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02/14/06 World News: Lebanese Mark First Anniversary of Hariri Assassination


Hariri Anniversary: Tens of thousands of Lebanese gathered at a central Beirut square today (Tuesday) to mark the first anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. From mid-morning, people waving Lebanese flags and Mr. Hariri's pictures began arriving at the square, where the former prime minister and 20 others were killed in a massive car bombing. The demonstrators shouted anti-Syrian slogans.

Iran-Nuclear: Iran says it has started small-scale uranium enrichment - an initial step in the process of producing fuel for civilian nuclear reactors or atomic weapons. A top Iranian nuclear official (Javad Vaeidi) told reporters in Tehran today (Tuesday) that work has resumed at the Natanz nuclear plant. He did not elaborate. Earlier, diplomats at the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said Iranian technicians have fed uranium gas into centrifuge machines for enrichment.

Thai Stock Sale: A Thai court has agreed to look into accusations that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra violated laws in the sale of his family's controlling stake in telecom giant Shin Corporation. Officials say the Constitutional Court has accepted a petition filed by 28 senators who say Mr. Thaksin violated conflict of interest laws over the sale. The almost two-billion-dollar stock sale has drawn sharp criticism from people across Thailand because it avoided a 30-percent capital gains tax.

Indonesia - Bird Flu: Health officials in Indonesia say local tests show an Indonesian man who died last week was infected with the bird flu virus. Authorities say the 23-year-old man was in frequent contact with poultry. The World Health " hspace=2 src="/lao/images/ap_nigeria_bird_market_flu_9feb06_eng_210.jpg" width=195 align=right vspace=2 border=0>Organization confirmed Sunday that two women who died in Indonesia last week had contracted the H5N1 virus. Eighteen of the 90 worldwide human deaths from bird flu have been in Indonesia.

Saddam Trial: The trouble-plagued trial of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his seven co-defendants has resumed with eight accused men present in the courtroom. As on all previous occasions, today's session started with heated exchanges between the defendants and the chief judge.

Cartoons Protests: Pakistani police battled hundreds of demonstrators in two major cities today as Muslims continue to vent their anger about controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

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