BBC News with Sue Montgomery.
The United Nations and human rights groups have accused the European Union of endangering the lives of thousands of people seeking to reach Europe from Africa by sea. The E.U. says it wants to deter migrants and has cut its rescue operations. In the latest incident, up to four hundred people are feared to have drowned, when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. Quentin Sommerville is in Libya.
“The Coast Guard here warns that with clear skies expected in the next few days, hundreds more will attempt the crossing. In Misrata, the morgues are already full of corpses of drowned men and women, who were washed up on nearby beaches. Detention centres, too, are full. Libya, with two rival governments and facing a threat from hundreds of fighters from the Islamic State, is in turmoil. It's unable to secure its own borders, much less stop those already here from heading to Europe.”
The Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, has lifted the suspension of airstrikes on Farc rebels, after at least 10 soldiers were killed in an attack in western Choco Province. The Army says the rebels used explosives, grenades and firearms. Wyre Davies has more.
“Traveling to the scene, Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, said he was ordering the Army to resume airstrikes against Farc guerrillas, strikes that had been suspended for a month. While the President also said via social media that the incident showed exactly why he wants to end Colombia's long-running war with left-wing insurgents. His political opponents said he should suspend peace talks immediately. The talks, which have been taking place in Cuba for the last two and a half years, have made significant progress, but have also been punctuated by attacks and clashes on the ground in Colombia.”
Police in Brazil have arrested the Treasurer of the governing Worker's Party as part of their investigation into a huge corruption scandal at the state-run oil giant, Petrobras. Joao Vaccari, who was indicted a month ago, is to stand trial for alleged money laundering.
The International Red Cross says it's been denied access to the central Yemeni town of Marib, the scene of fierce fighting. A Saudi-led coalition has been mounting airstrikes against both the rebels and forces loyal to the former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Red Cross says the humanitarian situation is deteriorating. Here's Imogen Foulkes.“Marib has been the scene of fierce fighting on the ground between forces loyal to Yemen's government and Houthis rebels, as well as sustained air attacks by the Saudi-led coalition.
On Wednesday alone, the Red Cross received reports of at least 60 people seriously injured and in desperate need of medical treatment. But an ICRC team, carrying supplies for Marib's hospitals, were stopped by Houthis rebel forces. It's a serious blow to attempts by aid agencies to bring some help to Yemen's people.
Palestinian fighters have retaken more grounds from Islamic State militants in the vast Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in the suburbs of Damascus. A spokesman told the BBCthat the jihadists have been forced to retreat. 2 weeks ago, IS overran much of Yarmouk, where eighteen thousand people had been under siege by the Syrian Army for the last 2 years.
Turkey has launched a formal complaint with the Danish Foreign Ministry about plans to install a statue to remember the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during the First World War. From Copenhagen, here's Malcolm Brabant.
The 9-metre-high sculpture, called the Dream, will spend 10 days in one of Copenhagen's busiest squares in May to remind people of the one and a half million Armenians killed by the Ottoman Empire one hundred years ago in what the Pope recently labeled genocide. The Turkish Ambassador to Denmark, Mehmet Donmez.“Having this sculpture in Copenhagen, where more than sixty thousand Turkish people live, is also very much insulting to us and to our people.”
“But 1.5 million people were killed. If that's not genocide, what is?”“It's their war sufferings.”But politicians on Copenhagen's City Council have told Turkey not to interfere in Denmark's affairs.
The Egyptian authorities have ordered the Army's Engineering Corp to demolish the headquarters of deposed President, Hosni Mubarak's, now defunct National Democratic Party. The towering structure on the Nile was torched by protesters during the revolution 4 years ago. The Antiquities Ministry says the land belongs to the adjacent Egyptian Museum.
A man's been arrested in Washington D.C. after he landed a small helicopter near the U.S. Congress. The area was placed under security lockdown while police moved in. In a video placed online earlier, the man identified himself as a postman from Florida, who wanted to protest about government corruption.
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