World briefs 13A

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Blair, Brown deny they're at odds over the euro

LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair and treasury chief Gordon Brown denied they were at loggerheads about whether Britain should adopt the new European currency, the euro.

Faced with widespread British media reports to that effect, Blair and Brown, the chancellor of the exchequer, took the unusual step of denying them in a joint statement on Friday.

"The prime minister and the chancellor presented a totally united front at the Cabinet when they outlined the decision-making process on the euro on Thursday," the statement said. "The dogmatic positions being ascribed to them by some in the media should be ignored."

Bus accident in France leaves 28 Germans dead

LYON, France -- A sleek, double-decker German tour bus crashed through a guardrail on a rain-swept French highway, plunged down an embankment and flipped onto its roof early Saturday, killing at least 28 of the 74 people on board.

Ambulances and helicopters rushed the injured to hospitals.

French President Jacques Chirac issued a statement offering condolences to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

One driver was confirmed dead. Nearly everyone on board was believed to be German.

The accident happened north of the city of Lyon in Dardilly, about 230 miles southeast of Paris, at about 5 a.m.

Philippine leader OKs aerial attacks on terrorist cells

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine president authorized the military Saturday to use bombing and artillery attacks on terrorist cells in the southern region of Mindanao.

In a live television address just hours before leaving for a visit to the United States, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said local governments had been warned of possible terrorist reprisals and relief agencies were on alert.

Communist guerrillas, the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Abu Sayyaf militant group are all active in the region.

The Abu Sayyaf have kidnapped Americans and are the target of a U.S.-backed counterterrorism operation.

Arroyo said the "extraordinary punitive force" was to show her government's determination "to bring terrorists to justice."

Serb war crimes suspect extradited to U.N. tribunal

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A former Yugoslav army captain, long sought by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for his alleged role in the massacre of more than 200 people during the 1991 Croatian war, was extradited to the Netherlands-based court Saturday.

Capt. Miroslav Radic is accused of supervising the killing of civilians and prisoners of war during Croatia's war for independence.

Tribunal spokesman Jim Landale said Radic would appear before a judge soon and be asked to enter a plea.

Radic surrendered to Serb authorities last month after spending nearly eight years in hiding. He was extradited to the tribunal following a routine judicial procedure.

Radic's attorney, Borivoje Borovic, said in Belgrade that his client "doesn't feel guilty."

-- From wire reports

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