Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs

Article excerpt

Burundi's army triesto quell protests

Burundi's army was deployed on Monday for the first time to quell street protests, putting the military into a precarious position amid persistent demonstrations against the president's bid for a third term.

Confronting hundreds of demonstrators in the central African nation, two groups of soldiers almost opened fire on each other as the result of a dispute on whether to use lethal force against the protesters, sharply illustrating the military's difficult position.

In an apparent effort to assert greater control over the military, President Pierre Nkurunziza fired his defense minister, Pontien Gaciyubenge, who this month had said the army would play a neutral role in the street protests and respect the constitution, comments seen as critical of the president. Nkurunziza also replaced International Affairs Minister Laurent Kavakure and Trade Minister Marie Nizigiyimana, said presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho.

Cuba's Elian Gonzalez wants to visit U.S. * Elian Gonzalez, who spent months with his Florida relatives as a Cuban child at the center of an international custody dispute, said in an interview broadcast Monday that he'd like to return to the United States for a visit.

Now 21, Gonzalez told ABC News in an interview that if he could visit anywhere, it would be the U.S.

Gonzalez thanked the American people for the love they showed him during the custody battle 16 years ago, and said he would like to go back "to give my love to the American people."

He said he'd like to see a baseball game, visit Washington museums and talk to Americans.

"I could personally thank those people who helped us, who were there by our side. Because we're so grateful for what they did."

Greece facing 'financial strangulation,' leader says * Greece's prime minister warned Monday that the cash-strapped country is in a state of "financial strangulation" amid worries that Athens may only have a couple of weeks before going bankrupt. …

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