Shark-suit wearer runs afoul of Aus­tria’s ‘burqa ban’ law


MI­LAN — Eight Tu­nisian mi­grants have died and a fur­ther 20 are be­lieved to be miss­ing af­ter a Tu­nisian naval ship col­lided with a wooden boat packed with mi­grants, the UN mi­gra­tion agency said Mon­day. Tu­nisian au­thor­i­ties said 38 peo­ple were res­cued.

The Tu­nisian de­fence depart­ment said in a state­ment that the col­li­sion hap­pened Sun­day about 54 km off the coast of El Ataya, on the is­land of Kerken­nah. The cir­cum­stances re­main un­clear.

Mal­tese au­thor­i­ties co-or­di­nated the res­cue with the as­sis­tance of the Ital­ian and Tu­nisian navies.

The ex­act num­bers on board were un­known, but Flavio Di Gi­a­como of the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion said it is be­lieved that the boat was car­ry­ing around 75 Tu­nisian mi­grants.

The num­ber of Tu­nisians mak­ing their way from Tu­nisia to Italy is on the rise, al­though the rea­sons are not clear. IOM says that 1,400 Tu­nisians ar­rived in Italy last month alone, com­pared with 1,357 in the first eight months of the year.

But that is only those who have been of­fi­cially counted.

Non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions in Si­cily es­ti­mate that three times

WASH­ING­TON — Sci­en­tists say more than 1,000 stuffed birds from Mid­west­ern mu­se­ums are help­ing them bet­ter un­der­stand a key global warm­ing par­ti­cle.

Re­searchers re­ported Mon­day that they found more soot on birds in mu­se­ums in Chicago, Detroit and Pitts­burgh than they ex­pected. They also found more soot on the birds from the 1900s and 1910s than they did decades later, when that many have ar­rived since June, most in wooden boats that get left on the shore.

“We have doc­u­mented around 80 boats left on the beaches from June through today, since the route from Libya was in­ter­rupted,” Clau­dio Lom­bardo of the NGO Maream­ico told Sky TG24, re­fer­ring to a de­crease in num­ber of sea res­cues since Ital­ian au­thor­i­ties reached deals with Libyan play­ers to re­duce mi­grant traf­fick­ing.

He said they es­ti­mate at least 3,000 North Africans had ar­rived on the boats, of whom au­thor­i­ties have de­tained just 400. The rest have dis­ap­peared, pre­sum­ably mov­ing on in search of work and earn­ing the moniker “ghost ar­rivals.”

Di Gi­a­como said the rea­son for the spike in ar­rivals from Tu­nisia is un­clear, but that it could be the re­sult of an eco­nomic cri­sis that has pushed Tu­nisians to try to find work in Italy af­ter the end of the sum­mer tourism sea­son in north­ern Africa. He said that so far those com­ing don’t ap­pear to be sub­Sa­ha­ran Africans seek­ing a new route to Europe.

So far this year, IOM says 2,658 mi­grants have died or gone miss­ing try­ing to cross the Mediter­ranean Sea in rick­ety smug­glers’ boats, al­most all of those try­ing to reach Italy. That com­pares with 3,682 over­all last year. peo­ple turned away from us­ing coal to heat their homes.

Soot, also called back car­bon, is im­por­tant to cli­mate change be­cause it helps trap heat. But it has been dif­fi­cult for sci­en­tists to study how lev­els of it have changed over time be­cause it doesn’t last long in the at­mos­phere. The study is in Mon­day’s Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Academy of Sci­ences. The As­so­ci­ated Press SUZAN FRASER

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s jus­tice min­is­ter on Mon­day said he hoped the United States would re­view its de­ci­sion to sus­pend most visa ser­vices for Turk­ish cit­i­zens fol­low­ing the ar­rest of a U.S. con­sulate em­ployee in Is­tan­bul that has deep­ened ten­sions be­tween the two NATO al­lies.

