Tag Archives: ships

Migrants in limbo as Italy blocks rescue ships

Migrants in limbo as Italy blocks rescue shipsConfusion reigned in the Mediterranean on Monday after a chaotic weekend with the Libyan coast guard claiming to have rescued about 1,000 migrants, Italy stepping up the ante and several humanitarian and commercial ships waiting for more clarity before carrying out more operations. Italy, on the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis, has turned away rescue vessels with its new populist government saying the onus was on Libya to take them in. Lifeline, a ship belonging to a German NGO of the same name, is moored about 30 nautical miles off Malta with 234 migrants who were rescued on Wednesday, including 14 women and four children younger than three.



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The Latest: Saudis say 2 ships with food to dock at Hodeida

The Latest: Saudis say 2 ships with food to dock at HodeidaDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on the battle for Hodeida in Yemen (all times local):



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Italy's Salvini threatens to block migrant ships in row with Malta: reports

Italy's Salvini threatens to block migrant ships in row with Malta: reportsItaly’s new interior minister Matteo Salvini threatened Sunday to close access to Italian ports for migrant rescue ships if Malta refuses to take hundreds of people saved by an NGO, reports said. La Repubblica newspaper reported Salvini sent a letter to the Maltese authorities saying he would “be forced to close Italy’s ports” if the 629 migrants saved by French NGO SOS Mediterranee weren’t allowed to land at Malta’s capital Valletta. Italy’s interior ministry told AFP they were still trying to confirm the existence of the letter.



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Saudi-led coalition says Yemen rebels threat to ships in Red Sea

Saudi-led coalition says Yemen rebels threat to ships in Red SeaA Saudi-led coalition has warned Yemen’s rebels threaten ships in the Red Sea through their control of a key port, days after rebel warnings over a coalition blockade. “The port of Hodeida is a launching pad for terrorist operations threatening navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait,” coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said late Wednesday. The Red Sea is a key shipping route for world trade that connects the Middle East to Europe via the Suez Canal.



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Royal Navy intercepts Russian naval ships in English Channel

Royal Navy intercepts Russian naval ships in English ChannelA Royal Navy frigate is escorting four Russian naval ships through the English Channel. HMS Westminster is accompanying two Russian frigates and two support ships as they head north returning from the Mediterranean. Naval sources said the contact was routine, but it comes amid an estimated 10-fold increase of Russian naval activity in waters around Britain and in the North Atlantic this decade. Commander Simon Kelly, the Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, said: "HMS Westminster's role as the Royal Navy's Fleet Ready Escort is to be at very high readiness to respond to anything the British government requires. "While today most people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year, HMS Westminster's ship's company has been at sea and at readiness as part of the Royal Navy's commitment to keep Britain safe at all times. "The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK, and it is very important HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link." HMS Westminster escorted five Russian ships through the English Channel Credit: Louise George Activity has risen in recent years with warships passing Britain on their way to join Russia's military campaign to prop up Bashar al-Assad in Syria.  On Christmas Day, the frigate HMS St Albans was dispatched to track the Russian vessel Admiral Gorshkov as it made its way through the North Sea close to Britain.  And on Christmas Eve, HMS Tyne was dispatched to escort a Russian intelligence-gathering ship through the North Sea and the England Channel. A Wildcat helicopter was then also dispatched to monitor two further Russian vessels. Royal Navy's HMS Westminster Giving a strong statement last month, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, said: "I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression.  "Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests."   



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32 Missing After Ships Collide Off China's Coast

32 Missing After Ships Collide Off China's CoastAn oil tanker collided with a freighter and caught fire off China's east coast



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Chinese ships spotted by satellites 'selling oil to North Korea' 30 times since October, despite sanctions

Chinese ships spotted by satellites 'selling oil to North Korea' 30 times since October, despite sanctionsAmerican reconnaissance satellites have reportedly spotted Chinese ships suspected of selling oil to North Korean vessels about 30 times since October. South Korean officials told the Chosun Ilbo that the ships were allegedly trading in the West Sea between China and South Korea in a bid to bypass strict United Nations sanctions on oil exports to the pariah regime over its ongoing nuclear and weapons programme. “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products,” an unnamed source told the paper. The US Treasury published surveillance photographs reportedly taken on October 19 of the North Korean vessel Rye Song Gang 1 lashed to a large Chinese vessel in deep waters, apparently showing hoses transferring oil. Under the current tough sanctions regime Pyongyang is only allowed 500,000 barrels of oil imports a year. North Korea last week denounced ever tightening economic sanctions as “an act of war.” Ship-to-ship trade with North Korea on the high seas is also forbidden under UN rules but very hard to patrol without an aggressive Chinese crackdown on smuggling. Robert Kelly, professor of political science at South Korea’s Pusan National University, ventured that the reports were entirely plausible. “There is a lot of under-the-radar on the Chinese side. Beijing does not police the border strictly or enforce the sanctions toughly. This could be that,” he said. Meanwhile analysts were surprised by the latest Chinese customs data released on Tuesday, showing that, in a rare move, Beijing exported no oil products to North Korea in November. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she didn’t know any details about the oil products export situation, but added: “As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.” It is unknown if China still sells crude oil to Pyongyang as Beijing has not disclosed its crude export data for several years.



