Eleven killed, 46 injured in Turkey bus crash

Rescue workers attend the scene after a bus crashed into trees on the side of a road in Eskisehir, Turkey, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (DHA-Depo Photos via AP)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Eleven killed, 46 injured in Turkey bus crash

ISTANBUL: Eleven people were killed and 46 injured when a Turkish intercity bus taking families bound for a half-term skiing trip crashed into trees while traveling on a motorway, local officials said.
The bus, which was making an overnight journey from the capital Ankara to the western city of Bursa, crashed in the region of Eskisehir amid good road conditions, Eskisehir governor Ozdemir Cakacak was quoted as saying by the Dogan news agency.
The road was empty and neither wet nor frozen, Cakacak said, vowing that the causes would be made clear.
Dogan reported that the passengers on the bus were mainly families with their children who were going to Bursa to spend the upcoming half-term at the popular Uludag ski resort nearby.
The news agency did not say if any children were among those killed.
The two drivers, who were both lightly injured, have been detained and prosecutors launched an investigation, Dogan said.
Turkey has a dire road safety record with over a million accidents in 2016 and 7,300 people losing their lives, according to official statistics.


UN criticizes Algeria for mass deportations of migrants

Updated 22 min 49 sec ago
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UN criticizes Algeria for mass deportations of migrants

GENEVA/ALGIERS: The United Nations on Tuesday urged Algeria to stop rounding up and expelling sub-Saharan migrants, highlighting an influx of immigrants from Mali and Niger that Algeria says it needs UN help to address.
Hassen Kacimi, a senior official at Algeria’s Interior Ministry, told Reuters on Saturday that Algeria had called for help from the international community, while the United Nations had done little to save the migrants.
UN spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a regular UN briefing in Geneva that deportations and expulsions have increased markedly since the second half of 2017, and a UN human rights team went to Niger to investigate this month.
“What they heard was that Algerian authorities frequently carry out mass round-ups of sub-Saharan African migrants in various parts of the country,” Shamdasani said.
Of 25 migrants interviewed by the UN team, only one had had her passport checked before being expelled. Most had been told to put thumbprints on Arabic documents they could not read.
Most were not told why they were being detained and were not allowed to pick up their belongings, passports or money before being expelled. Some were taken straight to Niger, others were held in military bases, in inhuman and degrading conditions, before being taken south.
“(Some) are crammed into big trucks to be transferred to the Nigerien border where they are abandoned and left to walk hours in the desert heat to cross the border into Niger,” she said.
Algeria says it faces a huge influx of migrants.

SURGE OF MIGRATION
“A surge of migration is invading the south of Algeria,” Kacimi said. “Before reaching Algeria, the migrants are abandoned in the desert, and it is Algeria that rescues them by offering humanitarian aid.”
“Algeria is not responsible for the population of other states,” Kacimi said. “So whoever wants to cry over the outgoing migrants just (has) to put their hand in their pocket.”
Algeria, which has a 2,500 km (1,550 mile) border with Mali and Niger, spent $20 million in the past three years to handle an influx of illegal migrants from the Sahel region fleeing war, insecurity or poverty.
“Where is the UNHCR, where is the IOM, and where are the African states?” Kacimi said.
The UN migration agency IOM has rescued about 3,000 migrants in the area in the past four months, including some trying to get into Algeria and some being expelled, IOM spokesman Joel Millman said.
Many said it was not unusual for them to be dropped as much as 30 km (19 miles) from the border, in 45 degree Celsius (113F) heat, often without water and carrying children.
“Many of them report seeing migrants who have lost their lives, often unrecorded or unrecognized in the sand dunes,” Millman said.