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In brief

Jolie, an orangutan baby, looks out of its mother’s fur during its first appearance in the enclosure at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany, on Tuesday. The orangutan baby was born on July 15, 2009.

AP Photo
PARIS Church of Scientology fined

A Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than $900,000 on Tuesday, but stopped short of banning the group’s activities.

The group’s French branch said it would appeal the verdict.

The court convicted the Church of Scientology’s French office, its library and six of its leaders of organized fraud. Investigators said the group pressured members into paying large sums of money for questionable financial gain and used “commercial harassment” against recruits.

Prosecutors had urged that the group be disbanded in France.

A spokeswoman for the French branch of Scientology, Agnes Bron, said the verdict was “an Inquisition of modern times.”

MOGADISHU, Somalia Pirates take Brit couple

International naval forces hunted on Tuesday for a British couple feared taken by Somali pirates while sailing from the Seychelles islands, and as night fell units were trailing three suspicious vessels.

Cmdr. John Harbour of the European Union Naval Force said one of its helicopters spotted a yacht towing two skiffs about 200 miles from the pirate stronghold of Haradhere. He said it was too dark to read the vessel’s name but its location suggested it could be the Chandlers’ yacht.

“We have two ships in the area and a helicopter and they are continuing their investigation,” Harbour told Sky News from the EU force’s headquarters near London.

Paul and Rachel Chandler were heading to Tanzania in their yacht, the Lynn Rival, when a distress signal was sent early Friday, according to the U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency.

WASHINGTON Pilots’ licenses suspended

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday revoked the licenses of the two Northwest Airlines pilots who flew past their Minneapolis destination by 150 miles.

The pilots — Timothy Cheney of Gig Harbor, Wash., the captain, and Richard Cole of Salem, Ore., the first officer — told safety investigators they were working on their personal laptop computers and lost track of time.

The pilots, who were out of communications with air traffic controllers for over an hour, violated numerous federal safety regulations in the incident last Wednesday night, the FAA said in a statement.

BENSALEM, Pa. Sex for tickets alleged

Police in a Philadelphia suburb have arrested a woman who they say offered sex for World Series tickets.

Bensalem police say Susan Finkelstein, 43, was arrested on Tuesday. Investigators say Finkelstein posted an ad on the Web site Craigslist that stated she was a die-hard Phillies fan and buxom blonde in desperate need of two World Series tickets.

Police say her posting went on to say the price was negotiable and that “I’m the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!”

An undercover officer responded to the ad. Police say Finkelstein offered to perform various sex acts in exchange for World Series tickets.

She is charged with prostitution and related offenses.

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