The Latest: Italy's migrant crisis is spawning new protests
Jul. 15, 2017
ROME (AP) — The Latest on the migrant crisis in Europe (all times local):
Italy's migrant crisis is spawning new protests, with a local mayor in Sicily leading a popular revolt to prevent a few dozen new arrivals from taking up residence in an abandoned hotel.
Vincenzo Lionetto, mayor of Castel'Umberto in Messina, wrote an "urgent and important" Facebook post advising residents that the local prefect had just informed him that the 30 or so migrants would be transferred to the Canguro hotel.
He led a dozen or so residents in surrounding the hotel with their cars Saturday, though the migrants apparently were already inside.
Tensions over migration are running high in Italy, with daily arrivals of new asylum-seekers and local officials complaining they don't have space to take them in. The issue is particularly sensitive with elections expected this year or next.
Spain's maritime rescue service says that it has saved 19 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in a small boat.
The service tells The Associated Press that all 19 migrants were men claiming Algerian nationality.
The boat was spotted late on Friday night, and rescuers reached it early on Saturday morning in waters off the southeastern coast of Spain.
Thousands of migrants from Africa attempt the perilous crossing to Europe in small boats that are unfit for the open sea and often launched by human smugglers