Traffickers drown refugees: As many as 500 people, including scores of children, drowned off the coast of Malta when human traffickers rammed one of their boats. The traffickers had taken the group—which included Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians, and Sudanese—by boat from Egypt and passed them to increasingly smaller boats during the journey. When the exhausted refugees refused to board a rickety vessel that was too small to hold them, the smugglers abandoned them and rammed their boat until it sank, according to survivors. Another 200 migrants drowned near Libya around the same time. In the past 12 months, more than 3,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean, more than four times the death toll for all of last year, while around 100,000 have reached Italy.