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BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP

February 26, 2015

TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1210 GMT

UKRAINE

KIEV, Ukraine — International monitors overseeing a cease-fire in Ukraine between government troops and Russian-backed separatists say that both sides are delaying progress in the planned withdrawal of heavy weaponry. However, Ukraine’s military said Thursday it has noted a substantial reduction of unrest in the east and that its positions had not been shelled once over the previous night. SENT: 130 words, photos. By Peter Leonard. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1300 GMT.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-GAS

MOSCOW — A spokesman for the Russian gas giant Gazprom says the company could cut off supplies to neighboring Ukraine by the end of the week, barring further payments. SENT: 130 words, photos.

GERMANY-TRAPPED IN WORK

BERLIN — Edur Ansa couldn’t find work for a year after he got his nursing degree from Barcelona University. Like many other Spaniards, he started looking for work in Germany and ended up with a job at a private hospital. That’s when he found himself trapped. By Kirsten Grieshaber. SENT: 1,270 words, photos.

SPAIN-US-POWER-COMPANIES

MADRID — Spain’s leading electricity and natural gas company, Iberdrola, will buy the northeastern U.S. utility UIL Holdings Corp. in a deal valued at about $3 billion, the companies said Thursday. The combined company will serve 3.1 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New York. SENT: 160 words.

GERMANY-ECONOMY

BERLIN — Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, is showing more signs of strength, with new figures released Thursday showing consumer confidence at a 13-year high and unemployment declining further. SENT: 210 words, photos

SPAIN-LATIN-GANGS

MADRID — Spain says it plans to deport 34 top members of violent Latin American street gangs operating in the Spanish capital. The Interior Ministry delegate for Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, said the expulsions aim to prevent gangs like the Netas or the Latin Kings from getting a foothold in the city. SENT: 130 words.

BRITAIN-EARNS-RBS

LONDON — Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Ross McEwan says he won’t accept a 1 million pound ($1.6 million) share award amid continuing losses at the taxpayer-owned bank. RBS, bailed out by the British government in 2008, on Thursday reported a net loss of 3.5 billion pounds for last year, compared with 9 billion pounds in 2013. The results include a 4 billion pound write-down on Citizens Bank, which RBS plans to shed by the end of 2016. SEND: 130 words.

TURKEY-JOURNALIST’S KILLING

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s state-run news agency says a former police intelligence chief has been detained as part of an investigation into negligence by officials in the 2007 murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist. Anadolu Agency says Ramazan Akyurek was detained Thursday in Ankara for the death of Hrant Dink. SENT: 130 words.

SWEDEN-SYRIA-WAR-CRIMES

STOCKHOLM — A Swedish court has handed a five-year prison sentence to a Syrian refugee who was found guilty of abusing a captured member of President Bashar Assad’s forces. Mouhannad Droub admitted being part of a group under the Free Syrian Army that kicked and beat a prisoner, whose hands and feet were tied, in late May or June 2012. Droub then posted a video of the abuse on Facebook — the clip was used as evidence against him in the Stockholm court. SENT: 120 words.

BRITAIN-JIMMY SAVILE

LONDON — A new report into widespread sex abuse by the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile has found that victims’ complaints about his activities were ignored. The report released Thursday showed an extensive pattern of abuse at numerous National Health Service hospitals where the celebrity broadcaster was given wide access to patients even though he was known by some staff to be a sexual predator. SENT: 130 words.

BOSNIA-JUDGE-DETAINED

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnian police have detained a State Court judge suspected of receiving a bribe from two convicts — one of them a former police commissioner — previously sentenced for involvement in organized crime. SENT: 110 words.

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