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Boycott of American Goods Over Iraq War 2012

       BERLIN (Reuters) - No more Coca-Cola or Budweiser, no Marlboro, no American whiskey or even American Express cards -- a growing number of restaurants in Germany are taking everything American off their menus to protest the war in Iraq. Although the protests are mainly symbolic, waiters in dozens of bars and restaurants in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Bonn and other German cities are telling patrons, "Sorry, Coca-Cola is not available any more due to the current political situation." The boycotts appear to be part of a nascent worldwide movement. One Web site, calls for financial boycotts of 27 top American firms from Microsoft to Kodak while another, , urges the "millions of people against the war" to "Boycott Brand America."

Consumer fury seems to be on the rise. Demonstrators in Paris smashed the windows of a McDonald's restaurant last week, forcing police in riot gear to move in to protect staff and customers of the American fast-food outlet. The attackers sprayed obscenities and "boycott" on the windows. In Indonesia, Iraq war opponents have pasted signs on McDonald's and other American food outlets, trying to force them shut by "sealing them" and urging Indonesians to avoid them. In the Swiss city of Basel, 50 students recently staged a sit-down strike in front of a McDonald's to block customers' entry, waved peace signs and urged people to eat pretzels instead of hamburgers. Anti-American sentiment has even reached provinces in Russia, where some rural eateries put up signs telling Americans they were unwelcome, according to an Izvestia newspaper report. A German bicycle manufacturer, Riese und Mueller GmbH, canceled all business deals with its American suppliers. "Americans only pay attention when money is on the line," director Heiko Mueller told Reuters, whose firm buys $300,000 worth of supplies from half a dozen American firms each year. "We wanted to make a statement against this war and told our American partners that unless they renounce what their government is doing we won't do any business with them anymore."

More oln the US products boycott
       The German restaurant boycotts of American products started small but spread rapidly after the Iraq war began on Thursday. The conflict has struck a raw nerve in a country that became decidedly anti-war after the devastation of World War II, which it initiated. "If people all around the world boycott American products it might influence their policies," said Jean-Yves Mabileau, owner of "L'Auberge Francaise" which joined 10 Hamburg restaurants in banning Coca Cola, Philip Morris' Marlboro cigarettes, whiskey and other American goods. "This started as a light-hearted reaction to Americans dumping French wine in the gutter and renaming 'French Fries' as 'Freedom Fries'," he said. "But it feels good to take a stand against this war. It is just a small gesture, but a good one." Diners at the Osteria restaurant in Berlin are finding that "things go better without Coke" and are ordering Germany's long overshadowed imitation of "the real thing" -- the slightly sweeter "Afri-Cola" -- to express their outrage. Herve Keroureda, owner of a French restaurant in Hamburg known as "Ti Breizh," said he was astonished by the massive media coverage of their small-scale anti-American protest. "It was only intended as a small gesture but has turned into a gigantic issue," he said. "And the reaction from the patrons has been tremendous. Most have called it a brilliant idea." In Bonn, bartender Bruno Kessler said he was refusing to sell American whiskey or American beer such as Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser at his "Eifeler Stuben." Sarah Stolz, a 22-year-old German student of American studies, was headed for a Starbucks, coffee shop in central Berlin when her anti-war conscience got the best of her. "I was thinking about going into Starbucks which I love, when I realized it was wrong," she said. "I'm backing the boycott because the war is totally unjustified." Some German bakeries have renamed a local cake known as "Amerikaner" -- a disk-shaped pastry with icing on top -- as "Peace-ies," bearing a peace sign piped in chocolate sauce. The boycotts are having only a negligible business impact. Establishments often associated with the American way of life such as Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's and Coca-Cola reported no major business impact from the protests. Dunkin Donuts is owned by Britain's Allied Domecq.

Bodies found in missing couple hunt
       (BBC) - Police in Spain investigating the disappearance of a couple from north Wales have discovered two bodies. Tony and Linda O'Malley, of Llangollen, went missing in September 2015 while looking for a holiday home in Benidorm. A spokesman for police in Valencia said two bodies had been found and four people had been arrested. A North Wales Police spokesman said: "North Wales Police have been working in close co-operation with the Spanish police investigating the disappearance of Linda and Tony O'Malley. "There have been developments, the full details of which are still being communicated. "The Spanish police are leading a murder investigating and North Wales Police are assisting with this investigation." Self-employed car salesman Tony O'Malley, 42, and his 55-year-old wife Linda, a store manageress, should have returned home after a fortnight in Spain looking at property. They had seen a house at Villajoyosa, near Benidorm, and after their disappearance it was discovered that expensive cash purchases had been made from their credit card and thousands of pounds had gone from their bank account. Members of the O'Malleys' family said the huge level of spending during that week and the absence of a phone call home were completely out of character for the couple, who are originally from Liverpool. A recent BBC Wales Week In, Week Out documentary followed Mr O'Malley's brother Bernard O'Malley on his journey to Spain as he attempted to uncover any clues the police may have missed.

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