AP NEWS

The Latest: Ship rescues 30 more migrants off Libya

November 20, 2019

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on migrants arriving in Europe (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

The humanitarian ship Ocean Viking has rescued another 30 people from a boat in distress off the Libyan coast, bringing the total number of migrants aboard the rescue vessel to 125.

Doctors Without Borders said on Twitter that the boat in distress was spotted on Wednesday. The aid groups operates the Ocean Viking jointly with SOS Mediterranee.

Survivors say they have been at sea since late Tuesday night.

Last month, the Ocean Viking brought 176 migrants to the port city of Taranto. A couple of weeks later, it brought around 100 more migrants to a Sicilian port. The government allowed those dockings after months of legal and political wrangling over migrant ships in Italy. The country had previously denied safe harbor to rescue ships under the former hardline interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

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1:20 p.m.

Greece’s conservative government has announced plans to overhaul the country’s migration management system, replacing existing open camps on the islands with detention facilities and moving 20,000 asylum seekers to the mainland over the next few weeks.

Deputy Defense Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis announced the changes Wednesday following a surge in the number of arrivals from nearby Turkey —with the number of migrants and refugees exceeding the islands’ populations in some cases.

Camps on Lesbos and four other islands in the East Aegean Sea are suffering dramatic overcrowding ahead of the winter, with hundreds of families sleeping in tents outside the official facilities.

The changes planned are the most significant since a landmark deal in 2016 between Turkey and the European Union to limit migration to Europe.