VIENNA, Austria

Iran opens alleged testing site to U.N.

Iran has agreed to give U.N. inspectors access to a huge military complex that the United States alleges is linked to a secret nuclear weapons program, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said yesterday.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told The Associated Press he expected his experts to visit the Parchin site “within days or weeks.”

The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has been pressing Tehran for months to be allowed to inspect the Parchin military site, used by the Iranians to research, develop and produce ammunition, missiles and high explosives.

In leaks to media last year, U.S. intelligence officials said a specially secured site on the Parchin complex, 20 miles southeast of Tehran, may be used in research on nuclear arms, specifically in making high-explosive components for use in atomic weapons.

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq

Suicide and car bombs kill 25 in Iraq

A suicide attacker blew up an explosives-laden car yesterday outside a police academy south of Baghdad during a graduation ceremony, killing 20 people. A second car bomber killed five Iraqi policemen — bringing the death toll to at least 90 so far this week in surging violence aimed at derailing this month’s elections.

Despite the mounting attacks and death toll, Iraq’s interim leader again insisted the ballot would go ahead as planned.

The bloodshed raised the death toll from insurgent attacks to more than 90 in the last four days. American and Iraqi leaders insist the vote would go forward as scheduled despite the violence aimed against holding the ballot.

“We will not allow the terrorists to stop the political process in Iraq,” Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite leader, said yesterday. “The elections process is the basis for the deepening of the national unity in Iraq.”

 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico

Guantanamo abuse investigation begins

The U.S. military command that runs the prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has opened an investigation into allegations of prisoner abuse outlined in recently released FBI documents, officials said yesterday.

But human rights groups yesterday called for an independent investigation into abuse at Guantanamo where 550 detainees from nearly 40 countries are accused of links to Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime or al-Qaida terror network.

“Although more transparency is always welcome we’re way past the point where internal inquiries can be considered sufficient,” said Alistair Hodgett, a spokesman for London-based Amnesty International.

Documents published last month show that FBI agents sent to Guantanamo warned the government about abuse and mistreatment when the first prisoners arrived in 2002, more than a year before a scandal over mistreatment at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

 

MIAMI

Scammers try to gain from tsunami donations

With private donations pouring into charities, law enforcement officials say scam artists claiming to represent tsunami relief organizations are using e-mails and telephone calls to attempt to steal donations and swipe donors’ identities.

Several states and consumer watchdog agencies have issued warnings in recent days, noting that an outpouring of generosity for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami has opened the door for con artists who want to prey upon U.S. philanthropy.

“We don’t want someone who is charitable and is supportive of the victims over there to become a victim of identity theft,” said Bob Breeden, who heads the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s computer crimes center.

 

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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