BC-AP--Europe News Digest, AP
TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1230 GMT
PARIS — French police say about 15 armed assailants attacked two vans carrying millions of euros worth of jewels on a French highway Wednesday, forced out the drivers and sped away. Gendarmes and other authorities are combing the Burgundy region southeast of Paris for the attackers. By Angela Charlton. SENT: 270 words. Developing.
MOSCOW — A Russian human rights activist says the main suspect in the killing of Boris Nemtsov has signs of torture on his body and was forced to confess. Investigators say the activist may have broken the law with his comments. By Laura Mills. SENT: 390 words, photos.
CASTEAU, Belgium — NATO’s secretary-general on Wednesday insisted international observers be given the freedom of movement and the protection they need to monitor the cease-fire in Ukraine. By John-Thor Dahlburg. SENT: 210 words, photos.
MINSK, Belarus — The United States is lifting sanctions on a Belarus energy company, underscoring a thaw in relations in the wake of Minsk’s key role in negotiations over Ukraine. SENT: 130 words.
LONDON — The laws of television decree that a show that’s both a critical hit and a ratings success must return to our screens. The laws of crime thrillers say that once you know whodunit, the case is closed. That’s why some viewers were surprised to learn there would be a season two of the BBC’s murder mystery series “Broadchurch” — and why the cast was initially skeptical, too. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 620 words, photos.
MOSCOW — Nursultan Nazarbayev, the long-serving president of oil-rich Kazakhstan, says he will stand again in snap April elections. He is all but guaranteed to win. SENT: 130 words.
BERLIN — Thousands of German public service workers are staging a short-term strike in a bid for higher wages and to preserve pension benefits. The ver.di union said teachers and other public employees including police and firefighters walked off the job in multiple states Wednesday ahead of third round of negotiations starting next week. SENT: 140 words.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A court rules that the Dutch government must pay compensation to widows and children of Indonesian men summarily executed in their country’s war for independence in the 1940s, a ruling that could open the door to many more claims. By Mike Corder. SENT: 330 words.
MADRID — Spain’s central bank has taken over Banco de Madrid SA, a bank that caters to the rich, following accusations by the United States that its Andorran owner was involved in laundering money for criminal groups from China, Russia and Venezuela. By Alan Clendenning. SENT: 290 words, photos.
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cypriots from both sides of the east Mediterranean island’s ethnic divide are banding together to oppose plans to build a nuclear power station on nearby Turkey’s southern coast. SENT: 120 words.
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s prime minister has appeared before a court to give evidence in a probe into allegations of voter fraud during a referendum to impeach the former president. Premier Victor Ponta denied that his party had done anything illegal. SENT: 130 words.
ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s energy and environment minister says his new government is “radically opposed” to the privatization of “strategic sectors and businesses,” particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors. SENT: 460 words, photos.
STOCKHOLM — Wireless equipment maker Ericsson says it will cut 2,200 jobs in Sweden as part of a 9 billion kronor ($1.1 billion) savings package. The Stockholm-based company said the layoffs would mostly affect research and development and supply positions. SENT: 90 words.
LONDON — An off-set dustup has imperiled one of the BBC’s most lucrative shows. BBC News said Wednesday that the broadcaster has postponed the three remaining episodes of car show “Top Gear” and suspended host Jeremy Clarkson while it investigates a reported “fracas” with a producer. SENT: 310 words, photos.