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Migrants, police in fresh clashes at Turkey-Greece border

first_imgTopics :  ‘Coordinated attacks’Earlier Friday, Greek officials accused Turkey of providing cutters to migrants to break through fencing. “There are coordinated attacks this morning,” a Greek official told AFP. “Apart from intimidation, these attacks are taking place from the Turkish police to help migrants cross the fence border line.”Meanwhile, two Greek men were convicted of threatening aid workers on the island of Lesbos, where there has been a violent backlash against those helping the swelling number of arrivals.”I will continue to defend my country. Most of the (aid groups) operate like spies. These gangsters should leave the island,” said 73-year-old Konstantinos Alvanopoulos after being given a three-month suspended sentence.Erdogan’s office said the Syrian ceasefire would not alter its policy on refugees leaving for Europe. “The Russia-Turkey agreement does not… change the fact of the European Union’s non-compliance with its promises as part of the 2016 refugee deal,” presidential sources told state news agency Anadolu. Russia, which backs Syrian government forces with air power, agreed to impose a ceasefire in Idlib from midnight and the skies were free of warplanes for the first day in months on Friday, although previous peace agreements have proved temporary. The EU welcomed the ceasefire. “For sure I am pleased for the ceasefire, the ceasefire is good news. At least it’s goodwill — let’s see how it works,” Borrell said in Zagreb.”But there’s still an extraordinary humanitarian challenge that I think we all face in terms of the sheer numbers of refugees,” added Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. “Right now, let’s be honest, the agreement is dead,” Mitsotakis told CNN, referring to the EU-Turkey accord.”And it’s dead because Turkey has decided to completely violate the agreement, because of what happened in Syria,” he added.Turkey agreed in 2016 to stop letting migrants leave in exchange for six billion euros — but Ankara says other parts of the EU deal including improved visa and trade rules were never fulfilled. Mitsotakis said Turkey was doing “the exact opposite” of its obligation to hold back asylum-seekers. Greek police fired tear gas in clashes with migrants at the Turkish border on Friday, as Athens said a 2016 EU-Ankara deal limiting migration to Europe was “dead”.Thousands of people have gathered at the border since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that his country would no longer stop refugees from trying to leave.Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Ankara of “assisting” an ongoing surge of desperate people gathering at the border. ‘Open the gates’ Friday’s brief clashes occurred as migrants tried to break through the fence, according to AFP journalists at the scene, but they quickly ended the volley of rocks and instead sat peacefully chanting “freedom” and “open the gates”.Greek forces say they have prevented nearly 39,000 people from crossing the border. Turkey claims the real number is more than three times higher.Many migrants say they are being pushed to attempt illegal entry to Greece. “They [the Turkish military] told us that if you don’t go to the border… you will be forced to come back to Turkey and people don’t want to come back because they don’t have any good opportunities, there isn’t anything,” Ali, an Iranian, told AFP.The EU’s diplomatic chief made a direct appeal to the migrants not to go to the Greek border.”The border is not open,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Zagreb. Turkey and Russia agreed a ceasefire in Syria on Thursday, but Ankara is still threatened by a potential new influx of refugees from the last rebel stronghold of Idlib and has sought to pressure Europe into providing greater assistance.  Turkey already hosts some four million refugees, and recent advances by the Syrian army, backed by Russian army, have pushed close to a million more towards its border. Later Friday, the Greek government released footage which it said showed Turkish riot police firing a tear gas barrage at Greek border guards.It came after the release of separate footage from Turkish state TV TRT which it said showed asylum-seekers stripped and beaten by Greek forces.A Greek police source disputed the claim, telling AFP: “We are not letting them through the border, so how can we be doing that to them?”Ankara has officially accused Athens of using undue violence against asylum-seekers, killing several and injuring many. Greek officials have repeatedly dismissed this as untrue.last_img read more

