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The Latest: Hungary: Refugees are biggest crisis the 28-nation European Union has ever faced

Migrants leave from a train as they arrive at the train station in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Germany is a preferred destination for migrants and has seen more arrivals than any other European Union country. About 577,000 people seeking asylum came to Germany from January to the end of September this year, authorities say. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Migrants leave from a train as they arrive at the train station in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Germany is a preferred destination for migrants and has seen more arrivals than any other European Union country. About 577,000 people seeking asylum came to Germany from January to the end of September this year, authorities say. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)


LESBOS, Greece – The latest in the odyssey of hundreds of thousands of people crossing Europe in search of a new life. All times local.

3:40 p.m.

Hungary’s foreign minister, saying the refugee crisis is the biggest challenge the European Union has ever faced, is accusing critics of his country’s closed-borders policy of “hypocrisy.”

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also argues that people making their way through the western Balkans are economic migrants rather than refugees, because when they reach the safe nation of Greece they don’t stay but head north in search of “a better way of life.”

Szijjarto said Friday there’s “a piece of hypocrisy” in criticism of his country’s fencing off its southern borders to keep migrants out, as it is forced to abide by European regulations on border controls.

He spoke after talks in Athens with Greek foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. Hungary has criticized Greece for letting in hundreds of thousands of people across the sea from Turkey.

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3:25 p.m.

France’s government says it has shifted nearly 700 migrants this week from the flashpoint slum outside the northern port city of Calais to shelters elsewhere in the country.

About 6,000 migrants are camped out in slum-like conditions in Calais, hoping to take a chance at crossing the Channel Tunnel for a better life in Britain. France’s government is eager to show that it has a handle on the situation as winter approaches.

According to the Interior Ministry, 402 migrants were transferred Friday and 293 were moved Tuesday. The statement said a medical team was heading to Calais, and the government was finishing a plan for a cleanup, latrines, and drinking water.

Tensions have risen between Britain and France, which are linked via Calais with both ferry and train service.

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2:20 p.m.

Hundreds of migrants, many holding children in their arms, have pushed through metal barriers and a police cordon to force their way into Austria from Slovenia.

Several people were seen collapsing amid the melee Friday near the Slovenian refugee camp in Sentilj on the border with Austria.

The backlog of some 4,000 of people fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa has been formed at the border as Austrian authorities struggled to process thousands arriving daily from Slovenia.

Hundreds of migrants on Thursday also pushed their way into Austria after waiting for hours to cross.

Nearly 105,000 people have entered Slovenia in two weeks.

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2:10 p.m.

Norway says it expects up to 33,000 people will seek refuge in the country next year.

Officials say more than 13,000 asylum seekers have so far travelled to the Scandinavian country, and estimate their numbers could reach up to 25,000 this year.

Finance Minister Siv Jensen said Friday Norway “must have a strict but just asylum policy,” adding it was “necessary to review rules and procedures that can reduce costs per asylum-seeker and the flow of new applicants.”

The bulk of the refugees came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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2:05 p.m.

Turkey’s state-run agency says four children have drowned and two others are missing after two boats carrying migrants from Turkey to the Greeks islands capsized in the Aegean Sea.

The Anadolu Agency says the first boat capsized off the Turkish Aegean coast of Canakkale early on Friday on its way to the island of Lesbos. The coast guards rescued 19 migrants but four children aged between 1 and 4 drowned.

The second boat sank off the coast of Didim, some 450 kilometres (280 miles) south of Canakkale, on route to the island of Samos. The agency said coast guards and fishermen rescued 29 people but two babies were missing.

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1:55 p.m.

Thousands of migrants have piled up on the Slovenian side of the border with Austria waiting in cold weather to cross.

The backlog of some 4,000 people fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa was formed in the refugee camp in Sentilj as Austrian authorities struggled to process and register as many as they arrive from the Slovenian side.

Hundreds of asylum seekers on Thursday pushed their way over metal barriers at the Sentilj camp after waiting for hours to cross.

Both Slovenia and Austria have discussed possibility of building fences on their borders to control the massive influx of migrants and refugees.

Nearly 105,000 people have entered Slovenia in less than two weeks since Hungary sealed its border with Croatia.

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1 p.m.

Spain’s marine rescue service says nearly 40 people who are dead or missing fell into the sea when the bottom of their Zodiac-type inflatable boat collapsed.

Photographs on the service’s Web site showed the survivors straddling the sides of the boat that remained afloat.

The group had been trying to reach Spain from Morocco. The 15 survivors were found in an area of the Mediterranean Sea northeast of the Moroccan coastal city of Alhucemas and taken to the southern Spanish port of Malaga.

Four bodies were found and 35 people are still missing.

African migrants seeking a better life in Europe often try to reach Spain by crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco.

Tens of thousands of migrants also try to make it to Italy and Greece from north Africa and the Middle East each year

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11:30 a.m.

Spanish sea rescue teams have found the bodies of four migrants and are searching for 35 people missing from a boat that ran into trouble while trying to reach Spain from Morocco.

The Marine Rescue service said on its official Twitter account that 15 migrants were found alive on the boat Thursday in the Mediterranean Sea south from the Spanish port of Malaga.

The service said the search for the missing migrants resumed Friday.

African migrants seeking a better life in Europe often try to reach Spain by crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco.

Tens of thousands of migrants also try to make it to Italy and Greece from north Africa and the Middle East each year.

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11:10 a.m.

Germany’s vice chancellor is blasting what he describes as irresponsible bickering in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over the migrant crisis.

Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, part of Merkel’s Union bloc but often an awkward ally, has criticized Merkel’s approach for weeks. Leader Horst Seehofer has demanded moves by Sunday to limit the migrant influx. Merkel has argued there’s no way to instantly stop the influx.

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, a centre-left Social Democrat, said the infighting “would appear bizarre in normal times.” He told the Spiegel Online news portal in comments published Friday: “In view of the great challenge for our country from the high immigration of refugees, the argument … is now threatening the government’s ability to act.”

Merkel, Seehofer and Gabriel are to meet Sunday.

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10:50 a.m.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has expressed “endless grief” at the new migrant tragedies in the Aegean Sea, saying they put Europe to shame.

Tsipras accused the European Union of inability to effectively address the humanitarian crisis, and said Western countries that took part in military interventions in the Middle East bear responsibility for the mass migrant flows.

Speaking in parliament Friday, Tsipras said that the Aegean is washing up “not just dead children, but the very civilization of Europe.”

http://medicinehatnews.com/news/world-news/2015/10/30/the-latest-hungary-refugees-are-biggest-crisis-the-28nation-european-union-has-ever-faced/

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