Migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa have been left stranded on the Mediterranean Sea after Italy and Malta closed their ports due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Alarm Phone, which acts as a hotline for refugees and migrants in distress on the Mediterranean, says that it has lost contact with boats that requested assistance in Malta’s search-and-rescue zone. Maltese authorities have failed to respond. The Aita Mari, a rescue ship run by a Spanish NGO, has been dispatched in an attempt to reach them, but it is only authorized to provide life vests, food and water. Meanwhile, the Alan Kurdi, a rescue ship run by a German charity, has been in Italian waters for a week, but has been prevented from docking. The ship has 150 people aboard. (Photo: callmonikm/Flickr via TNH)
Khalifa Haftar, the warlord who controls eastern Libya, was feted on board the Russian aircraft carrier that just left Syrian waters, sparking fear of Moscow's regional designs.
The UN warned that the flow of refugees into Europe shows no signs of easing or stopping, as approximately 8,000 refugees a day seek to enter the Continent.
Eight Palestinian migrants from Gaza survived a devastating shipwreck near Malta, with dozens feared dead. The majority of those on board were Syrians and Palestinians.
The Action Group for Palestinians in Syria said that at least 200 Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict in the country were aboard the boat that capsized off Malta's coast.