UN: Global community must step up Rohingya aid

Rohingya refugees scuffle as aid is distributed in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 24 September 2017
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UN: Global community must step up Rohingya aid

COX’S BAZAR: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Sunday that the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh is “the most urgent refugee emergency in the world” right now.
Filipo Grandi told reporters in the Bangladeshi town of Cox’s Bazar that the needs of the more than 430,000 people who have fled terrible violence in Myanmar over the last month are enormous and that the international community must step up financial and material aid to Bangladesh if the South Asian nation is to be able to help the refugees.
The latest round of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state erupted when a Rohingya insurgent group launched deadly attacks on security posts Aug. 25, prompting Myanmar’s military to launch “clearance operations” to root out the rebels. Those fleeing have described indiscriminate attacks by security forces and Buddhist mobs. The government has blamed the Rohingya, saying they set fire to their own homes, but has provided no proof.
The UN and others have described the violence as ethnic cleansing.
Rohingya have faced persecution and discrimination in majority-Buddhist Myanmar for decades and are denied citizenship, even though many families have lived there for generations.
The government says there is no such ethnicity as Rohingya and that they are Bengalis who illegally migrated to Myanmar from Bangladesh.
Grandi toured the parts of the massive refugee camps that have sprung up to accommodate the new refugee. Cox’s Bazar also has a large Rohingya camp that has housed Rohingya fleeing persecution over the decades. Another 300,000 older refugees make their home in these camps.
“This has been since the 25th of August the fastest and most urgent refugee emergency in the world,” Grandi said.
“I was struck by the incredible magnitude of their needs. They need everything. They need food, they need clean water, they need shelter, they need proper health care,” he said.
Grandi said he was thankful that Bangladesh’s government had kept its borders open for the terrified Rohingya “in a world that has often turned hostile to refugees.”


“No-deal” Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 24 September 2018
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“No-deal” Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.