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Italy court rules Concordia captain unfit for command

Francesco Schettino has shown little resilience in performing command functions , court says Italy's top appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, was unfit to command the cruise liner which ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January, causing at least 30 deaths.In a written explanation of its decision to maintain a house arrest order against Schettino, the Court of Cassation said he had shown "little resilience in performing command functions or in handling responsibility for the safety of persons under his care."Schettino has been accused of wrecking the 114,500 metric tons (126,215 tons) liner by bringing it too close to shore, where a rocky ledge tore a gash in its side and made it keel over and sink.Investigators also accuse Schettino of delaying evacuation and losing control of the operation, during which he abandoned ship before all 4,200 passengers and crew had been taken off the vessel.He has been charged with multiple manslaughter, causing the accident and abandoning ship prematurely. A pre-trial hearing was held in Grosseto, near Florence, in March.The Court of Cassation said Schettino had shown himself unable to manage a crisis and to ensure the ...

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Fishermen deaths: Italian Govt offers compensation to victims’ families

While guarding Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie, they mistook the fishermen for pirates The Italian government has offered a compensation of Rs. 1 crore to the families of the two Indian fishermen allegedly shot dead by two Italian marines on February 15. Sources say the Italian government representatives and victims' families are drafting an agreement to be presented before the Kerala High Court today.Italy's Defence Secretary also met with the families and the shipping company to plan an out-of-court settlement.The two Italian marines, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi, were arrested for allegedly gunning down two Indian fishermen off Kollam coast on February 15. They were guarding Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie when they allegedly mistook the fishermen - Ajesh Binki, 25, from Tamil Nadu and Jelestine, 45, from Kerala - for Somalian pirates and fired at them.Mr Massimillano and Mr Girone, the two accused Italian marines, were booked for murder and arrested on February 20, their remand since extended till April 30 by a court in Kollam.Source: NDTV

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Italy Fines 15 Shipping Agents for Price Fixing

More than $5.3 million for fixing prices in the Port of Genoa Italy's antitrust authority fined 15 liner shipping agents and two trade associations a total of more than $5.3 million for fixing prices in the Port of Genoa.The shipping agents participated in a secret cartel that set prices for services, including issuing bills of lading for exports and delivery orders for imports, from February 2004 through December 2009, the authority, AGCM, said.Maersk Italia, Maersk Line's Italian unit, participated in the price fixing, but was not fined because it provided the initial information that enabled the authority to expose the cartel. Hapag-Lloyd Italy's fine was halved to $322,000 because it provided additional information about the cartel's activities.The cartel exerted "a significant impact on the market for maritime transport," according to AGCM. While most of its members were based in Genoa, their fixed prices acted as a reference for transactions in other Italian ports, including Gioia Tauro, the container transshipment hub, and La Spezia.French carrier CMA CGM attracted the biggest fine of $1.18 million followed by China's Coscon at $965,000 and "K" Line of Japan, $575,000. Other cartel members included APL, Yang Ming and Zim Integrated Shipping Services, and the two ...

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EU calls for rules on ship guards

After Italy-India diplomatic spat The European Union called on Tuesday for international rules on the use of armed guards aboard ships amid a diplomatic spat between Italy and India over two Italian marines jailed in the south Asian country.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton discussed the issue with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Brussels after the two oil tanker guards allegedly killed two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates last month."She underlined the need to put this incident into the broader context of international co-operation on counter-piracy and more specifically on the issue of regulating the protection aboard ships," her office said in a statement.Several nations have allowed shipping companies to hire armed guards to protect their ships sailing through pirate-infested waters off the Horn of Africa, stirring a debate about their use.The two Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, have been imprisoned in India's southern state of Kerala pending a murder investigation despite pressure from Italy for them to be handed over to Rome for prosecution.Italy argues India does not have jurisdiction in the case as it involved an Italian-flagged vessel and occurred in international waters near India.India disputes this, saying the incident happened in waters under ...

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Italy warns India about ship firing detentions

India detains two Italian marines who killed two Indian fishermen at sea Italy warned India on Wednesday that it was creating a "dangerous" precedent by detaining two Italian marines who were on an anti-piracy mission when they allegedly killed two Indian fishermen at sea.Premier Mario Monti relayed the warning during a telephone call with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh as the diplomatic standoff reached the highest levels of government as well as the halls of the European Union.According to a statement from Monti's office, Singh agreed to transfer the marines from prison to somewhere "adequate to their status."The marines, who were providing anti-piracy security aboard a cargo ship, are accused of shooting the fishermen Feb. 15 after mistaking them for pirates off India's southwest coast.A court in the southern state of Kerala on Monday ordered them jailed for another two weeks while officials investigate.New Delhi says the case should be tried in India because the killings occurred on an Indian boat. Rome says the shooting took place in international waters and the case should be handled in Italy.Italy says the presence of military personnel aboard the cargo ship is governed by an Italian law conforming to UN anti-piracy resolutions, and ...

