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Westlake Legal Group > fnc/world (Page 75)

Dominican tourism expert warns of ‘catastrophe’ if authorities stonewall in death probes

Westlake Legal Group DR-USTurists Dominican tourism expert warns of 'catastrophe' if authorities stonewall in death probes Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/travel/regions/caribbean fox-news/travel fox news fnc/world fnc d41b6f05-6aed-5f9f-9b24-4f9add04cc54 article

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The picturesque, sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic have become the backdrop for a rash of deaths of U.S. tourists at luxury, all-inclusive hotels.

Nine Americans this year have died in various hotels in the Caribbean nation in oddly similar circumstances – including one couple who died together inside their hotel room. Neither the Dominican ministry of public health nor the ministry of tourism has publicly shared the final autopsy reports showing the reasons why the men and women succumbed.

The strange cases – along with the recent shooting of ex-MLB star David Ortiz – has triggered a wave of speculation and questions from the victims’ families in the United States and has prompted many to question whether the island is safe for visitors.

Government data shows that the Dominican Republic welcomed more than 6.5 million visitors from around the world in 2018. In the first two months of 2019, the country saw more than 600,000 tourists – an increase of 8 percent compared to the same time last year. Of those 600,000, 65 percent came to the Dominican from North America, mainly the U.S.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S HEALTH MINISTRY CALLS MYSTERIOUS DEATHS ‘FAKE NEWS’ AS OFFICIAL LASHES OUT IN INTERVIEW

An expert on Dominican tourism told Fox News Wednesday that the country should expect a temporary decline in visitors – particularly from the U.S. – this summer, which is one of the high seasons of travel.

He spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

“I think the (downward) curve started in June and will continue in July before starting to recover again in August and September,” he said.

He warned, however, that if Dominican authorities do not determine the cause of death for the victims, and soon, it could potentially be just as damaging to the island’s tourism industry as the May 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalie Holloway was for Aruba.

“If this is not figured out, it will be a catastrophe [for the country],” he said.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF WOMAN WHO DIED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC CLAIM AUTHORITIES ARE LYING ABOUT PAST ‘SEVERAL HEART ATTACKS’

The 18-year-old’s disappearance triggered nonstop news coverage in American media and calls for a boycott of travel to the small Dutch-controlled Caribbean island. While the island’s tourism has recovered more than a decade later, it saw nearly a double-digit loss in U.S. visits in the 12 months after Holloway’s disappearance.

The handling of the case by Aruban officials – or mishandling as some critics described it in the months and years after – is believed to be one of the reasons why U.S. travelers decided to forego traveling to the island.

The tourism expert said he fears something similar could happen in the Dominican Republic if local officials do not publicly speak out on the cases and offer concrete details surrounding the deaths.

“It would be really bad if we end up with a 10 or 15 percent decline (in tourism),” he said, adding that not just the hotels would be affected, but other businesses and communities who benefit from them. “It’s thousands and thousands of dollars that enter these communities directly or indirectly from the tourism industry.

He added: “A fall of 10 percent of tourism is a 10 percent fall of income for these communities.”

BROTHER OF NEW JERSEY MAN WHO WAS FOUND DEAD IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HOTEL ROOM: ‘SOMETHING IS OFF THERE’

The Dominican government, as well as the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, have emphasized over the last few weeks that the cases are isolated incidents and that the tourist destination is safe for travelers.

Gustavo Montalvo, the minister to the Dominican presidency, has reiterated the claim, saying no city in the island appeared in a recent report of the 50 most violent in the world by the Interamerican Development Bank.

“In that list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world, there is none from the Dominican Republic,” he said during an event Wednesday hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic. “Actually, we find ourselves very far from any similar figure.”

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The ministries of public health and tourism are expected to release more information later this week, sources told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group DR-USTurists Dominican tourism expert warns of 'catastrophe' if authorities stonewall in death probes Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/travel/regions/caribbean fox-news/travel fox news fnc/world fnc d41b6f05-6aed-5f9f-9b24-4f9add04cc54 article   Westlake Legal Group DR-USTurists Dominican tourism expert warns of 'catastrophe' if authorities stonewall in death probes Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/travel/regions/caribbean fox-news/travel fox news fnc/world fnc d41b6f05-6aed-5f9f-9b24-4f9add04cc54 article

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Family and friends of woman who died in Dominican Republic claim authorities are lying about past ‘several heart attacks’

Relatives and the former supervisor of a New York woman who died suddenly on June 10 at a luxury resort in Punta Cana are disputing the Dominican Republic Minister of Public Health’s claim that she had several past heart attacks.

