My Stomaco Hurts! (Pedagogia)

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You wake up in the middle of the night with stomach cramps, clutch a pillow and curl your body around it. That helps a little and you go back to sleep. But in the morning, the pain is still there. Pain is the body's way of telling us that something's going on. Belly pain alerts us to something that's happening inside us that we might not know about otherwise. Some reasons for belly pain are easy to spot, like when someone gets hit in the gut or eats spoiled macaroni salad. Oher times, it might be hard to figure out. When you get a pain in your stomach , it might be an actual problem right in your stomach, but not necessarily.

Your abdomen is more than your stomach. Does it indicate in brief that the main aims of the revolution may have failed? On the contrary I think the reaction and expression of solidarity in Europe and around the world is the living image of this belief in such values as freedom of speech and expression. And these were also among the aims of the revolution. I would say it signifies the success of such ideas since the 18th century.

As you mentioned these values are very intimately linked with the emergence of the French Republic… it goes back to Voltaire who said he would die for your right to speak even if he disagrees with what you say. It is one of our core values as French President Francois Hollande reaffirmed yesterday. And we will keep on fighting for it. It was one of the slogans… we will keep saying what we think we will defend our freedom of speech and of the press.

These are the same values that were epitomised by these cartoonists who were killed. In this respect at least the attempt to stifle freedom of speech not only failed but also backfired. Depetris tells me that the printrun of the next issue of Charlie Hebdo will run into a million copies: far more than its usual circulation. It is very encouraging also to see all these spontaneous gatherings in France but also around the world outside the French embassies… even here in Malta. What this suggests is that we are all in the same boat. Our values were attacked but we will defend them. I would like to thank again the Maltese government for its strong message of solidarity.

At the same time there is an uncomfortable reality underpinning all that has occurred. We must acknowledge that random acts of terrorism are not the only thing to worry about now. There are indications of a spread of violence and even by Friday there had already been retaliatory attacks aimed at Muslim targets. There are also political movements throughout Europe that will no doubt exploit the fear and outrage provoked by this attack to foster a culture of hatred and intolerance.

The French President was very clear on this issue: we are and we should remain united one people. Among us of course we are different. Different religions different provenance different social levels. But we are all French citizens. We should all live together under Republican rules. It is important to reaffirm that the values of the Republic of France as a nation and a democracy is to respect any kind of religion any kind of free way of thinking and that people are supposed to live together under these common rules.

Depetris also reasons that the antiMuslim sentiment while expressed by many loud voices is not necessarily as widespread as it is sometimes portrayed. I was pleased to note that it was not just politicians but also French citizens interviewed in the streets who were in favour of reaffirming this unity. They were very committed to avoid any kind of racist comments or hate speech against Muslims. Because these extremists are ultimately a threat for the Muslim community in France. There are an estimated 56 million Muslims living in France today and by all accounts the vast majority are either indifferent or opposed to the sort of extremist violence we saw on Wednesday.

It has in fact been argued that the purpose behind the attack on Charlie Hebdo was specifically to change all this: to provoke retaliation against moderate Muslims in the hope of precipitating more violence and facilitating the recruitment of more volunteers.

Nor is it just Islamist terror cells who stand to benefit: in times of open racial hostility the radical right also has a field day when it comes to recruiting and convincing. Does the government of France expect a dramatic escalation of violence… such as for instance when the race riots of a Parisian suburb spread throughout the country and precipitated a state of emergency?

We should certainly be aware of this danger and avoid such retaliations. That is why it is really important that speeches or public comments by the authorities impart the same message. I think it will be the case. This Sunday there will be a big demonstration in Paris and in major cities across the world which will be attended by all political parties committed to defend the Republican values.

At the same time part of the consequence of a terror attack like this is that fears normally associated with extreme factions may be given far wider credence. One such fear concerns the fact that European demographics suggest Islam is a fastgrowing religion in Europe. This may also be in part due to a falling birthrate in most European countries; either way the argument goes — and I must stress that it is made by others — that in time Europe will be forced to cede more and more of its principles as immigrant communities make more demands.

A wall of numbers

Are Europeans justified in worrying that the values we cherish so much may be threatened by the longterm implications of demographics change? France has one of the highest birthrates in Europe… Well the country does have a certain reputation to defend… Perhaps he replies with a laugh. But when we look at the birthrate the statistics show that migrants have higher birthrates when they arrive but by the next generation it drops to the same level as the national average. Things can change and the migration flows are not the same as 20 years before or 30 years before. Most migrants to France used to come from Italy and Portugal.

Immigration to us is an also an added value. But we may have difficulties thinking this way in the light of the economic crisis… Meanwhile speaking of efforts to ignite intercultural hostilities in France: it must be pointed out that there may also be grievances beyond the immediate goals of terrorism. Racial tension has often been felt in France before as the aforementioned riots confirm.

