TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1100 GMT
DONETSK, Ukraine — Chechnya’s regional leader said Wednesday that he hasn’t sent any troops to fight alongside pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine, but he says some Chechens may have gone there on their own. In a statement posted on his Instagram, Ramzan Kadyrov said two-thirds of three million Chechens live outside the province in Russia’s North Caucasus mountains, so he “can’t and mustn’t know where each of them goes.” In Slovyansk, a city north of Donetsk which that has seen constant clashes over the past few weeks, residential areas came under mortar shelling Wednesday from government forces. By Peter Leonard. SENT: 820 words, photos.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Members of an international fact-finding mission into alleged chlorine attacks in Syria were ambushed and briefly held by gunmen in rebel-held territory, the global chemical weapons watchdog said Wednesday. Releasing for the first time details of the chilling attack on its inspectors a day earlier, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said a joint OPCW-United Nations convoy was first hit by a roadside bomb and then sprayed by automatic gunfire as it headed toward Kfar Zeita, a rebel-held village in Hama province some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Damascus. By Mike Corder. SENT: 330 words, photos.
MELILLA, Spain — A thousand African migrants charged a barbed-wire border fence in Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Wednesday with many managing to get across, officials said, but dozens of others were beaten back by Moroccan and Spanish police. During the pre-dawn border storming, cries of pain and noises of people being hit could be heard as police from both sides tried to prevent dozens of the sub-Saharan migrants from entering the city from Morocco. By Santiago Palacios. By Santiago Palacios. SENT: 330 words. UPCOMING: 360 words by 1300 GMT, photos.
BERLIN — Germany’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in May, but the traditional springtime decline was smaller than expected. The Federal Labor Office said Wednesday that 61,000 fewer people were without work compared with April, when the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent. Overall, 2.88 million people were without work in May. SENT:140 words.
PARIS — French police are clearing out makeshift camps in the English Channel port city of Calais housing hundreds of illegal migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Africa. Dozens of migrants and activists are gathered nearby one of the camps, some angrily trying to prevent the police from evacuating it. SENT: 130 words.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The European Union’s police organization says the threat of terrorism across the 28-nation bloc is “acute and diverse,” despite a fall in the number of attacks last year. In an annual report on terrorism threats and trends published Wednesday, Europol says radicals who travel to fight alongside militants in conflicts like the Syrian civil war are “posing an increased threat to all EU member states on their return.” SENT: 130 words.
ROME — Thirty-one children who had been blocked from leaving Congo months with their adoptive parents have arrived in Rome for a joyful reunion with their new families. The children ran excitedly into their parents’ arms at Ciampino airport Wednesday after an overnight flight from Congo. The Italian government had worked since late last year to allow them to reach Italy. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1200 GMT.
WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s foreign minister says that diplomatic efforts are being made to obtain the release of a Polish Catholic priest missing in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Polish media say the priest, Pawel Witek, has been missing since Tuesday noon, when he failed to show up for prayers in Donetsk. SENT: 130 words.
WCUP-NETHERLANDS-VAN DER VAART
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Veteran Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart will miss the World Cup after injuring a calf muscle in his right leg. The Dutch football association said Wednesday the injury means coach Louis van Gaal will not include the most experienced player in his provisional squad in the final 23-man roster for Brazil. SENT: 200 words, photos.
AP Photos MAS126-0518141857, MAS121-0515142222.