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Giant cruise ships to be diverted away from Venice's historic centre – but there's a catch

Giant cruise ships to be diverted away from Venice's historic centre - but there's a catchAfter years of see-saw debate between Venetians and the tourism industry, giant cruise ships are to be banned from sailing past St Mark’s Square, the Italian government announced. Passenger liners are currently allowed to pass within a few hundred yards of St Mark’s Square and Venice’s historic centre on their way to the lagoon city’s international passenger terminal. Campaigners have long argued that the huge vessels, which carry up to 5,000 passengers and crew, dwarf Venice’s cupolas, spires and palaces, while eroding canal banks with the waves they create as they churn down the picturesque Giudecca Canal. Under the new plan, they will be diverted well away from the World Heritage city and will have to dock at a terminal in the industrial port of Marghera on the mainland – a far cry from the romance of St Mark’s and the Grand Canal. Passengers will then be ferried to Venice in smaller boats, or in coaches, along the narrow land bridge that connects the city to the mainland. The new navigation route will involve big cruise ships entering the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic through an inlet far to the south of the one currently used.  Graphic: The new routes Smaller cruise vessels – those of 55,000 tonnes or less – will be allowed to continue to use the present route. But there is a catch – the new measures will not come into effect for three or four years. The move was announced by Graziano Delrio, the transport minister, after a meeting of a governmental committee tasked with protecting Venice’s delicate cultural heritage. “After years of study, we have found a viable solution for a sustainable route through the lagoon, without penalizing the tourism industry, which is so important for Venice,” the minister said. Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, hailed the plan as a sensible compromise that would satisfy the cruise ship industry whilst addressing the concerns of locals and preserving the lagoon environment.  “We want it to be clear to Unesco (the UN’s cultural heritage body) and the whole world that we have a solution,” he said.  “This takes into account all the jobs created by the cruise industry, which we absolutely couldn’t afford to lose, and we can start to work seriously on planning cruises.” Gianni Berengo Gardin, an Italian photographer who takes striking black and white images of cruise ships looming over Venice's canals and churches, said he was cautiously optimistic about the plan. "It worries me that it is going to take three or four years, because in that time they may change their minds. "But it at least seems possible that in future we will no longer see huge ships pass along the Giudecca Canal and in front of St Mark's Square," he wrote in a front page opinion piece for La Repubblica newspaper. The debate over the impact of big cruise ships has been going on for years in Venice. Credit: AFP In an informal referendum organised by a campaign group in June, nearly 99 per cent of the 18,000 Venetians who took part voted in favour of banning giant cruise ships from the city’s lagoon altogether, saying they disgorge too many tourists and damage the environment. They were asked: “Do you want big cruise ships to stay outside Venice’s lagoon and no new shipping channels dug inside the lagoon?” The organisers of the referendum support an alternative plan which would involve the construction of an entirely new cruise ship terminal at one of the three entrances to the lagoon. Called Venice Cruise 2.0, the terminal would consist of a 2,000ft-long pier capable of accommodating four large ships at a time.   Passengers would then be transferred to smaller boats which would take them to Venice.



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Exclusive: From Russia with fuel: North Korean ships may be undermining sanctions

Exclusive: From Russia with fuel: North Korean ships may be undermining sanctionsBy Polina Nikolskaya MOSCOW (Reuters) – At least eight North Korean ships that left Russia with a cargo of fuel this year headed for their homeland despite declaring other destinations, a ploy that U.S. officials say is often used to undermine sanctions. Reuters has no evidence of wrongdoing by the vessels, whose movements were recorded in Reuters ship-tracking data. Changing a ship's destination once underway is not forbidden and it is unclear whether any of the ships unloaded fuel in North Korea. But U.S. …



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U.S Coast Guard monitoring stranded cruise ships: chief

U.S Coast Guard monitoring stranded cruise ships: chiefThe U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring two cruise ships that have been unable to dock due to tropical storm Harvey and is preparing alternative arrangements, one of its commanders said on Saturday in a press conference. Three cruise ships operated by Carnival Corp carrying about 20,000 passengers have been stranded in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico waiting to dock at Galveston port. “We talk daily with the cruise ship operators as well as the city of Galveston and the Galveston Port Authority in order to try to identify opportunities to be able to get these cruise ships in,” said Kevin Oditt, commander of the Coast Guard sector Houston-Galveston.



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