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For Saturday, March 19, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:06 a.m. HST, Mar 19, 2011

Prayer declaration draws suit

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has been named in a federal lawsuit over a proclamation she signed in support of an Arizona Day of Prayer.

The Arizona Republic reports the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

It says Brewer's actions are unconstitutional because they violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from establishing a state religion.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing Brewer from issuing similar proclamations in the future.

Brewer has declared an Arizona Day of Prayer twice since assuming the governor's office two years ago.

Hundreds back monk's protest

A Tibetan monk in western China set himself on fire in an anti-government protest, then was beaten and kicked by police, prompting hundreds of monks and others to rally, an exiled Tibetan monk said. A state news agency said the monk died Thursday.

The 21-year-old monk, Phun­tsog, who like many Tibetans went by only one name, set himself on fire Wednesday afternoon on a main street near the Kirti monastery in Aba town, in Sichuan province, said Kusho Tse­ring, a monk now living in Dharm­sala, India.

The official Xinhua News Agency cited an unidentified county government spokes­man as saying the monk died early Thursday, more than 10 hours after the self-immolation, because monks refused to let police take him to a hospital.

The exile's account highlights simmering tensions in Tibet and Tibetan-inhabited regions in western China amid several anniversaries this month, including the March 10 anniversary of the unsuccessful revolt against China that caused the Dalai Lama to flee in 1959.

Sale of closed church withdrawn

The Boston Archdiocese has pulled the real estate listing of a closed Roman Catholic church, saying it was causing confusion about its intentions for the property.

Former parishioners at Boston's Holy Trinity Church asked the Vatican on Monday to stop any sale of the building, after it was listed at $2.3 million.

They argued the archdiocese hadn't completed a proc­ess to convert it to secular use, required before sale to a secular buyer. The Vatican has recently denied some similar requests by other dioceses.

Spokesman Terry Donilon said yesterday the listing is meant to gauge the market. He said the archdiocese never intended to prematurely sell the property to a secular buyer.

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