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50 migrants found dead in a ship near Libya

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Rome: The bodies of at least 50 migrants have been found in the hold of a craft off the Libyan coast, the Italian coast guard said on Wednesday. The boat was sailing with 439 people on board some 50 km north of the Libyan coast, and received assistance in the early afternoon from Swedish ship Poseidon patrolling the Mediterranean as part of the European Union (EU) rescue mission Triton, a coast guard spokesman told Xinhua.

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About 50 bodies were found in the hold of the boat, the official added. It was the second major incident of the kind in 10 days. On August 15, the Italian navy had rescued some 312 migrants crammed in a boat off the Libyan coast, and 49 people had been found dead in the hold, apparently killed by the lack of air and fuel fumes.

Survivors of this incident gave their testimony to Italian prosecutors, helping authorities to identify and arrest eight alleged human smugglers, namely four Libyans, three Moroccans, and one Syrian national, who are currently in jail in Catania. Overall, the naval rescue forces coordinated by the Italian coast guard received 10 emergency calls since Wednesday morning, and all of them coming from migrant craft in difficulty in the waters north of Libya.

A coffin, containing the body of an unidentified migrant, is carried off the Irish Navy ship LE Niamh in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
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Italy’s ship Fiorillo saved 112 people aboard an inflatable, and one migrant on board was found dead, the coast guard said. Another 225 people on an inflatable were rescued by a merchant vessel involved in the operations. At least three migrant craft carrying between 500 and 600 people each received assistance from an Irish naval ship, and vessels from Doctors Without Borders and Migrant Offshore Aid Station humanitarian organisations. Rescue operations were still underway until Wednesday afternoon, the coast guard added.

(IANS)

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EU Leaders Agree Making the 28-member Bloc Carbon Neutral by 2050

EU agrees to become carbon neutral by 2050

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EU carbon
EU aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. Wikimedia Commons

BY VISHAL GULATI

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have agreed to make the 28-member bloc carbon neutral by 2050.

However, coal-reliant Poland has been given time until June to fully endorse the commitment to implement the agreed EU objective.

Climate experts told IANS for the first time the EU leaders, who met in Brussels on Thursday, came out with a time-frame by agreeing to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, thereby opening the way to start a discussion on raising the EU’s 2030 climate target as soon as possible.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is at the UN climate change conference (COP25), said on Friday that he was encouraged by the fact that the European Union decided to move ahead with its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050.

“This example of #ClimateAction needs to be followed worldwide,” he tweeted.

Carbon Neutral
EU’s top priority is to reduce Carbon Emissions. Pixabay

In November last year the European Commission put forward a proposal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a much needed long-term goal to bring the EU closer to meeting the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement goal and keeping temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Wednesday’s European Green Deal communication indicates that the European Commission will propose a new, substantially increased 2030 climate target by summer 2020.

Now that the net-zero emission goal is endorsed, the EU’s top priority is to adopt a new, increased climate target for 2030 well before next year’s UN Climate Summit, COP 26, in November.

EU leaders invited the European Commission to present a proposal for a new EU 2030 climate target in good time ahead of the UN Climate Conference.

COP26, taking place in Glasgow, is the international deadline by which all parties to the Paris Agreement must submit new and far more ambitious greenhouse gas emission reductions targets for 2030.

However, say climate experts, a couple of concessions were negotiated.

Poland has not been ready to fully commit to the implementation of the objective, but has also not blocked the collective endorsement of climate neutrality by 2050.

Also Read- Kids in LMICs Receive Excessive Amount of Antibiotic Prescriptions

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Director Wendel Trio told IANS: “Setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 is a vital and necessary first step to limit the escalating climate crisis.”

“But to jump-start climate action now in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal, the EU needs to increase its target for 2030, not just for 2050.” (IANS)