- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 12, 2006

GREECE

Scientists insist on teaching Darwin

ATHENS — Greek scientists have called on the education ministry to insist on teaching evolution, or Darwinism, which they say is practically unheard of in the country’s schools, a press report said yesterday.

“The evolution theory is included in secondary school books but it is not taught sufficiently because time is limited and teachers don’t make it to the end of the book where this theory is dealt with,” Manos Papadakis, head of the Greek association of bioscientists, told Kathiremini newspaper.

A petition urging the ministry to act was signed by 200 scientists. Greece’s influential Orthodox Church, which defends creationism based on the Bible, did not immediately comment on the appeal.

DENMARK

Better image sought for the Middle East

COPENHAGEN — Organizers of a Danish Middle East festival, which yesterday began a six-week tour of the country, said they hoped to change negative perceptions of the Middle East.

The “Images of the Middle East” festival has been in preparation for more than two years and follows a series of events including “Images of Africa,” “Images of the World,” and “Images of Asia.”

But the initiative “is more important than ever due to the crisis in Lebanon and the row over the publication of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad,” project spokesman Osama Al-Habahbeh said.

The government-financed festival is to showcase some 450 artists from the Middle East and North Africa.

Peace marches held in Europe

PARIS — Thousands demonstrated across France and on the streets of Berlin yesterday calling for peace in the Middle East and an end to Israel’s military action in Lebanon one month after the offensive began.

In Paris, a crowd gathered in light rain on the Chatelet square in the heart of the city, waving banners including one that called for a “halt to fighting.”

Thousands of demonstrators in the German capital also marched.

ESTONIA

Gay rights supporters attacked during march

TALLINN — Anti-homosexual protesters armed with stones and sticks attacked a march for homosexual rights in Estonia yesterday, injuring about a dozen people in a country that prides itself on its tolerance, organizers said.

About 20 young men attacked the parade as some 500 homosexual rights supporters with rainbow-colored flags made their way through the winding streets of the capital, Tallinn, in Estonia’s third such annual event, according to march officials.

Parade spokeswoman Lisette Kampus said about 12 persons were injured.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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