Russia to conduct naval exercises off Lebanese shore

Lebanon said on Friday Russia was planning to carry out a three-day naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea and that Lebanese authorities were working on ways to avoid disruption to civilian flights taking off from Beirut. Moscow, which is carrying out air strikes in Lebanon’s neighbour Syria, sent an urgent telegram to Lebanese aviation authorities saying its manoeuvres would start at midnight (2200 GMT), the ministry of Public Works and Transport said. Transport Minister Ghazi Zeaiter told Reuters earlier on Friday Lebanon had refused Moscow’s request to divert civilian flights from over the area in international waters where they are planning to conduct the exercise.

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Balkan border controls leave migrants in limbo: aid agencies

Migrants warm next to a bonfire as they wait to enter a registration camp after crossing the border from Greece in Gevgelija, MacedoniaBy Stephanie Nebehay and Marjan Ognenovski GENEVA/GEVGELIJA, Macedonia (Reuters) – New border controls in the western Balkans are leaving migrants stranded behind barbed wire as temperatures start to plunge, and aid agencies warned on Friday that the clampdown would lead to a rise in smuggling. Balkan countries have begun filtering the flow of migrants, granting passage to those fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan, but turning back thousands from Africa and Asia. The measures by Macedonia, Serbia and other states are creating tension at border crossings and leaving some families stranded without adequate shelter, the U.N. refugee and children’s agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a joint statement.

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