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Officials in Kazakstan closed their office in the capital of Astana on Monday without saying when totals from Sunday's parliamentary election would be released. European observers said the vote fell short of international standards in many ways.

NOTEWORTHY

Berlin blocks Islamic conference

Berlin's government on Monday banned a planned Islamic conference in the German capital that security officials feared would be a forum to preach support for terrorism. State Interior Ministry spokeswoman Henrike Morgenstern said the city banned the Oct. 1-3 Ar

ab Islamic Congress in Europe after concluding that the conference Web site condoned suicide attacks against Israel and the United States.

Another school attack in China

A man slashed 25 children with a kitchen knife Monday at a grade school in eastern China and held a 9-year-old girl hostage for an hour before police captured him, the government said. The attacker in Ying County in Shandong province was identified as the father of a girl at the school who had a quarrel with another resident, the Xinhua News Agency reported. It was the third time in six weeks

that a knife attack has been reported at a Chinese school or day care center. The earlier attacks left one child dead, injured a total of 42 people and caused widespread concern about school safety. It isn't clear whether such violence is increasing or whether communist leaders are letting the state-controlled media report more assaults in schools.

Guard killed at Ill. Capitol

An unarmed security guard was shot to death inside the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield on Monday by a gunman who fled in a car. Authorities did not immediately provide a motive. Springfield police were investigating another shooting about an hour earlier at a military surplus store about 2 miles from the Capitol involving a man who matched the gunman's description. The Capitol has no metal detectors, and its security guards are not armed. Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not in the building at the time, and the Legislature is not in session. Three or four people saw the gunman, and officials were reviewing footage from surveillance cameras.

UPDATE:

Ohio imam sentenced

The leader of Ohio's largest mosque was sentenced Monday to two months in federal prison and four months of house arrest for lying about his connections to terrorist groups when he applied for U.S. citizenship. Palestinian-born Fawaz Damra, imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, could have received up to five years in prison on the charge of obtaining U.S. citizenship in 1994 by providing false information. The government said that when Damra, 41, applied for citizenship, he concealed ties to Afghan Refugee Services, the Islamic Committee for Palestine and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, groups the U.S. government classifies as terrorist organizations. The defense said Damra may have supported certain groups but did not consider himself a member or affiliate of them.

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