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BC-AP--AP European News Digest at 1100 GMT, AP

September 24, 2013



MURMANSK, Russia — Russia files piracy charges against Greenpeace activists who tried to climb onto an offshore drilling platform in the Arctic owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. The activists are on a Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which was seized last week by the Russian Coast Guard and towed Tuesday into a port near Murmansk. By Alexander Roslyakov and Lynn Berry. SENT: 325 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words by 1300 GMT.


GROSSETO, Italy — The trial in Italy of the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia is yielding an unusual alliance of sorts. Both the lawyers for Francesco Schettino and those representing the victims say he is not the only one responsible, and many things went wrong that might have contributed to the death toll when the cruise liner crashed into a reef off a Tuscan island in 2012. By Frances d’Emilio. SENT: 120 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1400 GMT.


ATHENS, Greece — Greek civil servants walk off the job at the start of a 48-hour public sector strike, the second in as many weeks, to protest job cuts required for the country to continue receiving international rescue loans. State school, tax office and hospital workers joined the strike, while ambulances services were to run with a reduced staff. Journalists joined in with a three-hour work stoppage, pulling any non-strike related news of the air. SENT: 460 words, photos.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The International Criminal Court prosecutor said Tuesday she is prepared to work with Kenya to bring to justice the attackers responsible for the deadly siege on an upscale Nairobi shopping mall. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement that while Kenya has primary jurisdiction in the slaying of civilians in the Westgate Mall, the atrocity could also fall under the court’s jurisdiction. SENT: 290 words, photos.


NEW YORK — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is offering European cities millions to come up with plans to improve urban life, tapping his personal fortune as the end of his tenure nears to extend his cities-as-civic-laboratories campaign outside America as the end of his own tenure nears. The billionaire businessman-turned-politician invited about 600 sizeable European cities Tuesday to compete for 9 million euros from his personal foundation. By Jennifer Peltz. SENT: 470 words.


FRANKFURT, Germany — A closely watched index of German business confidence rose for the fifth month in a row in September, reflecting the improved prospects for Europe’s largest economy and the 17-country euro currency union. The Ifo institute’s index, released Tuesday, edged up to 107.7 points from 107.6 in August. Market analysts had expected it to rise slightly more, to 108.0 By David Mchugh. SENT: 380 words, photos.


LONDON — Airbus is predicting that nearly 30,000 new aircraft will have to be built globally in the next 20 years, largely to satisfy demand in emerging markets, particularly China. Unveiling its forecasts through to 2032, the European jet maker says Tuesday that air traffic will grow 4.7 percent annually. That will require over 29,200 new passenger and freighter aircraft, of which 10,400 to replace existing planes. Airbus values the new aircraft needs at $4.4 trillion. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1230 GMT.



LONDON — Chelsea and Manchester City look to avoid embarrassing slip-ups against lower-league opponents in the third round of the League Cup. Out-of-favor playmaker Juan Mata will try to impress Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho when he gets a rare start at third-tier club Swindon while City seeks revenge over second-tier team Wigan after losing to its northwest neighbour in last season’s FA Cup final. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, by 2200 GMT.


LONDON — Britain is turning to the top official in Canadian tennis to improve its fortunes on the world stage. Michael Downey was hired as the chief executive of Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association on Tuesday, ending his nine-year tenure as president and chief executive of Tennis Canada. SENT: 300 words.

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