A boat transporting migrants arrives in the port of Messina after a rescue operation at sea, in Sicily on April 18, 2015. — AFP 19 Apr 2015 | 3:45 PM
ROME: Seven hundred people are feared to have drowned when a fishing boat smuggling migrants to Europe capsized off Libya, the UN’s refugee agency said today, in what could be the deadliest Mediterranean migrant disaster yet.[ + read story ]
Rome, April 19
Seven hundred people are feared to have drowned when a fishing boat smuggling migrants to Europe capsized off Libya, the UN’s refugee agency said today, in what could be the deadliest Mediterranean migrant disaster yet.
Only 28 persons survived the capsize, UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami told the Skytg24 news channel in Italy. The survivors indicated there had been more than 700 on board, she said.
The Maltese Navy put the numbers on board at around 650 and said an alert had come in around midnight local time yesterday.
“We have deployed our assets along with others from Italy and we are assisting in the rescue operation,” a Maltese navy spokesman told AFP today without giving any other details.
If confirmed, the tragedy would be by far the biggest in a growing catalogue of mass drownings of migrants attempting to reach the European Union on overcrowded, unseaworthy boats run by people smugglers.
The boat went down about 96 km off the Libyan coast and 193 km south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The disaster comes after a week in which two other shipwrecks left an estimated 450 people dead. More than 11,000 other would-be immigrants to Europe have been rescued by Italy’s coastguard and other boats.
Some 1,500 migrants have now drowned in the waters between Libya and Italy since the start of the year.
Aid organisations have called for a concerted international effort to put better search-and-rescue systems in place and for action to stem the unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers and migrants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa seeking to reach Europe. — AFP
19 Apr 2015 | 6:49 PM
NEW DELHI: Projecting the NDA government as “anti-farmer” and “pro-industrialist”, the Congress today declared full-scale war against it over the Land Acquisition Bill, with Rahul Gandhi accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of bringing ordinance on it to pay back ‘loan’ of industrialists.
19 Apr 2015 | 7:28 PM
NEW DELHI: Launching a scathing counter-attack against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the BJP termed as “white lies” his today’s offensive against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.
19 Apr 2015 | 6:50 PM
NEW DELHI: On a day the rival Congress launched a massive offensive against his government’s proposed amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that all the efforts by the BJP-run dispensation at the Centre were aimed at the uplift of poor and weaker sections of society.
19 Apr 2015 | 6:52 PM
VISAKHAPATNAM : Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury was today unanimously elected the new General Secretary of the party. The party also elected 91 members of its Central Committee and also the 16-member Politburo on the concluding day of its 21st congress here today.
19 Apr 2015 | 3:35 PM
LAHORE: Pakistan has called on India to resume Foreign Secretary-level talks to resolve all outstanding issues, saying with peace the menace of poverty, illiteracy and injustice in the region can be eradicated.
19 Apr 2015 | 4:50 PM
NEW DELHI: As the uproar continues in favour of Net neutrality, telecom watchdog TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar today said “shrill voices” will not win the debate and the concept is not “practiced strictly” even in countries like the US and the UK.
19 Apr 2015 | 2:20 AM
SRINAGAR: Two policemen, including an officer, were arrested today after a 17-year-old boy was killed in police firing in Budgam district of central Kashmir, triggering violent clashes and prompting the state government to order a magisterial probe.
19 Apr 2015 | 2:16 AM
DHARAMSALA: With tourist season setting in, the air fare to Dharamsala has inexplicably shot up with a ticket costing as much as Rs 21,000 from Delhi.
19 Apr 2015 | 2:16 AM
JALANDHAR: The delay in getting old age pension of Rs 250 per month and the callous attitude of the administration today drove an 83-year-old man from Dhilwan to burn himself.
19 Apr 2015 | 7:33 PM
New Delhi: The government today said it would reconsider the new provisions — Aadhaar number, details of foreign travel and bank accounts — in the Income Tax Return (ITR) form and come out with a simplified form.
19 Apr 2015 | 2:33 AM
AMRITSAR: After evoking sharp criticism from various quarters, the SGPC today allocated an alternative site to the All India Pingalwara Charitable Society for setting up their stall near the main entrance of the Golden Temple here.