January 16, 2005 in Nation/World

Bosnian suspect turns himself in

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Banjaluka, Bosnia-Herzegovina A Bosnian Serb wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for crimes he allegedly committed during the 1992-95 war surrendered Saturday to Bosnian Serb police, a police statement said.

Savo Todovic, 52, was sent to face a tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for a 1997 indictment for killings and beatings in a Serb-run prison in Foca, eastern Bosnia, the statement said.

Todovic was deputy head of the notorious Foca prison when Bosnian Serbs expelled, jailed or killed the town’s entire Muslim population.

Bosnian Serb Interior Minister Darko Matijasevic was traveling to the Netherlands with Todovic and would hand him over.

Bosnian Serbs face mounting international pressure to capture and hand over war crimes suspects wanted for alleged roles in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

The country is divided into two republics under the peace agreement that ended the war and required all sides to hand over suspects wanted by the tribunal.

Bosnia’s two most-wanted fugitives are Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his top general, Ratko Mladic. Both, indicted nine years ago, face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

13 Iranian children die in school fire

Tehran, Iran A malfunctioning heater in an Iranian school ignited a barrel of kerosene, touching off a blaze that killed 13 children Thursday, state television reported.

Eighteen other students were injured, some seriously, by the fire in Safilan village, some 435 miles south of Tehran, in the mountains of Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari province, the state TV reported.

A teacher who tried to save the children was admitted to a hospital with serious burns, state television reported.

District Governor Ali Khani told state television the dead included seven girls and six boys. He didn’t provide ages.

Khani said that because of a technical failure, flames shot out of the heater and ignited a barrel of kerosene that had been left nearby. He gave no other details.

Cabbie takes Prague mayor for costly ride

Prague, Czech Republic At least Prague’s overcharging taxi drivers don’t discriminate. Just ask the mayor.

Mayor Pavel Bem promised on Friday to intensify crackdowns on the city’s greedy cabbies after getting his own tourist experience: a two-mile ride and a $34 bill.

Wearing dark glasses, a fake goatee and a mustache and posing as a tourist, Bem got a cab on Thursday that took him from the Old Town Square to the Prague Castle – two major attractions for several million tourists visiting Prague every year.

When he asked for a receipt for his overpriced trip, he got one with a fake taxi firm and a fake telephone number on it. The mayor’s trip was in cooperation with journalists from the Mlada Fronta Dnes daily.

“This is such a fundamental and flagrant violation of the rules that the driver deserves the most severe punishment,” the mayor said in Friday’s edition of the newspaper.

Police officials and legislators have so far been unable to tame the Prague cabbies, but Bem claimed Friday the situation was improving, with 20 percent of taxi drivers who were checked in 2004 found to be cheating, compared with 40 percent two years earlier.

And that driver who overcharged the mayor? He faces a fine of up to $54,440.


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