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

August 12, 2014



MOSCOW — A convoy of 280 Russian trucks reportedly packed with aid headed for eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, but Ukraine said it wouldn’t let the mission in because it isn’t certified by the international Red Cross and could be a covert military operation. It showed what it said was secretly filmed footage of soldiers lining up in front of the trucks. The Red Cross said it has no information on what the convoy is carrying or where it’s going. SENT: 550 words. UPCOMING: 650 words by 1130 GMT. By Laura Mills.


MADRID — A Spanish missionary priest being treated for Ebola died Tuesday in a Madrid hospital amid a worldwide ethical debate over who should get an experimental Ebola drug. Spain’s Health Ministry said Monday it had obtained a course of the U.S.-made experimental Ebola drug ZMapp to treat Father Miguel Pajares, 75. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 680 words. By Ciaran Giles and Maria Cheng.


HARBOVAT, Moldova — Farmer Sergiu Calmac watches as row upon row of juicy red apples once destined for Russia ripen, fall to the ground and start to rot. Two weeks before Russia banned most food from the West, it placed a similar embargo on produce closer to home in Moldova, a small Eastern European country seeking deeper ties with the European Union. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. By Corneliu Rusnac and Vanessa Gera.


FRANKFURT, Germany — Italy has popped up as the European economy’s problem child. Again. Other countries that used to dominate negative headlines — Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal — are slowly healing from the debt crisis that ravaged the currency union. But Italy slid back into recession in the second quarter as reform efforts by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi have been put off. Italy’s failure to tackle corruption, bureacracy and rigid labor rules is holding back a weak eurozone recovery and complicating life for the European Central Bank as it tries to push the recovery up to self-sustaining speed against headwinds from the crisis in Ukraine and slowing ouput in Germany. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1500 GMT. By David McHugh.


ANKARA, Turkey — A coal mine collapsed in northern Turkey on Tuesday, trapping up to nine people inside, an official said. The accident occurred just months after 301 miners were killed in the country’s worst mining disaster. SENT: 200 words.


BERLIN — A former top spy in Yugoslavia’s feared secret service has been charged with complicity in murder in Germany in connection with the killing of a political dissident 31 years ago. German federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 72-year-old Zdravko Mustac was charged July 22, after his extradition in April from Croatia, whose citizenship he now holds. SENT: 130 words.


ISTANBUL — A group of human rights organizations said Tuesday they are organizing a flotilla of vessels that will attempt to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza later this year. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition said it plans to sail to Gaza “during 2014.” It did not specify how many vessels would participate, but said the flotilla was “a reflection of the growing worldwide solidarity with the Palestinian people; from the U.S. to Malaysia, from Scandinavia to South Africa.” SENT: 200 words.


MADRID — The Spanish sea rescue service says it has picked up more than 500 migrants trying to enter Spain clandestinely by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in boats from north Africa over the past two days. A spokesman said 232 migrants were intercepted early Tuesday traveling in 23 boats. On Monday, the service intercepted 299 migrants in 29 boats. SENT: 130 words. By Ciaran Giles.


LONDON — British cargo planes have dropped water and solar lamps to thousands of people trapped on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq since fleeing advancing Islamic militant forces. The Department for International Development said Tuesday it was Britain’s second drop to help besieged Yazidis sheltering on the mountain. An earlier drop had to be aborted because the Royal Air Force feared injuring the crush of desperate people below. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words by 1200 GMT.


LONDON — Officials at a Scottish zoo say they believe a female giant panda is finally pregnant after months of anticipation. Edinburgh Zoo says the latest scientific data it has suggests that Tian Tian — Chinese for Sweetie — has conceived following artificial insemination in April and may give birth at the end of the month. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: photos.


FRANKFURT, Germany — Germany’s ZEW indicator of confidence among professional investment analysts sagged to a 20-month low in August. The ZEW institute said Tuesday its index fell to 8.6 from 27.1. Market observers had expected a fall to only 17.0. SENT: 130 words.

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