Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union threatened Russia on Tuesday with harsher sanctions over Ukraine that could inflict wider damage on its economy following the downing of a Malaysian airliner, but it delayed action for a few days. Efforts to forge a united front were hampered by a French announcement that the planned delivery of a warship to Moscow would go ahead despite U.S. and British pleas to halt it. At a meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers for the first time raised the possibility of restricting Russian access to European capital markets, defence and energy technology, asking the executive European Commission to draft proposals this week. Such sanctions would require the approval of all EU governments and would apply only if Moscow does not cooperate with an international investigation into the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists, and if it fails to stop weapons flowing into the country.
Real Madrid on Tuesday signed Colombian striker James Rodriguez, the top scorer at the World Cup, from Monaco on a six season contract. Spanish media said Real paid about €80 million ($108m) for Rodriguez, making him one of the most expensive players ever. Neither club gave a figure, but Monaco said it was "one of the biggest transfers in football history". Rodriguez, 23, scored six goals for Colombia at the World Cup to win the Golden Boot award.
Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested scores of senior police officers on suspicion of illegally eavesdropping on top officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A total of 100 serving and former top police officers were arrested as part of two probes, prosecutors said in a statement. Most of the arrests were in Istanbul but raids were also carried out in the capital Ankara and cities including Izmir and Diyarbakir. The arrests are the latest round in a bitter feud between Erdogan and his former ally Fethullah Gulen, in the wake of a vast corruption scandal that broke late last year implicating the prime minister and his inner circle.