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BC-AP--AP Europe News Digest at 1130 GMT, AP

June 2, 2014

TOP STORIES FOR MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014

SPAIN-KING-ABDICATES

MADRID — Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who led Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced royal scandals amid the nation’s near financial meltdown, will abdicate so his son can become the country’s next monarch, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the country Monday in an announcement broadcast nationwide. Rajoy did not say when the handover would happen because the government must now craft a law creating a legal mechanism for the abdication and for 46-year-old Crown Prince Felipe’s assumption of power. SENT: 760 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1200 GMT. By Alan Clendenning.

UKRAINE

LUHANSK, Ukraine — Hundreds of armed insurgents attacked a border guards’ camp in eastern Ukraine leaving at least five rebels dead, a spokesman for the guards said Monday. Rebels in uniform near the Luhansk base promised safety for the officers if they surrendered and laid down their arms. The rebels, who have seized government and police buildings across east Ukraine and hope to join the region to Russia, have waged increasingly aggressive attacks on government-held checkpoints and garrisons in an attempt to seize weapons and ammunition from Ukrainian forces. SENT: 630 words, photos. By Nebi Qena and Peter Leonard.

EU-POLAND-DEMOCRACY-HEROES

WARSAW, Poland — One was an electrician proud of his working class roots. The other an intellectual who writes on the nature of freedom. A study in contrast, Lech Walesa and Adam Michnik were nonetheless the two heroes of Poland’s democracy movement. And a quarter century after a historic election that brought freedom to their nation, they share a sense of wonder at the “miracle” of democracy — and some disappointment at today’s Poland. As Poland prepares to mark the 25th anniversary of communist Poland’s first partly free election, which set off a democratic chain reaction across eastern Europe that culminated in the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, Walesa and Michnik relived triumphs and rued missed opportunities in interviews with The Associated Press. SENT: 780 words, photos. By Monika Scislowska.

FRANCE-BRUSSELS SHOOTING

PARIS — Four people were arrested Monday in a sweep against French jihadist recruiters, the country’s top security official said a day after authorities announced the detention of a French suspect in the deadly shooting at a Jewish museum. The arrests come as investigators question a suspected French jihadist who had spent time in Syria. Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested Friday in connection with the death of three people at the Belgian museum, carrying firearms, ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that Nemmouche was arrested minutes after he set foot on French soil during a customs check. SENT: 650 words, photos. By Lori Hinnant.

EU-BRITAIN-MONTY-PYTHON

LONDON — American Monty Python fans who can’t attend the troupe’s London reunion can always look on the bright side of life. The show will be screened in hundreds of U.S. movie theaters. The anarchic British comedians are getting back together for 10 shows at London’s 02 Arena in July, 34 years after their last stage performance. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 850 words by 1200 GMT. By Jill Lawless.

BRITAIN-JIMMY SAVILE

LONDON — A British children’s charity says at least 500 people have reported abuse by the late entertainer Jimmy Savile, with the youngest alleged victim just 2 years old. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said Monday that the most common age group for victims was 13 to 15. SENT: 250 words, photos.

PORTUGAL-MISSING GIRL

LISBON, Portugal — Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann cordoned off Monday an area of scrubland near where the British girl vanished seven years ago. Officers placed yellow-and-white police tape around the waste ground, which is mostly level and slightly larger than a soccer field, and were expected to conduct a forensic examination of the area in coming days. Officials have previously said detectives may use excavators, dogs and ground-penetrating radar as they scrutinize the terrain. SENT: 275 words. UPCOMING: photos.

EU-SWITZERLAND-SOLAR-PLANE

BERLIN — A Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft has made a successful inaugural flight as its makers prepare for what they hope will be the first round-the-world solar flight. The Solar Impulse 2 team said the aircraft spent 2 hours and 17 minutes in the air above western Switzerland early Monday. They plan several other flights over the coming months. SENT: 130 words, photos.

EU-RUSSIA-WAR-GAMES

MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry says it has launched a military exercise involving the launch of high-precision missiles. The war games are taking place amid the backdrop of violence in eastern Ukraine. In a statement Monday, the ministry said the maneuvers of the Western Military District will continue through Thursday and will involve the deployment of Iskander surface-to-surface missiles. It said the Iskander missiles, which are capable of hitting targets 280 kilometers away, will be airlifted by heavy transport planes to the exercise’s area. SENT: 130 words.

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