AS many as 150 Europe-bound migrants were missing and feared drowned after the boats they were travelling in capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya, the coast guard and the UN refugee agency said. Ayoub Gassim, a spokesman for Libya’s coast guard, said two boats carrying around 300 migrants capsized around 75 miles east of the capital, Tripoli.

Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the UN refugee agency, said 147 had been saved, adding: “We estimate that 150 migrants are potentially missing and died at sea.”

Traffickers and armed groups have exploited Libya’s chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Muammar Gaddafi, and have been implicated in widespread abuses of migrants, including torture and abduction for ransom.

MEANWHILE, Nissan is slashing 12,500 jobs – or about 9% of its global workforce – in an effort to cut costs and achieve a turnaround amid tumbling profits. The Japan-based car company reported the job cuts alongside its first quarter earnings statement.

Global vehicle sales fell 6% in April-June, compared to the same period the year before. Nissan said it will cut global production capacity by 10% and reduce model line-ups by at least 10%. It is struggling to restore its brand image and revive growth following the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn in November for alleged financial misconduct. He says he is innocent. He is awaiting trial in Japan.

ELSEWHERE, the 76th Venice Film Festival in Italy will feature three Netflix productions alongside Hollywood titles, embracing the streaming giant again after the Cannes Film Festival excluded it for a second year in a row. Among Venice’s 21 competition titles is the Netflix-produced Panama Papers drama The Laundromat, starring Meryl Streep and Antonio Banderas. Netflix will also present Marriage Story and The King, with the latter debuting out of competition. The world’s oldest film festival also features Hollywood productions such as Joker with Joaquin Phoenix in the comic book classic role J’accuse by director Roman Polanski, a controversial figure in the #MeToo era. The festival runs from August 29 to September 7.

AND finally, North Korea fired a new type of short-range ballistic missile in two launches into the sea, according to South Korean officials.

They were North Korea’s first weapons launches in more than two months and appeared to be a pressuring tactic as Pyongyang and Washington struggle to restart nuclear negotiations.

The South’s joint chiefs of staff said the missiles were fired from near the eastern coastal town of Wonsan and flew about 270 miles and 430 miles respectively.