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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

February 24, 2015

TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1215 GMT

GREECE-BAILOUT

BRUSSELS — Greece’s creditors in the 19-country eurozone will hold a teleconference Tuesday to give their verdict on a list of reform measures Athens has sent in order to get a four-month extension to its bailout, which would keep the country afloat and prevent a potential exit from the euro. The reform plans appear to be meeting with a favorable response both within policymaking circles and in the markets. By Lorne Cook and Raf Casert. SENT: 510 words, photos.

UKRAINE

KHARTSYZK, Ukraine — Howitzers were moving away from the largest rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine, heading further into separatist-controlled territory, and the rebels said they have begun a large-scale pullback of heavy weapons in line with an international peace plan. That plan aims to form a wide buffer zone between separatists’ and Ukrainian forces’ artillery. By Nicolae Dumitrache. SENT: 390 words, photos.

NORWAY-OIL PAINS

STAVANGER, Norway — Losing his job on a Norwegian oil rig meant more to Kristoffer Sandberg than saying goodbye to a high salary. It has caused a shift down in lifestyle and expectations, something an increasing number of people in this small oil-rich country are facing. By Mark Lewis. SENT: 730 words, photos.

GERMANY-DISPUTED ART

BERLIN — The heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers say they have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. suing Germany and a German museum for the return of a medieval treasure trove worth an estimated $226 million. The suit, which attorneys said was filed late Monday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is the latest salvo in a long-running campaign by the heirs for return of the so-called Welfenschatz, or Guelph Treasure — which they claim their ancestors sold under Nazi pressure. By Kirsten Grieshaber. SENT: 750 words, photos.

FRANCE-DRONES

PARIS — At least five drones flew over the Eiffel Tower, the U.S. Embassy and other Paris landmarks overnight, the most audacious of several mysterious drone overflights around France in recent months. Authorities say an investigation is underway. By Angela Charlton. SENT: 320 words, photos.

GERMANY-ECONOMY

BERLIN — Millions of German industrial workers are set to get a 3.4 percent pay increase this year following a deal between employers and a major union. Tuesday’s agreement will see the raise take effect in April. Workers will each get a one-time payment of 150 euros ($170) for January-March. SENT: 140 words.

GREECE-FLOUR WAR-PHOTO ESSAY

GALAXIDI, Greece — For a few hours on a single day every year, the prim and elegant Greek seaside town of Galaxidi explodes into frantic childishness. Riotous groups of residents pelt each other — and unsuspecting visitors — with bags of dyed flour, in a Holi-like end-of-carnival tradition thought to date back to the town’s period of maritime glory more than a century ago. SENT: 270 words, photos.

SPAIN-TERROR-ARRESTS

MADRID — Spanish police have arrested four people suspected of working to recruit jihadi militants and spread propaganda for the Islamic State group. An Interior Ministry statement said Tuesday two people were arrested in the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla and two others in the northeastern region of Catalonia. SENT: 130 words.

AUSTRIA-KAZAKHSTAN

BERLIN — A former Kazakh diplomat who faced murder charges in Austria was found hanged in his cell in Vienna Tuesday in an apparent suicide, a prison official said. Rakhat Aliyev was found Tuesday morning in the bathroom of his cell in Vienna’s Josefstadt jail, prison director Peter Prechtl told the Austria Press Agency. SENT: 250 words.

SWITZERLAND-UNDERCOVER-JOURNALISM

BERLIN — Four Swiss journalists have won a case before the European Court of Human Rights over their use of hidden cameras. The reporters had used the cameras as part of a 2003 investigative documentary about misleading advice provided by insurance brokers. SENT: 140 words.

POLAND-UKRAINE

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s Parliament speaker says that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support of separatists in eastern Ukraine has backfired on him by stoking greater Ukrainian nationalism elsewhere in the country. SENT: 110 words.

BRITAIN-LOBBYING-STING

LONDON — Conservative Party lawmaker Malcolm Rifkind has quit as head of the committee overseeing Britain’s intelligence services and announced his retirement from Parliament, after being caught in a hidden-camera sting appearing to discuss swapping political influence for money. SENT: 130 words, photos.

SERBIA-MIGRANTS-INJURED

BELGRADE, Serbia — A van packed with migrants has swerved off a road in southern Serbia, injuring 40 people, some of them seriously. Serbian police say the accident happened early Tuesday and the driver fled the scene. It was not immediately clear what caused the van to slide off the road. SENT: 110 words.

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