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BC-AP European News Digest 1100 GMT

August 21, 2014

TOP STORIES FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 21, 2014

UKRAINE

KIEV, Ukraine — Five troops were killed and two civilians died in the past 24 hours in rebel-held areas as Ukrainian government forces are making a push against pro-Russian separatists. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. 300 words by 1130 GMT.

TURKEY-POLITICS

ANKARA, Turkey — Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party were poised Thursday to choose his successor as party chairman and prime minister, with expectations high that the man who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade will keep charge as president. Erdogan has indicated that he plans to keep tight control of the government by transforming the normally ceremonial presidency. He has said he would employ its seldom-used powers, such as summoning and presiding over Cabinet meetings. Turkey’s first popularly elected president, Erdogan takes office Aug. 28. By Suzan Fraser. Meeting due to start at 1100 GMT. Will be updated.

IRELAND-OBIT-REYNOLDS

DUBLIN — Albert Reynolds, the straight-talking Irish prime minister who played a key role in delivering peace to Northern Ireland but struggled to keep his own governments intact, died Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81. His eldest son, Philip, said he died around 3 a.m. at his Dublin home, where in recent years he required 24-hour care. By Shawn Pogatchnik. Will be updated by 1300 GMT. 500 words.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

FRANKFURT, Germany — A survey of business activity shows the economy of the 18-country eurozone grew at only a slow pace in August, a sign it remains sluggish after a disappointing second quarter in which it did not expand at all. The purchasing managers’ index published by Markit Economics fell to 52.8 points from 53.8 in July. A reading over 50 indicates the economy is expanding. 250 words. Sent.

INTERPOL-JOURNALIST SLAIN

PARIS — Interpol says the killing of an American journalist kidnapped in Syria shows the need for a coordinated international effort against the stream of foreign fighters joining extremists in the Middle East. The international policy agency said in a statement Thursday that James Foley’s death shows the “depravity” of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and “highlights the ongoing plight of other innocent people across the region.” 400 words upcoming by 1200 GMT.

RUSSIA-MCDONALDS

MOSCOW — Russian news agencies reported Thursday that the country’s food safety agency will conduct checks on McDonald’s restaurants in the Urals following food safety complaints, a day after four branches of the chain were shuttered in Moscow. Natalya Lukyantseva, an official in the Sverdlovsk regional office of the agency, told RIA Novosti and Interfax that unplanned checks were being carried out in a number of restaurants after residents voiced safety concerns. The inspections come one day after the agency, known in Russian as Rospotrebnadzor, ordered four Moscow-based restaurants to suspend operations, citing “numerous” sanitary law breaches. Associated Press. 250 words. Sent.

GERMANY-DOCTOR ARRESTED

BERLIN — Authorities in Germany have arrested a hospital doctor on suspicion he drugged and sexually abused female patients participating in a fake clinical study he set up. German news agency dpa reported Thursday that the unidentified 48-year-old worked at a clinic in the Bavarian town of Bamberg. 130 words. Sent.

BRITAIN-AMY WINEHOUSE

LONDON — Amy Winehouse is to be commemorated with a statue in the London neighborhood where she lived and worked. The late singer’s family says the statue will be unveiled in Camden Town on Sept. 14, her 31st birthday. 130 words. Sent.

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