News from 04/2016

30 April 2016

Government moves tens of thousands of refugees to Athens outskirts

29 Apr 2016

The Greek government is moving thousands of refugees from camps in central Athens to new settlements on the city's outskirts to prepare for the arrival of tourists.

Greece expects 23 million visitors this year, who are expected to bring in about $20bn in revenue.

For months the streets of the Greek capital were home to refugees from Syria and other countries living rough as they prepared for the next step of their journeys to northern and western Europe.

Makeshift refugee camps in Athens, once at the centre of the refugee…Read

29 April 2016

Silicon Allee

Berlin is not just a popular tourist destination - it's also home to ever more start-ups. And there are plenty of reasons to set up shop in Berlin, as Daniela Späth found out.

Start-up capital

Berlin has established a reputation as Germany's entrepreneurs' capital. It's seen the highest number of start-ups in the country, ahead of Hamburg, since 2011, according to data from the Bonn Institute for the Study of Small and Mid-size Firms (IfM). Berlin is well-suited to becoming a leading start-up metropolis in Europe. It's already…Read

28 April 2016

French satellite puts Einstein to the test

A Russian rocket carrying a French satellite to test a German theory is scheduled for launch on Friday. At 21:02 GMT, the Soyuz rocket will blast off from Kourou, Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana, carrying the experiment.

Microscope, which stands for Micro-Satellite à traînée Compensée pour l’Observation du Principe d’Equivalence, is designed to test the very heart of Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity, which gives us our best description yet of gravity.

Known as the principle of equivalence, it is derived from…Read

War continues in Aleppo

At least 16 people have been killed in a Syrian government air strike on a hospital in Aleppo, people in the city told Al Jazeera, as the UN warned that a fragile ceasefire was crumbling.

The attack on the Al Quds hospital on Wednesday evening  killed several medical staff and other civilians, including Dr Wasem Maaz, one of the last remaining pediatricians in the rebel-held part of the city.

Rescue workers were pulling bodies and survivors from the rubble of the building in the Sukkary neighbourhood into the evening and locals said the death toll…Read

27 April 2016

Lets sit down and have a nice cup-of-tea

In 2002, a wealthy purchaser paid 180,000 yuan – almost $28,000 – for just 20g of China's legendary Da Hong Pao tea. Even in a culture that’s valued tea drinking as an art form for around 1,500 years (and has a system of tea classification that makes French wine look simple), the price was astonishing.


26 April 2016

New York: Primaries, politics and the press

On the Democratic side, much time - at least at the outset - was dedicated to Clinton, as opposed to her adversary, Bernie Sanders. Some say that unlike Trump, that's not because of ratings, but rather what she represents in terms of the US political establishment, as well as bringing the tacit approval of Wall Street and corporate backers - some of whom own news channels that produce that coverage.

And this week, when Hillary Clinton clinched that crucial victory in the New York primary, the mainstream media narrative of her inevitability, her 'electability', was back.…Read

24 April 2016

Russian Air Strikes hits market in Syria’s Idlib

At least 44 people killed and scores wounded in air attack on popular marketplace in the town of Ariha, activists say.


23 April 2016

Powerful response from Birnie Sanders to young Mexican-American woman

"We are a country where millions of people are in despair," Sanders said. "Black, white, brown. They want to see a reflection of their life, of their reality, in media, and in many respects, they are not." Birnie Sanders.


22 April 2016

After New York Loss, Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Pledges to Stay the Course

The Sanders campaign maintains that the Senator’s speeches were not too negative, despite the criticism. Aides also pointed to exit polls that showed New York voters thought Clinton, not Sanders, was running a more “unfair” campaign.


Clinton and Trump win votes, not hearts in New York

Even in defeat in New York and most likely in the overall quest for the 2016 Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders has already won in another, perhaps more important way: His brand of politics is the future of the Democratic Party. Sanders is the overwhelming choice of young voters, scoring 67 percent of voters under 30 in New York even while losing overall amidst a set of election rules that were highly un-favorable to his cause. National Reuters polls now show him with a large 56-38 edge over Clinton with voters below the age of 40.

Bernie Sanders is (still) the future…Read

VW found guilty of a fraudulent scheme involving billions of dollars

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a four-count legal complaint against carmaker Volkswagen (VW). Serious fraud office chief Nathalie Homobono said investigators had established that Volkswagen had cheated "with intent" by installing so-called engine software that reduced emissions under test conditions.


