DAMASCUS, Syria

Hezbollah militant killed in bombing

Imad Mughniyeh, the suspected mastermind of dramatic attacks on the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Marine barracks that killed hundreds of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, has died in a car bombing in Syria.

The Islamic militant group Hezbollah and its Iranian backers yesterday blamed Israel for the killing of Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s security chief in the 1980s who was one of the world’s most wanted and elusive terrorists. Israel denied involvement.

Mughniyeh, 45, had been in hiding for years. He was one of the fugitives indicted in the United States for planning and participating in the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner in which a U.S. Navy diver was killed.

VIENNA, Austria

Iranian devices could be used for nuclear warheads

Iran’s new generation of advanced centrifuges have begun processing small quantities of the gas that can be used to make the fissile core of nuclear warheads, diplomats told The Associated Press yesterday.

The diplomats emphasized that the centrifuges were working with minute amounts of uranium gas. One diplomat said Tehran has set up only 10 of the machines – far too few to make enriched uranium in the quantities needed for an industrial-scale energy or weapons program.

Still, the information revealed details of the state of Iran’s experiments with its domestically developed IR-2 centrifuges, which can churn out enriched uranium at more than double the rate of the machines that now form the backbone of the Iranian nuclear project.

JAINSVILLE, Wis.

Obama offers $210 billion plan to create new jobs

Democrat Barack Obama said yesterday that as president he would spend $210 billion to create jobs in construction and environmental industries, as he tried to win over economically struggling voters.

Obama’s investment would be over 10 years as part of two programs. The larger is $150 billion to create 5 million so-called “green collar” jobs to develop more environmentally friendly energy sources.

Sixty-billion dollars would go to a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges, airports and other public projects.

NEW YORK

Unexpected boost in sales calms
consumer worries

Wall Street moved sharply higher yesterday after the Commerce Department reported an unexpected increase in retail sales last month and eased some concerns about consumers’ willingness to spend despite economic uncertainty. The Dow Jones industrials rose nearly 180 points.

The 0.3 percent rise in January retail sales, which followed a drop during December, alleviated some of the market’s worries that consumers were retrenching because of rising fuel prices, a faltering real estate sector and a choppy stock market.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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