Religion news in brief

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 16, 2011; 12:13 PM

-- Mormon church relocating missionaries in Japan

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon church officials say as many as 200 missionaries working in the Sendai and Tokyo regions of Japan are being moved farther away from a nuclear power plant where elevated radiation levels have been detected.

Church Elder Jeffrey Holland also said Tuesday that all 638 Mormon missionaries living in Japan, including 342 from the U.S., are safe and accounted for following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Fire and explosions at the nuclear facility caused the Japanese government to order 140,000 people living within 20 miles of the plant to seal themselves indoors to avoid exposure.

Church officials say Mormon missionaries won't be available to provide aid in those areas until better information about radiation levels becomes available.


Islamic extremist sentenced to death for killing American in Africa

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) - A court in the west African country of Mauritania has sentenced a member of an al-Qaida cell to death for the 2009 slaying of an American teacher.

A North African branch of al-Qaida said it targeted 39-year-old Christopher Leggett because he allegedly was trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

Leggett was fatally shot in the Mauritanian capital not far from a school he helped run. The Tennessee native, his wife and their four children had lived in Mauritania for more than six years.

The Mauritanian court announced Tuesday that the man found guilty of plotting Leggett's murder would be executed. Two other men were sentenced to prison as accomplices to the crime.


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