Italy interior minister Matteo Salvini, pictured, could face charges for aggravated kidnapping. Photo: Shutterstock
Italian minister faces aggravated kidnap charges over migrant boat, world response to Venezuela power challenger, and toddler rescue continues in Spain. Delano’s Breakfast Briefing for Friday.
Italy minister faces charges
Italy interior minister Matteo Salvini could face 3-15 years in jail for blocking illicit migrants from entering Italy after a special tribunal recommended he face trial, France 24 and The Guardian report. If it gets that far, Salvini would be tried for aggravated kidnapping for refusing to let 177 migrants disembark from a rescue ship docked in Italy. The boat remained docked for six days. There’s also more on this from politico.
UK deters Channel crossings
The UK, meanwhile, is now returning migrants who attempt to cross the Channel as a deterrent, BBC news reports. The UK will spend an additional £3m per week on security as part of a plan agreed with France. There was a small rise in attempts at the end of 2018 with 40 people crossing on Christmas Day.
US returns asylum seekers
The US government was on Friday expected to return the first group of non-Mexican asylum seekers to Tijuana, Reuters and The Guardian report. “Migrant Protection Protocols” or MPP force Central American migrants crossing the border to wait in Mexico until their asylum applications are processed. The Department for Home Security said it would make a “safer and more orderly process”.
Venezuela contested leadership
The political situation in Venezuela is deteriorating after opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country’s legitimate interim president on Wednesday, a claim which has been recognised by the US. Guaidó said he was determined to end the “dictatorship” of president Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term in January. Maduro ordered the closure of Venezuela’s embassy and consulates in the US. BBC news has a good overview of what’s happening so far. Politico studies the EU’s response, euronews takes a closer look at Guaidó, France 24 reports that France’s Emmanuel Macron has chosen his side, while The Guardian reports that the US has pulled out staff and told citizens to “strongly consider” leaving.
Police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Athens on Thursday, amid mass protests against the change of the name of the country of Macedonia. A vote in favour of the Prespa agreement to name the country North Macedonia is expected to be voted in on Friday afternoon, The Guardian reports. BBC news provides a good explainer on this 28-year dispute.
Spanish toddler rescue
Miners are close to rescuing a toddler who fell down a well shaft, euronews reports. The search for two-year-old Julen, who fell after his family walked through a private estate, has now lasted 11 days. Rescuers from the mine rescue brigade have descended a shaft and must now tunnel through 4 metres of earth to where the child is thought to be.