‘Exhausted’ migrants rescued from ship begin four-day journey to Spain

The search-and-rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean Sea since Sunday began its roughly 800-mile journey to Spain on Tuesday evening after transferring more than 500 rescued migrants to Italian Coast Guard and naval ships.

A Maltese maritime officer distributes packs of water to the stranded ship.

According to aid organization SOS Méditerranée, 250 people were transferred to the Italian Navy’s Orione and a further 274 to the Coast Guard’s Dattilo ship Tuesday. The Aquarius — which had been stranded between Malta and the Italian island of Sicily since Sunday — now has just 106 survivors on board.
The move was part of an Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) plan to transfer hundreds of the 630 migrants to two smaller vessels, in a bid to ease pressure on the overcrowded Aquarius.
All three ships will now proceed to Valencia, Spain, after the Spanish government on Monday agreed to take in the migrants who were rescued over the weekend.
SOS originally said 629 people had been rescued, but revised that figure to 630 on Tuesday following a recount during the transfers.
The Aquarius, which was carrying more than 120 unaccompanied minors and six pregnant women, was left stranded in the Mediterranean after Italy’s hardline interior minister and leader of the anti-immigration League party refused to allow it to dock on Sunday.
Aid organizations, including Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée, which operate the rescue ship Aquarius, have been critical of the Italian MRCC plan, warning that the “already exhausted” migrants would be forced to spend four more days at sea.
“The better option would be to disembark the rescued people in the nearest port after which they can be transferred to Spain or other safe countries for further care and legal processing,” MSF said in a tweet Tuesday.

Kengo Kuma: ‘I want to merge buildings into the environment’

kengo kuma asakusa culture


apanese architect Kengo Kuma is known for buildings that, above all, embrace natural materials and light. They bring comfort — both physical and immaterial — to their inhabitants. From the striking Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in Tokyo to a discrete wood-and-glass house in the forests of New Canaan, Connecticut, Kuma’s work aims to improve and supplement the surroundings, rather than dominate them.
“My buildings are always part of the place, part of the location. I want to merge buildings into the environment as best I can. Harmony is always the goal of my practice,” says Kuma.
Since he founded Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990, Kuma’s work has gained recognition the world over. He was the recipient of the prestigious Decoration Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 2009, and his practice won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2016.
Though the majority of Kuma’s projects are located in Japan, his practice has increasingly been pursuing international commissions since they opened a European office in Paris in 2008. Currently underway in the French capital is a highly anticipated eco-hotel on the Left Bank, which will boast a wood-block exterior with greenery embedded throughout for a lively and lush facade.
But Kuma’s most ambitious project at the moment is undeniably the Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Stadium, a 68,000-seat wooden lattice structure that is still under construction. Kuma and Associates’ scheme was selected after the original winning design — by the late Zaha Hadid — was abandoned due to budgetary concerns.
Earlier this year, Kuma was in London for the city’s annual Festival of Architecture, where he gave a talk about the role of memory in his practice at the ROCA London Gallery. Ahead of the lecture, we took a stroll with Kuma along London’s River Thames to learn more about his practice and point of view.

‘I am broken’: A year on and still no justice for Grenfell fire victims

For Miguel Alves, it doesn’t feel like it was a year ago that a fire gutted his London home and reduced much of it to ashes — it feels a lot longer than that.

Time has passed at a painfully slow pace for the 50-year-old chauffeur, who moved to London from Portugal. And he isn’t looking forward to Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people and left a community homeless and heartbroken.
“That year it was so emotional all year round, but now is the worst time, because we have to remember everything,” Alves told CNN in a temporary flat, where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.
“In one year, there’s been such a lot of things to deal with. It looks like two or three years.”
Time is supposed to heal wounds, but for many Grenfell survivors and victims’ relatives, the anniversary is a reminder of just how little has been put right over the past year.
Alves knows he is one of the luckier ones. He and his wife were returning home from dinner in the early hours of June 14 last year, and as they pushed number 13 in the elevator to get to their apartment, someone else ran in as the doors were closing and pushed the button for the fourth floor.
It was there, low down in the 24-story building, that the fire had broken out, and it was during that quick stop that Alves and his wife saw and smelled the early signs of the blaze.
Alves raced upstairs to get his daughter out of bed, and knocked on his neighbors’ doors to warn them.
The Alves family, along with a former Grenfell neighbor, watch a documentary about the fire, in the kitchen of the their temporary home in Kensington.