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seattlepi.com: Europe News from the Associated Press





 



The Latest: Spain says man slain by cops was terror driver

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 02:10:45 UT

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The latest on the aftermath of the Spain attacks (all times local): 4:10 a.m. Spanish police says they have "scientific evidence" that a fugitive shot to death Monday was the man who drove a van through Barcelona's crowded Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 people last week. Authorities say 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two troopers who shot him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized. Abouyaaqoub's brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in what police said was a botched bomb-making operation.



Italy quake rocks resort island of Ischia, at least 1 dead

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:04:52 UT

ROME (AP) — An earthquake rattled the Italian resort island of Ischia at the peak of tourist season Monday night, killing at least one person and trapping a half dozen others under collapsed homes. Police said all but one of the people known to be trapped were responding to rescuers and were expected to be extracted alive, including three children. One person, however, wasn't responding, raising worries the death toll could increase, said Giovanni Salerno of the financial police. Italy's national volcanology institute said the temblor struck a few minutes before 9 p.m., just as many people were having dinner. The hardest-hit area was Casamicciola, on the northern part of the island.



The Latest: Magnitude readings vary widely on Italy quake

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 22:28:46 UT

ROME (AP) — The latest on an earthquake that hit the Italian resort island of Ischia (all times local): 12:25 a.m. Different seismological agencies are reporting significantly different magnitudes for the earthquake that struck the Italian resort island of Ischia late Monday. Italy's national vulcanology department gave a preliminary magnitude of 3.6. But the U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 4.3, while the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center had it at 4.5. All of them gave the epicenter just off Ischia at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). While such variances are common, some Italian officials are complaining that the Italian agency's initially low 3.6 magnitude underestimated the power of the quake.



Danish police find torso of woman after submarine sinking

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 22:14:29 UT

HELSINKI (AP) — The body of a woman has been found in the Baltic Sea near where a missing Swedish journalist is believed to have died on a privately built submarine, Danish police said late Monday. A female torso without legs, arms or a head was found by a passer-by, said the head of the investigation, Jens Moller Jensen. "We have recovered the body ... It is the torso of a woman," Jensen told reporters. "An inquest will be conducted." He said it was "too early" to say if the body was that of 30-year-old Swedish reporter Kim Wall, who went missing more than a week ago after a trip on the submarine owned by 46-year-old Peter Madsen, a Danish inventor.



Police: Fugitive's death 'breaks' cell behind Spain attacks

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:50:02 UT

SUBIRATS, Spain (AP) — The lone fugitive from the Spanish cell that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two troopers who confronted him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized, authorities said. Police said they had "scientific evidence" that Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, drove the van that barreled through Barcelona's crowded Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 people on Thursday, then hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver while making his getaway. Abouyaaqoub's brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in what police said was a botched bomb-making operation.



Charter defines role of Macron's wife — still not first lady

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:18:38 UT

PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron's office published a charter Monday detailing the role his wife will play during his term, a first for France but a step down from his initial plan to give her a budget and legal status as first lady. The Charter of Transparency says there will be no formal budget for the endeavors of Brigitte Macron and she will not be paid. Macron dropped the idea of creating a special budget for his wife after a recent petition opposing it quickly secured more than 280,000 signatures. France does not have a formal title or role for the spouses of its presidents, and the centrist Macron wanted to change that and do away with what he once called "French hypocrisy" about the non-status of presidential spouses.



1 killed in helicopter crash in southern Russia

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:15:02 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian emergency officials say a private helicopter has crashed in southern Russia, killing its pilot. The Robinson R66 helicopter crashed into a mountain on Monday near Maly Utrish just outside Anapa on Russia's Black Sea coast. The Tass news agency quoted local emergency officials as saying that the helicopter was only carrying its pilot, who died in the crash. The helicopter was flying from Anapa to Abrau-Durso, a seaside resort, when it went down. The R66 is a five-seat helicopter. The Interfax news agency said it belonged to a privately owned carrier based in Rostov-on-Don.



Fire sweeps across Russian city, dozens of homes destroyed

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:13:51 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — A massive blaze swept Monday through the southwestern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, leaving scores of people injured and burning dozens of houses, officials said. The fire that erupted at a wooden house in the center of Rostov-on-Don, a city of 1.1 million, quickly engulfed neighboring buildings. Desperate residents rushed to contain it before fire teams arrived. About 2,000 firefighters backed by several helicopters worked for hours to contain the blaze, which destroyed more than 80 houses. Emergency officials said 45 people were injured, and seven of them were hospitalized.



US Embassy in Russia stops issuing tourist visas for 8 days

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 18:47:06 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — In a step that could affect hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists, the U.S. Embassy in Russia said Monday it would suspend issuing nonimmigrant visas for eight days from Wednesday in response to the Russian decision to cap embassy staff. The embassy made the decision after the Russian Foreign Ministry ordered a cap on the number of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, it said in a statement, adding that it would resume issuing visas in Moscow on Sept. 1, but maintain the suspension at consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok indefinitely. Nearly a quarter of a million Russian tourists visited the U.S. last year, according to Russian tourism officials. Earlier this month, Russia ordered the U.S.



