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One person has died in a fire which ripped through a luxury 5-star hotel popular with top footballers this morning.
Four others, including a child, were rushed to hospital following the blaze.
Visitors staying at Cameron House hotel, near Balloch on Loch Lomondside, Scotland, evacuated the premises at around 6am.
Dozens of firefighters rushed to the plush hotel, which also houses a busy spa and restaurants, to rescue trapped residents Glasgow Live reports.
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson confirmed four patients – three of whom, including a child, are believed to be from the same family – are being treated at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 6:41am on Monday, December 18 to reports of a fire that had taken hold within Cameron House Hotel, Balloch,” a spokesperson for the fire and rescue services said.
“Operations Control immediately mobilised four appliances and an aerial appliance to the scene.”
The hotel is one of the loch’s best known and iconic businesses, proving popular with Celtic and Rangers players over the decades and celebrities and public figures visiting or working in Scotland.
One guest posted footage on Twitter as the building was evacuated, which was then quickly taken down.
The same witness reported that smoke was pouring from three floors of the building.
Ambulances were also in attendance and traffic in the area has also been affected with delays on the roads surrounding the hotel and loch.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland: “We received a call to assist with fire crews after a fire was reported at Cameron House hotel on Loch Lomond around 6.45am.
More than 70 million displaced worldwide, says UNHCR
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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