“Italy rescues 900 amid migrant surge in Mediterranean,” from AFP (reposted by France 24):
Italian authorities said Saturday that more than 900 people had been rescued at sea in 24 hours, in a blow to hopes that the approach of winter would stem the flow of migrants attempting perilous crossings of the Mediterranean.
Most of the rescued were picked up from boats in the channel between Libya and Sicily, a narrow but treacherous strait in which thousands have drowned in recent years trying to reach Europe.
A total of 477 migrants were delivered to Porto Empedocle on Sicily’s southern coast by Panamanian tanker the Gaz Concord. A further 354 were due to be brought ashore by an Italian navy patrol boat at nearby Pozzallo later in the day.
The coastguard also intercepted a yacht with 80 would-be migrants on board off the port of Crotone on the southeastern “heel” of the Italian mainland…