On Monday, Public Health Minister Rafael Sanchez Cardenas said at a press conference that Leyla Cox, a New York hospital MRI technician who died suddenly on June 10 in her room at the Excellence resort, had an enlarged heart, high blood pressure and that she had suffered “several past heart attacks.”

But on Wednesday, her supervisor where she worked at the Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island said that in the roughly 10 years she knew Cox, who was 53, she had not had a heart attack or had any serious medical conditions.

“She seemed to be in good health, she had medical tests here and all were good,” said Kathy Giovinazzo, the assistant vice president of clinical services at the hospital, in an interview with Fox News. “In all the years I knew her, I never knew her to have a heart attack.”

Dominican authorities have told the family that Cox died of a heart attack, but the family has expressed skepticism, saying that she had been healthy and had shown no signs of illness leading up to her trip to the island to celebrate her 53rd birthday. Prompted by doubts, her son, William Cox, successfully fought to get Dominican authorities to send a vial of her blood to the U.S. for toxicological testing.

Cox’s son accuses Dominican authorities of lying to avoid accountability.

“In the 25 years I’ve been alive, my mother did not have a heart attack,” he said, adding that others in the family said the Sanchez Cardenas characterization of Leyla Cox’s health were untrue.

“They’re lying,” Cox said. “It’s been like this from the beginning since she died. They give misinformation. They’re trying to cover up.”

The spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health told Fox News on Wednesday that Sanchez Cardenas was “stating facts that came directly from forensic and pathological tests.”

“Those tests tell you a person’s cause of death and any past medical conditions,” said Carlos Suero, the spokesman. “People come to the Dominican Republic with medical conditions and if they die here, they want to blame it on the Dominican Republic.”

Leyla Cox’s death was one of a rash of deaths of U.S. tourists in the Dominican Republic since last year that have been made public by their loved ones. The relatives of most of the nine U.S. tourists — whose deaths occurred under seemingly similar circumstances –have raised doubts about the accounts they’ve been given by Dominican authorities.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC RESORT DEATHS MYSTERY: TIMELINE

Several are planning to conduct their own tests in the United States. Since Dominican authorities have declared nearly all the deaths to have occurred because of natural causes, they have declined to conduct toxicological tests, leading to complaints from the relatives.

“Once a death is declared to be from natural causes, they have a different process,” Cox said. “They can just declare any death to be of natural causes because then they’re not held accountable.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Dominican attorney general approved Will Cox’s request that a blood sample from his mother be sent to the U.S. for toxicological tests. The hospital where she worked agreed to conduct the tests at no charge to her family.

Cox had wanted toxicological tests to be done in the Dominican Republic but was told that the machines were not working. He is trying to get her ashes sent to the U.S.

NEW JERSEY MAN, 55, IS LATEST CASE OF TOURIST’S DEATH IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Cox said it has been nothing short of an ordeal to extract information from the resort and Dominican authorities about the details of his mother’s death. He said that while a U.S. embassy staff member was in touch with him every day, and was helpful in some instances, in others he gave incomplete or erroneous information.

Westlake Legal Group Leyla-Cox-2 Family and friends of woman who died in Dominican Republic claim authorities are lying about past 'several heart attacks' fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc Elizabeth Llorente article 3bee16bf-2994-51b6-b01f-90c29ef5b70d

Leyla Cox and her son Will when he was a child.

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Speaking on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday, Cox credited an official at the U.S. Embassy for helping him obtain blood and urine samples for a separate toxicology report in the United States. He said he initially received an incomplete police report, while the resort’s first statement on his mother’s death was incorrect.

