As 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.
By 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.
ROME (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.
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 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.
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 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 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.