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Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner in charge of Home Affairs, accompanied by Giorgia Meloni, Italian Prime Minister, visited the Lampedusa migrant hotspot to discuss the ongoing migration crisis.


Hard Numbers: EU migration deal, WTO forecast downgrade, Brazilian doctors shot, the Pope's climate message, Fat Bear Week

250,000: EU migration ministers have reached a historic preliminary deal that would see frontline states move migrants – specifically those arriving in large numbers due to acute crises like war or climate disaster – to other EU states for processing. This comes after EU officials said that 250,000 people had entered the bloc so far this year through illegal migration routes. The agreement still needs to be passed by the EU Parliament.

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Migrants on board a ship which disembarked in Salerno, Italy.


Olaf Scholz gets tough on asylum-seekers

The German government on Wednesday announced that authorities will start conducting “flexible spot checks” on border crossings from Poland and the Czech Republic to address an influx of asylum-seekers who have sought to enter the country in recent months.

This comes after Berlin recently joined Italy’s right-wing government in declaring that both countries had reached the “limits of [their] capacity” to take in migrants.

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Line Graphs of the number of migrants accepted into various EU countries

Ico Oliveira

The Graphic Truth: Where are Migrants Going in the EU?

Migration to Europe has been climbing over the last two decades, with migrants largely coming from the Middle East, North Africa, and – since 2022 – Ukraine. While some EU countries have opened their arms to migrants, others have erected fences and closed borders. We take a look at how the number of migrants EU countries have accepted in recent years.

Lithuanian army soldiers install razor wire on the border with Belarus in Druskininkai.

REUTERS/Janis Laizans

What We’re Watching: EU vs Belarus, US booster shots for all, Afghan lessons for Taiwan

Booster shots for Americans: After initially authorizing COVID vaccine booster shots for immunocompromised Americans, the Biden administration now says that most eligible people should get a booster beginning next month. It's quite an about-face for US health authorities, who just weeks ago insisted a top up was not necessary despite the spread of the more contagious delta variant, responsible for new COVID flare-ups in many parts of the country. Still, the US will likely face backlash from the World Health Organization, which has repeatedly asked nations with broad access to vaccines to hold off on booster shots until all countries inoculate at least 10 percent of their populations. The WHO's argument: if rich nations play me-first vaccine politics by doling out third doses instead of sending them to countries where most people haven't even had one dose, the virus will continue to mutate into new and potentially more lethal variants, making the pandemic harder to contain. But the US isn't the only country to go down the booster track: Israel has already distributed over 1 million, while Germany, France and the UK will begin in September.

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