Argentina: Priest convicted

LA PLATA — A Catholic priest accused in a series of deaths and kidnappings during Argentina's Dirty War was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.

Former police chaplain Christian von Wernich was found guilty of being a "co-participant" with police in seven homicides, 31 torture cases and 42 kidnappings during the 1976-83 military dictatorship.

Hundreds of people beat drums and set off fireworks outside the federal courthouse after the verdict was announced.

France: Kisser on trial

AVIGNON — A woman who planted a lipstick-laden kiss on an all-white painting by the American artist Cy Twombly went on trial Tuesday, telling the court she had committed an "act of love" — not a crime.

Rindy Sam, a 30-year-old French artist, faced charges of "voluntarily damaging a work of art." The painting is worth an estimated $2,830,000 and restorers have tried to remove the lipstick smudge from the bone-white canvas using nearly 30 products — to no avail.

"I didn't think. When I kissed it, I thought the artist would have understood," Sam told the court in the southern French city of Avignon, describing it as "an act of love."

Prosecutors, however, want Sam to pay a $6,400 fine and take a class on good citizenship.

Italy: Priest loses job

PADUA — An Italian priest who publicly declared his love for a woman has lost his job, the diocese said Tuesday.

The Rev. Sante Sguotti can no longer work as pastor in his Monterosso parish and cannot hear confessions from the faithful, the diocese of Padua said in a statement. Sguotti remains a priest and can celebrate Mass, however.

Sguotti made headlines in August when he went on national television to say he was in love with a woman and wanted to be her boyfriend publicly while remaining chaste.

North Korea: N-test anniversary

North Korea marked the first anniversary of its nuclear test Tuesday with calls on the country's poverty-stricken population to rally around leader Kim Jong Il, praised by state media for pulling off a "truly great miracle."

The Oct. 9, 2006, test sent tensions spiraling in the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program. But it also prompted the U.S. to soften its policy toward North Korea, paving the way for steps toward a goal of dismantling the nuclear program.

Pakistan: Bazaar attacked

MIRAN SHAH — Pakistani aircraft bombed a village bazaar packed with shoppers near the Afghan border Tuesday, pushing the death toll to 250 in four days of fighting — the deadliest clashes since Pakistan threw its support behind the U.S.-led war on terror in 2001.

The attack on Epi village in North Waziristan tribal region killed dozens of militants and civilians — deaths that are likely to harden domestic opposition to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's alliance with the U.S.