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Arsonists vandalize Palestinian mosque

JERUSALEM — Arsonists suspected of being radical Israeli settlers damaged part of a Palestinian mosque early Monday in a village near the West Bank city of Hebron, setting fire to rugs and copies of the Quran and scrawling the word “revenge” in Hebrew on a wall, police officials and witnesses said.

Palestinian residents of the village, Al Fajjar, said they saw what they described as an Israeli car speeding away before dawn.

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, said that whoever set the fire in the mosque was “a terrorist” and that no means would be spared to catch the culprits.

The attack came as U.S. officials were trying to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that have run aground over Israel’s plans to begin building settlements again in the West Bank after a 10-month construction freeze.

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told his Cabinet on Monday that the government was “in the midst of sensitive diplomatic contacts with the American administration in order to find a solution that will allow the continuation of the talks.” He said he would not issue statements because the moment required discretion.

Federal judge charged with buying drugs from stripper

ATLANTA — A federal judge was granted a $50,000 bond Monday on charges that he purchased drugs on several occasions from an Atlanta stripper with whom he was having a sexual relationship.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr. was arrested Friday night and held in an undisclosed location by the U.S. Marshal Service.

The 67-year-old Camp is accused of purchasing and using cocaine, marijuana, Hydrocodone and Roxycodrone since last spring and using them with an exotic dancer he met at the Goldrush Showbar, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Mary Jo Mangrum, a member of a task force investigating public corruption.

Camp met the dancer, an FBI informant identified in the affidavit as CI-1, after he purchased a private dance from her, according to the affidavit. He returned the next night and purchased another dance and sex from her, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said the stripper had recently begun cooperating with the FBI and had a federal conviction related to a drug trafficking case. The two met on multiple occasions in recent months when Camp would pay CI-1 for sex and the two would smoke marijuana and snort cocaine and Roxycodone together.

Miners’ rescue may happen within weeks, President says

SANTIAGO, CHILE — The 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground in northern Chile may be rescued by Oct. 17, weeks before the government’s original predictions, President Sebastian Pinera announced in a nationally broadcast radio interview Monday.

“I hope to rescue them before leaving for Europe,” he said, referring to a trip scheduled for Oct. 17. “It is very important for me to share that moment not only with the 33 miners, with whom I have spoken many times, but also with their families.”

If they are not freed before then, Pinera is considering postponing his trip to make sure he is at the gold and copper mine where the men are trapped on the day of the rescue. “Obviously, the trip will be adjusted to the rescue,” he said.