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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Iran Says It Will Never Develop Nuclear Weapons

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News in an interview broadcast late on Wednesday that Iran would “under no circumstances seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever”. He also said his government had full power and complete authority to negotiate questions related with its nuclear programme, suggesting that the more diplomatic and less confrontational approach had the full backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Rouhani said he and US President Barack Obama had exchanged letters in which issues were raised. “From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive. It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future. I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in the future”, said the Iranian president.

Greek PM Condemns ‘Neo-Nazi’ Killing

Conservative Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras took to the country’s airwaves to condemn the killing of an anti-fascist activist by a supporter of the far-right Golden Dawn party, saying that his government was determined “not to let the descendants of the Nazis poison our social life or commit crimes”. Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos said that the party should now be treated as a “criminal organisation”. Thousands of mourners attended the burial of Pavlos Fyssas, the slain 34-year-old rapper and activist, chanting “pigs, fascists murderers!”. Meanwhile, a number of protests against the Golden Dawn were planned for Thursday across the country, with police wary of further violence after groups of anarchists set trash cans on fire and hurled projectiles at officers on Wednesday night in the Keratsini district of Piraeus, where the musician was stabbed.

Mexico Storm Death Toll Hits 80, Flooding and Looting in Cities

The Mexican resort city of Acapulco suffered a night of looting on Wednesday as authorities struggled to come to the aid of thousands of people cut off by flooding in the aftermath of storms that let to the worst damage experience by Mexico in years. The upscale neighbourhood of Diamante was the hardest hit by looters. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t looting from need of food. It was stealing for stealing’s sake. They even stole Halloween and Christmas decorations and an outboard motor”, said Mariberta Medina, head of the local hoteliers’ association. Assessing the destruction caused by rain and winds, Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said that “it doesn’t look good, based on the photos we have in our possession”. Ricardo de la Cruz, a spokesman for the Department of Civil Protection, said that the death toll had risen to 80, although he could not provide more specific details. The states of Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas and Veracruz were the hardest hit, with crocodiles swimming in the flooded streets fo Tampico, one of the main ports of Veracruz. “They don’t bother people”, said a spokesman for the state governor.

Uefa Backs Moving 2022 World Cup to Winter

The 54 member associations of Uefa, the governing body of football in Europe, have backed the idea of moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter season and have asked Fifa, the world football governing body, to consult other stakeholders before a decision is made on when the tournament is to be staged. “What has come out of this meeting, and what I think is sensible, is an agreement by the Uefa countries that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer. Everyone was certainly in agreement about that”, said Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce. “There are still nine years to go and people feel Fifa should sit down with all the major stakeholders and come up with a solution that would cause the minimum disruption to football. There is plenty of time to do that in my opinion, and hopefully football will be the winner”, he added. The World Cup could be moved from its tradition mid-year slot over concerns about Qatar’s summer temperatures, when temperatures can reach up to 50 °C. Qatari officials, however, have already pledged to offer “solutions that keep fans and players cool and comfortable”.

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