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01/17/06 World News:Lavrov: Sanctions Not the Best Way to Deal with Iranian Nuclear Issue


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Kremlin does not believe international sanctions are the best way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Speaking at a news conference in Moscow today (Tuesday), Lavrov said sanctions are not the best or the only way to solve international problems. Monday, the British Foreign Office said Germany, France and Britain plan to call for an emergency board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on February second to discuss possible actions against Iran.

The Iranian government has lifted its ban on the Cable News Network, which was imposed for misquoting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of a translation error. Officials say Mr. Ahmadinejad asked the cultural ministry to lift the ban late Monday, after C.N.N. apologized for the mistake. Hours earlier, Iran barred C.N.N. journalists from the country for misquoting the president as speaking of "nuclear weapons" when he actually spoke of "nuclear technology" during a recent news conference. C.N.N says the Farsi word for "technology" was mistakenly translated into "weapons."

An international donor conference has opened in Beijing to raise money to fight bird flu. Health experts are calling for one-and-a-half billion dollars to help developing countries contain the virus and prevent a global pandemic. A World Health Organization official, Margaret Chan, told the conference there is a great risk of an epidemic, although the timing and severity is uncertain. Scientists fear the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu could mutate into a form that passes easily between humans.

Malaysia's attorney general says a group of Thai Muslims who crossed illegally into Malaysia last year are still in the country. Mr Gani Patail says his government has retracted its earlier announcement today that the Thais had been repatriated.

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