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Change in mooring Practices in Italy

UK P&I Club - Loss prevention information The UK P&I Club has been advised of changes in mooring practices with regard to double banking at Torrevaldaliga Nord quay in the Port of Civitavecchia. It is now provided that the Local Association of Moorers (Gruppo Ormeggiatori) is in charge of checking the safety of mooring ropes of double banked vessels every 4 hours. The details of these changes are given as follows:New text of article 10 of order n. 29/10 of Port Authority of Civitavecchia - Quay Torrevaldaliga NordArt. 10 - Double Banking. Further to assessment and forecast of weather conditions, Port Authority may authorize the contemporary double banking of one multipurpose vessel and one panamax vessel.In order to guarantee safety of mooring/unmooring manoeuvres, contemporary mooring of several multipurpose and post-panamax is not allowed.In case of double banking as per previous paragraph one, if not provided to the contrary by the Port Authority of Civitavecchia, the Gruppo Ormeggiatori shall control the mooring conditions of the two units by the means of regular inspections (every 4 hours); these inspections shall regard, in particular, the crossing of the panamax vessel's stern mooring ropes with the multipurpose vessel's bow mooring ropes; the outcome of ...

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Divers In Italy Discover Eight More Bodies

Costa Concordia tragedy updates Divers searching the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship off a Tuscan island found eight bodies Wednesday on one of the passenger decks, including that of a missing 5-year-old Italian girl, authorities said.Italy's national civil protection agency, which is monitoring the operation off a Tuscan island, said three of the bodies were recovered a few hours after being spotted by fire department divers. It said they are those of a woman, a girl and a man. Because of worsening weather, the divers were not able to immediately remove the other five bodies.The bodies were being transferred to a hospital on the mainland for identification, a process which could take days. Before Wednesday's development, 15 people were listed as missing, but only one of them was a child, Dayana Arlotti. The 5-year-old girl was on the Mediterranean cruise with her father and his girlfriend. The girlfriend survived. The father was among the missing.Including the missing - who are presumed dead - and bodies already recovered, the death toll in the accident stands at 32.Dayana's father, Williams, had a history of health problems, and was said by family to be traveling to celebrate a new lease on life - ...

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Enrica Lexie: Italy wants diplomatic resolution

India insists on the legal process in the case of fishermen being killed Even as India is insisting that the legal process has to be followed scrupulously in the case of fishermen killing by two Italian marines on board vessel Enrica Lexie recently, Italy wants a more political resolution to the matter.It has rushed in Under Secretary Staffan De Mistura who will arrive here on Wednesday to discuss the turn of the events regarding the arrest of the two Italian marines. De Mistura will "continue on a political level the action so far carried out by a delegation of experts from the Italian Foreign, Defence and Justice Ministries", a statement by the Italian Foreign Ministry said.Italy also claimed that the local Indian police had taken "coercive" and "unilateral" action in taking the two marines in custody and removing them from their ship. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi too will arrive next week on Tuesday.Source: IBN Live

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Shipping minister says Italian ship firing ‘unfortunate, unacceptable’

Following the killing of the two fishermen Terming as "unfortunate" the killing of two Indian fishermen by gun shots from an Italian ship, shipping minister G K Vasan said appropriate punishment should be given to the guilty."It is a very unfortunate incident. Italian arm guards fired (at) Indian fishermen. This is not acceptable," Vasan told reporters here, when asked to comment on the incident near Kerala.Observing that Director General, Shipping, has ordered an enquiry into the incident, he said it was internationally well-known that when there is a piracy attack, certain protocol should be followed."It was not followed here. Enquiry will reveal (what happened). Appropriate punishment should be given (to those guilty) as per the law of the land," he said.Vasan said there was a suspicion as to why the Italian ship did not report the incident on time. "I am sure proceedings will take place. There is no pressure from Italy. Our fishermen lives are very important".Two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki (25) and Jalastein (45), were killed on February 15 off the Kollam coast near Kerala when armed guards of Italian ship 'Enrica Lexie' fired at their boat.The preliminary assessment of the marine authorities is that the armed guards ...

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India questions Italian ship crew over fishermen’s deaths

The shooting incident has heightened diplomatic tensions between the two countries Indian police and coastguards are questioning the captain and crew of an Italian cargo ship that fired at an Indian trawler, killing two fishermen.Reports say the Italians mistook the Indian fishing boat for a pirate vessel on Wednesday evening.Indian Defence Minister AK Antony has described the killings as "very serious" and an "unfortunate incident".The Italian ambassador in Delhi was summoned by the foreign ministry on Thursday over the shooting.Indian officials say they are surprised at the mistake and that the fishermen did nothing to threaten the Italian ship.Following the shootout, the Indian coast guard sent two boats and an aircraft to intercept the ship.The Kerala state government has authorised a payment of 500,000 rupees ($10,125; 6,450) each to the dead fishermen's families.'No weapons'The Italian ship, identified as the MV Enrica Lexie, fired at the fishermen in waters off India's southern state of Kerala, the Indian navy said in a statement.Officials said the vessel was bound from Singapore to Egypt, with a crew of 19 Indians.The Italians say the crew members fired in self-defence - after initially firing warning shots - because they feared their vessel was about to be ...

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