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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.
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.
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.
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.
November 27, 2009 | By Alexandra Sandels
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.
At Pita Pita, the waitress starts bringing Lebanese appetizers to the table even before she takes your order. Here come green olives, small yellow peppers, strips of purple pickled turnips and two kinds of pita bread--fresh and toasted--to plunge into a silvery chalice of spicy red sauce. The sauce resembles a North African harissa chile dip mixed with a healthy dollop of sweet barbecue sauce.
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