Refugees

NZ aid for Manus refugees could benefit island's hospital

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised the money last the month after restating the offer to resettle 150 refugees from Australian offshore detention.

Deputy secretary Jeff Langley from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there are a number of different ways the money could be channelled including to the Red Cross and other NGOs operating on the island.

He said the ministry is also talking to the Papua New Guinea government to identify needs created by the refugee population on the island.

PNG police enter Manus asylum centre, Australia confirms

Hundreds of men have refused to leave the Manus Island centre since it was shut down on 31 October, citing fears for their safety.

On Thursday, multiple men inside the centre said that PNG police had given them a one-hour deadline to leave.

Australia said it was a PNG operation.

Under a controversial policy, Australia has detained asylum seekers who arrive by boat in camps on Manus Island and Nauru, a small Pacific nation.

100 days of protest on Manus Island

Without water, catering, power and medical services, about 600 men are occupying the decommissioned centre, where they have been interned by Australia since 2013.

The centre was closed on October 31 when companies providing services walked away from their contracts with the Australian government, following sustained public pressure.

The court found the services were available for the refugees at up to three alternative sites in the island's main town, but the refugees say they will not swap one prison for another.

Manus Island detainees enraged by Dutton's 'Armani' comments

Peter Dutton accused the detainees of being economic refugees, fleeing poverty rather than persecution, while still being able to pay up to $AU20,000 to people smugglers.

Mr Dutton said there was anecdotal evidence that detainees had amassed "the world's biggest collection of Armani jeans and handbags on Nauru," and he said their detention was being funded by "the generosity of the Australian taxpayer."

Resettlement doubt inflames Manus tension

     

About 60 asylum seekers and guards came to blows in the running battle, as the governments of PNG and Australia met in Port Moresby to discuss refugee resettlement.

Attack on refugee boat off Yemen leaves dozens dead

Coast guard Mohamed al-Alay told Reuters the refugees, carrying official UNHCR documents, were on their way from Yemen to Sudan when they were attacked by an Apache helicopter near the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

Mohammed Abdiker, emergencies director at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said 42 bodies had been recovered.

He said the attack at around 3:00am on Friday (local time) was "totally unacceptable" and that responsible combatants should have checked who was aboard the boat "before firing on it".

Trump travel ban: US judge blocks new executive order

 US District Judge Derrick Watson cited "questionable evidence" in the government's argument that the ban was a matter of national security.

President Trump described the ruling as "unprecedented judicial overreach".

The order would have placed a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations and a 120-day ban on refugees.

Mr Trump insists the move is to stop terrorists from entering the US but critics say it is discriminatory.

An earlier version of the order, issued in late January, sparked confusion and protests, and was blocked by a judge in Seattle.

Sri Lanka 'hunting' refugees who sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong

Criminal investigators from Sri Lanka are believed to have visited Hong Kong looking for them, their lawyer said.

The Sri Lankan police have denied the allegations.

Law enforcement authorities from mainland China or other countries have no jurisdiction in Hong Kong.

The lawyer representing the men, Robert Tibbo, said that at least two officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka police visited Hong Kong in December looking for them.

Starbucks to hire 10,000 refugees

Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz outlined the company's plan in a memo sent to employees Sunday in response to President Trump's executive order banning travel from seven Muslim majority countries.

"We are living in an unprecedented time," Schultz wrote in the memo, which listed several actions the company says it is taking to "reinforce our belief in our partners around the world."

The refugee hiring proposal, Schultz wrote, will begin with a focus on people who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.

Peace, goodwill, and family: Refugees celebrate their first Australian Christmas

Zainabu and her son Abdul-Aziz are from Congo, but have spent the last six years in a refugee camp in Uganda.

"This will be the first Christmas I can enjoy with my son," she said.

"In Africa I was not safe. I couldn't care about Christmas. If you are not safe, how can you enjoy it? Christmas was always too sad.

"But now I am here. I am happy, and able to enjoy Christmas for the first time in a very long time."