- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2006

POLAND

President criticizes German ties to Russia

BERLIN — Polish President Lech Kaczynski criticized Germany’s policy of building close ties with Russia, which he said was relentlessly building up its military force, in an interview to be published tomorrow.

Ahead of his planned meeting with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Mr. Kaczynski told Fokus weekly magazine he failed to see how German politicians could ignore Russia’s massive military spending.

Germany’s relations with Poland have been under strain for months, since plans were disclosed for a pipeline under the Baltic Sea pumping gas directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing Poland and depriving it of transit fees.

CROATIA

War-crimes suspect freed after protest

ZAGREB — A jailed Croatian deputy suspected of wartime atrocities against Serbian civilians was released yesterday for health reasons after more than a month on a hunger strike, a court official said.

Earlier yesterday, about 20 members of Croatia’s Academy of Sciences and four bishops called for the release of Branimir Glavas, the most senior political figure in Croatia to be probed for war crimes.

Mr. Glavas started his hunger strike in a Zagreb prison on Oct. 27, the day after his arrest, in a bid to demonstrate his innocence, and was soon placed in the prison hospital.

SERBIA

Protesters support suspect in U.N. trial

BELGRADE — About 20,000 people demonstrated peacefully yesterday outside the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade to support Vojislav Seselj, an ultranationalist Serbian leader being tried by the U.N. war-crimes court in The Hague.

The demonstration occurred a day after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said it had postponed until further notice hearings for Mr. Seselj, who has started his fourth week on a hunger strike.

Both the court and Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica have expressed their concern over the health of Mr. Seselj, who was hospitalized Wednesday.

UKRAINE

Truck carrying heroin seized near Russia

KIEV — A truck carrying more than 100 pounds of heroin with a value of more than $2 million was seized yesterday near Ukraine’s border with Russia, Ukraine’s SBU security service said.

The truck was heading from Iran to Western Europe through Russia and Ukraine when it was seized at a checkpoint in Ukraine’s Lugansk region just before dawn, the SBU said.

ITALY

Berlusconi leads stir, ignores doctors’ advice

ROME — Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi led tens of thousands of Italians yesterday in the first big rally against Prime Minister Romano Prodi, shrugging off his collapse a week ago to denounce “a government dominated by leftist extremists.”

Mr. Berlusconi, 70, ignored his doctors’ advice to rest after he fainted at a rally last Sunday and spent three nights in a hospital. The billionaire businessman criticized the center-left government yesterday for “taxing Italians without representing them.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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