The Latest: 751 migrants plucked safely from boats: Rescuers

The Latest on migration in Europe (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Maritime rescue authorities say 751 migrants have been plucked safely from 52 boats trying to reach Spanish shores from northern Africa, this year's most popular route into Europe.

Spain's Maritime Rescue Service says 709 migrants were traveling in 48 boats across the Strait of Gibraltar, the shortest route and 11 were found crossing the so-called Alboran Sea further east. Three boats were approaching the eastern Spanish coast of Alicante with a total of 31 people on board.

Boats and helicopters are still looking for more dinghies, the service says.

People fleeing violence or poverty attempt the risky trip on their own or aided by human trafficking mafias.

As a crackdown in Libya has made it more difficult to reach Italy, many are attempting the trip from Algeria and Morocco and into Spain, where more than 20,000 people have already arrived by sea in 2018.


12:10 p.m.

The governor of Bavaria is striking a softer tone on refugees, saying he wants a "balance" between helping those entitled to asylum and swiftly deporting those who aren't.

Markus Soeder opened a center for asylum and repatriation Friday as part of the southern German state's efforts to streamline asylum procedures, which sometimes take years.

Soeder has been criticized for his tough stance on migration, including his use of the phrase "asylum tourism" to describe people moving to Germany if their application is rejected elsewhere in Europe.

Recent opinion polls showed Soeder's conservative Christian Social Union party getting under 40 percent of the vote ahead of state elections in October.

The opening of the new asylum processing center in Manching, north of Munich, was accompanied by protests from pro-migrant groups.