SERBIA Dozens were injured in Belgrade riots following the arrest of war-crimes suspect Veselin Sljivancanin, the Yugoslav army colonel indicted for the slaughter of more than 200 prisoners of war in the Croatian city of Vukovar in 1991. Sljivancanin, 50, was arrested by Serbian police in his Belgrade home after spending almost eight years as a fugitive from the Hague-based U.N. war-crimes tribunal. He was one of the first people indicted, and one of the last major war-crimes suspects still at large. The arrest triggered violent protests by hard-line nationalists who tried to prevent the police from taking him into custody. When police broke into his apartment, they were attacked by a mob of several hundred protesters, who were than dispersed by tear gas and shock grenades. "Sljivancanin himself offered no resistance," said Serbian Police Minister Dusan Mihajlovic.
Judging the Future
U.K. As part of a Cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced radical proposals that would increase the judiciary's independence from politicians. The measures include establishing an independent body to
Rocky Road to Peace
AFRICA Tensions remained high in both Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as peace talks between the Liberian government and rebels resumed in Ghana and U.N. peacekeepers failed to halt fighting in the eastern Ituri region of Congo. The Liberian talks had started a week previously but stalled as rebel troops attacked Monrovia, and a U.N.-backed court in Sierra Leone indicted President Charles Taylor for war crimes. And in Congo, tribal fighting and massacres of civilians continued a week after a French-led, U.N.-backed force began peacekeeping duties, and as a U.N. Security Council delegation visited the regional capital, Bunia. The intervention force will reach its full operational strength of 1,400 by the end of July. Aid organizations called for the troops' mandate to be extended. Currently, while soldiers are allowed to use force against the tribal militia to protect civilians, they are not allowed to operate outside Bunia.
PERU Hostages were released unharmed after guerrillas from the Shining Path rebel group grabbed 71 workers laying a gas pipeline in a remote jungle area southeast of Lima. The hostages said that a ransom had been paid, which local press reports put between $200,000 and $900,000. However the government and company officials denied giving the rebels any money. The kidnapping raised fears that the rebels are regrouping after a decade-long lull.
CUBA Fidel Castro and his brother Raśl led hundreds of thousands of demonstrators outside the Spanish and Italian embassies to protest the European Union's decision to review policy toward the country because of human-rights concerns. Protesters held signs emblazoned with DOWN WITH FASCISM! and LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION! Castro said the change in European policy reflects an alignment with U.S. efforts to isolate the island.
Meanwhile In Egypt ...
Censors have banned The Matrix Reloaded on religious grounds and for featuring excessive violence. They described it as raising controversial issues about human creation and said in a statement that "screening the movie may cause troubles and harm social peace." The censors did, however, think the special effects were "fabulous."