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New Year Celebrations Banned in Turkey over ‘security’ fears

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Authorities in Turkey will not allow New Year celebrations at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square for security reasons. Ismail Kilic, local police chief of Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, said security measures had been doubled this year following a string of attacks over the past two years.

“Measures for New Year will be at the highest level,” he was quoted as saying by state-run news agency Anadolu. Turkey has suffered a series of terror attacks attributed to Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group, including a shooting at popular Istanbul nightclub Reina during a New Year 2016-17 party in which 39 people were killed.

“We will double the measures because the Reina assailant changed his location having seen the measures at Taksim,” Kilic said.

24 Hours Across Africa

More than 70 million displaced worldwide, says UNHCR

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Source: BBC

The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million globally last year – the highest number in the UN refugee agency’s almost 70 years.

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The almost 70.8 million people forcibly displaced is up 2.3 million on the previous year, according to the agency’s annual Global Trends report.

This is also double the level recorded 20 years ago.

The number averaged out to 37,000 new displacements every day.

“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“While language around refugees and migrants is often divisive, we are also witnessing an outpouring of generosity and solidarity, especially by communities who are themselves hosting large numbers of refugees.

The actual figure is likely to be higher as the Venezuela crisis is only partly reflected, the report states.

Around four million Venezuelans have fled their country, according to some figures from countries taking them in, making it one of the world’s biggest recent displacement crises.

The report identifies three main groups.

Firstly, there are refugees, or people forced to leave their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide, 500,000 more than in 2017. Included in this total are 5.5 million Palestine refugees.

The second group is 3.5 million asylum seekers. These are people outside their country of birth who are under international protection, but are yet to be granted refugee status.

Thirdly, there are internally displaced persons, or IDPs. These people are displaced within their country and amount to 41.3 million globally.

More than two thirds of all refugees worldwide came from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.

Syria had a considerably higher number than any other country with 6.7 million, followed by Afghanistan with 2.7 million.

Only 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, fewer than 7% of those awaiting resettlement.

The global population of forcibly displaced people has grown substantially from 43.3 million in 2009. Most of this increase was between 2012 and 2015 as a result of the Syrian conflict.

However, other conflicts have cropped up and continued across the globe, for example, in Iraq and Yemen in the Middle East, as well as parts of sub-Saharan Africa such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

The massive flow of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh at the end of 2017 after they were driven out of Myanmar’s Rakhine state during military crackdowns was another major crisis.

At more than 1.5 million, Ethiopians were the largest newly displaced population in 2018, 98% of them internally, more than doubling the previous number.

These were mainly attributed to inter-communal violence throughout 2018, with communities living along disputed boundaries most affected.


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Romelu Lukaku told to leave Man United

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Belgium national coach Roberto Martinez has submitted that Romelu Lukaku has to leave Manchester United this summer.

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“It is clear that he has to leave Manchester United,”

“It would be a good thing for both parties. It is now important that Romelu finds the right club.”

Martinez made this submission during an interview with newsmen as the 26-year-old endured a difficult second season at Old Trafford and has been linked with a move away.

The likes of Inter Milan have been reportedly showing an interest in Belgium’s all-time record goalscorer, who has netted 42 in 96 games since joining United from Everton in 2017.

However, he failed to find the back of the net in his last eight appearances of the season and was not an automatic starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Now Lukaku’s international boss, who was also his manager at Goodison Park, feels everyone may benefit if the player secures a summer transfer.


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