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More than 120 migrants feared dead at sea after boat's motor stolen - IOM

Rome, Jun 19 (Reuters) More than 120 migrants are feared to have died at the weekend when the motor of their boat was stolen, causing it to sink, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, citing testimony from survivors brought to Italy.
Two Sudanese men who arrived with around 1,000 other migrants at the Sicilian port of Palermo on Monday told IOM staff they left Libya in a rubber boat packed with 130 people, mainly Sudanese, IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo said.
After a few hours at sea, the men said a group of Libyans caught them up. "They described (the Libyans) as pirates, but they are basically traffickers," Di Giacomo said.
"They stole the motor - something which has happened a few times recently - and at that point the boat started to take on water and sank," he said.
Passing Libyan fishermen rescued the Sudanese pair along with two Nigerian men who were the only other survivors, and put them on another migrant boat. They were eventually rescued and brought to Sicily.
"They were in shock, traumatised by what had happened, and exhausted," Di Giacomo said, adding there were no official witnesses to what had happened though migrants from the second boat confirmed the account.
Gangs in Libya have built a lucrative trade out of packing migrants into rickety boats heading for Italy, where more than 65,000 have arrived so far this year. As of June 14, 1,828 were believed to have died in the attempt, according to IOM figures.
Debate over dealing with the migrant influx is becoming increasingly bitter in Italy, whose economy is lagging behind its European peers ahead of national elections due next year.
Most of the people attempting the journey originally come Nigeria, followed by Bangladesh and other sub-Saharan countries.
REUTERS RSD 2304
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Europe observes a 400 % increase in measles cases in 2017 compared to previous yr

Europe observes a 400 % increase in measles cases in 2017 compared to previous yr

20 Feb 2018 | 3:01 PM

Copenhagen, Feb 20 (UNI) Measles has rebounded in the WHO European Region affecting 21,315 people and causing 35 deaths in 2017, following a record low of 5,273 cases in 2016.

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Khaleda committed crime by embezzling Trust fund: Court

Khaleda committed crime by embezzling Trust fund: Court

20 Feb 2018 | 2:55 PM

By Mir Afroz Zaman Dhaka, Feb 20 ( UNI) Khaleda Zia and the others convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case had committed state financial crimes by embezzling government funds meant for orphans, the court has said in its verdict.

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Unified left to find alternative name

Unified left to find alternative name

20 Feb 2018 | 2:54 PM

Kathmandu, Feb 20 (UNI) CPN-UML and CPN Maoist Centre, on their unification, will have to find a name other than Nepal Communist Party (NCP) - the name that was decided upon in the seven point agreement signed by the two parties.

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'China committed to cooperate with Unified Left party'

'China committed to cooperate with Unified Left party'

20 Feb 2018 | 2:51 PM

Kathmandu, Feb 20 (UNI) Chinese Communist Party Foreign Department Vice Minister Guo Yejhau has said that the Chinese Government was committed to cooperate with the to be unified communist party of Nepal, a report in The Himalayan Times said on Tuesday.

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Time has come to take Nepal towards prosperity: PM Oli

Time has come to take Nepal towards prosperity: PM Oli

20 Feb 2018 | 2:47 PM

Kathmandu, Feb 20 (UNI) Newly appointed Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that a historic opportunity to achieve the gold of building a prosperous and happy Nepal has started.

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