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VIENNA — Iran gained a reprieve in the standoff over its nuclear program Wednesday, with diplomats saying the European Union had decided to postpone its push to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council. The decision to delay a vote until a later board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency instead of demanding one this week appeared driven by concerns about strong opposition. More than a dozen of the 35 IAEA board member nations meeting in Vienna — including Security Council members Russia and China — are against the idea.

VIENNA — Political leaders, diplomats and the young and old of all faiths bade farewell to Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal on Wednesday, paying tribute to his decades-long pursuit of World War II's most heinous criminals. The 96-year-old activist died in his sleep Tuesday. His dark, shrouded coffin lay in the center of a hall filled with his friends, Austria's leaders and the media at Vienna's Central Cemetery.


EVREUX — A court on Wednesday convicted a Canadian priest of raping a teenage member of his Normandy parish and sentenced him to 12 years in prison — the second conviction for the clergyman who went to jail for similar crimes in Quebec. The trial of the Rev. Denis Vadeboncoeur rattled the northern France community where he had worked for more than a decade and sparked outrage over how he was hired and why his past conviction was kept secret.


STUTTGART — Workers at a U.S. Army airfield have uncovered a World War II-era grave believed to contain the bodies of 34 Jewish slave laborers used by the Nazis, German authorities said Wednesday. The skeletal remains were found Monday during work on the airfield, next to Stuttgart's airport, said Ulrich Heffner, a police spokesman in the southwestern city. Preliminary examination of the remains indicate that they are of the right age to be the bodies of Jews used as forced laborers in the area, Heffner said.


HYDERABAD — Heavy downpours sent rivers over their embankments, killing at least 56 people and forcing the evacuation of thousands in southwest India, officials said Wednesday.


JAKARTA — Indonesia announced plans Wednesday for a mass chicken slaughter amid fears of a bird flu epidemic after two more children suspected of having the disease died in the capital. The government scrambled to calm public fears after the deaths of the two girls, ages 2 and 5. If bird flu is confirmed as their cause of death, the country's human toll from the outbreak would climb to six since July. Nine others suspected of having the virus were being treated Wednesday at Jakarta's infectious diseases hospital.


TOKYO — Japan's Parliament re-elected Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister on Wednesday following the ruling coalition's landslide electoral victory last week, and he pledged to plow ahead with privatization of the postal service and other reforms. The 480-member lower house cast 340 votes to re-elect Koizumi as prime minister. The upper house quickly followed suit.


AMMAN — Saddam Hussein's lawyers won't recognize the Oct. 19 start of the former leader's trial because they claim they have not been notified of the date by the Special Iraqi Tribunal, the attorneys said Wednesday. The lawyers "will not recognize any date for the trial if it comes within weeks or months," said Khalil Dulaimi, Saddam's Iraqi lawyer, in a statement from Baghdad.


KATMANDU — About 7,000 students, social workers, teachers and lawyers marched Wednesday in the Nepalese capital, calling for peace in Nepal, where a communist insurgency is escalating. The rally marked the International Day for Peace, which organizers said was part of similar effort in other South Asian nations.


KHARTOUM — Security chiefs from 15 African states discussed ways to fight terrorism Wednesday, and Sudan's president — whose nation is listed by the U.S. as a terror sponsor — said the world must clearly define terrorism to counter its threat. U.S. observers were at the counterterrorism conference that opened in Khartoum. U.S. officials have increasingly turned their attention to Africa, saying terrorists could be seeking havens or staging grounds on a the continent.