Diplomats - Iran conducts secret uranium work
VIENNA, Austria -- Defying international concerns, Iran has resumed clandestine work linked to uranium enrichment, testing equipment and producing a gas that can be used to make nuclear warheads, diplomats said Wednesday. The diplomats said that Tehran has restarted equipment used to make uranium hexaflouride gas, which, when injected into centrifuges and spun, can be enriched to a level high enough to make the weapons. The move -- coupled with revelations Tuesday that Iran had restarted building centrifuges -- heightened concern that Iran was moving toward full uranium enrichment, despite pledges not to do so in the interest of building international goodwill.
Jewish settlers begin compensation talks
JERUSALEM -- Israel has started compensation talks with Jewish settlers ready to leave the West Bank and Gaza Strip, their attorney said Wednesday, as part of an evacuation plan that has fueled a Palestinian power struggle. With the Israeli pullout plan moving forward, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia began asserting his authority over a branch of the security forces Wednesday, a concession he won from Yasser Arafat.
South Asia monsoon deaths pass 1,300
DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Deaths from monsoon rains across South Asia hit 1,300 on Wednesday, with Bangladesh's government reporting more than 450 people killed since June. Millions of others are homeless. This year's flooding in Bangladesh has been the worst in six years, with experts blaming unusually heavy monsoon rains and rivers full of silt for the deluge that has covered two-thirds of the country.
-- From wire reports