BC-AP--European News Digest at 1230 GMT, AP


Associated Press

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM



BRUSSELS — The United States and the European Union, which already enjoy the world's biggest business relationship, resumed talks Monday on a deal to further grow two-way trade and investment. The negotiations are taking place against the backdrop of European pique over reported U.S. electronic espionage, and were delayed due to the U.S. government shutdown. But officials for both sides said the benefits of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are too great for the talks to be affected. By John-Thor Dahlburg.


YPRES, Belgium — Few people understand more about honoring the dead than Daniel Macrae. His uncle was killed in Normandy during World War II, his nephew was killed in the Gulf War, and Macrae himself is an undertaker in his native Scotland. Dressed in a traditional kilt and wearing a cap from his former regiment, the 52nd Lowland Territorial and Volunteer Reserve, Macrae strolled through a field of paper poppies, some containing poignant messages, on the top level of the Menin Gate in Ypres. "I have relatives that died in different wars, but I'm here in Ypres to honor those who died in World War I," he said. By Virginia Mayo. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1500 GMT.


MOSCOW — A Russian space capsule carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts returned to Earth on Monday from the International Space Station in a flawless landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan. The Soyuz capsule landed at 8:49 local time (0249 GMT), about three and a half hours after undocking from the station with Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, American Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano of Italy aboard. By Jim Heintz.


ATHENS, Greece — Greece's coalition government won a confidence vote Monday called by the left-wing opposition but saw its parliamentary majority cut by one seat. Socialist deputy Theodora Tzakri was expelled from the party after refusing to back Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' 15-month-old government in the vote held in the 300-seat parliament early Monday.


LONDON — Shares in British Sky Broadcasting PLC took a battering Monday after rival BT PLC snatched the U.K. television rights to European Champions League soccer, Europe's top club competition. The loss of the rights, which it had shared with terrestrial broadcaster ITV PLC, represents a big blow for the satellite broadcaster as it has built its business over the past two decades largely on the back of its acquisition of sports rights. Many argue that soccer rights are the main reason why the broadcaster has around 10 million subscribers. By Pan Pylas.


GENEVA — Pharmaceutical company Novartis says it is selling part of its diagnostics business to the Spanish health care company Grifols for $1.68 billion. The company, based in Basel, Switzerland, says the deal with Grifols SA, which is headquartered in Barcelona and is the world's third-largest producer of plasma-derived therapies, requires customary regulatory approvals but is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.


BERLIN — The European Space Agency says one of its research satellites that had run out of fuel caused no known damage after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. ESA said the satellite re-entered the atmosphere at about 0000 GMT Monday on a descending orbit pass that extended across Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica.



LONDON — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal is trying to cap his stunning comeback with a first title at the ATP World Tour Finals when the Spaniard takes on Novak DJokovic in a final pitting the two dominant players of the season. By Samuel Petrequin. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 2200GMT.