Total expands in North Sea with purchase of Maersk Oil

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:24:47 UT

LONDON (AP) — French oil company Total agreed Monday to buy the oil & gas division of Danish conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk for $7.45 billion, in a deal that will see it become the No. 2 operator in the North Sea. Total said its purchase of Maersk Oil will shore up its position in the offshore and challenging waters of northwest Europe, which is the seventh-largest oil and gas producing region in the world. Industry consultants Wood Mackenzie said it's the biggest North Sea-weighted deal since 2006. Under the terms of the deal, Total said it will uphold Maersk Oil's development schedules and investments in a series of projects, and that Denmark will become the regional hub for all its operations in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.



Putin appoints new Russian ambassador to US

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:07:23 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — A career Russian diplomat, who gained the reputation of a hawk during his earlier tenure at the Defense Ministry, was named the new ambassador to the United States on Monday. The 62-year old Anatoly Antonov was appointed to the job by President Vladimir Putin's order, according to the Kremlin. Antonov takes the job at a time when U.S.-Russia relations are badly strained following the approval of a new wave of U.S. sanctions against Moscow and the Kremlin's decision to sharply cut the U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia. He succeeds Sergei Kislyak, who found himself in the center of controversy amid claims of Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential vote.



Ex-Kosovo PM Bajram Rexhepi dies after a stroke at 63

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:00:30 UT

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Bajram Rexhepi, Kosovo's former prime minister and interior minister, has died in a hospital in Turkey following a stroke. He was 63. Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said in a statement that Rexhepi, a surgeon by profession, passed away in the early hours Monday following months of battling a grave illness. He was taken to Turkey after a stroke in April. Rexhepi, also ex-mayor of the northern city of Mitrovica, was among the independence fighters in the 1998-99 war and afterwards was deputy leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, or PDK, created from former independence fighters. Since 2010 he had withdrawn from politics. Mustafa hailed him as "the first prime minister after the first post-war elections.



Romania's coastguard intercepts boat carrying 70 migrants

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:50:27 UT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's coastguard said Monday it has intercepted a fishing boat carrying 70 migrants suspected of trying to illegally enter Romania. Border police working for the coastguard said they spotted the vessel late Sunday near the Black Sea port of Constanta. Authorities escorted the boat into port and allowed the migrants to disembark. Some received medical treatment. They said the group was made up of 35 men, 12 women and 23 minors, who told authorities they were from Iraq and Syria. The statement said an investigation was underway.



French police rule out terror in van's fatal bus stop hits

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:34:51 UT

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — A van rammed into two bus stops in the French port city of Marseille on Monday, killing one person and injuring another, but investigators ruled out terrorism as a motive, police said. The driver of the van, arrested in a third location, was a 35-year-old from the Grenoble region in eastern France who was being treated for psychological problems, a Marseille police official said. "The terrorist motive is completely rejected," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with French law enforcement practice, said. The collisions at the bus stops about 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart came days after back-to-back van attacks in Barcelona and Spanish resort town of Cambrils killed 15 people.



Police in Spain say fugitive Barcelona van attack suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub has been shot dead

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:33:57 UT

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Police in Spain say fugitive Barcelona van attack suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub has been shot dead.



The Latest: Greek police pick up migrants dumped on highway

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:23:58 UT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The Latest on Europe's migrant crisis (all times local): 7:30 p.m. Greek authorities say they have found 53 refugees and migrants — including 24 minors — walking along a northern highway after a smuggler dumped them on the roadside. Police said Monday the group consisted of 41 Iraqis, five Afghans, five Eritreans and two Syrians. They were found early Sunday about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, and said they had paid a smuggling gang €2,000 ($2,300) each to be driven there in a truck from the Turkish border. But the truck driver abandoned them on the highway and drove off.



Regional police confirm that fugitive Barcelona suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub was been shot down.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:23:13 UT

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Regional police confirm that fugitive Barcelona suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub was been shot down.



Attack victims came from around world to celebrate Barcelona

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:15:02 UT

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The victims of last week's attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort town came from around the world and across generations, the latest a Spaniard who was stabbed to death by one of the attackers. They are among 15 people killed and more than 120 others wounded in Barcelona and the nearby town of Cambrils on Thursday and Friday. The dead and injured represented nearly three dozen countries, places where loved ones are in mourning or experiencing a new kinship with the people of Spain. Here are some details about the victims: ___ Pau Perez, 34, Spain.



Lithuania takes delivery of US gas to cut reliance on Moscow

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:52:33 UT

KLAIPEDA, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania has taken delivery of its first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the United States, a milestone that the Baltic state hopes will further reduce its reliance on Russia. Independence, the U.S.-based tanker, docked Monday in the port of Klaipeda to offload some 150,000 cubic meters (200 cubic yards) of gas at a fully functioning offshore terminal that is capable of covering most of Lithuania's annual energy needs. Energy Minister Zygymantas Vaiciunas said the U.S. is already the country's most-important strategic partner and now becomes "a reliable LNG supplier for the whole region.



Migrant family in Germany names daughter after Angela Merkel

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:47:36 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Meet one of Germany's newest residents: Angela Merkel Muhammed. The little girl was born last week to a migrant couple who fled Syria's bloody war and decided to name her in honor of the 63-year-old German chancellor whose policies allowed them to start a new life in 2015. The St. Franziskus Hospital in the western city of Muenster told the dpa news agency Monday that the little girl's first name is Angela, her middle name is Merkel, and last name is their family name of Muhammed. But she's not the first new Angela Merkel. Dpa reports another baby was given the chancellor's name by a family seeking asylum in the city of Duisburg in 2015.