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Iran TV: Iran Starts Higher Uranium Enrichment


IRAN NUCLEAR: Iran says it has begun enriching uranium to a higher level, defying international efforts to curb its nuclear activity. Iranian state television quoted officials who said the process started Tuesday at Iran's Natanz facility in the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. Iran told the IAEA Monday of its plans to enrich uranium to 20 percent in order to fuel a medical nuclear reactor. Western powers are concerned that if Iran is able to enrich uranium to 20 percent, it could eventually produce weapons-grade uranium through the same process.

NOKOR - CHINA: Chinese state media say North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has assured a high-level Chinese envoy that Pyongyang is committed to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. China's official Xinhua news agency said Mr. Kim made the comment during talks Monday in Pyongyang with visiting Chinese Communist Party official Wang Jiarui. Xinhua said that Mr. Kim called the sincerity of relevant parties to resume six-party nuclear talks "very important." North Korea's state media said the two had a cordial and friendly meeting, but did not elaborate on what was discussed.

CHINA - PROTESTS: Officials in China say at least six people were injured when protesters attacked a government building in the southern province of Guangdong. Local authorities said some 300 people attacked a government headquarters building in the Hengshishui township on Sunday to protest the construction of reservoir that will be used to divert water from Hengshishui to the neighboring Qiaotou township. The official Xinhua news agency said the protesters in Hengshishui feared the project "would worsen the town's already dire water problem."

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan security forces have arrested the country's former army commander who was defeated in last month's presidential election. An opposition politician, Rauff Hakeem, says retired general Sarath Fonseka was forcibly detained by armed troops during a meeting Monday at the offices of one of the country's top opposition parties -- the People's Liberation Front, or JVP. Sri Lankan security officials say General Fonseka will be tried by court martial for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government during his tenure in the military.

HAITI EARTHQUAKE: Authorities in Haiti say a man has been pulled alive from rubble in Port-au-Prince where he may have been trapped since the January 12 earthquake. Officials say the severely dehydrated man was buried under a marketplace and was discovered as locals dug at the site. The man's family says he had been trapped the entire time. Doctors working at a local field hospital say the family's assertions cannot be confirmed but that his condition suggests the story could be true. More than 200,000 people were killed when the quake devastated Haiti four weeks ago.

UKRAINE ELECTION: Ukrainians are waiting to hear directly from Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on whether she will accept the results of Sunday's presidential election apparently won by opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych. Internet newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda said Ms. Tymoshenko told a private meeting of her party late Monday that she would never acknowledge Mr. Yanukovych's victory and would challenge the vote in the courts. She has not publicly confirmed or denied the report. Ms. Tymoshenko has remained silent after European poll monitors Monday declared the election transparent and fair.

TOYOTA RECALL: Japanese automaker Toyota has announced it will recall more than 400,000 hybrid vehicles around the world including its latest Prius model, to fix faulty brakes. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, company president Akio Toyoda again apologized for the problems and said the safety of its customers is Toyota's foremost priority. The recall affects the Prius, the Lexus HS250h sedan and the Sai, which is sold only in Japan. In addition to Japan, the recall affects markets in the U.S. and Europe. A statement said a delay in braking does not indicate a break failure.

US WEATHER: Many U.S. government employees in Washington, D.C. will have another day off from work Tuesday as the region braces for yet another major snowstorm. The National Weather Service says 25 to 50 centimeters of snow could fall on the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S. between Tuesday and Wednesday. The new snowstorm is sure to hamper efforts to dig out the nation's capital and parts of six nearby states from as much as 90 centimeters of snow produced by a major blizzard Friday and Saturday.

Listen to our World News for details.

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