Cyprus escorts 61 Syrian refugees safely to shore

Cypriot authorities have safely escorted a boat carrying 61 Syrian refugees to shore after spotting it off the coast of the Mediterranean island. (AFP)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Cyprus escorts 61 Syrian refugees safely to shore

  • One woman and 60 males, including seven children, were transferred to a reception centre outside the capital Nicosia on Thursday after medical checks.
  • Arrivals said they had paid smugglers $2,000 (1,700 euros) each to board the boat from Turkey's coast.

NICOSIA: Cypriot authorities have safely escorted a boat carrying 61 Syrian refugees to shore after spotting it off the coast of the Mediterranean island, they said Thursday.
The vessel was intercepted late Wednesday evening off the island's northwestern coast after embarking from Turkey, police said.
One woman and 60 males, including seven children, were transferred to a reception centre outside the capital Nicosia on Thursday after medical checks, authorities said.
Police cited arrivals saying they had paid smugglers $2,000 (1,700 euros) each to board the boat from Turkey's coast.
Police added that they had arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of smuggling after he was seen jumping from the boat.
Cyprus, a popular holiday island some 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Syria's coast, has not seen the massive inflow of migrants experienced by Turkey, Greece and Italy.
But the European Union member has called on Brussels to act, as asylum requests in the first nine months of 2017 rose eightfold on the same period of the previous year, to 818.
EU data ranks Cyprus fourth among the bloc's 28 nations in terms of asylum applications per capita.


Taiwan says it won’t bow to pressure amid China tension

Updated 17 January 2019
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Taiwan says it won’t bow to pressure amid China tension

  • Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016
  • New pressure tactics included rising Chinese scrutiny over how companies from airlines to retailers refer to Taiwan
TAIPEI: Taiwan will not bow to Chinese pressure and called for international support against Beijing’s “out-of-control actions,” a presidential spokesman said on Thursday, after Beijing urged companies to change the way they refer to the self-ruled island.
“As for China’s related out-of-control actions, we need to remind the international community to face this squarely and to unite efforts to reduce and contain these actions,” Alex Huang, the spokesman for President Tsai Ing-wen, told reporters in Taipei.
Companies including Apple and Amazon have “wrongly labelled” Taiwan and should take immediate actions to correct it, the state-run Legal Daily reported on Wednesday, citing a report released by Chinese government think tanks.
Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai, from the pro-independence ruling party, took office in 2016. That has included rising Chinese scrutiny over how companies from airlines, such as Air Canada, to retailers, such as Gap , refer to the democratic island in recent months.