Top of the Morning: Scores of Migrants Killed in Shipwreck Off Italian Coast

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

Scores Killed as Boat Carrying East African Migrants Sinks Off Italian Coast

The boat had left from Misrata, Libya. “In one of the deadliest shipwrecks in recent memory, 94 migrants died on Thursday just off the coast of the island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, when their boat sank after a fire on board. More than 200 people were still missing, officials said. The victims whose bodies have been retrieved so far were mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, Italian authorities said. At least four children died in the accident. Italian TV footage showed the bodies lined up on the harbor, in dark green and black body bags. About 170 people have been rescued so far.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1hne1O5)

Security Council Presses for Greater Humanitarian Access in Syria

An actual resolution would have been stronger, but this could be a step in the right direction. “The 15-member Security Council agreed to a non-binding statement in a bid to boost aid access, drafted by Australia and Luxembourg, after overcoming a long diplomatic deadlock on Friday between Russia and Western powers to pass a resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons. U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos said that if the statement’s requests on aid access were implemented fully then humanitarian groups could help some 2 million people in Syria who have for many months been unreachable.” (NBC http://nbcnews.to/18uKGiH)

Security Heavy as Myanmar President Visits Restive Region

Violence raged in a key town ahead of a planned visit by Burma’s president. At least six Muslims were killed in communal violence. “The violence comes as Myanmar President Thein Sein visits Rakhine state for the first time since bloody communal tension broke out more than a year ago. The president continued with his three-day visit to towns and camps in Rakhine, his spokesman said, despite initial plans to cancel his trip to Thandwe. Mr. Thein Sein hopes to calm tensions between majority Buddhists and Muslims that has killed more 150 people and displaced some 150,000 over the past year. The victims have overwhelmingly been Rohingya muslims.” (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/18uK2lo)

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