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Spain shifts strategy on African migration

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Spain is shifting its foreign policy towards Africa while lobbying the EU and NATO for support to address migration from the continent, aggravated by the Ukraine invasion, two senior government officials and two diplomatic sources told Reuters.

They were trying to reach Europe, and some paid with their lives.

The deaths of at least 23 people as they tried to cross into Spain’s North African enclave Melilla on Friday (June 24) is a grim reminder of the perils of migration, that also include dangerous sea crossings.

However Spain is hoping a new strategy will help keep migrants from danger, says foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares.

“We cannot allow the Mediterranean, through Libya, Morocco and other countries, the Atlantic, the route between Africa and the Canary Islands, to become enormous tombs where every year thousands of human beings die when all they aspire to is a better life.”

Parts of Africa are facing a hunger crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which has disrupted grain exports.

Moscow denies responsibility for the food crisis, blaming Western sanctions.

Two diplomatic sources said Spain, its southern neighbors, and EU officials are increasingly worried the situation will trigger chaotic migration from the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions.

They say numbers are already on the rise.

Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation”, Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had revived a policy mothballed by previous governments, according to two officials close to him.

It centers on working with African partners to contain migration and to tackle root causes such as instability and climate change.

“We are looking for good relations with all the neighbours around us and jointly managing phenomena that no one, not even the most powerful state on the planet, can deal with on its own.”

The two diplomatic sources said Spain will use a NATO summit in Madrid this week to press its case and is likely to ask for increased intelligence sharing, including on issues related to migration.

It also wants to secure a commitment for better policies on “hybrid threats” including the possibility that irregular migration is used as a political pressure tactic by hostile actors.

The government has also sent a bill to parliament that would mark a significant expansion of existing funding for migration control to eight African countries.

However, human rights groups and migration advocates say Spain’s quest to outsource enforcement has put vulnerable people in the hands of security forces in countries with a history of abuses and heavy-handed policing.

The deaths on Friday, which were protested in Madrid at the weekend, came after clashes with Moroccan security forces when around 2,000 people tried to cross into Melilla.

A Moroccan official said security personnel had not used undue force.

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights and Spanish migration charity Walking Borders said on Saturday (June 25) the incident was a “tragic symbol of European policies of externalizing borders of the EU”.

Sanchez’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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Business

New York Stock Exchange in free fall

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Human error sends the New York Stock Exchange tumbling

We’ve all made mistakes at the office from time to time, but spare a thought for one worker who may have single-handedly brought down the New York Stock Exchange with just one tiny error.

The mistake of one employee has wiped billions of dollars off the charts for some of the globe’s largest companies.

The individual reportedly triggered wild swings and volatility on the New York Stock Exchange.

A number of big brand names were caught up in the catastrophe. It included McDonald’s, Walmart, and Mobil.

The NYSE eventually came clean. Officials admitted the“root cause” of the screw-up was a “manual error” from a staff member in the backup data centre.

The employee accidentally left the system running.

That’s why some stocks behaved as if trading had already started, with no opening prices being set, sending the market into a meltdown. #trending #featured

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Sport

Bombshell pro-Russian video emerges from Australian Open

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A bombshell video has emerged of the father of tennis star Novak Djokovic, amplifying the Russian controversy the Australian Open

 
Djokovic’s father was seen posing for pictures with a group of Putin supporters after his son won against Russia’s Andrey Rublev, to qualify for his 10th semi-final.

Russian flags have been banned from the Australian Open, but that didn’t stop one fan.

A man was seen holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it and wearing a t-shirt with the pro-war ‘Z’ symbol on it.

Four spectators were questioned by police and evicted from Melbourne Park.

After losing her semi-final, Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka hit back at media when pressed on tennis’ relationship with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

She told reporters incidents like Novak’s father posing with Russian fans have nothing to do with players.

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World

FBI Director discusses classified documents as U.S. lawmakers demand answers

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Bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill as politicians say the Biden administration is stonewalling their quest for answers

FBI Director Christopher Wray is speaking out for the first time after several batches of classified documents were discovered in U.S. President Joe Biden’s Wilmington home and Washington think tank office.

On Thursday, Wray urged lawmakers and officials to be “conscious of the rules” when dealing with classified documents.

The statements appear to be a veiled criticism of President Biden after news broke that some of the classified papers in the President’s possession date back 14-years ago to when Biden was a Delaware Senator raising questions if this is a pattern for the president to mishandle classified information.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, there is bipartisan outrage as lawmakers say the Biden administration is stonewalling them in their quest for answers.

Currently, both Biden and former President Donald Trump are facing special counsel investigations into their mishandling of classified documents—and just this week, former Vice President Mike Pence turned over classified documents to the DOJ.

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