Hodaya Levi, from ultra-Orthodox home, receives ‘Medal of Excellence’ on Independence Day from President Reuven Rivlin.
Widow of Warren Weinstein, held by al-Qaeda since 2011, criticized US government for ‘inconsistent and disappointing’ efforts over the years.
By James Mackenzie CATANIA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian investigators are piecing together a picture of beatings and abuse that hundreds of Africans and Bangladeshis suffered before setting sail from Libya to Italy, only to drown late on Saturday in one of the worst migrant shipwrecks ever in the Mediterranean. One man was killed when he stood up on a rubber dinghy without permission, the prosecutors said. More than 700 people, most locked into the hold and lower deck of a 20-metre-long fishing boat, are believed to have drowned instantly when the overloaded vessel capsized after colliding with a Portuguese merchant ship coming to its aid some 70 nautical miles off the coast of Libya.
Turkish leaders on Thursday paid homage to the "heroism" of Allied troops who lost to forces of the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago at the Battle of Gallipoli. "All the soldiers who took part in this battle deserve to be commemorated with respect for their bravery," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a symbolic "summit for peace" in Istanbul. The World War I Gallipoli campaign began on April 25, 1915. It ended in defeat for Allied forces, and with more than 100,000 killed.
By Karolina Tagaris ATHENS (Reuters) – Shortly after taking power in January, Greece’s new government opened the gates of one of the main detention centers where thousands of undocumented migrants had been held against their will after arriving on the country’s Mediterranean shores. Many of the inmates, including refugees and children, were driven to Athens and released, in what Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government hailed as the beginning of the end of inhumane migrant policies of the past. With the influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East rising this year, hundreds have ended up like 40-year-old Syrian Dia Qasem and her three sons: stuck in the Greek capital’s public squares with nowhere to sleep and little eat.
For the first time in 2015, red alert siren sounds in Sderot and other Gaza border communities; rocket hits open field in Sh’ar HaNegev Regional Council; no injuries or damages reported.
Out of the 283,000 migrants caught illegally entering the European Union in 2014, more than 220,000 arrived via the Mediterranean Sea, according to EU officials. The Mediterranean has largely replaced land borders as the favoured point of passage, with nearly 171,000 arriving via that route in EU member Italy alone last year. This route, from North Africa to Italy and Malta, has since 2013 become the main path of illegal immigration to the EU. Most of the would-be immigrants have arrived in North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa and from the Middle East, notably Syria and Iraq.
Among the 120 soldiers who received the ‘Medal of Excellence’ at President’s Residence was a female Muslim cadet who has hidden her military service from her family.