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Pope Francis down plays anti-immigrant national policies.

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Pope Francis on Sunday expressed concern over national policies dictated by fear, speaking only one week after Italy’s general elections which brought populist and anti-immigrant parties to the forefront.

The pontiff, who has made the defense of migrants a key pillar of his five-year papacy, has repeatedly called for decisive action to solve political problems causing many to flee from their home countries.

Although the pope did not specifically refer to the elections, his words may resonate as a strong criticism of Italy’s center-right bloc which has strongly campaigned using anti-migrant policy promises.

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The world today is often inhabited by fear. It is an ancient disease … And fear often turns against people who are foreign, different, poor, as if they were enemies,” said the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

“There are countries where plans are dictated by the fight against these people,” the pontiff added, departing from his prepared text.

The pope was speaking at the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Rome-based peace group Sant’Egidio Community, which has helped in the last two years about one thousand refugees, mainly Syrian, reach Italy through so-called humanitarian corridors.

Anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the League, a center-right grouping that employed the most fiery anti-migrant rhetoric during the campaign, were the biggest winners at Italy’s elections.

A Nigerian campaigning on the anti-immigration League became the first black Italian senator and was roundly criticised by many including Italy’s most famous black footballer, Mario Balotelli.

The center-right has vowed to deport hundreds of thousands of migrants if they are able to form a government – even though that promise will be hard to keep – leaving many migrants in the country pondering over their future.

The League’s leader Matteo Salvini clashed with the Pope several times over immigration during the campaign and criticized him for promoting dialogue with Islam.

The Argentine Pope, the first non-European elected to the post in nearly 1,300 years, has in the past criticized President Donald Trump’s intention to build a wall to stop illegal migrants crossing the U.S. border with Mexico.

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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