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Captain Blamed for Mediterranean Migrant Deaths


Tunisian captain Mohammed Ali Malek, one of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya Saturday, waits to disembark from Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, at Catania Harbor, Italy, April 20, 2015.

Tunisian captain Mohammed Ali Malek, one of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya Saturday, waits to disembark from Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, at Catania Harbor, Italy, April 20, 2015.

Officials have blamed the Tunisian captain of a fishing boat for causing the deaths of hundreds of migrants. They say the migrants were locked inside when their boat overturned in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday that 27-year-old Mohammed Ali Malek was arrested on suspicion of killing many people. The prosecutors said the captain mistakenly turned his overloaded boat into a merchant ship that was coming to its rescue.

Only 28 survivors have been brought to Italy from the hundreds of Bangladeshi migrants on board the boat. Most of the migrants were African and Bangladeshi. Police have said as many as 950 people may have died. It appears to be the worst disaster ever among migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

The lead prosecutor said so few people survived because most of the migrants on board had been locked in the lower levels of the fishing boat. Many of the passengers were women and children.

South Africa to deploy army to prevent attacks on foreigners

South Africa’s defense minister says the government will deploy soldiers to prevent further violence, after a series of attacks on foreigners in Johannesburg and Durban. Seven people have been killed.

The attacks began in early April. They have occurred in poor areas of Johannesburg and Durban. South Africa’s defense minister announced Tuesday that soldiers will join with police to stop the attacks on foreigners.

Immigrants from African nations including Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and Zimbabwe have been among the targets of the attacks. Many have sought shelter in temporary camps. Some African embassies say many citizens are trying to return to their home countries.

Egypt’s Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison

An Egyptian court sentenced former President Mohamed Morsi to 20 years in prison Tuesday. He was sentenced in connection with the killings of protesters near the presidential palace in Cairo in 2012.

It is the first sentence in several cases against Mohamed Morsi.

The former president escaped a possible death penalty. The court ruled that he and 12 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters were guilty of intimidation and violence, but not murder.

Morsi was the country's first democratically elected president. He promised citizens a brighter future for Egypt, after the popular uprising that ended the long rule of Hosni Mubarak.

CPJ releases list of most-censored countries

Eritrea and North Korea were named the most-censored countries in the world by the Committee to Protect Journalists . On Tuesday, the press freedom group, based in New York City, released this year’s list of the 10 countries that restrict their news media the most.

Other countries on the list are Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Iran, China, Burma and Cuba.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the list is based on research of punishment of journalists and repressive laws used against them. The group also considers limits on Internet access.

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Words in the News

prosecutor - n. a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty

merchant - adj. used for or involved in trading goods

intimidation - n. the act of making (someone) afraid

uprising - n a usually violent effort by many people to change the government or leader of a country

censor - v. to examine books, newspapers, movies, letters, etc., in order to remove things that a government considers harmful to society

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