BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
Sep. 15, 2014
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1140 GMT
PARIS — As diplomats from around the world sought a global strategy to fight Islamic State extremists, Iran ruled out working with any international coalition, saying it had rejected American requests for cooperation against the militants. Neither Iran nor Syria, which together share most of Iraq's borders, was invited to the international conference Monday in Paris, which opened as a pair of French reconnaissance jets took off over Iraqi skies. By Lori Hinnant. SENT: 590 words, photos.
KIEV, Ukraine — Shelling killed six people and wounded 15 others in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, the city council said Monday — the worst reported violence since a cease-fire between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops took effect on Sept. 5. Nonetheless, the cease-fire deal has brought some normalcy to parts of eastern Ukraine and allowed prisoners on both sides to go home. By Laura Mills. SENT: 430 words, photos.
BRUSSELS — If Scottish voters this week say Yes to independence, not only will they tear up the map of Great Britain, they'll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe's postwar prosperity and security — the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO defense alliance. In breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland would automatically find itself outside both the EU and NATO, and have to reapply to join both, officials from those Brussels-based organizations have stressed. By John-Thor Dahlburg. SENT: 970 words, photos.
PARIS — At least half of Air France flights around the world were canceled Monday as pilots kicked off a weeklong strike, angry that the company is shifting jobs and operations to a low-cost carrier to better keep up with rivals. The company's challenges echo those faced by flagship airlines across Europe as they face tough competition from budget airlines for short-haul flights and cash-rich Gulf state carriers on long-haul routes. By Milos Krivokapic and Angela Charlton. SENT: 530 words, photos.
WITH: FRANCE-PILOTS STRIKE
BERLIN — A 20-year-old German man went on trial in Frankfurt on Monday on charges he was a member of the extremist Islamic State group, the first such case to come to court in Germany. Prosecutors allege that Kreshnik Berisha, who once played for a Jewish football club, traveled last year to Syria and fought with the group before returning to Germany five months later. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 310 words, photos.
STOCKHOLM — Sweden's Social Democrat-led bloc officially begins the struggle to form a government on Monday, a day after it ousted the center-right ruling coalition in parliamentary elections but fell short of a majority. After eight years in power, conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt conceded defeat after his bloc lost support with 142 seats in the 349-seat Parliament while the opposition Social Democrat-led Red-Green won 158 seats. SENT: 330 words, photos.
WARSAW, Poland — Poland's president has appointed Parliament Speaker Ewa Kopacz to be the next prime minister and given her the task of assembling the new Cabinet. Kopacz succeeds Donald Tusk, who resigned as government leader after being chosen to head the European Council. SEND: 130 words.
VIENNA — Austria plans to introduce a law banning symbols of the Islamic State group and 18 other extremist groups. The justice and interior ministries announced the initiative on Monday. SENT: 110 words, photos.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Northern Ireland politicians are publicly honoring their former leader, Ian Paisley, as his family holds his funeral in conditions of exceptional privacy. The 88-year-old Paisley died Friday after a half-century of doggedly opposing compromise with the Irish Catholic minority before making a twilight U-turn toward peacemaking. SENT: 130 words.
AMSTERDAM — Family-controlled brewer Heineken says it has rejected a takeover bid by rival SABMiller. In a statement issued late Sunday night, the Dutch brewer said the Heineken family informed SABMiller it intends "to preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company." SENT: 130 words.
BERLIN — The European Space Agency says it has decided on the spot where it will attempt the first landing on a comet, a maneuver that is one of the key elements of a decade-long mission. The Paris-based agency plans to drop the 100-kilogram (220-pound) lander, called Philae, from its Rosetta space probe in November. SENT: 130 words.