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Migrant crisis: Middle classes on the move

It is still startling to see the human river now coursing across Europe, streaming through fields, surging over borders or halting at formidable metal barriers.
It is still shocking to see thousands of exhausted travellers sleeping rough, on roadsides or railway tracks, or spread across grassy verges, as they wait for buses or trains to take them further on their journey.
And it raises searching questions: what kind of lives have they fled? What future awaits them somewhere in Europe, if not beyond?
"It's a tragedy to see people moving from border to border, never knowing which border will be open tomorrow," says Antonio Guterres, head of the UN's refugee agency, when we meet in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
"Five thousand people are arriving every day," he says, with palpable frustration over Europe's failure to move on longstanding pledges to establish proper reception and screening centres in Greece and Italy, at the first points where people arrive.
Last week, at a summit in Brussels, there was a promise to set up "hotspots" by the end of November.
For now, "Where are you from?" is the simple question posed by the legions of journalists, aid officials and volunteers who congregate along border crossings.
"Syria" still seems to be the most frequent reply. That's what people tell us, that's what UN officials report.
The UNHCR's latest figures on Mediterranean Sea Crossings this year, which add up to just short of 500,000 by late September, put Syrians at 54%. Afghans fall in second place at 13% arriving.
When you look at Greece alone, the figure for Syrians rises to 71%.

Mediterranean Sea Crossings:

  • 499,826 arrivals by sea in 2015
  • 2,980 Dead/missing in 2015
  • Of the total, 54% are from Syria, 13% Afghanistan, 7% Eritrea, 3% Iraq, 3% Nigeria, 3% Pakistan, 2% Somalia, 2% Sudan
  • 69% are men, 18% children and 13% women
Source: UNHCR

Months into this massive pilgrimage of our time, the face of this flow keeps changing. And the stories people bring are different too.
All told, Syrians tell a story of a country, devastated by four years of punishing war, that is now being depopulated of its educated middle class.

At the railway station in the Croatian border town of Tovarnik, I recently met a microcosm of Syria's young professionals huddled together in the baking heat: an electrical engineer from Latakia on the coast, possibly the safest area under government control; a banker from war-torn Aleppo who said he's pursuing his "destiny;" a young businessman who paid thousands of euros for a 20-minute ride in a speedboat to get to Greece.
They had all left Syria only days before.
They had made a decision to flee a destructive war without end and to pursue the possibility of a future their own country now seems to deny them.
"Many people are saying if we're going to go, we must go now while Europe's door is open," a Western aid official living in Damascus tells me as he lists the people he knows personally that are leaving, week after week.
UN reports say an estimated 5,000-7,000 Syrians now arrive in Lebanon every week from Syria en route to a Mediterranean crossing.
A little more than half that number are said to come from Damascus.

Living hell

In recent weeks, I kept meeting Syrians who said they had come from Mezzeh, a relatively wealthy neighbourhood in central Damascus which is home to embassies and some popular cafes.
No area of Syria is now untouched by war, but some are ravaged, others much less so.

Others speak of an escape from places in and around Damascus where life is a living hell - besieged and embattled areas like Qudsaya, Yarmouk, Ghouta.
In northern Greece, on the edge of the no-man's land leading to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, I see another snapshot of Syria today.
An old man, his weary eyes drained of light by a dark war, wore his sadness like a suit.
He tells me he is from the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, on the southern edge of the capital, which lies in utter ruin.
He pulls his crumpled UN refugee card from his pocket to confirm his identity. It seems to be all he has.
"I will bring my wife and children later," he explains. "There's so little water and food, but I couldn't afford to bring them now."
Next to him, a tall, well-dressed man surrounded by his large extended family tells me he is from Idlib in the north.
When I ask what life is like now after a coalition of Islamist forces took power, he replies vaguely.
Then, when I hear him speaking fluent Greek to local police, he admits he left Syria four years ago to live in Cyprus.
When his family's turn comes to cross the border, he bends to lift a tall, disabled teenage girl to carry her on his back.
A second disabled girl stumbles along behind holding her mother's hand.
Everyone, whatever their circumstances, has a reason to seek what they hope will be better life in Europe.

Life's hard limits

"Everyone's life is affected by the violence," a local UN official tells me when I ask about concern that wealthier Syrians will find their way to the front of the queue at the expense of the truly destitute, displaced in whatever shelter they manage to find, across Syria or in refugee camps in neighbouring nations.
"We take some of the most vulnerable who don't have the wherewithal to get to Europe." Ann Richard, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Migration, and Refugees explains in an interview in New York.
"The people who are streaming across Europe are largely middle class educated people seeking more opportunities for themselves, and for their children."
But they're also fleeing a devastating war that's taking a terrifying human toll.
And it's not just Syrians who want to escape life's hard limits in harsh lands.
On the railway lines in northern Greece, I met three generations of a large family of Afghans from the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The youngest child shyly clutched her father's hand. Two young brothers struggled to carry their ailing grandmother in her wheelchair across the pebbly stretches of track.
"Isn't Mazar-i-Sharif one of the safest areas of Afghanistan?" I ask.
Their reply is the same refrain I heard from almost every Afghan I met on this perilous journey across Europe.
There's worry about a growing presence of so-called Islamic State and mounting attacks by Taliban fighters.
This week's startling Taliban advance on the provincial capital Kunduz in the northeast will only swell what is already a steady stream fleeing the area,
This massive displacement is both a journey to safety and a huge jobs fair.
"Where are you from?" I ask a tall African man who stands out in a crowd.
"Somalia," he replies, and then averts his gaze, saying: "Please don't film me."
Minutes later, a man standing behind him breaks away to admit that their group of 20 young men had travelled from Ghana, regarded as one of the most stable countries in West Africa.
"I was about to be arrested for a recent fire in a market which wasn't my fault," he explains. "I had to leave."
Everyone has a reason to leave. Everyone believes they have good reason to be given a chance at a better life - no matter where they come from.
"This uncontrolled movement creates opportunities for people who are not refugees to try to have their chance," admits the UNHCR's Guterres.
"Europe has to realise it will take a massive capacity to assist people when they arrive, to grant them their dignity, to verify their stories, to ensure that when people say they come from Syria, they haven't come from somewhere else."

