- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 27, 2002

French police find stolen dynamite
BORDEAUX, France Anti-terrorist police in France yesterday recovered between 1,300 and 1,550 pounds of dynamite stolen by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1999, officials said.
The stash was discovered in a house in the southwestern town of Serres-Castet, on the edge of the Basque region that straddles the border with Spain, while police were investigating a November shootout that left a policeman seriously wounded.
The ETA has been engaged for the last three decades in a violent campaign to create a Basque homeland comprising four provinces of northwestern Spain and three areas of southwestern France.
The ETA has killed more than 800 people, mostly in Spain, since it started the bloody campaign.

French say prices rise after euro debut
PARIS Nearly two-thirds of French consumers say prices in smaller stores have risen since the introduction of euro notes and coins on Jan. 1, a new poll has found.
Sixty-two percent of those polled said prices in small independent stores had jumped in the last 31/2 weeks, said the poll by IPSOS institute for the weekly Journal de Dimanche newspaper to be published today.
A majority also found that prices had risen in supermarkets, though there the number was slightly lower at 59 percent.
Twenty-six percent said prices had remained more or less the same in small stores, while 33 percent said they were paying the same in supermarkets as they were before the euro debut.

Thousands swim in frigid Danube
BERLIN More than 2,000 people took an icy plunge into the Danube in near-freezing temperatures yesterday intentionally.
A record 2,185 swimmers braved the frigid water for the 33rd annual "Danube Swim" in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, organizers said.
The 2.5-mile course took the swimmers and a series of floats featuring performing acrobats, a giant swan and an Osama bin Laden mockup, downstream to the town of Neuburg.
The water temperature for Europe's biggest winter swimming event was about 36 degrees Fahrenheit, organizers said.

Weekly notes
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher suffered a minor stroke while marking her golden wedding anniversary with husband Denis on the island of Madeira off the northwest coast of Africa last year and was hospitalized for two days, Britain's Press Association reported yesterday, quoting a close family friend. "It was a very minor stroke and she remains as energetic as ever," the friend said, adding the 76-year-old former leader had made a "very good recovery." … A woman returned to the spot where she survived a fall of more than 6 miles 30 years ago when the aircraft she was traveling in exploded. Vesna Vulovic, who was a 22-year-old flight attendant with the Yugoslav airways JAT, was the only survivor of the Jan. 26, 1972, bomb blast over the Czech town of Srbska Kamenice that killed 23 passengers and five crew members. Miss Vulovic, who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for surviving the longest fall without a parachute, was paralyzed from the waist down and was in a coma for nearly a month.

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