BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1210 GMT
WARSAW, Poland — Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski says Poland offered the CIA a site for a secret prison during his term but did not authorize harsh treatment of inmates. His comments Wednesday were the first time that a Polish leader has admitted the country hosted a secret CIA site. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1230 GMT; developments from news conference at 1300 GMT.
GENEVA — The United Nations’ top special investigator for counterterrorism is calling for the prosecution of senior U.S. officials who authorized and carried out torture as part of former President George W. Bush’s national security policies. Ben Emmerson, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, says all CIA and other U.S. government officials who carried out waterboarding and other torture must also be prosecuted. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 300 words, by 1300 GMT.
VILLACOUBLAY, France — President Francois Hollande, welcoming a freed hostage home, urged French citizens not to travel to areas where they risk being kidnapped. Serge Lazarevic, held captive for three years by al-Qaida’s North Africa branch, arrived Wednesday at the Villacoublay airport outside Paris after being released in what some suspect was a prisoner exchange. SENT: 280 words, photos.
LONDON — It’s a hacker whodunit. Researchers say they have a wealth of clues — but no clear answers — to the identity of those behind a series of newly discovered cyberattacks targeting Russian and Eastern European embassies, oil companies and military officers. “The level of misdirection is impressive,” said Hugh Thompson, a security strategist at Blue Coat Systems, Inc., which is publishing a report on the malware campaign Wednesday. By Rafael Satter. SENT: 290 words.
LONDON — Shrien Dewani has returned to Britain, a free man on his home soil at last after a South African judge cleared him of ordering the killing of his young bride on their honeymoon. But the once high-flying British businessman has paid a heavy price for his four-year ordeal, which included a lengthy extradition procedure and a trial in South Africa that ended abruptly this week when a judge dismissed the charges because she found the prosecution’s case unconvincing. By Gregory Katz. SENT: 780 words, photos.
PARIS — Creating jobs in France is proving harder than expected. The embattled Socialist-led government is making its second push this year to energize the labor market in Europe’s second-largest economy, after a top economic official called the previous plan “a failure.” By Greg Keller. SENT: 600 words, photos.
GENEVA — The global airline industry expects its profits to leap to a record high next year, boosted by a continued fall in jet fuel prices as well as strong passenger demand and cost cuts. The International Air Transport Association said Wednesday it forecasts 2015 will bring $25 billion in net profit — well above the $19.9 billion this year and the $10.6 billion in 2013 and $6.1 billion made in 2012. By John Heilprin. SENT: 270 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1300 GMT.
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine says it will continue upholding a truce with Russian-backed separatists following a day which saw a significant reduction of exchanges of fire between the warring sides. Well, a significant reduction. The improvement follows a proposal last week by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to hold a “day of silence” as a bid to revive a largely ignored cease-fire deal reached in September. SENT: 130 words.
LUXEMBOURG — A group of international journalists says leaked confidential documents show The Walt Disney Co., Koch Industries and other companies created a tangle of subsidiaries in Luxembourg that may have helped them slash the taxes they pay in the U.S. and Europe. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists named Disney and Koch Industries, an energy and chemical conglomerate, as among 35 big companies it said had been seeking secret tax deals in Luxembourg. SENT: 130 words.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Swedish police have raided a server room in Stockholm in an action targeting the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay. Police spokesman Paul Pinder said Wednesday the raid took place after Rights Alliance, a Swedish Internet anti-piracy group, had reported Pirate Bay for alleged copyright violations. He declined to give further details. SENT: 130 words.
BERLIN — Germany’s central bank says Karl Otto Poehl, an anti-inflation hawk who led the Bundesbank from 1980 to 1991, has died. He was 85. The Bundesbank said Poehl died on Tuesday but didn’t give further details. Current chairman Jens Weidmann said Wednesday that Poehl “delivered proof that price stability and growth are not a contradiction even in times of great monetary policy challenges.” SENT: 130 words.
ATHENS, Greece — Greek police say they have destroyed a bomb planted outside a northern Athens bank, allegedly in solidarity with a convicted bank robber who has been on hunger strike for the past month because he wants to attend business school. Police said an anonymous caller alerted authorities to the timer-activated bomb, in the Aghia Paraskevi suburb, early Wednesday. SENT: 130 words.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is urging governments and legislatures to do more to end modern-day slavery, calling for better laws and policies to prevent human trafficking, protect victims and prosecute those responsible. Francis also urged businesses to ensure their distribution chains are free of slave labor and asked consumers to think twice about buying goods that may have been produced by child workers or other victims of undignified working conditions. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 250 words by 1400 GMT.