3 babies among 6 dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Migrants rescued at sea wait to be transferred at the harbour of Algeciras on July 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 29 July 2018
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3 babies among 6 dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

  • The boat sank off Ciplak island overnight
  • Nine people were rescued by the coast guard

ANKARA: Three babies were among six dead after a boat carrying 16 people en route to a Greek island capsized off the northwestern coast of Turkey, state media reported on Sunday.
Nine people were rescued by the coast guard after the boat, which was illegally on its way to Lesbos, sank off Ciplak island overnight, state news agency Anadolu said.
One person remains missing but search efforts continued in Balikesir province, the agency reported, adding that the individuals on board were Turkish.
Two of those on board the boat were believed to be traffickers while some were suspected of being members of the group accused of organizing the July 2016 failed coup, Ayvalik District Governor Gokhan Gorguluarslan told the agency.
Turkey claims US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and his movement ordered the 2016 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which Gulen strongly denies.
Over 77,000 people suspected of links to Gulen have been arrested since July 2016 while tens of thousands more have been suspended or sacked over alleged Gulen connections.


Mexico demands apology for colonial ‘abuses,’ Spain hits back

Handout photo released by the Mexican presidency showing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador answering questions during a press conference at the Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City on March 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 26 March 2019
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Mexico demands apology for colonial ‘abuses,’ Spain hits back

  • “The government of Spain deeply regrets that the letter the Mexican president sent to his majesty the king, whose contents we firmly reject, has been made public,” it said in a statement

MEXICO CITY: The 500-year-old wounds of the Spanish conquest were ripped open afresh on Monday when Mexico’s president urged Spain and the Vatican to apologize for their “abuses” — a request Madrid said it “firmly rejects.”
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist, reopened the debate over Spain’s centuries of dominance in the New World with a video posted to social media, urging Spanish King Felipe VI and Pope Francis to apologize for the conquest and the rights violations committed in its aftermath.
“I have sent a letter to the king of Spain and another to the pope calling for a full account of the abuses and urging them to apologize to the indigenous peoples (of Mexico) for the violations of what we now call their human rights,” Lopez Obrador, 65, said in the video, filmed at the ruins of the indigenous city of Comalcalco.
“There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross. They built their churches on top of the (indigenous) temples,” he said.
“The time has come to reconcile. But let us ask forgiveness first.”
Spain’s reaction was swift and unequivocal.
“The government of Spain deeply regrets that the letter the Mexican president sent to his majesty the king, whose contents we firmly reject, has been made public,” it said in a statement.
“The arrival, 500 years ago, of Spaniards to present Mexican territory cannot be judged in the light of contemporary considerations,” it said.
“Our two brother nations have always known how to read our shared past without anger and with a constructive perspective, as free peoples with a shared history and extraordinary influence.”

Lopez Obrador took office in December after a landslide election win that represented a firm break with Mexico’s traditional political parties.
A folksy populist, he pulls no punches in going after traditional elites — but had so far cultivated cordial relations with Spain, including during a visit to Mexico City by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez earlier this year.
Lopez Obrador made the remarks during a visit to his native Tabasco state, in southern Mexico.
He was later due to visit the nearby city of Centla. On March 14, 1519, the site was the scene of one of the first battles between Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and the indigenous peoples of the land now known as Mexico.
With the help of horses, swords, guns and smallpox — all unknown in the New World at the time — Cortes led an army of less than 1,000 men to defeat the Aztec empire, the start of 300 years of Spanish rule over Mexico.