“I felt like I was pushed up against the wall and didn’t have any options and they almost forced me to cremate the body within 24 hours,” said Cox, expressing fear that he’ll never get a clear answer on how his mother died.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6050020005001_6050016881001-vs Family and friends of woman who died in Dominican Republic claim authorities are lying about past 'several heart attacks' fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc Elizabeth Llorente article 3bee16bf-2994-51b6-b01f-90c29ef5b70d   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6050020005001_6050016881001-vs Family and friends of woman who died in Dominican Republic claim authorities are lying about past 'several heart attacks' fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/world/world-regions/caribbean-region fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc Elizabeth Llorente article 3bee16bf-2994-51b6-b01f-90c29ef5b70d

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Brother of New Jersey man who was found dead in Dominican Republic hotel room: ‘Something is off there’

Westlake Legal Group josephallen Brother of New Jersey man who was found dead in Dominican Republic hotel room: 'Something is off there' fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/travel/regions/caribbean fox-news/travel fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/world fnc David Montanaro article 427532f9-6e87-5215-a9ca-6c8f6186beab

The brother of a New Jersey man who was found dead last week in his resort hotel room in the Dominican Republic spoke out Wednesday on “Fox & Friends”, cautioning Americans to reconsider their vacation plans in the Caribbean nation.

The State Department confirmed Joseph Allen’s death to Fox News Tuesday after the 55-year-old was found unresponsive on his hotel room floor last week.

Allen, a native of Avenel in southern New Jersey, had reportedly complained about being hot at a pool and left to take a shower; he went to bed early and was found dead the next day.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC RESORT DEATHS MYSTERY: TIMELINE

Jason Allen said his brother was not concerned about the recent deaths or the shooting of David Ortiz before he left for the Terra Linda Resort with a group of friends.

Allen said he does not trust the Dominican authorities to provide the answers about how his brother died. He said an autopsy was performed Friday, but no “official report” has been provided to the family.

“We were told the body needed to be embalmed before my brother was transported back to the United States,” he said.

DOMINICAN OFFICIALS PLEAD FOR PATIENCE AS FBI, HEALTH SPECIALISTS PROBE TOURIST DEATHS

Jason Allen said that Joseph’s 23-year-old son was on his way to the Dominican Republic to spend Father’s Day with his dad when he learned what happened. He said he does not believe anyone would have targeted his brother and said his brother never drank from the hotel room minibar.

Co-host Steve Doocy asked Allen whether he would advise people to vacation in the country given the unexplained deaths.

“Hold your horses… Something is off there and I think it needs to at the very least be looked into,” he responded.

The popular Caribbean vacation destination has been grappling with a rash of deaths of U.S. tourists at various resorts. Families of the tourists said they were generally in good health.

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In nearly all the recent deaths in the Dominican Republic, officials said there were signs of pulmonary edema — a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid. The tourists ranged in age from 41 to 67.

The Dominican Ministry of Tourism has denounced what it has called an overreaction, characterizing the deaths as coincidental.

Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group josephallen Brother of New Jersey man who was found dead in Dominican Republic hotel room: 'Something is off there' fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/travel/regions/caribbean fox-news/travel fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/world fnc David Montanaro article 427532f9-6e87-5215-a9ca-6c8f6186beab   Westlake Legal Group josephallen Brother of New Jersey man who was found dead in Dominican Republic hotel room: 'Something is off there' fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/dominican-republic fox-news/travel/regions/caribbean fox-news/travel fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/world fnc David Montanaro article 427532f9-6e87-5215-a9ca-6c8f6186beab

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Serbia-Montenegro church row fuels Balkan tensions

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Serbia-Montenegro church row fuels Balkan tensions fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/religion fox-news/world fnc/world fnc Belgrade (Serbia) Associated Press article 5110a5a5-1b01-55f3-bbca-514b4cbe7470

A Serb official has branded Montenegro a “criminal” state and threatened a “fierce” response over the neighboring country’s plans to introduce a church law.

The draft law calls for all religious communities in Montenegro to provide proof that they owned their property before 1918 when the small Adriatic state lost its independence and became part of the Serb-dominated Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. If they don’t, the property becomes state owned.

The Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian officials reacted with fury, saying Montenegro wants to “steal” hundreds of Serb churches and monasteries. Montenegro, which split from Serbia in 2006, denies the claims.

Serbian government minister Nenad Popovic said Wednesday the draft law is a “hostile act” against Serbia.

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Two melons sold at Japanese auction for $45G to first-time bidder: report

Two melons were sold at an auction in the northern Japanese city of Yubari last month for a record-breaking $45,600 to a first-time bidder, according to reports.

The public auction, which took place at a wholesale market between May 25 and 29, was the first for the country’s agricultural season. The bidder was an employee from a Japanese beverage company which sells a Yubari melon-flavored soda, according to the Japanese Times.

