- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 21, 2006


Chirac wine sale tops $1 million

PARIS — Wine enthusiasts paid just over a million dollars to buy some of the best wines collected by French President Jacques Chirac while he was mayor of Paris.

Mr. Chirac’s collection of wines used to dazzle prominent guests during his almost two-decade reign as mayor of the City of Light. Now the sale of about 5,000 bottles from the City Hall’s grand wine cellar has bested expert estimates.

The sale, which Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe ordered, earned $1.21 million.

“I know that Chirac was heavily criticised for his flamboyant purchases. After this sale one could perhaps conclude it was a good investment,” Antique Wine Company chairman Stephen Williams told Le Parisien newspaper.


Neo-Nazis demand colleague be freed

BERLIN — About 1,000 neo-Nazis protested in front of a Berlin prison yesterday for the release of a skinhead musician imprisoned for inciting hatred, police said.

The rally was staged on behalf of Michael Regener, former head musician of the defunct “Landser” band. He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison in 2003 for his leading role in a criminal organization, the first such designation in Germany for a music band.

The band remained largely unknown for years, even as tens of thousands of its CDs were distributed to aficionados of national socialism.


Thugs trash museum; art seized at airport

MOSCOW — A group of young men ransacked one of Moscow’s best-known modern-art galleries yesterday, ripping paintings from walls and damaging equipment, its staff said.

The Marat Gelman gallery was attacked a day after Russian customs at a Moscow airport seized photographic montages it had displayed caricaturing the Russian and U.S. presidents.

British gallery owner Matthew Cullern Bown said he believed the Russians were unhappy about the satirical representation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Bush in semi-naked poses along with Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.


Six persons detained in war-crimes probe

ZAGREB — Six former members of a paramilitary unit were detained in Croatia under suspicion of killing ethnic-Serbian civilians at the start of the 1991-1995 Serbo-Croatian war, police said yesterday.

“Finally, after 15 years, we have resolved the killings of civilians in Osijek” in late 1991 and early 1992, Osijek county police Chief Vladimir Faber said on national radio.

The six detained, whose identities were not revealed, are suspected of taking part in detention, maltreatment and killing of Serbs. The victims’ bodies were later thrown into the Drava River.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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