Russia retrieves mice, newts from space
2013-05-19 07:44:35 GMT : (World/Europe)
MOSCOW: A Russian capsule filled with 45 mice and 15 newts along with other small animals returned from a month's mission in orbit on Sunday with data scientists hope will pave the way for a manned flight to Mars.Russian Mission Control said the Bion-M craft landed softly with the help of a special parachute system in the Orenburg Region about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) southeast of Moscow.T...
Supporters, opponents of Ukraine president clash in Kiev
2013-05-18 14:35:58 GMT : (World/Europe)
KIEV: Supporters and opponents of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich scuffled as both sides held large rallies in the capital Kiev on Saturday, police and local media said.A dozen young men hurled stones and plastic water bottles at opposition supporters and were then pushed away by police in riot gear, television footage showed.Anti-Yanukovich protesters also fought back and at one point some ...
Polish conservative opposition leads opinion poll
2013-05-18 12:45:41 GMT : (World/Europe)
WARSAW: Poland's opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party has overtaken the ruling Civic Platform in an opinion poll released on Saturday, showing the government may be increasingly vulnerable to the economic downturn.The centre-right Civic Platform, led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk won 40 percent of the vote at the 2011 election, but its support was down to 23 percent in the survey carried out...
Family album of last tsar surfaces in Russian museum
2013-05-18 06:36:33 GMT : (World/Europe)
MOSCOW: Held a virtual prisoner by the Bolsheviks months before his execution, Russia's last tsar Nicholas II pasted informal snapshots of his family into an album which has now come to light in a Russian provincial museum.The photographs, most of which have never been seen before, show the last of the Romanov rulers of Russia without pomp and in unguarded moments. Many were taken by Nicholas ...
French president signs gay marriage bill into law
2013-05-18 05:52:05 GMT : (World/Europe)
PARIS: France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate.Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition, which had been the last obstacle to passing the bill into law. The legislation also legalises gay adoptio...
Russian security services name CIA Moscow chief
2013-05-17 17:22:02 GMT : (World/Europe)
MOSCOW: Russia's security services openly named the US intelligence agency's station chief in Moscow to media on Friday in a rare breach of protocol that followed their capture of an alleged CIA agent who was working undercover at the US embassy.Russia announced this week that it had caught alleged agent Ryan Fogle as he prepared to recruit a member of the Russian security forces. Footage ...
Germany reacts cautiously to Hollande's Europe plan
2013-05-17 12:51:11 GMT : (World/Europe)
BERLIN: Germany said on Friday that French President Francois Hollande's proposal for a eurozone economic government was "interesting" but reacted cooly to his call for strengthened European budgetary powers."Such a right to a budget could result in the mutualisation of debt. You know the position of the government on that, that such a mutualisation of debt is out of the question," a German ec...
Bulgarian president convenes parliament to end deadlock
2013-05-17 12:15:19 GMT : (World/Europe)
SOFIA: Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev will convene parliament on May 21, in an attempt to have a government formed quickly and end a political impasse in the European Union's poorest country.Under Bulgarian law, the president must call the assembly within a month of the May 12 election that created a deeply divided parliament. All parties are refusing to work with the largest group - cen...
Gilts follow Bunds higher, central banker comments support
2013-05-17 12:09:07 GMT : (World/Europe)
LONDON: British government bonds rose modestly on Friday on the coat-tails of gains for German debt and after comments by a Bank of England policymaker that hinted at some openness to further stimulus for the British economy.Moyeen Islam, fixed-income strategist at Barclays, said gilts were mostly following other markets as they stabilised after recent falls. Investors were reluctant to make big b...
EU bonus cap could hit 10 times as many London bankers: PwC
2013-05-17 11:50:58 GMT : (World/Europe)
LONDON: Tougher European Union curbs on bonuses will snare far more bankers than current pay limits, with banks having little time to prepare for the change, consultancy PwC said on Friday.The European Banking Authority has approved a draft paper to cap the bonus of any bank employee whose total remuneration is more than 500,000 euros, PwC said in a statement.The EU watchdog's board met on Thu...
