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From Washington, this is VOA News.
I'm Ray Kouguell reporting.
Concern grows over migrant disasters in the Mediterranean.
The United Nations human rights chief accused Europe of a "monumental failure of compassion" Monday in its response to the soaring number of migrants who are drowning in the Mediterranean. Zeid Raad al-Hussein said he was "horrified but not surprised by this latest tragedy," referring to the capsizing last weekend of a boat filled with 700 migrants or more off the Libyan coast as it headed to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. All but the 28 survivors who were rescued are feared dead.
Lisa Schlein reports on search and rescue efforts:
“International Organization for Migration spokesman Joel Millman, tells VOA search and rescue missions are continuing.
"The waters are calm and the weather is fair right now, the authorities believe there remains a chance to find people."
The International Organization for Migration reports the death toll this year is more than 1,500, compared with 96 during the first four months of 2014. The majority of migrants making this perilous journey are from Sub-Saharan Africa, Eritrea, Somalia, and Syria.
Lisa Schlein for VOA News, Geneva.”
Authorities have responded to distress call from 3 more boats filled with hundreds of refugees in the Mediterranean.
U.S. government agents have arrested six men from the Midwest U-S state of Minnesota for allegedly planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State militant group. The six men, all members of Minnesota's Somali-American community, have been charged with conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. Prosecutors say the six men are all between 19 and 21 years old.
This is VOA News.
Militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an apparent suicide attack on a United Nations bus in northern Somalia that killed at least seven people. The attacker Monday targeted a minibus carrying staffers of the U.N. Children's Fund as they traveled from their guest houses to their office. Local police say the dead included four foreigners, two Somalis and the bomber. The bombing was al-Shabab's third deadly attack against international personnel in the last three days.
The Pentagon says the American warship USS Theodore Roosevelt is "repositioning" as part of a security operation at sea, and not to intercept Iranian vessels off the coast of Yemen. U.S. officials said last week that Iran has deployed at least seven ships, some carrying weapons, to Yemen in a bid to shore up Houthi arms supplies through the port city of Aden. Houthi insurgents are facing daily air raids from a Saudi Arabian-led coalition and ongoing clashes with local forces.
Ethiopia confirmed that 30 of its nationals were killed by Islamic State militants in Libya. The confirmation came Monday, a day after the Islamic State group released a graphic video purporting to show Ethiopian Christians being decapitated or shot in the back of the head. The Ethiopian parliament will meet Tuesday to declare a period of national mourning and announce measures the government will take in response to the killing.
Thailand is reporting its largest-ever ivory single shipment seizure. Steve Herman has details:
“Thailand on Monday put on display 739 tusks of African elephants. They are from an illicit ivory shipment, weighing four metric tons, that was intercepted on Saturday at the port in Bangkok. Richard Thomas, global communications coordinator in London for TRAFFIC International, the wildlife trade monitoring network tells VOA this is a "very, very significant" seizure.
"Movements of this kind are very, very strongly indicative of organized crime.”
Thai authorities say the shipment, which was hidden in sacks of beans, originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was destined for Laos, making its likely final destination markets in China.
Steve Herman, VOA News, Bangkok.”
The United States and the Philippines have launched their biggest joint military exercise in 15 years, with a focus on enhancing preparedness in the region. This year's annual 10-day exercise is twice as large as last year's, involving around 11-thousand troops from both nations. The expanded drill is part of an effort to boost the U.S. military presence in the Pacific in the face of China's rapid territorial expansion in the South China Sea.
I'm Ray Kouguell in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.