IRAN - NUCLEAR:The European Union's top diplomat has presented Iran with a package of
incentives aimed at persuading Tehran to suspend its controversial
nuclear program. A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says the
diplomat handed the incentives proposal to Iranian Foreign Minister
Manouchehr Mottaki during talks in Tehran today. The package from six world powers includes economic and trade incentives. An Iranian government spokesman told
reporters today that Tehran will reject any offer that demands the
country halt its uranium enrichment program. He says any such offer
cannot be considered. Solana arrived in Tehran Friday on behalf of the European Union, China,
France, Germany, Russia, Britain and the United States.
IRAQ:The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have killed two suspected al-Qaida militants and detained 33 others in separate operations in central and northern Iraq. In one incident, a military statement says militants with ties to an al-Qaida in Iraq bombing network opened fire on coalition troops south of Mosul today. It says the troops responded, killing one armed militant and detaining nine others. The military says coalition forces also discovered and destroyed a terrorist hideout in a town southwest of Mosul today. It says the forces killed one suspected militant in a clash at the hideout. In another development, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says negotiations with the United States on a long-term security agreement have reached a "dead end." But he says talks are ongoing despite what he calls "unacceptable" U.S. demands that infringe on Iraq's sovereignty.
JAPAN - QUAKE:A powerful earthquake struck northern Japan early today, killing at least three people and injuring at least 64. Officials say the seven-point-two magnitude quake was centered in Iwate prefecture, about 400 kilometers north of Tokyo. The quake was followed by at least one strong aftershock. Japan's chief government spokesman (Nobutaka Machimura) told reporters that one of the dead was killed by a landslide, while another died when he ran out of his house and was run over by a truck. A third was killed at a dam construction site that was hit by falling rocks. A small amount of radioactive water leaked in a Tokyo Electric Power Company nuclear plant, but operators said there was no danger to the public.
BURMA - LANDSLIDE:Burma says 11 people were killed Wednesday and Thursday when their homes were engulfed by landslides caused by heavy rain. The state "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper said today that seven men and four women died when their homes collapsed along Yeni creek in central Burma's town of Mogok. Flood waters rose up to one meter after the area received a record 20 centimeters of rain. Mogok, in Burma's Mandalay division, is knows as Ruby Land, and is famed for its rich supply of rubies, sapphires and other precious stones. Burma's ruling military government uses the gems as a key source of income.
PHILIPPINES - US - COURT:The widow of former Philippine ruler Ferdinand Marcos has praised a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against victims of human rights abuses committed under her late husband. Imelda Marcos Friday thanked God for what she said was a triumph for truth and justice and proof that the U.S. justice system works. The Supreme Court Thursday ruled that a Philippine court must decide the case before it can be considered in the United States. Lawyers for the 95-hundred human rights abuse victims denounced the ruling. The lawyers had argued that 35-million dollars held by a U.S. brokerage firm should be given to their clients as part of a prior U.S. court judgment. Marcos set up the account with Merrill Lynch in 1972 using a suspected dummy corporation.
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