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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.

Jolie meets Syria refugee children on visit to Lebanon

Hollywood star and UN refugee agency envoy Angelina Jolie met orphaned Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and called for an end to the war across the border, the UNHCR said Monday Syria's nearly three-year war reportedly killed more than 140,00 Syrians and forced millions to flee, most of them to neighbouring countries like Lebanon. Jolie said meeting with orphaned Syrian children in the eastern Bekaa Valley was a "heart-rending experience" and thanked Lebanon for assisting Syrian refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in statement.

French general says no 'ethnic cleansing' in C. Africa

The head of France's peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic on Monday denied claims by rights groups of ethnic cleansing, but admitted Muslims are under "intense pressure". The impoverished country descended into chaos last March after a rebellion overthrew the government, sparking deadly violence between the Christian majority and Muslim minority that has uprooted a million people out of a population of 4.6 million.

Australia asks impoverished Cambodia to take some asylum seekers

By Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Australia asked Cambodia, one of Asia's poorest countries, on Saturday to take in asylum seekers detained while trying to reach the Australian coast and Cambodia said it would think about it. Australia's government came to power last year partly because of a tough stance on asylum seekers arriving from Indonesia with Prime Minister Tony Abbott promising to "stop the boats".

UN urges nations to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees

The UN refugee agency on Friday urged countries outside the Middle East to open their doors to 100,000 Syrians who need to find a haven outside their conflict-struck region. The call from the United Nations high commissioner for refugees follows an earlier appeal to developed countries to grant a new home to 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrians driven from their country. With no sign of an end to the brutal three-year conflict between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces, tens of thousands more will need help in the near future, it said.

2014 key year for Afghan stabilisation: UN refugee agency

UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday urged the international community to keep up aid for Afghan refugees, stressing that 2014 with the departure of NATO troops was a critical year for their homeland. "2014 is key to Afghanistan's stability. The world cannot afford an unsuccessful Afghan transition," said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the end of a two-day visit to Iran.

Israel secretly ships African asylum seekers to Uganda

Israel is secretly transferring African asylum seekers to Uganda, Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday, quoting a senior Israeli government official. The paper said that, over the past month, dozens of people agreed to leave for Uganda and some had already departed. The Israeli immigration service spokeswoman could not be reached by AFP for comment. Last June, a government official told the Israeli Supreme Court agreement had been reached with an unnamed third country prepared to take in Africans seeking asylum in Israel.

Privacy breach as Australia publishes asylum-seeker details

The Australian government admitted Wednesday it accidentally published the personal details of 10,000 detained asylum-seekers in a major privacy breach which refugee advocates said could put lives at risk. The immigration department was alerted to the error on its website by The Guardian, whose Australian edition reported that the vast database contained full names, nationalities, location and boat arrival information.

Privacy breach as Australia publishes asylum-seeker details

The Australian government admitted Wednesday it accidentally published the personal details of thousands of asylum-seekers in detention in a major privacy breach that refugee advocates said could put lives at risk. The immigration department was alerted to the error on its website by The Guardian, whose Australian edition reported that the vast database contained full names, nationalities, location and boat arrival information.
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