Iran ignores threats, sets up centrifuges

Shrugging off the threat of tougher U.N. sanctions, Iran has set up more than 300 centrifuges in two uranium enrichment units at its underground Natanz complex, diplomats and officials said yesterday.

The move potentially opens the way for larger scale enrichment that could be used to create nuclear warheads. Iranian leaders have repeatedly said the Natanz underground hall would house first 3,000 centrifuges and ultimately 54,000 machines.

It also poses a direct challenge to the Security Council, which late last month imposed limited sanctions targeting programs and individuals linked to Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs – and warned of stricter penalties within 60 days unless Iran freezes enrichment.

Giuliani moves closer to run for presidency

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor whose popularity soared after his response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, moved closer yesterday to a full-fledged campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a sign that he’s serious about running for the White House, the two-term mayor filed a so-called “statement of candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission, indicating he would seek the presidency as a Republican should he decide to go forward.

“Today we just took another step toward running for president,” Giuliani told reporters in Long Island while campaigning with a state Senate candidate. “It’s a big step, an important one. Quite honestly, we’re probably ahead of schedule.”

“We still have to think about a formal announcement and how to do it but this is a pretty strong step,” he added.

Anti-immigrant sentiments fuel supremacist action

Huge street protests made millions of immigrants more visible and powerful last year, but they also seem to have revived a hateful counter force: white supremacists.

Groups linked to the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and neo-Nazis grew significantly more active, holding more rallies, distributing leaflets and increasing their presence on the Internet – much of it focused on stirring anti-immigrant sentiment, a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League says.

“Extremist groups are good at seizing on whatever the hot button is of the day and twisting the message to get new members,” Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights director, said Monday. “This one seems to be taking hold with more of mainstream America than we’d like to see.”

Alleging racism, professor goes on hunger strike

A black MIT professor began a hunger strike yesterday to protest the university’s decision to deny him tenure, which he claims was based on race.

James Sherley, a stem cell scientist, said he tried for two years to persuade administrators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to reverse the department head’s rejection of his tenure bid.

“I’m not actually doing this to get tenured,” Sherley said. “I’m doing this for the reason that I wasn’t tenured — which is racism – and I want this institution to admit that that is the problem and make plans to do something about it.”

After a last meal – two bowls of Chex cereal – Sherley stood outside provost L. Rafael Reif’s office in protest, accompanied by about 25 friends and supporters.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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