.

King's Ferraris fail to rev up bidders

Spain's government has been unable to sell two Ferraris given as gifts to former king Juan Carlos because only a single bid came in for the vehicles at auction.

The bid was for less than half of the reserve price of e350,000 placed on each car.

The Ferrari FF four-seater models were given to Juan Carlos by the United Arab Emirates in 2011 and barely have more than delivery mileage. The king donated the cars to the state in 2012.

The ministry did not say what would happen to the cars.

Six lives lost and six hurt in bus crash

A BUS ferrying migrant farmworkers from Michigan to Texas ran off a highway and hit an overpass in Arkansas on Friday, ripping off the roof and ejecting passengers onto the interstate. Six people died and six were injured; the driver survived.

Isil militants targeted in air strikes

US and coalition warplanes carried out 20 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria on Friday, primarily hitting targets around the Iraqi towns of Ramadi and Sinjar, the US military said yesterday.

Coalition jets conducted six air strikes around Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, destroying Islamic State fighting positions, machine guns, weapons caches and mortar positions, it said in a statement.

Scores flee before Burundi crackdown

Scores of people are fleeing parts of Burundi's capital before a looming security crackdown that has raised fears of a wave of killings.

A government-issued deadline to turn in illegal weapons or face extraordinary police action expired at midnight last night. The UN estimates that at least 198 people have been killed in Burundi since late April, when president Pierre Nkurunziza announced his bid that was ultimately successful for a third term in office.

At least 13 people have died in the past week, with many coming from neighbourhoods that are opposition strongholds. More than 200,000 people have fled Burundi.

JFK's death limo licence plates sold

The licence plates that were on the limousine carrying John F Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas have sold at auction for €93,000.

The plates sold for well over the initial bid of €36,000 and were purchased by a "high-end Kennedy collector" who requested anonymity.

After the 1963 assassination, the limousine was sent for upgrades to a Cincinnati company that retrofitted presidential limousines. When a new set of plates arrived, the old plates were discarded. But the company's owner retrieved them from the rubbish.

The owner, Willard Hess, kept the plates between books on his bookshelf. His daughter, who later kept them in a drawer in her Ohio kitchen, offered them for auction.

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