Westlake Legal Group melons Two melons sold at Japanese auction for $45G to first-time bidder: report fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/world fnc d68f0e43-71a8-57b7-ba6d-6374f96f45f0 Bradford Betz article

Two melons fetched for $46,500 at a public auction in the Japanese city of Yubari last month.  (sbs.com.au)

The highly-prized cantaloupes were among 1,000 pieces of Yubari-brand melons, the Asahi Shimbun reported. The melons, characterized by a sweet orange pulp, are sought after because of their lengthy ripening period, according to the report.

MAN SAYS SOUTH FLORIDA VILLA HE BOUGHT AT GOVERNMENT AUCTION TURNED OUT TO BE A FOOT-WIDE PIECE OF LAND

Auctions take place in the country at the beginning of the summer season. Agricultural products are usually sold for astronomically high prices and valued more like a trophy rather than actual food.

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The $45,600 selling price marks an all-time high for the Yubari melons. Last year, the winning bid for the two melons was about $29,500.

Westlake Legal Group melons Two melons sold at Japanese auction for $45G to first-time bidder: report fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/world fnc d68f0e43-71a8-57b7-ba6d-6374f96f45f0 Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group melons Two melons sold at Japanese auction for $45G to first-time bidder: report fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/world fnc d68f0e43-71a8-57b7-ba6d-6374f96f45f0 Bradford Betz article

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Air New Zealand boss Luxon resigns, could pursue politics

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Air New Zealand boss Luxon resigns, could pursue politics WELLINGTON, New Zealand fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 07efca7a-7d24-5df4-824c-8e90fbfce5b7

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon says he is resigning after seven years in the top job at the national carrier.

Many have speculated that Luxon has political ambitions. In a statement Wednesday, Luxon says he will take some time to reflect on what he will do next, and that his future work options include corporate life, nonprofits and politics.

He steps down as CEO in September but will keep an advisory role.

Air New Zealand is 52 percent owned by the New Zealand government. The airline serves about 17 million passengers each year with a fleet of 115 planes.

In its most recent annual results, the company reported a before-tax profit of 540 million New Zealand dollars ($353 million), it’s second-highest profit ever. As a result, it awarded 8,500 staff bonuses of up to NZ$1,800 each.

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Wedding to follow World Cup for US teammates Krieger, Harris

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-0d39e752f1d143dcb53e856a38ce1dc9 Wedding to follow World Cup for US teammates Krieger, Harris RONALD BLUM fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world fox-news/us fnc/world fnc deb54c61-6d1c-5b9a-8fd7-bbbab03d4da2 Associated Press article

Many World Cup teammates have special bonds. The tie that binds U.S. defender Ali Krieger and American goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is among the strongest at the tournament.

They got engaged last year and are planning a December wedding.

“A lot of our teammates with their partners and spouses, they don’t get to be here day in and day out,” Krieger said. “It’s really nice to be able to share this moment with her and to make these memories with her.”

They announced their engagement in People magazine in March, revealing Harris proposed on the beach in Clearwater, Florida, during a picnic last Sept. 15 and surprised Krieger with a ring.

“She is what makes me. She is my life. She is the person I am spending the rest of my life with,” Harris said.

They first met in 2010, a time both were training with the national team. They were teammates with the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League for much of 2013-15. Harris was left unprotected in an expansion draft and was taken by the Orlando Pride, and Krieger joined her when she was traded to the Pride after the 2016 season.

While their lives are joined, they are not roommates when national team players double up on the road.

“I think what has made us so successful in the work space together for so long is our boundaries,” Harris said. “When we’re at work, we’re there to work. I’m her teammate, so if she wants to come to me for something, I’m going to give her the real answer, the accountability answer. And then when we’re at home, that’s our time to be at home, and then soccer doesn’t walk through the front door.”

When they head out for the 20-minute trip to training in Florida, their personal lives stay home.

“Sometimes we drive separate,” Krieger said. “I like to have my space sometimes and so does she.”

Krieger grew up in Virginia and played at Penn State before turning pro, and she made her national team debut in 2008. Now 34, Krieger started all seven matches as the U.S. won the 2015 World Cup but she was dropped from the national team in 2017 while Harris continued to get called to camp. Harris provided mental support.

