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

October 6, 2014

TOP STORIES FOR MONEY, OCTOBER 6, 2014

NOBEL-MEDICINE

STOCKHOLM — U.S.-British scientist John O’Keefe and married Norwegian researchers May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discovering the “inner GPS” that helps the brain navigate through the world. Their findings on rats — and research suggests human have the same system in their brains — represent a “paradigm shift” in our knowledge of how cells work together to perform cognitive functions and could help scientists understand the mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease, the Nobel Assembly said. SENT: 550 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1300 GMT. By Karl Ritter and Malin Rising.

TURKEY-OIL SMUGGLING

HACIPASA, Turkey — Sevda, a 22-year-old waitress in a brown apron, recounts how she made a small fortune running smuggled diesel from a village on Turkey’s wild and dangerous border with Syria. But the days when she could earn 20 times her salary waiting tables came to an abrupt end several months ago when police arrested her and slapped her employers with a massive fine. The smuggled fuel came from oil wells in Iraq or Syria controlled by militants, including the Islamic State group, and was sold to middlemen who smuggled it across the Turkish-Syrian border. Western intelligence officials have alleged that Turkey is turning a blind eye to a flourishing trade that strengthens the Islamic State group, and Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Turkey to do more to stem the trade. Analysts estimate that the Islamic State group gets up to $3 million a day in revenue from oil fields seized in Iraq and Syria. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. By Desmond Butler.

VATICAN-FAMILY

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged bishops to speak their minds about contentious issues like contraception, gays, marriage and divorce at the start Monday of a two-week meeting aimed at making the church’s teaching on family matters relevant to today’s Catholics. Francis told bishops they shouldn’t even be afraid of showing him disrespect, saying he wants a frank and open debate that shouldn’t be reined in by fears that some issues are too taboo to even be discussed. By Nicole Winfield.

BRITAIN-MISSING GIRL

LONDON — A woman who was accused of sending Internet abuse to the parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann has been found dead in a hotel room. Her death has revived debate about media responsibility and how best to respond to online “trolls.” Television channel Sky News identified 63-year-old Brenda Leyland as a Twitter user who had attacked Kate and Gerry McCann under the name “sweepyface.” Last week a Sky News reporter confronted Leyland on camera about the alleged abuse. SENT: 440 words.

CORPORATE DEALS

LONDON — In a year that’s been awash with multi-billion dollar corporate deals, the number and value of mergers and acquisitions is set to grow further, reaching pre-crisis levels over the coming 12 months, consulting firm EY said Monday. In its biannual Global Capital confidence barometer, EY said global M&A is on course to return to 2006 levels in the next year thanks to improvements in market conditions. Companies started getting reluctant to do deals in 2007 when the credit crunch really started. The following year’s global financial crisis and subsequent recession saw M&A activity come to a near standstill. SENT: 380 words. By Pan Pylas.

EU-BULGARIA-ELECTION

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is returning to power after his center-right GERB party won most seats in parliamentary elections, but fell short of a majority to govern alone. With 99 percent of the votes counted, the GERB party leads with 32.7 percent, with the Socialists second with 15.4 percent, the Central Election Commission announced on Monday. SENT: 130 words.

EU-GREECE-BUDGET

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s economy is on track to emerge from a six-year recession this year and grow by 2.9 percent in 2015, though unemployment in the bailed-out country is likely to remain high, the finance ministry said Monday. The government — facing the threat of an early general election — submitted a draft of the 2015 budget to parliament that sees tax cuts and a return to modest growth of 0.6 percent in 2014, ending the depression that erased roughly a quarter of national output. SENT: 380 words. By Derek Gatopoulos.

CYPRUS-TURKEY-PEACE TALKS

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ foreign minister says Turkey’s stated intention to search for oil and gas in waters where the ethnically-split island nation has licensed an Italian-South Korean consortium to drill could upset reunification talks. Ioanis Kasoulides says productive negotiations can’t continue “under such conditions of provocation.” He told reporters Monday that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will decide soon on how to respond. SENT: 140 words.

EU-POLAND-NATO

WARSAW, Poland — NATO’s new secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, is in Poland on his first foreign trip since starting the job last week, a visit meant to reassure a nervous ally on the alliance’s eastern flank. Speaking in Warsaw alongside the Polish president, Stoltenberg on Monday stressed that NATO would protect and defend each of its allies. SENT: 130 words.

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