Refugees from Yugoslavia arriving in Ystad, Sweden in 1993. Photo: NTB Scanpix During the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, many of those fleeing the conflict looked to Sweden for protection, with just over 100,000 coming to the Scandinavian nation at the time. In 1992 alone, 70,000 people from the former Yugoslavia applied for asylum in the country – a record high number for a calendar year until it was surpassed in 2015. More than two decades later, the refugees who came to Sweden from the former Yugoslavia are held up as an example of successful integration in the country, and with good evidence. A 2016 study showed that a significantly higher proportion of Bosnians (who made up the bulk of the refugees from the Yugoslav wars) are employed in Sweden compared to other foreign-born residents. In the 20-24 age bracket, employment was at virtually the same level as native Swedes, and the proportion of those employed aged between 25 and 29 was even slightly higher than people born … [Read more...] about What lessons can Sweden learn from its Yugoslavian refugees?
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The downfall of Britain's biggest love rat who used dating site Plenty of Fish to cheat and scam unsuspecting victims has been exposed by these courageous women. Cruel conman Peter Berry was jailed for eight years on December 8 after conning three women out of £70,000 in a romance scam. He is suspected to have duped hundreds of women out of up to £2million. Dubbed 'Shrek' by some of his victims, he began his campaign of deceit in and around Plymouth, where he grew up, but is thought to broken the hearts - and bank accounts - of women worldwide. Twenty-stone lothario Berry, an international yachtsman turned professional trickster, was locked up in 2010 but vanished when he was released from prison early. The 51-year-old went on the run from police, changing his name several times and even marrying an unsuspecting woman while a national manhunt continued. All the while he was charming new women into whirlwind romances - then escaping with their cash. These three brave women … [Read more...] about How Britain’s biggest love rat was finally brought to justice by the women he shamelessly cheated and conned
When Philip Hammond delivers his Budget on November 22 he will have little good news to tell. The Chancellor knows the economy is sailing towards the Brexit doldrums with firms holding back investment and families seeing prices rise because of the fall in the pound. He had hoped to build up a £26billion cushion so he could meet his target of reducing the deficit to under 2% of GDP in 2020/21 but this has now shrunk to as little as £14billion. With little room for manoeuvre, Mr Hammond faces the competing demands from Tory MPs who want low levels of taxation and greater investment in public services. Furthermore, he needs to address the issues exposed by the election which saw young voters turn their backs on a Tory government that has lumbered them with debt and failed to address the housing crisis. These are the main challenges facing the Chancellor when he gives his statement: 1. Fixing the housing crisis The Chancellor is expected to put measures to tackle the … [Read more...] about 7 Budget challenges facing Philip Hammond – and what he might do about them
When Philip Hammond delivers his Budget on November 22 he will have little good news to tell. The Chancellor knows the economy is sailing towards the Brexit doldrums with firms holding back investment and families seeing prices rise because of the fall in the pound. He had hoped to build up a £26billion cushion so he could meet his target of reducing the deficit to under 2% of GDP in 2020/21 but this has now shrunk to as little as £14billion. With little room for manoeuvre, Mr Hammond faces the competing demands from Tory MPs who want low levels of taxation and greater investment in public services. Furthermore, he needs to address the issues exposed by the election which saw young voters turn their backs on a Tory government that has lumbered them with debt and failed to address the housing crisis. These are the main challenges facing the Chancellor when he gives his statement: Fixing the housing crisis The Chancellor is expected to put measures to tackle the … [Read more...] about The Budget challenges facing Philip Hammond
On a Friday afternoon, the Information Technology Park on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City appears to be abandoned. But in one of the offices at the site, tech developers at the startup Mimosatek are working hard on technology that will help farmers with watering their crops. "With millions of farmers, agriculture is still one of Vietnam's most important sectors," Lan Anh Le, chief operating officer at Mimosatek, told DW. "The question is always how to know how much water is needed for the plants, so we designed a tool that makes irrigation automatic and measurable." Mimosatek is only one of many tech startups in Ho Chi Minh City, the economic center of Vietnam. Over the past few years, thousands of young Vietnamese entrepreneurs have come to the city to start their own company - whether it is developing innovative apps, mobile games, e-commerce or other tech solutions. This emergence was quickly recognized by Vietnam's communist-led government. With an initiative titled 'Vietnam … [Read more...] about Tech startups are finding fertile ground in Vietnam’s ‘Silicon Valley’
