Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 23rd 2015 Contents A21
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Italian officials have reported the res-
cue of 555 migrants from the Mediter-
ranean while 11 others died trying to
reach Greece from Turkey.
The news came as the International
Organisation for Migration (IOM) said
the number of migrants and refugees
crossing illegally into Europe by sea and
land had passed one million.
The figure for 2015 represents a four-
fold rise on the total last year.
Before the latest deaths, the number
of dead or missing was put at 3,695.
Most of the migrants crossed by sea,
with more than 800,000 travelling from
Turkey to Greece. Half are migrants from
The influx of migrants has caused sig-
nificant political rifts within the EU, with
some states inside the border-free Schen-
gen area putting up fences and re-impos-
ing frontier controls.
Hungary and Slovakia are taking legal
action at the European Court of Justice
to challenge EU plans to share asylum
seekers across EU states.
Most migrants and refugees want to
settle in richer northern countries like
Germany and Sweden.
Germany alone has received a million
refugees and migrants this year, although
many were already within Europe, par-
ticularly in the Balkans.
According to the IOM report, the total
number of migrants and refugees entering
by land or sea reached more than
1,006,000 this year on Monday.
It covered entries via six EU nations---
Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Malta and
The IOM gathers its statistics from
registrations, law enforcement agencies
and its own monitors.
A joint IOM and UNHCR statement
said found a "more co-ordinated Euro-
pean response" was beginning to take
However, it argued that more needed
to be done to improve reception facilities,
accommodation and registration, and to
identify those who do and do not qualify
for refugee protection.
A UN report also last week warned
that the number of forcibly displaced
people worldwide would "far surpass"
60 million this year. (BBC)
Nicolas Cage has agreed to return a rare dinosaur
skull to the Mongolian government.
The Oscar-winning actor bought the Tyrannosaurus
bataar skull in 2007, unaware it had been stolen.
Authorities said he voluntarily agreed to hand over
the skull after learning of the circumstances.
The Con Air star bought the skull for $276,000
from a Beverley Hills gallery that issued him with
a certificate of authenticity.
According to reports at the time, he outbid Leonardo
DiCaprio for the skull.
The actor and gallery are not accused of any wrong
Alex Schack, a publicist for Cage, said the actor
was contacted in 2014 by the Department of Home-
land Security who told him the skull might have been
When investigators determined the skull had been
taken illegally from Mongolia, he agreed to give it
The skull will be returned to the US authorities
and then repatriated to Mongolia.
The US attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, filed
a civil forfeiture complaint to take possession of the
Tyrannosaurus bataar skull last week.
Since 2012, Bharara s office has recovered more
than a dozen Mongolian fossils, including three full
Tyrannosaurus bataar skeletons.
In 2014 US fossils dealer Eric Prokopi was jailed
for three months for smuggling dinosaur bones from
Mongolia, including those of a Tyrannosaurus bataar.
Prosecutors in New York described him as "one-
man black market in prehistoric fossils."
Mongolia criminalised the export of dinosaur fossils
in 1924. (BBC)
The Indian parliament has passed a bill which
allows juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age to
be tried as adults for serious crimes like rape or
At present, those under 18 can be sentenced to
a maximum of three years in a reform facility.
The move to change the law gathered momentum
after the youngest convict in the notorious 2012
Delhi gang rape was recently released from deten-
The parents of the victim were among those cam-
paigning to change the law.
Yesterday, the Juvenile Justice Bill was passed by
the Rajya Sabha---the upper house of the parliament.
The bill was approved by the Lok Sabha---the
lower house---in May.
It will now have to be signed by the president to
become law---which, correspondents say, is a mere
The new law will not apply to the youngest 2012
rapist, but it will be used in future cases involving
juvenile offenders above 16 years. (BBC)
Germany's highest court has ordered a
man to destroy intimate photos and videos
of his ex-partner because they violate her
right to privacy.
The Federal Court said the man, a
photographer, should no longer possess
naked photos and sex tapes, even if he had
no intention of sharing them.
The woman had originally agreed to the
images but this consent stopped when the
relationship ended, the court said.
Germany has some of the strictest privacy
laws in Europe.
The Federal Court was called upon to rule
in a dispute between a former couple, who
were arguing over whether or not the man
should delete intimate photos and videos.
In its ruling (in German), the court said
everyone had the right to decide whether to
grant insight into their sex life---including to
whom they grant permission and in what
form. It said that by retaining the images, the
photographer had a certain "manipulative
power" over his ex-lover. (BBC)
An Islamist insurgency has kept about one
million children out of school in Nigeria and
three neighbouring states, the UN children s
agency has said.
More than 2,000 schools were shut, while
hundreds had been attacked, looted or set ablaze,
Boko Haram s six-year insurgency has dev-
astated north-eastern Nigeria, and has spread
to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Nigeria s President Muhammadu Buhari gave
the military a deadline of the end of the month
to defeat the group.
But it is likely to be extended as Boko Haram
is still bombing areas despite losing towns under
its control in March, says the BBC s Bashir Sa ad
Abdullahi in the capital, Abuja.
The insurgency is said to have killed some
17,000 people and left more than two million
Boko Haram has also targeted schools because
of its opposition to Western education, which
it believes corrupts the values of Muslims. (BBC)
Model Beverly Johnson has become the
eighth woman to be sued by comedian Bill
Cosby this month.
Johnson is one of more than 50 women who
have accused the 78-year-old of drugging and,
in some cases, sexually assaulting them.
Earlier this month, Cosby took legal action
against seven other women, saying several of
them lied about him for financial gain.
He has always denied the accusations and
has never been criminally charged.
Cosby s latest legal action claims that Johnson
defamed him and intentionally inflicted emo-
"Mr Cosby states that he never drugged the
defendant and her story is a lie," said his rep-
resentative Monique Pressley.
The comedian wants a jury trial, according
to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior
Johnson, 63, wrote an article in Vanity Fair
in November 2014 in which she claimed she
was invited to Cosby s house.
There, she went on, he allegedly drugged her
coffee---claims she repeated on various TV news
programmes, including ABC s Good Morning
America and Nightline.
Cosby s legal action claims that he never spent
any time alone in his home with Johnson and
that he asked for an injunction forcing Johnson
to retract her public statements and take a chap-
ter about him out of her memoirs. (BBC)
India toughens law
for juvenile crimes
Nicolas Cage returns stolen
dinosaur skull to Mongolia
'forces one million
out of school'
Christians play the parts of Joseph and Mary during a re-enactment of a Nativity
scene of the birth of Jesus Christ as part of Christmas festivities at the Nazareth
Village in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Sex tape row: man told to destroy naked images
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