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Apr 16, 2015

Italy’s migrant crisis intensifies with murder arrests, drownings

GENEVA/PALERMO, Italy (Reuters) – Italian police arrested 15 African men suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a migrant boat in the Mediterranean on Thursday, as the crisis off southern Italy intensified.

Forty-one more deaths were reported in a separate incident.

Police in the Sicilian capital Palermo said they had arrested the men, from Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal, after survivors reported they had thrown 12 people from Nigeria and Ghana to their deaths and threatened other Christians.

Apr 16, 2015

Lady Gaga, Sam Smith booked at Montreux jazz festival

LAUSANNE (Reuters) – Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett headline the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival and Brazilian legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil will appear in a rare double billing.

The line-up for the July 3-18 event also includes veterans Santana, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz as well as Grammy-winning newcomer Sam Smith, the organizers said.

Apr 15, 2015

Panic on Med migrant boat pitched hundreds to their deaths -IOM

GENEVA, April 15 (Reuters) – Hundreds of people desperate to
be rescued from a packed migrant boat in the Mediterranean
pushed to one side when they saw a ship approach, capsizing the
craft and pitching everyone into the sea where hundreds died, an
official said on Wednesday.

Survivors’ accounts suggested at least 500 people were on
the boat when it sank on Monday evening, some 120 km (75 miles)
off the Italian island of Lampedusa. With 145 people rescued
that leaves at least 350 unaccounted for, probably drowned.

Apr 14, 2015

U.N. asks Kenya to rethink closure of Somali refugee camp

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations refugee agency urged Kenya on Tuesday to reconsider an order to close the teeming Dadaab refugee camp, saying it would not be part of any transfer of Somalis back to their homeland that violated international law.

Kenya said on Saturday it had given the United Nations three months to remove the camp housing hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees, as part of a get-tough response to the killing of 148 people in Garissa. Kenya has in the past accused Islamist militants of hiding out in Dadaab camp.

Apr 10, 2015

Risk of Ebola spreading to other countries appears to be falling – WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – West Africa’s Ebola epidemic still poses a threat to other countries but the risk of it spreading internationally appears to be diminishing as the areas affected shrink, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The U.N. agency declared in August 2014 that the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, which began in December 2013, represented a “public health emergency of international concern” that forced health officials worldwide to shore up defences.

Apr 10, 2015

Risk of Ebola spreading to other countries appears to lessen – WHO

GENEVA, April 10 (Reuters) – West Africa’s Ebola epidemic
still poses a threat to other countries, but the risk of it
spreading internationally appears to be diminishing, the World
Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The U.N. agency declared in August 2014 that the world’s
worst Ebola outbreak — which began in December 2013 –
represented a “public health emergency of international concern”
that forced all health officials to shore up defences.

Apr 10, 2015

First Red Cross, UNICEF planes land in Yemen

GENEVA (Reuters) – The first two planeloads of medical aid for Yemen landed in the capital Sanaa on Friday after weeks of conflict which have killed 600 people and displaced 100,000 others, and the United Nations appealed for a pause in fighting to allow more aid in.

U.N. officials and aid workers say that the fighting is pushing the country of 25 million people, one of the poorest in the Arab world, toward a humanitarian catastrophe.

Apr 4, 2015

Red Cross calls for 24-hour ceasefire in Yemen to deliver aid

GENEVA/ADEN, April 4 (Reuters) – The International Committee
of the Red Cross appealed on Saturday for an immediate 24-hour
halt to hostilities in Yemen to deliver life-saving medical aid
into the country where it said the humanitarian situation was
dire.

The Saudi-led military coalition conducting air strikes in
Yemen was still blocking three shipments of aid and medical
staff, aid agency said earlier. Talks were being held with all
parties, spokeswoman Sitara Jabeen said.

Apr 3, 2015

Iranians celebrate, Obama hails “historic” nuclear framework

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 3 (Reuters) – Iranians
celebrated in the streets after negotiators reached a framework
for a nuclear deal that could bring their country in from the
cold, hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama as an “historic
understanding” with an old adversary.

The tentative agreement, struck on Thursday after eight days
of talks in Switzerland, clears the way for negotiations on a
settlement aimed at allaying Western fears that Iran was seeking
to build an atomic bomb and in return lift economic sanctions on
the Islamic Republic.

Apr 2, 2015

Iran, world powers reach initial deal on reining in Tehran’s nuclear program

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Iran and world powers reached a framework agreement on Thursday on curbing Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade after eight days of marathon talks in Switzerland.

The tentative agreement clears the way for talks on a future comprehensive settlement that should allay Western fears that Iran was seeking to build an atomic bomb and in return lift economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.