- - Monday, November 29, 2010

IRAN

Computer worm affected centrifuges

TEHRAN | Iran’s president has confirmed for the first time that a computer worm affected centrifuges in the country’s uranium-enrichment program.

Iran previously denied that the Stuxnet worm, which experts say is calibrated to destroy centrifuges, had caused any damage, saying they had uncovered it before it could have any effect.

But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said it “managed to create problems for a limited number of our centrifuges.” Speaking to a press conference Monday, he said the problems had been resolved.

Earlier in November, U.N. inspectors found Iran’s enrichment program temporarily shut down, according to a recent report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. The extent and cause of the shutdown were not known, but speculation fell on Stuxnet.

NORTH KOREA

U.N. eyeing sanctions against Pyongyang

UNITED NATIONS | The U.N. Security Council is studying how to respond to revelations about a new uranium-enrichment plant in North Korea as well as the country’s shelling of a populated island in neighboring South Korea, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Monday.

Ms. Rice spoke after the powerful 15-member group held routine consultations on U.N. sanctions against communist-led North Korea. The U.S. is one of the council’s five permanent, and most powerful, members.

She said the council’s concerns about North Korea’s nuclear activities have been heightened by its attack last week on Yeonpyeong, an island under U.N. command administered by South Korea. Two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed in the shelling.

Ms. Rice said the U.S. and other council members were holding consultations with China, another permanent member of the council, and other countries in the region.

IRELAND

Bailout boosts banks, inflames taxpayers

DUBLIN | Ireland’s international bailout boosted its bank stocks Monday but outraged many hard-pressed taxpayers, who questioned why the government’s pension reserves must be ravaged as part of a deal that burdens the whole country with the mistakes of a rich elite.

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