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Brexit news: French mayor skewered over plot to punish UK ‘Not fighting smugglers!’ | UK | News



France and the UK have been at loggerheads for months over the need to do more to tackle illegal immigration in the Channel amid a rise of attempts to cross into the UK in recent months. Twenty-seven people died on Wednesday after their boat after authorities rescued two survivors and reported four missing. Channel 4 News host Krishnan Guru-Murthy spoke to French Mayor Francois Decoster about the latest tragic incident and challenged him over France’s own policies to clamp down on human trafficking gangs.

Mr Decoster said: “We are now in front of a human tragedy because we know that we’ve got more people on the beaches of Calais, more people there, and more possibilities for the smugglers to exploit their situation.”

Mr Guru-Murthy appeared unimpressed by the Frenchman’s comments, saying:  “You are not fighting the smugglers.

“We saw today, we filmed today – the police on the beaches in France doing nothing to stop these people getting into boats and making this very dangerous crossing.

“Why are the police not stopping them?”

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Mr Decoster said: “Every day we are stopping people, every day more than 1500, the police are there obviously.”

“When the people are in Calais this is already a final stage before they want to cross the Channel.”

But the Channel 4 host hit back: “France wants them out that’s the truth, isn’t it?

“France wants them to get to Britain and that’s why the French police are not stopping them, because you don’t want them in your country.”

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Mr Decoster said: “What I see as a Mayor of St Omer is many people willing to cross but being here.

“I can see the opposite situation – obviously there are people trying every day, every day, to cross the Channel.

“Many are stopped, many smugglers are arrested, more than 1,500 have been taken by the Police since January 1 but still there are many people passing the Channel and this is a situation everybody has to realize.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of the tragic death of 27 people in the Channel: “What this shows is that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous crafts will literally stop at nothing.

“But what I’m afraid it also shows us that the operation that is being conducted by our friends on the beaches, supported as you know with £54 million from the UK to help patrol the beaches, the technical support we’ve been giving, they haven’t been enough.

“Our offer is to increase our support but also to work together with our partners on the beaches concerned, on the launching grounds for these boats.”

The Prime Minister added: “That’s something I hope will be acceptable now in view of what has happened.

“We’ve had difficulties persuading some of our partners, particularly the French, to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves.”

“I understand the difficulties that all countries face, but what we want now is to do more together – and that’s the offer we are making,” Boris concluded

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South Africans who tested Covid positive in India infected with Delta variant, says official



Representational image | Waldo Swiegers | Bloomberg

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Bengaluru: The two South African nationals who tested positive for COVID-19 were found to be infected with the delta variant, an official said.

Both the South African nationals were infected with the delta variant, the Bengaluru Rural district official said requesting anonymity.

He further said the duo was tested positive on November 11 and November 20 debunking the fear of any possible spread of the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’, which has become a new cause of worry globally.

According to him, from November 1 to 26, 94 people had come from South Africa, out of them two were tested positive for regular Covid-19.

The official also said the two infected persons have been quarantined, are being monitored by the authorities and their samples have been sent for further tests to ascertain the variant.

The new potentially more contagious B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel and the UK.

Amid fear of Omicron variant of COVID-19, Karnataka has decided to intensify screening of international passengers at airports and make RT-PCR test report compulsory for those arriving from Kerala and Maharashtra, an official statement said.

“The Chief Minister has instructed the officials to go on an aggressive campaign to trace those who have not taken the second dose of the vaccine and cover them at the earliest,” the statement read.

It was also decided to impose a temporary ban on cultural programmes in schools and colleges, make second dose of vaccination compulsory for those working in government offices, malls, hotels, cinema halls, zoos, swimming pools and libraries.

The slew of decisions taken by the government include strict vigil in the areas bordering Kerala and Maharashtra, the RT-PCR negative report compulsory for those entering the state from Kerala and Maharashtra, compulsory RT-PCR test again for students from Kerala who arrived in the last 16 days and students in hostels who have got negative RT-PCR test report would have to get the test done again on the seventh day after the first report.

The government also instructed to conduct more intense testing for students in medical and nursing colleges and intensify screening of international travellers at airports.

It also decided not to let in people who test positive for COVID-19 and they will be sent to hospitals for treatment.

The state has also decided to give booster dose of the vaccine to prevent the third wave of COVID-19.

“We have urged the union government to allow the state to administer the booster dose, especially for frontline workers. We may get the go ahead from the Centre in a week,” Revenue Minister R Ashoka was quoted as saying in the statement.

Also read: Concerns rise about India’s cricket tour of South Africa amid Omicron variant spread


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