Less than three months after parliamentary elections the Czechs return to the polls on Friday for a presidential vote - and the divide between the leading candidates could not be starker.
Reports of African migrants being tortured, killed and sold as slaves in Libya have caused a global outcry. The few who manage to escape the horrors carry deep physical and psychological scars.
The number of refugees on the Greek Aegean islands has increased significantly. A German member of the European Parliament expects a "humanitarian catastrophe" as winter approaches.
The EU has unveiled plans to take at least 50,000 refugees directly from Africa, the Middle East and Turkey to discourage migrant boats from making the risky Mediterranean crossing.
More Mediterranean migrant deaths were reported Tuesday, just as aid groups engaged in sea rescues were meeting Italian interior ministry officials to discuss a controversial "code of conduct" for their operations.