The annual Barcolana regatta in the Gulf of Trieste near northern Italy is one of the largest sailing races in the world with over 1,500 participants. The race began in 1969 and takes place on the second Sunday in October.
More photos from the past 24 hours.
Photos by Reuters photographer Stefano Rellandini.
World Wrap: October 4, 2013
Assad speaks out against Erdogan in TV interview, Italy postpones search for migrant bodies, and Maduro struggles to fill Chavez’s shoes. Today is Friday, October 4, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
Assad warns Turkey of consequences for aiding rebels
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (R) speaks during an interview with Italian television station RaiNews24 in Damascus in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency SANA on September 29, 2013. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters
Assad gives warning. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued harsh words to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in an interview with Turkey’s Halk TV airing today, warning the leader that Turkey will pay a price for aiding Syrian rebels.
In an interview with Turkey’s Halk TV due to be broadcast later on Friday, Assad called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan “bigoted” and said Ankara was allowing terrorists to cross into Syria to attack the army and Syrian civilians…”In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact on Turkey and Turkey will pay a heavy price for it.” Turkey, which shares a 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria and has NATO’s second largest deployable armed forces, is one of Assad’s fiercest critics and a staunch supporter of the opposition, although it denies arming the rebels. It shelters about a quarter of the 2 million people who have fled Syria and has often seen the conflict spill across its frontier, responding in kind when mortars and shells fired from Syria have hit its soil. It has also allowed rebel fighters to cross in and out of Syria but has grown alarmed, along with Western allies opposed to Assad, by divisions among their ranks and the deepening influence of radical Islamists in Syria.
Erdogan said on Thursday that Syria is headed towards sectarian war, adding, “this is the danger we are facing.” Turkey has sent additional troops to the Turkey-Syria border in recent weeks, and the Turkish parliament voted to extend a mandate allowing for troop deployment to Syria if necessary. In his interview, Assad denied again that his regime was behind the chemical attack that left hundreds dead in a Damascus suburb in August, and has left survivors defiant against the Syrian government. Last week, the U.N. adopted a resolution demanding Syria give up its chemical weapons. The chemical attack has struck a chord with Iraqi Kurds, who recall the 1988 gas attacks that killed at least 5,000 people and fear chemical weapons from Syria will eventually be used against them. On Thursday, the U.N. said that a team of chemical weapons experts is making“encouraging initial progress” in efforts to facilitate Syria’s chemical disarmament.
A still image taken from video released on October 4, 2013 by the Italian Coast Guard shows migrants rescued from the water off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday, October 3, 2013.REUTERS/Italian Coast Guard/Handout via Reuters
Search stopped. Italian authorities postpone divers’ search for bodies trapped in a wrecked boatwhich sank off the coast of Italy early on Thursday, killing an estimated 300 migrants traveling from African countries including Eritrea and Somalia in one of the worst incidents in Europe’s immigration crisis:
Choppy seas prevented divers on Friday from recovering more bodies of migrants… Rescue teams have so far recovered 111 bodies and expect to find more than 100 others in and around the wreck, submerged in 47 meters of water less than a kilometer (0.6 miles) from the shore of the southern island of Lampedusa. After 155 people were pulled from the water alive on Thursday, strong winds and meter-high waves made it impossible for 40 divers to safely collect bodies. There was little hope of finding more survivors from the almost 500 passengers estimated to have been on board. “Though the bad sea conditions persist, our guys are ready to go down if a window opens up that makes it safe for them,” coastguard spokesman Filippo Marini told Reuters. Though the tiny island takes in thousands of immigrants every year and there have been similar wrecks in the past, residents were shaken by the sheer size of the tragedy.
Italy’s strict immigration law has come under fire for requiring repatriation of illegal immigrants and has led to the sequester of fishing boats that save migrant lives. Nearly 500 people were reported dead or missing traveling from Tunisia to Italy last year.
