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Australia returns asylum-seekers to Indonesia in lifeboat

A lifeboat carrying asylum-seekers has washed up on Indonesia's main Java island, with those on board saying Australian authorities transferred them to the vessel and turned it around, officials said Tuesday. It was the latest asylum-seeker turn-back by Canberra under its military-led operation aimed at stopping an influx of would-be refugees who board rickety boats in Indonesia and make the perilous sea crossing to Australia.

Australia returns asylum-seekers to Indonesia in lifeboat

A lifeboat carrying asylum-seekers has washed up on Indonesia's main Java island, with those on board saying Australian authorities transferred them to the vessel and turned it around, officials said Tuesday. It was the latest asylum-seeker turn-back by Canberra under its military-led operation aimed at stopping an influx of would-be refugees who board rickety boats in Indonesia and make the perilous sea crossing to Australia.

Chinese migrants quit coastal cities to save money, be nearer home

By Natalie Thomas BEIJING (Reuters) - More migrant workers deserted China's coastal regions last year, as lower living costs and proximity to home trumped higher wages, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said. Data published on Thursday found the number of migrants working in China's eastern coastal region decreased by 0.2 percent in 2013, compared with a 9.4 percent increase in central China.

Federal minister heralds new rules, stripping citizenship from terrorists

CALGARY - Federal Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander used a ceremony in Calgary to tout his government's plans to tighten rules for those who want to become Canadians and to strip citizenship from dual nationals who engage in terrorism. Alexander told 51 new Canadians the first overhaul of the Citizenship Act in 36 years is meant to strengthen the value of a Canadian passport and to improve the efficiency of how citizenship is acquired. He said the new rules will clamp down on what he called Canadians of convenience by making it harder to obtain citizenship.

HK court rejects refugees' bid for right to work

Hong Kong's top court Tuesday dismissed an appeal by refugees petitioning for the right to work in a decision activists warn will tarnish the city's human rights record. The Court of Final Appeal unanimously rejected an appeal lodged by four refugees and torture claimants over their right to work, saying that there are no "constitutional rights" in local laws to grant them employment status.

Australia says Indonesia free to raise asylum policy with US

Australia said Jakarta was free to bring up Canberra's hardline asylum-seeker policy with the United States after the Indonesian foreign minister was reported as saying he would raise the issue with the visiting US Secretary of State. Australia's "Operation Sovereign Borders" -- which sees asylum-seeker boats turned back as a deterrent to people-smugglers -- has tested ties between Canberra and Indonesia, a major transit hub for would-be refugees from countries including Afghanistan and Myanmar.

Highlighting Calif. drought, Obama says US must figure out how to meet everyone's water needs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - President Barack Obama drew a link between climate change and California's drought, and said the U.S. must do a better job of figuring out how to make sure everyone's water needs are satisfied. On a tour of central California on Friday, Obama warned that weather-related disasters will only get worse.

Obama: Immigration reform will pass before I leave office

Washington, Feb 14 (EFE).- President Barack Obama said Friday that immigration reform will pass before he leaves office in January 2017. "I believe it will get done before my presidency is over," he said during an interview with Univision Radio. "I'd like to get it done this year." "The main thing people can do right now is put pressure on Republicans who have refused so far to act," the Democratic president said.

Obama: Immigration reform will pass before I leave office

Washington, Feb 14 (EFE).- President Barack Obama said Friday that immigration reform will pass before he leaves office in January 2017. "I believe it will get done before my presidency is over," he said during an interview with Univision Radio. "I'd like to get it done this year." "The main thing people can do right now is put pressure on Republicans who have refused so far to act," the Democratic president said.

Obama wines and dines solo Hollande

Barack Obama praised France's President Francois Hollande as a leader of "courage" Tuesday, and wined and dined his solo guest at a lavish state dinner. Hollande, caught in a scandal over his messy split with partner Valerie Trierweiler, has seen his approval ratings plummet to rock bottom at home over his failure to restore economic prosperity. But he relished center stage at the White House, as President Obama praised his resolve in tackling extremism in Africa and a nuclear challenge from Iran.
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