Five migrant stories from Greece: The pull of Europe

Almost 600,000 refugees and migrants have made their way across the Mediterranean to Europe this year and the majority of those have landed on the Greek islands closest to Turkey.
Migration experts say the numbers arriving on the islands have surged recently to as many as 7,000 a day, trying to reach Europe before the weather worsens.
The biggest numbers arriving in Greece are from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and some of the new arrivals on the island of Lesbos told  News their stories.

Ali Fellah, 24, Iraq

Ali came from Najaf with his wife and son, fleeing the advance of Islamic State (IS) militants and the breakdown of services such as basic drinking water. "I'm not thinking about me," he says, "it's about the future for my son."

Sara Arbini, 40, Syria

Sara came to Lesbos with her two sons from the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, because life there was becoming impossible and she was unable to find the medicines she needed.
"It's like we went back 200 years", she says.
Her husband is still in Syria.

Ali Nyazi, 21, Afghanistan

Ali fled Kunduz when the Taliban recently took control of the city, travelling via Iran to Turkey.
He has no idea of his eventual destination but says if he can find eke out a living somewhere in Europe, that is where he will stay.

Ahmed Umar, 20, Somalia

Ahmed says a combination of violence in Mogadishu and a lack of work and education opportunities prompted him to leave.
Having already completed a long journey overland to Turkey, he says his ultimate destination is Germany.

Ali Khan, 23, Pakistan

The boat in which Ali arrived had to be rescued by the Greek authorities.
He says he left his home in north-west Pakistan, crossing Iran on his way to Turkey because the Taliban wanted him to join their jihad.

Migrant crisis: Migration to Europe explained in graphics

Vast numbers of migrants have made their way across the Mediterranean to Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggle to cope with the influx, and creating division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people.

How many people are coming?

More than 700,000 migrants are estimated to have arrived by sea so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but exact numbers are unclear as some may have passed through borders undetected.
One way to measure where migrants have ended up is through asylum applications. Although not all of those arriving claim asylum, over half a million have done so, according to the EU statistics agency, Eurostat.
Germany continues to be the most popular destination for migrants arriving in Europe. It has received the highest number of new asylum applications, with almost 222,000 by the end of August.
Hungary has moved into second place, as more migrants have tried to make the journey overland through Greece and the Western Balkans. It had 96,350 applications by the end of July.

Although Germany has had the most asylum applications in 2015, the surge of people arriving in Hungary meant it had the highest in proportion to its population.
Almost 665 refugees per 100,000 of Hungary's local population claimed asylum in the first half of 2015. The figure for Germany was 190 and for the UK it was 23 applications for every 100,000 residents.

Where do the migrants come from?

The conflict in Syria continues to be by far the biggest driver of the migration. But the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, abuses in Eritrea, as well as poverty in Kosovo are also leading people to look for new lives elsewhere.

Resettlement plan

Tensions in the EU have been rising because of the disproportionate burden faced by some countries, particularly Greece, Italy and Hungary where migrants have been arriving by boat and overland.
At an emergency meeting in Brussels, EU ministers voted by a majority to relocate 120,000 refugees EU-wide, but for now the plan will only apply to 66,000 who are in Italy and Greece.
The other 54,000 were to be moved from Hungary, but now this number will be held "in reserve", until the governments decide where they should go.

The UK has opted out of any plans for a quota system and, according to Home Office figures, has accepted 216 Syrian refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme since it began in January 2014. Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK will accept up to 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years.

Granting asylum

Although huge numbers have been applying for asylum, the number of people being given asylum is far lower.
In 2014, EU countries offered asylum to 184,665 refugees. In the same year, more than 570,000 migrants applied for asylum - although applying for asylum can be a lengthy procedure so many of those given refugee status may have applied in previous years

There were more than 25,000 asylum applications in the UK in the 12 months up to June 2015. Most applications are typically rejected and in 2014, more than 60% of initial decisions on asylum applications were refusals.
In the same period, 6,788 asylum seekers and their dependents were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK.

How do migrants get to Europe?

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 700,000 migrants were detected at the EU's borders between January and October 2015, compared with 280,000 detections for the whole of 2014. The figures do not include those who got in undetected.
The EU's external border force, Frontex, monitors the different routes migrants use and numbers arriving at Europe's borders and put the figure crossing into Europe this year at more than 710,000.

Most of those heading for Greece take the relatively short voyage from Turkey to the islands of Kos, Chios, Lesvos and Samos - often in flimsy rubber dinghies or small wooden boats.

How many migrants die?

The voyage from Libya to Italy is longer and more hazardous. According to the IOM, more than 2,800 migrants are reported to have died trying to make the crossing this year - altogether, 3,138 people have died in the Mediterranean in 2015.

The summer months are usually when most fatalities occur as it is the busiest time for migrants attempting to reach Europe.
But so far this year the deadliest month for migrants was April, which saw a boat carrying about 800 migrants capsize in the sea off Libya. Overcrowding is thought to have been one of the reasons for the disaster.

Impact of the Syrian crisis

Asylum applications from Syrians in Europe have surged in 2015, fuelled by the country's vicious civil war which began more than four years ago and shows no sign of ending.
The vast majority of refugees have fled to neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and the number of Syrians there far outweighs those who have made the difficult journey to Europe.

Migrants redistributed within Germany

Germany is currently the preferred destination for tens of thousands of migrants in central Europe. More than 800,000 people are expected to claim asylum there this year, four times the figure for 2014.
Germany has a quota system which redistributes asylum seekers around its federal states based on their tax income and existing population density.

UN and Red Cross scold world leaders over 'conflict paralysis'

The heads of the UN and Red Cross have issued a rare joint rebuke to world leaders, accusing them of "disturbing paralysis" in the face of conflict.
"This flouts the very raison d'etre of the UN," its chief, Ban Ki-moon, said.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer said the world had rarely witnessed so much suffering and instability.
They urged immediate concrete steps to ease the plight of civilians in places like Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria.
It is the first time the two bodies have issued a joint warning, says the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva, in a sign of desperation over the spread of conflicts across the world.

