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Rohingya mother says Burmese soldiers threw her baby into fire, gang-raped her later

NEWS DESK: ​Hundreds of women stood in the river, held at gunpoint, ordered not to move. A pack of soldiers stepped toward a petite young woman with light brown eyes and delicate cheekbones. Her name was Rajuma, and she was standing chest-high in the water, clutching her baby son, while her village in Burma burned…

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Hindu refugees from Myanmar find sanctuary in Bangladesh

Kutupalong: In a small village in southern Bangladesh, hundreds of Hindu refugees from neighbouring Myanmar are being handed plates heaped with dal and rice, less than a mile from where desperate Muslim Rohingya beg for food and shelter. The contrast captures the sharp religious and ethnic divides that have only deepened since a convulsion of…

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UN urged to punish Myanmar army over Rohingya atrocities

Rangoun, Myanmar: Pressure grew on Myanmar Monday as a rights group urged world leaders to impose sanctions on its military, which is accused of driving out more than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims in an orchestrated “ethnic cleansing” campaign. The call from Human Rights Watch came as the UN General Assembly prepared to convene in New York,…

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Iran foreign minister reacts to US travel ban as ‘truly shameful’

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that the new US ban on travellers from six Muslim countries was “truly shameful”. “US now bans Iranian grandmothers from seeing their grandchildren, in a truly shameful exhibition of blind hostility to all Iranians,” Zarif tweeted. The temporary ban, which came into force late on…

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Palestinian violinist brings music to young refugees

JERUSALEM: As a boy, Ramzi Aburedwan found himself caught up in the first Palestinian uprising, a well-known photo at the time showing him holding stones to throw at Israeli soldiers. He has since become a respected musician and composer, who gives back to children from Palestinian refugee camps, like himself. Today, he provides musical training…

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Dissident US diplomats protest Trump travel ban

WASHINGTON: A number of US diplomats have protested against President Donald Trump’s order to suspend refugee arrivals and ban visas for citizens of seven Muslim countries, officials said Monday.

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Priyanka apologises after twitter outrage over “refugee” t-shirt cover

NEW DELHI: Popular Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra on Monday apologised for a glossy travel magazine cover after it sparked outrage with social media users accusing her of insensitivity towards refugees and migrants. The 34-year-old former Miss World is featured on the cover of the October edition of CondĂ© Nast Traveller India wearing a white t-shirt…

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Sharp rise in attacks on refugee shelters in Austria

VIENNA: Attacks on centres for asylum seekers in Austria are on course to double this year, according to government figures released on Saturday. Twenty-four were recorded in the first half of 2016, compared with 25 for the whole of 2015, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said in reply to a parliamentary enquiry. The incidents ranged from…

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Shocked to learn: Canada’s first Afghan MP actually born in Iran

OTTAWA: Championed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the nation’s first Afghanistan-born lawmaker, Maryam Monsef said Thursday she was shocked to learn she was actually born in Iran. The 31-year-old democratic reform minister is the youngest member of Trudeau’s cabinet. His Liberals held her up as an example of the country’s strength of diversity,…

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Nearly one million South Sudan refugees living in dire conditions: UN

NAIROBI: Nearly a million refugees fleeing the brutal conflict in South Sudan, most of them women and children, are suffering dire conditions in camps across the region, the UN said on Monday. Refugee agency UNHCR said arrivals in Uganda alone had peaked at “more than 8,000 in one day” last month after an outbreak of…

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Obama to veto bill toughening Syria refugee checks

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama would veto a Republican bill introduced in the wake of the Paris attacks to toughen the screening process for Syrian refugees, the White House said. The US House of Representatives could vote as early as Thursday on resolution 4038, which aims to block administration plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in…

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First Hungary arrests under tough new anti-migrant laws

RĂ–SZKE: Hungarian authorities said Tuesday that police have made the first arrests under harsh new laws coming into force punishing “illegal border-crossing” with prison terms of up to three years. “Today, 60 people have been caught by police cutting or damaging the fence, 45 at the border, the other 15 further inside the country. Police…

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Sri Lanka welcomes Cannes award for refugee movie

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's government hailed the awarding of Cannes' top prize to a film highlighting the plight of the Tamil minority during the island's civil war, saying authorities were working to redress past injustices. “Dheepan”, a French movie about a former Sri Lankan soldier's struggles in a French ghetto after fleeing the separatist war, captured…

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Cannes winner puts refugee issue up on the screen

CANNES: The debate around the world about what to do with growing waves of desperate migrants will be spurred by a Cannes Film Festival triumph for a movie that looks at the plight of a refugee hero. “Dheepan”, a French movie about a Sri Lankan former soldier's struggles in a Paris ghetto in the grip…

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One Syrian refugee killed in clashes with Jordanian security

AMMAN: At least one Syrian refugee was killed in Jordan's sprawling Zaatari camp when hundreds of refugees clashed with security forces, residents said on Saturday. They said scores of refugees in the sprawling camp close to the Syrian border were injured as baton-wielding anti-riot  police used tear gas to disperse stone-throwing refugees who set fire…

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Australia hardens refugee policy, to close mainland centres

SYDNEY: Australia will shut four mainland immigration detention centres, the government said on Tuesday, as it pushes ahead with controversial policies to turn back refugee boats and detain asylum seekers in remote centres offshore.Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement the decision to shutter the facilities, which are run by British outsourcing company Serco…

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More than 30 still missing after Australia-bound refugee boat sank

JAKARTA: More than 30 people were still missing two days after a boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia sank off the Indonesian coast, killing 22 people including seven children, Indonesian security officials said on Sunday.The latest disaster to strike refugees using Indonesia's southern coast to try to make the perilous crossing suggests Australia's tough new…

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Refugee boat sinks on way to Australia, 21 dead: Indonesian police

JAKARTA: A boat carrying migrants to Australia sank off the Indonesian coast on Friday, killing at least 21 people, Indonesian police said, a sign that Australia's tough new immigration rules may not be enough to deter would-be asylum seekers.The latest disaster to strike refugees using Indonesia's southern coast to try to reach Australia will cast…

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Syrian refugee numbers reach 2 million in “tragedy of century” – U.N

GENEVA: More than 2 million refugees have now fled Syria's civil war in human suffering unparalleled in recent history, the United Nations said on Tuesday.Of the total Syrian population of about 20 million, either inside or outside the country, one third is displaced and almost half is in need of assistance, U.N. High Commissioner for…

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Pakistan-born refugee Ahmed moves step closer to Ashes dream

MELBOURNE: Pakistan-born refugee Fawad Ahmed has moved a step closer to an improbable test debut in the Ashes after being called up to join Australia 'A' on their tour of England.The 31-year-old leg spinner arrived in Australia in 2010 on a short-term visa before claiming asylum on the grounds of receiving death threats from Islamic…

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Ashes-focused Australia in a spin over Pakistani refugee

MELBOURNE: Mired in gloom following a test drubbing in India, Australian cricket has turned to Canberra's halls of power for succour, asking the country's top immigration official to act as a de facto selector ahead of back-to-back Ashes series this year.Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Australia's bid to secure a passport to England…

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