Malaysia Denies Plans to Close Catholic Newspaper

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia's Muslim-majority government is denying that it plans to shut down a Roman Catholic

The Herald has received warnings over the past year that it could lose its publishing license, which expires Dec. 31., for running articles deemed political and insulting to Islam.

The newspaper is embroiled in a court dispute with the government over a ban on the use of the word "Allah" as a Malay-language translation for "God." The government has said using the word could confuse Muslims, while the Herald insists that "Allah" has been used for centuries to mean "God" in Malay.

But an official in Malaysia's Home Ministry says the Herald's license will be issued by the end of the month.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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