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A political crisis threatening the 18-month-old government of Croatia erupted after Prime Minister Ivica Racan's coalition voted to follow the lead of neighboring Serbia and hand over indicted war-crimes suspects to the UN tribunal in The Hague. Four Cabinet ministers resigned in protest, and Racan said he'd seek a vote of confidence from parliament. President Stipe Mesic defended the move because "there were crimes on the Croatian side, too" in the republic's successful 1991 war for secession from Yugoslavia.

The most controversial parade of the Protestant "marching season" in Northern Ireland was prevented from entering a Catholic neighborhood of Portadown by a massive steel barrier and heavy security presence. Most of the estimated 2,000 would-be marchers from the Orange Order dispersed calmly after listening to speeches at the site by their leaders as Catholics watched from a distance.

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Smoldering debris was being cleaned from the streets of a fourth city in northern England after a night of racial violence. At least 120 police were hurt and 36 people were arrested in Bradford in running battles Saturday with South Asian youths and white supremacists. Tensions in the city had been building since April. The trouble was described as even worse than that in recent weeks in nearby Burnley, Oldham, and Leeds.

An immediate assessment is scheduled for today by salvage experts as they arrive at the site of the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk preparatory to raising the vessel. Despite both safety and political risks, a Russian-Norwegian team is assigned by President Vladimir Putin to bring the sub to the surface by September - at an expected cost of $80 million. The Kursk exploded and sank to the floor of the Barents Sea last Aug. 12 with 118 crew members trapped inside. Putin has been criticized severely for reacting slowly to the incident.

Intensive medical treatment was under way in a Washington hospital for Bolivian President Hugo Banzer, who was reported gravely ill but not yet prepared to resign. Vice President Jorge Quiroga was acting as chief executive until further notice and said he may travel to the US next weekend to confer with Banzer, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Banzer ruled as a military dictator from 1971 to 1979 and returned to power as an elected reformer in 1997.

A soldier, a policeman, and at least two others died as rioting in Jamaica's capital entered a second day. Twenty-nine others were reported hurt, and all stores in Kingston were reported closed. Police accused political leaders of fanning tensions between rival gangs. More than 320 people have died in Jamaican violence this year.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor


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