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At least 42 refugees drown, including 17 children

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Two boats carrying Syrian refugees capsized off the coast of two Greek Islands on Friday morning, AlKhaleej.com has reported. According to a Greek coastguard official, at least 42 refugees, including 17 children, drowned in the incident; 70 others were rescued. A full search-and-rescue operation was underway on Friday, as it was feared that there were others still missing. Fishing boats …

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Selling Desperate Syrian Refugees’ Body Parts: Israeli Man arrested in Turkey for Organ Trafficking

Selling Desperate Syrian Refugees’ Body Parts: Israeli Man arrested in Turkey for Organ Trafficking

The situation in Syria today is nothing short of catastrophic. More than half of the entire population has been displaced in a civil war now approaching its fifth year, and almost 4.3 million Syrian refugees are registered with the U.N. Millions are crowded into densely population refugee camps in neighboring Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. Many live on the street, and few have access to basic resources or job prospects.

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Germany may need €21bn to house and educate refugees – report

Germany may need €21bn to house and educate refugees - report

Germany faces costs of more than €21bn ($22.5bn) this year to house, feed and educate hundreds of thousands of refugees, the Munich-based Ifo institute said on Tuesday. The new estimate, which assumes 1.1 million people will seek asylum in Germany in 2015, represents a sharp increase on a previous projection from late September which put the cost at €10bn.

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Desperate Irish Famine refugees caused a crime wave in New York City, stats show

Desperate Irish Famine refugees caused a crime wave in New York City, stats show

The Irish famine led to a massive influx of Irish immigrants to New York during the late 1840s and 1850s. As the downtrodden Irish escaped the famine in their home country, however, they came to a place where life was just as tough. Disembarking from coffin ships, Irish newcomers were greeted with a new life of hardship, slums and tough, endless labor.

The Irish quickly made a name for themselves and not always for the right reasons. Cash-strapped and fleeing their country after years of hunger, it appears that some of the Irish in New York turned to crime and violence while women engaged in prostitution to earn money. By the 1850s, over half of those arrested in the city were Irish-born and a staggering percentage of those arrested for being drunk and disorderly also hailed from the Emerald Isle.

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Samantha Morton backs Benedict Cumberbatch’s refugees appeal

Samantha Morton backs Benedict Cumberbatch's refugees appeal

Actor Samantha Morton has backed Benedict Cumberbatch’s criticism of the government response to the refugee crisis, and said she “cannot fathom how certain individuals within our government can sleep at night”. Cumberbatch has been making nightly speeches after his curtain call at the Barbican in London and asking for donations to help Syrian refugees. On Tuesday night he raised eyebrows among the audience by reportedly saying “fuck the politicians” during a speech about the refugee crisis.

He then went on to recount a friend’s experience volunteering on the Greek island of Lesbos, where hundreds of refugees from the Middle East and Afghanistan have been arriving almost daily.

“Everywhere on the horizon there was nothing but boats and on the shoreline nothing but lifejackets,” Cumberbatch quoted his friend as saying. “We are saying, as citizens of the world, we see you … and at least some help is coming.”

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Muslim refugees are not welcome, Bulgaria church says

Muslim refugees are not welcome, Bulgaria church says

Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church says authorities should not let Muslim refugees enter the country, claiming that the move is necessary to prevent an “invasion.” “We help refugees who have already arrived in our motherland, but the government must absolutely not let more refugees in,” the church said in a statement signed by Patriarch Neofit, the head of the Orthodox Church, and other members of the Holy Synod - the church’s top executive body - posted on its website late Friday.

The comments come as hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern, Asian, and African refugees escaping war and execution in their countries have bypassed Bulgaria and instead entered Macedonia and Serbia from Greece to make their way into northern Europe.

However, some Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi asylum seekers have crossed the Balkan EU member state’s southeastern border from Turkey.

