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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

September 4, 2014


NEWPORT, Wales — Faced with a mounting militant threat in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron say their nations will “not be cowed” by extremists who have killed two American journalists. Their comments come as world leaders gather in Wales for a high-stakes NATO summit. While the official agenda will focus on the crisis in Ukraine and the drawdown of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan, the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria will dominate discussions on the sidelines of the summit. By Julie Pace. SENT: 780 words, photos.


WARSAW, Poland — On the eve of a NATO summit, President Barack Obama gave the alliance’s eastern European members a soaring assurance of protection from any Russian threat. But Poland and the Baltic states are seeking more than lofty words: They want permanent bases with troops on their land. And they probably won’t get that. By Vanessa Gera. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.


MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister says Ukraine’s NATO ambitions are threatening to derail peace talks in eastern Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that statements by senior government officials in Kiev that Ukraine will be seeking to join NATO are “a blatant attempt to derail all the efforts” to seek a peaceful solution. Undeterred, Ukraine’s president began a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and other top NATO leaders in Wales. By Nataliya Vasilyeva and John-Thor Dahlburg. SENT: 600 words, photos.


AMSTERDAM — Dutch authorities leading an international investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine plan to publish a preliminary report Sept. 9 into the disaster that killed all 298 people on board. The Dutch Safety Board said in a statement Thursday the report “will present factual information based on sources available” to its investigators. By Toby Sterling. SENT: 300 words.


LONDON — As West Africa struggles to contain the biggest ever outbreak of Ebola, some experts say an unusual but simple treatment might help: the blood of survivors. The evidence is mixed for using infection-fighting antibodies from survivors’ blood for Ebola, but without any licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease, some say it’s worth a shot. By Maria Cheng. SENT: 770 words, photos.


BRUSSELS — The European Union says that talks between Iran and six world powers on a nuclear deal will resume on New York on Sept. 18. EU spokesman Michael Mann said Thursday that preparatory meetings will be held in Vienna next week. Negotiators face a Nov. 24 deadline to overcome stubborn differences over the size and capacity of activities by Tehran that could be used to make nuclear arms. SENT: 130 words, photos.


BERLIN — A fund for Jewish victims of Nazi crimes says it has reached an agreement with the German government for additional financial assistance for child survivors of the Holocaust. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany says the Finance Ministry agreed late Wednesday to one-time payments of 2,500 euros ($3,280) for Jewish children who were in concentration camps, ghettos or in hiding for at least six months. SENT: 130 words.


BERLIN — Microsoft will seek to draw more people to its Internet-based services with two new mid-range smartphones it unveiled Thursday, including one designed to help people take better selfies. Both devices are under the Lumia brand Microsoft bought from Nokia. They run the latest version of Windows Phone 8 and feature Cortana, a Siri-like voice assistant available to help with directions, calendar appointments and messages. Many of those interactions will steer users to Microsoft services such as Bing search and OneDrive storage. By Frank Jordans and Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 460 words.


BERLIN — Factory orders in Germany rebounded sharply in July following two monthly falls, official figures showed Thursday, in an indication that Europe’s biggest economy is holding up despite the crisis in Ukraine. The Federal Statistical Office said orders were up 4.6 percent from the previous month, far better than 1.5 percent increase widely anticipated in the markets. The increase follows an upwardly adjusted decline of 2.7 percent in June and a 1.7 percent fall in May. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 340 words.


ROME — Fiat SpA says its merger with Chrsyler is going ahead since there isn’t enough opposition to derail it. Fiat said in a statement Thursday that shareholders had cashed out 463 million euros ($609 million), under the 500 million-euro threshold that would have scuttled the deal. Fiat shareholders had overwhelmingly approved the deal, but Italian law gives dissenters the right to cash out. SENT: 100 words.


PARIS — No more worries about the warranty, the machine breaking or — worst of all — a botched cup of coffee. France’s Competition Authority says Nespresso has for the first time agreed to open up its machines to knockoff coffee pods, under pressure from anti-trust regulators. The authority found that Nespresso had tweaked its machines four times between 2007 and 2013 to make competitors’ pods unusable. SENT: 100 words.

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