BC-AP--AP Europe News Digest at 1100 GMT, AP
TOP STORIES IN EUROPE ON THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2013
KIROV, Russia — Alexei Navalny, one of the Russian opposition’s leading figures, is convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. Navalny and his supporters claimed the case was politically driven to try to shut down the vehement Kremlin critic and intimidate his supporters. By Nataliya Vasilyeva.
AP Photos MOSB119-0718131226, MOSB105-0718130901, MOSB102-0718130901, MOSB101-0718130900, MOSB107-0718130905, MOSB104-0718130913, MOSB106-0718130903, MOSB123-0717131830, MOSB121-0717131830, MOSB124-0717131830, MOSB122-0717131830.
LONDON — By the time you’re reading this, the Duchess of Cambridge could be in labor. Or it could be a matter of hours. Or days. Or weeks. As Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, await the birth of their first child — and the future heir to the English throne — some are convinced the royal due date has already passed, even though Buckingham Palace has not given an exact date. By Maria Cheng.
AP Photos TH103-0715131256, TH102-0426131420, TH101-0424132039.
PARIS — The European Union’s top court has upheld a ruling saying that EU authorities unfairly froze assets of a Saudi man who was placed on terrorist lists after the Sept. 11 attacks. The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that the EU cannot impose restrictive measures on Yassin Kadi because authorities produced “no information or evidence ... to substantiate the allegations” that he had links to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
VIENNA — Austrian police have detained the second suspected Turkish leftist extremist in a month. Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck says the man is suspected of membership in the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front. That’s the same left-extremist organization that the previously detained suspect is believed to belong to.
BRUSSELS — The European Union’s highest court has dismissed an appeal from FIFA and UEFA and sided with member states that insist on keeping the World Cup and the European footballs championships on free TV. The Court of Justice rejected the appeals “in their entirety” Thursday. The ruling will be welcomed by fans across the continent who follow the tournaments with uncanny zeal.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
PARIS —There are no trash cans on the Champs-Elysees. Paris’ department stores and shops and restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays. And pickpockets swarm the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. France has long had a reputation of being a bit difficult to visit. But now, after years of casually riding a reputation for stunning monuments and world-class food, the French are starting to talk about tourism as an economic good. By Sarah Dilorenzo.
PARIS — What does an American expect from Paris? What’s the best way of making an Italian feel welcome? Paris’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Regional Tourism Council have teamed up to produce a guide for hotel owners, restaurateurs and shopkeepers in the hopes that it will help shake off the city’s reputation for snobbishness.
PARIS — A great debate rages in France over whether more shops should open on Sundays. In the meantime, here are some ideas of what to do in Paris on a day when much is closed.
ATHENS, Greece — Germany’s Finance Minister arrived for a short visit to Greece Thursday amid massive police security, insisting there was “no convenient shortcut” for the country’s bailout program. The 70-year-old Wolfgang Schaeuble is widely seen in Greece as an enforcer of the country’s harsh austerity measures and has been often singled out for criticism by protesters.
HELSINKI — Nokia Corp. says its net loss narrowed in the second quarter to 227 million euros ($298. million) compared to a net loss of 1.41 billion euros a year earlier. The struggling Finnish cellphone maker said sales fell by 24 percent to 5.7 billion euros from 7.5 billion in the second quarter last year.
LONDON — Stocks continued to rise Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it will extend its stimulus policies if necessary, though Chinese markets were overshadowed by uncertainty over the country’s economic outlook. In prepared remarks to lawmakers in Congress, Bernanke said the Fed’s timetable for reducing its bond purchases was not decided and that the central bank could even boost them if the economy fails to meet expectations. By Carlo Piovano.
MADRID — Spain’s recession is putting pressure on the banks, whose bad loans swelled to 11.2 percent of total lending in May, from 10.9 percent the previous month. Central bank data Thursday showed non-performing loans totaled 170.23 billion euros ($223.6 billion), 3.14 billion euros ($4.1 billion) more than in April. The total was 14.25 billion euros higher compared with May 2012.
GULLANE, Scotland — Miguel Angel Jimenez took advantage of benign conditions early on in the opening round of the British Open. The Spaniard birdied five holes on the front side, capped by an up-and-down for birdie out of the sand at No. 9, to seize the early lead with a 5-under 31 at the turn. By Paul Newberry.
LONDON — England won the toss and chose to bat first in the second test against Australia on a hot day at Lord’s, with both teams making changes to their line-ups from the enthralling first match in which the hosts won by 14 runs. By Richard Sydenham.
CYC--TOUR DE FRANCE
GAP, France — The 18th stage of the Tour de France has started, with Chris Froome protecting his sizable lead over Alberto Contador on the first of three days of mammoth climbing in the Alps. By Jerome Pugmire.