450 migrants stranded at sea as Italy, Malta dig heels in

Migrants intercepted aboard a dinghies off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar, are seen after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain July 13, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 July 2018
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450 migrants stranded at sea as Italy, Malta dig heels in

  • The Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti arrived in the port of Trapani, in western Sicily, on Thursday, but the migrants were kept aboard
  • Salvini insists that the Libyan coast guard deal with migrants in waters off the largely lawless North African country

ROME: Another 450 migrants on board two Frontex vessels were stranded at sea on Saturday as Italy and Malta locked horns over whose responsibility it was to offer them safe harbor.
The migrants had initially set sail from Libya in a single wooden vessel which was identified early Friday while passing through waters under Malta’s jurisdiction.
But Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has authority over the country’s ports, on Friday refused to let them dock in his latest show of intransigence over migrants stranded at sea.
And on Saturday, as those on board were transferred to two vessels belonging to the EU border agency Frontex, he insisted they be instructed to “head south, to Libya or Malta.”
“We need an act of justice, of respect and of courage to fight against these human traffickers and generate a European intervention,” he said in talks with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, his remarks carried by Italian news agencies.
Cited by the Italian media, cabinet sources said Conte was going to push for them to be immediately transferred to other European countries, otherwise they would not be allowed to land.
In an exchange of messages, emails and phone calls on Friday, Rome had tried to push Valetta to take responsibility for those on board the wooden boat.
But Malta said the ship was much closer to the Italian island of Lampedusa, and on Saturday, insisted it had respected “all of its obligations under international conventions” concerning those rescued at sea.
On Saturday morning, as the two Frontex vessels approached the wooden boat, several migrants threw themselves overboard, prompting immediate efforts to rescue them from the water, Italian sources said.
Eight women and children were taken to Lampedusa for medical treatment.
The new standoff kicked in just hours after 67 migrants were allowed to disembark from an Italian coast guard ship in Sicily late on Thursday.
Salvini, who took office when Italy’s new populist government came to power on June 1, wants to block any further migrant arrivals by boat and has banned charity rescue ships from docking in Italian ports, accusing them of aiding human traffickers.
Last month, the French rescue ship Aquarius and the German boat Lifeline, who between them were carrying hundreds of migrants, were forced to divert to Spain and Malta respectively after Italy turned them away.
Italy, Greece and Spain have been on the front line of the migrant crisis, with Europe deeply divided over how to share the burden of the massive influx of people seeking to create a new life in Europe.


Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

Updated 27 min 24 sec ago
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Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

  • Celia Barquin Arozamena was found in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 50 kilometers north of Des Moines
  • A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where a suspect was apprehended

AMES, Iowa: A homeless man attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, police said Tuesday.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University.
Barquin was found Monday morning in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Des Moines. Police were called to the golf course around 10:20 a.m. to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.
Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday against Richards.
A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said. Officers found Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.
An acquaintance of Richards told investigators that the suspect had said in recent days that he had “an urge to rape and kill a woman” while they were walking on a trail near the course, the complaint said. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his home on Monday appearing “disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water.” He bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack.
Investigators later recovered two pairs of shorts with blood stains and a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two other people after the slaying, the complaint said. Those two individuals were driving Richards out of town after the slaying, but he asked them to drop him off near the camp so he could get his tent and that’s when officers arrested him, it said.
Barquin was the 2018 Big 12 champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year. The university said the native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester after exhausting her eligibility at Iowa State in 2017-2018.
She was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history, the university said. In April, she became the second women’s golfer at Iowa State to earn medalist honors at a conference tournament when claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship. She did it with a three-shot victory.
Barquin, who was ranked No. 69 nationally by Golfweek, ended her career as a Cyclone with a fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance and earned All-Big 12 Team honors for the third time — the second player in Iowa State’s history to do so.
She became the third Cyclone women’s golfer to compete in the US Women’s Open Championship, the university said. The team announced Tuesday it was pulling out of the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be with friends and family and to grieve their loss.
Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death” of Barquin, describing her as a “dedicated civil engineering student” and an “acclaimed golfer with a bright future.”
Head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said in a release that Barquin was “loved by all her teammates and friends” and was an “outstanding representative of our school.”
“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” Martens said.