Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at a press conference in Rome after a ship packed with migrants capsized off the Libyan coast, 200km south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA

The European Union has pledged to take “bold” and immediate action to tackle the continent’s migration crisis after hundreds were feared dead in the (...)

Migrants on board an Italian navy vessel as it cruises towards the Italian port of Messina on  Saturday. Photograph: AP

Smugglers responsible for putting migrants to sea in inadequate vessels say the growing death toll is not their fault and that they do not force refug(...)

A boat transporting migrants arrives in the Italian port of Messina after the rescue operation on Saturday: the milder weather has seen more than 12,000 people landing on Italy’s southern coasts in the last 10 days. Photograph: Giovanni Isolino/AFP/Getty Images

As Italy last night absorbed the impact of yet another horrendous mass drowning of boat people, a grim thought crossed many minds. With perhaps as man(...)

An officer looks at a monitor showing  the area where a boat believed to be crowded with  as many as 700 migrants capsized in the waters north of Libya on Sunday. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/AP

From the moment that the Matteo Renzi-led government announced last November that the Italian navy-run “Mare Nostrum” search-and-rescue operation in (...)

Militants in Libya in a screen grab taken from a video reportedly released by  Islamic State. The video purportedly depicts the execution of about 30 Ethiopian Christians.  Photograph: Al-Furqan Media/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State has released a video purporting to show its militants shooting and beheading what appeared to be about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.(...)

Rescued migrants after they disembark at Corigliano harbour, Italy, this week. Since April 10th alone, the Italian coast guard has rescued about 8,500 people. Photograph: Francesco Arena/EPA

Eighteen months on from the Lampedusa tragedy, which saw 366 migrants lose their lives off the Italian island, Europe’s migration problem shows no (...)

US president Barack Obama  and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi arrive for a joint news conference at the White House in Washington. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi yesterday told US president Barack Obama the Mediterranean “has become a cemetery”, such is the effect of the bu(...)

Shipwrecked migrants disembark from a rescue vessel as they arrive in the Italian port of Augusta in Sicily on April 16th. As many as 41 migrants drowned after a small boat carrying refugees sank in the Mediterranean, Italian media said, days after 400 were lost in another shipwreck. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

The already tense situation in the coastal waters off Sicily became significantly more worrying this morning following reports that unidentified Libya(...)

An Italian military  helicopter  helping with sea rescue operations in the Mediterranean. About 400 migrants died after their boat capsized on its way from Libya to Italy in the latest tragedy in the region. File photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

About 400 migrants died in an attempt to reach Italy from Libya when their boat capsized, survivors of the accident said.The accident was the latest t(...)

Rescued migrants disembark from an Italian Finance Guard vessel in Porto Empedocle, Sicily on Sunday. Photograph: EPA.

At least nine people died when an overcrowded migrant boat capsized off the coast of Libya and 144 more were rescued, the Italian coast guard said (...)