Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Ship capsizes off Italy; more than 100 African migrants die

ROME — The rickety fishing boat was the third of the night to head toward the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, overloaded with African migrants seeking a better life in Europe. Most never reached shore.

After the boat started taking on water, someone on board set a small fire to get the attention of passing ships. The flames spread and panicked passengers surged to one side away from the fire. The vessel capsized, and hundreds of men, women and children were flung into the Mediterranean Sea. Many didn't know how to swim.

At least 114 people died and about 200 were still unaccounted for late Thursday, Italian officials said.

"We need only caskets, certainly not ambulances," said Pietro Bartolo, chief of Lampedusa health services.

It was one of the deadliest accidents in the perilous crossing thousands make each year, seeking a new life in the prosperous European Union. Smugglers charge thousands of dollars a head for the journey aboard overcrowded, barely seaworthy boats that lack life vests.

Lampedusa, 70 miles off Tunisia and closer to Africa than the Italian mainland, has been at the center of wave after wave of illegal immigration.

Between 450 and 500 people were thought to be on board the 66-foot boat, which set sail from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, carrying migrants from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia. The boat capsized about a half-mile from Lampedusa; health commissioner Antonio Candela said only 159 were rescued.

"It's an immense tragedy," Mayor Giusi Nicolini said.

Italian coast guard ships, fishing boats and helicopters from across the region searched for survivors. Rescue crews hauled body bags by the dozens at Lampedusa port, lining them up under multicolored tarps on the docks.

Survivors packed Lampedusa's detention center for migrants, along with those aboard the two other smugglers' boats, which reached shore safely. More than 1,000 people were squeezed into a space built for 250. Medical workers scrambled to treat the injured.

Migrants who arrive in Lampedusa are processed in centers, screened for asylum and often sent back home.

 
Comments
Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels

Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels

Associated PressDALLAS ó Some in the U.S. solar-power industry are hoping a decision this week by President Donald Trump doesnít bring on an eclipse. Companies that install solar-power systems for homeowners and utilities are bracing for Trumpís call...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
St. Pete spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into bayou

St. Pete spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into bayou

ST. PETERSBURG ó It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spills at its sewage plants.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the r...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Jobsiteís ĎThe Tempestí balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

Jobsiteís ĎThe Tempestí balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

TAMPA ó The Tempest begins with shadow play, a ship tossed on high seas. Projected onto a backdrop, the shadow of that ship looks proportionate to the waves that rock it. You see this, even as a daemonic spirit holds a toy replica in her hand, the ac...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
FBI: Marine flares ignited at Florida mall not a terrorist act

FBI: Marine flares ignited at Florida mall not a terrorist act

LAKE WALES ó Police say two devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.According to the FBI, bomb technicians examining the contents of a backpack found at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales on Sund...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Tampa Bay ranks No. 5 for top moving destinations

Tampa Bay ranks No. 5 for top moving destinations

TAMPA ó Tampa Bay was the No. 5 moving destination in 2017. Penske Truck Rentalís annual list ranks metro areas based on the number of one-way moving truck rentals to them.The Tampa Bay region, which includes Sarasota, held its position from 2016. It...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Police: Driver rear-ends school bus in Clearwater

Police: Driver rear-ends school bus in Clearwater

CLEARWATER ó A driver rear-ended Monday a school bus on the way to Safety Harbor Middle. None of the 38 students on board were hurt in the crash in the eastbound lanes of NE Coachman Road just west of U.S. 19, according to Clearwater police. Most boa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier - up to a point, new research shows

Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier - up to a point, new research shows

In recent months, Silicon Valley executives have been speaking out about the purposely addictive designs of smartphones and social media, which make them hard to put down for anyone, but particularly teenagers. Now, a new report puts numbers to the w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Your insiderís guide to Gasparilla 2018; St. Petersburg spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Smacks Bayou; and more

Top 5 at noon: Your insiderís guide to Gasparilla 2018; St. Petersburg spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Smacks Bayou; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:YOUR GUIDE TO GASPARILLA 2018Some 300,000 carousers are expected to gather on Saturday for Gasparilla 2018, Tampaís pirate invasion. All the fuss centers around the legend of Jose Gaspar (nic...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sirata Beach Resort is getting a $15-million facelift

Sirata Beach Resort is getting a $15-million facelift

ST. PETE BEACH ó A year ago, the longtime owners of the Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center acknowledged they couldnít afford the improvements it needed. They sold the 382-room hotel to a Texas company.Now the new owner has launched a $15 million...
Updated: 3 hours ago
This is how MoviePass hopes to make money off your low-cost subscription

This is how MoviePass hopes to make money off your low-cost subscription

MoviePass is a film nerdís dream. The subscription service allows users to see one movie a day at a theater for a single monthly cost. The service isnít new, but itís become popular among a lot more than movie buffs in the past few months.During its ...
Updated: 3 hours ago