TOP STORIES IN EUROPE ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2014:
KIEV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian parliament delays the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. By Maria Danilova and Jim Heintz. SENT: 950 words, photos.
KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine needs big money, and fast -- in weeks, not months. But bailing out the country will not be a matter of simply writing a fat check. For one, Ukraine has already burned the main global financial rescuer, the International Monetary Fund, by failing to keep to the terms of earlier bailouts. The currency is sliding and the central bank is running out of reserves to support it. A rescue with outside lenders can't be agreed until there's a government. And Russia could make things worse by hiking the price on its gas supplies. Whatever money Ukraine does get would come with painful cutbacks that could quickly douse any euphoria at the country's political changes. By David Mchugh and Juergen Baetz.. SENT: 950 words, photos.
ANKARA, Turkey -- An opposition party leader on Tuesday called on Turkey's prosecutors to launch an investigation into Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for alleged corruption, a day after the disclosure of audio recordings purportedly of him ordering his son to dispose of vast amounts of cash amid a graft probe. Erdogan met with Turkey's intelligence chief shortly after voice recordings of two people -- alleged to be Erdogan and his son -- discussing means of getting rid of large amounts of money from a home, circulated on the Internet. A statement issued by Erdogan's office later said the tapes were immorally fabricated and that legal action would be taken against the perpetrators. By Suzan Fraser. SENT: 250 words.
LONDON -- British police say a former Guantanamo Bay detainee is one of four people arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses. West Midlands Police said Tuesday that Moazzam Begg was arrested in the Birmingham area of central England. SENT: 250 words, photo.
LONDON -- It's curtains for Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical in London's West End. Producers say "Stephen Ward," a tale of sex and scandal based on a real Cold War episode, will close March 29 after run of less than four months. SENT: 130 words, photos.
PARIS -- The mausoleum that is the final resting place for 72 of France's renowned men -- and just one woman -- will get a little more 'egalite' during two years of renovations. Days after announcing that two women who fought with the French Resistance during World War II will be interred at the Pantheon, the government on Tuesday announced that the faces of thousands of ordinary people will be on show in a huge art installation. SENT: 130 words.
MOSCOW -- A Sochi court has convicted two Russian activists for resisting police orders, sentencing one of them to four days in prison and fining the other. Their lawyer, Alexander Popkov, told The Associated Press by phone on Tuesday that civil rights activist David Khakim will be held in jail until Thursday, while environmentalist Olga Noskovets will receive a 1,000-ruble ($28) fine. The police, who picked up the two activists shortly before the Winter Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday, said that Khakim was detained for refusing to show identification to the police. SENT: 130 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
BARCELONA, Spain -- BlackBerry will release a low-cost phone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad. The Indonesia phone, the Z3, will sell for less than $200 without subsidies, the company said Tuesday. It will later expand to other markets in southeast Asia. BlackBerry Ltd. CEO John Chen said a version with faster, 4G connectivity is planned for the rest of the world "sometime in the future before I die." By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 450 words.
BERLIN -- Exports helped propel the German economy to 0.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter while domestic demand dropped, underlining concerns that Europe's largest economy is relying too heavily on foreign trade. The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that exports accounted for 1.1 percentage points of fourth-quarter 2013 gross domestic product, while domestic demand subtracted 0.7 percentage points. SENT: 130 words.