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Europe News

UN chief urges stronger response to migration tragedies

New York - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed Friday to governments to step up their response to Europe's migrant crisis following more drownings at sea and the discovery of migrant bodies in an abandoned truck in Austria.

Migrant drama hits European screens in film 'Mediterranea'

Paris - As migrant tragedies overflow in the news cycle, especially in Europe, a new movie opening in France puts a human -- and artistic -- face on the phenomenon up on the big screen.

Nine hours battling death at sea off the Libyan coast

Waddan - Pakistani teenager Shefaz Hamza spent nine hours at sea clinging to the wreckage of a migrant boat that sank off Libya. By the time the coast guard arrived his mother and young sister were dead.

European states to create anti-trafficking taskforce

Ginebra - Switzerland, Germany and Italy are preparing to launch a joint taskforce to detect and dismantle networks smuggling refugees and migrants into Europe, Swiss authorities said on Friday.

Hungary mulls stiff penalties for border jumpers, people smugglers

Budapest - Hungary moved Friday to stiffen penalties for illegal border crossing in a new bid to deter the wave of migrants surging into the country in record numbers.

German court reinstates ban on demos in flashpoint refugee town

Heidenau - A German court on Friday reinstated a ban on rallies in an eastern town hit by violent anti-migrant protests, overturning an earlier decision that found the restriction to be "illegal".

Italy arrests ten traffickers over migrant boat deaths

Rome - Italian authorities said Friday they had arrested ten suspected people smugglers in connection with the deaths by asphyxiation of 52 people who had been forced to remain in the virtually airless hold of an overcrowded migrant boat.

Hungary razor wire no hurdle for hardened migrants

R - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vaunted the razor-wire fence being laid along the Serbian border as the only answer to stop tens of thousands of migrants from getting in.

Berlin pledges police backup to refugee flashpoint town

Heidenau - Berlin pledged Friday to send police reinforcements to the eastern German town hit by violent anti-migrant protests, as a court ruled that a ban imposed on rallies there over fears of new clashes was "clearly illegal".

Aid-starved Syria refugees desert Mideast for Europe

Amman - After escaping a devastating war, frustrated Syrian refugees in aid-starved neighbouring states say they must now choose between joining an exodus to Europe or "returning home to die".

Libya shipwreck toll hits 76, UN fears 200 dead

Zawia - At least 76 people have died after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants and refugees sank off the coast of Libya, a spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent said Friday.

Dead Austria migrants likely Syrians, include four children

Vienna - The 71 bodies found in an abandoned truck on an Austrian motorway were believed to be those of Syrian migrants and included a toddler and three young boys, Austrian police said Friday.

Mediterranean migrant crossings top 300,000 in 2015: UN

Ginebra - The number of refugees and migrants risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean to Europe has soared past 300,000 this year, and some 2,500 more have died trying, the UN said Friday.

German town scraps refugee party as police unable to ensure safety

Berlin - German authorities cancelled Friday a party to welcome refugees in the town of Heidenau, recently the scene of violent far-right protests, saying the public's safety could not be guaranteed due to a shortage of police.

Four arrested over Austria truck tragedy

Vienna - Hungary said Friday it has arrested four people over the discovery of 71 decomposing bodies in an abandoned truck in Austria, another grim tragedy involving migrants desperately seeking refuge in Europe.

'I stopped counting': Doctor on discovering migrant boat dead

Rome - Stiff lifeless bodies submerged in water -- it's a sight Canadian doctor Simon Bryant won't soon forget after he found dozens of dead migrants in the hold of a boat off Libya.

Another 1,400 migrants rescued off Libya, 52 found dead

Rome - A Swedish coastguard ship docked at the Sicilian port of Palermo on Thursday carrying more than 570 migrants and the bodies of 52 people, officials said.

Stench of death as Austria finds truck loaded with migrant bodies

Parndorf - When Austrian police opened the back of an abandoned lorry parked on the side of a motorway on Thursday morning, their eyes took in "an atrocious sight".

On Lesbos island, tourist comforts clash with migrant needs

Mytil - On the Greek island of Lesbos, a record influx of desperate migrants has left the tourist sector struggling to help out while still trying to keep its normal clientele.

What's in a name? The debate over labelling migrants and refugees

Paris - Are they "migrants" or "refugees"? "Clandestini" or "illegals"? Deciding how to label the huge numbers of people moving around the globe has proved a thorny and politically-loaded question for governments and the media.

At least 20 migrants found dead in truck on Austria highway

Vienna - At least 20 migrants have been found dead inside a truck on a highway in Austria, police said Thursday, the latest tragedy involving people desperately trying to reach Europe.

UK net migration hits record level over 12 months

London - Net migration to Britain has hit record levels, official figures showed Thursday, with the difference between migrants leaving and arriving in Britain rising to around 329,000 in the year to March.

Refugee wave into hotspot Hungary hits new record high

R - As Hungary scrambles to ramp up defences on its border with Serbia, refugees continued to surge into the country in record numbers, police figures confirmed Thursday.

Budapest train stations morph into makeshift refugee camps

Budapest - As Europe's migrant crisis hits Hungary with full force, Budapest's train stations have begun to resemble refugee camps, with families fleeing war and hardship scattered about on blankets, with babies in their midst.

Recalling their own war, Belgraders embrace Syrian refugees

Belgrade - Gordan Paunovic couldn't sleep the night after he met a Syrian refugee family in a Belgrade park, where hundreds of migrants pause for a rest before continuing their journey towards EU.

Merkel says migrant crisis a 'huge challenge' for Balkans

Vienna - Western Balkan countries are facing "huge challenges" due to the tide of migrants trying to reach the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Op-Ed: A look at the worst refugee crisis since World War II

Italy - With the civil war in Syria, Iraq and instability in parts of Middle East and Africa showing no signs of closure, Europe is groping for answers to one of the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Governments must do 'much more' to end migrant crisis: UN chief

Paris - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged countries to show compassion and do "much more" to end the escalating migration crisis.

Hungary looks to use army in migrant crisis

Budapest - Hungary's parliament could approve next week deploying troops to stem the flow of "increasingly aggressive" migrants crossing from Serbia, under ruling party proposals announced Wednesday.

At least 55 dead in new Mediterranean migrant tragedies

Rome - At least 55 dead bodies were discovered Wednesday on three overcrowded migrant boats in the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said.
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