World Briefs | Talks on Iran's nukes halted
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MOSCOW -- Iran and six world powers negotiating over Tehran's disputed nuclear program adjourned Tuesday after a contentious two-day session without scheduling a high-level follow on meeting, leaving the future of the talks in doubt.
After failing to narrow their differences in five marathon meetings, the group scheduled a meeting of lower-level experts next month in Istanbul, Turkey, that will focus on technical details of both sides' proposals. The major powers might propose a resumption of high-level talks later if justified.
In the meantime, the uncertain outlook could sharpen tensions in the oil markets and heighten war worries. Israeli officials have warned that they might bomb Iran to end its nuclear program if the current diplomatic effort faltered.
WASHINGTON -- The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a congressional report.
The study by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of Tuesday's release, provided precise numbers on U.S. forces in Kuwait, a presence that Pentagon officials have only acknowledged on condition of anonymity. Currently, there are about 15,000 U.S. forces in Kuwait, giving the United States staging hubs, training ranges and locations to provide logistical support. The report said the number of troops is likely to drop to 13,500.
LONDON -- Julian Assange, the founder of anti- secrecy group Wikileaks, entered Ecuador's Embassy in Knightsbridge, London today seeking asylum after he exhausted options in British courts of averting extradition to Sweden.
Mr. Assange, accused of rape by two Swedish women, has fought extradition to Sweden for 18 months.
TOKYO -- Typhoon Guchol assaulted parts of Japan on Tuesday with fierce winds and heavy rainfall, forcing thousands to flee their homes and disrupting transportation throughout the country.
Authorities asked more than 10,000 citizens of Ishinomaki, a northeastern coastal city that was hit hard by last year's powerful earthquake and tsunami, to evacuate their homes.
YANGON, Myanmar -- President Thein Sein announced a "second wave of reforms" Tuesday that are aimed at rolling back decades of state control over the country's sheltered and dysfunctional economy.
In his 15 months in power, Mr. Thein Sein has focused on political reconciliation, including peace talks with ethnic minorities and detente with the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi. But few tangible changes have been made to the country's economy, which has stagnated for decades
JERUSALEM -- Vandals set fire to a mosque in a Palestinian village in the West Bank early Tuesday, leaving behind Hebrew graffiti warning against the planned evacuation and removal of homes built illegally in a Jewish settlement, Israeli police said.
The arson appeared to be a challenge by Jewish extremists to the court-ordered removal by July 1 of about 30 families in the settlement of Beit El.
First Published June 20, 2012 12:00 am