21 April 2016

Volkswagen (VW) to buy back 600,000 cars in framework deal over emissions scandal

Some owners would get a choice of having VW repair their cars or buy them back, but that would vary by model year and engine type, the person said. The deal likely is part of a bigger payment package from VW. It does not yet include plans on how to repair the cars, the person said. The cars can spew out harmful nitrogen oxide at 40 times the allowable limit, the person said.

It is stated in this article that VW intentionally defeated emissions tests and put dirty vehicles on the road. The cheating allowed cars to…Read

20 April 2016

The once sleepy town of Kilis on the Turkey-Syria border

Kilis, a once sleepy town on the Turkey-Syria border north of Aleppo, is the first arrival point for hundreds of thousands of people who have fled four years of war. Until now, it has welcomed them with open arms - winning admiration across the country and even a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. But for the first time it is seeing demonstrations against the overwhelming numbers of Syrians who live there - they now far outnumber the town’s original 90,000 Turkish inhabitants. Locals are angry that the war is starting to envelop them - another four…Read

19 April 2016

Giving the people their say

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he intends to call an election for 2 July.

On Monday Australia's upper house, the Senate, rejected a piece of government legislation for a second time. This provided Mr Turnbull with a trigger for a so-called double dissolution election. Mr Turnbull said at a press conference on Tuesday that he intended to ask the governor general to dissolve parliament after the budget on 3 May. He said calling the double dissolution was about "giving the people their say".

Australia has a two-party system, as illustrated by the two-party-preferred vote,…Read

18 April 2016

Bernie Sanders is the closest candidate to the aspirations of millions of decent Americans.

Come April 19 New York primary, like millions of other New Yorkers, I intend to exercise my very fragile rights as a US citizen and go and vote for Bernie Sanders, doing my share and hoping he will beat Clinton and win the Democratic nomination.

Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.


It’s all about delegats and SUPER delegates

We're now more than halfway through the presidential primary elections, and, in a twist nearly as surprising as the juggernaut that is Donald Trump, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is doing pretty well, at least with young, white voters. Next up is the New York primary on April 19, and the 291 Democratic delegates that come with it. So does Bernie Sanders need New York to win the nomination? Not exactly, but it would be a lot better for him if he did.


17 April 2016

“Bernie Sanders is actually for the people. Hillary Clinton is just bought and sold.”

Sanders has become something of a cult hero to the group of tech employees by protesting at the price of fund raising events.

But today there’s a growing rift in the city, which may influence the 7 June Democratic primary. Among the tech community, as wealth consolidates, many young workers lured to town with images of striking it rich have been confronted by an increasingly depressing startup environment.

Bill Sandberg, a 29-year-old protester, said he had just been laid off from Zedo, an ad tech startup: “Bernie’s actually for the people.…Read

16 April 2016

15 April 2016

Hillary and Bernie in high spirits before the crucial New York contest

New York City (CNN)Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders squared off Thursday night in the most heated and dramatic Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 cycle, battling it out at a two-hour prime-time event on CNN that exposed fundamental differences in their candidacies and campaign styles.

Coming just five days ahead of the crucial New York contest Tuesday, the debate featured combative exchanges on issues including gun control, Israel and Wall Street reform. These policy disagreements were fueled by a broader clash: Sanders cast doubt on Clinton's judgment and credibility, while Clinton insisted that the Vermont senator…Read

Syrian main opposition bloc willing to create transitional body but not with President Assad.

Syria's main opposition group says it's willing to share membership of a transitional governing body with current members of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but not with Assad himself. If Syria's ally Russia was willing to put pressure on the Syrian government, and if the government delegation was serious about negotiation, then a deal could be done in the current round of talks, said.Salim al-Muslat, the spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee,


Jeremy Corbyn makes a good case for Britain to stay in the EU in June.

Making his first major speech of the referendum campaign, Mr Corbyn stood by past criticisms of the EU but said Britain had to remain in to fight for social reform.

David Cameron said: "I absolutely welcome Jeremy Corbyn's intervention. "There are lots of things we disagree about, between Labour, Liberals, Greens and others, but the fact is we all come together to support the idea of Britain staying in a reformed European Union."


