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Italy intercepts 700 asylum-seekers, including Syrians

Three boats carrying more than 700 asylum-seekers — some of whom were Syrian refugees — have landed on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, according to the Italian Coastguard. The new arrivals reflected a sharp increase in boats landing with people fleeing conflict-torn parts of the Mediterranean region and the Horn…

150 Syrians among refugees asking Italy for asylum

Two boats carrying around 270 mainly Syrian asylum seekers landed on Italian shores on Monday, the latest of thousands of refugees fleeing the war-torn country to arrive in Italy, officials said. The first boat carrying 150 people — all of them believed to be Syrian — arrived on the tiny…

Small neo-Nazi anti-immigration protest in Berlin dwarfed by turnout for anti-neo-Nazi protest

German neo-Nazis have protested against a new political refugee centre in Berlin, seeking to stoke anti-foreigner sentiment a month before elections and sparking large counter-demonstrations. The far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) tried to drum up anti-foreigner feelings at a rally near the asylum seekers’ centre, a former school…

Switzerland may start DNA tests on African asylum seekers suspected of lying about family connections

Some Swiss cantons are demanding systematic DNA tests on asylum seekers — specifically Eritreans — who say they are coming to the country to join family members, a newspaper reported Sunday. Eritreans represent the largest group seeking asylum in Switzerland, with nearly 6,000 requests currently pending in the country. In…

Czechs deny using penis tests for gay asylum seekers

The Czech Republic is no longer using penis blood pressure tests to determine if asylum seekers are gay, the Czech Interior Ministry said Wednesday. The EU’s leading human rights agency first criticized the Czech government last year for using “phallometric tests.” The test gauges the subject’s level of sexual arousal…

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