World briefs: Iran official faults Kerry

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LONDON -- The Iranian foreign minister turned to a Twitter account Monday to challenge U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the failure of talks last weekend in Geneva to produce agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.

Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted after Mr. Kerry told a news conference in the United Arab Emirates that, while the world powers negotiating with Iran had agreed on a unified proposal, Mr. Zarif's team had balked.

His remarks followed reports that France -- one of the nations dealing with Iran -- had broken ranks to seek tougher terms, objecting that the proposed deal would do too little to curb Iran's uranium enrichment or to stop the development of a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium.

U.N. rights council seated

UNITED NATIONS -- China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria won seats Tuesday on the U.N. Human Rights Council, riling independent human rights groups who said their election undermined the rights watchdog's credibility.

The General Assembly elected 14 new members to the 47-seat Geneva-based council.

Britain, France, the Maldives, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia and South Africa were also elected to three-year terms. The United States is among the current members of the council, with a term set to expire in 2015.

Russia, Vietnam sign deals

HANOI, Vietnam -- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed 17 agreements with Vietnam on Tuesday, including five related to energy, during a one-day visit to the country.

The agreements between their respective state-owned companies, Petrovietnam and Rosneft, were on joint gas and oil exploration. Russia has also issued a state loan of $8 billion to build the first nuclear power plant in Vietnam.

Other agreements were made in economics, trade, investment, science and technology, education, health care and defense.

Kennedy new Japan envoy

WASHINGTON -- Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of John F. Kennedy and one of President Barack Obama's most prominent supporters, was sworn in Tuesday as the U.S. ambassador to Japan.

The ceremony was held in Secretary of State John Kerry's outer office on the seventh floor of the State Department. Mr. Kerry and William J. Burns, the deputy secretary of state, attended.

Ms. Kennedy, 55, a lawyer and an author who has served as the director of numerous nonprofit organizations, has never worked in government and has no special expertise in Japan.

S. Africa crash kills 29

JOHANNESBURG -- At least 29 people were killed and about 30 were injured when a truck slammed into a bus late Monday on South Africa's so-called Road of Death.

In response to the collision, South African President Jacob Zuma called for an end to his country's appalling rate of road fatalities, describing the losses of lives as unacceptable.

72 held in embassy attack

WARSAW, Poland -- Polish police Tuesday arrested 72 nationalists linked to riots and attempts to break into the premises of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw, during an Independence Day march the previous day.

Twelve police officers and 19 protesters were injured in the violence, which started during a march by nationalists who threw stones at police.

Other Independence Day celebrations in Warsaw attended by 66,000 people were largely peaceful. The event marks Poland's independence from czarist Russia at the end of World War I.

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