Sunday, June 27, 2004


Srebrenica families want Dutch to pay

SARAJEVO — Survivors of Bosnia’s wartime massacre at Srebrenica will file a compensation claim with the Dutch government next week for failing to prevent the worst European atrocity since World War II, their lawyer announced.

“We are to file a request for out-of-court settlement to the Dutch government on July 1, demanding compensation for the victims,” said Semir Guzin, one of the lawyers representing families of those massacred, without revealing the amount sought.

Mr. Guzin denied a Bosnian national television report that the survivors would sue the Dutch government on July 1. “The government has to respond to the claim within six weeks. If they reject it, we will then file a suit against the government before a Dutch court.”


Make more babies, politicians urge

BERLIN — Conservative politicians are urging German men to father more children to sustain the country’s overstretched pension system, Bild newspaper reported Friday.

“Children are our future,” Johannes Singhammer, a member of parliament and father of six, told the paper. His concern was by fellow conservative Armin Klein, who said Germans have become too selfish.

“We need to have the courage to have sex and take the consequences,” said Mr. Klein, who has two children.


Czech buried alive sets 10-day record

PRAGUE — A 50-year-old Czech ascetic survived 10 days buried underground in a wooden coffin without food and water, setting what he claims is a new world record, the CTK news agency reported Friday.

Zdenek Zahradka was connected to the outside world only by a ventilation pipe, and said severe thirst was the hardest thing to endure. He said he spent most of the time sleeping or in contemplation, and sometimes spoke to friends through the pipe.

Mr. Zahradka said he beat the previous world record by four days.

Weekly notes

A former Kosovo Albanian rebel leader charged with kidnapping and attempted extortion was sentenced to 12 years prison by a United Nations court Friday, his lawyer said. Shefqet Musliu was a senior figure in the now-dismantled Albanian Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, and is on a U.S. blacklist with 22 other ethnic Albanians regarded as threats to Balkan security. … A Ukrainian tanker captain and his first mate who ended up in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison after being arrested in August were kept naked and hooded for hours during their 10 months of imprisonment, a human-rights official said last week. Tanker M/V Navstar captain Mykola Mazurenko and first mate Ivan Soshchenko were arrested in August by the British navy at Umm Qasr port on charges of oil smuggling and sentenced to seven years in prison by an Iraqi court. They were recently extradited on the condition that they serve out their terms at home.

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