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Footage shows African migrants being sold as slaves at auction for as little as £300 each

Added: 21.11.2017 20:13 | 0 views | 0 comments


The Libyan government is to investigate allegations that African migrants are being sold as slaves at auctions. Tens of thousands of migrants, many of them from West Africa but also Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, are being held in camps and warehouses on the Libyan coast, hoping to reach Europe. When the warehouses become overcrowded, or if migrants are unable to pay traffickers for the boat journey towards Italy – where many are rescued by NGO-operated vessels – they are sold. The existence of modern-day slave markets has been known for months, with testimony from the International Organisation for Migration and other humanitarian agencies, but last week CNN obtained video footage of one such auction.  In scenes reminiscent of the 19th century, when the slave trade was rife, auctioneers advertised a group of West African migrants as “big strong boys for farm work.” The auctioneers referred to the migrants in Arabic as “merchandise”. The CNN footage showed buyers bidding for the migrants, who were sold off for as little as $400 each. One West African man told the television network: “Sure, I was sold”.  Others recounted how they were beaten by their “owners” as they put to work. Ahmed Metig, the deputy prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli, said the allegations would be investigated. He said he would establish a "commission to investigate these reports in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice.” Migrants sit in a detention centre run by the interior ministry of Libya's eastern-based government, in Benghazi Credit: Reuters Alpha Conde, the president of Guinea and chairman of the African Union, where many migrants come from, called for an inquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". The Senegalese government called the apparent slave market a "blight on the conscience of humanity". The IOM reported the existence of slave markets in April. “The reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies.  “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.” Migrants who are rescued at sea and brought to Italy have told how they are beaten, tortured and in some cases raped by traffickers in Libya.  Many young women end up as prostitutes on the streets of Italy, with Nigerian girls as young as 13 forced to sell themselves for as little as 10 euros (£8.90) a time, terrified into submission by gang rape and voodoo curses. It is estimated that 80 per cent of Nigerian teenage girls and young women who make it to Italy are forced into the sex trade.

The Next Big Iran Military Threat: Stealth Submarines That Could Battle Israel?

Added: 21.11.2017 18:32 | 0 views | 0 comments


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again slammed Iran’s presence in Syria, this time claiming that Tehran has a plan to base aircraft in the country, dock its submarines on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and directly threaten Israeli waters. “They want to bring their air force there, right next to Israel,” Netanyahu declared in November 2017.

From: www.yahoo.com

Hariri back in Lebanon for first time since quitting as prime minister

Added: 21.11.2017 18:04 | 0 views | 0 comments

Saad al-Hariri returned to Beirut on Tuesday (Nov 21) for the first time since he resigned as Lebanon's prime minister in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia and plunged his country into political crisis.

From: www.straitstimes.com

Lebanon's Hariri meets Sisi in Egypt ahead of return home

Added: 21.11.2017 17:27 | 0 views | 0 comments


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri briefly stopped Tuesday in Egypt for talks on his way back from France to his country, which is reeling from his surprise resignation amid an escalating regional crisis. Hariri's media office said he met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has sought to defuse the tensions between Hariri's sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons. Hariri's visit to Cairo follows two weeks of deep uncertainty after he announced his resignation on November 4 in a speech from Saudi Arabia.

Footage shows African migrants being sold as slaves at auction for as little as £300 each

