In a report, Danger Every Step of the Way, released today, UNICEF found that 7,009 unaccompanied children made the crossing from North Africa to Italy in the first five months of the year, twice as many as this past year. “It is a silent and desperate situation – out of sight and out of mind. Yet tens of thousands of children face danger every day and hundreds of thousands more are prepared to risk everything,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant crisis in Europe. “We urgently need to protect these children from all types of abuse and exploitation by those taking advantage of the situation to exploit their dreams.” The report documents the risks that adolescents take in their flight to escape conflict, despair and poverty. Unaccompanied children generally rely on human smugglers, often under a system of ‘pay as you go’, which opens them to exploitation, UNICEF said. A total of 2,809 deaths were recorded in the Mediterranean between 1 January and 5 June 2016, as compared with 3,770 for the whole of 2015. The vast majority were on the Central Mediterranean route – and many were children, according to the report. From Somalia to Italy, Omar’s miraculous story of survivalUNICEF noted that some adolescents are sexually abused and exploited. Italian social workers told the agency that both girls and boys were sexually assaulted and forced into prostitution while in Libya, and that some of the girls were pregnant when they arrived in Italy, having been raped. However, because of the illicit nature of human smuggling operations, there are no reliable figures to show how many of the refugees and migrants die, disappear into forced labour or prostitution, or linger in detention, UNICEF said. With summer upon the Mediterranean, the latest numbers of children on the Central Mediterranean route may well be just the tip of the iceberg, according to UNICEF. Another 235,000 migrants are currently in Libya, tens of thousands of them unaccompanied children. “Every country – those the children leave, those they cross and those in which they seek asylum – has an obligation to establish protection systems focused on the risks that unaccompanied children face,” Ms. Poirier said. “In the European Union and other destination countries, there is an opportunity for policy and legislative reforms to lead to more opportunities for safe, legal and regular channels for these children,” she added.
NEW YORK — The stock market hasn’t been this dizzying in years, and investors may need to get used to it.The S&P 500 slid 4.6 per cent this past week as worries piled up about the economy’s strength, global trade and interest rates. It was a whiplash-inducing reversal from the prior week, when the S&P 500 jumped 4.8 per cent. The last time investors experienced such a big swing in stock prices between two weeks was in late 2011.It’s the latest gyration for a market that’s become increasingly twitchy, as investors try to make sense of big questions that don’t yet have clear answers for. Will tariffs derail the global economy and sink profits for businesses around the world? Will the Federal Reserve raise U.S. interest rates too quickly and choke off growth?Many Wall Street strategists see more volatility on the horizon.“What we have experienced in 2018 and most acutely since October is, unfortunately, more normal than not,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management.With economic growth expected to slow and interest rates expected to rise, many along Wall Street are forecasting 2019 will be a rocky year for stocks. “The end of easy” is the title that Wells Fargo Investment Institute gave for its 2019 investment outlook.Easy, for investors, is what the stock market had been for most of its run that began in the spring of 2009. For most of the past decade, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates extremely low to promote economic growth following the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. That helped keep borrowing costs down and lift all kinds of markets.But now the Fed is gradually raising interest rates. It has increased short-term rates eight times since 2015, and economists expect another hike to come later this month. Those higher rates — and expectations for more — have been one catalyst for recent selling.Worries about trade tensions between the United States and China have also driven big swings for stocks, in both directions. At the start of this past week, stocks jumped on hopes that the two countries had brokered a truce. But those gains evaporated as investors grew confused about what the two sides had actually agreed upon.