Sudan Jails 10 Arabs

For Darfur Offenses

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- A Sudanese court has sentenced 10 Arab militiamen to amputation and six years in jail in the first conviction of Janjaweed militia fighters for looting and killing in the Darfur region.

The ruling came Monday as Amnesty International issued a report saying that Arab militias were gang-raping and abducting girls as young as 8 and women as old as 80, systematically killing, torturing, or using them as sex slaves. The report said the Sudanese government was actively violating its legal obligations to protect civilians.

EUROPE

* VIENNA -- A 27-year-old seminary student has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, an Austrian state prosecutor said, as a sex scandal grew at a Roman Catholic seminary west of Vienna.

The state prosecutor, Walter Nemec, said in a statement that the student, whose name was not released, downloaded "numerous" lurid photos from a Web site based in Poland, where he is from.

* BRUSSELS -- The European Commission took the unprecedented step of taking the former French prime minister, Edith Cresson, to the European Court of Justice over alleged abuses when she served on the European Union's executive arm. In the statement, the commission said the allegations "concern cases of favoritism and gross negligence."

The E.U.'s highest court will determine whether Cresson, 70, breached her treaty obligations by hiring a friend as a scientific adviser. It could decide to reduce or strip her of her E.U. pension.

AFRICA

* KANO, Nigeria -- The governor of a heavily Muslim state in Nigeria revoked an 11-month ban on polio vaccinations, saying he was satisfied the U.N.-regulated vaccines were safe despite persistent rumors they are part of a U.S. plot to make girls infertile.

Gov. Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano state called for polio vaccinations to begin as soon as possible, a prospect that U.N. health workers have welcomed to stem a growing outbreak of the potentially crippling disease.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* TEHRAN -- A hard-line prosecutor has ordered Iranian newspapers to censor their coverage of a trial of a secret agent accused of murdering an Iranian Canadian photographer, journalists said. Several reporters said Saeed Mortazavi, a Tehran prosecutor, called their offices and told them to not report on parts of the trial, which ended Sunday.

* BEIRUT -- An explosion in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut killed a longtime guerrilla who led many operations against Israel. A Hezbollah leader accused Israel or its agents of planting the bomb.

ASIA

* CHAIMALE, Nepal -- Guerrillas have abducted at least 50 students and a dozen teachers from a school near the Nepali capital to try to force them to back a campaign against the constitutional monarchy, officials said. The rebels dragged the children, between ages 13 and 16, and their teachers at gunpoint from the school in Chaimale village Sunday afternoon, according to a police officer, Deepak Ranjit.

-- From News Services