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Sixteen boats arrived in less than 24 hours since Saturday night, Palermo-based coast guard official Claudia Viccica said. Many of the migrants were crammed onto aging fishing boats or motorized dinghies after reportedly paying hundreds of dollars to smugglers for the trip across the Mediterranean.

The Tunisians are fleeing confusion after street protests and the Jan. 14 ouster of their longtime autocratic president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.


New military chief takes over in crisis

JERUSALEM | Israel on Sunday named Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz as its military chief after months of bitter infighting between top generals, as the country faces a new political landscape in the Middle East.

Maj. Gen. Gantz, 51, replaces Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, whose term as chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces ends on Monday.

“Gen. Benny Gantz is an excellent officer and an experienced commander,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Cabinet unanimously approved his appointment.

Mr. Netanyahu said he hoped Maj. Gen. Gantz would help heal the rifts in the military, especially at a time of uncertainty in the Middle East.