A man sits next to a mural depicting the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in downtown Caracas, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Chavez still center stage. Months after being elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro remains in the shadow of Hugo Chavez’s legacy:
After Chavez’s death from cancer in March at the age of 58, the popularity of “El Comandante” has grown and taken on even deeper religious undertones among the support base that kept him in power for 14 years. While that helped Maduro, a former bus driver, union activist and member of parliament win a six-year term as president, it is also making it near-impossible for him to step out of Chavez’s shadow. “As long as Nicolas maintains Chavez’s route, the people will be with him. If he deviates from Chavez, everything will change, he’ll be finished,” [said Chavez supporter Yalmy] Rumbo. Therein lies Maduro’s dilemma. He owes everything, from his political inheritance to his election, to his late mentor. So, unsurprisingly, he parrots Chavez at every turn, be it thundering at the U.S. “empire” or trying to prove himself a man of the people during his daily, televised walkabouts. Yet to solve a daunting array of problems, from the highest inflation in the Americas and embarrassing shortages of basic goods to rampant corruption and shoddy infrastructure, many feel Maduro needs to become his own man and tweak some policies.
The country’s floundering economy presents further difficulty for the new president. Venezuelans struggle to make ends meet in light of power cuts and rising prices, and according to pollster IVAD, 67 percent of Venezuelans have a pessimistic view of the country’s general direction.
Nota Bene: Muslim Brotherhood supporter killed as clashes erupt in Egypt.
Skype censorship - Pakistani province attempts to ban instant messaging. (BBC)
Danish joy - Denmark is the happiest country. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Pervasive parochials - Irish parents struggle to find non-Catholic schools. (The Atlantic)
Stitching on camera - Norwegian TV will broadcast a knitting competition. (Associated Press)
Pay parity push - UK minister tells women to ask male colleagues how much they earn. (The Guardian)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
More than 100 people drowned and over 200 were unaccounted for after a boat with African migrants caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday.
The disaster occurred when the boat’s motor stopped working and the vessel began to take on water, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said.
People on board burned a sheet to attract the attention of rescuers, starting a fire on board:
“Once the fire started, there was a concern about the boat sinking and everyone moved to one side, causing the boat to go down,” he told a news conference.
The 20-metre (66 foot) vessel, believed to be carrying around 500 people, sank no more than 1 km (half a mile) from shore.
Bodies pulled from the water were laid out along the quayside as the death toll rose in what looked like one of the worst disasters to hit the perilous route for migrants seeking to reach Europe from Africa.
“It’s horrific, like a cemetery, they are still bringing them out,” Lampedusa Mayor Giusi Nicolini told reporters.
After 94 bodies were recovered from the surface, divers inspecting the wreck, sunk in 40 meters of water, saw dozens of bodies, bringing the total of known dead to well over 100 with more than 200 still unaccounted for, coast guard official Floriana Segreto said.
Alfano said three children and two pregnant women were among the victims.
World Wrap: September 30, 2013
The U.N. Security Council delivers statement on humanitarian aid in Syria, Rouhani’s nuclear stance could be driven by financial turmoil, and Berlusconi meets with lawmakers after shoving Italy’s government over the brink. Today is Monday, September 30, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
U.N. Security Council seeks aid for Syria
Abboud, 12, plays with a cat while holding his weapon in Aleppo’s Sheikh Saeed neighborhood, September 28, 2013. Abboud and his brother Deeb, 14, both school-going children before the civil war, joined the Free Syrian Army after the deaths of two of their brothers and an uncle in the conflict. REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman
Switching gears on Syria. Following Friday’s unanimous adoption of a resolution for the eradication of Syria’s chemical arms at the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Security Council shifted its efforts towards solving the country’s humanitarian crisis:
The Security Council is considering a statement to try to boost aid access in Syria by urging Syrian authorities to allow cross-border deliveries from neighboring countries and asking parties to the conflict to hold humanitarian pauses in the fighting… Deputy U.N. council envoys are due to meet to discuss the proposed Security Council presidential statement on Monday, said diplomats, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Unlike a resolution, a presidential statement is not legally binding. The draft text, obtained by Reuters, urges all parties to “agree on the modalities to implement humanitarian pauses, as well as key routes to enable promptly – upon notification from relief agencies – the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys along these routes.”
