BC-Europe News Digest,1st Ld-Writethru

BC-Europe News Digest,1st Ld-Writethru


GENEVA -- In a delay that some say may have cost lives, the World Health Organization resisted calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency until last summer, two months after staff raised the possibility and long after a senior manager called for a drastic change in strategy, The Associated Press has learned. By Maria Cheng and Raphael Satter. SENT 2,784 words. Abridged version of 750 words to be updated and documents will be linked.


LONGYEARBYEN, Norway -- Sky-gazers in the Arctic were treated to a perfect view of a total solar eclipse Friday as the moon completely blocked out the sun in a clear sky, casting a shadow over Norway's remote archipelago of Svalbard. People shouted, cheered and applauded as Longyearbyen, the main town in Svalbard, plunged into darkness. The skies were clear, offering a full view of the sun's corona -- a faint ring of rays surrounding the moon -- that is only visible during a total solar eclipse. By Martin Benedyk and Catherine Gaschka. SENT 550 words, will be updated.


TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- The two extremist gunmen who killed 21 people at a museum in Tunis trained in neighboring Libya before carrying out the deadly attack, a top Tunisian security official said. By Jamey Keaten. SENT 770 words, will be updated.


The terror attack in Tunisia that killed 21 people is a fresh blow to the North African nation's tourism industry, which has been struggling ever since the country's revolution of 2011. By Beth Harpaz.


BARCELONA, Spain -- Two cruise ships that carried passengers killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Tunisia arrived in Spanish ports Friday, with disembarking passengers telling reporters chilling tales of how they escaped the slaughter. The Costa Fascinosa docked at the port in Palma on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca while the MSC Splendida arrived at Barcelona's port in northeastern Spain. By Joseph Wilson.


PARIS -- France is launching a huge, new culinary event, the "Gout de France," to promote French cuisine around the world with thousands of chefs from different continents coming together to cook at sites including the Versailles Palaces. By Thomas Adamson. Upcoming.


ROME -- Italy unveils the restored crown jewel of Pompeii's frescoed villas, a rare success story for the UNESCO heritage site that has been marred by mismanagement and corruption. By Nicole Winfield. Upcoming.


LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland -- Northern Ireland has never before seen a bonfire so graceful or heartfelt. More than 5,000 people daily have been visiting a hand-crafted wooden tower designed by American sculptor David Best in the Northern Ireland city of Londonderry. The 72-foot-tall (22-meter-tall) structure, reminiscent of a Buddhist temple or an arabesque palace, is to be burned to the ground Saturday night in front of 15,000 ticket-holders. By Shawn Pogatchnik. Upcoming 380 words.


PARIS -- From gays to discontented Socialists to renegade conservatives, an array of French voters may be casting ballots for the far-right National Front in weekend local elections. That prospects alarms many -- but not party leader Marine Le Pen, the single most visible presence in weeks of campaigning. By Elaine Ganley.


BELGRADE, Serbia -- A Belgrade court on Friday ordered a 30-day detention for eight suspects in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre whose arrests this week by Serbia's war crimes prosecutors have triggered angry reactions from right-wing nationalists. The Belgrade Higher court said the suspects must remain in jail amid concerns they may flee or pressure witnesses. The men were arrested Wednesday and accused of taking part in the massacre of some 1,300 people at a warehouse on the outskirts of the Bosnian town Srebrenica during that nation's 1992-95 war. By Jovana Gec.


BRUSSELS -- European Union leaders, concerned about migrants using Libya as a jumping-off point for the continent, discussed Friday how to help the conflict-torn country regain stability -- but were reluctant to commit to sending troops. The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Europe is "planning all possible ways of supporting, even on the plan of security, a future national unity government." She has said Europe could mount a military and border operation, and help build Libya's police and justice systems. By Lorne Cook.


CVIKOV, Czech Republic-- In the Czech Republic, a country famous for big beer brands like Pilsner Urquell and Budvar, small craft brewers are staging a comeback. By Karel Janicek. Upcoming 550 words.


TBILISI, Georgia -- This former Soviet republic is becoming a casualty of the economic turbulence in Russia and Ukraine. Tourists from the neighboring region are not coming any longer and the economy has been shaken by the regional instability. The matter is coming to a head, with big anti-government protests expected this weekend. By Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili. Upcoming 500 words.


BRUSSELS -- Top leaders of the European Union emerged from a meeting with the Greek prime minister early Friday telling him much what they have for weeks: Come up with a reform plan if you want more money to stay solvent. And do it fast. The EU leaders said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras committed to providing a list of specific reforms in the coming days that would improve his country's balance sheet. Tsipras, however, said he had not committed to "recessionary measures" that would worsen the plight of his people. By Raf Casert and Frank Jordans.


It courses through Bangkok's bustling canals and the world's mighty rivers. It is the lifeblood of the desert oasis as well as North America's Great Lakes. From the Iguacu Falls in Brazil to the Nile River in Egypt, Associated Press photographers the world over set out to capture the beauty and majesty of humankind's most precious resource ahead of World Water Day on Sunday.


LONDON -- Britain's Euroskeptic U.K. Independence Party said Friday it has suspended a candidate in the upcoming general election over claims a member of her staff inflated a restaurant receipt to be claimed on European taxpayer-funded expenses. The allegation is embarrassing for UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the European Union and rails against alleged wastefulness in the EU.


PARIS -- A French court has convicted a retired electrician and his wife of concealing 271 stolen artworks by Picasso, and ordered the couple to give them back to the artist's family. The verdict Friday in the southern city of Grasse wraps up an unusual case centering around works that were unknown to the public for decades and have an estimated worth 60-100 million euros ($63-105 million).


LONDON -- One Direction is one man down on its world tour. The boy band's publicist says a stressed Zayn Malik is flying home to Britain.


BERLIN -- Lufthansa has canceled hundreds more flights Friday as pilots at Germany's largest airline went on strike for the third consecutive day and announced they would continue the walk-out over the weekend. In what is becoming an increasingly acrimonious labor dispute, nearly 800 short- and medium-haul Lufthansa flights were canceled Friday, including 90 related to an Italian air traffic controllers' strike. Since the strikes began Wednesday, Lufthansa said some 180,000 passengers have been affected. By David Rising.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Danish police say they have arrested a fifth man suspected of assisting a gunman who killed two people in attacks in Copenhagen last month. Police said Friday in a statement that the "young man," whom they declined to identify, would face a custody hearing later in the day together with another unidentified man arrested the day before.


BRUSSELS -- The leaders of France, Britain and Germany are discussing the state of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Angela Merkel met with the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, on the sidelines of an EU summit early Friday.


WOLOMIN, Poland -- A closed-doors trial has started of a Polish priest accused of abusing eight minors in the Dominican Republic and his own country. The priest, Wojciech Gil, was brought on Friday to the court in the Polish town of Wolomin from a Warsaw prison.

Updated : 2021-02-27 06:45 GMT+08:00