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BC-AP--AP Europe News Digest at 1200 GMT, AP

February 4, 2014



PARIS —Rwanda’s former intelligence chief faced genocide and war crimes charges Tuesday as his trial began in France for a 1994 killing spree that left at least a half-million people in his nation dead. Pascal Simbikangwa, 54, could face a life sentence if convicted after the seven-week trial. Jamey Keaten. SENT: 650 words, photos.


WARSAW, Poland — Poles are divided between praise and condemnation of Pope John Paul II’s secretary over publishing the beloved pontiff’s personal notes — against his last will and testament. John Paul ordered the notes burned after his death and put his trusted confidant, the Rev. Stanislaw Dziwisz, in charge of the task. To everyone’s surprise, Dziwisz, now a cardinal, said recently that he “did not have the courage” to destroy the notes and is having them published as a precious insight into the inner life of the pope. The book comes out Wednesday, and criticism so far has outpaced praise. “What kind of hyena would disregard the last will of a dead person?” wrote Maksymilian Przybylo in an Internet posting. By Monika Scislowska.SENT: 800 words, photos.


LONDON — With a two-day Tube strike set to begin at 2100 GMT, London’s millions of commuters face slowdowns and hassles on the daily slog to work. A mobile friendly look at the reasons for the strike and the likely impact on one of the world’s best known and largest transit systems. By Raphael Satter. UPCOMING: 400 WORDS by 1500 GMT.


LISBON, Portugal — Portugal is hoping a master of surrealism can help taxpayers recoup some of the millions they lost rescuing a failed bank. The government is selling 85 works by Spanish artist Joan Miro that became public property when Banco Portugues de Negocios was nationalized in 2008. Christie’s in London is handling the two-day sale starting Tuesday. By Barry Hatton. SENT: 400 words, photos.


ANKARA, Turkey — An international journalism watchdog has warned that a draft Internet controls bill moving through Parliament would worsen Turkey’s “dismal” record on press freedoms. The government-proposed legislation would allow Turkey’s telecommunications authority to block websites deemed to violate privacy without a prior court decision. It would also force Internet providers to keep users’ data stored for two years and make it available if requested by authorities. SENT: 130 words.


BORYSEW, Poland — A private zoo owner in central Poland feels three times lucky with the birth of white lion triplets who are getting loving care from their mother. Andrzej Pabich, head of the zoo in Borysew, said white lions often have defects that prevent giving birth, or mothers may reject the cubs. Triplets are rare. SENT: 130 words.


AMSTERDAM — Shortly before Anne Frank and her family went into hiding from the Nazis, she gave some of her toys to a non-Jewish neighborhood girlfriend for safekeeping. The Anne Frank House Museum says the toys have now been recovered and Anne’s tin of marbles will go on display for the first time this week at an art gallery in Rotterdam. The neighbor, Toosje Kupers, kept the marbles along with a tea set and a book. When Kupers was interviewed by the Museum in 2009, she realized the commonplace items would be of historical interest and donated them to the Museum. SENT: 130 words, photos.



LONDON — Japanese shares led another global market sell-off Tuesday as investors fretted over the U.S. economic recovery amid ongoing uncertainties about the outlook for emerging economies. Diving over 4 percent, the Nikkei 225 stock index ended at a four-month low, sending shivers across Asia. European stock markets were down again but the pace of selling appears to have stabilized. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 575 words sent, to be updated 1445 GMT, photos.


BERLIN — A strong performance from the investment bank division and a sizeable tax gain helped Switzerland’s biggest bank, UBS AG, return to profit in the fourth quarter following a large loss a year earlier. The bank said Tuesday it made a net profit of 917 million francs ($1 billion) in the October-December period following last year’s equivalent loss of 1.9 billion francs when earnings were dragged down by litigation and restructuring costs. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 410 words.


LONDON — BP PLC’s fourth-quarter profits fell 30 percent as the asset sales that it has pursued to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster reduced production. The company said Tuesday that net income slid to $1.04 billion from $1.49 billion in the same quarter the year before. A number of factors were behind the decline, with lower production levels in the wake of the asset sales a key factor. Overall production, excluding Russia, fell 1.9 percent to the equivalent of 2.25 billion barrels of oil a day. BP said it expects production to decline this year because of the expiration of a concession in Abu Dhabi. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 500 words.


BERLIN — Swiss prosecutors say they won’t open a new investigation into a deal between Angola and Russia that anti-corruption groups say ended up with $750 million missing from Angola’s treasury. According to a 2013 report by Corruption Watch U.K. and an Angolan association of human rights lawyers, the missing money was supposed to go toward repaying a $1.5 billion debt to Russia for help in Angola’s 27-year civil war. SENT: 130 words sent


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