BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1200 GMT
PARIS — President Francois Hollande says France’s millions of Muslims should be protected and respected and in turn they should also respect the nation’s strict secular policies. Hollande spoke Thursday after three radical Muslim gunmen killed 17 people last week in France’s worst attacks in decades. Two of the attackers claimed allegiances to al-Qaida in Yemen and another to the Islamic State group. By Sylvie Corbet. SENT: 540 words, photos.
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine holds a day of mourning for 13 people killed two days ago when their bus was hit by what the government says was a shell fired by Russian-backed separatists. President Petro Poroshenko said respects would be paid for all people killed by rebel offensives. in eastern Ukraine. By Peter Leonard. SENT: 310 words, photos.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch real estate agents say sales figures show the nation’s housing market is recovering more strongly than expected from a deep slump, in a further sign of economic recovery. Figures released Thursday showed that 34,622 houses were sold by members of the real estate agents’ association in the last three months of 2014, a rise of more than 30 percent from the same period a year earlier. SENT: 120 words.
BERLIN — Switzerland’s central bank has scrapped a policy that limited how much the euro could fall against the Swiss franc, an unexpected decision that sent the euro plummeting a stunning 30 percent against the Swiss currency before it recovered somewhat. SENT: 430 words, photos.
BERLIN — Germany’s economy grew by 1.5 percent last year, its strongest showing in three years thanks to increasingly strong spending at home and still-healthy exports, official data showed Thursday. Germany issues a preliminary full-year growth figure before giving an official fourth-quarter growth number, which is due next month. The Federal Statistical Office estimated that the economy grew by around a quarter of a percent in the fourth quarter. By Geir Moulson.
LONDON — Oil company BP has announced it will cut an estimated 200 staff jobs and another 100 contracting jobs in light of falling oil prices. SENT: 120 words.
STOCKHOLM — Furniture retailer Ikea says it’s recalling 169,000 baby crib mattresses in the U.S. and Canada after receiving two reports of infants getting trapped between the mattress and the end panels. Ikea said the children were not injured. SENT: 110 words.
WARSAW, Poland — Filmmaker Roman Polanski has been questioned by a prosecutor concerning a U.S. request for his extradition on 1977 sex charges. No details were divulged. SENT: 300 words, photos.
MOSCOW — The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a complaint by the grandson of Josef Stalin over a Russian newspaper article that called the Soviet dictator a “bloodthirsty cannibal.” SENT: 110 words, photos.