More recently the ban of the Burqa likewise sparked a controversy over minority rights. Like it or not this also points towards a subtext of discontent underpinning race relations in France and no doubt all over the rest of Europe too. Regardless of Islam there seems to be many within the Muslim community who feel they are a downtrodden or sidelined minority. Could it be then that the emergence of radical Islamic groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS is the tip of the iceberg of a much deeper malaise? I hope not. You mentioned the burqa issue: but it was only an extreme minority of Muslims who were concerned with this law.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims is perfectly integrated in the French community. These few exist; but they are first of all criminals not Muslims. They are criminals and they try to invoke some kind of ideological background to justify their acts; but we cannot confuse the Muslim community with the behaviour of such criminals. Of course what is happening around the world… the Syria crisis Al Qaeda and ISIS networks and attitudes… they are all part of the background.

The French government is well aware that this is an issue that has global ramifications. Yet the emergence of ISIS at least is widely associated with the aftermath of the Iraq war: which in turn suggests that the conditions for the same unrest which we all agree now threatens Western core values were in fact created by western military involvement in the Middle East. There are of course limits to this argument: it is impossible to say what would have happened had Saddam Hussein not been toppled in … especially in view of the Arab spring.

But many argued against the Iraq war at the time precisely on these grounds: that it would result in global destabilisation. Is this a case of reaping what one sows? Depetris acknowledges that the situation in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East is connected to the causes of the terrorist attack in France… but only because the terrorists want the two issues to be linked. In that way yes there is a connection. But the issue of radicalism in Europe and what is happening in the Middle East are very different. As Depetris earlier mentioned the values under attack are not cherished only in France but also in the rest of Europe.

The entire EU may well be considering whether or not to step up antiterror efforts… which may also imply expanding government control in sensitive intelligence gathering and security areas. Are there any plans to respond to this threat level by strengthening antiterror legislation in France? And does he expect there will be any talk in this direction by other European governments? But there is and it still exists a link between European countries. We do have very regular meetings in Brussels and there is the means to exchange information for intelligence services to cooperate and to establish networks.

In the field of the fight against terrorism of jihadists this kind of European network already exists and it works quite well. These kinds of attacks occur and we must be vigilant; but we have avoided many others and I hope we will continue to do so. Everyone seems to have their own definition of the word How would he define laiciete? It was the occasion to reaffirm our Republican consensus on laiciete. What does it mean? That the French Republic does not recognise one specific religion since all religions are recognised equally.

You can worship you can practice your religion… of course we all agree to that… provided you make it a private issue not a public one. Public spaces in France are not supposed to be part of religious discourse or used for religious propaganda. But obviously — and this is respected everywhere — you are free to believe whatever you wish. France has one of the highest birthrates in Europe…Well the country does have a certain reputation to defend…Perhaps he replies with a laugh.

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But we may have difficulties thinking this way in the light of the economic crisis…Meanwhile speaking of efforts to ignite intercultural hostilities in France: it must be pointed out that there may also be grievances beyond the immediate goals of terrorism. National Doctors term hospital activity report 'partial' an World At least two people dead after coastal cycleway co World New virus outbreak in Australia can cause brain da Music Legendary artist Prince dead at 57The shadow home affairs minister Beppe Fenech Adami has called for better human resources to deal with applications for the renewal of eresidence cards for nonEU nationals like migrants who are seeking a work permit.

The citizenship and expatriates department only sees a limited number of migrants on a Friday forcing them to wait outside as early as Thursday night braving the cold weather outside the office so that they can be first in line on Friday morning to access the service. Fenech Adami said the situation was totally unacceptable. Government is to ensure that the proper infrastructure setup and human resources are in place to ensure that unnecessary hardship no longer persists. In March Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi had told the House in a PQ of the disorganisation at the citizenship and expatriates department at the Evans Building with queues lasting five entire hours.

Then home affairs minister Manuel Mallia had told the House that the disorganisation stemmed from the previous administration when in January no new human resources were passed on to the citizenship department when it started issuing eresidence and identity cards to foreign residents. Mallia had said that the ministry had provided modern offices for the department engaged new personnel and was considering hiving off certain services outside the department so that it can be more efficient and reduce queues.

Once migrants qualify for protection the first thing they have to do is to apply for an eresidence card. Without it they cannot access public services such as benefits work permits or even open a bank account. But migrants are only being granted access to the service on Friday morning. I have to renew my ID card and I only have one day to do that which is Friday and there are a lot of people here. Without it you cannot re new your working permit" Stephen Morphy a Liberian migrant who has been in Malta since told MaltaToday.

It is not fair. Once we are working paying taxes we should be able to renew our document free and fair like the others. I have come and sleep in this weather just to be able to work to support my family. Carmelo Abela has dubbed the situation inhumane after having assessed the matter personally. The decision to allow migrants to apply on a particular day of the week was taken long before Identity Malta was established.

