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Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

World Briefs

August 11, 2001

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Netherlands: Bosnian Serb colonel faces war crime charges

A Bosnian Serb commander was arrested and sent to the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal Friday to face genocide charges for crimes against Muslims in the former U.N. enclave of Srebrenica in 1995.

Col. Vidoje Blagojevic, a former commander in the eastern Bosnian town of Bratunac, was arrested by British NATO forces early Friday and arrived in the U.N. detention unit near The Hague, Netherlands, some eight hours later.

Blagojevic was secretly indicted alongside Bosnian Serb Gen. Radislav Krstic in November 1998. He has been charged with eight counts of war crimes for genocide, complicity to genocide, extermination, murder, persecution deportation and inhumane acts.

HAVANA: Visa problem delays youth's repatriation

A 6-year-old American boy's return to the United States was postponed Friday because his Cuban-born mother who brought him here lacked the visa to leave with him, a U.S. government source said.

A custody dispute between Jonathon Colombini's divorced parents erupted last November when the boy's mother, Arletis Blanco, brought him to Cuba and announced that they were going to stay. A U.S. grand jury later indicted her on an international parental child kidnapping charge.

Jonathon's American-born father, Jon Colombini, sought Jonathon's return to the United States, saying that he shared custody of the boy.

Friday, Blanco, her son, her Cuban-born companion and their daughter together attempted to leave Friday morning for Miami and were denied departure. Both adults lacked the exit visas required of Cuban-born people. The two young children were born in the United States.

Netherlands: Country to vaccinate young for meningitis

Dutch health officials will vaccinate 5,000 children for the bacteria that causes meningitis after the illness killed two 11-year-olds.

The deaths were reported this week in the town of Zevenbergen, 60 miles south of Amsterdam. Three other people from the same town and a neighboring village were infected, but doctors said they would probably survive.

Beginning Monday, a team of 80 doctors, nurses and administrators will be deployed to vaccinate all people in the area under age 19, the Health Ministry said. Officials said they planned to vaccinate more than 400 people an hour.

Health Ministry spokesman Toon van Wijk said there was no fear of a national epidemic.

Meningitis causes inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and it usually requires hospitalization. The disease is fatal in 10 percent of all cases and can cause brain damage and deafness.

In 1997, 6,000 children were vaccinated after an outbreak in the eastern town of Putten.

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