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World datelines

Bolivia: Leader targeted

LA PAZ — A top Bolivian official says conservatives have plotted to pay one of President Evo Morales' peasant supporters to kill him.

Government Minister Alfredo Rada says "extreme right" elements hoped to take advantage of Morales' frequent visits to rural areas, where the socialist leader is often swarmed by large crowds of admirers under only minimal security.

England: Royal butler jailed

LONDON — A former butler to Queen Elizabeth II was sentenced Monday to at least six years in prison after admitting he molested three children, including one who accompanied him to a royal Christmas party.

One of Paul Kidd's victims contacted police after reading a newspaper interview with the ex-butler on last year's 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. The victim, now in his 40s, said he had been indecently assaulted by Kidd at the butler's home in the early 1980s.

Kidd pleaded guilty in October to nine counts of indecent assault and six counts of sexual activity with a child.

Greece: Jet bomb a hoax

ATHENS — A bomb hoax forced an Aeroflot plane to return Monday to Athens International Airport, Greek authorities said.

The Russian airline's Flight 296 to Moscow returned to Athens and landed at 2:18 p.m., a little over an hour after takeoff, following a threat by an anonymous telephone caller.

But police said nothing was found on the aircraft or in the passengers' luggage.

Guinea: Dictator dies

CONAKRY, Guinea — The president of Guinea's National Assembly says that the African nation's leader, Lansana Conte, has died following a long illness.

Conte has ruled Guinea with an iron fist since grabbing power in a 1984 coup. The government has not disclosed his birth date, but he was believed to be in his 70s.

National Assembly leader Aboubacar Sompare said on national television around 2 a.m. Tuesday that Conte died Monday evening. He said that Conte has long been suffering from health problems.

India: Blame being shifted

NEW DELHI — Pakistan is shifting blame and responsibility for last month's deadly attacks in Mumbai, India's foreign minister charged Monday, adding that Delhi would take action against the perpetrators if Islamabad failed to.

India also gave Pakistan a letter written by Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only gunman captured after the rampage. Kasab wrote that he and the nine other gunmen involved in the Nov. 26 attack all came from Pakistan, India's Foreign Ministry said. He also requested a meeting with Pakistani envoys, the ministry said.

Islamabad has not acknowledged that Kasab is Pakistani and has said it is waiting for proof of his citizenship before it will take further action.

Israel: Offensive possible

JERUSALEM — Gaza's ruling Hamas on Monday ordered militants to hold their fire for 24 hours and said a truce with Israel could be restored, but as rockets continued to fall, Israel signaled it was preparing for a possible offensive.

In an interview with Israel's Channel 10 TV, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar indicated that Hamas is interested in renewing the truce with Israel.

"The price is the lives of the Palestinian people," he said, demanding regular food and electricity supplies from Israel along with stopping Israeli military actions in the West Bank as well as Gaza.

Israel did not agree to halt operations in the West Bank under the truce, which expired Friday, and Israeli officials refused to comment on the interview.

Russia: Military rearming

MOSCOW — The Russian military will commission 70 strategic nuclear missiles over the next three years, a senior government official said Monday, according to Russian news agencies.

The statement by Vladislav Putilin, a deputy head of the Cabinet's military-industrial commission in charge of weapons industries, indicates the government's intention to significantly increase the tempo of rearming Russia's Strategic Missile Forces.

Since the late 1990s, Russia has commissioned more than 50 new Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles at a pace of several missiles a year.