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Captain 'charged with reckless multiple homicide'

The captain of a migrant boat which capsized off the coast of Libya killing hundreds onboard has been charged with reckless multiple homicide, the Associated Press reports.

Assistant Prosecutor Rocco Liguori said the Tunisian national and a Syrian crew member were also charged with "favoring illegal immigration".

As many as 900 people died in the tragedy on Sunday while just 27 survived.

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Italian PM: Migrant crisis is equivalent of slave trade

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Credit: Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has compared the smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean to the African slave trade centuries ago.

He said: "When we say we are in the presence of slavery, we are not using the word just for effect."

On Sunday Renzi appealed to other European countries not to leave Italy alone in dealing with the crisis prompting emergency talks on the matter.

Survivors of capsized migrant boat back on dry land

The 27 survivors of a migrant boat which capsized killing as many as 900 people are finally back on dry land tonight 24 hours after the tragedy.

ITV News Correspondent John Ray tweeted it was the "end of a journey from hell".

Surviving migrants arrive in Sicily tonight. Credit: Reuters
A survivor is helped by rescue workers Credit: Reuters

PM urged to prioritise saving lives during migrant talks

The Prime Minister will break off from campaigning to attend emergency EU talks on the migrant crisis. Credit: PA

David Cameron has been urged to "prioritise saving lives" by a coalition of aid agencies and refugee groups when he attends emergency talks on the migrant boat crisis.

An open letter to the Prime Minister, co-ordinated by the British Refugee Council, said a way must be established to help refugees fleeing turmoil to find protection in Europe safely and legally.

The groups, including Oxfam and Amnesty International UK, say there needs to be a new approach to dealing with the issue.

"There is no easy answer to this crisis, but the solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown," the letter says.

"Until safer ways to seek refuge are found, more people will be forced into the hands of smugglers and onto unseaworthy boats in their search for a safe haven.

"At the moment, European and Britain's immigration policies leave many with no other choice.

"Building the walls of fortress Europe has had disgracefully deadly results. As we've seen, it's a matter of life and death."

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US pledges extra $17.7m humanitarian aid to Ukraine

America has pledged an additional $17.7 million to provide the Ukrainian government with aid for essentials such as food, shelter and water.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about reform efforts in the country today.

A statement from the White House said: "The vice president welcomed the appointment of a new head of the anti-corruption bureau and encouraged the further implementation of rule of law reforms, including anti-trust measures and judicial reform."

PM: Brits need to realise 'frightening' Labour-SNP prospect

David Cameron told ITV News that he British voters needed to realise the "frightening" prospect of a potential Labour-SNP government.

"I think it is very important everyone understands what is at stake at this election - the stakes frankly have just got much, much higher and the prospects of a Ed Miliband-SNP government I think frankly are very frightening," the Prime Minister said.

ITV News' James Mates reports:

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