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
0

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.


UK PM candidate Hunt: Boris Johnson is a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates on Brexit

Updated 24 June 2019
0

UK PM candidate Hunt: Boris Johnson is a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates on Brexit

  • Jeremy Hunt: It was disrespectful for Boris Johnson to turn down the opportunity for a head-to-head debate
  • Hunt says candidates should explain their Brexit positions

LONDON: Jeremy Hunt, one of the two candidates vying to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May, said on Monday that rival Boris Johnson was a coward for avoiding public head-to-head debates on what to do about Brexit.
“On the question of debates, he is being a coward,” Foreign Secretary Hunt said. “It is cowardice not to appear in head-to-head debates.”
Hunt, 52, said it was disrespectful for Johnson to have turned down the opportunity for a head-to-head debate on Sky television.
“People need to know what you’re going to do and you need to answer those questions,” Hunt said. “I promise Boris Johnson the fight of his life and he’s going to have that and he’s going to lose.”
Johnson, 55, is the favorite to win a vote of 160,000 Conservative Party members who will decide who will be the next prime minister. Betting markets give him a 79 percent implied probability of winning the top job, down from 92 percent last week.
He has cast himself as the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on October 31 — with or without a deal — while fighting off the electoral threats of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and socialist Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
Early on Friday, police were called to Johnson’s home after neighbors heard a loud altercation between him and his girlfriend. Police said there was no cause for police action.
The Guardian newspaper, which first reported the story, said an unidentified neighbor had heard Johnson’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, screaming followed by “slamming and banging.” At one point, Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat.”
Johnson declined to answer questions about the incident at a hustings event in Birmingham on Saturday.
Hunt said the personal life of Johnson was irrelevant but that the candidates should explain their Brexit positions — and specifically what would a new leader do if lawmakers tried to sink a new government heading toward a no-deal Brexit.
“If parliament takes no-deal off the table before Oct. 31, will Boris call a general election?” Hunt said. “I think a general election would be catastrophic.”
Hunt said he would seek a better deal from the EU to leave on Oct. 31 and would, if absolutely necessary, leave without a deal. If parliament took a no-deal Brexit off the table, he intimated there would have to be delay.
“In that situation, you would have to carry on negotiating,” Hunt said. “I want to leave by Oct. 31 but if parliament stops it the prime minister has to obey the law.”
Johnson repeated on Monday that he would lead the United Kingdom out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal.
“We are going to come out of the EU on October 31,” he wrote in The Daily Telegraph. “This time we are not going to bottle it.”
Like Hunt, Johnson promised lower taxes if he wins the top job.
When asked the naughtiest thing he had ever done, Hunt said: “When I was backpacking through India, I once had a Bhang Lassi — which is a kind of cannabis lassi — that’s the naughtiest thing I am prepared to confess to on this program.”