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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

September 29, 2014



THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Prosecutors called former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic a liar in closing remarks at his genocide trial, saying his denials of responsibility for atrocities committed on a massive scale while he was in charge lack any credibility. Prosecutor Alan Tieger said Karadzic, 69, should be imprisoned for life if found guilty. By Toby Sterling. SENT: 310 words, photos.


KIEV, Ukraine — Eastern Ukraine has suffered the worst violence in more than a week as fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government troops in the region killed at least 12 people and wounded 32, officials said Monday. Col. Andriy Lysenko told journalists in a briefing in Kiev on Monday that at least nine troops had been killed in a day and 27 had been wounded. SENT: 280 words, photos.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An international tribunal has begun reviewing evidence to see whether there is sufficient cause to try an Ivory Coast man accused of helping run a terror campaign to keep the country’s former president in power. Prosecutors on Monday said Charles Ble Goude is suspected of involvement in scores of killings and rapes intended to shore up the contested regime of Laurent Gbagbo. SENT: 130 words.


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is rolling back on human rights and the rule of law, a human rights group said Monday, calling on the country to take steps to protect free speech, the right to peaceful protests and legal principles. In a 38-page report, the New York-based Human Rights Watch criticized the Turkish government’s moves to tighten controls over the media and the Internet and its clampdown on critics and protests. SENT: 310 words.


BERLIN — A union representing pilots at Germany’s Lufthansa says it is calling for another targeted strike after contract talks broke down last week. The Vereinigung Cockpit union said Monday that pilots would fly no long-haul flights from Frankfurt airport on Tuesday to push their demands over early retirement benefits. SENT: 130 words.


MADRID — The Spanish government is holding a special cabinet meeting and is expected to announce it intends to challenge the decision of the powerful northeastern region of Catalonia to call an independence referendum. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his ministers on Monday are to study reports from the Council of State — Spain’s top consultative body — which say an individual region does not have the legal capacity to hold a sovereignty referendum. SENT: 130 words.


ISTANBUL — Turkish media reports say 33-year-old man was seriously injured when a metal rod pierced a car on Istanbul’s subway system. The state-run Anadolu Agency said the rod speared the hips of the 33-year-old man. He was taken to a nearby hospital for surgery. SENT: 130 words.


BERLIN — A retired top-ranking German general said Monday a string of recent embarrassing military equipment failures shows the country needs to spend more on defense, as another aircraft breakdown came to light. In recent weeks, German army instructors got stranded in Bulgaria en route to Iraq when their plane broke down and weapons being sent to arm Kurdish fighters were delayed because of another transport problem. SENT: 270 words.


LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s main opposition Socialist Party has chosen a new leader to fight next year’s general election. Lisbon Mayor Antonio Costa collected around two-thirds of the vote in a contest with Antonio Jose Seguro, party leader for the past three years, according to results published late Sunday. SENT: 130 words.


BERLIN — Berlin police say an unidentified person threw a Molotov cocktail onto the steps of the capital’s landmark Reichstag parliament building but failed to start a blaze. The person threw the bottle full of a flammable liquid at a side entrance of the building early Monday morning, police said. SENT: 130 words, photos.


LONDON — A British newspaper is facing anger from politicians over a sting that caught a government minister sending an explicit photo to someone he believed was a young woman he had met on Twitter. Brooks Newmark resigned as minister for civil society after learning that the recipient of his suggestive snapshot was a male reporter for the Sunday Mirror tabloid. SENT: 130 words.


LONDON — Lloyds Banking Group says it has dismissed eight members of staff following a scandal linked to the manipulation of a key global interest rate. The London-based group said in a statement Monday that the action was taken after resolution was reached with authorities in Britain and the United States regarding an investigation into the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, and the Sterling Repo Rate between 2006 and 2009. SENT: 130 words.


WARSAW, Poland — Even as the U.S. and European Union seek a major free trade deal, Poland and the U.S. should intensify their commercial ties in areas ranging from construction to energy security, U.S. Secretary for Commerce Penny Pritzker said Monday. Pritzker told a meeting of Polish and U.S. businessmen that bilateral business is below its potential. Poland is currently only America’s 54th largest trading partner, even though its economy ranks among the world’s top 25. U.S. companies have invested some $30 billion in Poland since the early 1990s. SENT: 290 words.


BERLIN — A new German party that recently won seats in several regional legislatures is moving to expel an official accused of posting an anti-Semitic cartoon on his Facebook page. The Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party’s branch in eastern Brandenburg state said Monday it decided to start expulsion proceedings against Jan-Ulrich Weiss. SENT: 130 words.

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