The Latest: Rescue operation off Greece for migrant after boat reported sunk

The latest news on the mass movement of asylum-seekers and migrants to Europe. All times local:

3:25 p.m.

Greek and European border authorities have launched a search and rescue operation in the eastern Aegean Sea after reports that a boat carrying dozens of migrants sank off the island of Lesbos leaving two dead.

The Greek coastguard says a helicopter, patrol boats and fishing boats are combing an area north of Lesbos for survivors, but no reliable information is yet available on how many people were on the boat and if anybody drowned.

Boats from the European Frontex border agency were assisting.

Greek state ERT TV said two people have been reported dead from Wednesday's incident, and about 70 have been rescued.

Lesbos is the main destination for migrants seeking a better life in Europe who cross over from nearby Turkey in flimsy boats provided by Turkish smuggling gangs.


12:15 p.m.

Norway has created a new immigration and integration ministry in response to a large influx of asylum-seekers and migrants.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg says the numbers of immigrants had put "too much pressure" on Justice Minister Anders Anundsen, whose portfolio has been split with the creation of the new ministry.

Sylvi Listhaug of the right-wing Progress Party — the junior partner in the ruling right-leaning coalition — on Wednesday became new minister for immigration and integration.

Norway has received more than 30,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea.