World briefs: U.K. to reopen Iran embassy

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LONDON — Under­scor­ing its warm­ing re­la­tions with Iran, Brit­ain an­nounced Tues­day that “the cir­cum­stances are right” to re­open the Brit­ish Em­bassy in Te­hran and that it would es­tab­lish a small pres­ence there as soon as is prac­ti­cal.

Full dip­lo­matic ties were sus­pended in 2011 af­ter at­tacks on Brit­ain’s dip­lo­matic com­pound in Te­hran, but re­la­tions have been im­prov­ing ever since a change in po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in Iran last year and prog­ress in in­ter­na­tional talks on Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram.

The pace of the thaw ap­pears to have been in­ten­si­fied sig­nifi­cantly by a shared in­ter­est in con­tain­ing Sunni mil­i­tants af­ter their re­cent mil­i­tary suc­cesses in Iraq.

Roma teen­ager in coma

PARIS — A teen­age Roma boy lay in a coma in a hos­pi­tal in the French cap­i­tal Tues­day af­ter be­ing ab­ducted from a shan­ty­town and vi­o­lently beaten last week, ap­par­ently in re­tal­i­a­tion for what his as­sail­ants thought were thefts he com­mit­ted in a nearby hous­ing proj­ect, the French au­thor­i­ties said.

Pol­i­ti­cians and rights groups con­demned the at­tack, which po­lice and ju­di­cial of­fi­cials said in­volved as many as a dozen peo­ple. No ra­cial mo­tives were im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent, and in­ves­ti­ga­tors have made no ar­rests.

La­bor tar­gets Hol­lande

PARIS — Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande is fac­ing one of the larg­est so­cial chal­lenges dur­ing his more than two years in of­fice as pro­tests from rail work­ers and ac­tors’ unions test his ef­forts to fix the French econ­omy.

French rail traf­fic was dis­rupted for a sev­enth day Tues­day as some unions at train op­er­a­tor SNCF pro­tested a merger with the rail net­work com­pany. Ac­tors and their sup­port teams — known as “les in­ter­mit­tents,” who demon­strated this week in Paris— are threat­en­ing to shut down the­ater fes­ti­vals to block an in­crease in their wel­fare con­tri­bu­tions and a de­lay in pay­ments.

Clashes roil Paki­stan

LAHORE, Paki­stan — At least seven peo­ple were killed and about 100 in­jured in Lahore in vi­o­lent clashes be­tween the po­lice and fol­low­ers of Mu­ham­mad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a fi­ery preacher turned po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ist who has called for a mass move­ment against the gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif.

The clashes came at a crit­i­cal time for Mr. Sharif, who is mar­shal­ing pub­lic sup­port as the army em­barks on a per­il­ous of­fen­sive against the Tal­i­ban in the tribal dis­trict of North Waziris­tan.

Rus­sia slams Ukraine

Mos­cow — Rus­sia con­demned Ukraine over the death of a state-tele­vi­sion re­porter killed by mor­tar fire in the vi­o­lence-torn east of the coun­try, add­ing to ten­sion be­tween the two neigh­bors.

Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medve­dev said there are peo­ple who are “guilty” for the death of Igor Kor­ne­lyuk, a cor­re­spon­dent for Rus­sian State Tele­vi­sion and Ra­dio Broad­cast­ing Com­pany, near Lu­hansk to­day, and the fate of his miss­ing col­league. Sound pro­ducer An­ton Voloshin was found dead later Tues­day.

Also in the world...

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­ja­min Netan­yahu on Tues­day urged the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to de­mand the Western-backed Pal­es­tin­ian pres­i­dent break off ties with the mil­i­tant Ha­mas group over the ab­duc­tion of three Is­raeli teens, the lat­est sign that Is­rael’s mas­sive five-day-old search in the West Bank has broader ob­jec­tives than find­ing the miss­ing... China’s mil­i­tary has re­laxed its height, eye­sight and weight re­quire­ments for sol­diers in an ef­fort to at­tract more ed­u­cated per­son­nel, the state-owned China Daily news­pa­per said Tues­day.


— Com­piled from news ser­vices


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