Three babies among 100 feared dead off Libya

Libyan deportation centers are rife with abuse, rights groups say, and a CNN undercover investigation last year revealed cases of migrants being sold at slave auctions.Italy’s new populist government has stirred controversy this month by closing its ports to ships rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean.Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte welcomed the European Council deal Friday, saying it took “long negotiation, but from today Italy is no longer alone.”Oscar Camps, president of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, complained that the Italian coast guard did not call on a rescue boat his organization had in range to assist the migrants, as it had in the past.“Today 100 people died in the Med. We are outraged, not only for the deaths of these people, but because they didn’t use the rescue boats in the area. The Open Arms has been here for many days, and neither Italy, nor anyone else, is using our capabilities,” he said.“We did it in the past — we intervened at seven miles from the Libyan coast to assist with a shipwreck — we have done so many operations under the coordination of the Italian coast guard. But suddenly, they ignore us, they don’t call us, and people keep dying a few miles away from us. This is a shame and someone needs to take responsibility for this. We are not here to obstruct the work of the coast guard. We are here to collaborate so that people don’t die in the sea.” Aid group Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières, urged EU leaders Friday to “show some basic decency” by committing to search and rescue operations for those in trouble at sea — and then taking them to a place of safety, rather than Libya.“EU member states are abdicating their responsibilities to save lives and deliberately condemning vulnerable people to be trapped in Libya, or die at sea,” said Karline Kleijer, head of emergencies for the aid group.“They do this fully aware of the extreme violence and abuses that refugees and migrants suffer in Libya.” The news came just hours after European Union leaders hailed a new deal on migration that could see more migrants prevented from making the Mediterranean crossing — if it can be made to work.Hundreds of people have already lost their lives this year attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing, according to the IOM. Separately, an estimated 345 migrants were returned Friday to Libyan shores by the Libyan coast guard, IOM said.Close to 10,200 migrants have been taken back to Libya so far in 2018, Petre said. More than 2,000 were returned by the Libyan coast guard last week. Meanwhile, EU leaders have squabbled over taking responsibility for migrants rescued at sea and vowed to strengthen Europe’s external borders.Only 14 migrants had been rescued after the boat capsized Friday, the IOM said, as the rescue operation was ongoing.“The bodies of three children under the age of five have been retrieved. How many missing or dead total, we don’t know for now,” IOM spokeswoman for Libya, Christine Petre, told CNN.Doctors are providing medical assistance on site, and additional staff have been deployed, Petre said. “IOM is providing humanitarian direct assistance at the disembarkation point, including water and food,” she said. Held in the outstretched arms of three men close to the water’s edge, one of the babies was still wearing sneakers, fastened shut with pink Velcro straps, another with red socks that matched a pair of red and white dotted pants and the third barefoot, partially wrapped with a makeshift covering. Three babies are among 100 people feared dead off Libya after their boat capsized on Friday, CNN reported.The lifeless bodies of three babies, dressed in brightly colored clothing and looking almost as if they were sleeping, were carried carefully ashore Friday in Libya. They were the latest victims of the migrant crisis, their young lives lost as a rubber boat carrying desperate migrants seeking a better life capsized off the north Africa nation’s coast. A hundred or more people are dead, a spokesman for the UN migration agency, the International Organization for Migration, said in a tweet. read more

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Smaller large same charge Cineplex shrinks its soft drink sizes

Smaller large, same charge: Cineplex shrinks its soft drink sizes by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 8, 2015 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Jul 8, 2015 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Cineplex is shrinking soft drink sizes at its theatres and while the hulking large cup will disappear, moviegoers will be paying the large price for a drink that’s 12 ounces smaller. A Cineplex theatre is seen Friday May 22, 2015 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld TORONTO – Cineplex is shrinking soft drink sizes at its theatres and while the hulking large cup will disappear, moviegoers will be paying the large price for a drink that’s 12 ounces smaller.The movie chain says it has decided to shrink its largest drink size as part of a countrywide reduction in cup sizes.Company spokesman Michael Langdon says the move comes after Cineplex (TSX:CGX) weighed the possibility of raising drink prices to accommodate for the higher costs of running its business.Instead, the company decided to keep prices the same, but make the soft drinks smaller.Under the changes, a large drink will assume the size of the former regular drink — 32 ounces down from 44 ounces.A regular soft drink will be reduced to 24 ounces versus 32 ounces previously. A small drink is unchanged at 16 ounces.Cineplex has been testing the revised drink sizes in British Columbia and Saskatchewan since 2013, Langdon said.“Because we found a general trend toward smaller cup sizes, we made the choice to reduce the size rather than increase the price,” he said.Langdon added that Ontario’s Making Healthier Choices Act, set to be introduced in 2017, also factored into the decision.The Act will require fast-food chains to display calorie counts on their menus, unmasking just how much its biggest drinks counted towards your daily intake.“We’re making a change to help prepare for that,” he said.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. read more

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