MOROCCO

Up to 34 migrants die when boat sinks

A Spanish nonprofit group said 34 migrants were feared dead after their group waited for more than 36 hours to be rescued from a semi-sunken boat in waters off Morocco. The Moroccan Interior Ministry said Tuesday 11 bodies were recovered and the boat’s teenage skipper had been detained.

The migrants continuously pleaded for help from Spanish and Moroccan authorities for at least 12 hours Sunday before their mobile phones lost power, Walking Borders founder Helena Maleno said.

The Morocco-based Spanish activist said she alerted Spain’s maritime rescue service about the sinking dinghy and its approximate location and that 26 survivors, all from sub-Saharan African countries, were brought ashore 1½ days later in the northern Moroccan town of Nador.

Russia

Syria takes delivery of air-defense systems

MOSCOW — Russia has completed the delivery of S-300 air-defense systems to Syria, the Russian defense minister said.

Sergei Shoigu said in televised remarks Tuesday that Russia has delivered four S-300 launchers, along with radars and support vehicles. Shoigu said it will take three months to train Syrian personnel to operate the system.

Russia announced the S-300 delivery to Syria after the Sept. 17 downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli air strike, a friendly fire incident that stoked regional tensions.

Ukraine

Anthrax suspected

of sickening 5 people

Ukraine’s Health Ministry says five people have been hospitalized with suspected anthrax and are thought to have contracted the disease while slaughtering cattle.

The ministry said in a statement Tuesday that the patients slaughtered cattle in the village of Minialivka, in the southern Odessa region. It said the village was put under quarantine and medical teams were checking if other local residents came into contract with the infected cattle.

Anthrax spores can survive for a long time in soil and endanger grazing livestock. Ukrainian officials have reported a few cases of anthrax in several regions over the past decade.

Iraq

Veteran politician

picked to form gov’t

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s new president has tasked veteran Shiite politician Adel Abdul-Mahdi with forming a new government nearly five months after national elections were held, state TV reported late Tuesday.

Abdul-Mahdi is an independent who previously served as vice president, oil minister and finance minister. He is not allied with either of the two Shiite-led blocs that each claim victory after May’s elections, in which no party won an outright majority.

Wire reports