- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 23, 2003

POLAND
Three-quarters oppose war on Iraq, poll finds
WARSAW Seventy-five percent of Poles said they are opposed to any U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq, while only 20 percent would support it, according to an opinion poll published last week.
However, 39 percent of respondents said they believed the United States should be Poland's main strategic ally, the Ipsos poll said. This compares with a figure of 20 percent of people who back Germany for this role.
Sixty-one percent of those questioned thought Iraq must be given more time to comply with U.N. resolutions.

PORTUGAL
Body set up to deal with terror threats
LISBON Portugal, a vocal supporter of Washington's hard-line stance against Baghdad, said Thursday it was setting up a new government organization to deal with any terrorist attacks on its soil.
"There is no evidence to suggest that Portugal is a target of international terrorism, but we do not want to be caught by surprise, and it is good to be prepared," Interior Minister Antonio Figueiredo Lopes told reporters while announcing the initiative.
He said the new body would coordinate information-sharing among the nation's various police departments and security forces and would regularly assess the risk of a terror attack.

BELGIUM
Largest heist occurs in diamond capital
BRUSSELS Thieves emptied more than 100 vaults at a diamond-trading center in what officials said might be the largest theft ever in Antwerp, the gem-trading capital of the world.
Authorities have yet to determine the amount of the loss from the cellar of a building that houses dozens of gem-trading companies in a city that has been a center of the trade in precious stones since the 16th century.
The thieves bypassed heavy security to steal the diamonds from 123 of 160 vaults in the cellar of the Antwerp Diamond Center over the past weekend. The loss was disclosed Monday.
Previously, the largest theft on record in Antwerp occurred in 1994, when thieves cleaned out five vaults in the Diamond Center, for a loss of $4.55 million. The total in the latest weekend burglary is likely to be much larger, said a spokesman for the High Diamond Council.

Weekly notes …
Connoisseur thieves broke into a cheese cellar in eastern France and made off with more than a ton of top-grade cheeses worth $10,000. The aficionados snubbed lower-quality batches maturing in the cellar and made off with 36 rounds of comte, a hard, yellow cheese with a strong and slightly sweet flavor. The haul of cheeses, each weighing 88 pounds, took place last week at Vuillafans, a historic town in the lush eastern cheese-making region of Doubs. … A German couple is demanding compensation from a tour operator because a maid repeatedly interrupted them while they were having sex in their hotel room during a vacation in Cuba. They filed a lawsuit at a district court in Hanover seeking about $4,000 in damages from the vacation company.


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