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EU ministers relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece

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Brussels: European Union (EU) ministers decided to relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece at an emergency meeting.

Photo Credit: www.un.org
Photo Credit: www.un.org

The Justice and Home Affairs Council on migration on Monday said EU ministers adopted a decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece, reported Xinhua news agency.

It will apply to 40,000 persons in need of international protection who have arrived or are arriving on the territory of those member states as from 15 August 2015 until 16 September 2017.

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President of the Council said: “I am delighted that the Council has now been able to adopt this decision.”

The member states participating in the mechanism will receive a subsidy of 6,000 euros ($6784) for each relocated person.

Denmark and the UK are not participating in this decision.

The European Committee made the proposal of redistribution in May in dealing with the rising refugee crisis. At the last meeting in July, EU home affairs ministers failed to reach the target of 40,000 pledging to redistribute only 32,256 asylum-seekers around Europe.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week called for relocating more 120,000 migrants under a compulsory scheme, bringing the total proposed number up to 160,000.

Juncker, together with leaders of Germany and France, have been pressing all member states to support commission proposals.

(IANS)

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France, New Zealand Seek to Curb Online Extremism

Australian national Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, is the suspect in the March 15 Christchurch attack, during which he fired at people while they were praying

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday said the country will join forces with France against the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism.

Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will chair a meeting in Paris with representatives of countries and technology companies to seek their agreement to a pledge called “Christchurch Call” to eliminate violent extremist content online, Efe news reported.

The meeting will take place on May 15, exactly two months after the attack on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed and which was broadcast live through Facebook by the attacker.

Ardern denounced the “unprecedented” use of social media as a tool to promote terrorism and hate in that attack and called for a “show of leadership” to ensure social media is never used in that way again.

“We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared,” she said in a statement.

A migrant is seen in silhouette near flames from a burning makeshift shelter on the second day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the “Jungle” in Calais, France, Oct. 25, 2016. VOA

“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism. This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies,” she added.

The meeting in Paris will be held alongside the “Tech for Humanity” meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, of which France is the Chair, and France’s separate “Tech for Good” summit, both scheduled on May 15.

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Australian national Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, is the suspect in the March 15 Christchurch attack, during which he fired at people while they were praying.

Facebook took down 1.5 million copies of the video in the 24 hours after the attack, while YouTube announced that it had removed tens of thousands of videos of the assault – an “unprecedented” number in terms of its reach and the speed with which it spread online. (IANS)