The weather forecast
By Alain Ilioniania ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - Madagascar stages a run-off presidential election on Friday, but old rifts may persist, extending a crisis begun by a coup five years ago that deterred investors and donors of aid to one of Africa's poorest nations. Both rely on supporters of their respective sponsors, outgoing President Andry Rajoelina and the man he deposed with the army's help in 2009, Marc Ravalomanana. Voters may not deliver a clear mandate to either Jean Louis Robinson, an ally of Ravalomanana, or Hery Rajaonarimampianina, a former finance minister backed by Rajoelina.
By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU policymakers on Wednesday unveiled a draft law to tackle air pollution, which every year is linked to 400,000 premature deaths in Europe and costs of tens of billions of euros. The proposals include new limits on emissions from power plants and industry, as well as measures to make member states comply with existing rules on limiting pollutants associated with asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. So far, many member states are failing to enforce existing EU air quality standards, even though the rules are less rigorous than those set by the World Health Organization. "Air pollution is still an invisible killer and it prevents many people from living a fully active life," Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said in a statement.
Ethiopia has brought home close to 140,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday, a month after the oil-rich kingdom started deporting undocumented migrants. Thousands are continuing to arrive daily from Saudi Arabia, where a seven-month amnesty period for migrants expired in November and where Ethiopia says three of its nationals were killed in police clashes as the migrants prepared to leave. "Ethiopia and IOM are now looking at an additional 35,000 migrants expected to arrive from the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and new arrivals from Medina," the IOM said in a statement. Ethiopia initially expected around 30,000 citizens to return home, but now expects 150,000 will fly back in what has become the largest human airlift in recent history.
By Angus McDowall , Praveen Menon and Aaron Maasho RIYADH/DUBAI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - More than a million people from across the world - managers, maids, accountants and laborers - have left Saudi Arabia since March, after years or even decades working in the Gulf Arab state, which sustains its own citizens with oil revenues. "We were kicked out of our homes and our jobs," said Mohamed Ahmed, 27, waiting with thousands of other Ethiopians at a transit centre behind Addis Ababa's Bole Airport after disembarking with a few bags from Saudi Arabian Airlines jets. Like many others, Ahmed, who spent five years in Saudi Arabia after crossing the Red Sea in a fishing boat and trekking through turbulent Yemen, had to leave at short notice. Saudi Arabia avoided significant unrest during the Arab Spring pro-democracy protest wave in 2011, but its leaders were uncomfortably aware that entrenched unemployment was a big factor behind rebellions in other Arab states.