World digest 07/13/04

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Porn cache scandalizes Austrian seminary

VIENNA, Austria -- A vast cache of child pornography and photos of young priests having sex has been discovered at a Roman Catholic seminary, officials said Monday, leading politicians and church leaders to demand a criminal probe and the resignation of the bishop in charge. Bishop Kurt Krenn, who oversees the diocese, refused to step down, however, dismissing the images as a "childish prank." Leaders of the Catholic diocese of St. Poelten where the seminary is located, about 50 miles west of Vienna, spent much of the day in an emergency meeting. The seminary's director resigned along with his deputy, the diocese said after the meeting. It did not elaborate. The Austrian Bishops Conference issued a statement pledging a full and swift internal investigation.

Mexico's first lady rules out run for presidency

MEXICO CITY -- First lady Marta Sahagun on Monday ruled out plans to seek the presidency on her own in 2006, ending speculation that at times has overshadowed the actions of her husband, Vicente Fox. "We will go home together" when Fox's term ends on Dec. 1, 2006, she said in an announcement at the presidential residence of Los Pinos. She refused to take questions. Sahagun had long toyed openly with the idea of a presidential run.

New suspect arrested over Madrid bombings

MADRID, Spain -- A Moroccan-born Spaniard was arrested Monday in the Madrid rail bombings and ordered placed in solitary confinement pending further investigation, a court official said. Abderrameb Hammadi Afandi, 32, was arrested in Leganes, a small town near Madrid where seven other suspects in the March 11 attacks blew themselves up to avoid arrest on April 3. After more than four hours of questioning, Judge Juan del Olmo ordered the detainee to be kept in solitary confinement while his case was further investigated, with a decision on any further action expected today or Wednesday.

Girl mutilated in Kashmir; other violence kills nine

SRINAGAR, India -- Guerrillas on Monday chopped off the ears, nose and tongue of a teenage girl they suspected of helping police, while at least nine other people were killed in separate violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The girl was held captive for eight days before the rebels abandoned her in a field outside the village of Manoh, 190 miles southwest of Srinagar, the capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state, police said.

Italy takes refugees from Africa after weeks at sea

AGRIGENTO, Sicily -- After weeks stranded in the Mediterranean, 37 Africans were allowed Monday to disembark in Italy after officials here bowed to international pressure and agreed to accept the asylum-seekers. But Italian authorities later arrested two German aid officials whose ship transported the immigrants to Sicily, and said initial checks showed the Africans were not predominantly Sudanese fleeing the crisis in Darfur. Several aid agencies said they were told 36 of the men on the ship were from Ghana and one was from Sierra Leone. Instead, the ANSA news agency reported that the refugees likely were from Ghana and Nigeria.

-- From staff reports

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