World Bulletin / News Desk
The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany dropped by nearly 70 percent last year, German interior minister said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said nearly 280,000 asylum seekers came to Germany last year compared with 890,000 in 2015.
“This shows that measures taken by the federal government and the European Union have been effective in significantly reducing these numbers,” de Maiziere said.
He cited the EU-Turkey refugee agreement and the closure of Balkan route as important factors that helped in addressing the refugee flows.
Refugee influx in 2015 led to public discontent in Germany and gave rise to far-right and populist movements, which have exploited the crisis.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who suffered heavy defeat in regional elections last year, defended her decision in 2015 to open Germany’s doors to refugees who fled wars and conflicts.
She underlined Germany’s humanitarian responsibility, and argued that stopping refugee flows would only be possible by international cooperation, by improving the conditions of refugees in countries neighboring conflict zones, and by strengthening the fight against human traffickers.
The interior minister also renewed Germany’s call for a common asylum policy among EU member states to share the burden of the refugee crisis.
According to statistics announced by the Interior Ministry, over 89,000 Syrians arrived in Germany in 2016.
After Syria, the main countries of origin of asylum seekers were from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Eritrea.
The king's prosecutor late Friday ordered "the opening of an investigation and the arrest of Nasser Zefzafi" after he "obstructed, in the company of a group of individuals, freedom of worship in the Mohammed V mosque in Al-Hoceima".
Saturday's protest in Caracas was held to mark 10 years since the government shuttered a popular television station seen as having anti-government leanings.
His announcement came as a summit of G7 leaders in Sicily wrapped up in deadlock on the issue, with US partners voicing frustration at the president's failure to commit to the deal aimed at stemming global warming.
A man aged in his thirties stepped onto the grave and kicked the base of a 1.5-metre (4.9-feet) -high stone cross at its head, causing the cross to topple over and break, they said.
Investigators also gave details of the 22-year-old's last hours as they appealed to the public for any information about his movements in the days running up to Monday night's attack.
G7 nations vowed Saturday to fight protectionism
Military deployment for increased security to go on until Monday
The airline said it had found "no evidence that it's a cyberattack," with Britain still recovering from a ransomware attack that crippled key infrastructure earlier this month.
Since the start of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, Russia has flexed its muscles with a series of war games involving tens of thousands of troops in areas bordering NATO Baltic states.
Armed police will be on patrol over the holiday weekend, with security increased at football's showpiece FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday.
The square has become the scene of a continuous and somber procession of mourners, eager to pay their own personal respects to the dead.
Since October 2016, Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation to clear ISIL from Mosul
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