“When she was in town we would get up together 8 a.m., go do workouts, and she really pushed me to get back and I really am grateful and will always be for her support,” Krieger said. “Sometimes I’d feel bad because I would be so emotional and so, maybe tough at times to be around, because I was so angry at times and just really going through it and struggling. So I think with her support, she really helped get me out of that hole and blossom into the woman I am now here.”

Krieger received a text from U.S. coach Jill Ellis on March 19 asking her to give her a call. With decisions on a World Cup roster looming, Ellis told Krieger that night she was wanted back.

She returned for an exhibition against Belgium on April 7 after an absence of two years and a day, then was together with Harris on May 2 when Ellis revealed she was going to the World Cup . Krieger made her 100th international appearance versus New Zealand on May 16, remained on the bench as Kelley O’Hara played right back for last week’s opening 13-0 rout of Thailand, then took over for Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Chile.

Harris, 33, grew up in Florida, was a three-time NCAA champion at North Carolina and turned pro in 2010. While Harris first trained with the national team in 2009, she didn’t make her debut until 2013 and has just 21 total appearances, backing up Hope Solo at first and now Alyssa Naeher.

Their relationship does not appear to be an issue within the national team.

“Everyone’s personal lives is their personal lives, and we respect however they want to show it,” defender Becky Sauerbrunn said.

In an era when more athletes who are gay are comfortable publicly discussing their relationships, Australia captain Sam Kerr revealed in a Nike mini-documentary this year her partner is American midfielder Nikki Stanton , a teammate on the Perth Glory from 2015-17 and since 2018 on the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.

Krieger and Harris, though, are together not just on a club but on their sport’s biggest stage during the one month every four years when intense focus is on women’s soccer.

And coming up soon is a wedding they put off until after club seasons end.

“The celebration will be in December,” Harris said, “so there’ll be a lot of teammates there, that’s for sure.”

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-0d39e752f1d143dcb53e856a38ce1dc9 Wedding to follow World Cup for US teammates Krieger, Harris RONALD BLUM fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world fox-news/us fnc/world fnc deb54c61-6d1c-5b9a-8fd7-bbbab03d4da2 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-0d39e752f1d143dcb53e856a38ce1dc9 Wedding to follow World Cup for US teammates Krieger, Harris RONALD BLUM fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world fox-news/us fnc/world fnc deb54c61-6d1c-5b9a-8fd7-bbbab03d4da2 Associated Press article

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Investigation team to announce progress in MH17 probe

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Investigation team to announce progress in MH17 probe THE HAGUE, Netherlands fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 1df1962d-e15f-5b16-9538-f62ddeb212c4

An international team of investigators building a criminal case against those responsible in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is set to announce progress in the probe, nearly five years after the plane was blown out of the sky above conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

All 298 passengers and crew on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed on July 17, 2014, when a missile shattered the Boeing 777 in midair sending debris and bodies raining down onto farms and fields of sunflowers.

Ukraine’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Olena Zerkal, told Interfax-Ukraine news agency Tuesday that the investigators will name four suspects. Prosecutors declined to comment on her statements.

The families of those killed will be informed of developments Wednesday ahead of a news conference by investigators.

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UN: Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home

A record 71 million people have been displaced worldwide from war, persecution and other violence, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, an increase of more than 2 million from last year and an overall total that would amount to the world’s 20th most populous country.

The annual “Global Trends” report released by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees counts the number of the world’s refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people at the end of 2018, in some cases following decades of living away from home.

The figures, coming on the eve of World Refugee Day on Thursday, are bound to add fuel to a debate at the intersection of international law, human rights and domestic politics, especially the movement in some countries, including the U.S., against immigrants and refugees.

Launching the report, the high commissioner, Filippo Grandi, had a message for U.S. President Donald Trump and other world leaders, calling it “damaging” to depict migrants and refugees as threats to jobs and security in host countries. Often, they are fleeing insecurity and danger themselves, he said.

The report also puts a statistical skeleton onto often-poignant individual stories of people struggling to survive by crossing rivers, deserts, seas, fences and other barriers, natural and man-made, to escape government oppression, gang killings, sexual abuse, militia murders and other such violence at home.

UNHCR said 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of last year, up from about 68.5 million in 2017 — and nearly a 65% increase from a decade ago. Among them, nearly three in five people — or more than 41 million people — have been displaced within their home countries.