DW: How would you describe and rate Obama's Syria policy over the past four years? Robert Ford: The Obama administration has been unable to contain the Syrian crisis as it had hoped. Syrian refugees were the majority of those who flooded into Europe in 2015, causing new political tensions inside the EU, a vital American partner. Syrian extremists helped organize and execute terror attacks in France, Belgium and Germany, all US allies; the "Islamic State" helped inspire American extremists in California who killed a dozen people. The US for nearly two years has been bombing inside Syria and there is no end in sight, despite progress on the ground. The administration's big claim of success, the destruction of Syrian government chemical weapons capabilities, is limited; the Syrian government continues to use chlorine gas with impunity. The most likely prospect is continued fighting, and more refugees, until the Syrian government on one side and extremist elements within the larger … [Read more...] about Obama’s policy failed to contain Syrian crisis
"On the security front, the entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure." These are the words of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, criticizing NATO in a BBC interview published on October 7 for failing to bring stability to Afghanistan in over a decade after the US-led invasion of his country. These claims, however, were sharply rejected by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen who said in a press conference that the war-torn country has come a long way in the past decade: "The changes have been remarkable, and our investment in lives and resources has been unprecedented. Nobody can deny that. And these efforts should be respected." The primary objective of the ISAF mission has been to enable the Afghan government to provide "effective security" across the war-torn nation and develop forces to ensure that the country can "never again become a safe haven for terrorists." However, … [Read more...] about Has NATO’s ISAF mission in Afghanistan failed?
You could say the US doesn't trust medicines made in India. There have been growing concerns in recent months, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banning the importation of products from certain Indian manufacturing plants. This includes drugs from the companies Ranbaxy Laboratories and Wockhardt. In January, the FDA banned all products from Ranbaxy's Toansa plant. "We are taking swift action," said Carol Bennett, acting director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, "to prevent substandard quality products from reaching US consumers." During an on-site inspection, the FDA had found "significant violations" of drug safety regulations. The FDA says staff retested products after the items had failed initial analytical testing, without reporting or investigating the failures. And the message has hit home. Doctors in the US are becoming increasingly concerned about medicines produced in India in general and advising patients to … [Read more...] about The drug divide: concerns grow in the US over generics produced in India
Opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar and Lao PDR rose to 63,800 hectares (ha) in 2014 compared to 61,200 ha in 2013, increasing for the eighth consecutive year and nearly tripling the amount harvested in 2006, according to a report published on December 8 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The paper, titled Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014 - Lao PDR, Myanmar, states that Myanmar remains Southeast Asia's top opium producer - and the world's second largest after Afghanistan. Together, Myanmar and Lao PDR produced an estimated 762 metric tons of opium, most of which - using smuggled precursor chemicals like acetyl anhydride - was refined into an estimated 76 tons of heroin and then trafficked to markets in neighboring countries and outside the region. Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, says in a DW interview that not only is the heroin from the "Golden Triangle" - the area adjoining Myanmar, Laos and Thailand - … [Read more...] about Opium production soars in Southeast Asia
In its newly published report entitled "They Know Everything We Do," Human Rights Watch (HRW) reveals how technology from countries including Germany is being used by the Ethiopian government to spy on civilians thought to be members of the opposition. In numerous instances, the surveillance activity has led to arrest, detention and even torture. "They put me in cold water and applied electric wire onto my feet, they plugged the wire into the wall," one interviewee told HRW. Like many of those rounded up by the authorities in Addis Ababa, he was presented with a list of his phone calls and accused of being a member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) - a group seeking independence for the Oromo, the largest ethnic group in the East African country. Besides highlighting Ethiopia’s ethnic tensions and the Orwellian potential of modern technology, the report begs some big questions about export controls in Western states prone to booming rhetoric on human rights. Western states … [Read more...] about German export loopholes help autocratic regimes