World Bulletin/News Desk
Italian coastguards rescued more than 350 African migrants off the small Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend as they tried to reach European shores on rickety wooden boats, a coastguard official told Reuters on Sunday.
Last year tens of thousands of refugees and would-be migrants arrived in Lampedusa during the upheavals in North Africa, setting off a crisis that threatened to overwhelm the tiny island, but the flow has eased this year.
Coastguards rescued 231 people from sub-Saharan Africa on Saturday from a 15 metre wooden boat, including 33 women and four children, a coastguard official said.
Later on Saturday coastguards launched another rescue operation, this time involving 126 Tunisians who were on board a 10-metre-long wooden boat, the official said.
The migrants were taken to a reception centre on the island and were going through an identification process and screening to see if they had rights to asylum, he said.
Italy has borne the brunt of a wave of clandestine seaborne migration from Africa to southern Europe that has reached crisis proportions at times in the past few years.
Most migrants risk the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea in small, overcrowded fishing boats, and thousands have died as a result of shipwreck, harsh conditions at sea or lack of food and water.
Lampedusa lies south of Sicily and about 130 km (80 miles) east of Tunisia, the closest point on the north African coast.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the government would not hesitate to enforce its writ and was considering cracking down against those attacking state institutions.
The government will seek to bring all abductees back regardless of whether they have been officially recognised as abducted
Negotiators hope a deal can draw a line under the decades of hostilities and instability in the desert north of the West African nation.
Protests descended into deadly chaos over the weekend, with demonstrators clashing with police in a central area near many government buildings and embassies
Mohammad Mohaqeq, one of Abdullah's vice presidential running mates, told Reuters the two sides could not agree on the powers of the chief executive, blaming the Ghani camp for hardening its position
Israel announced the appropriation of land in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem, a move which an anti-settlement group said was the biggest such claim in 30 years
Miguel Vasquez, a spokesman for the Mayan elders, defended their decision, saying "the constitution protects us because we need to conserve and preserve our culture."
Voters in Scotland will decide on Sept. 18 whether they want to form an independent state with opinion polls showing Scots are likely to vote to keep their 307-union with England intact.
Iceland cut the level back to orange - the next highest level - saying the eruption was not creating ash.
The move came as the government said it had lost control of most ministries and state institutions located in Tripoli after rival armed groups took over the capital
Powers will include a temporary ban on those suspected of fighting in Syria and Iraq returning to the UK.
Western officials say Iran must address the IAEA's concerns and that this is vital for any chance of success in parallel negotiations to end a decade-old nuclear standoff with the West.
Greek Cypriot mayor of Girne (Kyrenia), Galfkos Kariolu, suggested the idea as a way to boost the Greek Cypriot population in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Zuma was due to meet Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to try to resolve a political crisis in the small mountain kingdom after an apparent coup
Among the detained are several top wartime police officers and members of a notorious military group known as "Mice", suspected of committing the war crimes in the northern towns of Teslic and Doboj
Leaders of anti-government protests Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri charged by police for inciting violence and attacking security forces.