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UN migration agency: Death toll could hit 30,000 this year

A UN migration agency says that this year's death toll in the Mediterranean could be ten times higher than in 2014 and top 30,000.

The 2015 death toll now is more than 30 times last year's total at this date, on April 21, when just 56 deaths of migrants had been reported on the Mediterranean.

IOM now fears that the 2014 total of 3,279 migrants (dead) in the Mediterranean may be surpassed this year in a matter of weeks, and could well top 30,000 by the end of this year.

– International organisation for Migration spokesman Joel Millman

Auschwitz survivor: Groning 'has emotional difficulties'

Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor has spoken of the "physical, mental and emotional" difficulties suffered by Oscar Groning, the 93-year-old Auschwitz bookkeeper whose trial starts today in Germany.

Ms Kor, who was held at the infamous camp herself as child, told press that she believed Groning was "doing his very best".

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Captain 'causing sinking' by ramming migrant boat into ship

Prosecutors said the capsizing of the migrant boat was due to two factors: The captain, Mohammed Ali Malek, 27, accidentally rammed his boat into a Portuguese-flagged cargo ship that had come to the rescue.

In addition, the migrants themselves then moved around on the overcrowded boat, which was already unbalanced from the collision, it is this which thought to have actually overturned the boat.

Mahmud Bikhit and Mohammed Ali Malek have been arrested after the migrant boat capsized. Credit: Reuters

Catania prosecutor Giovanni Salvi's office has stressed that none of the crew aboard the Portuguese-flagged King Jacob was under investigation in the disaster, that the crew members did their job in coming to the rescue of a ship in distress and that their activities, "in no way contributed to the deadly event."

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Captain and first mate of migrant boat named

Italian prosecutors have identified the captain and first mate of the boat which sank and drowning as many as 950 migrants in the Mediterranean.

Overnight prosecutors boarded the rescue ship that brought the 27 survivors of the weekend disaster to Sicily and arrested the Tunisian captain and a Syrian crew member of the capsized smuggler ship.

Mohammed Ali Malek (left) and Mahmud Bikhit (right). Credit: APTN

Mohammed Ali Malek and Mahmud Bikhit are accused of favouring illegal immigration and Malek, the captain, was also accused of reckless homicide and causing a shipwreck.

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