- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2008


Anti-Koran film to be discussed

COPENHAGEN — A Danish press-freedom group has invited a Dutch lawmaker to talk about an anti-Koran film he made that sparked angry street protests in Muslim countries earlier this year.

Geert Wilders will appear in Copenhagen on June 1 to talk about the movie and share his thoughts on free speech, said the Free Press Society of 2004.

Lars Hedegaard, president of the society, said the invitation to Mr. Wilders should not be viewed as a provocation against the Muslim world, but rather as a way to address the debate on the right to speak freely.

Mr. Wilders’ film “Fitna,” which appeared on the Internet on March 27, links terror attacks to texts from the Koran, Islam’s holy book.


Trash crisis resurges, vexing Berlusconi

ROME — A resurgent trash crisis in Naples and squabbling over immigration pose challenges to newly elected Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as he finalizes a sweeping security and economic-reform package.

Mr. Berlusconi, whose conservative government came to power last month, is moving his Cabinet to the port city of Naples on Wednesday, keeping a campaign promise to resolve the crisis.

Yesterday, residents set putrid piles of garbage ablaze, some of them blocking streets.

The trash problem — the result of Naples’ dumps being full — has been blamed on years of weak governance and organized crime.


Basques remember victims of terrorism

MADRID — More than 500 people took part yesterday in a tribute to victims of terrorism in Spain’s restive Basque region, just four days after a police officer was killed in a bombing blamed on the separatist group ETA.

In the port city of San Sebastian, Basque government leader Juan Jose Ibarretxe called the event a way to “fight against obscurity” and to remember the toll that terrorism has taken.

ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths in its 40-year campaign for an independent nation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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