BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1200 GMT
LONDON — Fears that the 18-country eurozone could be heading back into recession eased Friday with the news that it grew faster than expected in the third quarter, thanks to a better performance by France and confirmation Greece has come out of one of the developed world’s deepest recessions in living memory. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics, found that the eurozone grew by 0.2 percent in the July to September period from the previous quarter, which is equivalent to an annualized rate of around 0.8 percent. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 470 words, photos.
ROME — Italy’s dynamo premier works with his sleeves rolled up and often without a tie. And Matteo Renzi, on a mission to revive a moribund economy, is bringing his barnstorming style to a fight against cozy links between Italy’s political Left and its influential labor unions. The center-left Renzi is taking on his own political camp by barreling ahead with a plan to make it easier to fire workers, putting him on a collision course with union leaders, once stalwart allies of his Democratic party. By Frances D’emilio. SENT: 950 words, photos.
BERLIN — Europe’s Philae lander is reported to be doing well and has succeeded in planting a thermometer in the comet where it touched down this week. Scientists have received a stream of data from the lander, which on Wednesday became the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet and has since sent its first images from the surface of the body, known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 310 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developments from 1300 GMT briefing.
TBILISI, Georgia — Kakha Bendukidze, the author of liberal reforms that overhauled Georgia’s post-Soviet economy, has died in London where he was recovering from heart surgery. The 58-year-old economist recently had been advising Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on reforming that nation’s economy. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 320 words, photo by 1215 GMT.
FRANCE-TIGER ON THE LOOSE
MONTEVRAIN, France — A tiger eluding scores of security forces near Disneyland Paris has apparently crossed a major highway and slinked past a gas station — and is still on the loose. A dozen police vehicles lined a grassy area where the big cat was spotted early Friday, after a day of searching failed to capture the tiger, whose origins remain a mystery. By Milos Krivokapic. SENT: 240 words, photos.
STOCKHOLM — Sweden has confirmed that a small foreign submarine illegally entered its waters last month, though it’s still unclear which country was behind the intrusion, officials said Friday. In unusually stark language for the nonaligned country, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warned that such incursions into Swedish territory presented “enormous risks” for those involved and that Sweden would defend its borders “with all available means.” By Karl Ritter. SENT: 310 words.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will host a luncheon for survivors of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan during his Jan. 12-19 visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines that confirms Asia as a priority of his pontificate. The Vatican on Friday released the itinerary for the pope’s second trip to Asia following his August pilgrimage to South Korea. SENT: 130 words.