EU raids sugar companies in collusion probe
2013-05-16 09:18:47 GMT : (World/Europe)
BRUSSELS: The European Commission said on Thursday it had carried out surprise inspections on several sugar companies on concerns they may have breached anti-trust rules.The inspections were carried out late last month, it said, without giving further details of which companies or member states were involved.The probe covers the market for white sugar."The Commission has reasons to believe that th...
Socialist alliance just short of Bulgaria majority
2013-05-15 16:46:09 GMT : (World/Europe)
SOFIA: An alliance of Bulgaria's Socialists and an ethnic Turkish party fell just one seat short of a majority in parliament, final results from Sunday's election showed on Wednesday.The centre-right GERB won most seats but has little chance of governing as other groups do not want to work with it after it was toppled by protests against low living standards and became embroiled in scandal...
Berlusconi will not spark crisis if convicted: lawyer
2013-05-15 16:34:32 GMT : (World/Europe)
ROME: Italy's Silvio Berlusconi will not provoke a political crisis even if he is convicted next month for having sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of office, his lawyer said on Wednesday."It's a long way from grumbling to a political crisis," Niccolo Ghedini, who represents the former prime minister and is also a lawmaker from his party, told a press conference in Rome."Even if he...
UK's King takes swipe at plan for European trading tax
2013-05-15 13:09:35 GMT : (World/Europe)
LONDON: Mervyn King, the outgoing governor of the Bank of England, heaped criticism on a planned tax on financial transactions in Europe, saying it was unlikely to help the region's embattled economy."I don't think it is likely to help very much, and indeed the thing I find most striking is that here in Europe I can't find anyone in the central-banking community who thinks it's a g...
German economy feels winter freeze in Q1
2013-05-15 06:54:20 GMT : (World/Europe)
FRANKFURT: The German economy, Europe's biggest, grew only fractionally at the start of 2013 as the freezing winter weather put the brakes on activity, official data showed on Tuesday.German gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by just 0.1 percent in the period from January to March, the federal statistics office Destatis calculated in a preliminary estimate.Analysts had been expecting a slig...
France enters recession in first quarter
2013-05-15 06:53:14 GMT : (World/Europe)
PARIS: France entered a recession in the first quarter this year with gross domestic product contracting 0.2 percent, after shrinking the same amount in the last quarter of 2012, the official INSEE statistics office said Wednesday.A recession corresponds to a drop in growth over two quarters. The French finance ministry said that it still expected a tiny expansion of 0.1 percent for 2013 however.I...
Prosecutor urges 4 years sentence for faulty breast implants
2013-05-14 16:15:29 GMT : (World/Europe)
MARSEILLE: A French prosecutor on Tuesday called for the founder of a firm whose faulty breast implants sparked a global health scare to be given a four-year prison sentence on fraud charges.In closing arguments at the trial in Marseille, prosecutor Jacques Dallest also called for PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas to pay a 100,000 euro ($130,000) fine and to be banned from working in medical services or...
Poland posts weaker than expected start to 2013
2013-05-14 15:51:05 GMT : (World/Europe)
WARSAW: Central European leader Poland got off to a weaker than expected start this year, quarterly data showed on Tuesday, amid expectations that central banks in the region will further cut interest rates to boost demand and spur a sluggish recovery.The only EU member to have grown each year over the last two decades, Poland mustered just 0.1 percent growth in the first quarter, initial official...
Russia detains US embassy worker for spy recruitment
2013-05-14 11:26:10 GMT : (World/Europe)
MOSCOW: Russia has detained an American citizen accused of trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer to work for the CIA, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday.It said the man was an employee at the US embassy in Moscow but also worked for the United States Central Intelligence Agency. The embassy declined immediate comment.A spokesman for the FSB identified the man as Ryan Fog...
Ice wall crashes into Canada cottages
2013-05-13 22:43:32 GMT : (World/Europe)
OTTAWA: Winds whipped up a wall of ice into a lakeside community in Canada's western Manitoba province, destroying or damaging dozens of cottages over the weekend, officials said Monday.The ice sheet was up to nine meters (29.5 feet) high at some places when it crashed into homes at Ochre Beach, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of the provincial capital Winnipeg.Twenty-seven cottages...