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EUROPE NEWS AT 1200 GMT

EUROPE NEWS AT 1200 GMT

TOP STORIES
SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS
MADRID _ Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has only shaky support as he tries to shepherd Spain through Europe's debt crisis. Opposition leaders are calling for new elections _ a move rejected by his governing Socialists. But austerity measures Zapatero just pushed through are highly unpopular. Developing. By Daniel Woolls. AP Photos.
ITALY-BERLUSCONI'S CRISIS
ROME _ The ever-smiling Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi is more used to promising economic miracles than demanding sacrifices. Now _ after weeks of downplaying any risks for his country _ he finds himself forced to make unpopular budget cuts to save Italy's economy, pushed by his finance minister and the European Union. The austerity measures may cost a further dip in the popularity of the Italian leader, whose once teflon support has been eroded by a series of scandals. By Alessandra Rizzo.
BRITAIN-BALLOON MAN
LONDON _ In a goofy yet mesmerizing stunt, an American adventurer crosses the English Channel tied to a colorful bundle of helium balloons. His quiet, peaceful flight ends up in a French cabbage patch. Moved. AP Photos, Video.
CZECH-ELECTION
PRAGUE _ The Czech Republic holds elections, with a left-leaning party opposed to increasing troops in Afghanistan likely heading for a victory. Developing, polls open 8 a.m. EDT. By Karel Janicek. AP Photos.
BRITAIN-APPLE
LONDON _ Shoppers rush through the doors of Apple stores in Europe and Asia in hopes of snatching up the iPad _ the latest must-have gadget. Developing. AP Photos, Video.
GREECE-DEFENSE
ATHENS, Greece _ Turkish fighter jets streak past remote Greek islands, shattering the calm and alarming beachgoers. Then, Greek warplanes intercept them. Heavily indebted Greece spends more on the military as a percentage of GDP than any other EU country largely because of its fear of Turkey, but there are increasing calls for this spending to be slashed. Ironically, some of the countries which have provided rescue loans to prevent Athens from defaulting _ and who have been pushing for Greece to implement harsh austerity measures _ also want the country to buy their expensive warplanes and ships. By 1600GMT. By Elena Becatoros. AP Photos.
UN-US-DRONE STRIKES
GENEVA _ The use of drones by U.S. intelligence agencies to target suspected militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere lacks the accountability required under international law, a U.N. human rights expert said. Philip Alston, a New York University law professor, will call next week for new international rules to govern the use of drones to ensure they are deployed in line with the laws of war. Moved. By Frank Jordans.
BRITAIN-PROSTITUTES' MURDERS
LONDON _ A 40-year-old criminology student described himself as " the crossbow cannibal" as he appears in court to face charges that he murdered three prostitutes in northern England. Stephen Griffiths is accused of killing the three women in a case that has electrified Britain's tabloid press. Developing. By Danica Kirka
BRITAIN-PRUDENTIAL-AIA
LONDON _ Prudential PLC confirms it is talking with U.S. insurer AIG about the terms for the proposed sale of AIG's Asian unit, AIA, a deal which faces strong resistance from Prudential shareholders. Analysts speculate that the Pru is trying to chop $5 billion from the agreed price of $35.5 billion. Developing. By Robert Barr.
FRANCE-CONCORDE
PARIS _ The manslaughter trial against Continental Airlines, Inc., and two of its employees wraps up after nearly four months during prosecutors sought to assign responsibility for the fiery 2000 crash of the Concorde, which plunged into a hotel soon after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle airport, killing all 109 people aboard and four on the ground. Timing uncertain.
GEORGIA-LOCAL ELECTIONS
TBILISI, Georgia _ Georgia holds nationwide local elections on Sunday _ the first since its 2008 war with Russia. The vote is being seen as an informal referendum on mercurial President Mikhail Saakashvili as well as an indicator of who might be in a strong position to succeed him.
BRITAIN-BALLERINA'S COUP
LONDON _ Previously secret papers declassified Friday revealed that British ballerina Margot Fonteyn was heavily involved in plotting a coup to overthrow Panama's government, detailing how her clandestine political activities both exasperated and amused officials on both sides of the Atlantic. Moved. By Sylvia Hui. AP Photo.
FRANCE-NORIEGA
PARIS _ Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's appeal to be freed pending trial on money laundering charges is heard by a French court.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
BRITISH AIRWAYS
LONDON _ British Airways is holding talks with union leaders to try to avert 10 more days of strikes planned by cabin crews. Moved. AP Photos.
WORLD MARKETS
UNDATED _ European stock markets rose Friday after big gains on Wall Street as China's expression of confidence in Europe's ability to restore its financial stability eased worries about the region's government debt crisis. Moved. By Business Writer Colleen Barry.
OIL PRICES
BANGKOK _ Oil prices rose to near $75 a barrel Friday in Asia as investors set aside worries about the European debt crisis and focused on rising stock markets and improving economic data. Moved.
DOLLAR
BERLIN _ The euro has recovered against the dollar, after China said it had no plans to sell European debt it holds. Moved.
SPORTS:
FRENCH OPEN
PARIS _ Serena Williams advances to the third round at the French Open by beating Julia Goerges of Germany 6-1, 6-1. With a backlog in the schedule because of rain, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are also on the schedule. Moved, will be updated. By Steven Wine.
EURO 2016-VOTE
GENEVA _ Turkey, Italy and France have begun making their final presentations to win hosting rights for football's 2016 European Championship. Moved, will be updated. By Graham Dunbar.
WITH:
_ GENEVA _ BC-SOC--EURO 2016-SARKOZY. By 1400 GMT. By Bradley Klapper.
_ GENEVA _ BC-SOC--EURO 2016-ZIDANE. By 1400 GMT. By Bradley Klapper.
WCUP-DENMARK SQUAD
COPENHAGEN, Denmark _ Defender Simon Kjaer makes the cut for Denmark's World Cup squad a day after being carried away on a stretcher with knee ligament damage during a friendly. Moved. By Jan Olsen.
WCUP-SPAIN-VILLA
BARCELONA, Spain _ Spain travels to Austria to play the first of three friendlies before the World Cup with striker David Villa saying he's confident the European champions are ready to win the most important trophy in football for the first time. By 1400 GMT. By Ben Hayward.
REAL MADRID-MOURINHO
MADRID _ Jose Mourinho won't be Real Madrid coach before Tuesday, according to the Spanish club's director general. Moved.
F1-TURKISH GP
ISTANBUL _ McLaren shows it might challenge Red Bull for a Turkish Grand Prix victory this weekend as Lewis Hamilton leads a 1-2 for the British team in Friday's opening practice. Moved, will be updated. By Paul Logothetis.
PORTUGAL RALLY
FARO, Portugal _ Sebastien Loeb, looking for his 58th career victory, aims to further extend his 36-point world rally championship lead over second-place Jari-Matti Latvala with a win at the Rally of Portugal. By 1700 GMT.
GIRO
APRICA, Italy _ The 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia takes the riders 195-kilometers (121-mile) from Brescia to Aprica. David Arroyo Duran remains the classification leader with three stages to go, 2 minutes, 27 seconds ahead of pre-race favorite Ivan Basso. By 1800 GMT.
MADRID MASTERS
MADRID _ Luke Donald, Rhys Davies and Jamie Donaldson share a joint one-shot lead going into the second round of the (EURO)1.5 million ($1.85 million) Madrid Masters, being played at the Club de Campo Golf Course in the Spanish capital. By 1900 GMT.
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YOUR QUERIES: The Europe Desk in London can be reached at +44 207 427 4300.


Updated : 2021-04-17 03:46 GMT+08:00