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EUROPE

Almost 1 million persons granted EU citizenship

EU countries granted citizenship to around 995,000 people in 2016, according to the latest figures released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on Monday (9 April). In 2016, around 995 000 persons acquired citizenship of a Member State of the European Union (EU), up from 841,000 in 2015 and 889,000 in 2014. Of the total number of …

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Sarkozy to face trial for corruption

Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial for allegedly misusing his influence to spy on an investigation into his 2007 presidential bid. It was claimed the campaign was funded by former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. France’s financial prosecutor has confirmed that the former president will stand trial for influence peddling, according to Reuters. He’s accused of securing leaked details of …

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Germany records highest birth rate since 1973

Germany recorded a bounce in the birth rate in 2016, official statistics show. The country hit a 43-year high helped along by large numbers of recently-arrived migrants. The latest figures are part of an upward trend for Germany, Europe’s biggest country by population, which has suffered from low birth rates since the 1970s. Some 792,131 children were born in Europe’s …

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Spanish police arrest 89 Nigerians, break up sex trafficking gang

Spanish police have arrested 89 persons and broken up what they said was a sex trafficking ring. Spanish police have rescued 39 women and girls smuggled in from Nigeria and trafficked into sex work by a notorious Nigerian gang. Europol says the victims were kept in “squalid conditions in caves” and intimidated with voodoo threats. According to the BBC report, …

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Angela Merkel stresses migrants, Islam in first Bundestag address of new government

In the first major speech of her new term, German Chancellor Angela Merkel struck a conciliatory tone on immigration while offering an inclusive message on Islam. “Germany can do it,” she said, and “we are all Germany.” Jefferson Chase reports. Wednesday 21 March was the first time Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag after the unprecedentedly long and difficult process of …

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Germany: Merkel responds to interior minister’s comment on Islam

Chancellor Angela Merkel and several members of the new federal cabinet have responded to the interior minister’s remarks on the position of Islam in Germany. New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had told Bild newspaper “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany,” but added that “the Muslims who live with us are, of course, part of Germany.” Seehofer, a former head of Bavaria’s …

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“Islam doesn’t belong to Germany,” says new Interior Minister

New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said Islam is not part of German culture. His comments underscore his efforts to push the government to the right. Rebecca Staudenmaier reports. Germany’s new government may now finally be in place, but Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition appears to be off to a rocky start. On Thursday, newly inaugurated Interior Minister Horst Seehofer …

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Far-right UK group banned from Facebook

Facebook has banned a far-right UK party that came to global attention after US President Donald Trump retweeted some of its anti-Islamic posts. The social media giant said it had blacklisted Britain First for repeatedly violating rules designed to stop the incitement of hatred against minority groups. It comes a week after the group’s leader and deputy — Paul Golding …

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Farewell church service for Kenneth Alaekwe to hold in Berlin on Saturday

A memorial church service for Kenneth Chukwudi Alaekwe, who passed away recently, will hold on Saturday 17 March in Berlin Schöneberg. The president of the German chapter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) died on17 February at the age of 55 in a Berlin hospital after a brief but serious illness. Kenneth is survived by his wife Ulla and …

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Mario Balotelli attacks Italy’s first Black senator

Italian national footballer Mario Balotelli has harshly criticised the country’s first Black senator, Toni Chike Iwobi, who was elected on Sunday on the platform of the anti-immigration League (formerly known as Northern League) party. “Maybe I’m blind or perhaps they have not told him yet that he is Black. But shame!!!” the footballer posted on his Instagram page, which has …

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Anti-immigration party produces Italy’s first Black senator

The Italian populist parties, Five Star Movement and the League, achieved an historic result in the March 4 parliamentary elections, causing worries in Europe. Both groups want to bring in measures that would further restrict immigration. And surprisingly the League (formerly known as Northern League) has now presented a Nigerian-born member of the party as Italy’s first Black senator. Toni …

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Anti-immigration populism on the rise in Italy after elections

The Italian populist parties, Five Star Movement and the Northern League, achieved an historic result in the March 4 parliamentary elections. While it is still unclear what sort of coalition government will be formed, both groups want to bring in measures that would further restrict migration. The one thing that was certain about the March 4 elections is that the …

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Far-right crime reaches record high in Berlin

The German capital city saw a drastic increase in far-right crime last year with more than 1,942 incidents reported, the highest in ten years. Incidents of incitement, damage to property and public calls to criminal action accounted for most of the crime. The number of politically-motivated crimes in Berlin, however, declined by ten per cent compared to 2016. A total …

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Community mourns African pastor murdered in Berlin

The corpse of the 54-year-old clergyman was found in his office in the Berlin district of Berlin Charlottenburg last Thursday.  Rev. Father (Dr) Alain-Florent Gandoulou is believed by the police to have been murdered. German media say the suspected assailant is from Cameroon. Berlin’s French-speaking Catholic community held funeral rites Sunday for Father Gandoulou in the city’s St Thomas Aquinas …

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NIDOE leadership visits Nigerian Ambassador in the Netherlands

The leadership of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe (NIDOE) was in The Hague on Thursday (15 February) in continuation of its consultative tour of Nigerian diplomatic missions in Europe. The members of the body’s Central Executive Council, led by the chairman of NIDOE, Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, were warmly received by Nigeria’s ambassador to the Netherlands, His Excellency Oji Nyimenuate …

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