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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.

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."

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."


Farage: Send Navy to help Mediterranean migrants

The Royal Navy should be sent to the Mediterranean to help thousands of migrants following the latest boat disaster, Nigel Farage has said.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Credit: PA Wire

After accusing David Cameron yesterday of "directly causing" the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea by bombing Libya in 2011, the Ukip leader said if he was Prime Minister he would send the Royal Navy to help.

Speaking in Rochester, Mr Farage said: "We could help. We could send the Royal Navy down, but it's a question of what's the signal - is the signal 'If they keep on coming we'll keep on taking you' or is the signal 'We're very sorry, we can't take you'?"

Asked what he would do as Prime Minister, Mr Farage said: "I would say there is a horrible humanitarian crisis going on, we'll send the Royal Navy - what's left of it - to help, we will divert part of our £20 billion a year aid budget."

He said Mr Cameron has a "very big challenge" when he attends a summit on the migrant crisis at the European Council in Brussels on Thursday.

EU leaders urged to be 'less callous' over migration

Europe's leaders were urged by the UN to have a 'less callous' approach to the surge of migrants. At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU ministers agreed to hold an emergency summit on Thursday. The European Commission presented ministers with a 10-point plan for immediate action to ease the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

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