World

A "basic" agreement under which Russia and Iran would jointly enrich uranium has been reached, officials of both countries said Sunday. But details were not announced, and the officials identified key obstacles that remain to be overcome. While the joint project would be conducted on Russian soil, there was no indication that Iran would give up its own enrichment program, which could lead to the development of nuclear weapons. One Russian official who asked not to be identified said the deal could go forward only if Iran suspended enrichment, which it repeatedly has refused to do.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a spectacular, but failed, attempt to bomb the world's largest oil-processing facility and vowed there would be more. At least two guards and two car-bomb drivers died Friday when the latter tried to smash through the outermost wall of the Abqaiq complex in Saudi Arabia, which prepares almost two-thirds of the kingdom's crude for export. The attack was the first targeting the vital Saudi oil infrastructure, but a posting on an Al Qaeda website warned, "There are more like them who are racing toward martyrdom."

Efforts by Afghanistan's government to negotiate with inmates who seized control of the high- security Policharki prison in the capital, Kabul, appeared to be failing Sunday. Repeated bursts of gunfire could be heard from inside as well as chants of "God is Great," and there were unconfirmed reports of casualties. The rioters were led by Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, some of whom had taken control of the women's wing, the reports said. Hundreds of government soldiers, NATO peacekeeping troops, and police surrounded the facility. The prison repeatedly has made headlines because of such incidents, most recently last month when seven Taliban escaped after disguising themselves as visitors.

Police defended their handling of a violent protest in which dozens of people were hurt Saturday in Dublin, Ireland, saying "reasonable" efforts had been made to secure the building materials that rioters used as weapons, The Irish Times reported. Forty-two arrests were made in running battles in which supporters of the Irish Republican Army set fire to cars; smashed storefronts; and threw bricks, concrete blocks, and other objects to disrupt an approved march by Protestants from Northern Ireland for proclaiming their views on unity with Britain. Police said they had no advance intelligence suggesting there would be trouble, The Irish Times reported.

Calm returned to the capital of Uganda Sunday after supporters and opponents of President Yoweri Museveni held counterdemonstrations in the wake of last week's national election. There were no reports of serious injuries, but police tear-gassed crowds blocking access to the headquarters of Museveni's chief rival. Official results showed the incumbent with 59.3 percent of the vote, the first multiparty contest there in 25 years, giving him a new five-year term. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye was credited with 37.4 percent, but his party claimed the vote totals did not match those obtained independently from more than 19,000 polling stations. A spokeswoman said the latter totals indicated the outcome was far closer.

The air inside a coal mine in northern Mexico where 65 men remain trapped after an explosion last week has tested so toxic that none of them could have survived, owners of the facility announced. No remains have been recovered, and rescue efforts were conducted largely without heavy equipment that could have touched off further explosions. Grupo Mexico, the owner, announced it would pay the salaries of the trapped miners to their families until each receives a social security death benefit. Mexico's Labor Ministry also said it would work with the company and with the state government to provide each of the families with a new house.

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