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China eases one-child policy, abolishes labour camps

China's top legislative committee formally approved a loosening of the country's hugely controversial one-child policy on Saturday and abolished "re-education through labour" camps, state media reported. The decisions were taken by the standing committee of the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament, at the conclusion of a six-day meeting, according to Xinhua news agency.

China formally eases one-child policy, abolishes labor camps

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China formally approved on Saturday easing its decades-long one-child policy and the abolition of a controversial labor camp system, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Both were among a sweeping raft of reforms announced last month after a meeting of the ruling Communist Party that mapped out policy for the next decade.

China to triple compensation for parents losing only child

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is to more than triple the amount of compensation that some parents get if their only child dies, the health and family planning agency said on Thursday, in the latest sign of a more lenient stand on an uncompromising population policy. China's childless parents are emblematic of the problems of the tough one-child policy, which the government says has resulted in 400 million fewer births since 1980.

China legislators vote to end labour camps

China's top legislative committee voted Tuesday to abolish "re-education through labour" camps introduced more than half a century ago, saying they had served their purpose. The standing committee of the rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress, also supported the easing of another unpopular decades-old policy -- the one-child limit. The ruling Communist Party had announced the long-sought changes among a series of pledges after a key gathering in November.

China to ease one-child policy early next year

BEIJING (Reuters) - Changes to China's strict one-child policy, which will allow more parents to have a second child, will begin to roll out early next year, state media said. The policy change is expected to go into force in some areas of China in the first quarter of 2014, Yang Wenzhuang, a director at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told the official Xinhua news agency.

Slower immigration could lop 11 percent off UK economy: study

LONDON (Reuters) - A pledge by Britain's government to slow immigration could make the economy 11 percent smaller by 2060 and taxpayers would have to fund higher public spending, a study by a leading research institute showed on Monday. Immigration has become a hot issue ahead of elections in 2015 and the end of restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria on January 1.

2013 believed to be deadliest for desperate migrants: IOM

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 7,000 migrants may have perished at sea or while crossing deserts trying to reach a safe haven this year, believed to be the deadliest on record, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday. In what it called the first global estimate based on data from border agencies and activist groups, the IOM said at least 2,360 migrants died in 2013 chasing the dream of a new life, many having paid smuggling gangs to make the perilous trip.

Demographic focus needed under relaxed family planning: expert

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese expert has called for attention to be placed on the country's demographic challenges, predicting that the relaxation of China's family planning policy will be met with official resistance. Gu Baochang, professor with the Population Development Studies Center under Renmin University, said low fertility rates, an aging population, fast urbanization and large-scale migration are risks that China will have to address when pursuing sound development, the China Youth Daily newspaper reported on Thursday.

Selective abortions rife in Caucasus, west Balkans

A French study has found heavy imbalances in the number of newborn girls and boys in the Caucasus and west Balkans, indicating parts of the region are rife with selective abortions. Often associated with China and India, sex-selective abortions have been growing in these regions since the early 1990s, according to the study from the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED).

Israel passes law on incarceration of African asylum seekers

Israel passes law on incarceration of African asylum seekers JERUSALEM, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Israel has approved Tuesday a law that allows it to incarcerate African asylum seekers for up to a year, even if no offense is done. The asylum seekers enter Israel without permits through the Sinai desert, and are considered by the government as a threat to the country's Jewish identity.
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