BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1100 GMT
GENEVA — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is seeking to ensure that a Russian proposal to secure Syria’s chemical weapons will be intrusive enough and enforceable to bolster a new diplomatic initiative to hold Syria to account for using the banned arms. By Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee. SENT: 1,260 words, photos, audio, video.
LONDON — Britain’s coalition government is going where even free market maestro Margaret Thatcher feared to tread, confirming plans to privatize the 500-year-old Royal Mail service. Stock will be offered in the coming weeks, but the government vows to maintain some traditions, including the familiar red pillar boxes that are part of the British landscape. Although ‘snail mail’ revenue has dropped, the government believes the new company can be profitable, in part by focusing on package delivery.By Gregory Katz and Raphael Satter. SENT: 360 words. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos by 1300 GMT.
LONDON — The publisher of Britain’s Sunday Mirror tabloid said Thursday that it is being investigated by police over alleged phone hacking by its journalists. Trinity Mirror PLC says police informed its newspaper subsidiary, MGN Ltd., “that they are at a very early stage in investigating whether MGN is criminally liable for the alleged unlawful conduct by previous employees in relation to phone hacking on the Sunday Mirror.” SENT: 260 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1200 GMT.
MOSCOW — Opposition activist Alexei Navalny has arrived at a Moscow courthouse to start a lawsuit contesting the results of Moscow’s mayoral election, which he lost to the Kremlin-backed incumbent. Navalny wrote on his blog that he planned to bring more than 50,000 pages of documents to court on Thursday to support his claim that there had been violations at the polls. He received 27 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election which incumbent Sergei Sobyanin won 51 percent. SENT: 120 words.
NORTHERN IRELAND-OMAGH BOMB
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Britain’s Cabinet minister for Northern Ireland has rejected calls for a public probe into alleged tipoffs that might have stopped the 1998 car bomb attack on Omagh. In a letter to victims’ families published Thursday, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers says a new probe is unnecessary because a police watchdog is already investigating the full circumstances of the bombing. SENT: 130 words.
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners are ruling out teaming up with her center-left rivals as they seek to motivate supporters ahead of Germany’s elections. The pro-market Free Democrats joined Merkel’s government when her second term began in 2009, a center-right alliance of traditional allies. Polls show only a wafer-thin majority for the coalition. SENT: 130 words.
BUCHAREST, Romania — Police say seven people have died and hundreds have been evacuated in eastern Romania as torrential rain caused flash flooding in the remote region overnight. Police spokeswoman Cristina Tatulici said Thursday that five people drowned and two had heart attacks after flooding hit 12 villages. An 8-year-old child is reported missing. Torrential rain began Wednesday evening and continued overnight. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 200 words by 1230 GMT.
LONDON — Teenage troubadour Jake Bugg and 66-year-old rock icon David Bowie are among nominees for Britain’s eclectic and prestigious Mercury prize for album of the year. Bowie is nominated for “The Next Day,” his first album in a decade, and Bugg for his rootsy self-titled debut. SENT: 130 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL
BRUSSELS — European lawmakers are expected to back legislation establishing a new, centralized oversight for Europe’s largest banks Thursday, marking what is considered a key step toward stabilizing the bloc’s financial system. The centralized bank supervision authority, which will be anchored by the European Central bank, is due to be up and running late next year following a thorough stress-test of the banks’ balance sheets. By Juergen Baetz. Moved: 540 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words with vote, timing uncertain.
FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW-LOW COST PHENOM
FRANKFURT- In recession-hit Europe, Dacia, Dacia, the Romanian subsidiary of French manufacturer Renault, is bucking the region’s sliding sales. In the first half of this year, the company sold 141,278 passenger cars in the EU, 17.6 percent more than it sold during the same period last year. That’s the biggest percentage increase in Europe, an impressive result in a market that fell 6.6 percent in that period.
By Sarah DiLorenzo. SENT: 540 words, photos.
FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW-EYE CANDY
FRANKFURT, Germany — Maybe we can’t buy — but we can look. A walk past the most expensive, striking, cool and outrageous vehicles on the exhibition floor at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Smart and Audi. By David McHugh. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 1500 GMT.