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Canadian ex-minister calls for spending despots’ riches on refugees

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OTTAWA: A former Canadian foreign minister wants money seized from despots to be used to help refugees — a proposal being pitched Thursday to UN ambassadors and international organizations in New York.

The recommendation of the World Refugee Council is one of several in a 126-page report “A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System.”

The group, led by former top Canadian diplomat Lloyd Axworthy, was formed in 2017 at the height of the global refugee crisis to come up with fresh ideas to try to deal with record-setting migration.

There are currently an estimated 68.5 million people driven from their homes by war, famine and disaster, according to the report’s authors.

“So many people are on the move, and the financial system of supporting and protecting refugees is under real risk,” Axworthy told media.

“We need to start to go after the bad guys,” he said by telephone during a stopover en route to New York.

Seizing their ill-gotten gains, he said, “would free up new money for refugees, but also challenge the impunity of (dictators) who deprive their citizens of staying in their own homes, in their own communities.”

It would also take financial pressures off host nations, he said.

The report calls for making culprits accountable for “persecuting and displacing their own populations.”

“Oppressive regimes, those responsible for much of the forced migration, are in many cases corrupt, stealing from their treasuries and placing the money and other assets offshore,” it says.

 

 

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Business

BMW, Daimler to invest 1b euros

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BERLIN: German auto giants BMW and Daimler said Friday they would invest one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in combining and extending their carsharing schemes, in future offering a slew of joint “mobility services”, including for electric cars.
“We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than one billion euros to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,” Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler said in a statement.

 

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Asia

India divertig attention from Spy’s case?

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda has termed the Indian threat to stop the flow of water from eastern rivers to Pakistan a “failed attempt”, just like the Pulwama incident, to divert attention from its failure in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In his reaction over India’s threat to stop Pakistan’s water, he said India could not blame Pakistan for its failure in the International Court of Justice to prove spy Kulbhushan innocent. As per Indus Water Treaty, India could not stop Pakistan’s water, he added, says a press statement here on Friday.
Describing the threat hilarious and void, he said the Indian government was preparing the ground to seek public support in next election by hurling allegation against Pakistan. “India must keep it in mind that it is a New Pakistan,” Vawda said adding that valiant Armed Forces of Pakistan would give a befitting response if India launched any misadventure. He said India would get nothing from its war hysteria except embarrassment among the comity of the nations.

 

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Europe

Brexit: 9th MP leaves Labour in a week!

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Hitachi freezes British nuclear project

LONDON: The Labour party contingency of Britain’s parliament lost more blood Friday, with a ninth MP leaving Labour in less than a week, blasting alleged anti-Semitism in the party leadership.
Ian Austin, representing Dudley North in the West Midlands, chose the local paper Express and Star to make his announcement, in a guest op-ed slamming the party as “broken.” Citing the alleged anti-Semitism in the party, Austin said he was “appalled at the offense and distress [leader] Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have caused to Jewish people.”
“I always tell them the truth and I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister,” he said. “It is terrible that a culture of extremism, antisemitism, and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics,” he wrote. He said that he had not spoken to the new Independent Group, now made up of eight Labour MPs and three former Conservative MPs.
“The hard left is now in charge of the party, they’re going to get rid of lots of decent mainstream MPs and I just can’t see how it can return to the mainstream party that won elections and changed the country for the better,” Austin said. He added, “I think the Labour party is broken and clearly things have to change but that’s not what today is about, and I’ve not talked to them about that.”
A Labour spokesman said the party “regrets” Austin quitting, adding, “He was elected as a Labour MP and so the democratic thing is to resign his seat and let the people of Dudley decide who should represent them.” Earlier this week, amid the continuing chaos over Brexit, a group of seven MPs resigned from Labour and said they would stay in parliament as independent lawmakers, followed soon thereafter by an eighth. Three Conservative MPs also resigned their party this week to join the Independent Group.

 

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