World View: Thousands of Migrants in Athens Greece Apply to Return Home

This morning's key headlines from

  • Polish is second most spoken language in England
  • Israel's air strike into Syria raises regional tensions
  • Thousands of migrants in Athens Greece apply to return home
  • France protects uranium mines in Niger

Polish is second most spoken language in England

Polish food store in London (Getty)
Polish food store in London (Getty)

Results from the 2011 census show that, in England and Wales, neither English nor Welsh is the main language for about 8% of the population. Polish has become the most commonly spoken non-native language in England and Wales, while it was not even in the top 12 ten years earlier in 2001. However, the Polish language itself is being infiltrated by English words. This is especially true in the office, where such English words as "briefing", "marketing," and "PR" are now commonly used by Polish speakers. Other languages frequently used in England and Wales include Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali. Independent (London)

Israel's air strike into Syria raises regional tensions

The armies of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are all on high alert, according to a report from Lebanon. The alerts are a consequence of Israel's warplane attacks on Wednesday. There's still a bit of mystery surrounding the Israeli air strike. Western sources say that the target was a convoy of trucks carrying advanced Russian-made surface-to-air missiles from Syria to Hizbollah, for use in targeting Israeli aircraft. However, Syria says no, that's not it at all. The strike was on a military research building. Syria says that it's going to retaliate against Israel for the attack, leading to increased tension in the region. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday did not admit to the air strike, but hinted at it by saying,

"That is another proof that when we say something we mean it. We say that we do not think it should be allowable to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon."

But Syria's president Bashar al-Assad accused Israel of trying to "destabilize" Syria and overthrow his regime, adding, "(This action) unmasked the true role Israel is playing, in collaboration with foreign enemy forces and their agents on Syrian soil, to destabilize and weaken Syria." Israel National News and VOA

Thousands of migrants in Athens Greece apply to return home

Poor and unemployed, with little hope of being able to earn a living, thousands of migrants from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Georgia, Ghana, and Iraq are applying for a funded program that helps them leave Greece to return to their home countries. Greece is a major transit country for thousands of irregular migrants trying to reach Western Europe. But many decide to return home when they become stranded, jobless and are forced to sleep on the streets of Athens. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is funded by grants from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, provides small grants to migrants who have simply run out of money and want to return home. Kathimerini and International Organization for Migration

France protects uranium mines in Niger

Niger has confirmed that France's special forces are protecting one of the country's biggest uranium mines. French company Areva plays a major part in uranium mining in Niger, and French special forces have been assigned to the Arlit mine after 37 foreign workers were killed when al-Qaeda linked militants seized a gas plant in Algeria two weeks ago. Meanwhile, France said that 30 warplanes had bombed sites run by Islamist extremists north of the historic Tuareg center Kidal, in preparation for the entrance of French-led troops. The troops are meeting little resistance, because the militants are fleeing to the mountainous terrain around Kidal, probably to regroup and strike back when the French troops leave. France is now desperately trying to finish up and withdraw its troops before "anything" happens, but Mali officials are begging the French to stay longer. BBC and AFP

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