“Despite the difficulties, the Africans here are not giving up on their dreams of going to Europe,” said Albert Obmila, a Rwandan migrant. “Life in Libya has become hell for Africans, who are at the mercy of the militias.” Under Kadhafi’s regime, migrants risked arrest and deportation, but the myriad dangers posed by the militias are far worse, said George Ikbo, a Nigerian migrant. He has been stuck in Libya for five years, in part because of “scams by Libyan smugglers in collusion with the militias,” he said. “Me too,” Cameroonian migrant Patrick Adamo chimed in. “I worked in all kinds of unimaginable trades and endured every hardship to save up 1,500 dinars (around $1,100),” the price of sea passage. “There were more than 20 of us Africans who had paid the price,” he said. But on the appointed day, “instead of putting us on the boat, they sent armed men from a militia to arrest us and detain us in Tripoli,” where the migrants were held for four months. “Since then I take every precaution to avoid falling into this trap while trying to make my way to Europe,” Adamo said. Several migrants spoke of similar scams, saying the heavily armed militias charge $1,000 to $2,000 per person for the crossing before having the migrants arrested at the last minute. An Eritrean migrant interviewed by AFP, who asked not to be named, said he had been ripped off on three occasions. Once detained, some migrants are handed over to immigration authorities, while others are jailed by the militias themselves.
Europe Stocks Little Changed as U.S. Shutdown Continues
If that happens, the government would run out of cash to pay all of its bills at some point between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, according to the Congressional Budget Office . House Speaker John Boehner told reporters today that the way to reopen the partially shut government is for Democrats to negotiate with him and accept changes that would produce fairness under the Affordable Care Act. The Ohio Republican also said he doesnt want the U.S. to default on its debt. The Treasury Department said yesterday that a federal default could lead to a recession comparable to the 2008 financial crisis or worse. Separately, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a speech in Washington that its mission-critical for the U.S. to raise the borrowing limit as a default would damage the world economy. Small Risk The main focus is the debt ceiling debate but the risk of default is very small because the consequences are so severe, Graham Bishop, the London-based senior equity strategist at Exane BNP Paribas, said in an interview. Standard & Poors stripped the U.S.
Overall, the surveys painted a slightly brighter picture than the “weak, fragile and uneven” recovery alluded to on Wednesday by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. On balance, they also boded well for the global economy. Indexes from China showed growth picking up there, even if data due later from the U.S. are expected to show a slight easing in the expansion for non-manufacturing companies, which have consistently outpaced their European peers. The main disappointment in Europe was Spain, where a rise in business activity during August – the first in more than two years – proved short-lived as firms slipped back into decline. Still, the data pointed to a broadening recovery across the euro zone, said Nick Matthews, senior European economist at Nomura, though that had yet to be borne out in official data. “The hard data so far for the third quarter has perhaps a bit more on the disappointing side – in particular industrial production …was very weak in July,” said Matthews. “We expect this to bounce back, but this suggests we could see a slightly slower pace of growth in the third quarter relative to the second quarter.” PMI compiler Markit said its surveys suggested the euro zone economy grew around 0.2 percent from July through September, a touch below the 0.3 percent registered in the second quarter. Nomura’s Matthews said they suggested a slightly stronger rate of growth for the final months of the year. STILL NOT ON SOLID GROUND Markit’s Eurozone Services PMI rose to 52.2 in September from August’s 50.7, little changed from a preliminary reading of 52.1. Readings above 50 signify growth. Businesses in No.1 economy Germany reported rising new orders and staffing levels, while France’s private sector grew for the first time in a year and a half.