'Defying basic humanity'

"Rarely before have we witnessed so many people on the move," Mr Maurer told reporters at a joint news conference with Mr Ban in Geneva on Saturday.
He said some 60 million people globally had been displaced from their homes because of conflict and violence - "the highest figure since World War Two".
In a statement, the two leaders said today's wars were being waged "in complete defiance of basic humanity".
Mr Maurer said this applied to combatants in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.
"Every day, we hear of civilians being killed and wounded in violation of the basic rules of international humanitarian law, and with total impunity. Instability is spreading. Suffering is growing. No country can remain untouched," he added.
Mr Ban said: "Enough is enough. Even war has rules. It is time to enforce them."
They called on states to do the following to help bring about peace:
  • reign in armed groups and hold them accountable for abuses, and stop the use of heavy weapons in populated areas
  • protect and assist displaced people fleeing insecurity, and help to find long-term solutions
  • ensure unhindered access to medical and humanitarian missions
  • condemn those who violate international humanitarian law
  • redouble efforts to find sustainable solutions to conflicts
Large numbers of migrants have been making their way across the Mediterranean to Europe in 2015, with many escaping war and conflict in their home countries.
The UN estimates that more than 700,000 people have crossed to Europe by boat so far this year - many of them refugees from war-torn Syria. The approach of winter has so far done little to slow the flow.

Scottish airport delays 'reducing'

A technical issue has caused delays to flights through all of Scotland's main airports.
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Prestwick airports have been affected by the incident at the Scottish Air Traffic Control centre at Prestwick.
Air traffic controllers Nats said there had been interference with some radio frequencies used to talk to aircraft.
Nats said delays were now reducing but there continued to be knock-on effects.
However, a spokesman said it expected to "meet demand for the number of flights planned for the rest of the day without creating any additional delay".
The organisation has apologised to passengers and said it was also doing everything it could to safeguard the evening rush hour.

'Technical problem'

Nats said the faulty piece of equipment had now been removed from service.
All flights at Edinburgh Airport were delayed while three Glasgow Airport flights were cancelled - one to Gatwick and two to Amsterdam - and delays were expected throughout the day.
There were also a small number of delays on southbound flights from Aberdeen Airport.
Nats spokesman Paul Haskins told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We've had a technical problem overnight with interference with some of our radio frequencies which we use to speak to aircraft.
"It only affects some parts of Scottish airspace and flights from and to some Scottish airports but there may be delays as a result this morning.
"We have identified the cause and isolated the problem and the situation is now improving."
Transport minister Derek Mackay said: "There was a technical issue that has been rectified and addressed, however there are knock-on consequences to the airlines.
"People should check with their airlines and the airports to ensure that their flights are running."

Man, 24, in court after Porthcawl nightclub crash

A 24-year-old man has appeared in court charged in connection with a crash outside a nightclub which left 13 people injured.
An Audi A4 hit the area outside Streets nightclub in Porthcawl, Bridgend county, on Sunday at 01:00 GMT.
Ryan Ford is charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving, driving without insurance, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, and theft.
He was remanded in custody.
Bridgend Magistrates' Court was told he will appear before Cardiff Crown Court on 9 November.
An 18-year-old woman is helping South Wales Police with their inquiries.
The injured, aged between 17 and 43, were taken to hospitals in Bridgend and Swansea - most with leg injuries.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board said three patients remained in the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend and two in Swansea's Morriston hospital all with lower limb injuries.
Two received operations on Sunday, one on Monday and another is also scheduled to be operated on later today.
All patients are stable and all injuries are non-life threatening, said a spokesperson.

Injured Tom Dalton, 19, who needed a leg operation, tweeted a picture from his hospital bed thanking well-wishers. The cricketer played for Glamorgan's 2nd XI during 2015. 

Tax credits: Ministers urge opponents to back down

The government has urged opponents of tax credit cuts to withdraw attempts to delay or scupper them, at the start of a crucial debate in the House of Lords.
Lords leader Baroness Stowell said MPs had given the cuts their "clear and unequivocal backing", and urged the Lords not "to challenge their primacy".
If opponents backed down, she said, Chancellor George Osborne would listen "very carefully" to their concerns.
Critics have accused the Conservatives of misleading the public on the issue.
  • Follow the debate and reaction live
As the House of Lords prepares to vote on motions that could delay the controversial cuts by three years or scrap them altogether, ministers say peers do not have the right to block financial measures approved by the House of Commons.
Baroness Stowell told peers the "financial primacy" of the House of Lords had been in place for 300 years and to ignore this would be an "unprecedented" challenge to the elected chamber and put the two Houses in "direct contrast".

'Economic vision'

Urging peers to reject three separate motions calling for the cuts to be either scrapped or delayed, she said the policy should not be treated "in isolation" but was part of the government "economic strategy and vision for the country".
She said Mr Osborne would "listen very carefully" if a separate motion of regret put forward by Church of England bishops, which would not block the cuts, was passed by the Lords.
However, the BBC's political correspondent Robin Brant said it was looking increasingly likely that the Lords would block or delay the measures.

What are tax credits and what are the changes?

Tax credits are a series of benefits introduced by the last Labour government to help low-paid families. There are two types: Working Tax Credit (WTC) for those in work, and Child Tax Credit (CTC) for those with children.
Under government proposals, the income threshold for Working Tax Credits - £6,420 - will be cut to £3,850 a year from April.
In other words, as soon as someone earns £3,850, they will see their payments reduced. The income threshold for those only claiming CTCs will be cut from £16,105 to £12,125.
The rate at which those payments are cut is also going to get faster. Currently, for every £1 claimants earn above the threshold, they lose 41p. This is known as the taper rate. But from April, the taper rate will accelerate to 48p.
There will be similar reductions for those who claim work allowances under the new Universal Credit.

