World Bulletin / News Desk
Huge traffic jams built up along the Austro-Hungarian border on Monday as police hunted for people smugglers, while divisions opened up across Europe over dealing with the influx of migrants and refugees.
Austria's tightening of security checks came just days after the discovery of 71 dead migrants, four of them children, in an abandoned lorry near the border.
Since the checks began late on Sunday, more than 200 migrants have been picked up and five people arrested on suspicion of smuggling.
Across the border, hundreds of people stuck in makeshift refugee camps in Budapest were allowed to board trains headed for Austria and Germany, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.
Police had previously prevented some 2,000 people from leaving the station because they had no legal papers, but on Monday, police were no longer present as the refugees, many from Syria, rushed to board trains.
Several hours later, up to 400 of them were stopped at the Austrian border and taken off a Munich-bound train and transferred to a regional train heading for Vienna, police said.
The sense of chaos has been reflected across Europe as the continent struggles to respond to the biggest movement of people since World War II, with more than 300,000 arriving this year.
Many are fleeing war, poverty and persecution in the Middle East and Africa, and at least 2,500 have died while trying to make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.
Austria has called to axe EU funds to states refusing to take their share of migrants in the latest sign of deepening divisions over the crisis.
Home affairs ministers will on September 14 in Brussels in a bid to "strengthen the European response".
"If Europe fails on the question of refugees, if this close link with universal civil rights is broken, then it won't be the Europe we wished for," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.
Her comments mirrored those of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as he visited the crisis-hit French port of Calais.
"Too many countries are refusing to play their part. It goes against the European spirit and we can't accept it," he said.
Valls said by early 2016, France would build a new reception camp for migrants in Calais, with the help of five million euros from the European Commission.
"LIKE WE ARE ANIMALS"
Most migrants land in Italy or Greece, then try to head towards the wealthier countries of northern Europe.
"We are in a labyrinth, going from queue to queue, and here in Serbia, the police are shouting at us like we are animals," Samar, 40, from Damascus, told AFP as she waited with her two teenage boys for hours in the sun at a filthy camp in Presevo.
Transit countries in eastern Europe and the Balkans are struggling to cope.
Two weeks ago, Macedonia declared a state of emergency.
And the right-wing government in Hungary, which has seen 50,000 new arrivals this month, has been laying NATO-standard razor wire along its border with Serbia and is building a four-metre (13 feet) fence to be policed by border guards and sniffer dogs.
Criticised by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as a breach of "Europe's common values", it has also proved ineffective, with police saying 3,080 migrants crossed on Saturday, the second-highest daily total.
A Palestinian-Syrian woman, travelling with her four-year-old daughter and other relatives, was unfazed.
"I just don't care who detains me now, I've already seen the worst," she told AFP in Belgrade.
"We were detained by the (Kurdish) People's Protection Units, the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra Front as we travelled westwards towards Turkey. It's a miracle we survived all that."
MOST SMUGGLERS ESCAPE
Hungary has arrested four Bulgarians and an Afghan in connection with last week's abandoned truck tragedy, but four of them have pleaded not guilty.
Inside the Hungarian-plated truck were the decomposing bodies of 59 men, eight women, a toddler and three young boys, all thought to be Syrians.
Police said they may have been dead for up to two days before the lorry was found with body fluids dripping leaking out of it.
A passer-by told Hungarian news portal Index.hu that he saw the driver running away from the back doors in panic before picked up and driven away in another car.
Three Syrian children, who were rescued with severe dehydration from another migrant-packed van, disappeared with their parents on Friday, with the families most likely heading to Germany, Austrian police said.
So far, the authorities have arrested 93 alleged people traffickers this year in Upper Austria state alone, but most still escape, officials said.
Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer, head of the conservative CSU party, had openly clashed with Merkel at the height of the mass migrant and refugee influx in 2015.
Officials, who are presently in Saudi Arabia, are instructed to return to country
However Mattis appeared satisfied after what he described as an in-depth review of the policy by much of the president's cabinet and top security officials at Camp David on Friday.
Another eight people were wounded in the stabbing spree, which took place on Friday in the southwestern port city of Turku.
A coalition led by President Hashim Thaci's PDK party -- itself in power since 2007 -- topped early parliamentary polls held on June 11, but the alliance did not win the absolute majority needed to govern alone.
According to the Italian media, an extra 50 police carrying portable scanners were on duty to carry out checks on the 10,000 people who were in St Peter's square Sunday for Pope Francis's weekly Angelus prayer.
Barzani says postponement of Kurdish referendum on independence 'unlikely'
The president had flown to South Africa on Wednesday to attend a two-day regional leaders' summit in Pretoria that began Saturday -- which police said she had been expected to attend.
Local media says 3 armed men were reportedly spotted on Paris-Nimes train
Opposition protesters call for change in country's constitution, want term limits
Police said they had cast a dragnet for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, who media reports say was the driver of a van that smashed into people on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday.
In perhaps the worst to date, he dealt a crushing blow to his own embattled administration by saying "both sides" were to blame for the bloodshed in Charlottesville, Virginia following a rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
A so-called "free speech" rally by far-right groups had been scheduled to run until 2 pm (1800 GMT), but a half-hour before that police escorted its participants -- whose numbers appeared to be in the dozens -- to safety past a throng of anti-racism protesters.
Comments appearing to trivialize racial hatred have president isolated, even within own party
The accident happened late Friday when around 650 people were celebrating inside the tent in Sankt Johann am Walde in the north of the country.
The Trump administration, wary of international involvements but eager for progress in the grueling Afghan war, has been weighing a range of options. It had originally promised a new plan by mid-July.