google.com, pub-6663105814926378, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Around The World Ceuta, Spain Flood of migrants 4289

Around The World Ceuta, Spain Flood of migrants

Ceuta, Spain
Flood of migrants: Spain is appealing to European Union authorities for help in policing its African territories, as migrants have adopted a new tactic of surging across the border in a human wave. Police this week turned back a crush of 1,600 people trying to cross from Morocco into Spain’s enclave of Ceuta. That attempt came just days after more than 200 people banded together to scale three fences and enter Spain’s other North African territory, Melilla. The two coastal enclaves are a constant draw for Africans seeking entry into the EU. Last month, 14 people drowned while trying to swim to Ceuta from Morocco.

Havana
Hero’s welcome: Cuban President Raul Castro personally welcomed Cuban spy Fernando González home last week after his release from a U.S. prison. González was the second to be released of the Cuban Five, a group of agents arrested in 1998 and convicted of spying on Cuban exiles in Florida. The agents infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue, an exile group that flew planes over the ocean to locate people fleeing Cuba by boat. At least one agent got a janitorial job at Boca Chica Naval Air Station and reported on military flights. Cuba says the five were not spying on the U.S. but were only monitoring Cuban exiles promoting terrorism.


Caracas, Venezuela
Protests continue: Venezuelans obeyed the opposition call to continue their anti-government protests during Carnival, and tens of thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Caracas and other cities this week. Hundreds of protesters formed a human shield around the home of Ángel Vivas, a general who resigned in 2007 after opposing then-President Hugo Chávez’s order that the Venezuelan army swear an oath written by Cuba’s Fidel Castro: “Fatherland, socialism or death!” The government has an arrest warrant out for Vivas for encouraging violence and libeling the government on social media, where he accuses President Nicolás Maduro of being a puppet of Cuba. Vivas has more than 260,000 Twitter followers.

Quito, Ecuador
Chevron wins: Environmentalists in Ecuador said they will fight on for compensation from Chevron despite a U.S. court ruling this week striking down a historic judgment against the U.S. oil company. In 2011, an Ecuadoran court ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion for massively polluting the Amazon rain forest and destroying farmers’ livelihoods. But U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said that ruling was void because Steven Donziger, a lawyer for the Ecuadoran farmers, bribed an Ecuadoran judge and ghostwrote that judge’s ruling against Chevron. “Judge Kaplan has no power to enforce his decision outside the U.S.,” said Juan Pablo Sáenz, a lawyer for the Amazon Defense Front. “We will execute the judgment on company assets in other countries, like Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.”

Ottawa
Millionaire immigrants denied: Canada has scrapped its “investor immigrant” policy, under which any millionaire who invested round $400,000 in Canada could apply for citizenship. The government said the investor immigrants tended to pay less in taxes than other immigrants and were less likely to stay in Canada over the long term. Some 65,000 mostly Chinese applicants will be denied citizenship, even though they have already submitted their paperwork and in many cases already invested. “While we recognize that some investors have settled in Canada and have made valuable contributions, we believe that we can do better,” said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

Rio de Janeiro
Carnival! Brazilians this week put aside their rage over the hosting of the World Cup to celebrate the world’s largest Mardi Gras street party. Protests have been held in major cities most weeks since last summer, as demonstrators call for less spending on the soccer world championship that starts in June and more on education and the poor. But for Mardi Gras, which marks the last hurrah before the Catholic penitential season of Lent, the protesters took a break. “I am a protester; we all know Brazilian politicians are corrupt,” reveler Sergio Mendes told Al Jazeera. “But the people are the majority, and Carnival is for us.” One in five Brazilians lives in a shantytown, or favela.

Pompeii, Italy
City crumbles: After standing for two millennia, several walls in the preserved ancient city of Pompeii collapsed this week in heavy rain. The government quickly approved $3 million in routine maintenance to shore up what remains, but archaeologists said it wasn’t enough. Spurred by other collapses in the past decade, Italy has earmarked almost $150 million to restore Pompeii, but only a small fraction has been spent because of corruption and red tape. Pompeii, a bustling Roman Empire port of about 20,000 inhabitants, was buried under 15 feet of ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. It was excavated 250 years ago.

Johannesburg
Pistorius in court: The trial of Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, opened this week with riveting testimony from neighbors who said they heard arguing before four gunshots. Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of South Africa’s most famous athletes after winning the right to compete on his blades at the Olympics, has admitted firing the shots that killed Steenkamp through a bathroom door, but he says he thought she was an intruder. Three neighbors, though, testified that the two were yelling at one another for an hour before the killing. “The intensity and fear in her voice escalated, and it was clear that her life was in danger,” said Charl Johnson. “The last scream faded moments after the last shot was fired.” Pistorius has the country’s top defense lawyers for what’s being called “South Africa’s O.J. trial.”

Pyongyang, North Korea
scuds fired: North Korea launched ballistic missiles and rockets into the sea this week, testing weapons with ranges that can cover all of South Korea. The U.S. and South Korea condemned the launches as “provocative actions that aggravate tensions,” while North Korea said the joint U.S.–South Korean military exercises underway were the real provocation. The unannounced North Korean tests came close to hitting a Chinese passenger jet. “It is different from a one-time firing,” said South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin. “Unlike in the past, the North intensively fired various projectiles in a short period of time.”

Kunming, China
Uighurs attack: Chinese authorities say a bloodbath at Kunming train station last week was the work of Uighur terrorists from Xinjiang province. The six men and two women hacked 29 people to death with knives and injured scores more commuters and station staff. Police shot dead four of the assailants and arrested the others. Authorities said one of the suspects confessed that the group wanted to wage jihad. A Uighur from their hometown of Hotan, though, told U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia that the attackers weren’t militants but thwarted refugees who tried to flee to Laos last year. Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority whose homeland has seen an influx of millions of Han Chinese in recent years.


Kathmandu, Nepal
Leave only footprints: Nepal will no longer tolerate littering on Mount Everest. Starting this season, authorities said, climbers must return with 5 pounds of trash or forfeit a $4,000 deposit. Everest has earned the nickname “the world’s highest garbage dump” because of the tons of trash, rotting tents, and spent oxygen cylinders left there by thousands of climbers over the years. “We are not asking climbers to search and pick up trash left by someone else,” said Maddhusudan Burlakoti of the tourism ministry. “We just want them to bring back what they took up.”

Jerusalem
weapons from Iran: Israeli naval forces this week intercepted a ship in the Red Sea and seized sophisticated weapons that Israel said were being sent from Iran to Gaza. The military said the Syrian-made rockets would have doubled the strike range of Gaza militants, putting all of Israel within reach of attack. According to Israeli sources, the shipment left from Bandar Abbas, Iran, and was bound for Sudan; from there it was to be moved overland through Egypt to Gaza. Israel cited the shipment as proof that Iran can’t be trusted at nuclear talks. “At a time when it talks with the world powers, at a time when Iran is smiling and saying all sorts of pleasantries, that same Iran is sending lethal weapons to terror organizations,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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