UK to accept 260 unaccompanied minors

French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May hold a press conference at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, west of London. Britain will take in 260 unaccompanied migrant children from France under a deal struck at a summit between the two countries. (AFP)
Updated 19 January 2018
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UK to accept 260 unaccompanied minors

LONDON: Britain will take in 260 unaccompanied migrant children from France under a deal struck at a summit between Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, the British government said on Friday.
Britain had previously agreed to take in a total of 480 unaccompanied minors from France, and had taken in 220 of them, but then imposed new admission criteria.
“We have agreed to amend the eligibility date on an exceptional basis to ensure we can transfer the circa 260 remaining unaccompanied children,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said in a statement.
Opposition Labour politician Alf Dubs, who had pushed Britain into taking in unaccompanied young migrants, had proposed that Britain take in 3,000 children.
Britain had earlier set a cut-off date, saying it would only accept unaccompanied minors who had arrived in Europe before March 20, 2016. It said that date had now been extended to January 18, 2018.
“The government has not agreed to any new obligations to take more unaccompanied children from Europe,” Rudd said, adding that the agreement with France “will help ensure migrant camps do not re-form.”
Britain and France will “jointly work upstream in source and transit countries to discourage migrants who do not have any lawful basis for doing so from making the dangerous journey to northern France,” she said.
May hosted Macron for a summit on Thursday where the two agreed on a new border treaty under which Britain will pay an extra £44.5 (50 million euros, $62 million) to fund tighter security in Calais.


EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks

Updated 21 January 2019
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EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks

  • EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on four Russians blamed for a nerve agent attack in Britain as well as a Syrian research center and its staff as the 28-nation bloc stepped up its action against the use of chemical weapons.
EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center.
Five of those targeted are linked to the Syrian center’s activities. Britain’s foreign office said they “have played a central role in the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against their own people.”
The four Russians on the list are the two men accused of planting the nerve agent in Salisbury last March, Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, and their superiors, the head and deputy head of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit.
The ministers said in a statement from their meeting in Brussels that the sanctions move “contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, which poses a serious threat to international security.”
It’s the first time the EU has imposed sanctions to combat chemical weapons.
“Today’s new sanctions deliver on our vow to take tough action against the reckless and irresponsible activities of the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, which put innocent British citizens in serious danger in Salisbury last year,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.
“We will continue to show our willingness to stand up for the international rules that keep us safe, and which the Kremlin and the Assad regime seek to undermine,” he added.