BERLIN — The Latest on migrants and refugees in Europe (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Romania’s coast guard has sent ships to rescue a vessel in distress on the Black Sea that is suspected of transporting migrants.

The coast guard said it spotted a “clandestine ship” outside Romanian territorial waters some 32 miles east of the port of Midia on Tuesday morning.

The ship sent out a radio distress signal and two coast guard boats were dispatched to the area.

An official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media says the ship is expected to be towed to shore by Wednesday morning

Migrants are increasingly trying to cross the Black Sea from Turkey to reach Romania.

— By Alison Mutler.


7:45 p.m.

The head of Italy’s parliamentary intelligence commission says Italy has offered concrete projects to local leaders in Libya to halt migrant trafficking.

Giacomo Stucchi said the people involved were village leaders, not traffickers themselves. He spoke to reporters Tuesday after a briefing by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

The Associated Press reported last month that two Libyan militias long involved in human trafficking are being paid to prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, under a deal with the Libyan government backed by Italy. The AP cited militia and security officials.

Stucchi said they tried to deal with institutional representatives in Libya and insisted they were “not the traffickers.”

Tens of thousands of migrants are crossing the Mediterranean Sea yearly from Libya to Italy, seeing a better life in Europe.


6:00 p.m.

The head of the United Nations’ refugee agency says Hungary clearly intends to “severely limit” the access refugees have to protection in the country.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says he is particularly concerned that Hungary is detaining asylum-seekers in closed centers at the border while they await decisions on their applications and appeals.

Grandi on Tuesday visited a transit zone for asylum-seekers at Roszke, located on Hungary’s border with Serbia.

He says conditions there are “acceptable” but that the detention aspect of Hungary’s approach is worrying, especially some of those being held are minors ages 14-17.

Hungary erected fences on its southern borders in 2015 to stop the flow of migrants and is accepting only five asylum requests a day at each of the two transit zones


1:10 p.m.

Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says a verdict by the European Union’s top court on relocating migrants in the EU must be accepted even by those who don’t agree with it.

The European Court of Justice rejected legal action by Hungary and Slovakia seeking to avoid accepting refugees under an EU-wide plan. The ruling was seen as a victory for European countries bearing the greatest burden of the continent’s migrant influx.

Hungary and Slovakia — along with the Czech Republic and Poland, which also rejected the plan — said the court decision have not changed their critical view.

Speaking after meeting his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman, Steinmeier said it was a EU principle to accept the court’s ruling.

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10:20 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it’s unacceptable for Hungary to ignore a ruling by the European Union’s top court that it must accept refugees under an EU-wide plan. But she’s not specifying any consequences.

Hungary’s prime minister has said that while he “took note” of the European Court of Justice’s ruling last week, he’d continue to oppose the plans.

Merkel told Tuesday’s edition of the daily Berliner Zeitung: “That one government says it isn’t interested in a verdict by the European Court of Justice cannot be accepted.”

Asked whether that means Hungary must leave the EU, she replied: “It means that a very fundamental European question is affected, because for me Europe is a place governed by laws.” Merkel said an EU summit in October must discuss the issue.