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-Europe News Digest, AP
Associated Press
2014-01-10 08:22 PM



ROME -- Italian officials say the shipwrecked Costa Concordia will be removed from its watery graveyard off Tuscany in June and taken to a port to be dismantled, the final phase of an unprecedented 600 million-euro ($817 million) salvage effort. Officials gave the timetable and the rundown of what was needed for the ship to be refloated at a press conference Friday that came just days before the second anniversary of the Jan. 13, 2012, grounding that killed 32 people. By Nicole Winfield. Sent: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 1300 GMT.


AMSTERDAM -- Prosecutors have accused a Dutch man of abusing around 400 boys and girls aged 12-14 he met in online chat rooms, coercing them into committing sexual acts via webcam. Victims have so far been identified in the Netherlands, the U.S., Belgium and Spain. SENT: 130 words.


PARIS -- French President Francois Hollande is threatening legal action over a magazine report saying he is having a secret affair with a French actress. Hollande, in a statement obtained by The Associated Press, says he "deeply deplores the attacks on respect for privacy, to which each citizen has a right." SENT: 130 words.


LONDON -- The British government is threatening the country's future by stirring up unfounded fears about immigration, a senior European Union official has said -- comments that drew an angry response Friday from Britain's governing Conservatives. EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding accused the British government of using a "supposed invasion of foreigners" to distract attention from the country's real problems. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 320 words, photos.


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Fifteen candidates want to run for the ceremonial post of Slovakia's president. Parliament spokesman Pavol Chovanec said Friday the 15 delivered their candidacy by Thursday's midnight deadline. Each candidate had to submit 15,000 signatures from Slovak citizens or be backed by 15 members of Parliament. SENT: 130 words.


LONDON -- European markets brushed aside earlier losses in Asia to trade sharply higher Friday ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that may determine how fast the Federal Reserve reduces its monetary stimulus. The nonfarm payrolls data for December, due an hour before Wall Street's open, have the potential to alter market expectations for the pace of the monetary withdrawal. The consensus in the markets is that U.S. employers added 196,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained at 7 percent. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 500 words.


FRANKFURT, Germany -- Automaker Daimler AG says its Mercedes-Benz luxury cars had a record year last year, boosted by new models and stronger sales in its biggest market, the United States. But the Stuttgart-based carmarker saw a sales decline in its home market, Germany. SENT: 140 words.

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