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.