Added: 21.11.2017 17:26 | 0 views | 0 comments


The Libyan government is to investigate allegations that African migrants are being sold as slaves at auctions. Tens of thousands of migrants, many of them from West Africa but also Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, are being held in camps and warehouses on the Libyan coast, hoping to reach Europe. When the warehouses become overcrowded, or if migrants are unable to pay traffickers for the boat journey towards Italy – where many are rescued by NGO-operated vessels – they are sold. The existence of modern-day slave markets has been known for months, with testimony from the International Organisation for Migration and other humanitarian agencies, but last week CNN obtained video footage of one such auction.  In scenes reminiscent of the 19th century, when the slave trade was rife, auctioneers advertised a group of West African migrants as “big strong boys for farm work.” The auctioneers referred to the migrants in Arabic as “merchandise”. The CNN footage showed buyers bidding for the migrants, who were sold off for as little as $400 each. One West African man told the television network: “Sure, I was sold”.  Others recounted how they were beaten by their “owners” as they put to work. Ahmed Metig, the deputy prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli, said the allegations would be investigated. He said he would establish a "commission to investigate these reports in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice.” Migrants sit in a detention centre run by the interior ministry of Libya's eastern-based government, in Benghazi Credit: Reuters Alpha Conde, the president of Guinea and chairman of the African Union, where many migrants come from, called for an inquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". The Senegalese government called the apparent slave market a "blight on the conscience of humanity". The IOM reported the existence of slave markets in April. “The reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies.  “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.” Migrants who are rescued at sea and brought to Italy have told how they are beaten, tortured and in some cases raped by traffickers in Libya.  Many young women end up as prostitutes on the streets of Italy, with Nigerian girls as young as 13 forced to sell themselves for as little as 10 euros (£8.90) a time, terrified into submission by gang rape and voodoo curses. It is estimated that 80 per cent of Nigerian teenage girls and young women who make it to Italy are forced into the sex trade.

Lebanese PM Hariri lands in Cyprus

Added: 21.11.2017 17:24 | 0 views | 0 comments

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has made an unexpected detour on what was assumed to be his flight home to Beirut and has instead landed in Cyprus to meet with President Nicos Anastasiades.

From: www.news.com.au

Israeli minister reveals covert contacts with Saudi Arabia

Added: 21.11.2017 17:07 | 0 views | 0 comments

An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior official from either country of long-rumoured secret dealings. The Saudi government had no immediate response to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz's remarks. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also did not respond immediately to a request to comment.

From: www.yahoo.com

Bashar al-Assad thanks Putin for 'saving our country' as Russian leader prepares for talks on ending Syrian war

Added: 21.11.2017 16:21 | 0 views | 0 comments


Bashar al-Assad has thanked Vladimir Putin and the Russian military for helping to save his country as the Russian president prepared to host the leaders of Iran and Turkey for high-level talks about ending the Syrian war.  Mr Assad made a secret visit to Sochi on Monday, only his second trip outside of Syria since 2011, and met with Mr Putin for three hours to discuss a potential political settlement for Syria’s future.   The Russian and Syrian leaders struck triumphant note as they assessed that the Syrian regime was moving “towards the final and inevitable defeat” of the Islamic State (Isil) and Syrian rebel groups.  “I have conveyed to [Mr Putin], and on his behalf to the Russian people, our gratitude for Russia’s efforts to save our country,” said Mr Assad as he met with Russian generals, "In the name of the Syrian people, I greet you and thank you all, every Russian officer, fighter and pilot that took part in this war.” Mr Putin ordered Russian forces to intervene in Syria on Mr Assad’s behalf in late 2015. Over the course of two years of fighting, Russian forces and their Iranian allies have swung the tide of war decisively in Mr Assad’s favour.  Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at Bocharov Ruchei residence.  Credit: Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images With Isil almost entirely routed and with other Syrian rebel groups weakened and in disarray, Mr Assad and Mr Putin now feel confident enough to look beyond the combat stage and towards a future political agreement.  “The main subject on the agenda is a peaceful and lasting political settlement in Syria after the routing of the terrorists,” Mr Putin said. Mr Assad said he was prepared to enter into serious peace talks. “We do not want to look back. We will accept and talk with anyone who is really interested in a political settlement.”  The Kremlin said the two men had worked to “prepare the groundwork for possible understandings” that might be reached during a summit on Wednesday between Mr Putin, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Iran and Russia have both supported the Assad regime throughout the war while Turkey has backed the opposition. The three countries have acted as guarantors of local deals in Syria and Mr Putin hopes they will be able to agree on a comprehensive pact to end the fighting.   Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L-R) during a meeting at Bocharov Ruchei residence.  Mr Putin has put himself at the centre stage of talks over Syria’s future. As well as hosting the Turkish and Iranian leaders, Mr Putin was due to speak Tuesday with both Donald Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.  Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition is due to meet today in Riyadh to try to agree a common position ahead of UN-brokered talks in Geneva next week. The Geneva talks have collapsed several times in the past and most observers agree it is more likely that the major decisions will be made by Russia, Iran and Turkey.  Riyad Hijab, one of the main political opposition leaders and a former prime minister under Mr Assad, resigned unexpectedly on Monday. He gave no reason for stepping down but said "I find myself forced to announce my resignation". Syria war timeline The three countries have previously agreed to a series of “de-escalation zones” in Syria where fighting is supposed to be limited. In reality, both Russian and Syrian warplanes have continued bombing in the zones, especially in rebel-held areas in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.  Around 50 people, most of them civilians, were killed in an airstrike in the town of Atareb last week.   Palmyra recaptured Both Iran’s president and the leader of Hizbollah, the Lebanese militant group which has fought alongside the Syrian regime, declared victory over Isil this week after pro-regime forces seized control of Albu Kamal, the jihadists’ last major town in Syria.  The Russian RBC newspaper quoted Kremlin sources saying that Russia hoped to finish its military campaign in Syria by the end of the year and reduce its personnel to a minimum at its Kheimim airbase and Tartus naval base.