14 April 2016

Geneva Peace talks have lost momentum

The president of Syria: Bashar al-Assad is accused of using pretexts to avoid the continuation of the Geneva Peace Talks which are due to begin next week. The Syrian government is flouting all UN resolutions and using pretexts to avoid talks, opposition leader Asaad al-Zoubi told reporters on Wednesday after holding talks with special UN envoy in Geneva.

Zoubi, the chief mediator for the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), described President Assad as "the disease that has struck Syria", which can only heal once he and other emblematic figures leave.

A truce between the government…Read

13 April 2016

First migrant children arrive after EU reforms on asylum

Four migrant children will arrive in the UK from Calais this morning, after being allowed to stay with their families here while their asylum claims are assessed.

The teenagers are from Syria and Afghanistan, and are among the first to arrive under newly-enforced EU laws.

The charity Citizens UK is calling for the government to do more to help other children in similar situations.

Jon Ironmonger reports.  



Syrian Town still Faces difficulties even after Liberation from ISIS

The Syrian town of Shaddadi has been recaptured from the so-called Islamic State group by Kurdish forces, backed by US airpower.

The BBC's Feras Kilani toured the remains of the town, and found a bomb-making factory, evidence of a "slave market", and a gym for IS fighters.


12 April 2016

Congressional Panel Recommends Impeachment for Brazilian President Rousseff

A Brazilian congressional committee Monday recommended that President Dilma Rousseff face impeachment for alleged corruption.

The accusation against Rousseff — the grounds for impeachment — is that she hid the run-up of the budget deficit through various gimmicks. She denies it. A “yes” vote in the Brazilian Congress’s lower house would trigger a Senate trial, unless she resigns. Compounding public outrage is a vast scandal involving Petrobras, the national oil company. Petrobras has estimated the cost of bribes and rigged construction bids at $3 billion. Dozens of executives and public officials have been implicated.…Read

11 April 2016

It all hinges on the New York Presidential Primary

Polls show Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with substantial leads in New York. Fox News says: Clinton’s the top choice among Democrats, as Bernie Sanders is only able to take the lead among younger voters and men. If this turns out to be true then it could be Bye Bye Birnie which will then allow Hillary to focus on the General Election.


Syrian refugees in Germany produce their own monthly newspaper: in Arabic - ABWAB: Arabic for doors.

There are over a million refugees residing in Germany, and for many news outlets, the refugees are not only a big news story, they are a new market.

Many organisations including public broadcasters, privately-run channels and widely-read newspapers have created content aimed at this new audience - in Arabic

But not all the efforts have hit the mark, which has inspired a small group of refugees to start reporting for themselves. They are publishing a monthly newspaper that aims to get past the stereotypes and the cultural divide. The editor-in-chief of Abwab is Ramy Al-Asheq.<…Read

10 April 2016

Birnie Sanders on a roll by Winning Wyoming Democratic Caucuses

Birnie Sanders has now won seven of the last eight Democratic contests.  This is great news and says something about the American voter.  Let reason continue to prevail!

The next contest is in New York on Tuesday 19th April 2016




9 April 2016

Egyptian Chief Auditor fired for revealing graft had cost the state an estimated $75bn

Hesham Genena, former head of Egypt's Central Auditing Organisation (CAO), was fired on March 28, months after alleging in a TV interview that an audit found graft had cost the state an estimated $75bn.

Genena was appointed head of CAO in 2012 by former president Mohamed Morsi, a member of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi was overthrown by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi  in July 2013.

Following Genena's allegations, Sisi appointed a fact-checking committee to look into the issue. On January 12 - two weeks after its formation - the committee accused the auditor of exaggerating…Read

8 April 2016

Three boats carrying the first migrants to be deported from Greece to Turkey

Two boats carrying 131 deportees arrived from Lesbos. A third, carrying 66 people, came from the nearby island of Chios, the first 197 refugees to commence the return journey. Although this is hard on the refugees it's not surprising given the cool treatment diplayed by some European countries. However in spite of this a huge number have been warmly welcomed and accommodated and by all accounts, the majority of refugees have no desire to return to Syria.


7 April 2016

“What Bernie Sanders offers is authenticity, simplicity, principles, clarity –

April 06, 2016 6:00 PM

Sanders’ perceived trustworthiness does seem to be a major factor for many of his supporters, according to polling data. In Tuesday’s exit polls in Wisconsin, 82 percent of Democratic voters said Sanders is more honest and trustworthy than Clinton. And most voters ranked honesty and trustworthiness as their most important concern.

