- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 3, 2006

SERBIA-MONTENEGRO

Montenegro declares independence

PODGORICA — Montenegro’s parliament declared independence for the tiny Balkan republic yesterday, forming a new European state and dissolving what was left of the former Yugoslavia.

The assembly adopted a declaration of independence, verifying the results of a May 21 referendum in which Montenegrins supported a split from Serbia by a slim margin. The document envisages Montenegro as a “multiethnic, multicultural and multireligious society … based on the rule of law and market economy.”

After the assembly meeting, authorities raised a red-and-gold Montenegrin flag over the parliament building and played the ancient Montenegrin anthem — “Oh, the Bright May Dawn” — as fireworks exploded in the sky.

The declaration says Montenegro’s strategic national goal is integration into the European Union and NATO, and the new country will immediately apply for admission into the United Nations and other international organizations.

NETHERLANDS

10 percent of Dutch admit being racist

THE HAGUE — Ten percent of Dutch people admit to having racist opinions, considering themselves in particular to be more intelligent than foreigners, according to a poll published yesterday.

The survey by the Motivaction polling agency published in the protestant daily Nederlands Dagblad also showed that half of Dutch people have an aversion to Muslims, 43 percent think that Islam is a threat to peace, and two-thirds that the faith is at odds with modern life in Europe.

However, 73 percent denied being racist and said they favored a multicultural society.

The Netherlands, which counts only 6 percent Muslims among its 16 million inhabitants, long thought it had escaped the problems of ethnic tensions that were seen in some other European countries until the meteoric rise of right-wing populist politician Pim Fortuyn.

Mr. Fortuyn, who was killed in 2002 just days before general elections by an animal rights activist, soared in the polls because of his harsh criticism of the Dutch immigration policy that he thought was too soft.

FRANCE

Ancient skeleton found in cave

VILHONNEUR — A 27,000-year-old human skeleton laid out in a room decorated with ancient art and a crude representation of a face are among the rare finds in a cave in western France, officials said Friday.

The state took over ownership of the cave in the Vilhonneur forest on May 12, the French Culture Ministry said.

It was only the second time that a human body is known to have been placed in a decorated cave from the Upper Paleolithic Period, the ministry said.

A single face drawn in the cave could be among the world’s oldest known graphic representations of a human face, said Jean-Yves Baratin, archaeology curator for the Poitou-Charentes region.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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