Since then the number of migrants applying at AWAS decreased significantly and eventually the service stopped being offered from their office. The service offered from the Refugee Commission is still ongoing he said. Lately for a number of reasons there was an increase in the applications at the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs in Valletta Abela said since expired documents were all being issued on the same date and therefore had to be renewed on the same date.

I was on my way to work 10 years ago to date when I got a phone call to alert me that detained migrants at Safi were holding a protest. I recall an asylum seeker telling me: Why are the soldiers holding sticks? Little did they know that their action would pave the way for a human rights crime committed by men who are meant to uphold the law. An hour or so later the soldiers marched towards them beating their shields with their truncheons in rhythm and within minutes it was a painful cacophony of screams protests and confusion.

At a point up to six soldiers stood over a single floored protester while one beat him with a truncheon. Many of the detainees clutched their heads and wriggled on the ground in an attempt to protect themselves. Dozens of migrants were hospitalised. But what was really shocking was the reaction and the aftermath.

Many Maltese let their prejudices get the better of them and justified the force used refusing to even acknowledge the shocking pictures taken by our photographer. If a Maltese man is holding down a black guy with a truncheon then he must be right. Within days we witnessed a series of arson attacks and threats against NGOs and journalists who denounced the heavyhandedness. It was not over. The subsequent inquiry into the Safi incidents was a major whitewash as it concluded that the force used to control the migrants during their protest was justified in the circumstances even if it took note of the fact the force used by several soldiers was exaggerated.

When I was grilled by the judge tasked with carrying out the inquiry I recall feeling as though I was in the dock. The judge appeared to be more concerned with knowing the identity of who tipped me off about the protest rather than what I had witnessed. But then again should we be surprised? For the last 14 years we have been told by governments that the detention system is a must even if it criminalises asylum seekers in the eyes of many. In the last 10 years we have seen deaths suicides and more riots inside detention. We still see NGOs and journalists who analyse migration issues being threatened for doing their job.

Health Problems : Stomach Ache Causes

Because many of us still cannot differentiate between the terrorists that caused bloodshed in the streets of Paris last week and the asylum seekers fleeing the terror in their country. Ten years on none of us should turn a blind eye to the horrible actions portrayed in the picture above. Comodini Cachia calls for better coordination of actions by Member States against human smuggling During a debate on the recent human smuggling incidents in the Mediterranean held during a Plenary Session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg MEP for Malta Therese Comodini Cachia said: Human smuggling attacks the dignity of those who fall victim to it and threatens Member States.

We have a duty to stand up against this illicit and immoral business. Comodini Cachia said that the EU had so far steered a strategy for the Mediterranean which involved border management. However this strategy did not reduce the number of smuggling incidents enough; hence proving to be insufficient. Comodini Cachia said that sporadic action is ineffective and called for a better coordination amongst Member States. This will require a mechanism that brings together representatives from the policy law enforcement intelligence and diplomatic areas ensuring a common approach to address the problem.

In his conclusive statement Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos supported these views and said: If decisive and coordinated EU action is not taken the flow [of migrants] will continue. The European Commission is determined to take action. Avrampoulos joined Comodini Cachia in calling for more coordination and solidarity from EU member states.

He also stressed the need for more cooperation with Turkey and African countries and urged Member States to step up their efforts to enforce EU asylum rules and resettle refugees. During this debate MEPs also discussed the new routes used by smugglers the role of the EU border agency Frontex legal channels of migration to the EU and a comprehensive approach to migration.

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Spanish police say they have arrested two Cameroonian migrants on suspicion of killing up to 10 other migrants by pushing them from a boat into stormy waters in a fight over a prayer session. The two were arrested after several of the 29 survivors of the African migrant boat crossing to Spain from Morocco told how a fight broke out when a Nigerian religious minister began praying that the boat would not sink police said. The Cameroonians blamed the worsening weather on the pastor police said. The pastor and other Nigerians praying were among those allegedly pushed over board.

Police say there were some 50 people on the boat but that around 10 other migrants also died when they fell into the sea on December 3. President MarieLouise Coleiro Preca focused on poverty migration and international terrorism when she greeted ambassadors accredited to Malta for the exchange of New Year Greetings today. She said the economic situation continued to show signs of cautious recovery last year.

A solution must be sought urgently to this social scourge that is affecting the wellbeing of one in four Europeans and 1. Turning to terrorism she regretted that during bloodshed continued to spill in Libya Syria and Iraq with conflicts in the latter two giving rise to the emergence of the Islamic State. One consequence had been the increase in the number of migrants. In her address the President condemned violence "from Gaza to Syria; from Iran to Afghanistan; from Pakistan to Libya; from Ukraine to Nigeria and now in Paris horrific scenes pools of blood human slaughter that terrify and sadden all those who believe in human dignity.

