World Briefs: Netanyahu to ally with ultranationalists

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Mr. Tsvetanov said “lots of evidence” has been collected but added that the “time has not yet come to voice any concrete accusation against the people or groups who performed this terrorist act.”

“We have to be very cautious as national security is concerned,” he said.

Bulgarian officials have declined to back up Israel’s claims that Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah played roles.

Vatican

Pope’s ex-butler starts prison term

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler started his 18-month prison sentence Thursday in a Vatican City cell for the theft of papal correspondence.

A statement from the Vatican secretary of state’s office left open the possibility of a papal pardon if Paolo Gabriele repents and asks the pope for forgiveness.

The statement Thursday said the deadline to appeal the Oct. 6 conviction by a Vatican tribunal had elapsed.

It described as “mild and fair” the punishment given to Gabriele, who used to serve Benedict his meals and help him get ready for ceremonies.

It noted that Benedict, as sovereign head, has the power to pardon.

Dismissing suspicions of a plot, the Vatican said Gabriele acted alone in pilfering the documents and giving them to an Italian journalist, who published them.

SOUTH AFRICA

Threats of dismissal breaking wildcat strikes

JOHANNESBURG — Return to work or you’re fired.

That ultimatum from South African mining companies to strikers appears to be getting the desired result, persuading thousands of workers to settle for less than their original demands in order to keep their jobs.

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