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2 are convicted in Bosnia genocide

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Two Bosnian Serbs were convicted of genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment Thursday for the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica - the harshest judgment ever delivered by the U.N. war-crimes tribunal on the Balkan wars.

A third Bosnian Serb officer received a 35-year prison sentence for aiding and abetting genocide. Four others were found guilty of lesser charges.

It was a dramatic conclusion to the largest trial conducted over three years by the tribunal, set up in 1993 to prosecute the worst war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. The slaughter of the Muslim men and boys around Srebrenica was the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.

Thursday's verdict could indirectly affect the ongoing trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, a key figure in the Balkan wars also accused of genocide for the Srebrenica slaughter.

Those convicted Thursday are Lt. Col. Vujadin Popovic, 53, and Col. Ljubisa Beara, 70.

- AP

Caribbean gets aid to battle drugs

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Alarmed by a dramatic rise in drug-related violence in the Caribbean, the Obama administration pledged Thursday to help island nations combat drug and weapons traffickers.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Barbados for a regional meeting of foreign ministers, unveiled an initiative that devotes $124 million over two years to help countries counter illegal drugs and arms and improve their ability to prosecute offenders.

The program augments similar U.S. cooperation efforts in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia and helps Caribbean countries deal with any spillover of crime that results from successes there.

Caribbean islands had one of their bloodiest years on record in 2009, with Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico hitting or coming close to all-time highs for homicides.

- AP

Cameroon makes bid for U.N. seat

YAOUNDE, Cameroon - The president of Cameroon on Thursday urged the United Nations to create a permanent seat for Africa on the Security Council.

President Paul Biya spoke as he welcomed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was on his way to South Africa for the World Cup.

Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States have permanent seats on the council. Ten other seats rotate among nations, but there has long been talk about expanding the club of permanent members, who wield veto power.

Biya called it an "anomaly" that Africa had no permanent representative on the council. Ban in turn pressed Biya to bring true democracy to the West African nation.

- AP


A Saudi court sentenced a man to four months in prison and 90 lashes for kissing a woman at a Riyadh mall. Religious police arrested the man and two women after seeing them on mall cameras "engaging in immoral movements in front of other shoppers," al-Yom newspaper reported. The women will be tried in another court.