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Washington denies secret plan for direct talks with Iran

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Obama administration responds to report that both sides have agreed in principle to one-on-one discussions after election

The Obama administration has moved quickly to water down a report that the US and Iran have agreed in principle to meet one-on-one for negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme.

The New York Times said secret talks between officials that began early in Barack Obama’s term as president had delivered the provisional agreement. Iran had insisted the talks wait until after the November presidential election, the New York Times said, attributing the information to a senior official in the Obama administration.

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However the National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in response that the United States would continue to work with fellow permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” the statement said.

“We continue to work with the P5+1 [five permanent members of the UN security council plus Germany] on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.”

Vietor said on Saturday that Obama had made clear that he would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Vietor said Iran must meet its obligations or it would “continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure”.

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Obama and the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, will meet on Monday night in a debate focusing on foreign policy. Iran’s nuclear ambitions will likely be a topic.

Obama has said he will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He hopes sanctions alongside negotiations can get Iran to halt uranium enrichment, but the strategy has not worked yet.

Obama has held out the threat of military action as a last resort but Romney has accused Obama of being weak on Iran, saying the US needs to step up the military threat.

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© Guardian News and Media 2012


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Connecticut town’s KKK history recalled ahead of controversial upcoming GOP event

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The town of Shelton, Connecticut was brutally whacked for its history of racism ahead of a Connecticut Republican Party event.

"Fun fact. In the 1980s, the Imperial Wizard (the national leader) of the Ku Klux Klan lived in Connecticut," columnist Colin McEnroe noted in The Middletown Press.

The host of WNPR's "The Colin McEnroe Show" explained how James Farrands ran the KKK out of his garage in Shelton.

"This may be an unfair memory to bring up, right when Shelton is having another bad run. In recent weeks, the school system there had to deal with a Snapchat pic of a student in blackface lifting both middle fingers and using a common distasteful racial epithet," McEnroe explained.

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Vladimir Putin helped convince Trump to sour on Ukraine: report

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Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin successfully convinced President Donald Trump to turn on Ukraine according to a bombshell new report published by The Washington Post on Monday.

"President Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine for information he could use against political rivals came as he was being urged to adopt a hostile view of that country by its regional adversaries, including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin," the newspaper reported, citing "current and former U.S. officials."

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Trump is ‘phony president’ who must immediately be removed from office: Ethics watchdog Richard Painter

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The former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration argued President Donald Trump must be immediately removed from office during a Monday appearance on MSNBC "The Beat."

Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin played a clip of Trump saying the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution is "phony."

"What other parts of the Constitution are phony?" Painter wondered. "The First Amendment? Freedom of the press? The impeachment clause of the Constitution? He is going to find out than one soon. The 25th Amendment, is that phony? The 25th Amendment that empowers the cabinet and Congress to remove a president who is psychologically unstable, unfit for office? He wants to say the Constitution is phony."

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