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Around The World Vienna Iran talks extended

Vienna
Iran talks extended: Iran, the U.S., and five other countries failed to meet their deadline this week to resolve the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program and agreed to extend their talks through November. The countries said in a statement that they had made “tangible progress” so far, but both sides seem further apart than ever. The U.S. side wants Iran to be limited to up to 1,200 centrifuges, which would enrich uranium for a nuclear power plant. However, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insists the enrichment program requires more than 100,000 centrifuges. Sanctions against oil sales and other major sources of income remain in effect during the extension.

London
Polonium hit: Eight years after the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, the British government has ordered an investigation that will examine a possible Russian government role in his murder. Litvinenko defected to the U.K. in 2000 after accusing the Kremlin of orchestrating the bombing of four Russian apartment blocks to provide a pretext for the second Chechen war and rally the country around Vladimir Putin. At the time, Putin was an intelligence chief who had just been appointed prime minister and was all but unknown to the Russian public. Litvinenko was hospitalized with radioactive polonium poisoning in 2006 and died soon after. The main suspect in the killing is another Russian agent, Andrei Lugovoi. Litvinenko’s widow recently sued the British government to force it to reopen the case.


Budapest
Rewriting history: A statue that depicts a falsified version of Hungarian history was erected last weekend and promptly pelted with eggs. The statue, a project of the right-wing nationalist government, shows Hungary as the archangel Gabriel being set upon by an imperial eagle representing Germany. In reality, Hungary’s wartime government was a fully complicit ally of the Nazis and willingly rounded up 437,000 Jews for deportation to death camps. Authorities put up the statue in the middle of the night and surrounded it with protective bars to thwart protesters who have picketed the site for months.

Zamora, Mexico
Shelter scandal: Mexicans are shocked at allegations that a well-respected children’s home has been a den of abuse. For nearly 60 years, the Great Family home run by Rosa del Carmen Verduzco had sheltered troubled and poor children whose parents couldn’t take care of them. But after a TV news investigation found that parents were denied access to their children and many of the kids said they had been starved, beaten, or raped, police raided the site this week and arrested “Mama Rosa,” 79, and eight other caretakers. Investigators said Mama Rosa had apparently lost control of the home over the years, and the place turned into a lawless commune. Children had grown up there and had children of their own in squalor.

San Salvador, El Salvador
Scary cartoon: The government of El Salvador has created a frightening animated commercial aimed at dissuading children from trying to immigrate to the U.S. The ad, which ran on Salvadoran TV this week, features children narrating their harrowing tales of being betrayed by the “coyotes,” the people smugglers who promise to deliver them across the border. “It’s all lies,” one child says. “We spent days without eating.” Another child tells of being sold into forced labor. The clip will also air in U.S. states with large Salvadoran populations.

Panama City
Noriega sues: Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is suing videogame-maker Activision Blizzard for using his likeness without permission in the best-selling Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Part of the game is set during the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, and the Noriega character—repeatedly referred to by name and as “Pineapple Face,” the nickname given him by Panamanians because of his acne scars—helps American forces hunt for the game’s villain before double-crossing them. The ex-military strongman isn’t alleging libel; he just wants a cut of the profit. Noriega was convicted in a U.S. court of drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder, and is serving out his prison sentence in Panama.

Mosul, Iraq
Christians flee: The last few thousand Christian families in one of the world’s oldest Christian communities fled their homes in northern Iraq this week after Islamic militants threatened to kill them. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has taken over Mosul and the surrounding territory, announced that Christians must either convert to Islam or pay an exorbitant sum, or they would be beheaded. Most fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, where regional authorities told their people to help the Christians and asked the international community for aid. Kurdistan is already sheltering some 500,000 displaced Iraqis and 200,000 refugees from Syria. Meanwhile, in Mosul, the militants have destroyed ancient churches and desecrated the tomb of the prophet Jonah.

Seoul
Ferry owner dead: South Korea’s most wanted man, the fugitive businessman who owned the Sewol ferry that sank in April and killed more than 300 people, has been found dead. The body of Yoo Byung-un, 73, was discovered last month, surrounded by liquor bottles and decomposing in an apricot orchard near his vacation home. DNA tests confirmed that the corpse was Yoo’s, although the cause of death hasn’t yet been determined. Yoo, a billionaire tycoon who also ran a cult, faced charges of tax evasion and negligence and was believed to have embezzled money intended for ferry maintenance.

Shanghai
Rotten meat: A U.S.-owned meat supplier in China has been selling expired beef and chicken to American fast-food chains there, including McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks. An investigation on Chinese TV showed that workers from Shanghai Husi Food Co., owned by the Aurora, Ill.–based OSI Group, had repackaged old meat and given it a new expiration date. Five Husi employees have been arrested. OSI said in a statement it was “appalled” by the report and would fully cooperate with the police investigation. The discovery of spoiled meat in foreign chains is particularly upsetting for Chinese consumers, who trusted those outlets more after a series of scandals in which people were killed or sickened by tainted Chinese-made infant formula, drugs, and pork products.

Jakarta
Man of the people: Two weeks after a closely contested election, Indonesia has declared Joko Widodo its new president, with 53 percent of the vote. The president-elect, who goes by the name Jokowi, was born in the slums and started out selling furniture, and his story has inspired millions of people in the world’s most populous Muslim country. As governor of Jakarta, he was known for an informal style; he would drop in unannounced to inspect government offices or visit urban neighborhoods. His rival, Prabowo Subianto, a general and son-in-law of former dictator Suharto, alleged fraud and pledged to challenge the vote count in court; experts say he has little chance of winning that case.


Kenema, Sierra Leone
Ebola spreads: The worst outbreak of Ebola in history is still spreading in Sierra Leone, as the doctor leading the fight came down with the disease. Sheik Umar Khan, a 39-yearold virologist, was found this week to have the deadly virus, which causes bleeding from the skin and eyes. “Health workers are prone to the disease, because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened,” he said. “Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.” The outbreak began in Guinea in February and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone; it has killed more than 600 people in those countries.

Kruger National Park, South Africa
Rhino killer jailed: In a rare victory against rhinoceros poaching, a South African hunter was sentenced this week to 77 years in jail. Mandla Chauke was convicted of rhino horn theft, illegal hunting, and trespassing in Kruger National Park. He was also held accountable for the death of an accomplice killed in a shootout with police. Rhino horns, used in Asia and the Middle East in aphrodisiacs and folk medicines, fetch around $33,000 a pound on the black market—more than gold. Last year, poachers killed a record 1,004 rhinos in South Africa, home to 70 percent of the world’s rhino population.


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