USWNT vs. England: Sports stars react to Women’s World Cup thriller

Women’s World Cup 2019: 3 takeaways from USWNT’s thrilling win over England Women’s World Cup 2019: Alex Morgan sends USA into final despite Megan Rapinoe’s absence Stars from multiple sports took to social media during and after the thrilling 2-1 U.S. win in Lyon, France, cheering on the defending champions as they look to secure a fourth World Cup title.  Here’s a sampling of some of the social media reaction from big names across the sports world: Congrats #TeamUSA Women’s World Cup!!! So strong! What a game. Can’t wait for Sunday!— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) July 2, 2019Congrats to team USA on an exciting game and spectacular win. Awesome stuff ladies and so fun to watch. Good luck in the finals as 👀 will be watching 😎 and pulling hard for you. 🇺🇸— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) July 2, 2019Let’s gooo @USWNT⚽️🇺🇸— John Wall (@JohnWall) July 2, 2019.@Cal athletes everywhere. #onetogo #gobears #itsacalthing #WomensWorldCup2019 #hbd https://t.co/DF0IjdDNnp— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) July 2, 2019Congrats @USWNT!! @amy_cole23 & I have had a blast following along! And Happy Birthday @alexmorgan13! https://t.co/0QDsaLC63t— Gerrit Cole (@GerritCole45) July 2, 2019Ball don’t lie!!!!!! #USA— Victor Cruz (@TeamVic) July 2, 2019Congrats and great win @USWNT! On to the Final! #Congrats #usa— Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) July 2, 2019What a save!!!!! pic.twitter.com/85rw8yj8Sp— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) July 2, 2019READY TO RUN THROUGH A BRICK WALL! GO USA!! 🇺🇸 @DrinkBODYARMOR @mPinoe https://t.co/C67C4zv6cL— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) July 2, 2019Congrats USA 🇺🇸 #USAvENG https://t.co/HzZTjseiw1— Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) July 2, 2019  Related News It wasn’t just sports fans across the U.S. who were enthralled by Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semifinal against England. Elite athletes were locked in, too.  read more

Health Department, Supervisors discuss temporary location options

first_imgMASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is looking over options after being forced from their home at Mohawk Square earlier this month due to a roof collapse caused by severe storms that rolled through the area.The department’s Immunization Clinic, STD/HIV Clinic, and public health nursing and home care aides staff are temporarily housed at the Community Health Center at 404 North Federal. The rest of the department is working out of a conference room at the Law Enforcement Center on the west side of Mason City.Health Department director Brian Hanft says they greatly appreciate being able to use the two locations, but they need to explore other options. “They’ve been very generous to let us use their space, but we’re in their space, and recognizing that they offered that in the short-term, you know whatever that timeline looks like, I think it’s just responsible of us to at least consider where we end up in the longer-term and try not to take advantage of what they’re giving us.”A definite timeline on when the Health Department might be able to move back into Mohawk Square has not been released, and Hanft says a lot of questions can be raised in finding a short-term solution to house the department under one roof, including in some vacant locations around the  community. “I don’t want to stay in the Law Enforcement Center for six months, and I don’t know about the Community Health Center for six months. Again I think that’s a pretty big ask of those locations. We would need to then find something, even again if we set up in the McGregor building, I’m just using that (as an example) because it’s empty. It’s going to cost a couple thousand dollars a month to probably rent it, and we set up some cubicles, and least we have some space, and then we just pay for that over the next six months.”Hanft says the wise planning by the county to have all county-owned computer systems backed up at the Law Enforcement Center was a tremendous help in getting the department through this ordeal. “When you all of a sudden don’t have access to IT, with all of your computer systems were all backed up out at the Law Enforcement Center, and I just want to stress the importance of having that as far as continuity of operations planning. There’s an expense there, but it is tremendously helpful when you need it and it’s there.”Hanft and members of his staff discussed the situation with the County Board of Supervisors during a workshop session this morning, saying he wanted their input on what steps they’d like to see taken. “I just wanted to have at least some direction as to what you are thinking about, and I think we’re on the same page as far as going out and investing a lot of money in place that we have to update and then continue to pay rent on for the life of our lease agreement there doesn’t seem to make the most sense. So the idea then is finding a place temporarily that would get us by, until we either find a location that makes sense to build in and we go back in Mohawk Square if it’s safe and stay there until we come up with a longer-term solution.”Hanft and the supervisors agreed to gather more information in helping to make a better decision and discuss the situation further during another workshop next week. The item will also be discussed at the County Board of Health’s meeting this Friday afternoon. === One of the other displaced tenants of Mohawk Square has found a temporary home. The Mason City Housing Authority says they have relocated to Suite 506 at the Brick and Tile Building at 103 East State. They can still be reached at their old office phone number, 421-2711.last_img read more