The Latest: 3 Pakistanis injured in car crash in Macedonia

AP News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2016 1:34 PM
The Latest: 3 Pakistanis injured in car crash in Macedonia

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The latest developments as tens of thousands of people flee to Europe in search of asylum. All times local.

7:30 p.m.

Police in Macedonia say three migrants from Pakistan have been hospitalized near the country's border with Greece after a car they were traveling in overturned.

The incident occurred Monday near the border town of Gevgelija, police said. The driver fled; no details were given by authorities on the condition of the injured migrants.

Macedonia toughened entry criteria in November for migrants seeking passage through the country en route to northern Europe as the continent grappled with its worst refugee crisis since World War II.

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5:35 p.m.

A Sudanese man who was arrested after walking through the 31-mile (50-kilometer) Channel Tunnel from France to England has been granted asylum in Britain.

Police detained Abdul Rahman Haroun in August near the British end of the tunnel at Folkestone in southeastern England. He was charged with "obstructing a railway carriage or engine" under the Malicious Damage Act.

Haroun's caseworker, Sadie Castle of law firm Kent Defence, said the government granted him asylum on Dec. 24. At a court hearing Monday, a lawyer said prosecutors were considering whether to drop the charge in light of the decision.

Forty-year-old Haroun was released on bail until a Jan. 18 court hearing.

Thousands of migrants have tried to reach Britain on trucks and freight trains through the undersea tunnel in the past year.

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4:10 p.m.

The governor of Germany's northernmost state says he regrets Denmark's decision to tighten border controls but is welcoming the fact that it will only be carrying out spot checks.

Schleswig-Holstein governor Torsten Albig said Monday that "the checks could encroach on our good cohabitation in the German-Danish border region and in particular burden commuters." His state is the only one in Germany that has a land border with Denmark and one of two from which ferries set off for Scandinavia.

Albig said the state has appealed to Denmark to apply the measure as briefly as possible to minimize damage.

Albig acknowledged in an interview with German daily Die Welt last month that more than 60,000 migrants likely had been allowed to travel unregistered through the state to Scandinavia during 2015.

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3:35 p.m.

Hungary's national police say dozens of officers have been sent to Macedonia to help manage the flow of migrants on its border with Greece.

The 31 officers — who left Monday from Budapest, the Hungarian capital, in several vans and other police vehicles equipped with heat sensors — will be deployed until Feb. 4 to assist their Macedonian colleagues.

Over 391,000 migrants reached Hungary in 2015, nearly all passing through on their way to Germany and other destinations further west. The flow of people practically stopped after Hungary built fences on its borders with Serbia and Croatia by mid-October, forcing migrants to take longer routes to the richer EU countries.

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1:55 p.m.

Germany says Europe's system of passport-free travel across borders is in danger following Denmark's decision to step up controls on its southern frontier with Germany.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer says freedom of movement across most European Union countries is "perhaps one of the greatest achievements in the last 60 years."

Schaefer told reporters in Berlin on Monday that the Schengen system "is very important, but it's in danger due to the flow of refugees."

He echoed other German officials' calls for a pan-European agreement on how to control the movement of migrants across borders.

Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth said of the Danish movement that "it will have to be watched very carefully whether and how this affects migration northward from Germany."

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1:05 p.m.

The German government is underlining the need for European solutions to the migrant crisis following Denmark's decision to step up controls on its southern border with Germany.

German officials didn't comment directly Monday on the Danish decision, but Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen had spoken with the German leader.

Germany introduced border controls of its own on the Austrian frontier in mid-September and Seibert said those have been successful — "but it is clear to all of us in Europe ... that we need an overall European solution. The solution won't be found at national borders between country A and country B."

He renewed calls for "effective protection of our EU external borders."

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12:40 p.m.

Czech President Milos Zeman, who is known for his anti-Islam rhetoric, says Egyptian fundamentalist group Muslim Brotherhood is likely to blame for the Europe migrant crisis.

Egypt's government has branded the group a terrorist organization and outlawed it in 2013 after the military overthrew elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Zeman previously called the influx of the migrants who are fleeing war and poverty an "organized invasion" and in a Monday interview with Czech public radio he said: "I think that this invasion is organized by the Muslim Brotherhood."

Zeman says information he has received from the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Morocco that Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella organization for Islamic militants and that it wants to rule "the entire world" contributed to his conclusion.

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12:15 p.m.

Denmark has stepped up border controls at its southern boundary with Germany to stem the flow of migrants.

The move, announced Monday by Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, comes just hours after Sweden introduced ID checks for all passengers traveling by train from Denmark to Sweden.