At least 60 dead after migrant boat sinks: survivors

Libyan Red Crescent team members recover bodies of migrants who drowned at sea off the coast of the western city of Janzur on June 19, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 June 2018
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At least 60 dead after migrant boat sinks: survivors

  • At least 60 migrants died in the Mediterranean sea when their rubber dinghy sank last week
  • Survivors interviewed by volunteers said that their dinghy had been carrying over 100 people

ROME: At least 60 migrants died in the Mediterranean sea when their rubber dinghy sank last week, according to survivor testimonies gathered by a rights group in Sicily.
The Diciotti, an Italian coast guard ship carrying more than 500 migrants, docked Tuesday night at the Sicilian port of Pozzallo.
Among those on board were around 40 survivors of an accident last Tuesday which saw a US Navy boat come to the aid of drowning migrants after their dinghy sank off the coast of Libya.
At the time the US Navy reported seeing around 12 bodies in the water but were unable to locate them after the rescue.
The survivors interviewed by volunteers from the human rights association Medu in Sicily said that their dinghy had been carrying 117 people, which would put the death toll at over 70.
The NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) put the toll slightly lower at 60 dead also on the basis of accounts from survivors, who reported 100 people aboard the vessel.
“I have never seen such frightened and traumatized eyes after a landing,” said Teo di Piazza, coordinator of MSF psychologists.
“The people had no strength left.”
The most recent migrant arrival in Sicily comes as key EU leaders prepare to hold crisis talks on migration in Brussels on Sunday.
The talks follow last week’s row over the fate of more than 600 migrants on the Aquarius rescue ship, who Italy turned away, thrusting the migrant question back to the top of the EU agenda.


Steve Bannon planning foundation to boost far right in Europe: report

France's far-right party Front National (FN) president Marine Le Pen (R) applauds former US President advisor Steve Bannon after his speech during the Front National party annual congress, on March 10, 2018 at the Grand Palais in Lille, northern France. (AFP)
Updated 26 min 9 sec ago
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Steve Bannon planning foundation to boost far right in Europe: report

  • The organization will likely be based out of Brussels initially and has set its sights on the 2019 European parliament elections

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump’s controversial former adviser Steve Bannon plans to set up a foundation in Europe called “The Movement” to spark a populist rightwing revolt, according to a report.
Bannon envisages the organization rivalling George Soros’ Open Foundation, which has given away $32 billion to liberal causes since it was established in 1984, according to the report by the Daily Beast published late Friday.
The non-profit will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting, and think-tank research.
He told the Daily Beat he was convinced the coming years will see an end to decades of European integration.
“Right-wing populist nationalism is what will happen. That’s what will govern,” he said. “You’re going to have individual nation states with their own identities, their own borders.”
He added he had held talks with right-wing groups across the continent, from Nigel Farage and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in the West, to Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the Polish populists in the East.
The organization will likely be based out of Brussels initially and has set its sights on the 2019 European parliament elections.
The architect of Trump’s nationalist-populist campaign and his election victory, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness” and the “Shadow President.”
His economic nationalism became the lynchpin of Trump policies, even as many of his other ideas were rebuffed by policy rivals.
After new Chief of Staff John Kelly arrived, Bannon’s constant clashes with other advisers became untenable, as did his ties to the extreme right, which drew accusations that Trump fostered racists. Bannon left the White House last August.