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More Int'l News in Brief

Published:Tuesday | November 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A Syrian Kurdish refugee young woman from the Kobani area carries an injured boy on a cold morning at a camp in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border.

Report claims Jordan deporting Syrian refugees


Jordanian authorities have deported "vulnerable Syrian refugees", including wounded men and unaccompanied children, an international human rights group said yesterday, adding that a Jordanian government spokesman denied the claim.

Human Rights Watch said that those deported include a group of 12 Syrians who had been receiving treatment at a rehabilitation centre and four refugees, three of them children, whom Jordanian border police stopped near the Syrian border.

Human Rights Watch quoted the government spokesman as denying the refugees had been deported, saying they were taken to other unnamed hospitals. It did not name the spokesman. Another Jordanian official in Amman contacted by the Associated Press refused to comment on the report.

"Jordan is carrying a heavy refugee burden, but it should not be in the business of sending any refugees back to a conflict zone where their lives are threatened, much less children and wounded men who can't even walk," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Such deportations create an environment of fear that affects all refugees."

Syria's civil war, which began as an uprising against President Bashar Assad in March 2011, has forced 3.2 million people to flee the country. Jordan, Syria's southern neighbour, hosts 619,000 refugees.

UN sees dark time ahead for Greece


Greece may be exiting a cruel six-year recession, but it will take at least 20 years for employment to regain pre-crisis levels without concerted action, the United Nations' labour organisation said.

An International Labour Organization official said a series of ILO recommendations could speed up the process by about eight years.

ILO research department head Raymond Torres outlined the proposals in a new ILO report presented in Athens yesterday. They combine emergency measures, including a 1 billion euro youth employment program and improved commercial credit conditions, as well as structural reforms.

Greece nearly went bankrupt in 2010 after years of profligate public spending, and took harsh austerity measures to secure international bailouts. Unemployment is 26 per cent, with most jobless people at least a year out of work.

Canada imposes visa restrictions on St Kitts-Nevis nationals



The St Kitts-Nevis government yesterday sought to downplay the decision by Canada to impose visa restrictions on nationals from the twin-island Federation wanting to visit the North American country, noting that since the September 2011 terrorist attacks on the United States countries have been reviewing their immigration policies periodically.

"Countries review and change their policies routinely in order to protect their interests and their people and so do we," Foreign Affairs Minister Patrice Nisbett said in a broadcast.

"Canada is an important ally, an ally of long standing. Your government values the strong relations which over the years that Canada and St Kitts-Nevis have built.

"Canada has important security concerns, the government recognises this and the government of St Kitts-Nevis will do all in its power to respect and accommodate the concerns of so an important ally," said Nisbett.

In a statement over the weekend, Ottawa said that the visa restriction became effective on November 22 and that citizens from the twin-island Federation joined those from "the vast majority of Caribbean nations and citizens of some 147 countries" where visas are needed to enter the North American country.