World Brief: Boat with 100 migrants capsizes off Libyan coast; 8 confirmed dead

Boat with 100 migrants capsizes off Libyan coast; 8 confirmed dead

ROME • At least eight migrants died when their boat overturned off the coast of Libya on Saturday, but the death toll may be much higher, the Italian coast guard said.

Four people have been rescued but the survivors reported that more than a hundred were on board when the boat capsized about 50km off Libya, a coast guard spokesman said.


Iraqi special forces target ISIS militants in Mosul University sweep

BAGHDAD • Iraqi special forces swept the campus of Mosul University yesterday to clear it of any remaining Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants after taking full control of the area, a spokesman said.

Counter-terrorism service troops on Saturday drove the militants back inside the strategically located university complex and seized clusters of buildings, including colleges - an important gain towards retaking the entire eastern half of the city.


Divided European Parliament to elect new president tomorrow

BRUSSELS • The European Parliament faces a stormy election for a new president tomorrow, after a longstanding coalition of pro-EU parties collapsed just as the crisis-hit bloc confronts a wave of eurosceptic populism.

While there are at least seven contenders, the main candidates are two Italians and a Belgian seeking to replace Mr Martin Schulz.

The winner will be in charge of the European Parliament at a critical time when it has final approval on any deal for Britain's departure from the European Union, expected in 2019.


Riot in overcrowded Brazilian prison leaves at least 10 dead

RIO DE JANEIRO • At least 10 inmates have been killed in a prison riot in north-eastern Brazil - the latest in a wave of fatal uprisings in the country's overcrowded prisons that have killed nearly 100 this year - with many of the victims decapitated and mutilated.

The riot began at around 5pm on Saturday at the State Penitentiary of Alcacuz, near Natal in the north-eastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, said Ms Juliska Azevedo, a spokesman for the state government. In a statement, the authorities said that the riot was caused by a fight between prisoners from two wings and that at least 10 were confirmed dead.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2017, with the headline 'World Brief'. Print Edition | Subscribe