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40 migrants die in smuggling boat, 320 others rescued


40 migrants die in smuggling boat, 320 others rescued

At least 40 migrants died Saturday in the hold of an overcrowded smuggling boat in the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya, apparently killed by fuel fumes, and some 320 others aboard were saved by the Italian navy, the rescue ship's commander said. Migrants by the tens of thousands are braving the perilous journey across the Mediterranean this year, hoping to reach Europe and be granted asylum. They are fleeing war, persecution and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. "The dead were found in the hold," said Cmdr. Massimo Tozzi, speaking from the navy ship Cigala Fulgosi while the rescue was still ongoing. Asked by RaiNews24 how the migrants died, Tozzi said: "It appears to be from inhaling exhaust fumes." When rescuers stepped aboard the boat, the bodies of migrants were "lying in water, fuel, human excrement" in the hold, Tozzi said. The death toll was not yet final.


Triple-digit heat hits cities in the West

Much of the West was smothered in a blanket of heat Saturday with triple-digit temperatures hitting Phoenix, Los Angeles and other cities. Above-normal temperatures were expected through the weekend as a high-pressure system centered over New Mexico acted like a lid to block cooler air, leaving valleys, deserts and mountains high and very dry. Authorities warned people not to leave small children or pets in cars, where temperatures can quickly soar. Los Angeles and other cities were keeping libraries and other facilities open late to serve as cooling shelters for those without air conditioning. Phoenix broke a daily record, reaching 115 degrees, topping a 1992 record by 3 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

Austin, Texas

Funeral held for man killed by Texas officer

More than 1,000 people on Saturday attended the funeral of a college football player who was shot and killed by a North Texas police officer answering a burglary call at a car dealership. The service for Christian Taylor at Koinonia Christian Church in Arlington was attended by his family members, friends and teammates. The black 19-year-old attended Angelo State University in San Angelo in West Texas, where he was to start his sophomore year on the team. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and police Chief William Johnson also were at the service. Taylor was unarmed when shot Aug. 7 by an Arlington police officer responding to an after-hours burglary call. The white officer was fired Tuesday.

Lapeer, Mich.

Lawmaker in coverup says he is a hypocrite

A Michigan lawmaker who had an extramarital affair with another legislator and admitted to masterminding a coverup has released a 1,900 word, Scripture-laden confessional on his Facebook page. Republican Rep. Todd Courser posted that Saturday he's "the poster boy for those who would say … 'Christians are failures.' " He added he has been "shown to be a hypocrite," but his actions shouldn't reflect poorly on God. Courser and fellow freshman Rep. Cindy Gamrat are the subjects of a House investigation into whether they misused public resources to hide the relationship and fired an aide for refusing to help. Courser says he orchestrated a campaign suggesting he had sex with a male prostitute to divert attention. Both say they have no plans to resign. Gamrat has denied a role in the coverup.

Associated Press