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Heart of Palermo

Dozens of emigrants drown off Libya

From The Guardian this afternoon:

Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
Dozens of bodies have been recovered from the Mediterranean, a day after the shipwreck that caused the deaths of up to 150 migrants.

Eyewitnesses described harrowing scenes in the sea, in what a senior UN official called the "the worst Mediterranean tragedy" so far this year.

Fishermen told AFP they saw bodies as they waded through the wreckage searching for survivors: "There were bodies floating on the surface of the water where the boat went down."

One survivor, Abdallah Osman, said the boat making the perilous journey from Libya started to fill with water about 90 minutes after setting out to sea on Wednesday night. Then its engine broke down.

Over the following six hours, men, women and children began to drown.

"Shortly after dawn, fishermen came out with their small boats and started taking us to shore, five at a time ... That went on until nine in the morning," he told AFP.


'I saw hell': under fire inside Libya's refugee detention centres
 
 
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53 iraqi migrants disembark near Syracuse, Sicily

From La Repubblica:
Last night about midnight a sailboat landed on the beach of Fontane Bianche outside Syracuse and disembarked 53 immigrants from Iraq. The sailboat, piloted by a man with red hair, had left Turkey a week before. 25 migrants, among them women and children, were found this morning at 5, but the boat captain and the other migrants have disappeared. Read More 
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italy-libya pact disgrace

From The Guardian:
"The deaths at sea of a mother and child have further exposed the flaws in a pact between Italy and Libya that has led to thousands of migrants being forcibly returned to the chaotic north African country.

Their bodies were found last week in the drifting wreckage of a boat off the Libyan coast by rescuers from the Spanish ship, Proactiva Open Arms. A woman from Cameroon was also found clinging to a piece of wood.

Sharing harrowing images of the bodies and the terrified survivor, the NGO accused the Libyan coastguard of abandoning the trio after they refused to be taken back to Libya, the main point of departure for migrants attempting the perilous crossing to Europe, with the rest of the intercepted group." Read More 
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Libya says no to EU immigration centers

From The Guardian:
Libya has rejected a EU plan to establish refugee and migrant processing centres in the country, adding that it would not be swayed by any financial inducements to change its decision.

The formal rejection by the Libyan prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, is a blow to Italy, which is regarded as being close to his Tripoli administration.

In June, Italy proposed reception and identification centres in Africa as a means of resolving divisions among European governments.

The impasse came as the EU said it was willing to work as a temporary crisis centre to oversee the distribution of refugees and migrants from ships landing in Europe from Libya. Italy has said it is not willing to open its ports and may even reject those rescued by the EU Sophia search and rescue mission, a position that has infuriated other EU states. Read More 
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NBA star jumped in to help

Marc Gasol will never forget the terrified look on the face of Josefa, the Cameroonian woman left clinging to a piece of wood for 48 hours in the Mediterranean. Josefa was the survivor of a shipwreck about 90 miles off the Libyan coast last Sunday. Rescuers recovered two bodies in the water alongside her, including that of a toddler. Read More 
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Lampedusa doctor ashamed of his country's actions

I’m a doctor in Lampedusa. We can’t let these migrant deaths go on.
by Pietro Bartolo in The Guardian.
"In the Mediterranean we’re witnessing a slaughter of innocents. I have seen the suffering, and I am ashamed of the Italian government’s response."
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200 immigants drown in three days

From The Guardian:
More than 200 migrants have drowned at sea in the Mediterranean in the past three days, taking the death toll for the year to more than 1,000 and prompting fears that human traffickers are taking greater risks because of a crackdown imposed by the Italian government and the Libyan coastguard.
It's 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe's migrant bodycount
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The UN refugee agency in Tripoli reported on Monday that 276 refugees and migrants were disembarked in the Libyan capital on Monday, including 16 survivors of a boat carrying 130 people, of whom 114 were still missing at sea. Further shipwrecks were found at the weekend.  Read More 
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Three thousand immigrants on 22 vessels headed toward Sicily

Front page news in today's La Repubblica Palermo on line edition:
Latest wave of immigrants. Between two and three thousand immigrants in rubber rafts and old boats asked for rescue from Italian and European agencies spread out across the Strait of Sicily. More than 20 requests came into the Italian coast guard which coordinates the  Read More 
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49 cadavers delivered to Catania

The Norwegian ship Siem Pilot docked at Catania and offloaded the 312 survivors of yet another Mediterranean crossing, and 49 corpses of those who died suffocated in the hold of the old fishing vessel they were on. Catania Mayor Enzo Bianco proclaimed a city-wide day of mourning and promised a dignified burial for all the bodies.
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13 cadavers on immigrant vessel

There 13 dead bodies aboard an overloaded boat full of immigrants aided yesterday in the Strait of Sicily by the Irish military boat "L. E. Niamh.". On the refugee boat were 522 people, and the corpses lay among them. The causes of the deaths of the 13 were not clear. Besides this operation, yesterday saw another four  Read More 
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