She looked forward tot he Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Malta this year hoping this event will lead to a roadmap that will kick start the shaping up of the Commonwealth of tomorrow hat have an effective voice and be a useful catalyst to influence change. Referring to the terrorism in Paris President Coleiro Preca said this was an attack on freedom and on democracy. Records revealed by Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela show that a whopping asylum seekers managed to escape from the Safi and Lyster Barracks detention centres between and Abela was responding to a series of parliamentary questions by Labour backbencher Anthony Agius Decelis pertaining to detention centres between and the final full year under a Nationalist administration.

The tabled papers show that irregular immigrant escapes were recorded in that same time period the largest getaway being on 4 May when 43 immigrants all made a dash for freedom. Interestingly a significant plummet in immigrant escapees was recorded in the numbers dropping to 12 when compared to the escapees in The escape numbers remained relatively low in and Abela said that no records could be found regarding how many escapees were eventually caught and returned to their detention centres.

However the records definitely indicate that the vast majority of irregular immigrants who attempted to flee their detention centres succeeded in doing so. Indeed only 46 asylumseekers were foiled in their freedom attempts between and with none at all recorded in and In response to another parliamentary question Abela revealed records showing that disciplinary steps were taken against 44 detention service officers between and most commonly for absenteeism leaving the workplace and insubordination.

However no information on disciplinary steps taken against officers involved in violence against asylum seekers was tabled. This the home affairs minister told parliament was because no records were ever kept over cases of alleged violence against irregular migrants by detention services officers.

Moreover no records were ever kept of any disciplinary action that may have been taken against such officers in the past. This means that no recorded information of allegations made against detention service officers investigations that may have been carried out and the outcome of said investigations. The report carried out by retired judge Geoffrey Valenzia painted a grim picture of the conditions in detention centres and shed a particularly bad light on the track record of detention service officers.

The inquiry revealed that Kamara had successfully escaped his detention centre only to be recaptured by detention service officers who proceeded to handcuff him dump him inside a steel cage at the back of a detention centre van and brutally beat him to death. According to forensic expert Mario Scerri Kamara died from a heart attack as a result of blunt trauma. According to the former head of the detention services the soldiers that were deployed at the detention centres were the worst of the worst…soldiers refused by the army.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Gatt shockingly admitted that such soldiers included an officer who had usury problems and another who had been charged with shooting at a yacht during training. I had a sergeant in Hal Far who used to prey on migrant women entering their rooms during the night and taking a woman back to his office with him Gatt told Valenzia. Even condoms were found in the room.

The inquiry found that there was a kind of inappropriate relationship going on between some members of staff and migrant women being detained. It could have been consensual but given the context you question this consent…how real it is… because they are detained and there is a soldierdetainee relationship which renders the relationship inappropriate. Even this particular sergeant was never suspended but simply transferred to another section.

It also revealed that the detention services were severely understaffed especially with regard to female officers stationed with migrant women. At the time there was only one female detention service officer. This meant that male officers would walk straight into female migrants taking a shower for the head count and accompany pregnant migrants to hospital at times and sometimes even stay with them while they were being examined by the doctor.

It is one of the most constructive and thorough reports to date joining so many other reports in unequivocally condemning a policy that seeks to deprive migrants of their very humanity by locking them away out of sight out of scrutiny and out of human rights protection the eight NGOs said in a joint statement. Yet we are not shocked at any of the statements or findings in the Valenzia report.

We are not shocked to read of sexual relations between a small number of Detention Services personnel and detained women. We are not shocked because we have been witnessing such incidents for several years. The MOAS migrant rescue mission is still millions of euros short of being able to set sail again but major benefactors could help get the show on the road by May. Founder Chris Catrambone told Times of Malta that a number of possibilities were being considered.

In the mission was completely funded by Mr Catrambone and his wife Regina. We have shown that operations like this can be done and can be done with a certain level of success. Although wary of commenting further as he did not want to scare potential donors away Mr Catrambone said one possibility being explored would be partnering up with other major humanitarian entities. In fact Mr Catrambone said he had aspirations for the mission to branch out and see more newer boats carrying out wider operations.

We need to give people dignity when they reach our backyard. The Migrant Offshore Aid Station operated for the first time last summer using a 40metre ship equipped with two camcopters and a professional crew including rescuers seafarers paramedics and humanitarians. Our focus is on saving lives and on giving survivors the dignity they deserve. We provide even the most basic forms of aid like blankets and baby formulas to the survivors of these terrible wrecks Christopher Catrambone said. One boy an elevenyearold was sent to face the journey alone because his parents could only pay a oneperson passage.

