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World in brief: Sudan may expel more aid workers

Sudan’s president threatened to kick out more aid groups and expel diplomats and peacekeepers on Sunday during his first trip to Darfur after an international court issued an arrest warrant against him for war crimes there.

Sudan has already expelled 13 of the largest aid groups operating in Darfur as part of its defiant response to the International Criminal Court’s decision last week to indict him. Sudan has accused them of cooperating with the Netherlands-based ICC.

The statements came as the Sudanese army announced it was moving toward putting its army on full alert by mobilizing three-quarters of its troops, according to the Sudan Media Center, a news agency with close links to the government.

The army renewed its allegiance to President Omar al-Bashir and said it was ready to confront any possible threat, according to the report.


Ex-president faces sex crimes charges

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav will be charged with raping a woman who once worked for him and other sex crimes against former female employees, the Justice Ministry said Sunday.

The charges stem from a series of complaints filed by four women who worked for Katsav when he was tourism minister in the 1990s and president earlier this decade. They have accused him of crimes including rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Katsav contends he is innocent and a victim of a political witch hunt. Nearly a year ago, he called off a plea bargain that would have allowed him to escape jail time.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands

Paintings found after 22 years

Dutch police have recovered eight valuable paintings, including works by Renoir and Pissaro, 22 years after they were stolen from a gallery.

Prosecutors said in a statement three suspects have been arrested – a 45-year-old German man in Dubai, his 62-year-old mother and a 66-year-old man. All three suspects, whose identities were not released, were due to appear in court today.

Some of the paintings, which were stolen from the Noortman gallery in the southern city of Maastricht in 1987, were badly damaged by being folded, the Dutch National Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement posted on its Web site Saturday.

Prosecutors said police tracked down the works after an attempt was made to sell them to the insurance company that paid out five million guilders (about euro2.3 million) for the paintings after the theft.

From wire reports