December 19, 2009 |
A top Iranian nuclear official sought Friday to ease international worries about his nation's nuclear program days after Tehran test-fired an upgraded medium-range missile that alarmed the West. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization, said Iran won't have a new generation of more efficient centrifuges for the production of nuclear fuel until 2011 and won't have its heavy-water plant in Arak operational for "three or four years." His statement was a possible attempt at reassuring world powers that there was no hurry to place new sanctions on Iran.
February 7, 2010 |
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and a conservative official in Tehran found something they could agree on Saturday, as each dismissed the Iranian foreign minister's suggestion that a deal was near on Iran's nuclear program. Gates said he was disappointed in Tehran's response to a months-old proposal backed by the Obama administration in which Iran would exchange a limited quantity of low-enriched uranium for fuel plates to use in a Tehran medical reactor. "I do not have the sense we are close to an agreement," he said at a round-table meeting with journalists in Ankara, where he also suggested that Washington's patience had limits.
January 26, 2010 |
It was lucky for us that the suicide bombers struck first at two other hotels, and that the one who targeted our hotel was forced by security guards to fight his way into the compound. Alerted by the two explosions minutes earlier on Monday, and then the popping of automatic gunfire immediately outside, most staffers of the Los Angeles Times bureau had taken cover in an inside corridor when the bomber detonated his vehicle outside. The blast left a 30-foot crater in the tarmac, destroyed walls and windows around us and demolished at least two houses nearby.
March 12, 2010 |
Two Israeli soldiers involved in the Gaza Strip offensive a year ago used a 9-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield to open packages they believed were booby-trapped with explosives, the Israeli army charged Thursday. The soldiers, whose names were not released, have been indicted in military court for "unauthorized conduct" and "exceeding their authority in a manner that endangered life or health," the army said. The boy, whose case was forwarded to the Israel Defense Forces by the United Nations, was unharmed.
January 11, 2010 |
President Obama says he has no intention of sending American troops to Yemen or Somalia. Obama told People magazine in an interview to be published Friday that he still believes the center of Al Qaeda activity is along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. "I never rule out any possibility in a world that is this complex," Obama said. However, he said, "in countries like Yemen, in countries like Somalia, I think working with international partners is most effective at this point."
March 25, 2010 |
Another controversial housing project in East Jerusalem has received approval to break ground despite strong U.S. objections, officials said Wednesday. The 20-unit project, funded by U.S. businessman Irving Moskowitz, cleared its chief planning hurdles in July but received the final go-ahead March 18, when the developer paid project fees to the city, officials said. Some speculated that the timing of the fee payment and the subsequent announcement -- which occurred Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to meet President Obama at the White House -- seemed designed to exploit recent U.S.-Israeli tensions over Jewish expansion in East Jerusalem.
November 27, 2009 |
Iranian authorities have taken human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi's Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma from her safe-deposit box in Iran, Norwegian officials charged Thursday. Officials in Norway, which administers the prize, expressed outrage at the alleged seizure. "This is the first time a Nobel Peace Prize has been confiscated by national authorities," Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in a statement. "The medal and the diploma have been removed from Dr. Ebadi's bank box, together with other personal items.
March 17, 2010 |
Reporting from Washington and Jerusalem Paul Richter -- With anger over Israeli building plans stoking tensions about the future of Jerusalem's holy sites, violence spilled into the streets Tuesday in a string of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police that injured more than 100 people. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delayed a trip to the Middle East by the U.S. special envoy as Washington pressed the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to roll back construction of housing units in disputed East Jerusalem.
March 19, 2010 |
A rocket launched Thursday from the Gaza Strip killed a Thai farmworker in southern Israel, the first such fatality in the area in more than a year. The blast occurred in a clump of greenhouses in the farming community of Netiv Haasara, just north of Gaza. The name of the 30-year-old victim was not immediately released. Rocket and mortar fire into southern Israel from Gaza, which once occurred daily, has been dramatically reduced since the Israelis' 22-day assault on the coastal strip at the end of 2008 and early last year.
March 23, 2010 |
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave no ground Monday on U.S. opposition to Israeli construction in disputed areas, signaling that Washington would continue pressing Israel during two days of high-profile events. Clinton told a powerful, pro-Israel lobbying organization that U.S.-Israeli ties were "rock solid." But she did not retreat from the Obama administration's condemnation this month of Israel's plans for 1,600 new housing units in disputed East Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to address the same conference, held by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.