Among several difficult rescue operations Catrambone said on one occasion there had been people — crew excluded — on board the Phoenix. She called for a successful holistic approach to migration where any approach must start with saving lives. Inaction risks further tragedies in our seas. EU States cannot shirk their responsibility just because they are not geographically in the Mediterranean she said. Zammit Dimech recently appointed spokesperson on migration reiterated the call for a European solution: Too many people have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean.

This is a European issue that requires a European solution. As a privatelyrun mission MOAS needs to raise funds to continue its operation. Although it is currently not in operation the team is working hard to raise funds. Our focus is on raising funds and finding the necessary partners to be able to ensure sustainable operation this year.

Men had residence documents issued by Italian authorities and availed themselves of their right to free movement A police raid early this morning at 6: 30am led to the arrest of eight irregular migrants who were living out in the open in Hal Far using the huge asbestos pipes that have been for years out in the nearby fields as their shelter. Police said that the men had official documents issued by the Italian authorities and had travelled to Malta via catamaran from Sicily.

Because they were living close to the Hal Far open centre it is understood that the migrants living at the centre may have also provided them with food. Five men were of Ghanian nationality and two others were Togo nationals.


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Another man was a Spanish national. Their documents were verified by the police. They are currently in police custody. The recent announcement that this year the Maltese government will be launching a national policy on the integration of migrants is very welcome. The commemoration aims at increasing awareness of the phenomenon of migration as contemporary movements represent the largest movement of individuals if not of peoples in history.

Indeed in our time one person in seven is an international million or internal migrant million. Not all of them escape lifethreatening conditions but many of them do. Having faced ever new and challenging situations during its millennial history the Church knows that migration poses fresh challenges not only on account of its magnitude but also for the various social economic political cultural and religious problems it gives rise to.

This role includes the duty to make efforts to ensure that the dignity and the centrality of the human person is protected to actively promote more creative and concrete forms of solidarity acceptance and protection and to encourage effective dialogue between peoples.

With this in mind the Church continues to strive to understand the causes of migration to work towards overcoming its negative effects and to maximise its positive influence on the communities of origin transit and destination. As the surge in the number of recent conflicts has produced new waves of asylum seekers and displaced people there is an increasingly urgent need to intensify the efforts to promote a gradual reduction in the root causes of migration that cause entire peoples to abandon their homelands. States and their people cannot risk becoming indifferent to human tragedy Forced migration due to persecution conflicts terrorism and other tragedies takes the form of fleeing for salvation often involving dangerous or lifethreatening journeys which may nonetheless offer the only option for reaching a country where protection and the possibility of a dignified life can be found.

The Church is therefore appealing to States to respond effectively to the recognition of the need for protection to restore human dignity to those who need it and to treat the causes of forced mobility by cooperating in a spirit of international solidarity. In the social doctrine of the Church the theme of human dignity derives from the recognition that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Religious ethnic social or cultural variables citizenship or lack of it do not change this fact that gives any individual an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity to the point that each human life is considered sacred.

Emigration when it is a response to the need of survival from extreme poverty and hunger from threats to life from generalised violence and similar conditions cannot be prevented. States and their people therefore cannot risk becoming used to or indifferent to such human tragedy. The principle of human dignity implies that the vital needs of the person have to be assured.

Pope Francis said that migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having but above all for being more. In this context the recent announcement that this year the Maltese government will be launching a national policy on the integration of migrants is very welcome. Such a policy should prove to be another important step in the solidarity response our small nation has endeavoured to design build and sustain over the past years to provide international protection to those who need it and reach our shores.

Another 20 reported dead and thrown at sea during crossing. The migrant was among a group of eight who were transferred to Mater Dei Hospital. Three of the migrants were in critical condition. A spokesperson for the health ministry has also confirmed that ebola tests carried on three migrants at Mater Dei Hospital came back negative. The third result was confirmed late in the evening. A dinghy carrying 87 subSaharan migrants arrived at Haywharf this morning at around 10am after it was intercepted by the Armed Forces of Malta off the coast of Malta.

The migrants who are claiming to be from Burkina Faso Mali the Ivory Coast and Guinea are all male and are believed to have departed from Libya before being intercepted off the east coast of Malta. According to information relayed by the migrants the dinghy had originally been carrying around people on board but 20 are feared dead. In a tweet Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the dead are said to have been thrown at sea during the crossing.

Addressing a press briefing this afternoon at Mater Dei Hospital Charles Mallia Azzopardi who heads the Ebola Response Unit explained that even though the risk of Ebola is extremely low all precautionary measures were taken. Azzopardi explained that 84 migrants have been quarantined at Hal Far detention centre to be treated for Ebola.

An additional three migrants have been hospitalised where they were certified to be suffering in critical condition due to severe dehydration. They were also tested for Ebola. Mallia Azzopardi explained that Ebola screening was carried out after one of the migrants declared that he is from Guinea. In addition he explained that authorities could ignore claims by the migrants that 20 others had perished. The migrants who arrived this morning at around 10am after spending an unspecified amount of days crossing the Mediterranean Sea appeared weak as they disembarked off the AFM vessel.

