World Briefs: Fewer sought asylum in Germany last year

Fewer sought asylum in Germany last year

BERLIN • Germany took in 280,000 asylum seekers last year, about one-third of the previous year's record figure, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said yesterday.

At the height of the huge refugee and migrant influx to Europe in 2015, 890,000 people came seeking safe haven in the European Union's top economy.

The migration office said that it received about 745,000 asylum requests in 2016 from people who arrived that year or the year before.


Thousands down with flu in France

PARIS • French hospitals are being stretched to their limits by a major flu epidemic sweeping the country, France's health officials warn.

Thousands of mostly elderly people have been admitted due to a winter outbreak of a virulent strain of the virus known as H3N2.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine told hospital directors on Tuesday that the latest figures showed a "worrying" situation, with the epidemic yet to reach its peak.


Italian PM doing well after heart procedure

ROME • Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is in good condition and communicating with his office by phone after undergoing a heart procedure at a Rome hospital, government officials said yesterday.

The 62-year-old Mr Gentiloni, who took office last month, had an emergency angioplasty to unblock an obstructed blood vessel near his heart late on Tuesday.

Spokesmen for the Prime Minister said he was doing well but his trip to London today to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May has been cancelled.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe