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WORLD
December 29, 2009 | By Edmund Sanders
An Israeli government plan to build nearly 700 homes for Jewish families in Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem drew fire Monday from the Obama administration, which called the plan a hindrance to relaunching peace talks. "The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to return to U.S.-brokered talks. "Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally preempt, or appear to preempt, negotiations."
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WORLD
December 29, 2009 | By Borzou Daragahi
Iranian authorities dramatically intensified a crackdown on the country's burgeoning opposition movement Monday, rounding up political activists and seizing the corpse of one leading dissident's nephew, along with the bodies of other victims of weekend violence, in an apparent effort to stem further protests. Authorities positioned swarms of police at main squares in Tehran, dispatched helicopters and shut down some subway stations and telephone service to prevent demonstrators from arriving as protests broke out Monday afternoon in the capital, news websites said.
WORLD
December 24, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
Large-scale protests spread in central Iranian cities Wednesday, offering the starkest evidence yet that the opposition movement that emerged from the disputed June presidential election has expanded beyond its base of mostly young, educated Tehran residents to at least some segments of the country's pious heartland. Demonstrations took place in Esfahan, a provincial capital and Iran's cultural center, and nearby Najafabad, the birthplace and hometown of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, whose death Saturday triggered the latest round of confrontations between the opposition movement and the government.
WORLD
December 19, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim
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.
WORLD
December 17, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Iranian authorities confronted their international and domestic rivals Wednesday, angering the West by testing a high-speed missile and raising political tensions at home by warning reformist opposition leaders they could be arrested. Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, Iran's defense minister, lauded the latest test-firing of the Sejil-2 surface-to-surface missile, which was broadcast on television in Iran. He praised the upgraded version of the missile for "its remarkable speed in entering the atmosphere, its strong impact and its radar-evading covers," and for its quick blastoff time, state television reported.
WORLD
December 16, 2009 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
As their superiors inspected a car mangled by one of three blasts that rocked Baghdad's government center Tuesday, two Iraqi soldiers nearby scoffed at the military's shortcomings in protecting the capital. For one thing, they said, checkpoints don't stop those who are -- or appear to be -- influential. The soldiers, who declined to provide their names because they were not authorized to talk to journalists, watched as authorities huddled over the burned-out car in an exclusive parking lot for government employees, just around the corner from the Defense Ministry.
WORLD
December 11, 2009 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Thursday emerged virtually unscathed from a parliament session called over this week's car bombings in the capital and a series of explosions since August that have caused lawmakers to publicly question his handling of the security situation in Iraq. As Maliki parried with lawmakers for nearly six hours, the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group for insurgents that includes Al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombings, which killed 127 people.
WORLD
December 7, 2009 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
Iraqi lawmakers ended a governmental crisis Sunday by passing an election law just before a midnight deadline, after intense wrangling among the sides and, according to several participants, late phone calls from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The law paves the way for national elections to be held most likely by the end of February, according to U.N. officials and Iraqi lawmakers. The vote is considered a test of Iraq's democratic ambitions as American combat troops here are scheduled to start their withdrawal this spring.
WORLD
December 3, 2009 | By Richard Boudreaux
Israeli security forces arrested the mayor of a Jewish settlement Wednesday as he and other residents tried to prevent government inspectors from entering the community to enforce new restrictions on building in the West Bank. The skirmish in Beit Aryeh was the most serious in five days of confrontations across the territory between a government that appears intent on limiting settlement growth over the next 10 months and a settler movement determined to defy the effort. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a partial construction moratorium last week under U.S. pressure, and the Obama administration applauded the decision in hope of coaxing the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to resume peace talks with Israel.
WORLD
November 28, 2009 | By Borzou Daragahi and Greg Miller
Russia and China joined the United States and its European allies on Friday in formally rebuking Iran over its nuclear program at a meeting of the United Nations nuclear technology watchdog. By a 25-to-3 vote, with seven abstentions or absences, the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, adopted a German-drafted resolution condemning Iran's nuclear program. The measure also called on Tehran to halt enrichment of uranium, resolve lingering questions about its past nuclear activities, open its nuclear facilities to further inspection and provide assurances it is not operating secret atomic research and development sites.
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