- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 12, 2004

IRELAND

100th ‘Bloomsday’ comes Wednesday

DUBLIN — In the summer of 1924, Irish writer James Joyce sat alone in Paris, took out his notebook and gloomily wrote in it: “Today 16 of June 1924 twenty years after. Will anyone remember this date.”

Two years had passed since Joyce had published his epic novel “Ulysses,” and things were not going well. Despite attracting a small core of devotees, the book had been denounced by the Irish as un-Christian filth, banned in Britain and burned by U.S. censors because of its “indecency.”

To the writer it seemed that June 16, 1904, the day on which the novel is set, was slipping unnoticed into history. He need not have worried. On Wednesday, Dublin and the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of what is now known universally as “Bloomsday” in honor of the central character of “Ulysses,” Leopold Bloom.

Some 10,000 people will sit down to an outdoor breakfast on one of Dublin’s main streets to recall the pork kidney, fried in “sizzling butter sauce” and sprinkled with pepper, which Bloom cooks for himself near the start of the novel.

LITHUANIA

Voters replacing disgraced leader

VILNIUS — Lithuanians vote today to replace ousted President Rolandas Paksas, brought down over reputed links to Russian mobsters, in an election many hope restores faith in the ex-Soviet Republic’s democracy.

Mr. Paksas’ removal by impeachment in April, the first case involving a European leader, embarrassed Lithuania just as it was entering the European Union and NATO in what had been billed as the Baltic nation’s return to the West.

Polls give a strong lead in first-round voting to the former president, Valdas Adamkus, who has declared the election a chance for Lithuania to put behind it Mr. Paksas’ chaotic 13-month term. The Soviet-trained former stunt pilot’s term was marred by clashes with parliament, gaffes and reports of links to the Russian underworld.

PORTUGAL

Arabs ordered out after Dutch tip-off

PORTO — A Portuguese judge yesterday ordered the deportation of six Moroccans and one Tunisian arrested after a tip from Dutch intelligence. They were among 15 Arab men arrested Friday in Porto, about 200 miles north of Lisbon.

Those arrested included a man believed to be a member of a radical Islamic group in the Netherlands. The seven men had faced possible immigration charges, and the other eight were released.

Porto was the site of the inaugural game of the European soccer championships yesterday between Portugal and Greece. Security is tight amid fears of hooliganism and extremist attacks.

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