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SOMALIA

Pirate threatens lives of Danish hostages

COPENHAGEN | A Danish family captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean will suffer the same fate as four American sailors slain last week, if any rescue attempt is made, a Somali pirate said Tuesday.

Abdullahi Mohamed told reporters that he has ties with the gang holding the family — a Danish couple with three children, aged 12 to 16.

The Danish family was captured along with two adult crew members, also Danes, when their sailboat was seized by pirates Thursday, the Danish government said.

GERMANY

Defense minister quits in blow to conservatives

BERLIN | German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned Tuesday after admitting to copying part of a doctoral dissertation, stunning Chancellor Angela Merkel and depriving her conservatives of their brightest star.

Mr. Guttenberg, 39, was the most popular member of Mrs. Merkel’s Cabinet. His loss deals a severe blow to her Christian Democrats, who were crushed in a vote in Hamburg last month and must fight three more state elections this month.

INDIA

Court sentences 11 Muslims to death

AHMADABAD | An Indian court sentenced 11 Muslims to death Tuesday after finding them guilty of setting fire to a train in which 60 Hindus were killed nine years ago, an act that triggered one of India’s worst outbursts of communal violence.

They were among the 31 Muslims who were convicted last week of being part of a criminal conspiracy that led to the deaths on the Sabarmati Express train coach packed with Hindu pilgrims in western Gujarat state in 2002.

Judge P.R. Patel sentenced the remaining 20 defendants to life in prison.

SPAIN

Police arrest four terror-group suspects

MADRID | Spanish police on Tuesday arrested four suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA they believe may have been behind several attacks in recent years, the interior minister said.

Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba described the arrests as being of “enormous importance” and said police had also seized some 440 pounds of explosives and bomb-making material in the raids in the northern Basque province of Vizcaya.

ARGENTINA

President seeks to jail tax evaders

BUENOS AIRES | Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has given lawmakers a long to-do list for an election year.

Mrs. Fernandez wants new laws that would put tax evaders in jail, crack down on money laundering and limit foreign ownership of Argentine land. She also wants adoption reform to make it easier to adopt children, and would expand child subsidies to include pregnant women.

But she said there’s no truth to the rumor that she would try to change the constitution to eliminate presidential term limits.

BRITAIN

Wallis Simpson’s lingerie, handbags up for auction

LONDON | Lingerie, handbags and luggage once owned by Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee who shook the British monarchy, are due to be auctioned off in London.

Kerry Taylor Auctioneers said Tuesday that items include a scarlet chiffon nightdress, complete with a full length cape and a 1960s Louis Vuitton vanity case. The auction is set for March 17.

A previous auction of Mrs. Simpson’s jewels fetched nearly $13 million at Sotheby’s two months ago.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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