- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 23, 2001

EU's Solana reported to have nearly quit
MADRID The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, threatened to resign before last weekend's EU summit in Belgium, saying a draft EU document put a question mark over his job, Spain's El Pais newspaper reported.
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country holds the EU presidency until the end of the year and who hosted the summit, had called for the bloc's external relations to be "strengthened and better coordinated." The call came in a draft for the final declaration of the parley, held near Brussels, and sent to EU heads of state days before the two-day summit Dec. 14.
The newspaper quoted informed sources as saying EU leaders were asked to consider appointing a single person to take charge of the 15-member body's external relations. The draft version of the document called into question coordination between Mr. Solana and EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten the EU's two foreign policy chiefs El Pais reported.

French court rejects German hooligan's bid
DOUAI, France A French court has rejected a bid to free a German soccer hooligan jailed for five years for savagely beating a French policeman after a 1998 World Cup soccer match.
The court ruled Thursday that Markus Warnecke, who had served seven months of his sentence, had not spent enough time in prison compared with the suffering he had inflicted on his victims.
Police Officer Daniel Nivel suffered permanent brain damage from the vicious attack, and two other police officers were hurt when Warnecke, 31, went on a drunken rampage with other German hooligans after failing to obtain a ticket to the Germany-Yugoslavia match in Lens, northern France.

Russian spy chief urges data exchange
MOSCOW Russia's top spy said in a rare interview published last week that global intelligence agencies must draw lessons from September 11 and share information even after the Afghan campaign comes to an end.
"The priority today is very close cooperation in the fight against international terrorism. The details [of such information-sharing] are so serious that I have no right to disclose them," Foreign Intelligence Service director Sergei Lebedev told the daily Trud.
"But what worries me is that once the Afghan operation ends, once they find bin Laden, everyone will walk their own way again," said Mr. Lebedev.

Weekly notes
The Turk who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 condemned terrorism in all its forms from his jail cell last week. Mehmet Ali Agca, in a letter to the Italian news agency Ansa, condemned "all terrorism and all terrorists," and said he would like to kiss the pope. Maverick leftist French politician Jean-Pierre Chevenement, seen as a potential spoiler in next year's presidential elections, last week blamed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the crisis in Argentina. Said the head of the Movement of Citizens party: "Determined to defend financial globalization, the IMF has become a major element of destabilization in international relations."

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