TOP STORIES FROM EUROPE AT 1100 GMT
BERLIN -- Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador Thursday following allegations that American intelligence may have targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. At the same time, a senior lawmaker expressed concern at the White House's statement that it isn't monitoring and won't monitor Merkel's communications -- a response that didn't address what might have happened in the past. And the defense minister added that Europe can't simply return to business as usual in trans-Atlantic ties following a string of reports that the U.S. was spying on its allies. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 690 words, photos.
BUCHAREST, Romania -- The Romanian prosecutor's office has charged a former commander of a Communist labor camp with genocide for allegedly being responsible for 103 deaths. Ion Ficior, 85, was deputy commander, then commander of the Periprava labor camp from 1958 to 1963. The camp in the remote Danube Delta village near the Black Sea held up to 2,000 prisoners. By Alison Mutler. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1230 GMT.
MOSCOW -- A Washington-based Russian cultural exchange official who reportedly is the target of an FBI investigation is denying that he is a spy, a Russian news agency reported Thursday. A source in Washington has told The Associated Press that the FBI is looking into whether Yury Zaytsev, the head of a Russian government-run cultural exchange program, tried to recruit young Americans as intelligence assets. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe was still underway. SENT: 290 words.
GENEVA -- The U.N. panel that settles claims for damages from victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait has paid out another $1.24 billion -- bringing the total so far to $43.5 billion. SENT: 130 words.
SWITZERLAND-FIGHTER JET CRASH
GENEVA -- The Swiss military is confirming the death of one member of the two-man crew from a crashed F/A-18 fighter jet. The Swiss Federal Department of Defense says searchers found the body near the crash site in central Switzerland, but it has not yet been identified. The other crew member remains missing. SENT: 130 words.
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Former Olympic weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski, who was serving a nine-year prison sentence in Brazil for international drug trafficking, has arrived home in Bulgaria after being granted an early release which caught officials here by surprise. SENT: 130 words.
AUSTRIA-OPERA LIVE STREAM
VIENNA -- For all those who can't come to the Vienna State Opera -- it can now come to you. Starting Sunday, the company is offering what it describes as state-of-the art live streaming, with viewers able to switch between a view of the stage and close-ups with moving cameras. Innovations promised by the year's end will include apps providing subtitles in English, German and Korean and a synchronized score of the work being shown. SENT: 140 words.
LONDON-- Sculptor Anthony Caro, one of Britain's best-known artists, has died at the age of 89. His large, abstract steel sculptures -- usually placed directly on the ground -- stand in galleries, museums and parks around the world. SENT: 130 words.
SOC--CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-5 THINGS
Three down, three to go. Halfway through the Champions League group stage, some conclusions are now coming into focus. Bayern Munich still looks the team to beat; Cristiano Ronaldo remains Real Madrid's top dog despite Gareth Bale's arrival and Barcelona isn't looking quite the fearsome force it was under Pep Guardiola. UPCOMING. By 1400 GMT.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
LONDON -- Stronger Chinese manufacturing pushed the price of oil higher Thursday but gains were kept in check by plentiful supplies. Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 41 cents at $97.27 a barrel by midday in Europe in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. SENT: 280 words.
LONDON -- An unexpectedly strong improvement in a Chinese manufacturing survey shored up markets Thursday despite concerns over the country's banking sector that analysts fear may prompt a tightening in monetary policy. Those worries had weighed on world markets on Wednesday. But an HSBC survey showing that China's manufacturing activity was higher than expected in October supported global sentiment and prevented further losses in China's indexes. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 560 words.
LONDON -- The economic recovery in the eurozone showed few signs of accelerating in October, a closely-watched survey of business managers indicated Thursday. The monthly composite purchasing managers' index from financial information company Markit unexpectedly slipped in October to 51.5 points from September's 27-month high of 52.2. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 320 words.