Hungary, Feb 11 (AP/UNB) — Hungary's government is greatly increasing financial aid and subsidies for families with several children, the country's prime minister said Sunday.
The measures announced by Viktor Orban during his "state of the nation" speech are meant to encourage women to have more children and reverse Hungary's population decline.
The benefits include a lifetime personal income-tax exemption for women who give birth and raise at least four children; a subsidy of 2.5 million forints ($8,825) toward the purchase a seven-seat vehicle for families with three or more children; and a low-interest loan of 10 million forints ($35,300) for women under age 40 who are marrying for the first time.
Orban, who has made "zero tolerance" for immigration his main theme in the past four years and was elected to a third consecutive term in April, said the initiative is meant to "ensure the survival of the Hungarian nation."
"This is the Hungarians' answer, not immigration," Orban said.
The prime minister also listed some of his government's economic achievements — such as low unemployment — and vowed to fight poverty.
Orban then turned his attention to May's European Parliament elections, repeating his accusation that the leadership of the European Union wants to fill the continent with migrants, most of them Muslim.
"We have to understand that the European peoples have come to a historical crossroads," Orban said. "Those who decide in favor of immigration and migrants, no matter why they do so, are in fact creating a country with a mixed population."
Europe's left-wing has become "the gravedigger of nations, the family and the Christian way of life," Orban said.
After his speech, several hundred members and supporters of Hungary's main opposition parties held an anti-Orban rally that started in Buda Castle. The event also was aimed at protesting recent heavy fines the state audit office imposed on several opposition parties. A small group of protesters used their cars to block traffic from crossing the Chain Bridge over the Danube River for most of the day.
Opposition leaders said the fines, which cannot be challenged in Hungarian courts, were politically motivated and meant to hinder their campaigns for the European Parliament and municipal elections in Hungary later this year.
Mexico City, Feb 11 (AP/UNB) — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says the country's main airport will get a third terminal.
At an event Sunday he said: "All this space— where there's the presidential hangar, for example, and also the army base_will be converted into a new terminal in the Benito Juarez airport."
He also promised to refurbish existing runways and modernize the facility.
Before taking office Dec. 1, Lopez Obrador held a referendum that scrapped a new, partly-built $13 billion airport for the capital.
He said a military base would be turned into an airport and his administration would encourage more use of the airport in the city of Toluca, which lies about 63 kilometers (39 miles) west of Mexico City.
More than 40 million passengers travel through the Benito Juarez airport each year.
Istanbul, Feb 9 (AP/UNB) — Turkish emergency services on Friday recovered four more bodies from the rubble of an eight-story building that crashed down in Istanbul, bringing the death toll to 15. One man said he lost nine members of his extended family.
Earlier in the day, rescuers pulled a 16-year-old boy out alive from under the rubble two days after the collapse, raising the number of people who have been rescued to 14.
Friends and relatives waited near the wreckage for news of their missing loved ones as emergency teams, aided by sniffer dogs, worked around the clock to reach possible survivors.
Nedim Alemdar said 14 relatives were living in three separate apartments in the building that collapsed in the Kartal district on the Asian side of the city. The building had been the family's home for 25 years, he said.
"We have nine losses. My elder brother, our siblings, our children are all gone," Alemdar, 43, told The Associated Press. "This is beyond imagination."
Three other family members were being treated in the hospital, including his nine-year old son, who was trapped in the rubble for nine hours before he was rescued.
"It was an old building, there were some noises ... we could sense there was something wrong, but we didn't think much of it," he said outside the hospital.
The cause of the collapse is under investigation but a senior Turkish official has said the building's top three floors were added illegally.
Officials have not disclosed how many people are still unaccounted for. The building had 14 apartments with 43 registered residents.
The teenager who was rescued Friday, Mert Aydin, was immediately hospitalized, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters. Soylu said he had "breaks and fractures" but was doing well.
The family of another missing woman, Seyma Kambur, received a glimmer of hope Friday.
Relatives told The Associated Press that the 29-year-old's older sister managed to reach Kambur on the phone, while Kambur was still trapped under the rubble along with four others who were still alive.
"Our hopes had almost died but today, a million thanks to God. We're relieved. We'll be even more relieved if we see her face to face," said Nuran Nuroglu, Kambur's cousin.
"She is a very good person . everybody loves her, loves everything about her," said her visibly distraught mother, Nadire Ceri.
Ceri and members of her family were waiting for news at a nearby public school that was turned into a crisis center.
Soylu promised punishment for anyone found responsible for the collapse.
Nogales, Feb 9(AP/UNB) — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer shot and wounded a driver who was trying to enter Mexico at a crossing in Arizona, the agency said Friday.
The mayor of Nogales, Arizona, told a newspaper Thursday night that the man was killed, but CBP spokeswoman Teresa Small told The Associated Press Friday the man had not died.
A CBP statement said he was wounded and taken to a hospital in Mexico. His condition and further details on the incident were not provided.
CBP said it would release more information later Friday, but additional details had not been released by mid-afternoon.
Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino told the Arizona Daily Star that the shooting occurred after the driver refused to stop and tried to run over the CBP officer.
The CBP statement said the vehicle stopped just a few yards into Mexico.
A woman who answered the phone at Garino's office said the mayor was unavailable, and there was no more information about the shooting.
The shooting occurred in the border city where U.S. troops recently installed razor wire along portions of an 18-foot border wall, in some spots reaching nearly ground level.
The Nogales City Council condemned the wire and demanded that it be removed over safety concerns for children and pets.
Residents and shopkeepers complain that it makes the community look like a war zone.
Paris, Feb 9 (AP/UNB) — Several thousand supporters of an exiled Iranian opposition group marched through Paris on Friday, calling for an end to Iran's clerical regime 40 years after the Islamic revolution toppled Iran's monarchy.
The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, widely referred to in the West as the MEK, were joined at the rally by an array of speakers before the march, from former and current French politicians to a one-time Algerian prime minister and a Syrian opposition figure.
Crowds waved posters of group leader Maryam Rajavi and founder Massoud Rajavi — not seen since 2003 in Iraq, where the MEK once had a camp and waged war against Iran before being disarmed by invading U.S. troops.
The group bases its headquarters outside Paris with several thousand members in Albania, extracted in a U.N.-brokered effort from Iraq. Supporters are scattered elsewhere in the West as part of the Iranian diaspora.
Security was tight during the rally and march through Paris' Left Bank. The group's annual rally last year was the target of an alleged bomb plot, which was thwarted by arrests. An Austrian-based Iranian diplomat is being held in Belgium, where police found bomb material in the car of a couple of Iranian origin.
"As long as we're dealing with the main state sponsor of terrorism, there is a concern ... But that will never stop us," MEK spokesman Shahin Gobadi said. The MEK hones to U.S. President Donald Trump's hard line on Iran, and supports U.S. sanctions on Iran.
One speaker, former French Sen. Jean-Pierre Michel, said in an interview that "I'm not a fanatic of Mr. Trump ... but I think the United States is right about Iran." He chastised Europeans for what he views as their softer approach to Tehran.
Michel, 80, is a long-time supporter of the Mujahedeen, which has drawn around it numerous U.S. and European parliamentarians and former officials who disagree with critics' portrayal of the organization as cult-like.
He praised MEK for having a woman at its head who says she wants democracy and separation of church and state in a future Iran, and he hopes one day to visit Tehran with Rajavi, saying, "It keeps me alive."