Despite arriving at Haywharf at around 10am safety precuatons meant that the disembarkation had to wait until 30pm. For the first time since the deadly Ebola outbreak across West and Central Africa the migrants were screened by health authorities. AFM personnel wore full Ebola protective suits while a decontamination tent was also set up. A spokeswoman for the home affairs ministry underlined that these were only precautionary measures and that there was no cause for alarm.


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  5. Members of the media are also being kept away from the ordinary safety distance as a precaution. Migrants were provided with blankets and water while on board the AFM vessel. An AFM vessel has towed the migrants' dinghy to shore while additional vessels have been deployed in search for any bodies in the area.

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    AFM personnel remained in constant contact with the Italian military and the health authorities on safe distance procedure. The AFM had been monitoring the situation for the past hours and after ongoing communication with their Italian counterparts it was decided that due to their safety the migrants should be brought to Malta. A migrant has died at Mater Dei Hospital hours after being rescued this morning. The man was in a group of 87 migrants picked up from a drifting dinghy some miles off Mellieha. Three were found to be in critical condition having swallowed sea water after suffering dehydration.

    They were rushed to hospital where one of them passed away. Another five migrants were also taken to hospital for urgent medical care. The migrants all men said their group had originally consisted of people but 20 perished during the voyage. No bodies were found on the boat or at sea.

    They said they started their trip from Libya and had been at sea for days. After rescue by a patrol boat the migrants were taken to Haywharf the AFM maritime base where they were received by AFM personnel in biohazard suits because of the risk of Ebola. Disembarkation started about three hours after the patrol boat arrived with officials having awaited the arrival from Mater Dei Hospital of a decontamination tent which was set up purely as a precaution.

    A Health Ministry spokeswoman insisted that there was no cause for alarm. The migrants have now been moved to Safi Detention Centre where they are being held in quarantine monitored by the AFM and public health authorities. Those in hospital were immediately tested for Ebola. The tests were negative.

    Stomachaches

    Ebola has a threeweek incubation period and the risk that the migrants carry the disease is low especially considering that the migrants spent time in Libya before heading over to Malta the spokeswoman said. The rescue was the first in several months and came at a time when the number of migrants in detention had slipped to a low of just At one time there were over Concern on petrol prices increases by 10 points Despite a lull in migrant arrivals before last Thursday concern on immigration has risen by four points since November.

    Despite decreasing numbers immigration has overtaken traffic which was the top concern in the November survey. Respondents were asked to mention the two main problems facing the country. The biggest percentage point increase over November was registered by respondents mentioning petrol prices as a major concern. Concern on petrol prices is just two points lower than that on the cost of living. Despite the absence of any boat arrivals in the past months concern on migration has gone up by eight points since March The survey shows that concern on traffic has gone down from the record levels registered in November but remains substantially higher than in March.

    This suggests that most Maltese do not consider unemployment much of a problem reflecting statistics showing an increase in employment figures. Concern on the environment mostly on development issues has remained stable at five points slightly higher than in November but three points lower than in March Labour voters are more likely to be concerned about traffic and immigration but are less likely as PN voters to be concerned with petrol prices.

    Immigration tops the concern list of both PN and PL voters. Concern on traffic is also six points higher among PL voters. One reason for this could be that PL voters are less likely to mention problems which can be blamed on the government of the day. Problems like roads traffic and to a certain extent migration are not directly attributable to the present government. But the percentage rises to 18 points among PN voters.

    This suggests that PN voters are more susceptible to PN propaganda on this issue. Respondents with a post secondary level of education those who continued studies after secondary level but did not go to university are the most likely to be concerned by rising petrol prices. Disgruntlement among this category may be bad news for the government. For it was within this category that a major shift towards the PL occurred before the general election. Methodology respondents were contacted by telephone between Wednesday 7 and Tuesday 13 January.

    The survey was stopped when a quota sample was reached. Respondents were told that MaltaToday was conducting the survey. Its results were weighted to reflect the age and gender balance of the population. Respondents were asked how they voted in the and elections. The minister referred to the recent terrorist attack on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli and said that instability in the Mediterranean led to a threat to European security.

    The ministers also discussed migration flows particularly in view of the challenges posed by the emerging trend of smugglers using larger vessels to transport migrants. Mr Abela emphasised Malta's role on the issue of irregular migration starting from search and rescue and stressed the need for EU states to work together including in the return of irregular migrants.

    He also underlined the need for relocation of beneficiaries of protection. The ministers agreed to intensify the implementation of already agreed measures while also identifying additional measures that would contribute to the fight against terrorism. The training is aimed at facilitating social inclusion and employability and it will focus on teaching residents how to use the internet prepare a CV and look for jobs.