“We started up sharply because we thought we had a deal with China and we ended at the lows for the day,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research. “That tells me people are using days where we see some green to sell out of positions into the strength, and that’s pulling the market lower. The sentiment in the market is extremely negative.”The current skid for stocks is the third big swoon for the markets this year. The first was a dramatic downturn in late January and early February, when the S&P 500 lost 10 per cent in just nine days. That was followed by a less severe stumble in March.But the middle of this year was placid, which raised hopes for a return to a smoother ride. Between late June and early October, the market didn’t rise or fall as much as 1 per cent in a single day. That was similar to the scenario in 2017, when the market drifted gradually higher and finished up 19.4 per cent.Soaring corporate profits, fueled by sweeping corporate tax cuts, powered the market’s recovery this spring and summer. S&P 500 companies delivered second-quarter earnings growth of 25 per cent, well ahead of forecasts. That helped send the S&P 500 to a new all-time high in September, erasing the losses from its correction in February.But now doubts are emerging that a similar surge in earnings growth will rally markets out of their latest skid. S&P 500 companies delivered yet another blockbuster quarter of earnings growth for the third quarter, but the reports have not lifted stocks.All the gyrations are yet another reminder to investors that the downside to owning stocks, which have had the best results over the long term, is that they’re risky and prone to sudden drops in price.“We accept volatility as the cost of doing business,” Nixon said, “and we anticipate over time that we will be compensated for taking the extra risk.”___AP Business Writers Marley Jay in New York and Alex Veiga in Los Angeles contributed to this report.Stan Choe, The Associated Press
Officers of the Cauayan municipalpolice station have yet to identify the suspect and the motive in theincident./PN Recovered from the crime scene werefour empty shells of a .45-caliber firearm, the report added. According to police investigators,Devilay was driving a motorcycle when an unidentified suspect peppered him withbullets around 6 p.m. on Thursday. Devilay was rushed to the CauayanDistrict Hospital where the attending physician declared him “dead onarrival.” The 34-year-old resident RoneloDevilay died of gunshot wounds on the body, a police report showed. Bacolod City – A man was shot to death in Barangay Man-uling, Cauayan,Negros Occidental.
Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has expressed regret over a decision by the Social Democrats Movement EDEK to withdraw from government, saying that he was not surprised.The President also said that such moves make the pain-staking effort towards a political settlement in Cyprus even more difficult, adding that unfortunately “we are not as close to a solution” as some, at home and abroad, would like to think.In a statement read out to the press, President Christofias said EDEK had from the very beginning, when he assumed the presidency in March 2008, been acting as if it belonged to the opposition, despite the fact that it participated in the government, with regard both to the Cyprus problem and domestic issues.He said he would respect EDEK’s decision, but noted that this was a hasty move, adding that it would have been more appropriate if EDEK President Yiannakis Omirou were to have decided on the matter after a meeting of the leaders of the governmental coalition parties. The meeting was scheduled to take place on February 1st but was postponed due to the arrival in Cyprus of the UN Secretary General.EDEK`s decision was taken at a meeting of its Central Committee, with 115 votes in favour, eight against and three abstentions.In his speech, EDEK President Yiannakis Omirou talked about his party’s “total disagreement” with President Christofias’ strategy on the Cyprus problem.Mr Omirou said that his party had taken, what he said was a balanced decision to depart from the government partnership.EDEK had requested a meeting to discuss the creation of a committee that would deal with broader issues for the past two years, but that this had fallen on deaf ears, according to Mr Omirou.The EDEK leader noted that such a meeting would not have touched upon the Cyprus issue, and continued to analyse the differences that exist between his party and President Christofias’s policies.Two government ministers belonging to EDEK handed in their letters of resignation earlier that day.Referring to the Cyprus question, the President noted existing differences with EDEK, adding however that there is no gap in our approach, as presented in public. “There has been no development in the recent past in the negotiations on issues on which EDEK has disagreed to justify the decision to leave the government,” he pointed out.President Christofias said that government policy on the Cyprus problem has reinforced the Greek Cypriot side as regards the essence of the problem as well as the process and the tactics followed. “This is why EDEK’s decision to withdraw from government, especially at this time, raises questions and makes me feel regret,” he added.Christofias called on political parties “at least as regards the handling of the Cyprus question to continue our dialogue in an effort to achieve mutual understanding and unity to be able to overcome difficulties ahead of us.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram