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U.N. lifts arms embargo

UNITED NATIONS | The U.N. Security Council is lifting a 13-year-old arms embargo against the small West African nation of Sierra Leone after being assured that the nation is sufficiently stable after the civil war that ended in 2002.

The 15-member council said Wednesday that it was removing the last U.N. sanctions on the country because the government had fully re-established control over its territory and former fighters had been successfully disarmed and demobilized.

Nevertheless, the council agreed that Sierra Leone still needs international support and extended the mandate of the country’s U.N. peace-building office by one year.

INDONESIA

2 strong quakes hit eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA | Two powerful earthquakes hit waters off eastern Indonesia in rapid succession early Thursday, prompting officials to briefly trigger a short-lived tsunami warning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a 7.2 magnitude quake off Papua province, centered seven miles beneath the ocean floor, struck less than a minute after a 6.6 temblor in the same location.

The town of Tual on nearby Maluku island was shaken, said Fauzi, chief of the Indonesian meteorological and geophysics agency, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

SERBIA

Student sentenced in American’s beating

BELGRADE | A Belgrade court says it will sentence a former Serb basketball player to about two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to beating a fellow American student into a coma in the case that has strained relations between the U.S. and Serbia.

Miladin Kovacevic was accused of beating fellow student Bryan Steinhauer of Brooklyn in May 2008 near Binghamton University during a barroom brawl. The assault left Mr. Steinhauer with skull fractures and a severe brain injury.

The court said Wednesday that it had accepted the plea bargain between the defense and the prosecution and will sentence Kovacevic to two years and three months. Since he already has spent about three months in U.S. and Serbian prisons, he will have to serve about two years for the assault.

YEMEN

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