Read more:

  • Kuenssberg: The high-stakes battle over tax credits
  • What tax credits are and how they're changing
  • Peston: Can tax credit cuts be made less painful?

Opponents of the tax credit changes say they will leave millions of existing recipients - many of whom work but are on low incomes - some £1,300 a year worse off when they come into effect in April.
But ministers say that taking into account other changes, such as the introduction of the new national living wage, further increases in the personal tax allowance and an extension of free childcare, the majority of existing claimants will be better off.
The measures have been approved on three occasions by the Commons since June but there has been growing unease on the Conservative benches about their impact and the government is more vulnerable to defeats in the House of Lords, where it has no majority.
Peers could be asked to vote on as many as four motions urging a different approach.

The Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Manzoor has tabled a so-called "fatal motion" that would "decline to approve" the plans and effectively send them back to the drawing board.
She said the effect of the cuts would be "devastating" and attempts to put them on hold or seek to alleviate their impact would merely be a "sticking plaster".

Constitution wars

It should not really be much of a problem - the House of Lords is not traditionally supposed to block financial legislation that has the backing of MPs.
This principle was established in 1911 during the constitutional gridlock that followed a decision by peers to block the Liberal Party's "people's budget".
But nothing is ever cut and dried in Britain's fluid, unwritten constitution. And both sides are angrily trading precedents and claiming that their opponents are overstepping the mark. If they could only agree where the mark is.
Lords v Commons: Tax credit battle gets constitutional

The Lib Dems have told their 111 peers to vote for the motion but it is not clear how much support the Manzoor motion will attract from Labour and the 176 crossbench members of the Upper House.
Labour's motion, under the name of Baroness Hollis, calls for the changes to be delayed until a three-year package of transitional financial help has been agreed upon.
Two other motions, one under the name of crossbench peer Baroness Meacher calling for a pause, and one from the Bishop of Portsmouth urging further consultation have also been tabled. However, it is not clear if they will be voted on.
Baroness Meacher accused ministers of "bullying" over their attempts to prevent peers from challenging the reforms, saying she was "acutely conscious" of threats by the government to "destroy this House one way or another if we proceed".
The Upper House, whose main function is as a revising chamber, has no powers to amend or block government money bills but the tax credit changes are incorporated in a so-called statutory instrument rather than primary legislation.
According to parliamentary records, peers have killed off secondary or delegated legislation supported by the Commons on five occasions since 1945: in 1968, 2000 (twice), 2007 and 2012.

Becky Watts case: Shauna Hoare 'angry and appalled' at killing confession

A woman accused of murdering teenager Becky Watts said she was "angry" and "appalled" to learn her boyfriend had confessed to killing her, a court has heard.
Shauna Hoare said she "felt sick" to hear Nathan Matthews had killed his stepsister at her home in Bristol.
She felt angry that he did it "while I was there in the house" and had acted "so normal" afterwards.
Mr Matthews, 28, and Ms Hoare, 21, deny murder.
Ms Hoare was told of Mr Matthews' confession in a police interview conducted on 3 March.

'Really confused'

In a transcript read out to jurors at Bristol Crown Court, Ms Hoare said: "I'm feeling sick to know she was there - appalled, disgusted, outrageously angry - and I feel a bit like I am going to wake up and this is not happening.
"I think it is more angry at the moment than anything - angry he has done it, that he did it, that he could do it when I was there in the house."
Mr Matthews admitted he had killed Becky after panicking during a plan to kidnap her and scare her, but insists Miss Hoare had no part in it.

He told police he did not believe Ms Hoare could have heard any of the struggle between him and Becky at her home in Crown Hill because she was in the garden at the time.
Ms Hoare said Mr Matthews had "acted so normal to me", and that she was "really confused why he did it".
"I don't understand. I can't even look at him. I just wanted to kill him - bad choice of words. I felt sick looking at him, knowing what he did," she added.
Previously, the jury was told the pair bought items including rubble sacks, cling film, duct tape and cleaning products in Wilkinson's on 22 February - three days after Becky's disappearance.
When police queried why the pair would be buying duct tape, Ms Hoare said she thought Mr Matthews was going to use it to pack up boxes and sort out their house, which the jury was told was extremely cluttered.

'Assumed Becky safe'

Asked why she had not questioned Mr Matthews' suspicious behaviour in the days after Becky's disappearance, Ms Hoare said: "I didn't think she had come to harm. I just assumed she was safe somewhere."
She added that she usually did not question Mr Matthews as she was worried about him losing his temper.
The court also heard that Ms Hoare told police she had once shown Mr Matthews a YouTube video called Do You Want to Hide a Body to "make him laugh".
Becky's dismembered body was found in a shed several days after she vanished from her family home in St George, Bristol.
Mr Matthews, 28, of Hazelbury Drive, Warmley, South Gloucestershire, admits killing his stepsister but denies murder and conspiring to kidnap her.
He also admits perverting the course of justice, preventing Becky's burial and possessing a prohibited weapon.
Miss Hoare, 21, of Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol, denies murder and conspiracy to kidnap, a weapons charge, perverting the course of justice and preventing a burial.
Two other men, Donovan Demetrius, 29, and James Ireland, 23, deny assisting an offender.
The trial continues.

Five Britons dead after Canadian whale-watching boat sinks

Five Britons were killed when a whale-watching boat sank off the coast of western Canada, the UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
The boat carrying 27 people sank near Tofino, a popular tourist area on Vancouver Island, on Sunday afternoon, killing a woman and four men.
Officials said 21 people had been rescued and one was still missing.
The cause of the accident remains unknown but sea conditions at the time of the incident were said to be calm.
Three of the victims were tourists and two lived in Canada, the coroner in British Columbia said.
The boat, Leviathan II, made a mayday call before sinking about 8 miles (12km) west of Tofino.
Mr Hammond said: "It is with deep sadness that I can confirm five British nationals have lost their lives when the whale watching boat they were on sank off Western Canada on Sunday.
"My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by this terrible accident."
Mr Hammond said consular staff in the region were supporting the family members of those who had died and were in close contact with the Canadian authorities.
Within 30 minutes of the mayday call, a rescue helicopter and boat were on the scene. Other boats in the area also responded to the call for help.

