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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

2 hours ago - Health

Treasury begins dispersing $350 billion in COVID relief funding to states and localities

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday began giving state and local governments access to $350 billion in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, the department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though the money is aimed at helping state, local, territorial and tribal governments recover from the pandemic's economic fallout, the administration will generally give them wide latitude on how they can use the funds.

Game developers break silence around salaries

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.

The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.

2 hours ago - World

Jerusalem crisis: Hamas fires rockets, Israel begins military campaign

Palestinian protesters and an Israeli police officer near the Damascus Gate. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Days of tension in Jerusalem escalated into an exchange of fire on Monday, as Hamas fired dozens of rockets toward Israel and the Israeli military responded with strikes of its own and said it was preparing for a military operation that could last several days.

Why it matters: This is the first time Hamas has fired rockets at Jerusalem since 2014, and it's the most serious escalation between the Israelis and Palestinians in many months. It comes during the most sensitive days on the calendar — the last days of Ramadan and the Jerusalem Day commemoration on Monday — and as political crises roil both the Israeli and Palestinian governments.