A look at the latest developments in Europe's migrant crisis

AP News
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Posted: Aug 27, 2015 12:50 PM
A look at the latest developments in Europe's migrant crisis

Record numbers of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea are trying to reach Europe this year, despite the risks of perilous sea crossings and little humanitarian assistance. Here are the latest developments Thursday:

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BODIES FOUND IN AUSTRIA: Police say that at least 20 and possibly as many as 50 migrants were found dead in a chicken truck parked on the side of the main road from Budapest, Hungary, to Vienna. The bodies were so badly decomposed that police couldn't tell exactly how many there were or how long they'd been there.

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WESTERN BALKAN LEADERS MEET: News of the bodies found in the truck came as leaders from the Western Balkans nations were meeting to discuss ways of finding a common European answer to the migrant influx.

"Never before in history have so many people fled their homes to escape war, violence and persecution," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. "And given the large number of unresolved conflicts in our neighborhood, the stream of refugees seeking protection in Europe will not abate in the foreseeable future, I am afraid."

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MORE MIGRANTS MOVING THROUGH HUNGARY: Record numbers of migrants are arriving in Hungary across its southern border with Serbia, many of them carrying babies, marching down train tracks and crawling under spools of razor wire. Police said they detained 3,241 migrants on Wednesday, over 700 more than a day earlier and the highest number in a single day so far. Many are Syrians fleeing war who don't plan to stay in Hungary, but rather hope to move on to other European Union countries.

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MIGRANTS USING BIKES TO GET TO NORWAY: Police in the far northeastern part of Norway say migrants, mainly from Syria, are crossing from Russia on bicycles because the sole border crossing is for drivers only, not for pedestrians. Hans Moellebakken, police chief in Kirkenes, about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) northeast of Oslo, says the number of migrants crossing has risen from a dozen last year to 140 so far this year.

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BRITAIN MIGRATION ON THE RISE: Official figures show Britain gained a record 329,000 people through migration in the year to March 31 — a headache for Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's government, which aims to reduce net migration to below 100,000. The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that 636,000 people arrived during the 12 months and 307,000 left. There were 25,771 asylum applications in the 12 months to June 2015, the highest 12-month figure since 2009.

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DENMARK ASYLUM CENTER VANDALIZED: Police say a minivan belonging to an asylum center in northern Denmark was set on fire and graffiti was sprayed on the shelter's garage doors saying "this is the last warning," along with a swastika and the letters DNSB, for Denmark's National Socialist movement. Police say it was the third time this year that the asylum center had been vandalized with an apparent political motive.

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FACEBOOK: Germany's justice minister says he wants Facebook to delete racist content faster amid a surge in anti-migrant pages and comments on the social networking site. Heiko Maas has invited Facebook representatives to a meeting to discuss ways in which the company can react sooner when it's alerted to illegal content. Facebook says it takes Maas' concerns "very seriously," but didn't immediately confirm that it will meet with him.

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A previous version of this story has been corrected to show that the quote beginning "Never before in history ..." should be attributed to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier instead of EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.