Macedonia reopened its border to Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers Saturday, hours after migrants protested peacefully on the Greek side of the border, demanding passage on their way to central Europe.
Macedonian authorities said the number let in could reach 350. A similar number of migrants, who had entered Macedonia earlier last week, boarded a train in Gevgelija on Saturday, heading to Macedonia’s border with Serbia.
Macedonia has effectively shut down the border to all migrants since late Thursday, enraging the Greek government. Macedonia has repeatedly said it has slowed down or shut down migrant flows only in response to bottlenecks farther up along the Balkans migrant route.
In two separate protests Saturday, about 450 refugees gathered close to the fence marking the Greece-Macedonia border, carrying placards reading “Open the border” and shouting the same slogan.
— Associated Press
The former lover of Bolivian President Evo Morales has been arrested as part of a probe into alleged influence-trafficking involving hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts.
In 2013, Gabriela Zapata became general manager for Bolivia of China CAMC Engineering , which has seven contracts with the state, all but one no-bid, that are worth more than $500 million. Opposition politicians accuse Morales of influence-trafficking through the Chinese firm, a claim he denies.
The bombshell revelation this month of Morales’s past relationship with Zapata upended the final stretch of a referendum campaign aimed at allowing the president to seek re-election when his term ends in 2020.
Morales acknowledged the relationship during the campaign and said that the two had a child together in 2007 but that the infant later died. Zapata’s aunt, however, said Saturday that the child was still alive.
Zapata, 29, declined to speak when she was arrested Friday.
— Associated Press
Hundreds of hostages of Boko Haram are freed in raid: Cameroonian and Nigerian forces have freed several hundred hostages in a border town held by Boko Haram, including young girls who were being trained as suicide bombers, the commander of Cameroonian forces said Saturday. Soldiers also killed about 100 militants while liberating the Nigerian town of Kumshe, about nine miles from the Cameroon border.
Spain claims to break up human-smuggling ring: More than 100 people were arrested and 150 forged passports seized when Spanish police, acting in collaboration with British, French and Italian forces, broke up an alleged people-smuggling organization that illegally brought large numbers of Chinese nationals into Britain, Ireland, France and Italy. Police were alerted to the gang’s operations in 2013, when growing numbers of Chinese nationals with false documents were stopped at Spanish airports.
Saudi-led airstrikes reportedly kill dozens in Yemen: Airstrikes targeting Shiite rebels killed at least 30 people, mostly civilians, when they hit a market area outside the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, Yemeni security officials said.
Congo clears way for dozens to be adopted: François Balumuene, Congo’s ambassador to the United States, said that 82 children soon will join their adoptive parents abroad in the latest cases to be cleared by the government after more than two years of waiting. The Congolese government halted international adoptions in 2013, saying the nation’s adoption system was beset by corruption.
— From news services