German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at a meeting Sunday on migration and asylum issues in Brussels. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

European Union leaders met in Brussels on Sunday to attempt to find common ground on the ongoing migration crisis, agreeing to screen asylum seekers seeking protection in Europe at centers in North Africa and the Balkans, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The EU has been bitterly divided over the migration of refugees, and some nations have questioned who should be responsible for the thousands primarily seeking asylum in Italy, Greece and Spain. This dynamic has thrust German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to the verge of collapse and pitted nations against each other.

What's happening, per the AP:

  • The leaders agreed on a preliminary proposal to create screening centers in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.
  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants migrants to apply for asylum in the country where they arrive, but Italy and Malta recently blocked vessels carrying more than 600 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea from docking on their shores.
  • Four EU countries — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — refused to attend the meeting and reject taking in migrants in general.

What's next: Today's meeting will be further scrutinized when a full two-day EU summit starts on Thursday. Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron played down the idea of any sort of EU-wide agreement, stating instead that agreements between two and three countries are more likely to solve the crisis.

  • Macron also downplayed the idea that Europe was at a breaking point, citing stats that show the European migrant crisis peaked in 2015: "It’s a political crisis that Europe and the European Union is mostly living today."

Go deeper: The U.S. has passed Germany in asylum requests.

Go deeper

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta is "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts after making landfall on the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm earlier Wednesday.

Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a request by Republicans to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.