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26 May 2016

A boat carrying over 500 migrants capsizes in the Mediterranean. Photo: Marina Militare | Photo Gallery

Italian Navy Saves Migrants as Boat Capsizes

Italy - The delicate balance of an overcrowded boat carrying hundreds of migrants turned into a frightening roll as an Italian navy ship approached Wednesday (25/5), write Ralph Ellis, Steve Almasy and Livia Borghese for CNN.

Passengers had rushed to the port side, a shift in weight that proved too much. People began tumbling into the Mediterranean Sea.

Images taken by Italian sailors showed people clinging to the rails of the teetering ship, while others grabbed the closest person to them.

As the ship was on its side, some of those in the water seemed to sense the danger and began to swim away. People still on board climbed to the starboard side, now the highest point.

There was no stopping the momentum and the ship capsized, sending the rest of the migrants fleeing the Mideast into the sea off the coast of Libya.

The Italian crew threw life jackets and rings into the churning water.

About 562 migrants were rescued, but five people died, the navy said. The number of dead initially was given as seven. Rescuers used dinghies, a helicopter and a second navy ship.

Seas were calm as the boat capsized. Water surface temperatures were around 20 degrees Celsius (a chilly 68 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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The Greek government says that it will take a week to clear the camp. Photo: AFP.

Greek Police Step up Evacuation of Idomeni Camp

Greece - Greek police on Wednesday (25/7) restarted an operation to move migrants out of Idomeni, the squalid tent city where thousands fleeing war and poverty have lived for months, according to AFP.

A police source told AFP they hoped to transfer “roughly the same number” of migrants as on Tuesday, when they bussed more than 2,000 to newly opened camps near Greece’s second city Thessaloniki, about 80 kilometres to the south.

Some 8,400 people are living in the muddy and dirty camp on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia border, which has become a potent symbol of human suffering and chaos as Europe struggles with its worst migrant crisis since World War II.

The dawn operation, involving some 700 police backed by helicopter, “is continuing normally and calmly, like yesterday,” said the police officer, who declined to be named.

Most of those at the camp are fleeing war and misery in the Middle East and Asia and the group transferred Tuesday included 662 Syrians, 1,273 Kurds and 96 Yazidis.

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Migration in the News

  • DPA and The Guardian reported that the Italian navy rescued over 500 migrants and refugees after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean, killing five people.

  • RFI reported that 5,600 migrants have been rescued since the beginning of this week in the Mediterranean.

  • International Business Times reported that Turkey's 2.7 million Syrian refugees have been thrown into further uncertainty as a standoff between Europe and Turkey over the deal intended to stem the flow of migrants to the continent escalates.

  • AFP reported that European Council President Donald Tusk, speaking on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Japan,  called on the world to act together to solve the refugee crisis gripping Europe.

  • CBS reported that ISIS is preventing people from fleeing Fallujah in Iraq’s Al Anbar province amid a military operation to recapture the city west of Baghdad.

  • Frankfurter Allgemeine, Deutsche Welle, ORF and Europe-online quoted IOM’s Othman Belbeisi on irregular migration to Italy and the situation of migrants in Libya.

  • Equal Times featured a new UNECA report showing that intra-African migration is far greater than the flow of African migrants to Europe.

Trending on the Internet

  • Wall Street Journal reported that the German government has approved new rules aimed at pushing migrants to integrate faster into society and the economy.

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