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WORLD: Pope bashes anti-church stance in Spain

Pope bashes anti-church stance in Spain

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain -- Pope Benedict XVI criticized an ''aggressive'' anti-church sentiment in Spain that he said was reminiscent of the country's bloody civil war era as he began a two-day visit Saturday to rekindle the faith.

Benedict made clear his distaste for Spain's liberal bent as he arrived in the pilgrimage city of Santiago di Compostela, where the remains of St. James the Apostle are said to be buried.

He was warmly received by a crowd of thousands chanting ''Viva el papa!'' but there were hints of opposition as well. About 100 people demonstrated against the pope's visit and a handful of gays kissed along his motorcade route -- a preview of the gay ''kiss-in'' protest that awaits him today in Barcelona.

Nazi criminal dead at 86

ROME -- Michael Seifert, a former Nazi SS prison guard known as ''the beast of Bolzano'' for his cruelty, died Saturday in an Italian hospital at age 86, officials said.

The Ukrainian-born Seifert was serving a life sentence at the Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison in southern Italy. He died in the nearby Caserta hospital, according to officials at the hospital and at the prison.

Drug lord killed in gunbattle

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican marines killed a reputed Gulf cartel leader and one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords in a spectacular, hours-long gunbattle near the U.S. border, the latest in a growing number of hits on the country's drug kingpins.

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as ''Tony Tormenta'' or ''Tony the Storm,'' was killed Friday along with four of his gunmen and three marines in the city of Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas, the Mexican navy said in a statement.

2,000-year-old house collapses

ROME -- A 2,000-year-old house in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was once used by gladiators to train before combat, collapsed Saturday, officials said.

The site was closed at the time and nobody was injured, but the collapse underscored a controversy over the poor state of Pompeii, one of Italy's main tourist attractions.

The office of Pompeii's archaeological superintendent said the collapse occurred Saturday at about 6 a.m.. Attendants opening the site saw the collapse about an hour later.