Jun 18, 2018

Hundreds of migrants arrive in Spain after Italy, Malta shun them

Migrants who were rescued by Spanish authorities. Photo: Carlos Gil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

More than 600 migrants who were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast arrived in Spain Sunday on three ships — a week after Italy’s new populist, right-wing government and Malta blocked the vessels from docking on their shores.

Why it matters: The refusal by both countries to aid the asylum seekers and Italy's insinuation that the group was an "army of fake refugees" have exacerbated Europe’s latest battle over immigration, triggering strong reactions from humanitarian aid groups and other European countries.

What's happening: The migrants will be granted a special humanitarian permit to stay in Spain for 45 days, while Spanish authorities review their cases to determine who may qualify for asylum status, the AP reports. Authorities reportedly say dozens are minors who traveled without parents. The migrants were from 31 different nationalities — some are from Sudan, Algeria, Eritrea and Nigeria.

The backdrop: The influx of refugees and migrants fleeing from war- and poverty-ravaged countries to Europe has heightened pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said this weekend the migration crisis needs a 'European solution.'

  • Merkel is reportedly calling for a special summit on refugee policy ahead of this month’s European Council as some officials are pressing her to propose a compromise that would prohibit some refugees from crossing the German border, a policy measure her party is against, Politico EU reports.

Go deeper

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.

Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.