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Migrant boat traffic from Libya to Europe is surging — and turning deadlier

From the Washington Post:
By Michael Birnbaum November 30 at 1:00 AM

BRUSSELS — Migrants heading to Italy from Libya in leaky boats and inflatable dinghies have broken an annual arrivals record, Italian authorities said this week, underscoring the rising popularity of an increasingly deadly journey that nowadays aims not for land, but for a frigid mid-sea rescue.

The number of boat migrants reaching Italy from North Africa this year surpassed 171,000, topping the previous record of 170,100, set in 2014, the Italian Interior Ministry said Monday. But 2016 is also the most lethal year for those trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. So far, 4,690 people have died en route, compared with 3,771 deaths for all of last year, according to the U.N. refugee agency. Read More 
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A big flop: Black Friday sales in Palermo

No one showed up. They don't have Thanksgiving so there was no starting line impetus, IMHO. La Repubblica says the discounts were not low enough to bring in customers.
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Happy Black Friday. These immigrants used as slaves in Sicily

From The Guardian:
"You can smell the camp before you see it. The stench of rank sewage cuts through the crisp morning air in this quiet corner of western Sicily. From a distance it looks like an open-air dump, festering amid the olive groves. Men emerge from flimsy tents pitched amid piles of rubbish and ramshackle huts made of cardboard and plastic sheets.

This makeshift and filthy encampment is home to 1,200 people. All African refugees and migrants, they are desperately competing for the opportunity to work long hours in the fields as illegal agricultural workers for paltry, exploitative wages. It is autumn in Sicily. There is olive oil to be made...." Read More 
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Happy Thanksgiving. These immigrants rescued today.

Save the Children's rescue ship Vos Hestia arrived Trapani, Sicily this morning bearing 400 migrants saved off the coast of Libya. Among them many children and women. One woman gave birth on the rescue ship. Another 641 disembarked at Catania, Sicily from the ship Aquarius run by the rescue group SOS Meditteranee.

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If Berlusconi is like Trump, what can America learn from Italy?

From The Guardian:
Among the political figures who congratulated Donald Trump on his surprise election victory was the politician to whom the billionaire real estate mogul and reality television star has most often been compared: Silvio Berlusconi.

The rightwing former Italian prime minister and billionaire media mogul, who was dogged by claims that he  Read More 
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In one week, 240 feared dead

About 240 people are suspected to have drowned this week in four separate incidents in the Mediterranean, raising the total annual death toll to an unprecedented 4,500.
From The Guardian
About 130 asylum seekers are missing after a rubber boat capsized on Sunday night, while another 100 are thought to have drowned on Tuesday night in a separate  Read More 
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550 saved today in the Mediterranean

From ANSA:
550 people were saved in five distinct rescue operations on the Mediterranean Sea today. The rescues were coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard headquarters in Rome. In the course of the day, five corpses were also recovered from the waters.

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Mother drowned, father found, his number written on their pants

From La Repubblica Palermo on line:
When they pulled them from the bottom of a that rubber raft about to go under their mother had just died, overcome by the mix of diesel fuel and sea water from which she tried to protect her two children. For the entire voyage of the ship Vos  Read More 
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Io ho vinto il mondo.

They risked their lives to get to this point.
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Hundreds of rescued migrants made to wait standing in cold rain at Palermo's port

From La Repubblica Palermo today:
"As the rain fell tensions rose," wrote Repubblica reporter Claudia Brunetto.
Disembarkation operations yesterday for hundreds of newly rescued boat people were only half done by 6 p.m.. The remaining hundreds were left on the ship's deck in the cold rain to await processing: a sandwich to eat, clothes  Read More 
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