The Latest on immigration to Europe (all times local):
The European Union law enforcement agency says police across the continent have concluded a two-year investigation into a “massive” criminal network that was using trucks to smuggle migrants into western Europe.
Europol said Thursday that police in Romania detained four suspected members of the gang, which smuggled nearly 580 people from outside Europe through the Romanian city of Timisoara and then westward.
Numerous migrants have lost their lives in recent years after being crammed into tractor-trailers, without sufficient air or water, for the journey across Europe.
Europol said the investigation was launched by German police last year and also involved authorities in Austria, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary and Britain.
It said the gang was composed of at least 36 people who earned more than 2 million euros ($2.2 million).
Authorities in northwestern Bosnia are threatening a curfew in two large local migrant camps to press the central government to relocate people to other parts of the country.
The local government in the region bordering Croatia says a “full blockade” of the badly congested Bira and Miral camps will start Friday and continue until the situation is resolved.
The camps, hosting some 2,000 people, near the towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa are run by the International Organization for Migration.
That part of Bosnia has been swamped with thousands of migrants hoping to illegally cross into neighboring European Union member Croatia.
Local authorities say that from Friday no more people will be allowed into the camps, while only those heading towards the Croatian border will be allowed to leave.
North Korea says the United States has proposed a resumption of stalled nuclear negotiations in December as they approach an end-of-year deadline set by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer an acceptable deal to salvage the diplomacy.
North Korean negotiator Kim Myong Gil on Thursday didn’t clearly say whether the North would accept the supposed U.S. offer for talks.
He says North Korea has no interest in talks if they are aimed at buying time without discussing solutions.
The negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam collapsed after the U.S. side rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.
An international team of investigators piecing together a criminal case in the July 2014 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine said Thursday that evidence suggests links between Russia and separatists in the region were closer than previously believed.
The Joint Investigation Team issued a fresh appeal for witnesses and revealed details of secure communications between Russian officials and rebels in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) rebel group in eastern Ukraine.
“The JIT has information that indicates that the influence of the Russian Federation extended to administrative, financial and military matters in the DPR,” the team said in a statement, adding that contacts between Russia and the rebels intensified in the first half of July 2014.
“There was almost daily telephone contact between the leadership of the DPR and their contacts in the Russian Federation,” the JIT said. “They spoke with leaders in Moscow, near the border with Ukraine and in Crimea. Communication mostly took place via secure telephones provided by the Russian security service.”
In June, the investigators announced they had charged four people, including three Russians, with murder over the July 17, 2014, downing of Flight MH17. All 298 passengers and crew on board the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight were killed.
The suspects are due to go on trial in a secure courtroom near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in March, though they are not in custody and will likely be tried in their absence.
Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the downing.
But investigators said their probe revealed that “Russian influence on the DPR went beyond military support.”
The team, made up of detectives and prosecutors from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine, last year said it was convinced that the Buk missile system used to shoot down flight MH17 came from the Russian army's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade, based in the Russian city of Kursk.
The team said Thursday it is looking for witnesses “who can share information about those who controlled the DPR leadership in Donetsk and commanded the deployment of the Buk” missile system.
“The indications for close ties between leaders of the DPR and Russian government officials raise questions about their possible involvement in the deployment” of the missile, the investigators said.
Jack Ma, founder of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba, has refuted some skepticism over the authenticity of Alibaba's Singles' Day sales numbers.
"I can assure you that in the internet era, every fen is accurate," Ma told the 5th World Zhejiang Entrepreneurs Convention that opened in Zhejiang's provincial capital of Hangzhou Wednesday. Fen is a monetary unit of the Chinese currency, Renminbi, and is worth one hundredth of a yuan.
The Singles' Day sales on Alibaba's online shopping platforms on Nov. 11 reached a record 268.4 billion yuan (about 38.3 billion U.S. dollars), marking a year-on-year growth of about 25.7 percent.
The sales number exceeded the expectations of many people and institutions, said Ma. They were pessimistic about sales growth on the major shopping festival due to weak consumer spending and sluggish economic growth and some even raised speculation that the sales figures were faked, he said.
The success of the "Double 11" shopping spree relies on the success of China's domestic consumption which has given Alibaba huge confidence and business opportunities, said Ma, adding that the financial, logistical and computing powers Alibaba's business relies on are China's technology and business infrastructure built over 10 years.
At least 13 people were killed and 10 others injured on Wednesday when a speeding truck suffered a tyre burst along a busy highway in southwest Nigeria, an official said Thursday.
Clement Oladele, commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Ogun state told Xinhua on phone that the crash occurred when the driver of the truck lost control of the truck and hit oncoming vehicles.
Oladele said the crash occurred at Saapade area of the state. According to him, the people injured in the crash were 10, comprising four male adults and six female adults, adding that 13 persons, comprising four male adults, seven female adults and two children, died in the accident.
Oladele said the corpses of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary, while the injured were taken to a local hospital.
Road accidents still continue to occur in Nigeria despite stringent traffic rules which were introduced by the government to help curb road carnage.
Deadly road accidents are frequently reported in Nigeria often caused by overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.