Spain offers to take migrant ship amid Italy-malta standoff
Spain stepped up Monday and offered to take in a rescue ship carrying more than 600 migrants after Italy and Malta refused. The diplomatic standoff had left the migrants stranded at sea and revealed the brass-knuckled negotiating tactics of Italy’s new antiimmigrant government.
Italy and Malta thanked Spain’s new prime minister for the offer to receive the SOS Mediterranee rescue ship Aquarius. But it wasn’t immediately clear if such a voyage was feasible given the distances involved. The UN refugee agency, the European Union, and humanitarian groups demanded that the countries put their politics aside and consider the plight of the migrants, which included children and pregnant women. Hurricane Bud strengthened into a category three storm in the Pacific off the Mexican coast, but was still expected to remain offshore, meteorologists said. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season is off to a torrid start. Back-to-back storms, first Aletta and now, Bud, have rapidly intensified, transforming from tropical storms to major hurricanes in just a day’s time.
On June 9, Hurricane Aletta reached Category 4 strength, with peak winds of 140 mph, only 24 hours after it was a mere tropical storm with 70 mph winds. That storm has since dissipated to a tropical depression.
But now Bud has blown up. Just a tropical storm with 65 mph winds Sunday morning, it is now a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffirsimpson scale, packing 120 mph winds.
Bud is positioned about 475 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico and is churning to the northwest at around 7 mph. It could bring tropical-storm conditions to popular tourist spots along that peninsula Thursday or Friday, including Cabo San Lucas.
In the short term, the storm may not be done strengthening.
In the central and eastern tropical Atlantic, researchers recently detected an increase in rapidly intensifying hurricane in recent decades.