- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 4, 2005

AZERBAIJAN

Democracy protesters seek help from Bush

BAKU — Thousands of Azerbaijanis took to the streets of their capital yesterday to demand free and fair parliamentary elections in November, with some placards begging President Bush to bring them democracy.

The state broke up an unauthorized rally last month, but yesterday’s event — although closely watched by helmeted riot police — passed off without violence in a sea of flags.

POLAND

John Paul’s notes were not burned

WARSAW — Pope John Paul II’s longtime private secretary said yesterday he did not burn the late pontiff’s notes as his will demanded, arguing that the papers contain “great riches” and should instead be preserved.

“Nothing has been burned. Nothing is fit for burning. Everything should be preserved and kept for history, for the future generations — every single sentence,” Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who worked with the pope from 1966 until his death earlier this year, told Polish state radio.

DENMARK

Danes still want EU referendum

COPENHAGEN — A majority of Danes want to go ahead with a planned referendum on the proposed EU constitution despite the recent rejections of the charter by French and Dutch voters, according to a poll published yesterday.

The poll, conducted by Vilstrup and published in the newspaper Politiken, showed that 53 percent of respondents believe Denmark should hold the referendum scheduled for Sept. 27, while 31 percent said it should be called off in light of the recent rejections by France and the Netherlands.

Four separate surveys show that Danes also would reject the proposed EU constitution.

FRANCE

Socialists oust deputy leader

PARIS — France’s Socialist Party ousted its No. 2 official yesterday after he broke with the leadership over the EU’s proposed constitution.

The decision to oust Laurent Fabius came at a conference of party leaders, during which Socialist leader Francois Hollande was expected to call for changes in the leadership.

Party members mostly voted against the proposed EU charter during France’s May 29 referendum, even though the party officially supported it.

SWITZERLAND

Homosexuals march for civil unions

ZURICH — Thousands of people joined an annual homosexual parade here yesterday, which this year took on the theme of civil unions a day ahead of a Swiss referendum on a law recognizing same-sex couples.

Swiss voters will decide today whether to recognize civil unions for homosexual couples, when they vote on a bill approved by the country’s parliament last year.

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