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Italian nationalist Matteo Salvini has lashed out at his government for rolling back on the harsh migration rules that he’d introduced as interior minister. “We will stop them,” the high-polling politician promised supporters.

A decree, approved by the government late on Monday, drastically reduced the fine applied for aid groups who violate official orders during their marine operations to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean. The penalty, which stood at up to €1 million under Salvini, has been dropped to €50,000.

Asylum seekers who “risk being subjected to torture or inhumane treatment” in their countries won’t face expulsion from Italy anymore under the new regulations. The decree also simplifies the procedure for foreigners to obtain a regular working visa with special residence permits.

Salvini, who served as interior minister between June 2018 and September 2019, posted on Facebook to share his frustration with the move. “Instead of building, they destroy,” he said of PM Giuseppe Conte’s government.

Open ports (and wallets) for smugglers and illegal migrants are back.

“We will stop them… Italy deserves better,” he wrote. Salvini’s anti-establishment Northern League (Lega Nord) currently polls higher than any other party in the country. Research by pollster Index last week showed that 24 percent of Italians were eager to vote for Lega Nord.




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Unlike Salvini, members of the current government rejoiced over the loosening of migration rules. “The propaganda/Salvini decrees are no more,” Nicola Zingaretti, who leads the Democratic Party (PD) in the coalition government, wrote on Twitter. “We want a more humane and safe Italy.”

“We’ve closed a dark page,” Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova said, adding that the move made it clear that those who arrive in Italy “fleeing wars, misery, climate disasters, are not our enemy and not an enemy of Europe.”

Italy became one of the main entry points for refugees after the emergence of the migrant crisis in 2015, but Salvini closed all of the country’s ports to rescue vessels, accusing aid groups of working together with human traffickers. He also made it much more difficult for those who still managed to get to Italy to receive asylum.




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The 47-year-old is currently at risk of going to prison over his harsh treatment of migrants while in office. Salvini faces charges of abuse of p

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Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack

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At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.

Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.

Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.

No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.

What happened?

The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.

About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.

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An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.

news agency that two teachers were injured.

Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.

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Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.

“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.

The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table. 

The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.

Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”




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Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.

“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.

Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”

Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.




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At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official

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At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.

The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi

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