In short

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A roundup of today's other world news in brief

Belgian clerical abuse inquiry to proceed

A Brussels appeals court decided yesterday to allow a magistrate continue looking into alleged sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy, in cases that came to light after police seized documents, computers and data discs from the Belgian archbishop’s residence in June.

The court dismissed a church complaint claiming the raid had been excessive. During the raid, police detained a dozen Belgian bishops and the Vatican’s envoy to Belgium for eight hours in the residence.

The June 24th raids, code-named Operation Chalice, provoked a fierce Vatican reaction but no public outcry in a country where abuse charges have implicated senior church officials. – (AP)

German minister wants to cut army

BERLIN – Germany’s defence minister is said to favour shrinking its army by more than a third and suspending compulsory national service.

Germany, increasingly active in international military missions in recent years, is working on five models for overhauling the armed forces to cut defence costs and modernise the military.

Defence Minister Karl- Theodor zu Guttenberg favours a scheme that would see the size of the armed forces cut to 163,500 from about 250,000 at present, according to government sources.

Nearly all troops would be professionals, with a small programme of about 7,500 short-term volunteers. – (Reuters)

Obama signs bill for border security

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has signed a $600 million (€470.3 million) bill to beef up security on the border with Mexico, as his aides pressed politicians to set aside election-year politics and work toward broader immigration reform.

With illegal immigration seen as a key issue in the November congressional elections, the administration touted the border enforcement plan as laying the groundwork for a revived effort to overhaul the US immigration system.

Mr Obama had sought the extra funding amid complaints from southwestern states that the government was failing to seal the border from illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. – (Reuters)

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