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CHINA: Anniversary spikes protests

Old wounds amplified outrage over a territorial dispute Tuesday as thousands of Chinese protested Tokyo's purchase of islands claimed by Beijing and marked the 81st anniversary of a Japanese invasion. China marks every Sept. 18 by blowing sirens to remember a 1931 incident that Japan used as a pretext to invade Manchuria, setting off a brutal occupation of China that ended only at the close of World War II. This year, demonstrations over the islands spread across the country. In another part of the capital, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie during a three-day trip, seeking peaceful resolution of territorial disputes.

SWITZERLAND: Aiding CIA cuts prison time

Three Swiss engineers accused of participating in a global nuclear smuggling ring are set to avoid further prison time, in part because they helped the CIA bust the network that was supplying Libya's atomic weapons program. Prosecution documents released Tuesday outline a plea bargain agreement under which Urs Tinner, 46, his brother Marco, 43, and their father, Friedrich, 74, would accept the charges against them in return for prison terms that are shorter than the time they have already spent in investigative custody. The documents also shed light on the U.S. intelligence agency's successful operation to destroy the nuclear smuggling network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.

RUSSIA: Deacon backs punk band

Sergei Baranov keeps his clerical robes hanging neatly in his closet, but he believes he will never again wear them inside a Russian Orthodox Church. Baranov, a deacon in the small city of Tambov, asked to be defrocked in an open letter to the Moscow patriarchate, saying he was outraged by the church's stance against three members of a punk band. The feminist rockers were sentenced to two years in prison after singing a "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral.


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