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Up to 700 feared dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya - UNHCR

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A migrant is helped as she disembarks from a Coast Guard boat in the Sicilian harbour of PalermoAs many as 700 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, a United Nations official said on Sunday. Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the official said, adding that a number of Italian coast guard and naval vessels were being sent in rescue operations. "At the moment, we fear that this is a tragedy of really vast proportions," Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told SkyTG24 television. No comment was immediately available from the Italian coast guard or navy.


AP Exclusive: Chinese activist more determined after lockup

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BEIJING (AP) — The most prominent of five recently released Chinese women's rights activists feels her dedication to the cause has grown stronger after spending 37 days in detention with interrogators who blew smoke onto her face and insulted her sexual orientation, her girlfriend and her lawyer said.

Islamist group claims attack on U.N. peacekeepers in Mali

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Undated still image from a video showing Mokhtar Belmokhtar speaking at an unknown locationBy Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra BAMAKO (Reuters) - A group headed by former al Qaeda fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility for a suicide raid on U.N. peacekeepers in northern Mali in which at least three people were killed. Mauritanian news website Alakhbar posted an audio statement claiming the attack on behalf of the armed Islamist group al-Mourabitoun. "We, the Mourabitoun group, announce the martyrdom operation that one of our knights, Ibrahim al-Ansari, undertook at the headquarters of the Nigerien forces," said the low-quality recording, posted on the website on Friday. Its authenticity could not be verified, but Alakhbar has often posted statements from Islamist militants in Mali.


Heavy clashes in central district, suburb of Tripoli

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Heavy clashes broke out in the Libyan capital on Saturday, residents said, with gunfire and explosions heard in areas home to groups that oppose the Tripoli-based government. The North African country is engulfed in a conflict between two governments, each allied to armed groups, who are fighting each other for power and territory four years after the ousting of autocrat ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Up to 700 feared dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya -newspaper

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Migrants are helped as they disembark from a Coast Guard boat in the Sicilian harbour of PalermoROME (Reuters) - As many as 700 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, the Times of Malta reported on Sunday. Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, 120 miles south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the newspaper's website reported. The emergency was declared at about midnight. The boat is believed to have capsized when migrants moved to one side of the vessel when a merchant ship approached.


Ben Affleck asked for slave-owning ancestor story to be cut

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Hollywood megastar Ben Affleck, also known for his support of liberal causes, asked documentary makers to censor their discovery that one of his ancestors owned slaves, according to a leaked emailHollywood megastar Ben Affleck, also known for his support of liberal causes, asked documentary makers to censor their discovery that one of his ancestors owned slaves, according to a leaked email. The message published by WikiLeaks last week is part of a trove of embarrassing emails, film scripts and other internal communications that were accessed during a massive hack of Sony in 2014. In one email exchange, Sony chief executive Michael Lynton and his friend Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates discuss a request made by Affleck that his slave-owning ancestor not be included in an upcoming show called "Finding Your Roots," produced by the publicly funded PBS broadcaster. "Confidentially, for the first time, one of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors -- the fact that he owned slaves.


Breakaway Turkish Cypriots vote for new leader

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Turkish Cypriot leader and leadership candidate, Dervis Eroglu, speaks is seen through Turkish flags and candidate banners during a rally in Nicosia at the Turkish Cypriot north part of the island of Cyprus, Friday, April 17, 2015. Breakaway Turkish Cypriots will cast their ballots this Sunday April 19, or a new leader who will have little time to settle in before jumping into another round of talks aimed at reunifying ethnically split Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Turkish Cypriots are electing a new leader for the breakaway north of Cyprus in an unpredictable contest as talks to reunify the ethnically split island are expected to resume next month.


Brazil executive says he paid $36.1 million to Petrobras: media

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A top construction company executive has told investigators he paid $36.1 million in bribes to executives at state oil giant Petrobras, which is being rocked by Brazil's biggest ever corruption scandal, local media reportedA top construction company executive has told investigators he paid $36.1 million in bribes to executives at state oil giant Petrobras, which is being rocked by Brazil's biggest ever corruption scandal, local media reported. Eduardo Leite, vice president at the construction firm Camargo Correa, told prosecutors the bribes stretched from 2007-2012. The construction firm is allegedly one of those that paid executives at Petrobras to give them contracts in exchange for overcharging. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff chaired the Petrobras board during much of the period when the alleged corruption took place, though she has not been implicated in the scandal.


Armenians to mark 'genocide' centenary as Turkey dispute rages on

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Young girls take part in a sit-in at Beirut's Martyr's Square on April 18, 2015, organised by Lebanon's principal Armenian political party, Tashnag, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915Armenians prepare to commemorate a hundred years since 1.5 million of their kin were massacred by Ottoman forces, as a fierce dispute still rages with Turkey over Ankara's refusal to recognise the mass murder as genocide. Hundred of thousands are expected to flock to a towering memorial in Armenia's capital Yerevan on Friday for an emotional ceremony to mark the centenary of the start of a tragedy that still stirs deep divisions. Ex-Soviet Armenia and the huge Armenian diaspora worldwide have battled for decades to get the World War I massacres at the hands of the Ottoman forces between 1915 and 1917 recognised as a targeted genocide.


Silfverberg's last-minute goal puts Ducks past Jets 2-1

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Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the final minutes of the third period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, April 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jakob Silfverberg scored the tiebreaking goal with 21 seconds to play, and the Anaheim Ducks rallied from another third-period deficit for a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night, taking a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.


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