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DUBROVNIK | Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday hailed Croatia’s path into the European Union as an example for Balkan countries amid fresh tensions between EU hopefuls Serbia and Kosovo.

Guido Westerwelle said after talks in Dubrovnik with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic that Germany hoped all the countries of the former Yugoslavia would join the EU but that there would be no “shortcuts.”

“Anyone can see with the example of Croatia. Those who make an effort and live by European values from the rule of law to economic discipline will be welcomed into the European Union with open arms,” he said.

After wrapping up accession talks in June, Croatia is on course to become the EU’s 28th member in mid-2013.


Police convinced shooter acted alone in massacre

OSLO | Investigators increasingly believe the man who confessed to killing 77 people in last month’s attacks in Norway planned and committed the slaughter on his own, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside government buildings in Oslo on July 22, killing eight people. He then massacred 69 people at a youth camp on an island outside the capital, police said.

There was initial speculation that others were involved in the attack. However, prosecutor Christian Hatlo said that after 40 hours of questioning police are fairly certain Breivik acted alone and that he appears to be telling the truth.


Muslim leader tries to curb liquor sales

NAZRAN | The head of Russia’s mainly Muslim Ingushetia region has set up a body of mullahs and officials to clamp down on black-market alcohol sellers during the holy month of Ramadan, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Officially designed to curb illegal sales, the move appeared to take aim at alcohol consumption in general, much of which is sold underground. Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov described the new body as a “morality police.”

Since the collapse of communism 20 years ago when alcohol was readily available throughout the Soviet Union, Russia’s Muslim regions have become increasingly dry as they undergo an Islamic revival.