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Journalist’s execution urged by parliament

KABUL — Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament praised the death sentence handed down against a local journalist who was found guilty of insulting Islam, an official said yesterday.

In a statement signed by Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, the chamber’s chairman, the Senate also condemned what it called “international interference” to have the sentence annulled, spokesman Aminuddin Muzafari said.

The journalist, 23-year-old Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, was sentenced to death last week by a three-judge panel in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif for an item questioning why men but not women can have multiple spouses.


Pope names next Hong Kong bishop

VATICAN CITY — The pope yesterday named a Hong Kong bishop to eventually succeed Cardinal Joseph Zen, the leading proponent for religious freedom in China.

Pope Benedict XVI nominated Monsignor John Tong Hon, a Hong Kong auxiliary bishop, as co-adjutor bishop, meaning he will take over as head of the Hong Kong Diocese upon Cardinal Zen’s retirement.

Cardinal Zen is 76, a year past the normal retirement age for bishops. In March, he said the pope had rejected his request to give up his duties as a bishop so he could concentrate on working to restore ties between the Vatican and Beijing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports