Italian marines prepare to check and document African migrants after transporting them from a commercial ship to a navy vessel in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Libya early in October   2014. Photograph: Lynsey Addario/The New York Times)

The Italian navy will continue a search and rescue mission which has saved the lives of an estimated 150,000 refugees because no order has been receiv(...)

Pope Francis made his first official trip outside Rome today with a visit to Lampedusa, the tiny island off Sicily that has been the first port of safety for untold thousands of migrants crossing by sea from North Africa to Europe. The choice of Lampedusa is a highly symbolic one for Francis, who has placed the poor at the centre of his papacy and called on the Church to return to its mission of serving them. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Pope Francis has visited the small Italian island of Lampedusa and laid a wreath in memory of the thousands of migrants from Africa who have died tryi(...)