Iran signals intent to develop nuclear power

TEHRAN, Iran-  Iran said yesterday it would resume uranium
enrichment for peaceful purposes once its problems with the
International Atomic Energy Agency were resolved.

Iran’s defense minister also said its military had built
low-level nuclear centrifuges primarily for civilian use.

“It’s our legitimate right to enrich uranium,”
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said after a Cabinet meeting.
“We suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily and temporarily.
Later, when our relations with the IAEA returns to normal, we will
definitely resume enrichment.”

He warned European partners Iran could end nuclear cooperation
if they fail to support Tehran.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said such a move would
hurt Iran’s efforts to convince the world its nuclear
intentions were peaceful.

“I think suspension is … a good confidence-building
measure, and Iran needs to do everything possible right now to
create the confidence required,” he said in Vienna, Austria,
where the U.N. atomic agency’s board of governors was


House votes to ban obesity-related lawsuits

WASHINGTON- The GOP-controlled House yesterday voted to ban
lawsuits that blame the food industry for people’s expanding
waistlines and health woes, saying such cases could bankrupt
fast-food chains and restaurants. The 276 to 139 vote is intended
to prevent suits that contend food companies and their supersize
offerings are responsible for Americans’ putting on the
pounds and lurching toward obesity.

The debate came a day after the government said overeating could
soon replace smoking as the No. 1 preventable cause of death. Two
out of three adults and 9 million children are overweight or obese,
the report said.

House Republicans have in recent years approved similar bills
barring suits against the gun industry for gun crimes and against
businesses for asbestos-related health problems. Not one measure
has passed the closely divided Senate.

“We as Americans need to realize that suing your way to
better health is not the answer,” House Speaker Dennis
Hastert (R-Ill.) said. “Trial lawyers need to stop
encouraging consumers to blame others for the consequences of their
actions just so they can profit from frivolous lawsuits against

The White House endorsed the bill. The Senate is not expected to
pass it this year.


U.S. civilian officials killed by gunmen

BAGHDAD, Iraq-  Gunmen disguised as police shot to death
two American coalition officials and their Iraqi translator south
of Baghdad after stopping their car at a roadblock, the Polish
military said yesterday.

The Americans were the first U.S. civilians from the occupation
authority to be killed in Iraq.

Farther south, Iraqi police clashed with a Shiite Muslim militia
during a raid on a building in a gun battle that killed four
policemen and wounded two.

L. Paul Bremer, the top administrator in Iraq, has requested
that the FBI investigate the slayings of the Americans late Tuesday
on a road outside the town of Hillah, 35 miles south of Baghdad,
said Dan Senor, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition. It was not
known whether the gunmen were specifically targeting coalition


Israelis, Palestinians set date for summit

JERUSALEM-  The Palestinian and Israeli prime ministers
agreed in principle on a long-delayed summit next week, officials
said yesterday, a sign of diplomatic progress. But corrosive
violence persisted, with Israeli forces killing six Palestinian
militants in the West Bank.

The summit is the latest step in the complex brinkmanship
between the sides, with the Palestinian uprising in its 42nd month
and both sides jockeying for U.S. and international support.

Among Israelis, who have suffered about 1,000 fatalities in the
fighting, there is widespread support for a Palestinian state. But
the Palestinians are far from their goal that such a state
encompass all of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east


U.S. peacekeepers kill Haitian gunmen

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti-  U.S. Marines shot and killed two
gunmen who opened fire on them, a spokesman said yesterday,
bringing to four the number of Haitians to die this week at the
hands of the peacekeepers.

The Marines were patrolling Tuesday evening when they came under
“hostile fire,” Staff Sgt. Timothy Edwards told The
Associated Press.

He said they then shot and killed at least two gunmen. No
peacekeepers were wounded. U.S. Southern Command spokesman Raul
Duany said the gunmen were shooting from a rooftop near the prime
minister’s residence.


— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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