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

July 14, 2014



KIEV, Ukraine — Fighting has intensified around the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk as government forces step up efforts to disrupt rebel lines and claim more territory from the faltering insurgency. The Defense Ministry said Monday that government troops had retaken several villages around the rebel-controlled city and reopened a corridor to the airport. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1300 GMT. By Peter Leonard.


LONDON — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is likely to face a barrage of questions Monday from lawmakers asking what can be done to reduce the value of the euro amid further signs the recovery in the 18-country eurozone is faltering. The ECB is coming under increasing pressure to do more to stem the strength of the euro, which is hurting exporters and keeping a lid on the region’s recovery from recession. SENT: 500 words, photos. By Pan Pylas.


GIGLIO, Italy — The shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been successfully refloated in preparation for towing it away for scrapping. Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had proceeded without a hitch early Monday. The cruise liner struck a reef in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 1400 GMT.


BRUSSELS — The incoming leader of Europe’s most powerful bureaucracy is a master of the backroom deal — and an outspoken and witty career politician who once advocated the right to lie in times of crisis. Jean-Claude Juncker, who was prime minister of Luxembourg for almost two decades, was a controversial pick as the 28-nation European Union’s new chief executive, not least because the British government vociferously opposed him. The British tabloid The Sun portrayed him as “the most dangerous man in Europe.” SENT: 1,000 words. By Juergen Baetz.


PARIS — Soldiers carrying the flags of 76 countries are walking down the Champs-Elysees in Paris, as France’s traditional Bastille Day military parade commemorates the centenary of World War I. France has invited all countries that were involved on the battlefields — former allies and enemies participating altogether in Monday’s ceremony as a symbol of peace. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1200 GMT. By Sylvie Corbet.


LONDON — Civil liberties groups are taking Britain’s spy agencies to court in a bid to limit electronic surveillance, as the government tries to pass legislation to extend snooping powers. On Monday a special court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, is hearing a challenge to mass online snooping from groups including Amnesty International, Liberty and the American Civil Liberties Union. SENT: 130 words.


LONDON — The Church of England is set to vote on whether women should be allowed to enter its top ranks as bishops. The Church’s national assembly, known as the General Synod, is meeting in York, northern England, where it will debate the issue ahead of a vote Monday. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words after vote.


PAMPLONA, Spain — A fighting bull gored two men and spread panic in a hair-raising final running of the bulls at Spain’s San Fermin festival Monday. Hundreds of people dashed alongside the six half-ton beasts and their accompanying steer through the cobblestone streets of Pamplona in the eighth run. SENT: 300 words.


LONDON — London’s Metropolitan Police have announced a new policy of hiring only Londoners in a bid to make the police force more representative of the population it serves. Mayor Boris Johnson said Monday the change would allow the city to “achieve our goals more quickly.” SENT: 130 words.

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