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Ignoring diplomatic warnings to curb their separatist rhetoric, ethnic Serb legislators in Bosnia voted Wednesday to demand the right to hold a referendum on secession. They also called for increased autonomy in majority-Serb areas from the central government in Sarajevo. Neither measure is binding, but analysts said they would deepen the Serb feud with Bosnia's Croat and Muslim populations and reinforce doubts that it can gain admission to the European Union.Skip to next paragraph
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Turning yet another South American country leftward, Peru's president swore in a new government Tuesday, less than a week after his previous cabinet resigned en masse in a bribery scandal. Critics suggested that Alan Garcia chose a popular regional governor, Yehude Simon , as prime minister in hopes of being seen as fighting corruption. Simon was jailed in the 1990s for his alleged ties to leftist rebels.
US citizens traveling to Mexico were warned to exercise extra caution after 23 more people were found dead in or near two border cities in violence blamed on rival drug cartels. The State Department called Ciudad Juárez "a situation of special concern." More than 1,000 people have been killed there so far this year, 11 of them this week. Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana, where 12 of the latest victims were found, both are astride major drug smuggling routes into the US.
Former Time magazine correspondent Aravind Adiga was named the winner of the $87,000 Booker Prize, the second major award in literature to be presented in two weeks. Adiga, an Indian national, was honored for "The White Tiger," a darkly comic novel about a rickshaw puller's son who escapes poverty when a wealthy family hires him as its chauffeur, exposing him to big-city life. Last week, the Nobel Prize in literature went to French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave LeClezio.