Tofino fishing guide Lance Desilets said at least 12 rescue boats were already out on the water when he arrived on the scene.
"I saw a lot of personal belongings, a long diesel slick and the top 10 feet of the Leviathan II sticking out of the water," he said. "It's a sad day for our community."
Melissa Kai, of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center in Victoria, British Columbia said the search-and-rescue efforts had concluded, and the case of the missing person had been turned over to Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

'Thoughts and prayers'

The 20m (65ft) boat was operated by Jamie's Whaling Station and Adventure Centres.
In a statement on the company's website, owner Jamie Bray said: "It has been a tragic day. Our entire team is heartbroken over this incident.
"We are doing everything we can to assist our passengers and staff through this difficult time. We are co-operating with investigators to determine exactly what happened."
Another whale-watching boat operated by the same company capsized in 1998, killing two people, including the boat operator and a tourist from Germany.
The six-metre vessel was on a three-hour trip in the area of Plover Reef when it was hit by a large swell, throwing four people into the water.

Tofino is a popular destination for tourists wanting to spot humpback and Pacific Gray whales, and trips usually last up to three hours.
Canadian Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau thanked all those who participated in the rescue effort and offered his condolences to the victims and their families.
"I know firsthand of this coastal area's natural beauty and the many people who visit here from all around the world," said Mr Trudeau, who won Canada's national elections last week.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the passengers, the crew, and their families at this most difficult time. We will continue to offer them support in the days ahead."

Indian 'mystery woman' Geeta says family not hers

An Indian woman who was stranded in Pakistan for a decade has returned home, but says the family she had identified in photos is not hers.
India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said the woman, named Geeta, is "refusing to recognise her family".
Geeta arrived in Delhi on Monday morning, days after she identified her family in photos sent from India.
The government will now carry out a DNA test to ascertain if the family, who met her in Delhi, is really hers.
Geeta, who has speech and hearing impairments, was about 11 when she is believed to have strayed into Pakistan.
Her plight emerged following a Bollywood film Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which told the story of a Pakistani girl who cannot speak and is trapped in India.

At the scene, Shahzeb Jillani, Karachi


Geeta was visibly jubilant as she left the Edhi shelter home in Karachi, where she had spent most of her time in Pakistan.
She was driven to the Karachi Airport in an Edhi Welfare van.
Accompanied by members of the Edhi family and her friends, Geeta's bags were filled with new clothes as well as gifts for her family in India, including colourful saris, glass bangles, gold jewellery and dry fruit.
At the airport, Pakistani officials gave her more gifts as well as bouquets of flowers. Wearing a red and white scarf over her head, Geeta smiled, posed for photos and used hand gestures to thank her carers in Pakistan for their hospitality.
Her friends at Edhi shelter home said they were sad to see her go.
"She was the only friend I had here," Razia Saher, one of her co-workers at the Edhi Home said. "I am happy that she will finally be reunited with her family but we will miss her."

Apart from a family from the eastern state of Bihar that Geeta identified from photographs, and later met in Delhi, at least two other families claimed her as their own.
Ms Swaraj said that they would "counsel" Geeta to accept her family, if the DNA test proved that they were related.
If the tests are negative, she will be cared for at the shelter home until her family is traced, officials said.
Ms Swaraj said: "Whether or not her parents are found, Geeta is our daughter. I thank Pakistan from the core of my heart for looking after her for so long."


Processed meats do cause cancer - WHO

Processed meats - such as bacon, sausages and ham - do cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Its report said 50g of processed meat a day - less than two slices of bacon - increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.
Meanwhile, it said red meats were "probably carcinogenic" but there was limited evidence.
The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits.
Cancer Research UK said this was a reason to cut down rather than give up red and processed meats.
And added that an occasional bacon sandwich would do little harm.

What is processed meat?

Processed meat has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste and the main methods are smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives.
Simply putting beef through a mincer does not mean the resulting mince is "processed" unless it is modified further.
Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces.
What is processed meat?
It is the chemicals involved in the processing which could be increasing the risk of cancer. High temperature cooking, such as on a barbeque, can also create carcinogenic chemicals.

How bad?

The WHO has come to the conclusion on the advice of its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which assesses the best available scientific evidence.
It has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium, but also alcohol as they definitely do cause cancer.
However, this does not mean they are equally dangerous. A bacon sandwich is not as bad as smoking.
"For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," Dr Kurt Straif from the WHO said.

Estimates suggest 34,000 deaths from cancer every year could be down to diets high in processed meat.

Red meat risk

In context

of bowel cancers are caused by processed or red meat
of lung cancers are caused by tobacco
  • 19% of all cancers caused by tobacco compared to
  • 3% of all cancers ascribed to red or processed meat
That is in contrast to one million deaths from cancer caused by smoking and 600,000 attributed to alcohol each year.
Red meat does have nutritional value too and is a major source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
However, the WHO said there was limited evidence that 100g of red meat a day increased the risk of cancer by 17%.
An eight ounce steak is 225g.
The WHO said its findings were important for helping countries give balanced dietary advice.

Little harm

Prof Tim Key, from the Cancer Research UK and the University of Oxford, said: "This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down.
"Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn't going to do much harm - having a healthy diet is all about moderation."
Dr Teresa Norat, one of the advisors to the WHO report and from Imperial College London, said there were many factors causing bowel cancer.
She told BBC News website: "People should limit consumption of red meat and avoid consuming processed meat, but they should also have a diet rich in fibre, from fruit and vegetables and maintain an adequate body weight throughout life and limit the consumption of alcohol and be physically active."
The industry body the Meat Advisory Panel said "avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer" and said the focus should be alcohol, smoking and body weight.