Produced by William Gallo, VOA


6 April 2016

Bernie Sanders: a Winner with Wisconsin Voters

 Hillary Clinton stumbled on her path to the White House, losing to Bernie Sanders in a Democratic primary that marked a sixth straight win for the Vermont outsider and shows his continued appeal among voters looking for radical change


5 April 2016

Stemming the flow of Refugees

The over-flow of refugees being sent back to Turkey for re-assessment before being allowed into Europe. It’s unfortunate but some European countries have not played their part and consequently there are too many refugees to be accommodated.  European countries need time to assimilate the refugees they already have before receiving more.  Hopefully the arrangements in place now will stem the tide of refugees before they go any further and allow authorities in Germany and other countries with refugees, to move them into communities, and consequently free-up short-term accommodation…Read

4 April 2016

Sending the refugees back to Turkey

Under tight security, police on the Greek island of Lesbos have put people on boats bound for Turkey, the first to be deported under a European Union plan to stem the flow of refugees to Europe.


Firas Alshater: the YouTube star who became Germany’s most hugged refugee

Firas Alshater talks about his journey from political imprisonment in Syria to fighting fear with humour. 

“I have seen a lot of bad things in my life in Syria, throughout my childhood and youth,” he says, “but it doesn’t mean that my life should continue like that. I have to accept that tomorrow will be better. One way of making sure I don’t live in the past any more but in the present is to make people laugh.” He points to an elaborate green lizard crawling up his…Read

London to help settle 900 more Syrian refugees

Kate Dubinski has been a reporter with: The London Free Press since 2005. Before that, she worked in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, Alberta. Kate has previously covered the education beat and is now a general assignment reporter, with a focus on digital trends. In 2010, she was part of a newsroom team that won a National Newspaper Award

Thursday, February 25, 2016

After absorbing more than 800 Syrian refugees in three months, London is expected to help as many as 900 more from the war-torn country before the end of the year, The Free Press has learned.


3 April 2016

Mayor offers to set up refugee center in Myrsini

The refugee center will be established at a seaside resort which has not been used in seven years

The Mayor of Andravida-Kyllini Nabil-Josef Morad, who is of Syrian origin, has announced plans to set up a refugee center at seaside resort in the coastal area of Myrsini, Ilia.

Restoration work is being carried out to repair damages on the 38 two-story buildings of the resort, which has remained closed for the past seven years. The resort is co-owned by the municipalities of Andravidia-Kyllini and Fyli.  


Anticlimax for Syrian Refugees as preparations are made to return some Syrians to Syria

The UN and rights groups have expressed fears about migrant welfare and whether some may be forced back into Syria.  The strange thing is that refugees are still arriving from Syria:160 migrants were caught by the Turkish coastguard near Dikili on Friday and many more actually reached Lesbos.

Although the new arrangement commences tomorrow the preparations have not been completed or even started in Turkey. The BBC's Mark Lowen, who has been to the proposed registration camp near the western Turkish town of Dikili, says the field earmarked for the centre…Read

2 April 2016

Thousands of refugees turn out for German jobs fair

Berlin, Germany - More than 4,000 jobseekers attend Berlin event, which aims to help integrate asylum seekers by finding them employment.

Thousands of job-seeking refugees have attended an employment fair in the German capital, Berlin, which attracted 211 prospective employers from a number of fields, including information technology, medicine, tourism and construction.

Germany's private sector was represented at the job fair by large firms such as Marriott - which operates four hotels in Berlin - and mid-size enterprises such as Bio Company, a popular chain of organic grocery stores.

"Our goal is that in…Read

1 April 2016

Greek authorities on Thursday began bussing hundreds of migrants and refugees to new accommodation

By mid-morning, at least four buses departed for the port town of Kyllini in western Greece, some 280 km from Athens, where they will be housed in a former tourist complex. Families began gathering at the dock as more buses were expected to be deployed. Other buses left for the cities of Ioannina and Larissa in northwestern and central Greece. “I believe the first group to go to Kyllini will relay the message to the rest that it's a decent place, and we won't have a problem moving (more) people there,” George Kyritsis, a government spokesman,…Read