- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

GENEVA (AP) - The Latest on Europe’s migration crisis (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The mayor of Paris has announced plans to create a center to take in migrants with no place to go, saying she wants the French capital to welcome those escaping war and poverty in dignity.

The center will be located in northern Paris where hundreds of arriving migrants without a place to go often camp near subway stations. Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the exact site would be announced shortly.

The Socialist mayor said several times she hopes the state will be a “partner” in the project, which she said must conform to international norms for refugees.

She said Parisians have a humane duty to help the have-not travelers, adding that she’s confident “the Paris population will be at our side.”

Her plan to open a center for homeless in the Bois du Boulogne beside a chic neighborhood caused a ruckus.


4:55 p.m.

Greek authorities say an 18-year-old man has been injured during a fight between migrants in a makeshift camp in the country’s main port of Piraeus, near Athens.

The coast guard said Tuesday the migrant was taken to hospital with apparently non-life-threatening injuries, and four other migrants were detained on suspicion of involvement in the fight. No further details were available.

Earlier Tuesday, police in northern Greece said a Pakistani man was taken to hospital after being shot at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees near the country’s border with Macedonia.

And four Syrian men were hospitalized with minor injuries after a fight at an official shelter for migrants in northern Greece.

More than 50,000 migrants and refugees remain stranded in Greece following European border closures earlier this year.


4:45 p.m.

Hungary’s foreign minister says the European Union must protect its borders or “Europe is not going to be able to overcome” the challenge of migration.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijarto says Hungary will continue to “protect her own borders,” and that solidarity within the EU means “you comply with international regulations and that you stop the flow of illegal migration.”

He spoke Tuesday during a visit to Denmark.

Hungary has set up three transit zones after the country greatly stemmed the flow of migrants toward Western Europe with razor-wire fences on its borders with Serbia and Croatia. Denmark has stepped up controls on its southern borders with Germany.


4:05 p.m.

A 25-year-old firefighter has confessed to an arson attack on a German home for asylum-seekers, saying he thought of all refugees as criminals.

The man told the Hagen state court, as his trial for attempted murder opened Tuesday, that he set fire to gasoline in the attic of the home in October over fears about burglaries, thefts, violent crimes and sexual attacks, the dpa news agency reported.

The fire only smoldered and none of the seven Syrian refugees living in the home were harmed.

The firefighter, whose name wasn’t released in line with German privacy laws, said it was never his intention to harm anyone and that now he finds asylum seekers “awfully nice.”

No pleas are entered in the German system and confessions can help mitigate sentences.


3:45 p.m.

The International Organization for Migration says at least 1,000 people have died or are missing and presumed dead following a string of deadly incidents in the Mediterranean Sea over the last week.

The updated IOM tally on Tuesday was drawn from accounts from survivors who were saved at sea or landed in Italy in recent days.

Figures from aid groups and Italian police had on Sunday counted at least 700 deaths from three shipwrecks over three straight days, but IOM pointed to other smaller incidents as well as more precise figures following interviews with survivors.

The IOM says 62 people were confirmed dead and another 971 were missing and presumed dead in nine incidents on the central Mediterranean route between Libya and Italy since May 25.


1:45 p.m.

Czech police say they have broken up an international criminal network that was producing and distributing forged Lithuanian documents for migrants in European Union countries.

Police spokesman Pavel Hantak says 10 suspects from former Soviet republics were arrested across the Czech Republic. Five of them were from Ukraine but he didn’t specify the nationality of the others.

In a statement on Tuesday, Hantak said the forged documents - passports, IDs and driving licenses - were transported by the group from Lithuania, where they were produced, to the Czech Republic and other EU countries.

Hantak didn’t given details about the migrants, saying only that they didn’t qualify to stay in the EU.

He says seven migrants using such forged documents were arrested in the Czech Republic.


1:30 p.m.

Prosecutors in Sicily have announced the arrests of 16 suspected smugglers who were aboard a boat carrying nearly 900 migrants that was rescued without incident over the weekend.

Authorities said Tuesday migrants identified the suspects during more than 24-hours of questioning. One was identified as the navigator and the others as aides who helped keep order and fuel the engine.

Prosecutor Michelangelo Patane said passengers also recounted that only the smugglers were given life jackets, and that they paid between 500 and 1000 euros ($556 and $1,112) to take the risky voyage. Many said they were previously held for four to six weeks in houses in Libya and were fed only once a day.


1:10 p.m.

Police in northern Greece say a Pakistani man is being treated in hospital after being shot at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees near the border with Macedonia.

The 19-year-old man, whose injury was described as not life-threatening, was hospitalized early Tuesday and told police he had been attacked by another Pakistani migrant who hasn’t been identified, authorities said.

About 300 people are staying at the makeshift camp that sprung up near the border last week after the government cleared a huge settlement in the area.

Also Tuesday, four Syrian men were hospitalized with minor injuries after a fight broke out at a government shelter for migrants in northern Greece.

More than 50,000 migrants and refugees remain stranded in Greece following European border closures earlier this year.


12:25 p.m.

Police in the southwest German city of Darmstadt say they are investigating allegations that young women were groped during a weekend music festival and have arrested three asylum-seekers from Pakistan.

The allegations from 18 women that they were surrounded by groups of men and groped are reminiscent of similar attacks on a much greater scale in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, which were blamed largely on foreigners. Those attacks prompted the government to tighten laws governing foreigners committing crimes.

Darmstadt police told the dpa news agency Tuesday that they had arrested three Pakistani asylum-seekers, ranging in age from 28 to 31, and were searching for two to three more believed to have been involved in the Saturday night incidents.

Some 400,000 people attended the four-day open-air music festival.


12:10 p.m.

The U.N. refugee agency says survivors’ accounts indicate that shipwrecks and capsized boats have claimed at least 880 lives over the last week in the Mediterranean.

UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said Tuesday this year is proving to be “particularly deadly” on the Mediterranean, with some 2,510 lives lost compared to 1,855 in the same span a year ago.

Authorities and international organizations had previously reported some 700 migrants and refugees had perished in Mediterranean shipwrecks over three days last week, the deadliest known tally in over a year.

Spindler reiterated UNHCR’s appeal to the European Union to allow for more legal pathways for refugees to reach Europe, and said it was “shameful” that the bloc had resettled fewer than 2,000 people under a plan announced last year to resettle 160,000.

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