Deadly earthquake rocks Afghanistan and Pakistan

More than 150 people have died, mostly in Pakistan, after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan.
Tremors from the quake were also felt in northern India and Tajikistan.
At least 12 of the victims were Afghan schoolgirls killed in a crush as they tried to get out of their building.
The earthquake was centred in the mountainous Hindu Kush region, 76km (45 miles) south of Faizabad, the US Geological Survey reported.
Live updates

Buildings have been evacuated and communications disrupted in many areas.
However as the earthquake originated more than 200km (125 miles) below the earth's surface, the damage is less than that which a similarly powerful but shallow tremor might cause.
In Pakistan, the military said 123 people were known to have died in the north of the country.
Most of those fatalities were in the Malakand region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is cutting short a visit abroad and returning home.
Sunnatullah Timour, a spokesman for the governor of the Afghan province of Takhar, told the BBC that as well as the fatalities at the girls' school, another 25 students were injured in the stampede.
Deaths and injuries have also been reported in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Kunar, with at least 35 killed in total.
Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted that the government had asked aid agencies to work with it to help those in need.

In the city of Karimabad, in Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan, a witness who gave his name as Anas told the BBC that the quake had sent a landslide crashing into the Hunza river.
"At first it was as if someone was shaking us. There were about 20 of us and we just held on to each other," he said.
"Right after that we saw a major landslide. Some people say it was a glacier that came down, some people say it was a hill. It fell right in front of our eyes."
Pakistan Geological Survey head Imran Khan told the BBC there were reports of landslides disrupting the Karakoram highway between Gilgit and Baltistan. However, he said it was too early to say if any glaciers were destabilised by the quake.

Analysis by Jonathan Webb

Even at its revised magnitude of 7.5, this was a powerful tremor. Around the world only about 20 quakes each year, on average, measure greater than 7.0.
But its focus was deep - much further below the surface than the 7.8 quake which brought widespread destruction to eastern Nepal in April. That event was only 8km deep and was followed in early May by an aftershock with magnitude 7.3.
Similarly, the devastating 2005 Kashmir earthquake was magnitude 7.6 and just 26km deep. Today's quake, at a depth of more than 200km, appears to have caused widespread but less severe ground shaking.
Afghan quake: The corner of a continental collision

People in the Indian capital Delhi ran into the streets after the tremor struck, and schools and offices were evacuated. The Delhi metro was also briefly halted.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had ordered an urgent assessment of any damage.
"We stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.
Catherine Bhatti, from Durham in the UK, was visiting relatives in Sarghoda, Pakistan, when the quake struck.
"It came out of the blue, everything started to move slightly then it became stronger. We made our way downstairs and gathered outside on the lawn," she told the.
"My in-laws, who have lived here all their lives, say they have never experienced anything like this before."

Buildings in the Tajik capital Dushanbe were damaged by the tremors.
Local media report that a staircase at a school in Tajikistan's Yavan district collapsed, injuring 14 children.
There are also reports of injuries in a stampede at Khorog state university in Tajikistan, as a building was evacuated.

The region has a history of powerful earthquakes caused by the northward collision of India with Eurasia. The two plates are moving towards each other at a rate of 4-5cm per year.
In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir left more than 75,000 people dead.
In April this year, Nepal suffered its worst earthquake on record with 9,000 people killed and about 900,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

World Twenty20 2016: Pakistan threaten boycott

Pakistan may boycott next year's World Twenty20 if India fail to play a proposed series with them this year.
The arch-rivals have yet to agree the first of six proposed series between 2015 and 2023.
Talks were disrupted after far-right Hindu nationalists attacked Board of Control for Cricket in India offices, protesting against games with Pakistan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board warned their government "will say don't go" if India do not agree to a series this winter.
The 2016 World Twenty20 is due to be held in India in March and April.

India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral Test series since 2007 after New Delhi stalled the ties in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008, blamed on militants based across the border.
India were due to play two Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals this year in the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan play their home Tests because of security concerns in their own country.
In addition to talks being scrapped, Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar was withdrawn from India's home series with South Africa by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Dhaka blasts: One dead in attack on Shia Ashura ritual

A bomb attack on Shia Muslims in Bangladesh has killed one person and wounded at least 80 others.
Police said three homemade devices were detonated amid thousands of worshippers gathering for the annual Ashura procession in the capital, Dhaka.
The militant group Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility but this was dismissed by the government.
Leaders of Bangladesh's small Shia minority said it was the first time the procession had been targeted.
Bangladesh is predominantly a Sunni Islam nation, but Shia Muslims have held this procession to mark Ashura for over 400 years.
In Pakistan, at least 22 were killed on Friday when a suicide bomber attacked an Ashura ceremony in Jacobabad.

'Covered in blood'


The blast happened before dawn on Saturday in the old town area of Dhaka at around 02:00 (20:00 GMT Friday).
Some 20,000 Shia Muslims were gathered at the historic Hussaini Dalan, the main Shia site in the city, to start an annual rally to mark the occasion of Ashura.
"Suddenly, the bombs exploded near me, and we started running," medicine shop owner Mohammed Sajib told Associated Press. "My hands are covered in blood. We took many to the hospital."
A boy said to be in his mid-teens died from shrapnel wounds. Among the other casualties, at least one is reported to be in critical condition.
Another two unexploded devices were recovered at the scene.

IS claim

Police detained two people for questioning.
But authorities dismissed a claim by the self-styled Islamic State group - picked up by US monitoring group SITE - that it had targeted the "polytheist rituals".
"So far we have not found any link to any militant group in the attack," Dhaka police spokesman Muntashirul Islam told AFP news agency.
Opposition parties demanded an independent investigation.
A three-member committee had been set up to look into what happened, Mr Islam was quoted as saying.
"It is our apprehension that blasts were carried out only to panic the people and to create a chaotic situation," said Colonel Ziaul Ahsan of the elite Rapid Action Battalion.
During Ashura, Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
Procession participants in Dhaka have vowed to carry on with the ritual.


