BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1230 GMT
PARIS — France will send 1,000 troops to Central African Republic under an expected U.N.-backed mission to keep growing chaos at bay, the defense minister said Tuesday — boosting the French military presence in Africa for the second time this year. Jean-Yves Le Drian made the announcement a day after a top U.N. official warned of mass atrocities and possible civil war in CAR, one of the world’s poorest countries, which has been in turmoil since rebel groups joined forces in March and overthrew the president. The rebels have been accused by rights groups of committing scores of atrocities including killings, rapes and conscription of child soldiers. By Lori Hinnant. SENT: 500 words.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued the mission statement for his papacy Tuesday, outlining how the Catholic Church and the papacy itself must be reformed to create a more missionary and merciful church that gets its hands dirty as it seeks out the poor and oppressed. In the document, Francis pulled together the priorities he has laid out in eight months of homilies, speeches and interviews and put them in the broader context of how to reinvigorate the church’s evangelical zeal in a world marked by indifference, secularization and vast income inequalities. By Nicole Winfield. Sent: 700 words, photo.
FLORENCE, Italy — The prosecutor arguing U.S. student Amanda Knox’s guilt in the 2007 murder of her British roommate says a DNA sample on the blade of the presumed murder weapon was clean and corresponds to the victim. Prosecutor Alessandro Crini, in his second day of closing Tuesday, sought to dismantle genetic evidence cited by a Perugia appeals court when it overturned the guilty verdicts against Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. By Colleen Barry. SENT: 130 words. Developing.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia’s Prosecution office says the military will from now on help speed up excavations of bodies from mass graves with their machinery so that bad weather does not further delay the search for people who went missing during the 1992-95 war. Chief Prosecutor Goran Salihovic said in a statement on Tuesday that military machinery will speed up excavations at two sites in Bosnia, including the potentially largest mass grave so far found. By Aida Cerkez. SENT: 130 words.
TUNIS, Tunisia — A Tunisian journalists and a rapper were given suspended jail sentences after they were convicted of insulting civil servants at a trial of another rapper. Their lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, said that Hind Meddeb, a French-Tunisian journalist, and Aymen Fekish, known by his rapper name Men-Ay, were given four month suspended sentences by a court on Monday. SENT: 130 words.