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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

June 13, 2014



VALENCIA, Spain — At the height of Spain’s crushing economic crisis, the Villareal soccer club sported an eye-catching logo across its jerseys: Aeroport Castello. The local government paid the club 20 million euros ($27 million) to promote what was to become Spain’s most notorious “ghost airport” — one that hasn’t seen a single flight since it opened in 2011. The deal illustrates one of the peculiarities of Spain’s meltdown: As austerity measures sap the life from health, education and welfare programs, Spain’s soccer teams have been receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in government aid. The government says soccer subsidies are simply part of a policy of supporting sports around the country. By Jorge Sainz. SENT: 1,840 words, photos.



KIEV, Ukraine — In late May, Oleh Lyashko posted a picture on Facebook of himself standing over a suspected separatist who had been stripped, bound, and loaded into the trunk of a car: “Today was a good day — we detained four terrorists. Glory to Ukraine!” Lyashko was little more than an entertaining curiosity in Ukrainian politics a year ago, noted for bringing vegetables and livestock to parliament where he was the only representative of a fringe nationalist party. His star has risen in tandem with Ukraine’s spreading chaos. By Laura Mills. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

With UKRAINE from Kiev: fighting reported in Mariupol.


BERLIN — German prosecutors say they’ve dropped their appeal against the acquittal of former President Christian Wulff on corruption charges. The Lower Saxony prosecutors’ office said Friday they had notified the court Thursday of their decision. SENT: 130 words.


LONDON — The pound jumped against the dollar to its highest level since 2009 after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney predicted an interest rate hike might come sooner than expected. The pound rose to $1.6960 on Friday from $1.6830 the day before after Carney said an interest rate rise above its record low of 0.5 percent, “could happen sooner than markets currently expect.” SENT: 130 words.


TEREZIN, Czech Republic — Edgar Krasa took part in one of the ennobling acts of the Holocaust. He didn’t take up arms in a ghetto insurrection, or fight in the Jewish underground. Instead, he and several hundred fellow concentration camp inmates defied the Nazis through music. For Krasa, the road began at the Masaryk Railway Station in the Czech capital, Prague. It was Nov. 24, 1941, and the Nazi machine was crushing one of the oldest Jewish communities of Europe. Over the next four years, thousands of its artists, writers, musicians and professionals would be transported from the Prague area to the fortress-turned-concentration camp where Krasa was sent that day: Terezin. By Denis D. Gray. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria’s left-leaning government has survived narrowly its fifth no-confidence vote called by the opposition over its fiscal policy, but is still expected to resign soon as previously announced. Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s coalition government, one year into a four-year term, won Friday’s vote by 114-109, with one abstention. To be carried, the motion required 121 votes in the 240-seat legislature. SENT: 140 words.


PRAGUE — A rare white tiger cub born two weeks ago at a Czech zoo has died. Ivan Langr, spokesman for the zoo in the northern city of Liberec says an autopsy has to determine the cause of the death. Langr says the female cub born May 30 died on Friday. SENT: 110 words.

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