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61 bodies found after migrant boat sinks off Malaysia

Dozens of bodies have been pulled from the water after an overloaded wooden boat carrying illegal immigrants from Indonesia sank off the coast of Malaysia.

The boat was carrying illegal immigrants from Indonesia Credit: Google Maps

Maritime search and rescue director Robert Teh said 61 bodies had been recovered so far, with the victims mostly men. There was also one toddler on board, he added.

Only 20 people are believed to have survived the disaster on Thursday.

The search operation will continue today, but if no more bodies are found, Mr Teh said it may be called off.

The boat is believed to have capsized due to overloading and bad weather. The immigrants on board were thought to have been making the journey home for the Eid al-Adha holiday.


Ex-leader calls for 'people power' to topple Malaysia PM

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad has joined anti-government protesters for a second day and called for a "people's power" movement to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak over a financial scandal.

Mr Moham waves as he attends a rally organised by pro-democracy protesters. Credit: Reuters

Speaking to journalists ahead of the protests in central Kuala Lumpu, he said: "The only way for the people to get back to the old system is for them to remove this prime minister."

"And to remove him, the people must show people's power. The people as a whole do not want this kind of corrupt leader", he added.

Thousands of people have been protesting in Kuala Lumpur Credit: Reuters

Topless British backpacker publicly apologises

A British backpacker who stripped off on a sacred Malaysian mountain has publicly apologised for what she called her "foolish behaviour" after arriving back in the UK. Eleanor Hawkins was deported from Malaysia yesterday after admitting public indecency.

ITV News reporter Olivia Paterson explains:

Topless backpacker: 'I know I was foolish - I'm sorry'

Eleanor Hawkins, the British backpacker who was jailed for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain, has said in a statement on her return to the UK: "I just want to say how relieved and happy I am to finally be home. I know my behaviour was foolish and I know how much offence we all caused to the local people of Sabah. For that, I am truly sorry."

Backpacker and university graduate Eleanor Hawkins, 23, appeared tearful as she read a statement outside her family home in Draycott, Derbyshire.

Her mother Ruth said: "She knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and she is deeply sorry for any offence caused to the people of Sabah and she has been appropriately and fairly judged by the Malaysian authorities and has served her sentence in full, the case is now closed."


Topless backpacker arrives back in UK from Malaysia

A British woman convicted for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain has returned to the UK.

Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence, arrived at Heathrow Airport early on Sunday morning having been deported from Malaysia.

At a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu on Friday she was fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (£859) and sentenced to three days in jail, which she had already served.

Miss Hawkins was arrested with three other backpackers earlier this week for posing naked on the mountainside, after being blamed by locals for causing an earthquake which killed 18 people.

Nude pic backpacker 'happy' to be returning home

A British woman convicted for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain is "pleased and happy" to be returning home to the UK, her lawyer said.

Backpacker Eleanor Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence, is due to be deported from Malaysia today.

At a court hearing in Kota Kinabalu she was fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit (£859) and sentenced to three days in jail, which she has already served.

The 23-year-old's jail sentence officially ended at midnight, her lawyer said, and she was handed to immigration officers to arrange for her flight home via Kuala Lumpur.

Ronny Cham, who represented Miss Hawkins in court yesterday, said she was relieved to be returning home.

He told the Press Association: "She is pleased and happy."

Mountain strip tourists 'made an example of'

A 24-year-old British woman who was photographed posing naked on Malaysia's highest peak is set to be deported after pleading guilty to a public nuisance offence.

Eleanor Hawkins was among a group of foreign tourists who were made an example of by Malaysian authorities after failing to respect local culture.

Hawkins, from Derby, was given a three-day prison sentence and an £860 fine.

ITV News correspondent Lucy Watson reports:

Father of mountain strip Brit 'relieved' court ordeal is over

The father of a British woman who pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence after posing naked on a mountain in Malaysia, has said he is relieved his daughter's court ordeal is over.

Timothy Hawkins said the sentence given to his daughter Eleanor was "appropriate" and "fair" and confirmed the family were now waiting to be told when she would be coming home:

Mr Hawkins added that the family were keen to speak to Eleanor and check she was ok after seeing some of the videos of her being "treated pretty badly" as she was bundled in and out of court.

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