TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1100 GMT

AUSTRIA-HUNTER'S TALE

GROSSPRIEL, Austria — In Austria, hunting game such as deer and wild boar is a hallowed way of life, one that follows age-old codes of honor and requires a license bestowed only after passing rigorous exams. In that exalted world, Alois Huber was a brazen outlaw even before he went on a murderous rampage that left four people dead. Not only did he poach game illegally in the middle of the night, he violated one of hunting's most sacred rules: Kill for meat, not just the trophy of the wild animal's head. By George Jahn. SENT: 800 words, photos.

GREECE-STABBING

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of mourners gathered in a cemetery west of Athens Thursday for the funeral of a 34-year-old musician stabbed to death in a killing blamed on a member of the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party. Pavlos Fyssas, a hip-hop singer with the stage name Killah P described as an anti-fascist activist, died early Wednesday from two stab wounds to the chest after leaving a cafe in the western area of Keratsini. Anti-fascist protests turned violent in several cities the previous night, overshadowing a nationwide strike and demonstrations against the government's plans to cut public sector jobs. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 440 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1300 GMT.

KOSOVO-SHOOTING

MITROVICA, Kosovo — An EU customs officer in Kosovo was shot to death Thursday in the tense, Serb-dominated north, the EU Rule of Law Mission said. The incident took place early Thursday during regular staff rotation when two EULEX vehicles came under fire from unknown persons, the Mission said in a statement. By Zvezdan Djukanovic. SENT: 300 words, photos.

GERMANY-ELECTION: MERKEL PROFILE and STEINBRUECK PROFILE

BERLIN— It's been called the Merkel mystery: How did a pastor's daughter who once marched in the uniform of East Germany's communist youth end up leading a conservative, male-dominated party from West Germany to become the country's first female chancellor With Angela Merkel favored to win Sunday's national elections, observers at home and abroad are once again puzzling over the reasons for her success. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 910 words, photos.

BERLIN — Peer Steinbrueck knows the view from the heights of German politics: Over four decades, he's worked at the chancellery, run the country's most populous state and helped steer Germany through the 2008 financial crisis as finance minister. Getting to the top in his own right, however, is proving tricky for the 66-year-old Social Democrat — a sometimes impatient, even abrasive figure with a self-proclaimed penchant for plain speaking. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 680 words, photos.

ITALY-MILAN-FASHION-WEEK-MAX-MARA

MILAN — Max Mara has clean looks for next summer that are alternatively playful and workaday. The women's collection, presented Thursday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week, had an austere quality reflected in its monochrome neutral shades and simple lines. By contrast, that lent emphasis to the designer's playful touches: layers of sheer fabrics, lame shimmers and youthful romper or jumpsuit silhouettes. By Colleen Barry. SENT: 240 words, photos.

AP Photos

GERMANY-SYRIA-CHEMICAL-WEAPONS

BERLIN — Germany says it's giving 2 million euros ($2.7 million) to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to help it oversee the destruction of Syria's arms stocks. An agreement last Saturday between Russia and the U.S. called for an inventory of Syria's chemical weapons within a week, and for all components of the program to be out of the country or destroyed by mid-2014. The Hague, Netherlands-based OPCW will have to oversee that process.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL

WORLD-MARKETS

LONDON — The unexpected decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep its monetary stimulus unchanged jolted financial markets Thursday, sending stocks and commodities sharply higher. The Fed's decision Wednesday to maintain its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases was a surprise. Most Fed watchers were predicting that the central bank would begin the process of unwinding its stimulus, so-called "tapering." A $10 billion monthly reduction was the consensus in markets. Instead, the Fed did nothing and chairman Ben Bernanke voiced worries over the state of the U.S. economic recovery and the still-high levels of unemployment. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: Update at 1350 GMT.

GERMANY-LUFTHANSA-AIRCRAFT-ORDER

FRANKFURT, Germany — German airline Lufthansa is ordering 34 new jets from Boeing and 25 from European rival Airbus as it updates its long-haul fleet to make it more fuel efficient and lower costs. Lufthansa said the orders were worth 14 billion euros ($19 billion) at list prices. Big orders, however, often get discounts. And Lufthansa said it was taking options to buy more planes if its business needs demanded it. SENT: 240 words.