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The world in brief: 21 women, 1 girl dead on migrant boat

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | September 3, 2021 at 3:41 a.m.

21 women, 1 girl dead on migrant boat

MADRID -- A humanitarian aid group that monitors the plight of migrants taking perilous seaborne routes to Spain said that 21 women and one girl have died and several dozen more people were lost at sea while trying to reach the Canary Islands.

Helena Maleno, founder of the nongovernmental organization Walking Borders, tweeted Thursday that 22 bodies have been recovered from a migrant boat by the Moroccan navy. She said there was one girl among the female casualties, who were mostly from the Ivory Coast and Guinea.

Spain's maritime rescue service said it had no information on the case.

Morocco's national police confirmed that authorities in the coastal city of Dakhla were looking into the case, but refused to provide details. Health authorities in the southern city also refused to provide any information.

Maleno said that the boat started its journey carrying 86 people, including 36 women and 13 girls.

The Atlantic route from the west coast of Africa to Spain's Canary Islands has become one of the most used and deadliest routes for those desperate to reach Europe.

Australian state pitches Nazi-symbol ban

CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia's Victoria state is drafting legislation that would make it the first in the country to ban the public display of Nazi symbols as neo-Nazi activity in the area increases.

The proposed ban on Nazi symbols such as the swastika, except for educational or historical purposes, will be presented to parliament early next year, and appears certain to become law with opposition lawmakers expressing support.

The law was recommended by a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year that cited a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity in Australia's second-most populous state.

"This announcement is a resounding triumph for the victims of the Holocaust, the survivors and our brave diggers [Australian soldiers] who died to vanquish the evil Third Reich regime, and a defeat of homegrown neo-Nazis who seek to keep Hitler's legacy alive," said Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, a Jewish-Australian community organization.

Counter-terror intelligence chief Mike Burgess warned last month that Australians as young as 16 were being radicalized to support a white-supremacist race war, and that half of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization's most important domestic anti-terrorism cases now involve neo-Nazi cells and other ideologically motivated groups.

Indonesia seizes waste-oil loaded tanker

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia's navy has seized a massive tanker believed to be loaded with thousands of tons of wasted black oil and has brought the ship to shore for further investigation, officials said Thursday.

The Panamanian-flagged MT Zodiac Star was located Wednesday after the navy received an intelligence tip about a suspicious tanker near Tolop island and escorted it about 13 miles to a naval base in Batam on the Indonesian archipelago's southwestern tip near Singapore, said Rear Adm. Arsyad Abdullah, the country's western fleet commander.

The 3,224-ton tanker, with its crew of 18 Indonesians and a Malaysian, was suspected of conducting illicit practices after it was caught with about 4,600 tons of waste oil without port clearance and other proper legal documents, Abdullah said in a statement.

He said investigators are still consulting with experts and questioning the tanker's captain, crew members and witnesses before the findings are handed over to the prosecutor's office. The charges that could be brought carry up to 5 years in prison and fine of $42,000, Abdullah said.

6 Germans held in museum jewel theft

BERLIN -- German prosecutors said Thursday that they have filed charges against six suspects in the theft of 18th-century jewels from a Dresden museum in 2019, accusing them of organized robbery and arson.

The men, German nationals aged 22 to 27, are accused of breaking into the eastern city's Green Vault Museum on Nov. 25, 2019, and stealing 21 pieces of jewelry containing more than 4,300 diamonds, with a total insured value of at least $135 million.

Prosecutors say they started a fire just before the break-in to cut the power supply for street lights outside the museum, and also set fire to a car in a nearby garage before fleeing to Berlin.

Searches so far have not yielded the missing treasures. Prosecutors said that the suspects, who are all in custody, have not responded to the accusations against them.

The Green Vault is one of the world's oldest museums. It was established in 1723 and contains the treasury of Augustus the Strong of Saxony, comprising around 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones and other materials.

Two of the suspects are already serving sentences for participating in another noteworthy heist, the theft of a 220-pound Canadian gold coin dubbed the "Big Maple Leaf" from Berlin's Bode Museum in 2017.

The coin, with an estimated value of about $4.45 million, has not been recovered. Authorities suspect that it was likely cut up into smaller pieces and sold off.

Print Headline: 21 women, 1 girl dead on migrant boat

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