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Mideast violence strains cease-fire

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Jerusalem Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli motorist Monday in a West Bank ambush, and Israeli troops nabbed an alleged female suicide bomber with explosives hidden in her pants, as a wave of violence that has strained an already shaky cease-fire escalated.

The tensions clouded a meeting set for today between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at which they are expected to coordinate Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank.

The violence has raised doubts whether Abbas can maintain calm amid the withdrawal, which is to begin in August.

Militant is convicted of urging overthrow

Istanbul, Turkey An Islamic militant who leads a group urging the overthrow of Turkey’s secular government was convicted Monday of planning to crash a plane into the hill where modern Turkey’s founder is buried.

An Istanbul court sentenced Metin Kaplan to life in prison for attempting “to overturn the constitutional order” – a charge that amounts to treason.

Kaplan, who has said he opposes the Turkish secular state but denies planning any terrorist acts, will appeal, his lawyer said.

Kaplan’s group calls for the replacement of Turkey’s government with an Islamic state.

Cardinal Jaime Sin, Philippine cleric, dies

Manila, Philippines Cardinal Jaime Sin, a Roman Catholic cleric who helped lead revolts that ousted two Philippine presidents, died early today.

He was 76.

Church officials did not immediately reveal the cause of death, but the cardinal had been in ill health for years and had retired as Manila archbishop in November 2003. He was unable to attend the Vatican conclave that chose a new pope in April.

Officials indict monk over alleged exorcism

Bucharest, Romania A Romanian Orthodox monk has been indicted in the death of a 23-year-old nun in an apparent exorcism in which she allegedly was bound to a cross, had a towel stuffed into her mouth and was left without food for three days.

Four nuns also were indicted Sunday in connection with the death of Maricica Irina Cornici of the Holy Trinity convent in northeast Romania.

Police said Cornici died Wednesday after she had been left in a cold room without any food.

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