- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 18, 2006

AUSTRIA

Haider calls Bush a war criminal

VIENNA — Austrian right-wing populist Joerg Haider called President Bush a war criminal yesterday, days before Austria’s government hosts Mr. Bush and European leaders in Vienna.

Mr. Haider, whose group is part of Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel’s coalition government, said Mr. Bush’s meeting with his European peers on Wednesday will be pointless as he did not expect the U.S. president to pay attention to what Europe had to tell him.

“He is a war criminal. He brought about the war against Iraq deliberately, with lies and falsehoods,” Mr. Haider said in an interview with the Austrian daily newspaper Die Presse. “The Iraqi population is suffering terribly. Bush took the risk of an enormous number of victims.”

BELGIUM

3,500 march to back illegal immigrants

BRUSSELS — More than 3,500 people demonstrated in Brussels yesterday in support of illegal aliens seeking legal residence in Belgium, police said.

The organizers, who called on unions and associations supporting their cause to take part in the protest, are seeking “clear and identical” criteria for everyone trying to obtain legal residence in Belgium.

Illegal immigrants and their supporters have tried to increase pressure on the government in recent months to reform residence rights.

PORTUGAL

Storms devastate port wine crop

LISBON — Severe storms last week destroyed much of the port wine crop in northern Portugal, local officials said, but the exact extent of the devastation was not immediately known.

The government Port and Douro Wines Institute, which gathers information on the industry, did not provide an official estimate of damage from the storms. Several local officials, however, said that up to 80 percent of the port wine crop in their districts was lost in the storms.

Large hail destroyed more than 2,470 acres of vineyard in the councils of Alijo, Sao Joao da Pesqueira and Sabrosa, local authorities said.

Weekly Notes …

Two men and a woman of Turkish origin were arrested yesterday after a gasoline bomb was thrown at Turkey’s consulate in Paris, police said. The door of the building was charred but no other damage was caused in the early morning attack. … Britain’s last survivor of the Western Front trenches of World War I, Harry Patch, celebrated his 108th birthday yesterday with cream tea and strawberries at the retirement home in Wells, southwest England, where he lives. Britain’s oldest Great War veteran is Henry Allingham, 110, who was a mechanic in the Royal Naval Air Service.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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