The man who shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul II has warned Pope Benedict XVI not to visit Turkey after making comments that many Muslims deemed to have maligned Islam, the gunman’s lawyer said Wednesday. “As a man who knows these things, I am saying that your life is in danger, don’t come to Turkey. I can’t welcome you because I’m in prison,” his lawyer quoted Mehmet Ali Agca as saying during a meeting Monday at the high-security Kartal prison in Istanbul.
Indonesia: Christians to be shot
Indonesian officials said Wednesday they had deployed thousands of police on Sulawesi island ahead of this week’s planned executions of three Christian men found guilty of leading deadly attacks on Muslims six years ago. Amid complaints that the men did not receive a fair trial, a top Christian leader urged his community not to resort to violence and to pray that the president would grant them a last-minute reprieve. Officials said the convicts would face a firing squad today or early Friday.
Thailand: King backs army coup
Thailand’s new military ruler, winning royal backing for his bloodless coup, announced Wednesday that he would not call elections for another year. The army commander, appearing relaxed and confident at his first news conference since seizing power Tuesday, said he would serve as de facto prime minister for two weeks until the junta chooses a civilian to replace him and drafts an interim constitution. Receiving the imprimatur of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej legitimizes the takeover, and should effectively quash any efforts at resistance.
From Herald news services