    Education projects within the Open Centre had started over four years ago and they included courses in Cultural Orientation English Language First Aid and Food Handling and Hygiene which aimed to provide migrants with the necessary skills to enter the workforce. Dr Ahmed Bugri Managing Director of FSM said: The Marsa Open Centre is a transitory place for asylum seekers and refugees needing temporary assistance until they are able to move in the community and access mainstream services. Bugri said that the centre which has a bed capacity of residents is focusing on offering residents with the necessary support including educational courses and health and psychological support to be able to integrate with society.

    The FSM believes that education is an important tool for the personal development empowerment and social inclusion of migrants into Maltese society and in Europe at large he added. Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth Jose Herrera said that integration for good quality of life is "essential". He added that it is a two way struggle with society and the government being obliged to do their best to integrate migrants into society and migrants needing to try their best to follow courses to enter society.

    We need to look into the respective niches of our society and address these on a case by case basis in order to address their individual requirements. Our immigrants are but one niche which we are targeting. Italy's Mare Nostrum operation which ended some weeks ago had served as a deterrent to terrorists wanting to enter Europe by posing as irregular migrants Italy's under secretary responsible for intelligence Marco Minniti told a parliamentary committee yesterday.

    Mare Nostrum had been blamed by critics in Italy for encouraging the flows of migrants from North Africa and increasing the risk of Islamist terrorist being among them. Ansa however also quotes a report appearing in unidentified Libyan media saying ISIS is focusing on Libya as a means to get to Europe among irregular immigrants. ISIS is reported to have said If we can take advantage of this channel the situation in these countries will turn into a living hell.

    The report has yet to be verified as authentic. Executive Director Kenneth Roth urged governments to recognize that human rights offer an effective moral guide in turbulent times and that violating rights can spark or aggravate serious security challenges. The shortterm gains of undermining core values of freedom and nondiscrimination are rarely worth the longterm price Roth said. The horrific attacks of January 7 to 9 in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo police officers and people in a Kosher supermarket that left 17 people dead heightened concerns about terrorist attacks in Europe as well as new counterterrorism measures that restrict freedom of movement association and expression.

    The antiSemitic nature of the supermarket attack a subsequent wave of Islamophobic violence in France and rampedup rhetoric from rightwing parties in a number of EU countries underscored rising intolerance in Europe and its manifestation in violence and discrimination against Muslims Jews and other minorities Human Rights Watch said.

    A May gun attack at a Jewish museum in Brussels that killed four people was part of a disturbing pattern of antiSemitic violence and hate speech in the EU in Other EU member states criticized Italy for rescuing tens of thousands of boat migrants in the Mediterranean. Its massive naval operation was replaced by a much more limited operation by the EU external borders agency Frontex at the end of the year. This raises concerns that the death toll in will surpass the estimated people who perished in the Mediterranean in HRW said.

    While the EU is a key humanitarian donor to the Syrian crisis with the exception of Germany it showed little willingness to resettle significant numbers of refugees from Syria. Asylum seekers generally faced significant gaps in protection including substandard reception conditions in Italy Greece France and Bulgaria and routine detention of migrants and asylum seekers including children in some cases.

    There were reports throughout the year of summary returns and excessive use of force by border guards in Bulgaria Greece and Spain. Computer literacy courses are being offered to migrants living at the Marsa Open Centre in a bid to help them enter the local job market. The courses are being coordinated by the Malta Communications Authority in collaboration with the Foundation for Shelter and Support of Migrants which runs the Marsa centre.

    Ahmed Bugri who heads the foundation said some students were currently participating in ICT courses which ranged from a basic introduction to IT skills to advanced ecommerce. Computer literacy Dr Bugri said was an essential tool for helping migrants enter the Maltese work force and improve their quality of life.

    This he added would ultimately benefit Maltese society at large. Educational programmes at the Marsa centre started four years ago and include courses in cultural orientation food handling which is aimed at helping migrants enter the tourism sector and English language. We all have the responsibility to help migrants form part of our society. This needs to be reinforced if the situation is to improve he said. Dr Herrera was making a call for renewed efforts to educate migrants on what it means to be Maltese in an attempt to bridge the gap between Maltese society and the migrant population.

    I am sure that if we teach migrants about Maltese culture — what it means to be Maltese who our forefathers were what a festa is how our political system works and so on — we will bridge the gap that is stopping many migrants from integrating he said. Dr Herrera was speaking during a press conference unveiling new computer literacy courses being offered to migrants at the Marsa Open Centre.

    Home Affairs Minister calls for integrated approach to counter terrorism. Abela emphasized the need for more information exchange between member states and the better use of existing tools to rapidly trace firearms. He also referred to the recent terrorist attack that occurred at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli Libya highlighting the need for an integrated approach to counter terrorism. Instability in the Mediterranean leads to a threat for European security he said. Abela said Malta was open to discuss necessary actions on the Schengen Code but no rushed decision should be taken.

