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BC-AP--AP European News Digest at 1200 GMT, AP

January 16, 2015



BRUSSELS — More than two dozen suspects have been arrested in Belgium, France and Germany in continuing searches for suspected terrorists, authorities said Friday. Thirteen people were detained in Belgium and two arrested in France in an anti-terror sweep following a firefight in which two suspected terrorists were killed, and more suspects are being sought, Belgian authorities said. SENT: 950 words, photos. UPCOMING: 1,000 Words by 1230 GMT. By Angela Charlton and Raf Casert.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The head of European Union police agency Europol says the large number of radicalized Muslim extremists across Europe, their lack of command structure and growing sophistication make it “extremely difficult” for law enforcement agencies to foil every terror attack. Europol chief Rob Wainwright told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that Europe needs to cooperate more closely to prevent attacks like last week’s deadly rampage in Paris. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1215 GMT. By Mike Corder.


LONDON — The European Space Agency’s Beagle-2 lander, which had been lost on Mars since 2003, has been found, the agency said Friday. New photos taken by the high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show the lander partially deployed on the surface of the Red Planet, it said. SENT: 340 words, photos. By Gregory Katz.


LONDON — At least two brokerage firms say they have gone bust after suffering losses on the Swiss franc’s massive surge this week, one of the most acute moves seen by a major trading currency in decades. At one point on Thursday, the franc surged around 30 percent against the euro after the Swiss National Bank ditched an increasingly expensive policy to limit the export-sapping rise of the currency. Derek Halpenny, a currency strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, described the currency move as “unprecedented.” SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 680 words by 1300 GMT. By Pan Pylas.


MOSCOW — Anti-corruption campaigner and leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was taken in for questioning on Friday, escorted by a dozen police who he said had intercepted him outside his Moscow apartment building. Navalny, a vehement foe of President Vladimir Putin, was convicted in late December of fraud and given a 3½-year suspended sentence. The court said that until his appeals are exhausted he must remain under house arrest. SENT: 270 words, photos.


BRUSSELS — The European Union’s executive says the tax deal Amazon signed with Luxembourg may be illegal. The EU opened an investigation into Amazon in October and on Friday gave a preliminary assessment of its concerns with the technology company’s dealings. SENT: 130 words.


MOSCOW — Russian markets are trading sluggishly as the country braces for the possibility that its credit rating may be downgraded to “junk” level later Friday for the first time in a decade. Both the ruble and the MICEX benchmark were down less than 0.5 percent in early trading. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1700 GMT.

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