World Briefs:Merkel in migrant crisis deadlock

Merkel in migrant crisis deadlock

BERLIN • German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed yesterday to resolve differences within her ruling coalition on dealing with the crisis over a huge refugee influx.

The talks ended as at least 13 migrants, six of them children - of whom four were babies - drowned as two boats making the hazardous crossing from Turkey capsized in the Aegean Sea off Greece yesterday.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert described talks between the three party leaders as "constructive", but said they would meet again on Thursday.

Germany expects between 800,000 and a million asylum seekers to arrive this year. The influx has opened up divisions within the coalition, with the Bavarian sister party of Dr Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats demanding tougher action that many in the third ruling party, the Social Democrats, oppose.


New British military base in Bahrain

DUBAI • Construction work has begun in Bahrain to build Britain's first permanent military base in the Middle East since 1971, amid security threats in the region, Bahrain's state media reported yesterday.

The new base is part of a deal reached last year between the two countries to increase cooperation in tackling security threats in the Middle East.


ISIS seizes town in Homs province

BEIRUT • Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters seized the Syrian town of Maheen in Homs province from government forces yesterday, a monitoring group said, expanding their presence in Syria's west.

ISIS' strongholds in Syria are in the north and east, but it has increased its territory in Homs province since taking over the historic city of Palmyra earlier this year, and then Qaryatain, 15km east of Maheen.


Britain to update online-spying laws

LONDON • Britain's government gave the first details yesterday of contested plans to update Internet spying laws to keep pace with the digital age.

Home Secretary Theresa May told the BBC that the measures would not ban encryption and "will not be giving powers to go through people's browsing history".

However, the authorities will be able to look at Internet and social media activity if they get a special warrant.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2015, with the headline 'World Briefs:Merkel in migrant crisis deadlock'. Print Edition | Subscribe