"This is a wave that looks like an invasion,” the statement added, noting, “The Bulgarian Orthodox people should not pay the price of our disappearance as a state.”

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French far right leader Marine Le Pen accuses Germany of opening doors to refugees for cheap labour

French far right leader Marine Le Pen accuses Germany of opening doors to refugees for cheap labour

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's right-wing National Front party, has accused Germany of opening its doors to refugees to exploit them for cheap labour. In a meeting in the southeastern city of Marseille, a key French destination for migrants from north Africa, she also accused Germany of trying to impose its immigration policy on the EU.

"Germany probably thinks its population is moribund, and it is probably seeking to lower wages and continue to recruit slaves through mass immigration," she said.

Le Pen also criticised European politicians for "exploiting the suffering of these poor people who cross the Mediterranean Sea. They are exploiting the death of the unfortunate in these trips organised by mafia, they show pictures, they exhibit the death of a child without any dignity just to blame the European consciences and make them accept the current situation," she said.

According to RT News, Le Pen said Germany's policy will affect the whole of the EU. "Germany seeks not only to rule our economy, it wants to force us to accept hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers.

Le Pen is hoping to stand in the 2017 presidential elections in France. In the 2012 elections, she won 17.9% of the votes, with the National Front topping the poll in the European elections last year. She is standing int he regional elections in December.

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Viktor Orban on refugees: the West should stop destroying foreign countries

Viktor Orban on refugees: the West should stop destroying foreign countries

Slovenian police used tear gas late on Friday to disperse a group of migrants on its border as the country's government said it was considering opening safe corridors for refugees to pass through the tiny Alpine country.

The incident happened at the Harmica border crossing as several hundred migrants demanded to be allowed to enter Slovenia.

 After over an hour of tension, riot police used tear gas to stop migrants, some with children, that were pushing against a police cordon at a bridge on the border.

The clash happened just hours after Prime Minister Miro Cerar announced Slovenia might consider the creation of safe corridors for refugees wanting to reach northern Europe if they continue arriving in large numbers.

"If the pressure of refugees (on the borders) becomes too strong, Slovenia will certainly discuss ... possible so-called corridors with all the countries that might be concerned," Cerar said in a statement after a meeting of the country's National Security Council.

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Refugees scramble for ways into Europe as Hungary seals borders

Refugees scramble for ways into Europe as Hungary seals borders

For a few fleeting minutes, there was some humanity in the darkness. It had turned midnight on the Serbian side of the Hungarian border, the time that Hungary had said it would close its borders for the final time to refugees. A fortified border fence had finally been finished. At the fence’s weakest point, where refugees had for weeks walked into Hungary along a set of disused railway tracks, police had blocked the way with the carriage of a freight train.

Yet even after the clock struck 12, Hungary seemed to soften, letting a few hundred stragglers enter its territory via a legal foot-crossing that lies in Horgoš, a mile to the west of those train tracks. At 10 minutes past midnight, there were still families running, limping and panting up the road that leads to the border gate. More than 160,000 people had crossed this line so far this year and no one wanted to be the first to be turned away.

“I’m hoping, hoping, hoping,” said Badr, a 47-year-old Syrian engineer, as he neared the final stretch. “We lost everything in Syria – homes, friends, and family. We need to pass through this border.”

So began a day in which Fortress Europe began to pull up the few drawbridges still open. First Hungary blocked its southern border with Serbia, putting into action its much-heralded fence, declaring a state of emergency in two southern counties, and arresting dozens of people for attempting to cross the border under new laws unveiled last week by the prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

Next Hungary announced plans to seal its border with Romania, a move denounced as “not a fair gesture” by the foreign ministry in Bucharest. Then Serbia warned it could not become the dumping ground for Europe’s refugees – or, as its foreign minister put it, “a collection centre”. And finally Austria introduced security checks along its border with Hungary, a measure it said could be extended to those with Slovenia, Italy and Slovakia if needed.

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