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Humanitarian actors call for $158 million to respond to the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine

(Kyiv, 29 January 2020): The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Ms. Osnat Lubrani today launched an appeal worth of US$158 million to provide humanitarian aid and protection to 2 million most vulnerable people in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine in 2020. Onstage, she was joined by the Deputy Minister for European Integration of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Mr. Oleksii Illiashenko. “Last year, we have witnessed a number of important developments: the resumption of talks in the Normandy Four format, the disengagement of forces in several areas, and the restoration of the wooden footbridge at the “Stanytsia Luhanska” crossing point have created a momentum that may help bring lasting peace,” Ms. Lubrani stated. “Yet, the conflict in eastern Ukraine is still active and continues to impact the lives of innocent civilians and produce significant humanitarian needs,” Ms. Lubrani ..

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34-year-old becomes world’s youngest prime minister

Sanna Marin, Finland's 34-year-old transportation minister, will also become the country's youngest ever prime minister when she is sworn in on Tuesday.On Sunday, Marin narrowly won a vote among Social Democrat lawmakers, according to Reuters, and replaces outgoing Prime Minister Antti Rinne, who resigned on Tuesday after coalition partner the Centre Party said it had lost confidence in him over his handling of a postal workers' strike.The prime minister-elect told reporters that she has "a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust," according to Reuters."I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate," the Agence France-Presse news agency reported her as saying.Marin rose through the ranks after leading the city council of her industrial hometown Tampere when she was 27, according to Reuters. The Social Democrats are the largest party in a five-member governing coalition..

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Angela Merkel visits Auschwitz for the first time in 14 years as Germany’s leader

Merkel traveled to Auschwitz on Friday, her first visit to the notorious Nazi concentration camp in her 14 years as leader. The trip came amid rising anti-Semitism in Germany and was designed as a strong gesture in the fight against it."It is anything but easy to stand here before you and to speak with you. I am filled with deep shame in the face of the barbaric crimes that were here committed by Germans. Crimes that are unfathomable," she said.Merkel emphasized that Auschwitz was a German extermination camp, run by Germans, adding: "It is important that we clearly identify the perpetrators, we Germans owe this to the victims and we owe it to ourselves." "We must never forget — we cannot draw a line, nor can we allow a trivialization of Holocaust," she said, urging people to stand up to hate speech and anti-Semitism.''We must not close our eyes and ears. When people are being verbally abused, humiliated or isolated … we have to stand up," she said. Touring the memorial, the C..

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France looks to 1995 as it braces for pension reform strikes and protests

Juppe, hoping to balance the country's books ahead of the switch to the euro, announced a raft of social security reforms, including the harmonization of France's varied pensions system and the end of the so-called "special regimes" enjoyed by public sector workers.After two million people took to the streets and nearly three weeks of near total paralysis, the pension reform was dropped — and Juppe saved his premiership. But not for long. Two years later right of center politicians lost the legislative power they would spend years fighting to regain. Reform has not been attempted since. Until now.President Emmanuel Macron has announced reforms that would put an end to the 42 retirement schemes currently in place in France. The idea is that the schemes, which include special provisions for certain professions, like rail workers and train drivers who benefit from early retirement, would be unified into a single points-based system that would give all workers the same rights. Bu..

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Swastikas sprayed on more than 100 graves in Jewish cemetery in France

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, who visited the cemetery in Westhoffen, eastern France, on Wednesday morning, described the incident as a "heinous act of anti-Semitism." "I want to say to those who think they can come here in the middle of the night and tarnish the memory of those who are buried here. Tarnish the memory of our French republic … I want to tell them that we will not leave them alone and our means will be mobilized to follow up and act on this," he added.Castaner went on to announce the creation of an "official office to combat hate" and said police had opened an investigation into the incident.French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack in a tweet on Tuesday evening: "Anti-Semitism is a crime and we will fight it, in Westhoffen, and everywhere, until our dead can sleep in peace."READ MORE: Anti-Semitism: A Shadow over EuropeThe Alsace region has suffered a series of anRead More – Source

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Albania: 9,000 children in need following devastating earthquake

Children and families displaced by Tuesday’s earthquake shelter in Durres. As strong quakes and aftershocks continue in Albania, thousands of children and their families – some of whom saw their homes destroyed in Tuesdays earthquake – need vital support, Save the Children warned today. At least four children are among the 40 people known to have died and at least 675 people are wounded. Search and rescue missions are continuing and more victims are expected to be found in the rubble. 20,000 people including 9,000 children have been affected by earthquake.* The ongoing strong quakes have further damaged hospitals and primary healthcare centres, making it even more challenging to deliver medical services to those most in need. Save the Children is on the ground and working closely with the government to assess the situation in four of the impacted areas – Durres, Tirane, Shijak and Fushe Kruje. We are responding to the most immediate needs of families and children. Anila Meco, Sav..

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Irish ‘ISIS bride’ Lisa Smith in custody in Dublin

Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said in a statement that Lisa Smith had been deported from Turkey with her young daughter."On her arrival in Dublin, Lisa Smith was met by An Garda Síochána," Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said, using the Irish name for the national police force."This is a sensitive case and I want to reassure people that all relevant state agencies are closely involved," Flanagan's statement continued.The Irish government has been working to repatriate Smith since her case was first reported by CNN's Jomana Karadsheh in March. Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney told Irish national broadcaster RTE on Sunday that authorities were working "primarily to ensure the safety of a 2-year-old girl who was in a warzone."Ireland's child and family agency as well as "different partners" are now looking into the "welfare of the child," he added. Meanwhile, Smith is "not living among" the Irish people and that she is "in a Garda station being qu..

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Italian police foil new ‘openly pro-Nazi’ party plot

Officers found firearms and propaganda celebrating Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and fascist dictator Benito Mussolini during the series of raids across the country, police said in a statement Thursday. The 19 suspects are under investigation but were not in custody, and police did not name any of them.Authorities had been monitoring "extreme right-wing local militants" during a two-year investigation led by the Anti-Mafia and Antiterrorism District of the Prosecutors Office of Caltanissetta and identified a "vast and jagged galaxy of subjects" who shared the same "ideological fanatism," police said. The group intended to form a "openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic and anti-Semitic group called 'Italian National Socialist Workers' Party,'" police said.Some of the suspects were accused of creating a logo for the party, using social media to recruit others and setting up a closed chat group under the name of "Militia" to train militants, the police statement said.Authorities believe me..

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