World

The decision by Iran's government to resume the enrichment of uranium is "very serious" and "could be the beginning of a major international crisis," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned. He joined British leaders and German Chancelor Gerhard Schröder in insisting that Iran return to negotiations over its nuclear ambitions or be referred to the UN Security Council for possible economic sanctions. Late Monday, Iran said it would delay for two days the reopening of its processing plant but made clear that "resumption is irreversible." Officials of the Tehran government also indicated they'd reject an offer of incentives by the Europeans to halt all nuclear activity even though the offer has yet to be received.

The six-sided negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program were deadlocked and "close to the end of this round," US representative Christopher Hill said, despite the North's willingness to continue talking. On the other hand, in his first public comments on the matter, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan indicated his government would agree to give up its weapons only "when the US nuclear threat against us is removed and trust is established." Nine days of talks have failed even to produce a statement outlining basic principles to be discussed in a future round.

No one was hurt and no explosives were found aboard a public bus in London that caught fire Tuesday, causing a new security alert in a city already on edge because of two sets of terrorist attacks last month. The incident occurred as two subway lines reopened after being shut down following the July 7 bombings. Meanwhile, another reprisal attack against youths of South Asian appearance was reported Tuesday in Edinburgh, Scotland, by a group of men who "made reference to the events in London," police said.

Rioting caused by the death of former Sudanese rebel leader John Garang was in its second day in Khartoum, the nation's capital, despite a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Authorities said at least 36 people were killed in the violence Monday; about 300 others were hurt. Garang, who'd become vice president last month under terms of a peace accord between his forces and the government, was aboard a helicopter that crashed over the weekend. His People's Liberation Movement joined the government in ruling out foul play as a cause of the crash. Gen. Salva Kir Mayardit was appointed as his successor.

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