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Horrified by image of dead boy, Spain urges Syria solution

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Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Thursday urged world powers to help end the war in Syria after the “horrifying” sight of a dead Syrian toddler on a Turkish shore.

“I am not in a position to say if it is a good or a bad thing to use ground forces” to intervene in the Syrian conflict, Rajoy said.

“What I do say is that the situation in Syria is the cause of a large part of the problems we are currently having in Europe,” he added, speaking on COPE radio station.

“Settling the situation in Syria is of capital importance.”

Millions of people have fled Syria to escape its civil war, according to the United Nations, swelling to hundreds of thousands the numbers of migrants arriving in Europe over recent months.

In the latest shocking sign of the migrants’ plight, photographs of a small Syrian boy washed up dead on a Turkish beach made front pages around Europe on Thursday.

“The photograph is truly tragic. It is horrifying,” Rajoy said. “And it is a sign of something that is happening often. Many women and children have died in the Mediterranean” while trying to reach Europe by sea.

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is battling various armed groups including the jihadist movement Islamic State.

“Islamic State controls a large part of the country,” Rajoy said. “The West cannot allow that for the dignity of the Syrian people.”

Rajoy has faced demands for Spain to host a greater number of refugees, but he did not shift his position on Thursday.

He has said Spain, home to nearly 47 million people, is willing to receive 2,739 registered asylum seekers in 2015. He has implied his country might agree to take more but that any future quotas should take into account the country’s high unemployment rate.

His political opponents in Spain ahead of December’s general election have criticised his government’s reaction to the migrant crisis.

The leader of the left-wing protest party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, complained that Europe spent more on guarding its borders than on helping refugees.

“Europe has spent 1.208 billion euros on strengthening its borders and 700 million on helping refugees,” Iglesias told radio station Cadena Ser on Thursday.

“Perhaps if we reversed those figures, if instead of spending money on putting up walls and barbed wire we spent it on helping people, things would get better.”

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War: China, India, Tajikistan, others to send troops to Russia

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China’s People’s Liberation Army will send troops to Russia to participate in the “East-2022” drills.

The East-2022 is also called the Vostok-2022 and this was disclosed by the Chinese Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, according to CNN.

“China’s participation in the exercise is aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries,” the ministry added.

It further explained that the Asian giants’ participation would enhance the level of strategic cooperation among countries involved.

The exercise would further strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats, according to the defense ministry.

It, however, added that the exercise is unrelated to the current international and regional situation.

Other nations to join in the exercise are India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries.

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Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of three additional orthopedic hospitals.

Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, made the announcement on Wednesday at the inauguration of the Primary Health Care(PHC) Leadership Challenge at the State House.

The event was organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in collaboration with development partners.

Ehanire disclosed that the President approved siting of the orthopedic hospital in three regions.

“North-East has one; the North-Central has one and the South-South has one; in Benin, Jos and Jalingo respectively”, NAN quoted him saying.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said N471.9 billion had been disbursed to states under the $1.5billion World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.

She added that all the 36 states had fully domesticated the fiscal reforms in their public financial management system.

Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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BREAKING: Electricity workers call off strike

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National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has called off its nationwide strike.

The decision followed an emergency meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Wednesday.

The minister’s spokesman Olajide Oshundun, announced that Ngige intervened in the industrial action.

NUEE Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, assured that electricity would be restored across the country tonight.

The workers shut down all Transmission Companies of Nigeria (TCN) offices earlier today.

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