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A precarious metal boat carrying 40-50 migrants across the Mediterranean from Africa.


Europe plays the blame game over asylum-seekers

“There had been landings but never a tragedy like this,” the mayor of Cutro, a southern Italian town, said after a boat carrying an estimated 200 migrants splintered into pieces on Sunday after hitting rocky terrain.

At least 63 people, including children and at least one newborn, were found dead, while 80 migrants, all adults, survived. Dozens remain missing. Most of the migrants came from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, having crossed the tumultuous sea from Turkey.

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A day after the elections, officials tally votes at a collation centre previously stormed by unknown assailants in Lagos, Nigeria on February 26, 2023.

REUTERS/James Oatway

What We’re Watching: Nigerian election results, Italian migrant tragedy, COVID lab leak report

Nigeria starts presidential vote count

Early results from Nigeria's presidential election are still trickling in Monday, as delays at some polling stations forced people to vote throughout the night on Saturday and the following day. Final numbers could take days, especially if the race is very tight. So far, the big news is that Peter Obi, a third-party insurgent posing the most serious threat to the Nigerian political establishment since the restoration of democracy in 1999, captured Lagos, the country's biggest city and state. Obi is facing off against ruling party candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu and opposition hopeful Atiku Abubakar. To avoid a runoff, a candidate must win the popular vote and 25% of ballots in at least two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states. Whoever comes out on top, the final result "will most likely leave a large chunk of Nigerians upset," tweeted Amaka Anku, head of Eurasia Group's Africa practice, who's covering the election on the ground. Anku highlighted the low voter turnout — although it's unclear whether fewer people actually showed up or if biometric ID verification prevented unregistered people from voting.

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A view shows graves of killed Ukrainian defenders, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a cemetery in Kharkiv, Ukraine January 31, 2023.

REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi

Hard Numbers … after a year of war in Ukraine

300,000: Human losses on both sides of the conflict are mounting (and disputed), but there have been a whopping 300,000 military and civilian deaths on both sides, according to high-end estimates.

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Travelers from Russia cross the border to Georgia.

REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Would you accept Russian draft dodgers?

In the week since Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization, roughly 200,000 draft-eligible Russian men have fled the country, preferring to live in Russia’s neighboring countries as refugees rather than as invading soldiers.

But while most of Russia’s post-Soviet neighbors have welcomed them, the European Union – which has already all but stopped issuing visas to Russians anyway – is split over how to handle a fresh wave of asylum-seekers coming from a country that the bloc is now all-but-directly at war with.

The EU’s president, Charles Michel, says members should admit them as conscientious objectors. Germany and France have signaled a willingness to do so. But the Baltic states, those nearest the Russian border, have a different view: nothing doing.

What’s the right policy? Here are some arguments both for and against rejecting Russian asylum-seekers.

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Three-year-old Ukrainian refugee Karolina from Nikopol looks through a fence on the platform at a train station in Poland.

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Hard Numbers: US to take in 100K refugees, cost of living surges in Russia, North Korea tests ICBM, polio scare hits Malawi, militants surrender in Nigeria

100,000: The Biden administration announced Thursday that the US will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and others fleeing Russian aggression. This will happen over the “long term” and therefore will not require raising the annual refugee cap.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Where Ukrainian refugees are going

Millions of refugees have fled Ukraine. While most have landed in Poland, many are going further afield — some as far away as Japan and the US. We take a look at where the bulk of these refugees are headed within Europe.

People fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine arrive at Suceava train station in Romania.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Hard Numbers: Displaced Ukrainians, pro-Russia parties banned, Japan invests in India, Mexico City’s new airport

10 million: Ten million Ukrainians — almost a quarter of the country's population — have already fled their homes amid the Russian invasion, the UN refugee agency said on Sunday. Most of the externally displaced have gone to neighboring Poland.

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Ukrainians wait to board a train to Poland as they flee Russia's invasion in Lviv.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Hard Numbers: Brits host Ukrainians, Turkmen succession, deadly COVID in HK, Puerto Rico in the black

100,000: Over 100,000 Brits have signed up for a new government program to host Ukrainian refugees in their homes. The UK has been criticized for granting so few visas to Ukrainians thus far, but those without UK family ties will now be eligible.

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