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GERMANY: Pope's brother talks of abuse cases

The pope's brother said in a newspaper interview published Tuesday that he slapped pupils as punishment after he took over a renowned German boys' choir in the 1960s. He also said he was aware of allegations of physical abuse at an elementary school linked to the choir but did nothing about it. The Rev. Georg Ratzinger, 86, said he was unaware of allegations of sexual abuse at the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir, part of a string of charges of sex abuse by church employees across Europe in recent days. In Austria, the head of a Benedictine monastery in Salzburg admitted to sexually abusing a child decades ago and resigned. Dutch bishops announced an independent inquiry into more than 200 allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests at church schools. The German abuse allegations are particularly sensitive because Germany is the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

INDONESIA: Suspect in Bali bombings slain

A top-ranked Southeast Asian militant wanted for planning the 2002 Bali bombings was killed in a shootout with police at an Internet cafe Tuesday, moments after he was seen sitting at a terminal, authorities said. Dulmatin, a 39-year-old Indonesian trained by al-Qaida in Afghanistan who goes by one name, was wanted in the suicide bombings that tore through two Bali nightclubs, killing 202 people in Indonesia's deadliest terrorist attack.

AFGHANISTAN: Two killed as Gates visits

A suicide attack Tuesday at a joint NATO-Afghan base in eastern Khost province killed two international service members and wounded several others, the military alliance said. The suicide assault in the east came hours after visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates toured an area of the south where international forces recently drove out Taliban insurgents. Gates took a brief, heavily guarded walk down a rutted street in Now Zad, retaken only late last year in the first significant push following President Barack Obama's decision to add 30,000 troops to combat Taliban gains.

MYANMAR: Junta bars Suu Kyi from elections

A new election law issued by the ruling military has barred pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from joining a political party and running in upcoming elections, state newspapers said Wednesday. The Political Parties Registration Law, published in the official press, excludes anyone convicted by a court of law from participating in elections. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has spent 14 of the past 20 years in detention, was sentenced in August to a new term of house arrest that is to end in November.


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