Germany’s Horst Seehofer: Yes, we can get a political deal on migration

first_imgEU officials stress that no country rejected the Commission proposal. But some long-standing concerns have already resurfaced.In a statement issued after the meeting, Poland reiterated “that solidarity cannot be equated with the obligatory relocation of migrants” and stressed that “Poland is making efforts to develop a common V4 approach to key issues.” (Poland holds the presidency of the Visegrad Group, or V4, which also contains the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.)Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said in a statement to a news agency that “there must also be no distribution [of asylum seekers] through the back door, for example through return sponsorships.”Before the meeting, Malta’s Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri told POLITICO in a statement that Valletta “appreciates the Commission’s effort to seek effective solutions to address irregular migration” but “we feel that the new pact does not go far enough on solidarity. Relocation, which is the most effective form of solidarity, remains entirely voluntary.”To bridge these gaps, interior ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting, in person this time, next month in Brussels, Seehofer said. Also On POLITICO EU migration plan doomed to fail without solidarity, Greece says By Nektaria Stamouli Migration crisis upends Greece’s coronavirus strategy By Nektaria Stamouli The Commission’s new proposal, unveiled late last month, has three pillars; the introduction of pre-entry screening for those who arrive on EU shores, a new “solidarity and responsibility” mechanism — in which relocation is one of the options but is not mandatory and countries can instead opt for other ways to show solidarity, such as managing the return of people who are denied asylum, so-called return sponsorship — and an emphasis on the need to work with non-EU states to strike deals to make returns easier.Ahead of the meeting, the German presidency of the Council put forward a working document, seen by POLITICO, proposing that national capitals take a “step-by-step approach.” That means focussing on the most political parts of the Commission proposal such as procedures before people enter the EU, preventing abuse of the system and solidarity. The aim is “to achieve political agreement on these key aspects” at a meeting of interior ministers in early December.A deal on the more technical parts of the plan, such as establishing a “strong and robust EU asylum agency,” will pass to the Portuguese presidency that takes over in January. Seehofer, in a final press conference, said that “we are not faced with an easy task” but Thursday’s meeting “gives me reasons for optimism that we can succeed.” He added that “despite my optimism” he wasn’t saying they will succeed “but chances are high.”However, he sidestepped a question on whether majority voting instead of unanimity will be used, stressing that “our prime aim is to ensure solutions that have the backing of all member states” and he didn’t rule out that “one or two points” would need be to solved by national leaders.Seehofer’s cautious optimism was echoed by Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson. “No member states said they are fully satisfied with everything in the proposal, they all have some concerns, they all have some questions,” she said, but “they are not obstacles that are impossible to deal with in the negotiations to come.” It can be done.At the end of a videoconference of EU interior ministers on Thursday, during which they had their first discussion on a long-awaited European Commission proposal on migration, Germany’s Horst Seehofer expressed cautious optimism that the EU could reach a political agreement on at least some of the proposal’s key points by the end of the year.All previous attempts to reform the bloc’s asylum policies have failed because of deep divisions between member countries. One of the key areas of disagreement has been between coastline states such as Italy, Greece and Malta that have been pushing for mandatory redistribution of asylum seekers, and Central European nations like Hungary, Austria and Poland that oppose any obligation to take in refugees.last_img read more

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Major work wraps on project to remake entrance to Prairie Village Municipal Complex

first_imgThe new entrance to the Prairie Village Municipal Complex features an accessible ramp.The entrance to Prairie Village City Hall has a new, accessible entrance after major work wrapped up in late December on renovations to replace deteriorating infrastructure outside the building.The Prairie Village City Council started considering options for replacing the aging patio between city hall and the police station in early 2016, but balked at the nearly $800,000 price tag associated with the original project proposals. The governing body eventually settled on a stripped down renovation plan that did away with a little-utilized swath of brick paving in favor of a landscaped yard. The new entrance features an accessible ramp that makes it possible for people using wheelchairs or other aids to get to the level of the police station and city hall entrance much more directly than was possible before.“The entrance infrastructure (retaining walls, fountain, concrete) were failing and in need of repair/replacement,” said Prairie Village Public Works Project Manager Melissa Prenger. “The replacement of them provided an opportunity to integrate an accessible entrance to the front of City Hall.”Prenger said there are a few finishing touches on the project that crews will address when weather allows. The final items should not necessitate the closing of the building entrances for any length of time. The project budget was $430,000.last_img read more

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Kingston dreaming of a return to the Black Stars

first_imgGhana midfielder Laryea Kingston has spoken of his dream to return to the Black Stars team after seventeen months out.Laryea Kingston was dropped by former coach Rajevac Milovan ahead of the South Africa, 2010 FIFA World Cup, a move that is reported to have prompted an angry reaction from the player which almost resulted in a brawl.Laryea Kingston signed for Israeli football big spenders Hapoel Bee’r Sheva in June 2011 to play in the top flight league.He has already made right appearances in total for the club, and two in the league already.The 30-year-old who is on a brief holiday in Ghana following the international break has told JOY Sports he has a future with the Black Stars team.“I am fit and playing my best football now after signing for Bee’r Sheva and I have been dreaming of a recall into the team by the new Coach (Goran Stevanovic)”. “The memories of missing two world cups (2006 and 2010) when I was at my peak worries me and I hope to have an opportunity to correct this with my newly found form,” he said.The former Great Olympics and Hearts of Oak midfielder in the Ghana premier league believes he has discovered his best form following his return to Israel and is eager to impress when he is handed a recall into the Black Stars.“I see the game differently now, I am more matured and at age 30, even though it is not easy for an African player to land a deal in Europe, I have been signed by this important club because of my good form and I will show that when I come back into the Black Stars team”.Laryea Kingston is due to return to Israel at the end of the week to resume training with Hapoel Bee’r Sheva which has won one match and drawn the other in their opening two games of the season.last_img read more

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Go Ahead Cheat in Special Edition Monopoly Game

first_imgStay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Most board games discourage cheating. A new version of Monopoly encourages it.Hasbro is releasing a special cheater’s edition of the classic game, which asks players to carry out certain deceptive tasks.“For the first time, ‘borrowing’ money from the bank, skipping spaces, and avoiding rent are welcomed in this hilarious version of the iconic Monopoly game,” according to Hasbro.Players are permitted—nay, emboldened—to bend the rules and, well, cheat to win.We all know someone who swindles their way through games: Now they can be rewarded for those sneaky efforts. (Or, if they’re caught, punished.)“Pretend” handcuffs (a plastic shackle attached to the board) literally arrests offenders, keeping them chained until their release. (Though how one escapes from Monopoly Cheater’s Edition jail remains unseen.)“Pretend” handcuff included (via Hasbro)“A recent study conducted by Hasbro revealed that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games, so in 2018, we decided it was time to give fans what they’ve been craving all along.  Monopoly game that actually encourages cheating,” Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of Hasbro, told Insider.Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com starting this fall, the $20 board game is suitable for two to six players, ages eight and up.In the meantime, Hasbro launched a Monopoly CheatBot, for players to snitch on dishonest family and friends; the Facebook Messenger automaton lets you report cheaters and issue punishments.Know a thief, negotiator, skipper, or game ender? Tell Rich Uncle Pennybags.Answer a few questions about the offender—How did they cheat? How did they react when caught? How should they make amends?—and you’ll receive a ready-made card to publicly shame the person on social media.Some may argue that this takes all the fun out of the game. Others, myself included, might say this is just retribution for defrauding loved ones with plastic hotels and pretend payment.last_img read more

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