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Briefs (left)

Congress Is Feeling Heat
From Public Over Iraq

By Carl Hulse
THE NEW YORK TIMES WASHINGTON

With lawmakers facing tough questions at home about the war in Iraq, Sen. John W. Warner, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, says he intends to summon Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld quickly for a hearing when Congress returns next week.

Warner, a Virginia Republican who is one of the most important congressional voices on military policy, said mounting numbers of dead and wounded Americans, the contentious process of drafting an Iraqi constitution and the economic cost of the war were adding up to new anxiety in Congress.

“The level of concern is, I think, gradually rising,” Warner said in an interview on Friday. “Our nation has given so much to the Iraqi people, and what are they giving us in return?”

Unlike some of his colleagues in both parties, Warner said he did not see parallels between the current situation and the Vietnam era.

Killing of Two Serbs Raises Fear
Of Ethnic Unrest in Kosovo

By Nicholas Wood
THE NEW YORK TIMES BELGRADE, SERBIA

Two Serbs were killed late Saturday in a shooting in Kosovo, police officials said Sunday, ending a yearlong lull in attacks on the Serbian minority in the province.

The men came under attack while traveling in a car near the Serb enclave of Strpce in the south of Kosovo, which is administered by the United Nations. Two other men in the car were wounded, one of them seriously. The attack came as senior U.N. officials are preparing to rule next month whether ethnic relations have improved enough to open negotiations on the future of the province.

Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since Yugoslav troops, who were accused of committing widespread atrocities against the majority Albanian community, were forced to withdraw in 1999. Kosovo formally remains a part of Serbia, but most Albanians, who make up 90 percent of the population, want independence.

A spokesman for the United Nations, Neeraj Singh, said the Serbian men had been fired upon from another vehicle. The mayor of Strpce suggested they had been attacked because their car had outdated Serbian license plates, clearly identifying them as Serbs, according to Reuters.

Injuries Are Rampant
On Women’s Tennis Tour

By Liz Robbins
THE NEW YORK TIMES

An injury epidemic swept through the women’s tour this summer, hitting shoulders, chests, backs, knees and ankles, sparing virtually no one during the hardcourt season, which seemed to be focused less on competition than on attrition.

Who is left? And what do they have left for the U.S. Open, the last Grand Slam event on the annual circuit?

The questions are becoming more disconcerting for the WTA Tour as it watches the bodies of many of its best players break down at an alarming rate.

“We do not see a pattern; it’s not like there’s one injury befalling tennis players like, say, ankle injuries,” said Larry Scott, the chief executive of the WTA Tour. He added that it was clear that the Tour needed “to continue to improve the schedule to allow for appropriate rest.”

Technology has made the women’s game more powerful, the schedule is more demanding, and the pressure to prepare off the court has intensified. And all those factors have led to increased injuries.

Three lower-seeded players withdrew last week from the Open because of injuries, two shoulder-related, one a sprained ankle.