BC-AP--AP European News Digest at 1220 GMT, AP
Feb. 03, 2015
TOP STORIES FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2015
LEAVING ISLAMIC STATE
TUNIS, Tunisia — The man stands furtively on a street corner, his face masked by a hoodie, his tense eyes scanning the crowd for any hint of Islamic State militants. He was one of them before he left Syria a year ago, and he is afraid. SENT: 2,000 words, abridged version, photos. By Lori Hinnant and Paul Schemm.
ATHENS, Greece — Greek stocks are leading a European market rally on indications that Greece's new radical left government is advocating a more palatable version of its brash demand to have most of the country's debt burden forgiven. The Athens stock exchange was up 7 percent in morning trading Tuesday, while the Euro Stoxx index gained 1.5 percent. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 550 words by 1230 GMT.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The United Nations' top court has ruled that Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide against each other's people during the bloody 1990s wars sparked by the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. The ruling could help put to rest lingering animosities between the Balkan neighbors. SENT: 230 words, photos.
LONDON — Oil giant BP reported a loss Tuesday of $4.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, as oil prices plunged. The net income figure includes a $5 billion writedown on the value of BP's inventories, after the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for North Sea oil, dropped almost 50 percent last year. BP posted a profit of $1.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. SENT: 260 words. By Danica Kirka.
PARIS — Eight men charged with one of the world's biggest jewel heists went on trial Tuesday in Paris, accused of stealing more than 100 million euros ($113 million) worth of luxury watches, necklaces, earrings and other valuables from a Harry Winston boutique in two operations. Many of the jewels have never been found. Charges against the men included armed robbery in an organized gang, association with a criminal enterprise and receiving stolen goods. SENT: 350 words. By Thomas Adamson and Angela Charlton.
PARIS — French authorities arrested seven men and a woman Tuesday suspected of involvement in a network to send fighters to join Islamic extremists in Syria, the latest roundup after France's deadliest terrorist attacks in decades. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said those arrested Tuesday in the Paris and Lyon areas are not suspected of links to the Jan. 7-9 attacks. By Jamey Keaten.
ARTEMIVSK, Ukraine — The United Nations has raised the death toll from fighting in eastern Ukraine to over 5,350 people and is condemning the high number of civilians killed in the indiscriminate shelling there. Hostilities between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian troops resumed with a vengeance in January after a month of relative calm. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1330 GMT. By Peter Leonard.
LONDON — British lawmakers will vote Tuesday on whether to let scientists use controversial techniques to create babies from the DNA of three people — a move that could prevent children from inheriting potentially fatal diseases yet would make Britain the first country in the world to allow embryos to be genetically modified. The techniques — which aim to prevent mothers from passing on inherited diseases — involve altering a human egg or embryo before transferring it into the mother. British law currently forbids any modification of embryos before they are transferred into a woman. SENT: 370 words. By Maria Cheng.
ROME — Italy's new president, Sergio Mattarella, has taken the oath of office with a vow to fight corruption and organized crime and encourage the nation to embrace economic and electoral reform. The new head of state, whose brother, Piersanti Mattarella, was slain while governor of Sicily by the Mafia in 1980, denounced as "alarming" the spread of the Mafia from its traditional base in the south to northern cities. Mattarella, in his speech to Parliament Tuesday, also decried pervasive corruption, which he said robs citizens of resources meant for them and upsets market rules, "penalizing the honest and the capable." SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1300 GMT.