Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 19th 2014 Contents Egyptian conservators clean a female mummy dated to Pharaonic late period, (712-323 BC), in the
conservation centre of Egypt's Grand museum under construction, just outside Cairo. Egypt's antiquities
minister says construction has begun on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the
final phase of a complex that's intended to house 100,000 ancient artefacts including King Tutankhamun's
mummy. AP PHOTO
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
ROME---The Italian navy said yes-
terday it had rescued nearly 600
Syrian, Palestinian and Eritrean
migrants crossing the Mediter-
ranean in two overcrowded boats,
including 62 minors.
The Italian frigate Grecale pulled
323 Syrians and Palestinians to safety
late on Monday, after helping rescue
another 273 migrants from Eritrea,
who were taken aboard the gunboat
Sfinge, the navy said in a statement.
The migrants, including 103
women, were spotted by a plane
patrolling the seas off Italy as part
of an operation launched after two
October shipwrecks in which hun-
Italy began its operation after
more than 400 migrants from
Eritrea and Syria perished in twin
tragedies off Italian shores in October
A total of 2,156 migrants landed
in January compared to 217 in Jan-
uary 2013 and two dead refugees
were found on February 18 when a
boat with 120 migrants was rescued.
Immigration charities estimate
that between 17,000 and 20,000
migrants have died at sea trying to
reach Europe over the past 20 years.
EDINBURGH---Scotland s swither-
ing "middle million" has Britain s
future in its hands.
"Swithering" means wavering,
and it s a word you hear a lot in Scot-
land right now. Six months from
yesterday, Scottish voters must
decide whether their country should
become independent, breaking up
Great Britain as it has existed for
Faced with the historic choice
many find their hearts say "aye" but
their heads say "why risk it?" Polls
suggest as many as a quarter of Scot-
land s 4 million voters remain unde-
cided, and their choices will deter-
mine the outcome.
Many long to cut the tie binding
them to England, but fear the risks---
and the financial fallout.
"I m swithering a bit," said Sarah
Kenchington, an artist from Balfron
in central Scotland.
"It s getting really right-wing
down in England and it would be
quite a good thing to separate from
that. But then, politics can be quite
a temporary thing---and this is a very
Overcoming such doubts is the
challenge faced by Scottish First
Minister Alex Salmond and the "Yes
Scotland" independence campaign
backed by his Scottish National Party.
Salmond has appealed to Scots
patriotic hearts, painting the refer-
endum as a choice between starkly
different economic and social mod-
els: English austerity and Scottish
Salmond is critical of Britain s
government, and says an independ-
ent Scotland will follow a different
path, using its resourcefulness and
North Sea oil revenues to create a
dynamic economy and a strong social
He says Scotland will be a "north-
ern light" to balance the "dark star"
of London s economic and political
dominance---a vision that strikes a
chord with many Scots.
"I m just looking forward to a dif-
ferent kind of government that has
the interests of the Scottish people
at heart," said Jeannette Wiseman,
an art student from Oldmeldrum in
"I think the Scottish people
deserve a government they vote for.
We ve ended up with a Conservative
government we didn t vote for."
The anti-independence campaign,
backed by Britain s three main
national political parties, stresses the
uncertainties an independent Scot-
land would face. It warns businesses
will flee and thousands of shipbuild-
ing jobs for the Royal Navy will head
south. Scots will forfeit the pound
currency and could face passport
checks at the English border.
Britain could even lose its nuclear-
power status if Salmond carries
through with his threat to evict the
country s fleet of nuclear-armed
submarines from their base at Faslane
in western Scotland.
Salmond dismisses such warnings
as scaremongering, and has even
compared the situation to the conflict
over Crimea. He said Sunday that
the British government s threats to
Scotland meant it forfeits the "moral
authority" to criticise Russia and the
region s snap referendum.
Heated rhetoric is nothing new in
this debate. The Scottish and English
have always had a complicated rela-
tionship---and long memories. In
June, Scotland is planning a 700th-
anniversary reenactment of the Battle
of Bannockburn, in which Scottish
King Robert the Bruce defeated the
army of England s Edward II.
The two countries united in 1707
to form Great Britain. (AP)
Head battles heart in debate
over Scottish independence
600 Syrian, Palestinian, Eritrean boat migrants rescued
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