Greek Coast Guard under scrutiny
A decision by the Greek Coast Guard not to intervene in a deadly shipwreck has raised concerns that an alignment of interests between smugglers, who are paid to reach Italy, and the Greek authorities, who would rather the migrants be Italy’s problem, led to an avoidable catastrophe.
The authorities in Greece have claimed that they did not intervene because the smugglers did not want them to and because any attempt to stop the boat could have led to a maritime accident. But maritime law experts said that the Greek authorities had violated international obligations to rescue ships in distress, whether or not there is a call for help.
Survivor accounts described a hapless captain, engine trouble and even suggestions that the Greek Coast Guard had accidentally caused the sinking. The Greek government’s account of the events has shifted over recent days. It initially denied tying ropes to the fishing boat but later acknowledged it had briefly done so to assess the condition of the boat and its passengers.
Analysis: “If the Greek Coast Guard recognized the boat as in distress, and this is an objective assessment, they should have tried to rescue them no matter what,” said Markella Io Papadouli, a lawyer specializing in maritime law and human rights at the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe Center.
Pakistan: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared Monday a day of mourning after at least 104 Pakistanis were confirmed to have been among the estimated 700 people who died in the wreckage. Many of the missing were from the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir, the region long contested between India and Pakistan, and nearby Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province.
China’s rebound hits a wall
After the lifting of Covid precautions, the Chinese economy has not sprung back to life in quite the way officials in Beijing and many investors had expected or hoped. Instead, investment in China has stagnated this spring after a flurry of activity in late winter. Exports are shrinking. Fewer and fewer new housing projects are being started, and more than one in five young people is unemployed.
China has tried many fixes over the last few years when its economy has flagged, such as heavy borrowing to pay for roads and rail lines. Extra stimulus spending now with borrowed money would spur a burst of activity but would pose a difficult choice for policymakers who are already worried about the accumulated debt.
China needs to right its economy after closing itself off to the world for almost three years to battle Covid, a decision that prompted many companies to begin shifting their supply chains elsewhere. So far in its halting economic recovery, only a few categories of spending have grown robustly, such as travel and restaurant dining. The economy has been particularly weak in recent weeks.
The latest: Xi Jinping, China’s leader, met yesterday with the U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken, in an attempt by the two nations to lower diplomatic tensions and clear the way for high-level economic talks in the weeks ahead. Such discussions could slow the recent proliferation of sanctions and countermeasures.
Search after submersible vanishes near Titanic wreck
A submersible craft carrying five people in the area of the Titanic wreck in the North Atlantic has been missing since Sunday morning, setting off a search and rescue operation by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The submersible disappeared about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., in a portion of the ocean with a depth of roughly 13,000 feet. Rear Adm. John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said that the occupants would theoretically have had 70 to 96 hours of air as of late yesterday afternoon and that the authorities were deploying all available assets in the search. “It is a remote area, and it is a challenge to conduct a search in that remote area,” he said.
The submersible is operated by OceanGate Expeditions, a company that offers tours of shipwrecks and underwater canyons. Customers pay $250,000 to travel to the Titanic’s wreckage on the seabed, more than two miles below the ocean’s surface. Hamish Harding, the chairman of the aviation company Action Aviation, is among those aboard the missing craft.
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War in Ukraine
Argentina’s financial crisis, with inflation now at more than 114 percent, has a surprising side effect: a flourishing dining scene in Buenos Aires, as residents rush to spend pesos before they lose more value.
Even as Argentina enters perhaps one of its worst economic moments, some restaurants are busier than ever. “I don’t know if it’s a contradiction,” one restaurant manager said. “The crisis is here. So with the little money that I have, I want to enjoy.”
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
The world’s worst international soccer team: San Marino has had its right to play international soccer questioned, but its pride endures.
England’s most harassed soccer player: James McClean has been a target for sectarian abuse for more than a decade — yet very little is said or done about it.
Who is Wyndham Clark? Insider his surprise U.S. Open triumph.
From The Times: Why Tyrell Terry walked away from professional basketball, the millions of dollars that came with it and the identity he had spent his whole life building.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Gatsby upon Gatsby
“The Great Gatsby: The Immersive Show,” which made its debut in London eight years ago, opened last week at the Park Central Hotel in New York. Alexander Wright, who adapted and directs the show, has this motto for the production: “Come for the party. Stay for the social tragedy.”
The show is the latest in a very long, heavily sequined line of “Gatsby” adaptations. That novel — yearning, lyrical, mordant — tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a millionaire bootlegger and minor gangster, who remakes himself in a disastrous attempt to win Daisy Buchanan, the society girl he once loved.
For nearly a century, filmmakers, theater makers, writers, composers, radio producers and merchandisers have reimagined the work. And since the copyright on the novel expired in 2021, the Gatsby frenzy has only increased, with a graphic novel, an animated movie and at least two musical adaptations in the offing.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
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