BC-AP--AP European News Digest at 1200 GMT, AP
TOP STORIES FOR MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2015
MOSCOW — The investigation into the killing of Boris Nemtsov, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was gunned down not far from the Kremlin, faced conflicting reports Monday about possible surveillance footage of his slaying. No suspects have been arrested since Nemtsov was shot dead Friday night on a Moscow bridge, a slaying that came just hours after a radio interview in which he denounced Putin’s “mad, aggressive policy” in Ukraine. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1300 GMT. By Laura Mills.
Ukraine’s president signed a decree Monday opening the way to a formal request for international peacekeepers to be stationed in eastern regions where government forces are battling Russian-backed separatists. President Petro Poroshenko’s office gave no specific details on the mission’s composition or any timetable for it but Russia is strongly against the idea. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words. By Peter Leonard.
LVIV, Ukraine — The sleek stadium, built six years ago and host to some of Europe’s biggest soccer matches, is silent. It sits in the middle of the city of Donetsk, a war zone controlled by pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian troops. It is the home of soccer team Shakhtar Donetsk — but the squad hasn’t played there since May 2. The fighting has forced the team to temporarily relocate, playing its home games in the far western city of Lviv, near the border with Poland, more than 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) away. SENT: 1,170 words, photos. By James Ellingworth.
LONDON — The 19-country eurozone got a double dose of mildly positive economic news Monday that will likely be met with relief by the European Central Bank’s policymakers. Official figures from Eurostat showed that the fall in consumer prices eased notably in February, a development that may temper some of the more alarming predictions that the region is sliding into a protracted period of deflation. SENT: 650 words. By Pan Pylas.
LONDON — The U.S. Army chief of staff says cuts in British defense spending may undermine the nation’s ability to be an effective ally in future military operations. Gen. Raymond Odierno questioned Britain’s capability Monday in the Daily Telegraph, saying that the U.S. is reviewing the role of British troops in future conflicts as the U.K. considers reducing military spending to less than the 2 percent of gross domestic product expected of NATO members. SENT: 300 words. By Danica Kirka.
ISTANBUL — Political leaders and fellow writers are among thousands who gathered for the funeral of Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey’s best-known novelists. Kemal, whose focus on social injustices brought him into conflict with authority, died on Saturday aged 91. SENT: 130 words, photos.
GENEVA AUTO SHOW-5 THINGS TO KNOW
FRANKFURT, Germany — Small SUVs for families and powerful sports cars for the rich are the big things at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show. Environmentally correct electrics and hybrids, not so much — thanks to cheaper gas and limits on battery life. SENT: 800 words, photos. By David Mchugh.