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This weekend, up to 700 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean, Japan put its military on high alert, that Chinese soap company said people were "overreacting", and more.

by Mac Hackett
31 May 2016, 6:00am

Migrant Crisis
UP TO 700 PEOPLE DROWNED TRYING TO CROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN
Three shipwrecks claimed hundreds of lives

(via)

A series of shipwrecks off the coast of Libya over the past week have left hundreds of people dead and many more missing and presumed dead, the UN refugee agency confirmed this weekend.

The shipwreck of a smuggling boat in the Mediterranean on Friday left almost 50 drowned and an unspecified number of people missing; 550 people are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized in the sea on Thursday morning, and 100 are missing from a boat that capsized on Wednesday.

Italy says that EU ships have rescued as many as 13,000 migrants trying to cross from Libya to Italy this week alone; spring weather leading to a surge in attempts to cross the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, 20 people, including 18 Albanians and two Britons, were rescued from the English Channel on Saturday by the UK Coastguard after the inflatable boat they were in began taking on water; the Coastguard said the people had been handed over to the UK Border Force for questioning.


Olympic Games
SCIENTISTS CALLED FOR THE RIO OLYMPICS TO BE MOVED OR POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE ZIKA VIRUS
But the World Health Organisation rejected the call, saying the games would 'not significantly alter' the spread of the virus

(via)

This weekend, over 100 internationally renowned scientists and doctors said that the Rio Olympic Games could lead to a worldwide Zika virus epidemic and called for the event to be moved or postponed.

"An unnecessary risk is posed," the scientists wrote in an open letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO), "when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic."

"Should that happen," the letter went on, "to poor, as-yet unaffected places, the suffering can be great."

The WHO said that the games should go ahead and that they would "not significantly alter" the spread of the mosquito-borne virus, which is linked to serious birth defects and rare neurological diseases, and has 91,000 reported cases in Brazil.

The letter is signed by 150 scientists and doctors from institutions such as Harvard and Yale universities in the US, and Oxford in the UK.


Nuclear War
JAPAN PUT ITS MILITARY ON HIGH ALERT FOR A POTENTIAL NORTH KOREAN MISSILE ATTACK
Japan ordered its navy and anti-ballistic missile batteries to be ready to shoot down a possible missile they thought might be launched

The Japanese naval warship, JS Yuugiri, takes her place alongside the USS Ronald Reagan (Photo: Joanna M Rippee, US Navy, via)

(via)

Japan put its military on alert, fearing a ballistic missile might be launched from North Korea, Japanese state media said on Monday. South Korea also said on Monday they had detected evidence of launch preparations in the North.

North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and has since been conducting test launches of missiles, causing tension in the region.

Japan deployed navy destroyers and readied its anti-ballistic missile batteries in preparation for a potential attack.


White Washing
A CHINESE SOAP COMPANY SAID PEOPLE WERE 'OVERREACTING' TO ITS RACIST ADVERT
The advert shows a black man being pushed into a washing machine and coming out fair-skinned

(via)

A Chinese detergent company said that the world was "overreacting" to an advert that depicts their soap being used to wash a black man whiter.

In a non-apology, Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics said that harm had been caused by "over-amplification by the media" and that they "sincerely hope the public and the media will not over-read [the advert]".

The ad shows a black man entering a room and flirting with a Chinese women; she then pushes him into a washing machine with the detergent and he emerges as a fair-skinned Asian man, to the woman's apparent delight.

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