146 migrants land in Italy in UN-organized Libya evacuation

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Migrants carry their luggage at Misrata airport, before their deportation and resettlement in Italy, in Misrata, Libya April 29, 2019. (REUTERS)
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A family disembarks from an Italian military aircraft arriving from Misrata, Libya, at Pratica di Mare military airport, near Rome, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP)
Updated 30 April 2019
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146 migrants land in Italy in UN-organized Libya evacuation

  • Under anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Italy has essentially closed its ports to migrants fleeing Libya aboard smugglers boats

ROME: A group of 146 asylum-seekers have arrived in Italy as part of a UN-backed humanitarian evacuation from Libya.
The UN refugee agency says it’s the fifth such evacuation since 2017, though previous airlifts have taken migrants to Niger and elsewhere.
The group arrived Monday at a Rome military base. Dozens of the asylum-seekers are minors, many of whom are unaccompanied. They hail from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Ethiopia.
Under anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Italy has essentially closed its ports to migrants fleeing Libya aboard smugglers boats.
Salvini’s deputy, Stefano Candiani, said Monday that such evacuations, in which the UN screens asylum-seekers in situ, are the way people deserving of protection should arrive in Europe.


Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government

Updated 23 min 21 sec ago

Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government

  • Gantz is yet to respond to the approach by Netanyahu
  • The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu’s weakened position

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Thursday on his main rival, former general Benny Gantz, to join him in a broad, governing coalition after Israel’s election ended with no clear winner.
A spokeswoman for Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, had no immediate response to the surprise offer from Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party.
The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu’s weakened position after he failed again in Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive ballot in April, to secure a parliamentary majority.
“During the election campaign, I called for the establishment of a right-wing government but to my regret, the election results show that this is impossible,” Netanyahu said.
“Benny, we must set up a broad unity government, as soon as today. The nation expects us, both of us, to demonstrate responsibility and that we pursue cooperation.”
On Wednesday, Gantz said he hoped for a “good, desirable unity government.” But he has also ruled out forming one with a Netanyahu-led Likud, citing looming corruption charges against the prime minister. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.