Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 4th 2014 Contents A19
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ROME---The Italian navy rescued
more than 1,000 migrants in the 24
hours to yesterday from boats trying
to reach Europe, authorities said, as
an immigration crisis that killed hun-
dreds in the last year showed no signs
Navy helicopters spotted four over-
crowded boats struggling to stay afloat
south of Sicily on Thursday and ships
were sent to save them, the navy said
in a statement.
The 823 men, women and children
aboard the four vessels were from coun-
tries including Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq and
The navy rescued 233 migrants from
Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, Zambia, Mali
and Pakistan in a separate operation and
took them to a port near Syracuse on
Sicily s eastern coast.
Following an October shipwreck in
which 366 Eritrean migrants drowned
off the Italian island of Lampedusa, Italy
launched a special operation combining
ships, helicopters and drones to monitor
the Mediterranean Sea.
Italy rescues 1,000 migrants in 24 hours
NEW YORK---A winter storm slammed
into the US Northeast with howling winds
and frigid cold, dumping nearly two feet
of snow on some areas and whipping up
blizzard-like conditions yesterday. Eleven
deaths have been blamed on the winter
By midday yesterday, about 2,200 flights
were cancelled nationwide, according to the
aviation tracking Web site FlightAware.com.
Most were in New York, Philadelphia,
Boston, Chicago and Washington, DC.
Governors in New York and New Jersey
declared states of emergency, urging resi-
dents to stay at home. Hundreds of schools
were shut down in Boston and New York,
extending the holiday break for tens of thou-
sands of students.
"This is nothing to be trifled with," New
York Gov Andrew Cuomo said. "People
should seriously consider staying in their
The storm has led to at least 11 deaths
as it sweeps across the eastern half of the
US. Slick roads have caused traffic deaths
in Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.
A massive pile of salt fell on a worker at
a Philadelphia storage facility, killing him.
And authorities say a woman with
Alzheimer s disease froze to death after she
wandered away from her rural New York
Forecasters said temperatures were plum-
meting to well below freezing, and wind
chill readings could hit minus 23 Celsius.
Another wave of cold air already was
moving through the Midwest after coming
down from Canada.
Outreach teams were searching streets in
New York City and Boston for homeless
people at risk of freezing to death.
The snowstorm had worked its way east
from the Midwest, where it dropped up to
17 inches in parts of Chicago.
A pedestrian uses his cross-country skis on 58th Street during his morning commute, yesterday, in New York. New York City public
schools were closed yesterday after up to seven inches of snow fell by morning in the first snowstorm of the winter. AP PHOTO
two feet of snow
...temperatures may hit -23°C
hit jackpot with
HONG KONG---The tiny Chinese city of Macau
has again smashed its annual record for casino
earnings as revenues last year hit a staggering
$45 billion, further underlining its outsize posi-
tion as the world s biggest gambling market.
Gambling regulator data released Thursday
showed that Macau s three dozen casinos raked
in 33.5 billion patacas ($4.2 billion) in December.
That brought revenue for 2013 to 360.8 billion
patacas ($45 billion), up 18.6 per cent from the
Analyst Grant Govertsen of Union Gaming
Research estimated that Macau s take would be
more than seven times the amount earned on
the Las Vegas Strip.
The former Portuguese colony s once-lethargic
casino market has thrived since the government
ended a gambling monopoly a decade ago and
let in foreign players such as Las Vegas Sands
Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd.
The ensuing competition has transformed the
tiny enclave into a gambling powerhouse, with
glitzy new casino resorts centered on the Cotai
Strip, marketed as Asia s version of the Las Vegas
Increasing numbers of wealthy high-rolling
visitors from mainland China have helped power
Macau s rise as a casino hub. (AP)
'might die soon'
TEL AVIV---Israeli former prime minister Ariel
Sharon s health was in "slow, gradual" decline
yesterday, according to the hospital where he
has been in a comatose state for eight years.
It was the third straight day of reports that
Sharon may be nearing death, with the 85-year-
old s health worsening Wednesday as he suffered
serious kidney problems after undergoing sur-
Sharon s health was deteriorating as US Sec-
retary of State John Kerry arrived in the region
to push Middle East peace talks forward, on a
four-day visit expected to involve intense shuttle
diplomacy between Israeli and Palestinian lead-
"Tests show a slow, gradual deterioration in
the functioning of his vital organs... His state
has not changed. He s still in critical condition,
and his life is in danger," Tel Hashomer hospital
director Zeev Rotstein was quoted by public radio
"I don t think the situation will improve with
time, and we know what usually happens in
cases like this," he added, suggesting that Sharon
might die soon. (AFP)
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