Syria’s two-and-a-half year civil war has displaced over one million people and left roughly 100,000 dead. Some diplomats said that Russia has been constructively engaged in drafting the aid statement but others warned the country would be reluctant to back a council declaration that called for cross-border assistance in the region. Friday’s declaration marked the culmination of weeks of debate over the details of a Syrian chemical disarmament plan, during which the U.S. and Russia clashed over the option of military force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The resolution removes the option of automatic punishment under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which allows the council to use military force or sanctions to punish a breach. Experts from a world chemical watchdog will head to Syria on Tuesday, and the U.N. chemical inspectors depart today. On Sunday, Assad said he would respect the resolution.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani speaks with Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran during an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society in New York, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
All about the Benjamins. Some analysts say that Iran’s recent efforts to build up relations with the U.S. are driven by internal economic woes:
Iran is adept at surviving economic pressure, but sanctions have bitten deeply. Existing U.S. and EU measures have reduced Iran’s oil exports by more than half from pre-sanction levels of about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd), costing Tehran billions of dollars in lost revenue a month. The U.S. Congress could soon pass a bill to squeeze Iran’s oil exports further. Deeper cuts in oil sales, if accomplished, could worsen the damage Western sanctions have already done to Iran’s economy, which suffered a loss of about $26 billion in petroleum revenue in 2012 from a total of $95 billion in 2011; soaring inflation; and a devaluation of its currency, the rial…Mehrdad Emadi, an economist at Betamatrix consultancy, said knock on effects of sanctions on businesses included lack of investment and job losses. In the car and related components sector, about a third of workers had lost jobs in an industry that is Iran’s largest after oil, he said.
On Friday, Presidents Obama and Rouhani spoke on the phone in a historic conversation that marked an acceleration in the level of direct communication between the nations. Prior to the call, Rouhani and Obama had exchanged letters.
People of Freedom party (PDL) leader Silvio Berlusconi (R) carries his pet dog upon arriving at his residence in Rome in this still image taken from video, September 30, 2013. REUTERS/via Reuters TV
Berlusconi breakdown. Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi meets with lawmakers from his center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party on Monday after ordering five ministers to resign from Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s coalition over the weekend, leaving the country’s government in disarray:
Financial markets, which have been increasingly nervous about Italy after a week of rising political tensions, are expected to sell off government bonds and stocks on Monday, adding to the atmosphere of crisis. Letta will go before parliament to seek support to continue in a confidence vote, probably on Wednesday, leaving two days of maneuvering among the parties, starting with a meeting between Berlusconi and PDL parliamentarians on Monday afternoon. The billionaire media tycoon, who is fighting moves to expel him from parliament following his conviction for tax fraud last month, said at the weekend he wanted elections as soon as possible. But he faces resistance not just from President Giorgio Napolitano, who would have to order parliament to be dissolved, but also from his own increasingly fractious supporters, some of whom may switch allegiance and back Letta’s government.
Italy has struggled under Letta’s government, which was hobbled together after February’s deadlocked elections and has failed in efforts to lower its budget deficit.
Nota Bene: Car bomb kills at least 54 in Shi’ite districts of Baghdad.
Pseudo-science - A Saudi cleric warns driving can hurt a woman’s ovaries… (BBC)
Science - … and a Saudi doctor says it won’t. (Associated Press)
Dress code - Turkey lifts ban on headscarves in most state offices. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Maternity saddle - An inflatable cushion turns donkeys into ambulances for Afghan women in labor. (The Atlantic)
Arrested for sleeping outside - A new Hungarian law could make being homeless a criminal act. (Al Jazeera)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
Italy’s infamous Silvio Berlusconi pulled his ministers out of the ruling coalition on Saturday, effectively leaving Europe’s third-largest economy in chaos.
But in a move that may give Prime Minister Enrico Letta a chance to save his government, some 20 senators may create a new group to keep Letta’s parliament power in tact.
With Italy falling behind in its efforts to bring the budget deficit under European Union limits and youth unemployment at nearly 40 percent, the prolonged wrangling between the parties has blocked efforts to reform the economy, after two years of recession.
Photo: Upper house of parliament in Rome. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito
Timelapse video shows, from beginning to end, the parbuckling project to right the Costa Concordia, illustrating the impressive operation. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Timelapse video shows the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship as it inches off a rock shelf in the so-called ”parbuckling” operation to right the ship that could continue into the early hours of the morning. Sarah Irwin reports
World Wrap: August 2, 2013
Italy’s supreme court rebuffs Berlusconi’s appeal, Kerry praises the Egyptian military, and Snowden asylum strains U.S., Russia relations. Today is Friday, August 2, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
Italy court upholds Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction
Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a vote session at the Senate in Rome, July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Guilty as charged. Italy’s supreme court upheld a conviction of tax fraud against disgraced leader Silvio Berlusconi, further stressing Italy’s fragile government:
The 76-year-old billionaire and his supporters have reacted angrily to his conviction and prison term, the first definitive sentence he has received in dozens of trials during his two decades in politics. While he is unlikely to spend any time in jail due to his age, the verdict was an unprecedented blow and he could lose his seat in parliament within weeks with a vote on expelling him from the Senate likely in September… As well as the tax fraud case, Berlusconi is also fighting a separate conviction for paying for sex with a minor, in the notorious “bunga bunga” prostitution case that tarnished his final months in office in 2011.