    Over lunch ministers discussed migration flows particularly in view of the challenges posed by the emerging trend of smugglers using larger vessels such as ships to transport migrants. The recent terrorist attack on the Corinthia hotel in Libya reminds us of the fragile situation in this neighbouring country. The Maltese ownership of the hotel marks an additional level of proximity Agius said.

    Above all he pointed out how this would undoubtedly have an adverse effect on Malta. El Senussi also pointed out that Malta is a sincere friend to the Libyan cause and can promote solutions thanks to its credibility Agius said. The issue of terrorism within and outside of our borders has also been tackled by the Maltese MEPs. PN MEP Robert Metsola suggested that a new passenger name record system would help increase citizen safety since this would lead to a higher degree of harmonisation and sharing of information between Member States.

    During the January debates of the European Parliament plenary session Dalli said that whilst the EU has at times focused a lot of energy on its Eastern borders such focus came at the detriment of relations with its Southern neighbours. She said that it was is time to reverse these trends to promote a better wellbeing for the Libyan citizens. Some people are believed to have been displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict.

    With particular reference to Libya MEPs commended the UNchaired Geneva conferences as a positive first step that would hopefully lead to the reconciliation between the different factions present in Libya. Whilst political debates are of outmost importance the peacekeeping initiative led by the United Nations is also highly significant with Italy agreeing to spearhead such an initiative under the guidance of the United Nations.

    The Maltese EP office said that improved conditions in Libya would also impact Malta Italy and other Mediterranean countries due to the relevance that this crisis has on immigration. A strong government and legal enforcement force is necessary to nip the rising of a new phenomenon that of ghost ships. With ghost ships hundreds of migrants are being forced on boats which are no longer seaworthy and are allowed to drift in the Mediterranean without any crew present to guide these boats towards a safe port. Lebanon reinforces restrictions with new visa rules Today marks the day where new restrictions come into force for Syrian refugees.

    The unprecedented move by the Lebanese government means that Syrian refugees will have to fulfil certain criteria in order to be given a visa and enter the country. Before this move Syrians were automatically allowed to stay in Lebanon for up to six monthsThis step is aimed to curb the influx of refugees into the country with the registered refugee population standing at a whopping 1. There are a further unregistered refugees who will be greatly effected by these measures.

    It is in fact unclear exactly what these new restrictions will mean for Syrians already in the country and for unregistered refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for refugees has expressed concern at the lack of clarity of these new rules. Groups supporting and opposing the antiIslam group have held rival rallies across Germany The Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West" or Pegida have held protests throughout the country since back in October and their rallies have gained both popularity and supporters over time.

    The group has been condemned by senior German politicians and it has also garnered counter demonstrators who favour a message of peace and tolerance. The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has condemned the group however the group seems to be gaining in popularity as time goes by. A poll of just over people carried out by German magazine Stern revealed that a shocking one in eight Germans would join an antiIslam march if Pegida organized one near their homes. The organiser for Pegida Kathrin Oertel has said that the country has once again been plunged into an era of political repression: "Or how would you see it when we are insulted or called racists or Nazis openly by all the political mainstream parties and media for our justified criticism of Germany's asylum seeker policies and the nonexistent immigration policy?

    Photo: Reuters Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday she had a duty to protect the right to demonstrate in Germany regardless of the issue and offered federal security support after an antiIslam march was cancelled because of a terrorist threat. Police in the eastern city of Dresden banned all outdoor public gatherings yesterday including one by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West Pegida a group that attracted people to its rally last week. The weekly Pegida demonstrations began last October as a local protest against the building of new shelters for refugees and have been growing in size.

    However countermarches have taken place across Germany with far larger numbers and Merkel has condemned the group in unusually strong language as racists with hatred in their hearts. But at a press conference yesterday she defended the right to protest: Such a precious principle has to be protected. That is why everything will be done German Chancellor makes statement after antiIslam march was cancelled following threat She offered federal help if requested to the regional state authorities who are responsible for policing.

    Pegida leaders said yesterday they would not allow themselves to be muzzled and would plan a rally for next week in conjunction with security officials. Security authorities said last Friday they had specific warnings of a risk of militant attacks on central railway stations in Berlin and Dresden. The leader of a German organisation against the perceived "Islamisation" of Europe stepped down after online posts surfaced in which he used derogatory language to refer to refugees and posed looking like Adolf Hitler.

    It followed German media publishing the comments where he called refugees "cattle" and "filthy" and a photo showing him with a Hitler moustache and hair combed over like the Nazi Fuehrer. Mr Bachmann did not comment directly on the picture but apologised for the antirefugee comments which he made online in September a month before the group staged its first protest.



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