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Hedge fund manager found and jailed on fraud charges

FRANKFURT, Germany — Florian Homm, a flamboyant former hedge fund manager who spent the last five years in hiding, was arrested Friday in Italy and faced extradition to the United States on securities fraud charges, the FBI said.

Italian police arrested Homm, 53, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the FBI said. Homm is accused of defrauding investors of at least $200 million, the FBI said. The most serious of the four felony charges carry maximum sentences of 25 years in prison.

Homm was one of Germany’s best-known financiers before he disappeared in 2007 as his portfolio of hedge funds, Absolute Capital Management Holdings, was collapsing.

Until then, Homm had been a symbol of predatory capitalism in Germany. In 2004, he bought 26 percent of Borussia Dortmund, a beloved but nearly bankrupt soccer team, and forced management changes. Homm seemed to relish his role — appearing on German talk shows or posing for photographs in front of his villa on the Spanish island of Majorca.

—Jack Ewing, The New York Times

Islamists kill seven c

DAKAR, Senegal — Radical Islamists in northern Nigeria have killed seven foreign construction workers who were kidnapped in February, a significant escalation of extremist violence in Nigeria’s continuing jihadist insurgency.

The killings were announced Saturday by an obscure splinter group, Ansaru, and confirmed by European foreign ministries on Sunday. The seven — an Italian, a Greek, an Englishman,

The deaths signal a shift in tactics by the radical Islamists who have been battling the Nigerian government for nearly four years in the country’s impoverished north. The Islamist group Boko Haram has previously attacked, for the most part, officials and institutions associated with federal and local authorities, though plenty of civilians have been killed along the way.

—Adam Nossiter, The New York Times

Europe to ban cosmetics with animal-tested ingredients

BRUSSELS — EU regulators are expected to announce Monday a ban on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals and to pledge more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives.

The European Union banned animal testing of finished cosmetic products in 2004.

A second ban, on animal-tested ingredients, went into effect four years ago. But heavy lobbying by major cosmetics manufacturers resulted in an extension of the deadline for some tests for effects like allergies and cancer and for which there is still no substitute.

The ban, which will take effect immediately, “gives an important signal on the value that Europe attaches to animal welfare,” Tonio Borg, the EU commissioner for health and consumer policy, said in the draft copy of a statement to be released Monday and seen by the International Herald Tribune.

The cosmetics company L’Oreal, which is based in France, said Friday that it would respect the ban and “no longer sell in Europe any finished product with an ingredient that was tested on animals” after Monday.

—James Kanter, The New York Times