Mean­while, Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties an­nounced that a sec­ond em­ployee of the U.S. con­sulate in Is­tan­bul had been “in­vited” to the Is­tan­bul chief pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice to tes­tify. Au­thor­i­ties did not ex­plain why. Re­ports say the em­ployee is a Turk­ish cit­i­zen, and the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said his wife and child had also been de­tained for ques­tion­ing.

The U.S. on Sun­day sus­pended the is­su­ing of visas for Turk­ish cit­i­zens hop­ing to visit or study in the U.S. af­ter Turkey ar­rested U.S. con­sulate em­ployee Metin Topuz last week on al­le­ga­tions of es­pi­onage.

Turkey im­me­di­ately halted visa ser­vices in the U.S. in a tit-for-tat re­sponse.

Speak­ing dur­ing a visit to Ukraine, Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan called the U.S. de­ci­sion a “sad­den­ing” de­vel­op­ment. He added that he had im­me­di­ately or­dered a re­tal­ia­tory mea­sure that re­sulted in the Turk­ish Em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton is­su­ing an al­most iden­ti­cal text to the U.S. an­nounce­ment.

“Turkey is gov­erned by the rule of law. Above all, we are not a tribe, we are not a tribal state,” Er­do­gan said.

Ear­lier, Turkey’s For­eign Min­istry sum­moned the em­bassy’s sec­ond-in-charge, ask­ing that Wash­ing­ton re­view the de­ci­sion that caused “un­nec­es­sary es­ca­la­tion” and “vic­tim­ized” both Turk­ish and U.S. cit­i­zens, a Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry of­fi­cial said.

“It is Turkey’s right to try a Turk­ish cit­i­zen for acts car­ried out in Turkey,” said Jus­tice Min­is­ter Ab­dul­hamit Gul. “Ev­ery­one should fol­low (le­gal pro­ce­dures) with re­spect.”

De­spite the seem­ingly friendly re­la­tions be­tween U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Er­do­gan, ties be­tween the two coun­tries are tense over the ar­rest of Topuz, a Turk­ish cit­i­zen, and sev­eral Amer­i­cans over al­leged ties to a move­ment led by U.S.-based cleric Fethul­lah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for last sum­mer’s coup at­tempt. Gulen de­nies in­volve­ment.

Topuz is ac­cused of es­pi­onage and “at­tempt­ing to over­throw the Turk­ish govern­ment and con­sti­tu­tion.” Turkey’s of­fi­cial Anadolu news agency re­ported that he al­legedly com­mu­ni­cated with for­mer po­lice chiefs in a 2013 cor­rup­tion probe and oth­ers in­volved in the at­tempted coup us­ing an en­crypted mo­bile mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion.

The U.S. Em­bassy said it was “deeply dis­turbed” by the ar­rest and has com­plained of re­ports in Turkey’s pro-govern­ment me­dia that it said aimed to try Topuz in the me­dia in­stead of a court of law.

VI­ENNA — An Aus­trian law that for­bids any kind of full-face cov­er­ing in­clud­ing Is­lamic veils has claimed an un­usual vic­tim — a man wear­ing a shark suit.

Po­lice say they is­sued a ci­ta­tion Mon­day af­ter the man — part of a street ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign for the McShark com­puter chain stores — re­fused sev­eral re­quests to take off his shark head.

In ef­fect this month, most full face cov­er­ings are pro­hib­ited in pub­lic in Aus­tria, in­clud­ing off-slope ski masks, surgical masks out­side hos­pi­tals and party masks on the street. Pop­u­larly known as the “burqa ban,” the law is mostly seen as di­rected at the cloth­ing worn by some ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive Mus­lim women.

Vi­o­la­tions carry a pos­si­ble fine of 150 eu­ros (nearly $180). Only a hand­ful of ci­ta­tions have been is­sued. The As­so­ci­ated Press


The con­sular ser­vices’ of­fice of the United States con­sulate re­mains closed, in Is­tan­bul, Mon­day The U.S. had sus­pended non-im­mi­grant visa ser­vices at its diplo­matic fa­cil­i­ties in Turkey fol­low­ing the ar­rest of a con­sulate em­ployee.

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