This marks the first time the media mogul was finally convicted, though he had been involved in up to 30 court cases. Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta took office three months ago, heading a shaky coalition between his center-left Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party and attempting to pull the country out of economic morass. Reuters columnist John Lloydexplains that a rift could result from Berlusconi loyalists refusing to continue to serve in the face of his conviction, while his opponents demand Berlusconi sever ties with the coalition. Some analysts predict that Italy won’t feel the brunt of political instability until the fall, when Italians return from the summer holiday. Reuters has produced a video run-down of Berlusconi’s colorful career.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans in Shubra as they march towards Adawiya Square in the Nasr city area, east of Cairo, where they are camping on August 2, 2013. The poster reads “Anti coup.” REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Stamp of approval. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Egypt’s military was “restoring democracy” when it removed president Mohamed Mursi from office last month, while calling on the interim government to respect peaceful protest by Mursi supporters. On Thursday Egypt’s interim government told those holding vigil for the deposed president to disband, but Mursi supportershave not heeded the call:
Thousands were gathered in two Muslim Brotherhood camps in Cairo, defying warnings from the new army-backed government to abandon their protest or face action from security forces. At the main Rabaa al-Adawiya camp on Friday morning, young men wearing crash helmets and brandishing sticks mounted a first line of defense behind barricades of sandbags and bricks… Political sources said there had been intense debate within the cabinet on the wisdom of the security forces taking action.
The Muslim Brotherhood criticized Kerry for the statement, saying “we totally reject these statements and we are disappointed by them.” Nearly 300 people have been killed in political violence since Mursi’s overthrow. The deposed president is being held by the army at an undisclosed location, and is being investigated for alleged crimes including murder.
Fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden’s new refugee documents granted by Russia is seen during a news conference in Moscow, August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Summit snafu. Though Russian officials said on Thursday that the Kremlin’s decision to grant wanted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum would not harm relations between Russia and the U.S., it appears that Washington feels otherwise:
The United States wanted Russia to send Snowden home to face criminal charges including espionage for disclosing in June secret American Internet and telephone surveillance programs. The White House signaled that President Barack Obama may boycott a September summit with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow… Putin’s move aggravated relations with the United States that were already strained by Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country’s bloody civil war and a host of other issues. “We see this as an unfortunate development and we are extremely disappointed by it,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in Washington. “We are evaluating the utility of a summit, in light of this and other issues, but I have no announcement today on that.”
Strained ties between the nations will make it even harder for the U.S. and Russia to see eye-to-eye on the Syrian conflict, Iran’s nuclear program, human rights, and other points of contention between the two.
Nota Bene: Iran’s president-elect apparently called Israel a “wound” on the Muslim world that must be removed.
Heart savings - An Indian heart surgeon-turned-businessman hopes to reduce the cost of heart surgery by 98 percent. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Nice natural selection - A new study shows evolution doesn’t favor selfish people. (BBC)
Apply online - Libya accepts web applications to head the country’s central bank. (Quartz)
No fracking way - UK protesters fight fracking. (Al Jazeera)
Nuclear punches - Taiwanese officials get into fisticuffs over nuclear bill. (The Guardian)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
The small, twin-engine aircraft carrying Missoni, 58, his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple, a Venezuelan crew member, and the pilot disappeared after taking on January 4.
"The plane that crashed on January 4 has appeared," Interior Minister spokesman Jorge Galindo said, confirming later to Reuters that it was Missoni’s plane.
Galindo gave no more details of the location or condition of the plane.
Photo: A rescue team member searches for the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft YV-2615 near the archipielago of Los Roques on January 6, 2013. REUTERS/Ministry of Interior and Justice/Handout