“The global trends, once again unfortunately, go in what I would say is the wrong direction,” Grandi told reporters in Geneva. “There are new conflicts, new situations, producing refugees, adding themselves to the old ones. The old ones never get resolved.”

The phenomenon is both growing in size and duration. Some four-fifths of the “displacement situations” have lasted more than five years. After eight years of war in Syria, for instance, its people continue to make up the largest population of forcibly displaced people, at some 13 million.

Amid runaway inflation and political turmoil at home, Venezuelans for the first time accounted for the largest number of new asylum-seekers in 2018, with more than 340,000 — or more than one in five worldwide last year. Asylum-seekers receive international protection as they await acceptance or rejection of their requests for refugee status.

UNHCR said that its figures are “conservative” and that Venezuela masks a potentially longer-term trend.

Some 4 million people are known to have left the South American country in recent years. Many of those have traveled freely to Peru, Colombia and Brazil, but only about one-eighth have sought formal international protection, and the outflow continues, suggesting the strains on the welcoming countries could worsen.

Grandi predicted a continued “exodus” from Venezuela and appealed for donors to provide more development assistance to the region.

“Otherwise these countries will not bear the pressure anymore and then they have to resort to measures that will damage refugees,” he said. “We are in a very dangerous situation.”

The United States, meanwhile, remains the “largest supporter of refugees” in the world, Grandi said in an interview. The U.S. is the biggest single donor to UNHCR. He also credited local communities and advocacy groups in the United States for helping refugees and asylum-seekers in the country.

But the refugee agency chief noted long-term administrative shortcomings that have given the United States the world’s biggest backlog of asylum claims, at nearly 719,000. More than a quarter-million claims were added last year.

He also decried recent rhetoric that has been hostile to migrants and refugees.

“In America, just like in Europe actually and in other parts of the world, what we are witnessing is an identification of refugees — but not just refugees, migrants as well — with people that come take away jobs that threaten our security, our values,” Grandi said. “And I want to say to the U.S. administration — to the president — but also to the leaders around the world: This is damaging.”

He said many people leaving Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador through Mexico have faced violence by gangs and suffered from “the inability of these governments to protect their own citizens.”

The UNHCR report noted that by far, the most refugees are taken in in the developing world, not wealthy countries.

The figures marked the seventh consecutive year in which the numbers of forcibly displaced rose.

“Yet another year, another dreadful record has been beaten,” said Jon Cerezo of British charity Oxfam. “Behind these figures, people like you and me are making dangerous trips that they never wanted to make, because of threats to their safety and most basic rights.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ee56a89badc347d79faddb76f50bd9ff-1 UN: Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home JAMEY KEATEN fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world fox-news/us fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a59e9150-b930-5ce1-af21-f26d2f84cda5   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ee56a89badc347d79faddb76f50bd9ff-1 UN: Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home JAMEY KEATEN fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world fox-news/us fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a59e9150-b930-5ce1-af21-f26d2f84cda5

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Hong Kong lawmakers meet with no-confidence vote set to fail

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ac73f9ec536c420ca7ed9ad92cb6f0e2 Hong Kong lawmakers meet with no-confidence vote set to fail Hong Kong fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fnc/world fnc cf73ac55-bbab-5139-90bc-a95cfc4dc86b Associated Press article

Hong Kong lawmakers are meeting for the first time in a week, after massive protests over an extradition bill that eventually was suspended.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting showed that pro-democracy members were planning to file a motion of no-confidence. They also were questioning security officials about complaints of violent tactics by police during the protests.

The opposition lawmakers were wearing black with white ribbons pinned to their lapels. They put white chrysanthemums, another symbol of mourning, on their desks.

The motion of no-confidence against Chief Executive Carrie Lam was bound to be voted down by the majority pro-government legislators.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ac73f9ec536c420ca7ed9ad92cb6f0e2 Hong Kong lawmakers meet with no-confidence vote set to fail Hong Kong fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fnc/world fnc cf73ac55-bbab-5139-90bc-a95cfc4dc86b Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ac73f9ec536c420ca7ed9ad92cb6f0e2 Hong Kong lawmakers meet with no-confidence vote set to fail Hong Kong fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fnc/world fnc cf73ac55-bbab-5139-90bc-a95cfc4dc86b Associated Press article

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