BC-EU--Europe News Digest at 1300 GMT, EU
TOP STORIES FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2015:
SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Serbia makes the first arrests of people suspected of carrying out killings in the Srebrenica massacre, a milestone in healing the wounds of Europe’s worst civilian slaughter since World War II. By Jovana Gec, Aida Cerkez and Dusan Stojanovic. SENT: 950 words, photos.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish police say at least three people have been wounded in an apparent gang-related shooting in a shopping mall parking garage in southern Copenhagen. SENT: 130 words.
SHCHASLYVE, Ukraine — Crimea exiles are fighting to keep their Ukraine unity message alive, and are bemoaning a lack of government help. By Peter Leonard. SENT: 690 words, photos.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch went to the polls Wednesday to elect 12 provincial councils, in a vote that could have profound consequences for the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The 570 provincial representatives elected in Wednesday’s vote will, in turn, choose a new Senate on May 26. By Mike Corder. SENT: 300 words, photos.
KIEV, Ukraine — Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine threatened Wednesday to abandon a cease-fire following changes to a law granting their regions self-rule. Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky said in a statement that legislation giving areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions special status has been weakened by the amendments. SENT: 420 words. By Peter Leonard.
PARIS — Paris police have lowered speed limits and ordered a halt to trash burning as part of emergency measures triggered by a spike in air pollution — months before the city hosts a major international climate conference. The police department says Wednesday’s order includes a 20 kph (12 mph) reduction in speed limits on highways in the metropolitan area. SENT: 130 words, photos.
TURKEY-WWI-NAVAL BATTLE CENTENARY
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is marking the centenary of its WWI naval victory over the Allied forces in the battle of Gallipoli. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday led commemorations at a stadium in Canakkale, northwest Turkey. Prayers were held in mosques for the soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The faithful were served soup and dried raisin compote to commemorate the meager rations those long-ago Turkish soldiers ate. SENT: 130 words.
BERLIN — Bernhard “Buddy” Elias, the first cousin and last close relative of teenage Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, has died at age 89. The Anne Frank Fonds said Wednesday that Elias died peacefully Monday at his home in Basel, Switzerland, surrounded by his family. SENT: 500 words, photos.
PORTUGAL-FIGHTING FOR A FUTURE
VILA NOVA DE GAIA, Portugal — A rusting yellow production line dangles from the ceiling of the cavernous Valadares factory, the long racks of ceramic sinks and toilets whose manufacture once provided jobs for 1,500 people gathering dust in the dim light from high windows. The Portuguese factory shut down in 2012 amid Europe’s financial crisis, its huge debts and outdated business practices dooming it to bankruptcy. Now, on the factory floor some 10 meters (30 feet) below the symbols of the broken past, some former employees are back at their jobs and fighting to rebuild their lives after the business was reopened by private investors. SENT: 900 words, photos. By Barry Hatton.
LONDON — The British budget to be unveiled Wednesday will be driven by three certainties: death, taxes and the desire of incumbent governments to win re-election. Treasury chief George Osborne will, as tradition dictates, carry a battered red briefcase containing his budget into the House of Commons before outlining his tax and spending plans — a piece of annual theater more closely watched than usual because it comes seven weeks before a general election. Given the timing, politically motivated giveaways are widely predicted, even as the government forecasts years of austerity to rein in the budget deficit. SENT: 770 words, photos. UPCOMING: 850 words. By Danica Kirka.