- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 31, 2009


Fuel demanded for reactor

UNITED NATIONS | Iran has told the U.N. nuclear watchdog that it wants fresh nuclear fuel for a reactor in Tehran before it will agree to ship most of its enriched uranium stocks to Russia and France, diplomats said Friday.

In what the International Atomic Energy Agency has described as an initial response to an IAEA-drafted nuclear fuel proposal, Western diplomats said major Western powers found the Iranian demand for immediate access to fresh atomic fuel unacceptable.

The diplomats told Reuters news agency it was not clear whether the proposal was a serious one or if the Iranians were only trying to drag out the negotiating process.

The IAEA proposal calls for Iran to transfer about 75 percent of its known low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment by the end of this year, then to France for conversion into fuel plates for a Tehran reactor that produces radio isotopes for cancer treatment.


Climate fund agreement fails

BRUSSELS | European Union leaders failed to agree Friday on how much to give poorer nations to counter the effects of a warming climate - squandering the last chance that global greenhouse gas talks in December will produce real results.

EU leaders pledged to pay their “fair share” into an annual global fund for developing nations, but didn’t say how much they would actually contribute. They say some $148 billion is needed and that up to half of that should come from governments around the world.


Villagers attack, kill policemen

KINSHASA | Armed villagers killed at least 47 policemen trying to intervene in a feud over fishing rights in northern Congo, United Nations-sponsored radio reported Friday, but the government said the death toll was much lower.

An unknown number of civilians also died in the violence that erupted near the village of Dongo in Equateur province early Thursday and continued Friday, Radio Okapi said, citing local officials.

Congo’s Information Minister Lambert Mende said the death toll had been exaggerated and the incident had been sparked by a local government official, who was recently removed from his post for inciting community tensions.


Protesters target U.S. ambassador

MANAGUA | Demonstrators hurling fireworks chased the U.S. ambassador from a university fair Friday because of his criticism of a Supreme Court ruling allowing President Daniel Ortega to seek another term.

Ambassador Robert J. Callahan, who was unharmed, was met by demonstrators wearing the red and black of Mr. Ortega’s Sandinista party. Riot police and bodyguards hustled him back into his car and he quickly left.

Some of the protesters fired skyrockets from metal tubes.

Mr. Callahan and the U.S. Embassy have come under fire after the ambassador weighed in on last week’s decision that overturned Nicaragua’s single-term limits. Mr. Callahan said the change, requested by Mr. Ortega, was “improper.” Sandinista leaders have responded by calling for Mr. Callahan’s ouster.


Missing plane landed in river

SAO PAULO | A plane that went missing Thursday over the Amazon made an emergency river landing in a remote part of the rain forest and nine of the 11 people aboard survived, Brazil’s air force said Friday.

Members of the Matis Indian tribe found the plane and the survivors in a sprawling jungle reservation, the air force said.

One person abroad the single-prop Cessna Caravan plane was missing and another may have died in Thursday’s emergency, the air force said. It did not say why the plane was forced to set down on the Itui River.


Largest cruise ship sails to Florida

HELSINKI | The world’s largest cruise liner on Friday began its maiden voyage to Florida, gliding out from a shipyard in Finland with an amphitheater, basketball courts and an ice rink on board.

The 16-deck Oasis of the Seas spans 1,200 feet from bow to stern. Its 2,700 cabins can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 2,100 crew.

Commissioned by Royal Caribbean International, the ship cost $1.5 billion and took 2 1/2 years to build at the STX Finland Oy shipyard in Turku, southwestern Finland. The Oasis of the Seas is due to make its U.S. debut on Nov. 20.


Prime minister hosts ‘great friend’ Bush

NEW DELHI | Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted a lunch Friday for former President George W. Bush and called him a “great friend” who played a key role in ending the South Asian country’s long nuclear isolation.

Mr. Singh enjoyed a strong rapport with Mr. Bush during his White House tenure. Ruling Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, who is a member of parliament and seen as a potential prime minister, attended the lunch along with other leading Indian political figures.

Mr. Bush was in New Delhi to speak at a leadership conference on the topic of the United States “re-engaging” with the world.

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