World Briefs: Protestant militants target Northern Ireland party

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NORTHERN IRELAND

DUBLIN — Northern Ireland leaders and police commanders appealed for calm Thursday after Protestant militants attacked offices and a home connected to the most compromise-minded political party over its support for reducing the display of British flags on government buildings.

The overnight violence in two Belfast suburbs came on the eve of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s planned visit Friday to the capital of the British territory.

It underscored how divided Northern Ireland remains despite the broad success of a peace process that has stopped paramilitary violence but done little to bring down barriers between rival British Protestant and Irish Catholic communities.

Protestant hard-liners have responded violently to a Belfast City Council vote on Monday to reduce sharply the flying of the British flag atop City Hall.

Alliance, the only party trying actively to represent the middle ground between the two camps, holds the balance of power on the council and voted with the Catholic side to take down the flag except for 18 official days a year.

Several hundred protesters broke through the gates to City Hall Monday night and injured 15 policemen defending the building.

GUATEMALA

Police arrest software mogul McAfee

GUATEMALA CITY — Software company founder John McAfee was arrested by Guatemalan police for entering the country illegally, ending his bizarre weekslong journey as a blogging fugitive claiming to be persecuted by authorities in Belize.

The fate of the anti-virus guru remained unclear Thursday as Guatemalan authorities awaited word from their Foreign Ministry about what to do with Mr. McAfee and whether the ministry intended to send him back to Belize, where he is a person of interest in the killing of a fellow expatriate.

“We are awaiting instructions from the Foreign Ministry. It will be the foreign relations department that decides the process,” said Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla following Mr. McAfee’s arrest Wednesday at a hotel in an upscale part of Guatemala City.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. McAfee, 67, said he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala after entering the country from Belize, where he says he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

U.S. Embassy attacker gets 18 years in prison

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