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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

October 13, 2014



LONDON — The caller said her home had burned down and her husband had been badly hurt in the blaze. On the telephone with her bank, she pleaded for a replacement credit card at her new address. “We lost everything,” she said. “Can you send me a card to where we’re staying now?” The card nearly was sent. But as the woman poured out her story, a computer compared the biometric features of her voice against a database of suspected fraudsters. Not only was the caller not the person she claimed to be, “she” wasn’t even a woman. The program identified the caller as a male impostor trying to steal the woman’s identity. The conversation, a partial transcript of which was provided to The Associated Press by the anti-fraud company Verint Systems Inc., reflects the growing use of voice biometric technology to screen calls for signs of fraud. By Raphael Satter. SENT: 1,100 words.


STOCKHOLM — French economist Jean Tirole has won the Nobel prize for economics for research on market power and regulation. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Monday that Tirole “has clarified how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms.” By Karl Ritter. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 1130 GMT, photos.


KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian military officials say they have observed a reduction in the presence of Russian troops in areas at the heart of fighting between government troops and separatist rebels. Security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that Russian personnel stationed in field camps in Ukraine have been observed returning to their home bases inside Russia. By Peter Leonard. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1200 GMT.


VATICAN CITY — Catholic bishops are showing remarkable openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays have gifts to offer the church and that there are “positive” aspects of a couple living together with being married. A two-week meeting of bishops on family issues arrived at its half-way point Monday with a document summarizing the closed-door debate so far. No decisions were announced, but the tone was one of almost revolutionary acceptance rather than condemnation, with the aim of guiding Catholics toward the ideal of a lasting marriage. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 350 words, photos.


MADRID — The director of the Madrid hospital treating Spain’s Ebola patient says the woman is stable and doctors are cautiously hopeful she will recover. Antonio Andreu told Onda Cero radio Monday that tests carried out on assistant nurse Teresa Romero on Sunday showed the level of virus had diminished significantly but he warned there could be other complications and it is too risky to make predictions. SENT: 130 words.



LONDON — World stock markets turned higher in Europe on Monday following losses in Asia and after the release of robust Chinese trade figures. Investor sentiment remains fragile, however, amid concerns about the global economic outlook. SENT: 130 words.


HELSINKI — Norwegian energy company Statoil says it has sold its stake in the Shah Deniz gas project in Azerbaijan to Malaysian company Petronas for $2.25 billion. Statoil says the sale “optimizes our portfolio and strengthens our financial flexibility.” SENT: 130 words.

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