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World View: European Migrant Crisis Escalates with Crewless Cargo Ships

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • European migrant crisis escalates with crewless cargo ships
  • Syria war deaths increase in 2014, as Muslim vs Muslim war escalates
  • Palestine to join the International Criminal Court

European migrant crisis escalates with crewless cargo ships

The abandoned cargo ship Blue Sky M on Wednesday, found in the open seas packed with 970 migrants and no crew (Reuters)
The abandoned cargo ship Blue Sky M on Wednesday, found in the open seas packed with 970 migrants and no crew (Reuters)

In drama on the high seas, the Italian coast guard has rescued two large merchant ships in the Mediterranean, packed with migrants from Syria, Eritrea, and Africa. The first ship contained 975 migrants, and the second ship has 450 migrants.

This is a new development. In the past we’ve seen migrants come to Europe in creaky little boats or even inflatable dinghies, sent out into the open sea with a few dozen migrants in the hope that Italy’s navy or a passing merchant ship will respond to distress calls.

In the case of the two cargo ships, the people smugglers packed hundreds of people into each one, after typically collecting thousands of dollars from each migrant, and sent the ship out into the open sea with no crew, running on autopilot. The Italian navy was able to board the first ship and take control of it. At this writing, there is a major naval operation in progress to do the same with the second ship.

2014 was a record year for both migrant crossings and migrant deaths. At least 3,072 people while trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, though an unknown number may have drowned without being rescued. And nearly 200,000 migrants attempted the crossing. In 2013, there were about 700 deaths, out of an attempted 60,000 crossings. BBC and Toronto Star

Syria war deaths increase in 2014, as Muslim vs Muslim war escalates

At least 76,021 people died in the Syria conflict in 2014, up from 73,447 in 2013, 49294 in 2012, and 7,841 in 2011.

Of the 2014 total, 17,790 were civilians, including 3,501 children.

The Syrian war is currently the biggest component of the escalating Muslim versus Muslim war throughout the Mideast. AFP

Palestine to join the International Criminal Court

Palestine Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, acting on behalf of the State of Palestine, has signed the Rome Statute, on the path to joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). The intent is to bring war crime charges against Israel, but there are a number of legal hurdles. The ICC Prosecutor must first recognize Palestine as a full member and accept its signature to the Rome Statute. Palestine can then submit complaints to the ICC, but it’s up to the Prosecutor to determine whether to order a preliminary investigation, and then a full criminal investigation. In that case, Israel will also be able to bring charges against Hamas for war crimes committed during the Gaza war. Guardian (London) and Jerusalem Post

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Italy, Blue Sky M, Syria, Eritrea, Syria, Palestine, Israel, International Criminal Court, ICC
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