The Next Big Iran Military Threat: Stealth Submarines That Could Battle Israel?

Added: 21.11.2017 16:17 | 0 views | 0 comments


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again slammed Iran’s presence in Syria, this time claiming that Tehran has a plan to base aircraft in the country, dock its submarines on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and directly threaten Israeli waters. “They want to bring their air force there, right next to Israel,” Netanyahu declared in November 2017.

From: www.yahoo.com

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe finally resigns, sparking wild jubilation on the streets of Harare 

Added: 21.11.2017 16:02 | 0 views | 0 comments

as the news began to sink in. "It's shocking, that guy is powerful, very powerful," said Barber Wright Chirombe, one of those who joined the euphoric street celebrations. 4:55PM Zimbabweans take to the streets in Johannesburg  News agencies are reporting that Zimbabweans living in South Africa are taking to the streets in parts of central Johannesburg to celebrate.  Around three million Zimbabweans have emigrated from their home country to South Africa in search of work following Zimbabwe's economic collapse. #MugabeResigns Celebrations downtown Johannesburg as the news of Robert Mugabe resigning as President broke. pic.twitter.com/Jw0njuU7Wd— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 21, 2017   4:50PM An incredible moment, caught on camera  More pics now coming in from Zimbabwe's parliament. A moment which will go down in history...  Parliament erupts after the announcement  Credit: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP MP's jumped up and cried out in jubilation  Credit:  JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/ AFP MPs danced and started singing Credit: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP   4:39PM May: 'An opportunity to forge a new path free from oppression'  Prime Minister Theresa May says Zimbabwe has "an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule". She says Britain would do "all we can" to support "the desire of the Zimbabwean people for free and fair elections and the opportunity to rebuild the country's economy under a legitimate government". 4:37PM 'No one is invincible in life'  Telegraph correspondent Peta Thornycroft, in Harare, reports that she can hear the sounds of "jubilation, chanting, singing, shrieking, horns blaring". Gloria Chimini, 45, a stenographer at the parliament of Zimbabwe who had such a busy day helping move the infrastructure the parliament to the Zimbabwe International Conference Centre, could not stop whooping and crying:  “Oh,my God, Oh my God. I am so happy…now I just don’t care about anything because he is gone.” Innocent Manase, 28, a Harare lawyer told the Telegraph: "No one is invincible in life. Let’s not make a mistake of forgiving his past wrongs. This must serve as an example to future presidents that you don’t take people for granted.” Malvern Grant, a visitor from South Africa, on business in Harare, showed up at the temporary parliament to have a look:  “I am happy that the dictator has gone... All the best to Zimbabwe and Africa. you make us proud. Now, (president) Zuma, you are next.” 4:32PM First pictures are coming in of the celebrations...   People and soldiers celebrate after the resignation of Zimbabwe's president on November 21, in Harare Credit:  MARCO LONGARI/AFP Zimbabweans celebrate in Harare, Tuesday, Nov, 21 Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP   4:30PM Mnangagwa 'to take over in 48 hours' A Zimbabwe ruling party official tells The Associated Press that recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will take over as the country's leader within 48 hours. Ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke says Mr Mnangagwa, who fled the country after his firing, "is not far from here." The official spoke to the AP immediately after the Parliament speaker announced Mugabe's immediate resignation during impeachment proceedings. Mr Matuke says they look forward to Mr Mugabe doing the handover of power "so that Mnangagwa moves with speed to work for the country." 