Europe

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  • AP PHOTOS: 4 seasons in 1 war on WWI battlefields

    BOEZINGE, Belgium (AP) — A century on, the four seasons bring constant changes to the scarred landscapes and ruins of the World War I battlefields in Belgium and northern France. Spring has its red poppies; summer its sun-kissed green foliage; fall stuns with vibrant colors; and winter brings the bleakness of rain and mud. Soldiers…

  • Russian opposition activist faces 10 years behind bars

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian prosecutors on Friday demanded that an opposition activist be imprisoned for a total of 10 years on allegations of fraud. In their closing arguments in a Moscow courthouse, prosecutors asked a judge to convict Alexei Navalny and imprison him for nine years, with an additional year added because of a prior…

  • Key Profumo scandal figure Mandy Rice-Davies dies

    LONDON (AP) — Mandy Rice-Davies, a key figure in the “Profumo Affair,” a scandal of sex and politics that rocked Cold War Britain, has died. She was 70. Her PR firm, Hackford Jones, said Friday that Rice-Davies died Thursday evening “after a short battle with cancer.” Rice-Davies was a 19-year-old model and nightclub dancer in…

  • Greek lawmaker alleges bribery attempt in presidential vote

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A lawmaker from a small right-wing party claimed Friday that someone he did not identify had attempted to bribe him to vote in favor of electing Greece’s new president. Bailed-out Greece is in the midst of a presidential vote that could trigger early general elections, if its 300-member parliament fails to…

  • Britain moves closer to allowing women in combat

    LONDON (AP) — Britain is moving closer to allowing female soldiers to take a role in close combat on the front lines. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Friday he hopes women will soon be allowed to serve in infantry and armored units. He said women can fight as effectively as men. He has ordered an…

  • Polish school honors Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A spokeswoman for a Catholic university in southern Poland says it has bestowed an honorary doctorate on Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in recognition of his efforts to reveal the full evil of the Holocaust and defend human dignity. Monika Wiertek, spokeswoman for the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow,…

  • Dutch coalition crisis fizzles out

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — A dispute over a health care bill that nearly caused the collapse of the Dutch government has been resolved with a compromise, though doubts remain about whether it will prove workable. Conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte told parliament early Friday morning that his government will tweak and resubmit the bill, which had…

  • Spanish police probe car attack on ruling party HQ

    MADRID (AP) — Spanish police were searching for possible explosives at the headquarters of the ruling conservative Popular Party after a man rammed his car into the office entrance Friday. There were no reports of injuries and National Police spokesman Antonio Nevado told Spanish National Radio that the attack did not appear to be terrorism-related.…

  • German consumer confidence on the rise

    BERLIN (AP) — German consumer confidence is continuing to improve, supported by expectations of increasing economic strength and a greater willingness to make purchases. The GfK research group said Friday its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 9 points for January from 8.7 points in December. GfK says consumers still have uncertainty over ongoing international…

  • IMF withholds bailout money for Cyprus

    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it won’t release $108 million (88 million euros) in rescue money for bailed-out Cyprus after the country’s parliament voted to hold a key foreclosure law from taking effect at the end of December. An IMF statement said the month-long suspension of the law contravened the…

  • EU leaders agree to fund for jumpstarting growth

    BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders agreed Thursday to create a strategic investment fund that could generate up to 315 billion euros ($386 billion) in private- and public-sector money to upgrade infrastructure, jumpstart the EU’s sluggish economies and ignite job growth. “The economic situation has improved … but we are not safe yet,” said EU…

  • World War II bomb defused in German city

    BERLIN (AP) — A World War II bomb has been successfully defused in an eastern German city after some 9,700 people were evacuated from the surrounding area and a meeting of a state legislature was interrupted. The 250-kilo (551-pound) bomb was found during construction work Thursday morning near the main railway station in Potsdam, near…

  • Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    MOSCOW (AP) — Sternly warning the West it cannot defang the metaphorical Russian bear, a confident-looking President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to shore up the plummeting ruble and revive the economy within two years. While he issued a litany of sharp rebukes against the West, Putin struck a conciliatory note on Ukraine, saying that the…

  • Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of Russian sailors pulled out of a French port Thursday, bearing perfumes for their loved ones but lacking the controversial bounty they came for: a 1-billion-euro, French-built warship that has become a hostage to the biggest East-West conflict since the Cold War. The Vladivostok helicopter carrier is part of a strange…

  • Aer Lingus rejects bid by British Airways parent

    DUBLIN (AP) — Irish airline Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover bid by the International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia. Shares in the Dublin-based carrier surged by as much as 21 percent Thursday amid rumors of a bid. Those gains were sharply pared after IAG issued a statement…