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Iran. Iran’s nuclear effort in high gear, U.N. says – “Iran has accelerated its program to enrich uranium and defied a United Nations Security Council deadline to suspend nuclear activities, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said. The report by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, confirmed that Iran recently began installing the first of 3,000 gas centrifuges in a heavily fortified, underground chamber at its Natanz plant and that it planned to “bring them gradually into operation by May 2007.” Rice Warns Iran It Risks Further U.N. Sanctions – “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran that it will face further punishment and isolation if it forges ahead with efforts to develop a uranium-enrichment program, but she said the United States and other powers are prepared to restart talks aimed at ending the standoff if Iran suspends its most controversial nuclear activities.” Iran Expanding Nuclear Effort, Agency Reports– “In open defiance of the United Nations, Iran is steadily expanding its efforts to enrich uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Thursday. In response, the Bush administration immediately pressed for more severe sanctions against the country, at a moment of greatly increased tensions between Washington and Tehran.” US intelligence ‘wrong’ on Iran – “Much of the intelligence on Iran’s nuclear facilities provided to UN inspectors by American spy agencies has turned out to be unfounded, according to diplomatic sources in Vienna.”


Arab States, Wary of Iran, Add to Their Arsenals but Still Lean on the U.S.– “As fears grow over the escalating confrontation between Iran and the West, Arab states across the Persian Gulf have begun a rare show of muscle flexing, publicly advertising a shopping spree for new weapons and openly discussing their security concerns.”


Iraq-Senate. Senate Democrats move to limit the US mission in Iraq – “Determined to challenge President Bush, Senate Democrats are drafting legislation to limit the mission of US troops in Iraq, effectively revoking the broad authority Congress granted in 2002,”Democrats Seek to Repeal 2002 War Authorization – “House Democrats have pulled back from efforts to link additional funding for the war to strict troop-readiness standards after the proposal came under withering fire from Republicans and from their party’s own moderates.” Senate Democrats Keep Pressure on Bush With Plan to Limit Iraq Mission to Counterterrorism– “Senior Senate Democrats, stepping up their confrontation with President Bush over Iraq policy, are preparing legislation that would limit the role of United States troops there to counterterrorism efforts and prohibit them from interceding in sectarian violence.” Skip to next paragraph



Iraq-the home front. Long Iraq Tours Can Make Home a Trying Front– “… chaos and loneliness of wartime deployments are one of the toughest, least discussed byproducts of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and loved ones have endured long, sometimes repeated separations that test the fragility of their relationships in unforeseen ways.”


East Africa. U.S. Used Bases in Ethiopia to Hunt Al Qaeda in Africa– “The American military quietly waged a campaign from Ethiopia last month to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa, including the use of an airstrip in eastern Ethiopia to mount airstrikes against Islamic militants in neighboring Somalia.”


 


New Orleans.In New Orleans, Progress at Last in the Lower Ninth Ward – “The first new houses built in the Lower Ninth Ward since Hurricane Katrina were turned over to their owners on Thursday, creating a small island of hope in a sea of ruin.”


Immigration. U.S. charges immigrants, janitor firm – “In a sweep across 17 states and the District of Columbia, immigration officials descended on popular eateries like Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, arrested almost 200 illegal immigrants working for a janitorial company and filed criminal charges against its top three officials.”

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