zoom For shipping to remain a facilitator of trade, a provider of jobs and a dynamic sector of the economy, the European Union must continue its role as a commercial heavyweight, the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) said in a mid-term review of the EU’s Maritime Transport Policy, presented at the European Shipping Week 2015.In a statement co-authored with ECASBA, ETA, EuDA, CLIA Europe, Interferry and WSC, ECSA says that Free Trade Agreements are mutually beneficial to the EU and the shipping industry as they ensure the prosperity of the Union, by relying on the services of the industry.Consequently, it is vital to keep the open seas secure and eliminate all threats of piracy and armed robbery that put human life as well as the global logistics chain at risk.The EU institutions should also ensure a more efficient deployment of adequate Port Reception Facilities in all EU ports and facilitation of the seafarers’ movement from third countries within the Schengen Area, as well as other measures that allow the cruise industry and other sectors of the shipping industry to continue supporting the sustainability of coastal communities through trade and marine tourism.Finally, special reference is made to migrants at sea, and in particular the recent events relating to the growing refugee and migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.ECSA says that crews on commercial ships are not trained in humanitarian operations and ships are scantily equipped to deal with dozens or hundreds of distressed people, including women and children.The shipping industry should not be relied upon to execute tasks and undertake initiatives that should be the sole prerogative of governments and international bodies, says ECSA.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today expressed serious concern about the recent death of a journalist in a Turkmenistan prison and urged the country’s authorities to launch a full and independent investigation into what happened.At a press briefing in Geneva, OHCHR spokesman José Luis Díaz said the agency was “very disturbed” about the death of Ogulsapa Muradova, the correspondent for Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe in Ashgabat, the country’s capital.Ms. Muradova was arrested in June, tried before being sentenced at the end of August to six years in prison in connection with illegal weapons after a trial that was largely reported to be unfair, Mr. Díaz said.He also expressed concern about the fate of two other people who were convicted on the same charges at the same time and remain in custody.Mr. Díaz urged the Turkmen authorities to conduct a thorough, prompt and independent investigation into the cause of Ms. Muradova’s death, including an independent medical examination of the body, and to make the findings public.
SANTA CLAUS HAS revealed what most Irish kids are asking him for this year, via his elf assistants.An Post’s chief elf Nollaig – who handled deliveries to the North Pole from Ireland – has come into possession of a full top 10 list from the letters sent by Irish kids.The list – seen by DailyEdge.ie – is topped by Lego, with elves describing the classic toy as “mega popular” in 2013. Here’s the top five:1. Lego Source: bdesham2. Vouchers / money Source: robertsharp3. Anything and everything to do with One Direction – CDs, calendars, posters, t-shirts Source: NICOLAS MAETERLINCK4. Xbox games Source: ryumu5. Moshi monsters Source: JeepersMediaDolls and toolboxes are also popular, Nollaig said.Santa will be replying to more than 130,000 children in Ireland this year. He has been receiving letters since July, Nollaig explained – although in some years they start in March and April.Some extremely good kids even write thank-you letters to Santa after Christmas, which are also handled by An Post en route to the Arctic.Nollaig said there is still time to write to Santa this year, but urged children to post their letters immediately.They must address the letter to Santa Claus, the North Pole; fix a 60c stamp on the top right of the envelope; print their name and address in the top left corner; and post the letter in any green An Post box.Here’s the full top 10:LegoVouchers or moneyOne Direction merchandiseXbox gamesMoshi monstersFurbiesA ‘surprise’iPhones and iPod touchesHarry PotterThomas the Tank Engine- Additional reporting by Valerie LoftusMore: Do you call him Santa or Santy?>Santa spotted driving a Dublin Bus ahead of his Christmas busy period>