UK To Jail Illegal Migrants’ Landlords

Britain has announced new measures to tackle illegal migrants by forcing landlords to evict them, as a growing number of migrants in Calais continued their attempts to enter the UK via the undersea cross-channel Eurotunnel.

Under the measures announced on Monday, British landlords who do not remove illegal migrants, or who do not check their immigration status before renting them a property, could be jailed for up to five years.

The move, announced by Greg Clark, Britain’s communities secretary, is set to be included in a new immigration bill to be debated by the British parliament in coming months.

Britain also announced that another 100 guards would be placed on duty at the tunnel’s terminal in Calais, while UK border officials were to begin working inside the control room of the tunnel.

The migrants continued their attempts to cross the English channel via a freight train to Britain on Monday night.

Another 1,700 attempts were made by migrants in Calais to cross via the tunnel overnight on Sunday, according to French police sources. The number of people making the attempt was a major increase on the past few nights when there were only a few hundred.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from the Eurotunnel’s reinforced fence in Calais, said the attempts continued “despite quite a heavy police presence”.

“Migrants at night try and hop over this fence and literally try to grab hold of a train as it goes by in some instances. That’s why we’ve seen so many deaths in recent months,” our correspondent said.

“The French authorities have put in extra lighting, we just heard a helicopter going over and there are police scattered around this area.”

Buhari Orders ‘Immediate Interventions’ For Troubled Local Industries

THE nation’s ailing and moribund textile, mining and agro-based industries will soon be revived to reduce unemployment, it has been learnt.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who gave this indication yesterday, said he had ordered “some immediate interventions” to address challenges faced by industrialists.

He spoke when a delegation of foreign investors visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the creation of more jobs for youths was the key objective of his administration’s economic agenda.

This, he said, would be pursued with the greatest possible dedication.

He said: “I still recall with clarity that at some point, the textile industry in Nigeria was employing about 320,000 Nigerians. But today, the same industry employs less than 30,000 people and the factories operate below capacity or they are completely closed.

“I have made a promise to Nigerians that jobs will be created as part of efforts to revive the economy and that promise will be fulfilled. We will move as fast as we can to resuscitate the textile and mining industries, and also improve production in our agricultural sector.

“Now that we are trying to create jobs, we cannot allow industries and factories to close down. Instead, we should be making every effort to ensure that we reopen the closed ones and attract new ones to reduce unemployment,” Buhari told the investors who are the proprietors of Olam Farms Nigeria Limited.

He assured the delegation, which was led by Mr. Mukul Mathur, that his administration would encourage investments in agriculture and other sectors of the economy by creating a more favourable environment and enabling laws.

The president said he ordered the interventions to address challenges faced by industrialists after being briefed by Mministries of Agriculture and Industries, Trade and Investment.

“We will move very quickly to see what we can do to help you and other investors in the country so that you can help us to create jobs for our people,” the president told Mathur and his team.

Mathur told the president that Olam Group of Companies was established in Nigeria in 1989 and employs about half a million Nigerians, directly and indirectly.

Putin Extends Western Food Ban For One Year

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday extended a ban against most Western food imports for a year after EU foreign ministers agreed to prolong sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict until January 2016.

“The government turned to me with an appeal to extend the measures,” Putin told a government meeting.

“In accordance with this letter today I signed a decree to extend certain special economic measures with a view to ensuring Russia’s security,” he said in comments released by the Kremlin.

“We are extending our retaliatory measures by one year beginning from today.”

Russia had been expected to prolong the ban for six months after EU foreign ministers formally agreed Monday to prolong damaging economic sanctions against Russia until January 2016, to ensure it fully implements Ukraine peace accords.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said he would ask Putin to extend the embargo on Western food imports as well as sanctions targeting certain foreign trade transactions by another six months.

Officials led by Putin have previously said the sanctions have proved a boon for Russian domestic industries and have helped boost Russian agriculture.

Moscow has said the EU decision to announce the extension of the anti-Russian sanctions on June 22 — the day Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 and is now the official Day of Remembrance and Sorrow in the country — reeked of cynicism.

Brussels has hit Russia’s banking, oil and defence sectors hard and, along with the United States, it has warned more sanctions could follow unless Moscow lives up to its February commitments to withdraw support for the rebels and use its influence with them to implement the peace deal for Ukraine.

Russia retaliated with the embargo on most Western food imports last year.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev has killed over 6,500 people in the past 15 months. Moscow denies sending troops to Ukraine and says any Russians fighting there are volunteers.