4:28PM VIDEO: The moment Mugabe's resignation was announced Mugabe resigns: Zimbabwe parliament erupts in cheering and dancing 00:55 4:27PM 'Future of democracy is really problematic' Brian Raftopoulos, Zimbabwe’s veteran political academic, says that while people are cheering now, there is good reason to be concerned about what the future holds: Even the processes put in place from last week indicated it was just a matter of time before Mugabe’s resignation or removal would become a reality. I must admit I thought this man would die in power, because of the power structures he built around himself. I am very concerned about what is coming next. People are over enthusiastic about Mugabe going,  when the future of democratic politics in Zimbabwe is really problematic.  The legacy of the manner in which this was done,  and the centrality of the military,  will see them as arbiters and I fear this will have negative implications for the future.    4:22PM No mention yet who is leading the country... The resignation letter written by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe that was read out by the speaker of the country's parliament made no mention of who he was leaving in charge of the country. The speaker added that he was working on legal issues to make sure a new leader was in place by the end of Wednesday. It is widely expected that Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as The Crocodile who fled the country after he was sacked as Mr Mugabe's deputy, will take over.  4:13PM UK Ambassador to the UN: 'The people of Zimbabwe have an opportunity not seen in decades" The people of Zimbabwe have an opportunity not seen in decades: to take charge of their own fates. #MugabeResignation#Zimbabwe— Matthew Rycroft (@MatthewRycroft1) November 21, 2017   4:11PM 'There'll never be anyone like Mugabe' Mugabe government minister Jonathan Moyo, who was purged from the ruling ZANU-PF party along with the president, pays tribute: There'll never be anyone like Cde RG Mugabe. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have served my country under & with him. I'm proud that I stood with & by this iconic leader during the trying moments of the last days of his Presidency. Democracy requires politics to lead the gun!— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) November 21, 2017   4:08PM Car horns and wild cheering in Harare streets  Our correspondent in Harare, Peta Thornycroft, says Harare is "erupting" with excitement. Cars began honking horns and people cheered in the streets, as the news spread like wildfire across the capital, with thousands pouring out to celebrate. "We are just so happy that things are finally going to change," Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, said. "We woke up every morning waiting for this day. This country has been through tough times." Some people are holding posters of Zimbabwean army chief Constantino Chiwenga and former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month triggered the military takeover that forced Mugabe to resign.    4:02PM Mugabe resigned to 'allow a smooth transfer of power' Speaker Jacob Mudenda read out Robert Mugabe's resignation letter to the parliament. "I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation... with immediate effect," said speaker Mudenda, reading the letter. The letter said Mr Mugabe was tendering his resignation to "allow a smooth transfer of power". The letter was read out in a cheering, dancing Parliament. 3:58PM Zimbabwe's parliament erupts in cheers as speaker announces Mugabe's resignation Zimbabwe's parliament has erupted in cheers as the speaker announces the resignation of President Robert Mugabe. The speaker stopped impeachment proceedings to say they had received a letter from Mr Mugabe with the resignation "with immediate effect." It is an extraordinary end for the world's oldest head of state after 37 years in power. Timeline Robert Mugabe as leader of Zimbabwe  

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