Indonesia cancels festival events marking 1965 mass killings

The Indonesian authorities have forced the organisers of the country's main literary festival to cancel events linked to mass killings 50 years ago.
Officials were threatening to call off the entire Ubud Readers and Writers Festival, due to start in Bali next week, if the organisers did not comply.
At least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia after an attempted communist coup in 1965.
Cancelled events included panel discussions on the massacres.
"The events related to 1965 were flagged by the authorities as something that could potentially cause our operating license to be revoked," an unnamed festival spokesperson told Reuters news agency.
General Suharto and the military took power following the 1965 coup attempt, as Indonesia descended into one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century.
Indonesia's darkest hour
The Communist Party then had three million members. Suspected members and sympathisers were hunted down, tortured and killed.
The events form the backdrop of the 1982 film The Year of Living Dangerously, starring Mel Gibson.
President Joko Widodo - who was elected last year - has promised a state-sponsored inquiry, but correspondents say so far little has been done.
International human rights groups have urged Indonesia to provide justice to victims' families.

What happened in 1965?

Rivalries between the Indonesian military and the Communist Party came to a head when six generals were killed in an overnight attack by soldiers allegedly sympathetic to the communists.
A group of officers led by a colonel in President Sukarno's palace guard was accused of trying to launch a coup.
General Suharto led bloody anti-communist purges in which hundreds of thousands of suspected leftists were killed.
Many more were detained and imprisoned without trial.
Gen Suharto was handed emergency powers by President Sukarno in 1966 and took over as president the following year, ruling Indonesia for 31 years.

Artist Ai Weiwei hits out over Lego 'censorship'

Artist Ai Weiwei has accused Lego of "censorship and discrimination" after the company refused to let him to use its bricks in a new exhibition.
Lego refused a bulk order for bricks that were to be used in a new artwork about political dissidents as part of an exhibition in Melbourne, Australia.
Toymaker Lego said it never sold directly to anyone wanting to use its product to make a political statement.
The artist has since been deluged with offers of Lego from supporters.

Ai used Lego last year to create portraits of 175 dissident figures who had been jailed or exiled, from Nelson Mandela to Edward Snowden, on the site of the former Alcatraz prison near San Francisco.
He planned a similar work for the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, but a bulk order placed by the museum was rejected by the Danish company.
The Chinese artist said the company told the museum its bricks could not be used for artworks containing "any political, religious, racist, obscene or defaming statements".

Referring to The Lego Movie's slogan "everything is awesome", Ai wrote on Twitter: "Lego will tell us what to do, or not to do. That is awesome!"
He added: "Lego is giving us the definition of what is 'political', and all the big corporations are telling us what to love or hate. That is awesome."
In an Instagram post, he wrote: "As a commercial entity, Lego produces and sells toys, movies and amusement parks attracting children across the globe.
"As a powerful corporation, Lego is an influential cultural and political actor in the globalized economy with questionable values.
"Lego's refusal to sell its product to the artist is an act of censorship and discrimination."

Long-standing policy

Lego spokesman Roar Rude Trangbaek would not comment directly on the case but said that, as a principle, Lego "respects any individual's right to free, creative expression".
But he added that the company had a long-standing policy not to directly sell to anyone if it knew that its bricks would be used to make a political statement.
The artist also linked Lego's stance with plans for a new Legoland in Shanghai.
Lego said the theme park was being built by Merlin Entertainment and not Lego, but that Lego does have some ties with Merlin because it uses the Lego brand.
Ai Weiwei is known for his criticism of the Chinese government as well as for being one of the world's leading contemporary artists.
He was arrested during a crackdown on political activists in China in 2011 and was released without charge after 81 days. The Chinese authorities kept his passport for four years, but it was returned earlier this year.

United States GP: Nico Rosberg on pole in rain-shortened session

Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position at the United States Grand Prix as qualifying was truncated by rain.
The session was called off after just two of the three parts because conditions had deteriorated to the point that the track was too dangerous.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took fifth but will be demoted 10 places.
Hamilton needs to beat Rosberg by two points and Vettel by nine to seal his third title this weekend.
The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will be on the second row with the Force India cars making up the third after Vettel's demotion.
Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified eighth, have been penalised for using more than the permitted number of engines.
Force India's Sergio Perez will start fifth ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
The Ferrari drivers' penalties mean Williams's Felipe Massa, who qualified ninth, will start seventh, ahead of Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.
"I felt comfortable with the car," Rosberg said. "It is quite challenging - the car snaps quite suddenly, but I got a good lap together."

Hamilton said: "It was lots of fun out there for all of us. It's a shame we couldn't go out at the end.
"I had hoped we could go out and clean the track. It looks like a lot of people have turned up today to watch. I hope the weather eases up for the race."
Ricciardo said he expected "we will have a lot of run" in the race.
The race is due to start at 14:00 local time (19:00 GMT) and weather forecasts suggest conditions will improve by then.

Austin, Texas, is still being affected by rain on the periphery of tropical storm Patricia and has seen record amount of rain in the last 24 hours.
Behind Alonso will be Williams's Valtteri Bottas, Lotus's Romain Grosjean and the second McLaren of Jenson Button.
Alonso has a new-specification Honda engine in his car, which was not available to Button this weekend, prompting the Englishman to joke on Thursday that he hoped his team-mate would "annihilate" him.
Unfortunately for him, he got his wish, at least in qualifying - Button was 0.928secs slower than Alonso, significantly more than the small improvement in power in the upgraded engine was worth in lap time.
Button, who was complaining about a lack of rear grip, said conditions at the end of the second part of the session were too dangerous.
"At the end," he said, "the team were like, 'Come on, one last big push.' And I was like, 'Right'. I was just floating."
Vettel added that the weather had meant the track was in "red flag conditions".
A number of drivers had spins during the treacherous session, with the fast kink at Turn 10 proving the most dangerous part of the track - Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg and Raikkonen were among the drivers who lost control there.

But despite the difficult conditions only one driver crashed - Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz lost control at Turn Four and smashed into the wall on his second flying lap in the first part of qualifying. 

Syria conflict: FSA rebels reject Russia military help

Western-backed rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have rejected an offer of military support from Russia.
An FSA spokesman told the BBC that Moscow could not be trusted and that its help was not needed.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that Russia was ready to help the rebels if they attacked militants from the Islamic State (IS) group.
Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, has carried out air strikes in the country since last month.
Moscow says the strikes have mainly targeted IS, but Western powers say most have hit the FSA and other factions backed by the West and Gulf states.
In his offer to the FSA, Mr Lavrov said the Russian air force could support the FSA provided the US shared information about rebel positions.

