Joanna Kakissis

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Stuck on a stalled motorized inflatable raft in the open sea, 15-year-old Tsedal began to panic.

She and the other passengers, more than 60 migrants from the African countries of Eritrea and Sudan, had set off from neighboring Libya, where their lives had become unbearable. They were trying to cross more than 100 miles of the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Repeated distress calls brought no help. The passengers were suffering from dehydration and sunstroke. Two babies on board cried with such anguish that Tsedal could feel their wails deep in her chest.

The European Union began a mass vaccination campaign on Sunday to eventually inoculate some 450 million people in 27 member-states against COVID-19.

Most European leaders are congratulating Joe Biden on Saturday for winning the U.S. presidency. Not Janez Jansa, prime minister of Slovenia, the alpine country in Eastern Europe where Melania Trump was born and raised.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, who fought in his country's 1998-1999 war for independence from Serbia, has abruptly resigned after a Hague-based special court confirmed that he's been indicted on war crimes charges.

Speaking at a news conference in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, Thaci said he was stepping down "to protect the integrity of the state."

"I resign as of today," he told reporters on Thursday, urging calm and "political and civic unity."

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A Greek court has sentenced Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of the far right anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, to 13 years in prison. Michaloliakos and others from Golden Dawn were found guilty last week of being part of a criminal organization that ordered or encouraged violence.

Other leaders received sentences ranging from five to 13 years on Wednesday. The court will decide soon if any of the sentences will be suspended.

The pastel-painted taverns, cafes and hotels that line the small port in the remote Greek island of Kastellorizo are usually bustling this time of year with tourists, including hundreds of day-trippers from Turkey — which is just a 10-minute speedboat ride away.

This year, the port is quiet, and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This stunning, craggy isle surrounded by the deep-blue Aegean Sea has become a pawn in a dispute between Greece and Turkey — NATO allies and longtime frenemies — over maritime borders and offshore gas and oil exploration rights.

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