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More than 2,000 migrants died crossing Med this year

These migrants survived but thousands did not. Credit: Reuters

Over 2,000 migrants have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

The figures from the International Organisation of Migration confirm it is the deadliest route for those in search of a better life.

During the same period last year 1,607 migrants perished making the crossing. While a total of 3,279 lost their lives in 2014.

As in 2014, the overwhelming majority died in the Channel of Sicily - which connects Libya and Italy.

Unseaworthy vessels used by smugglers and traffickers significantly increase the likelihood of tragedies occurring.

More: HMS Bulwark rescues 1,000 in one day in largest operation to date

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Cilla tribute shows to be broadcast tonight

Special tribute shows will be broadcast on ITV tonight Credit: PA

Tribute shows to Cilla Black will be screened this evening, after the entertainer's death at the weekend.

A specially-adapted version of 'The One and Only Cilla Black' will be broadcast on ITV at 9pm. The three-part drama 'Cilla', based on her early life, is also being repeated.

The singer and TV presenter passed away after flying to Spain with her son Robert.

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US airlines ban transport of trophy kill animals

Three US airlines have banned the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo killed by trophy hunters.

Dr Jan Seski poses next to a dead elephant. Credit: hornsafricasafaris.com

It comes after the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by US dentist Walter Palmer last month sparked outrage around the world.

Since then at least two other 'trophy hunters' - Americans Dr Jan Seski and Sabrina Corgatelli - have been named online.

American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines have now refused to transport animals known as the "big five" in Africa as they are the hardest to kill on foot.

Zimbabwe has called for the extradition of Palmer after two Zimbabweans were charged over the illegal hunt.

The 13-year-old lion was a protected animal and was fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study which the poachers tried to destroy.

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