But on Sunday, an FSA spokesman told the BBC that Russia had no role in Syria.
"[Russian President] Vladimir Putin, is assisting a regime that indiscriminately kills their own people," Issam al-Reis said.
"How could we trust the Russians' help?"
Mr Issam said the FSA would continue fighting President Bashar al-Assad, who "was not part of the solution" to ending Syria's civil war.
"If the Syrians stood with Assad he would not ask for invaders to come to Syria," he said.
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has also insisted that President Assad should have no role in Syria's "future".
Russian air support has allowed President Assad's forces to launch ground operations in several provinces in recent weeks.

The president for his part on Sunday hosted a visiting delegation of Russian parliamentarians in Damascus.
He again expressed his gratitude for Moscow's support, and said that eliminating "terrorist" groups would resolve his country's problems.

Why is there a war in Syria?
Anti-government protests developed into a civil war that, four years on, has ground to a stalemate, with the Assad government, Islamic State, an array of Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters all holding territory.
Who is fighting whom?
Government forces concentrated in Damascus and the centre and west of Syria are fighting the jihadists of Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as less numerous so-called "moderate" rebel groups, who are strongest in the north and east. These groups are also battling each other.
What's the human cost?
More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and a million injured. Some 11 million others have been forced from their homes, of whom four million have fled abroad - including growing numbers who are making the dangerous journey to Europe.
How has the world reacted?
Iran, Russia and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement are propping up the Alawite-led Assad government, while Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar back the more moderate Sunni-dominated opposition, along with the US, UK and France. Hezbollah and Iran are believed to have troops and officers on the ground, while a Western-led coalition and Russia are carrying out air strikes.

Argentina elections: Voters pick new president

Argentines are going to the polls to choose their next president in a general election that ends 12 years of rule under the Kirchners.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has served two consecutive terms and, under Argentina's constitution, cannot run again.
Her hand-picked successor, left-winger Daniel Scioli, is leading polls.
But he is expected to face stiff competition from Mauricio Macri, the centre-right mayor of Buenos Aires.
Another candidate, Sergio Massa, a former Kirchner ally, is polling behind Mr Macri, while there are three other names on the ballot paper.
Argentina elections: All to play for
Sunday sees the first round of voting. To win outright a candidate needs 45% of the vote or a minimum of 40% as well as a 10-point lead over the nearest rival.
Otherwise, there will be a run-off on 22 November.
Whoever wins the presidency faces significant economic challenges.
While the country gained strength after a financial crisis in 2002, its economy, the third largest in Latin America, has slowed down in recent years, with GDP growing by only 0.5% last year.
The government is also locked in a battle against American hedge funds who disagree with how is wants to restructure $100bn (£65bn) of debt on which it defaulted in 2001.
While the firms successfully sued Argentina for repayment, Mrs Kirchner refused to pay.
Mrs Kirchner succeeded her husband Nestor as president. He died in 2010, three years after handing over the presidency to his wife.

Mr Scioli, the governor of Buenos Aires province, is a former world powerboating champion who lost his right arm in a boat race in 1989.
Last week, he pledged tax cuts for middle-class workers earning under a certain income, a move expected to affect half a million people.
He has also vowed to bring down Argentina's inflation to single digits in less than four years and promises to introduce policy changes to invigorate the economy.

Like Mr Scioli, Mr Macri is married to a former model. He is a former president of Boca Juniors, Argentina's most successful football club.
The BBC's Wyre Davies, in Buenos Aires, says Mr Macri's centre right coalition Cambiemos - We Can Change - is seen as more market-friendly than Mr Scioli.
While Mrs Kirchner has sought to press Argentina's claims for the disputed UK territory of the Falkland Islands, Mr Scioli says he would not appoint a Falklands minister, and would seek closer ties with London.
"The world is going to watch the new president's first 24 hours very carefully," political analyst Pablo Knopoff told Agence France Presse.
"He'll have to deliver a message to convince people that Argentina is a country where they can invest, with clear rules."

'Israeli Arab paraglider' sparks Syria border operation

Israel says one of its Israeli Arab citizens deliberately paraglided into Syria, amid reports of intensive Israeli aerial operations overnight.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to revoke the man's citizenship amid speculation he was trying to join a Syrian rebel group.
Witnesses reported intensive activity in the border area, including Israeli aircraft dropping illumination flares.
Israel officially maintains a neutral stance on the Syrian conflict.
Its citizens are banned from travelling there, but a small number of Israeli Arab citizens are understood to have gone to fight in Syria nonetheless - though few arrive by air.
It was believed that the man who flew into Syria on Saturday night was from Jaljulia, a mainly Muslim Arab town north-west of Tel Aviv, the military said.
The military said it had been unable to find the man despite intensive searches in the area where he landed near the Golan Heights - an area in south-western Syria annexed by Israel in 1981, in a move not recognised internationally.

Reuters news agency quoted a Syrian rebel whose group operates in the area as saying the paraglider had come down either in Syria's Quneitra province, which includes the Golan Heights, or in the neighbouring Deraa province.
Israel's Ynetnews reported he had been picked up by someone on the Syrian side after landing.

'Enemy's ranks'

Israel's intelligence services are now said to be continuing the search.
A minister from Prime Minister Netanyahu's rightist Likud party, Ofir Akunis, is quoted as telling reporters that the Israeli Arab had "crossed to the border into Syria... to join ISIS [so-called Islamic State] forces".
"Whoever joins the enemy's ranks to fight Israel will not be an Israeli citizen," Mr Netanyahu said at the start of his regular Sunday cabinet meeting.
There were initial fears that he may have been blown into Syria by accident and could have been taken hostage.
But Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sources later said he had flown against the prevailing winds, suggesting the journey was undertaken deliberately.
"IDF surveillance post identified a paraglider entering Syria," the force said in a tweet. "Initial investigation suggests Israeli-Arab crossed intentionally."
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