In Britain, as I write, a very famous baby is celebrating his first birthday; in Messina, as I write, arrangements are being made for the burial of a migrant baby of the same age who was found dead on arrival in the port.
Having been advised of a migrant boat in difficulty by a satellite phone SOS call at 4 am on Saturday, the Rome Coast Guard alerted a Danish tanker bound for Tunisia and the Coast Guard in Lampedusa. The tanker was first to arrive on the scene, between Libya and Malta, and immediately set about rescuing the passengers from the inadequate fishing boat. Some, however, drowned during the transfer.
But worse was to be discovered: 29 poor souls are known to have been asphyxiated by fumes in the hold, which they were prevented from leaving by the people traffickers and the 581 survivors who arrived at Messina on Sunday are saying that more than 60 people were killed at random by the traffickers; they were allegedly kicked, stabbed and their bodies thrown into the sea. It is estimated that the boat could have been carrying up to 800 people and that there are 180 dead but neither figure can be confirmed.
It has also been revealed that the people traffickers were operating a two-tier fare system, with migrants of Arab origin paying $1,000 - $2,000 each for the journey and those of African origin paying $250 - $500.
Five men have now been arrested by Sicilian police on suspicion of mass murder.
The world watches Gaza, the world watches Ukraine and the world watches the little prince but no one outside Italy, it seems, is watching the Mediterranean.