World Bulletin / News Desk
The Turkish Coast Guard Command intercepted 2,437 illegal migrants on the Aegean in October, versus 3,425 in September, a drop of 28.8 percent. September saw the highest number in six months, data from its website revealed.
Of the 34,493 refugees intercepted so far this year, there were 5,506 in January, 8,747 in February, 8,530 in March, and 1,717 in April, 1,109 in May, 538 in June, 881 in July, 1,603 in August, and 3,425 in September.
Last year had 73,479 refugees intercepted in the same period, meaning this year’s numbers have already fallen over 47 percent from last year.
The desperate journeys made by migrants and refugees hit their peak last year after some European countries announced they would take in thousands of people.
Turkish Coast Guard data shows that 69 refugees lost their lives in 2014, 279 in 2015, and 174 so far in 2016, mainly through the use of unsafe vessels such as plastic boats.
Over the past year, thousands of people have made short-but-perilous attempts to cross the Aegean in a bid to reach Greece, before going on to northern and western Europe.
The EU-Turkey agreement reached this March allows for the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU.
Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer, head of the conservative CSU party, had openly clashed with Merkel at the height of the mass migrant and refugee influx in 2015.
Officials, who are presently in Saudi Arabia, are instructed to return to country
However Mattis appeared satisfied after what he described as an in-depth review of the policy by much of the president's cabinet and top security officials at Camp David on Friday.
Another eight people were wounded in the stabbing spree, which took place on Friday in the southwestern port city of Turku.
A coalition led by President Hashim Thaci's PDK party -- itself in power since 2007 -- topped early parliamentary polls held on June 11, but the alliance did not win the absolute majority needed to govern alone.
According to the Italian media, an extra 50 police carrying portable scanners were on duty to carry out checks on the 10,000 people who were in St Peter's square Sunday for Pope Francis's weekly Angelus prayer.
Barzani says postponement of Kurdish referendum on independence 'unlikely'
The president had flown to South Africa on Wednesday to attend a two-day regional leaders' summit in Pretoria that began Saturday -- which police said she had been expected to attend.
Local media says 3 armed men were reportedly spotted on Paris-Nimes train
Opposition protesters call for change in country's constitution, want term limits
Police said they had cast a dragnet for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, who media reports say was the driver of a van that smashed into people on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday.
In perhaps the worst to date, he dealt a crushing blow to his own embattled administration by saying "both sides" were to blame for the bloodshed in Charlottesville, Virginia following a rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
A so-called "free speech" rally by far-right groups had been scheduled to run until 2 pm (1800 GMT), but a half-hour before that police escorted its participants -- whose numbers appeared to be in the dozens -- to safety past a throng of anti-racism protesters.
Comments appearing to trivialize racial hatred have president isolated, even within own party
The accident happened late Friday when around 650 people were celebrating inside the tent in Sankt Johann am Walde in the north of the country.
The Trump administration, wary of international involvements but eager for progress in the grueling Afghan war, has been weighing a range of options. It had originally promised a new plan by mid-July.