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World Scene

- - Thursday, January 5, 2012

IRAN

Official says Turkey is best place for nuke talks

TEHRAN | Iran's foreign minister said Thursday that Turkey is the best place for further talks with world powers about Iran's nuclear program, according to a report carried by an Iranian news agency.

The report by the semiofficial ISNA agency said Ali Akbar Salehi expressed Iran's agreement after Turkey announced its readiness to host the talks. He was speaking at a news conference with his visiting Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.

On Saturday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said he had called on the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - to resume talks.

EGYPT

Prosecutor wants death for Mubarak, security boss

CAIRO | The prosecutor in the trial of Hosni Mubarak demanded Thursday that the ousted Egyptian leader be sentenced to hang on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising against his rule.

Mustafa Khater, one of a five-member prosecution team, also asked the judge for the death sentence for Mr. Mubarak's security chief and four top police commanders being tried in the same case.

"The nation and the people are awaiting a word of justice and righteousness," Mr. Khater said on the third and final day of the prosecution's opening statement.

Mr. Mubarak's two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and Alaa, face corruption charges in the same trial along with their father and a close family friend who is a fugitive. Also in the same case are two police commanders charged with gross negligence, who face prison sentences if convicted.

BRAZIL

Burst dike forces thousands to flee town

SAO PAULO | Civil defense officials said they were evacuating an entire town after floodwaters burst a nearby dike in southeastern Brazil.

The civil defense department of Rio de Janeiro state said the waters of the Muriae River were expected to reach the town of Tres Vendas by Thursday afternoon and its 4,000 residents were being taken to temporary shelters.

Elsewhere in Rio de Janeiro state, another 4,000 people were forced to leave their homes, and three people were killed by heavy rains and mudslides in recent days.

The civil defense department of neighboring Minas Gerais state said more than 10,000 people have left their homes. Eight people there were killed in floodwaters or mudslides.

YEMEN

Fears rising that Saleh won't end rule

SANAA | Suspicions are mounting in Yemen that outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh is trying to wiggle out of a U.S.-backed deal meant to bring his autocratic 33-year rule to an end.

Both opposition leaders and officials close to the president said Thursday that they remain unconvinced that Mr. Saleh is serious about leaving power.

They worry he will try to use the unstable country's continued unrest to keep his seat on the grounds that Yemen's active al Qaeda branch will step up operations if he leaves.

Following 10 months of mass street protests calling for his ouster, Mr. Saleh in November signed a deal put forward by Yemen's powerful Gulf neighbors and backed by the United States, agreeing to pass power to his vice president in exchange for immunity from prosecution for crimes he is alleged to have committed while in office.

Six weeks later, he remains president, Yemeni state media still speak of him as leader of the nation, and his allies frequently hinder the work of a new unity government sworn in by his vice president.

MYANMAR

Government approves Suu Kyi's party for election

YANGON | Myanmar's government Thursday approved the National League for Democracy to run in upcoming by-elections that will return Aung San Suu Kyi's party to mainstream politics after two decades, the opposition leader said.

Allowing Mrs. Suu Kyi's party back into the political fold likely will give the government greater legitimacy at home and abroad.

Western governments have cautiously supported the reforms Myanmar's new government has made since general elections in late 2010, while keeping in place economic sanctions and continuing to urge further reforms.

"We have now been officially registered," Mrs. Suu Kyi told the Associated Press in an interview in her residence.

She declined to confirm whether she will stand in the election and said she planned an announcement between Jan. 16 and 31. "This is the time when we have to register our candidates."

Party spokesman Nyan Win, however, said in a separate interview Thursday that Mrs. Suu Kyi intends to run.