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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

September 22, 2014



ANKARA, Turkey — The number of Syrian refugees who have reached Turkey in the past four days after fleeing the advance of Islamic State militants now totals 130,000, Turkey’s deputy prime minister says. Numan Kurtulmus warned that the number could rise further but insisted that Turkey was ready to react to “the worst case scenario.” By Desmond Butler. SENT: 325 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words by 1200 GMT.


KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian officials say both government troops and pro-Russian rebels have begun withdrawing heavy artillery in the east of the country, a significant step toward implementing an effective cease-fire in the region. By Laura Mills. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 1130 GMT, photos.


LONDON — Western powers must be ready to commit ground forces to the fight against militants from the Islamic State group because airstrikes alone won’t defeat these “fanatical” extremists, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday. Writing on his Faith Foundation website, Blair said it would be better if the troops were to come from those closer to the fighting, such as Iraqi or Kurdish forces, but this may not be enough. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 220 words.


MADRID — A Spanish priest who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone has been flown back to Spain and taken to a Madrid hospital. Manuel Garcia Viejo, a medical director of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in the city of Lunsar in Sierra Leone, arrived on a medically equipped military plane shortly after 3 a.m. Monday.


WARSAW, Poland — The Polish president is swearing in a reshuffled government under new prime minister Ewa Kopacz. Kopacz replaces Donald Tusk, who was recently chosen to head the European Council. SENT: 130 words, photos.



BERLIN — The German economy is doing well, almost too well. While some European countries are struggling with record youth unemployment, many employers in Germany have trouble finding young people to hire. The apprenticeship, a once-respected career path, is falling out of favor with Germany’s dwindling pool of young people, many of whom prefer to go to university than leave school at 16 to learn a trade. The jobs are often manual — in bakeries, restaurants or factory floors — and seen as lower status, but have been key in keeping youth unemployment down and driving Germany’s dynamic economy. By Frank Jordans. AP Photos. SENT: 950 words, photos.


LONDON — Tesco, Britain’s largest retailer by revenue, has suspended four executives and launched an accounting investigation after admitting that its half-year profit was overstated by 250 million pounds ($407 million). The accounting irregularity led the company to issue on Monday its third profit warning this year. The announcements shocked investors, with shares falling 8.8 percent to 209.40 pence in early trading Monday. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 240 words.


FRANKFURT, Germany — German drug company Merck says it has agreed to buy St. Louis-based chemical firm Sigma-Aldrich Corp. for $17 billion. Darmstadt-based Merck KGaA says it’s paying $140 per share in cash for all of Sigma-Aldrich’s shares — a premium of 37 percent over Friday’s closing price of $102.37. SENT: 130 words, UPCOMING: 300 by 1200 GMT.


BERLIN — Workers at four of Amazon.com’s German distribution centers have started a two-day strike in a long-running dispute over wages. The ver.di union says workers at the American online retailer’s logistics centers in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Graben and Rheinberg will stay off the job until Tuesday evening. SENT: 130 words.

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