ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Iran's President Orders Higher Enrichment of Uranium


IRAN NUCLEAR: Iran's president has ordered his country's atomic agency to begin producing higher-enriched uranium, a move that casts doubt on the prospects of a nuclear exchange deal with the West. In comments broadcast Sunday on state-run television, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he has asked the head of the atomic energy agency (Ali Akbar Salehi) to begin enriching uranium to 20 percent. The uranium would be used to fuel a research reactor. Iran and a group of world powers have been discussing a United Nations-backed plan under which Iran would send its low-enriched uranium abroad in return for higher-grade nuclear fuel.

US - SHUTTLE: NASA has delayed Sunday's scheduled launch of the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour for at least 24 hours because of poor weather at the launch site. Six astronauts -- five men and one woman -- had boarded the space shuttle for the pre-dawn launch Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but thick low clouds moved in, leading to the cancellation. This mission is scheduled to deliver partsto the International Space Station for the last major construction operation on the orbiting outpost, which is almost complete. Following this 13-day mission, four more shuttle flights are planned before the fleet is retired at the end of this year.

UKRAINE ELECTION: Ukrainians are voting in a runoff presidential election that pits two bitter rivals -- incumbent Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych. Even before voting began Sunday, the candidates accused the other of vote rigging. Prime Minister Tymoshenko and Mr. Yanukovych were the top finishers in the first round of voting last month. The campaign has been marked by smears and insults and there are fears of street protests if the loser refuses to accept the results. Mr. Yanukovych, considered the front-runner, is eager for a political comeback.

AFGHANISTAN: NATO says it has arrested an Afghan police commander for alleged corruption and involvement in a roadside bomb network. A provincial government spokesman (Aleem Ayar) confirmed that Afghan and international forces detained the deputy police chief of Kapisa province, Atahullah Wahaab, at his home in the provincial capital (Mahmood Raqi) on Friday. NATO did not identify the suspect but said in a statement that the police commander was involved with the storage, distribution and installation of roadside bombs in Kapisa.

US POLITICS - PALIN: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has repeatedly criticized U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech to the inaugural national convention of a grass-roots conservative movement. Palin, who was the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential candidate, told an enthusiastic gathering in Nashville, Tennessee, of so-called "Tea Party" activists that the United States is ready for "another revolution." The crowd implored her to run for president in 2012. She denounced Mr. Obama's deficit spending, and derided his approach to national security and the fight against terrorism as more appropriate for a law professor than a commander-in-chief.

US - NORTH KOREA: The American Christian missionary released by North Korea on Saturday has arrived in Los Angeles. Robert Park had traveled earlier in the day from Pyongyang to Beijing where he was met by U.S. consular officials. Park made no comment about the 43 days he spent in North Korea. He had been arrested after crossing the frozen Tumen River from China into North Korea on December 25, Christmas Day. Before heading to North Korea, he said he wanted to raise awareness of human rights issues in the reclusive Communist state.

SPORTS - SUPER BOWL PRVW: The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints face off Sunday in the National Football League championship game known as the Super Bowl, in a match-up featuring two high-powered offenses. The Saints are making their first appearance in the Super Bowl, and their success has uplifted a city still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The teams will play in Miami, Florida in what is traditionally the most-watched television event of the year in the United States.

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