News In Brief

WHOSE FOLDING CHAIR IS THIS?

The missing property in one of Canada's most curious crime sprees was valued at more than $435,000 by the time police finally put a stop to it last week. In upscale West Vancouver, British Columbia, they arrested a father and son with the loot stashed behind their home. Was it luxury cars? Gas grills? Nope. They recovered enough lightweight lawn furniture, plastic trash barrels, and the like "to fill a Wal-Mart." The cops were late in catching on because, said a spokesman: "It's not like you're going to call up and ... report a stolen doormat."

SHIVER, FOR ALL WE CARE

History has been made in Belgium. City councilors in coastal Bredene last week OK'd the nation's first - shall we say - clothing-optional sunbathing on the beach this summer, after a long history of resistance led by the Roman Catholic Church. How many folks will avail themselves of the opportunity, though, is another matter. Belgium has one of Europe's rainiest and chilliest climates.

"Buy, buy, buy," Bush tells balky US trading partners

President Bush has put Japan, Canada, Israel, and other allies on notice that they could face US trade sanctions unless they remove "burdensome" barriers to American goods. In an annual review, his administration released its priority negotiating targets for the year, based on how it believes US exporters are faring. Bush listed 11 countries and the European Union in his "Super 301" report, which cites trade barriers to the US auto industry, agricultural commodities, and other trade sectors. Countries on the Super 301 list, in alphabetical order:

Australia

Brazil

Canada

India

Israel

Japan

Malaysia

Mexico

Philippines

South Korea

Taiwan

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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