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Hollande calls for emergency meeting over Med deaths

French President Francois Hollande has called for an emergency meeting of European ministers, after as many as 700 migrants were feared drowned in the Mediterranean.

French President Francois Hollande speaking about the tragedy today. Credit: Reuters

He said foreign and interior ministers would "meet very soon" to discuss a response.

"If confirmed this would be the worst disaster of recent years in the Mediterranean," Hollande said on Canal+ television.

The French President, who telephoned Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the wake of the tragedy, said rescue efforts for migrants will need "more boats, more over flights and a much more intense battle against people-trafficking".

Pope: International community must act decisively

Pope Francis has called on the international community to take action to prevent more migrants dying at sea following the latest tragedy.

Pope Francis has expressed his sadness at the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean. Credit: Reuters

Speaking after some 700 migrants were feared dead in the Mediterranean, the Pope said: "They are men and women like us, our brothers seeking a better life, starving, persecuted, wounded, exploited, victims of war. They were looking for a better life."

He told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square: "Faced with such a tragedy, I express my most heartfelt pain and promise to remember the victims and their families in prayer.

"I make a heartfelt appeal to the international community to react decisively and quickly to see to it that such tragedies are not repeated."


Nick Clegg challenges David Cameron on Ukip deal

Nick Clegg has challenged David Cameron to rule out "cutting a deal with Nigel Farage" in the event of a hung parliament.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader. Credit: PA Wire

Appearing earlier on the BBC, Mr Cameron refused to rule out on a potential deal with Ukip, saying he was focused solely on securing a majority.

Mr Clegg said the Prime Minister should stop "treating people like they are stupid", telling activists in Portsmouth: "They know and you know that you won’t win a majority.

"Tell us, why won’t you rule out cutting a deal with Nigel Farage and his friends on the right wing of your party? I’ve ruled out a deal with UKIP or the SNP - why won’t you?"

The Liberal Democrat leader said Britons should vote for his party to "stop a Labour/SNP government dragging us off to the left or a Conservative/UKIP government dragging us off to the right".

  1. Meridian

Missing kayaker : Body found

HM Coastguard had been searching since last night Credit: ITV

Police assisting in the search for missing kayaker, 54-year-old Stephen Taylor, can confirm a body has been located.

Mr Taylor’s family have been notified and are being supported by officers.

Formal identification procedures have not yet taken place.

A search operation got under way last night after Mr Taylor's wife became concerned that he hadn't arrived home.

Nigel Farage accuses Cameron over migrant deaths

Nigel Farage has claimed David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy's "fanaticism" in bombing Libya caused the problem of migrants dying at sea.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has spoken out about the recent migrant boat tragedy. Credit: PA Wire

The Ukip leader's comments came as a boat carrying as many as 700 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

Asked whether the tragedy required a European response, Mr Farage told the BBC's Sunday Politics: "Well actually it was the European response that caused this problem in the first place.

"The fanaticism of Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya....what they have done is to completely destabilise Libya. To turn it into a country with much savagery, to turn it into a place where, for Christians, the situation is now virtually impossible.

"We ought to be honest and say we have directly caused this problem."


Rescue teams 'trying to find people alive among dead'

Rescue teams are attempting to find survivors of the migrants tragedy "among the dead floating in the water" in the Mediterranean, the Maltese prime minister has said.

Joseph Muscat said a Maltese patrol boat was assisting Italian naval ships and cargo vessels with the efforts.

They are literally trying to find people alive among the dead floating in the water.

– Malteste Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
  1. Meridian

Police name missing kayaker as search continues

Police have named a canoeist who has gone missing in the Solent as 54-year-old Stephen Taylor.

A search was launched last night for Stephen Taylor. Credit: ITV Meridian

Mr Taylor, of Newbroke Road in Gosport left Lee-on-Solent, at around 11.30am yesterday morning in his blue coloured kayak with the intention of paddling to Lepe beach in the Southampton area.

The experienced canoeist's partner alerted police when he failed to return home.

Mr Taylor is believed to be wearing a wetsuit, a light blue coloured long sleeved top, navy blue life jacket with a red detail and a beige sun hat.

A passing vessel is believed to have seen Mr Taylor at 10.50pm last night, Hampshire Police added.

Farage: Polls missing Ukip voters who didn't vote last time

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said that polls ahead of the general election are missing the Ukip vote made up of people "who didn't vote for anybody" last time.

Farage: Polls missing Ukip voters who didn't vote last time. Credit: BBC

Speaking to the Sunday Politics show, Mr Farage said: "The one thing the polls are really missing here is that a large lump of the Ukip vote are people who didn't vote for anybody in the last election."

  1. Tyne Tees

Poll: Should Newcastle fans boycott Spurs match?

Should Newcastle fans boycott the match against Spurs? Credit: PA

Thousands of Newcastle fans are expected to boycott today's game against Tottenham at St James' Park.

The Magpies recent run of form has angered some supporters, who blame owner Mike Ashley for not investing more money in the club.

Campaigners from the 'Ashley Out' group say they will hand out 20,000 leaflets near the stadium before kick-off at 4pm.

What do you think? Should Newcastle fans boycott today's match? Have your say below:

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