- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 18, 2002

Napoleon's fans trek to birthplace

AJACCIO, Corsica More than 200 French and Belgian admirers of Napoleon donned their Empire period finest last week to mark the 233rd anniversary of the French emperor's birth in Corsica in 1769.

A Roman Catholic Mass, the laying of flowers at Bonaparte's birthplace, a moment of silence and a parade opened the celebration of the "Napoleonic Days" held here every year in the French Mediterranean island's main city.

"This day marks a truly powerful moment for us," said Gaston Leroux-Lenci, national secretary of France's federation for historical re-enactments, which brings together 67 Napoleonic associations across Europe.

For three days ending yesterday, diehard Napoleon fans in full military regalia despite the heat lived in a makeshift camp of 40 tents pitched at the foot of Ajaccio's citadel.

"We completely immerse ourselves in recreating the Napoleonic era as faithfully as possible," said Claude Biefenot, who belongs to a Belgian Napoleon club. Translation: No mobile telephones or plastic water bottles.

Danes late in airing mad-cow export

COPENHAGEN A cow exported from Denmark to Portugal was discovered to be carrying mad cow disease, Danish veterinary authorities announced Thursday.

The diagnosis was made July 22 by Portuguese veterinarians who detected bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a routine sample taken when the 3-year-old animal was sent to slaughter.

The government's chief vet, Preben Willeberg, responded to farmers' protests at the delayed announcement, saying it had been held up by all-out efforts to contain an outbreak of Newcastle's disease, an infectious viral fever, in western poultry farms.

Danish authorities sealed off two farms where the infected cow had been kept before it was shipped to Portugal on Aug. 17 last year. The latest discovery brought to 10 the number of cases of BSE detected among Denmark's herds since 1992, when the first case was discovered in a cow imported from Scotland.

Weekly notes

Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein took part Thursday possibly for the last time in the national day celebrations of this tiny principality that he has threatened to leave once and for all amid a bitter constitutional row. The theme of his speech was the constitutional reform of his country, which nestles between Switzerland and Austria and ranks among the smallest in the world with just 30,000 inhabitants. A bid by Turkey's former economy minister Kemal Dervis to build a center-left alliance for snap November elections faltered Thursday, but the popular leader said he would continue with efforts to form a bloc to counter a rising pro-Islamic party. Mr. Dervis' planned unity grouping suffered a blow when the New Turkey party of former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said it would stand alone in the election, rather than join the former economy minister.

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