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North Korea restarts plutonium reactor: analysts

North Korea appears to have restarted a reactor that produces plutonium, making good on threats to boost its stockpile of nuclear weapons, US analysts said. Satellite imagery taken on August 31 shows white steam coming out of a building next to the five-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon, the US-Korea Institute…

Controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones arrested with kerosene-soaked Korans

A controversial Florida pastor was arrested before he planned to burn almost 3,000 copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, US media reported. Terry Jones, 61, was detained in the town of Mulberry, near Tampa, and faces charges of transporting fuel illegally and openly carrying a…

Putin scolds U.S. on Syria in New York Times column

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that any US military strike on Syria that circumvents the United Nations would undermine the global body and risk unleashing a wave of terror. Such military action would “result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders,” Putin wrote…

New meningitis vaccine has 94 percent effectiveness rate

A new vaccine being rolled out in the “meningitis belt” that stretches across north-central Africa has reduced cases of the potentially fatal disease by 94 percent, doctors reported on Thursday in The Lancet. Researchers monitored the spread of type A meningococcal disease in Chad after the new vaccine, MenAfriVac, had…

Oxfam warns: Austerity threatening to impoverish 25 million more Europeans

Up to 25 million more Europeans are at risk of sinking into poverty by 2025 if governments push on with austerity measures, international aid agency Oxfam warned Wednesday, calling such policies “moral and economic nonsense”. “Europe’s handling of the economic crisis threatens to roll-back decades of social rights,” said Natalia…

Donald Trump eyeing ‘building swap’ for FBI headquarters

Flamboyant New York property developer and reality TV star Donald Trump is casting his eye on what some Washingtonians consider an architectural eyesore in the US capital — FBI headquarters. He told The Washington Post in an interview posted online Wednesday that he might take an opportunity to acquire the…

Jailed American in Iran says he’s being held for a prisoner swap

A US citizen jailed in Iran said in a letter released Wednesday that his captors were keeping him in harsh conditions in hopes of obtaining a prisoner swap. Amir Mirzai Hekmati, a former Marine who holds dual citizenship, said he was kept in “miserable prison conditions” with “prolonged periods of…

Iran’s new U.N. nuclear envoy gets harsh reception

Western envoys gave Iran’s new ambassador to the UN atomic agency a frosty welcome Wednesday, saying Tehran’s new government should waste no time proving to the world it does not want the bomb. Speaking at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, US envoy Joseph Macmanus…

Missouri lawmakers pushing to nullify federal machine gun ban

Republican lawmakers in Missouri vow to overturn a gubernatorial veto and enact a law that will both nullify the federal ban on owning machine guns and make it illegal for federal authorities to try to enforce it. “This bill doesn’t put one new gun on the street,” state House Bill…

Israel’s Supreme Court upholds ban on Polish aid worker

Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a decision to bar entry to the Jewish state to a Polish humanitarian worker for having unspecified links to “terrorist elements.” Although Kamil Qandil had a valid visa when he landed at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on September 2, he was refused…

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