World View: Saudi Arabia Hit with Six New Deadly MERS Cases

World View: Saudi Arabia Hit with Six New Deadly MERS Cases

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Lampedusa disaster forces Europe’s immigrant dilemma into headlines
  • Libya demands a ‘clarification’ for the ‘kidnapping’ of al-Libi
  • With Hajj a week away, Saudi is hit with six new deadly MERS cases

Lampedusa disaster forces Europe’s immigrant dilemma into headlines

Migrant routes from North Africa (BBC)
Migrant routes from North Africa (BBC)

Divers are still recovering hundreds of bodies of the 500 migrants ina boat that sank on Thursday before reaching Italy’s Lampedusa Islandfrom northern Africa. Divers have described nightmarish scenes underwater: bodies trapped in the wreckage, locked in a final embrace orlying on the seabed covered in sand. Survivors have told a gruesomestory: When the boat’s engine failed, the captain burned a T-shirt toattract the attention of Italian coast guards near the short. Whenthe T-shirt burned his hand, he dropped it, setting the boat on fire,causing it to capsize.

So far this year, over 30,000 migrants reached Italy on boats fromNorth Africa, most of them fleeing war in Syria or Somalia, or threatsof political imprisonment in Eritrea. Lampedusa has a population of6,000 and is frequently overwhelmed by the 3,000 or so migrants thatarrive there every month, hoping to head north to Germany or theUK. Italy is asking for help from the rest of Europe to copewith the flow of migrants.

Illegal immigration has been a major political issue in Greece, whichhas received thousands of immigrants flowing from the land border withTurkey or across the Aegean sea. The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn politicalparty had been gaining popularity with a policy of deporting anyonewho isn’t an ethnic Greek, even legal citizens, until recently whenthe government declared that it was criminal organization. BBC and Reuters

Libya demands a ‘clarification’ for the ‘kidnapping’ of al-Libi

On Saturday, unnamed Administration officials were saying that Libyahad been informed that U.S. special forces were going to snatch up AbuAnas al-Libi in Tripoli. He’s been on the FBI most wanted list sincethe 1990s with a $5 million reward, and has been indicted in in a NewYork City court on charges of aiding in the bombing of the bombing ofthe American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. He’s now beingheld for questioning “outside of Libya,” presumably on a Navy ship.

But on Sunday, Libya’s government said it asked the U.S. forthat its citizens should be tried in Libyan courts if accused of acrime. It said it hoped its “strategic partnership” with Washingtonwould not be damaged by the incident. It’s thought that the U.S. infact didn’t warn the Libyan government in advance, for fear that theywould tip off al-Libi. AP

With Hajj a week away, Saudi is hit with six new deadly MERS cases

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced six more cases ofMiddle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in SaudiArabia, raising the global count to 136 cases with 58 deaths. Thereis growing concern about a possible pandemic that might begin whenmillions of Muslims from around the world arrive in Mecca, SaudiArabia, for the Hajj, their once in a lifetime pilgrimage. The Hajjwill take place next week, October 13-18, 2013. Saudi officials areadvising religious pilgrims to wear masks in crowded places, for theirown protection and the protection of others. CIDRAP/U of Minn and Arab News

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