BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1200 GMT
PARIS — The French president’s complex personal life — and what it means to be the first lady in modern society — may get a full airing on Tuesday as Francois Hollande answers questions for the first time since a tabloid reported he was having an affair with an actress. Hollande’s partner, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, has been hospitalized since Friday, when the tabloid Closer published photos it said proved Hollande’s liaison with Julie Gayet. The pictures included one of a man it said was Hollande being ferried by motorcycle to an apartment where Gayet waited. By Lori Hinnant. SENT: words, photos. UPCOMING: Coverage from news conference at 1530 GMT.
AP Photos REB107-0505120000.
PARIS — In a first yet fragile step toward peace, Syria’s government and the main but disputed moderate opposition group seeking to oust it have agreed to allow humanitarian aid into some blocked-off parts of the scarred Mideast country. The agreement was announced by the top envoys for the U.S. and Russia, who together are working the opposite sides to broker progress in any possible way to ease the bloody strife that has engulfed Syria for nearly three years without an end in sight. By Lara Jakes and Lori Hinnant. SENT: 940 words, photos.
PRAGUE — The Czech Foreign Ministry says Palestinian authorities have apologized for illegal weapons that were discovered at the Palestinian embassy complex in Prague where a possibly booby-trapped safe killed the ambassador. In a statement Tuesday, the ministry says the Palestinians have promised to take measures to prevent such incidents in the future. SENT: 140 words.
VIENNA — Diplomats say the U.N. nuclear agency will meet Jan. 24 on its role in supervising Iranian adherence to terms of a landmark pact reached between Tehran and six world powers. The date was shared with The Associated Press by two diplomats from member countries of the U.N’s International Atomic Energy Agency. They demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal it before a formal IAEA announcement. By George Jahn. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 230 words by 1300 GMT.
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish media say police have carried out raids in six Turkish cities, detaining several people allegedly linked to al-Qaida, including an employee of a prominent Islamic charity. The aid organization, IHH, confirmed Tuesday that its storage facility near the Syrian border was searched and an employee was detained. It, however, rejected any ties to al-Qaida and denounced the police raid as an attempt to discredit the organization. SENT: 140 words.
LONDON — Lawyers for a young Afghan man say he has been granted asylum in Britain because he is an atheist who could face death in his homeland. Lawyers for the man, who has not been identified, say he came to Britain aged 16 in 2007 and gradually lost his Muslim faith. SENT: 130 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL
LONDON — Industry across the eurozone managed to offset the impact of a strong euro in November to post the biggest rise in output in three and a half years, official figures showed Tuesday. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said industrial output in the then 17-country eurozone rose by 1.8 percent compared with the previous month. That was ahead of market expectations for a 1.3 percent increase and the biggest monthly increase since May 2010, when the region’s debt crisis was particularly acute and Greece got its first international bailout. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 540 words, photos.
PARIS — French President Francois Hollande is expected Tuesday to present a new set of policies to revive the economy, which is lagging behind other major European countries and is in danger of sliding back into recession. At a press conference that will be dominated by questions over his personal life, Hollande will likely unveil measures to reduce unemployment and help businesses. UPCOMING: 130 words at 1530 when news conference starts; 300 words by 1830 GMT.
The price of oil struggled to advance much beyond $92 a barrel Tuesday on expectations that supplies will rise with ramped up output in Libya and the North Sea, along with more exports from Iran if a deal on its nuclear program succeeds. By midday in Europe, the benchmark U.S. oil contract for February delivery was up 23 cents at $92.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 92 cents to close at $91.80 on Monday. By The Associated Press. SENT: 350 words, photos.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia’s prosecution office says it has launched an investigation against 1,970 companies who owe a total of 296 million konvertible marka (151 million euros, $206 million) in taxes. A statement from the prosecutor’s office said Tuesday a team of investigators will look into the businesses of companies from a list of debtors the tax authorities recently published. The team will look for evidence of criminal activity related to tax evasion. SENT: 140 wordsl.