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

December 16, 2013


(Resends to remove the story offering on Sochi.)


LONDON — World leaders, film critics and Hollywood stars remembered Peter O’Toole on Monday as an actor of towering talent, blue-eyed Irish charm and unfettered hell-raising — an icon of a vanished, less strait-laced era of filmmaking. “There won’t be any more like that, will there?” said 73-year-old actor Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in several “Harry Potter” films. By Jill Lawless. UPCOMING: 850 words by 1300 GMT, photos.


KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s opposition appears confident and shows no sign of relenting in its standoff with the government. The government has made some gestures toward the opposition, rejected some of its main demands and is opaque on another. In the fourth week of the crisis, a look at each side’s strengths and weaknesses as the dispute extends into the depths of winter. By Jim Heintz. SENT: 650 words.


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and the European Union on Monday signed agreements starting talks for a possible deal that would lift visa restrictions for Turkish citizens traveling to Europe and which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a ‘milestone’ in relations between his country and the 28-member bloc. Under the agreements signed in the Turkish capital Ankara, Turkey would in turn, agree to take back immigrants who illegally enter the EU from Turkish territory. By Suzan Fraser. SENT: 370 words.


FLORENCE, Italy — Former American exchange student Amanda Knox spent four years in jail in Italy, from her arrest to her conviction in her first murder trial through her successful appeal. She’s now facing a second appeals trial, along with her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. A road map to help understand where the Italian court system is going next. By Colleen Barry. SENT: 900 words, photos.


PARIS — French law enforcement officials say 21 people have been arrested in raids across the south of France targeting the trafficking of horse meat that was treated with laboratory antibiotics and wasn’t fit for human consumption. By Lori Hinnant. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING 250 words by 1230 GMT, photos.


GENEVA — The United Nations and other humanitarian groups say they need almost $13 billion to help people in 17 crisis-affected countries, and that half of that amount is needed for Syria and its surrounding region alone. The United Nations agencies that provide aid, food and help for refugees say they requirements for 2014 “are formidable, but attainable.” By John Heilprin. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING 400 words by 1300 GMT, photos.


BERLIN — Hundreds of workers at Amazon.com in Germany have walked off the job in an effort to put pressure on the American online retailer in the busy days before Christmas to settle on a new wage agreement. The ver.di union said Monday that several hundred workers were staging one-day warning strikes at Amazon logistics centers in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld and Graben. SENT: 130 words.


PARIS — France wants its European partners to create a fund to pay for overseas military interventions, like the operation France is leading in the chaotic Central African Republic. Other European governments, coming out of years of economic troubles, aren’t too excited about the idea. SENT: 130 words.

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