Adding a new twist to the faceoff with Western nations over its nuclear program, Iran's government said it is ready to halt the enrichment of uranium and return to negotiations on the matter. But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "those who want to hold talks with us [must] shut down their nuclear fuel cycle programs too." Wednesday is the UN Security Council's deadline for Iran to stop enrichment or face imposition of additional economic sanctions. Iranian leaders repeatedly have said they won't halt their nuclear program. Against that backdrop, the BBC reported that US contingency plans for an attack against Iran involve its main nuclear facilities as well as most of its military infrastructure.
Sketches of two suspects in the bombing of a Pakistan-bound train were made public by police in India as a manhunt for them began. The attack Sunday killed 68 people on the eve of a new round of negotiations between senior diplomats of the two rivals. Both governments condemned the attack and said it shouldn't deter the three-year-old peace process. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri was due in India Tuesday, where he expected to sign an understanding on nuclear security, informed sources said.
NATO and government troops recaptured a town in western Afghanistan Tuesday that had fallen to Taliban remnants. The latter moved in a day earlier after local police fled in the second such incident in the region this month. Elsewhere, however, an attacker dressed as a doctor triggered an explosive belt at a hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony, killing himself and wounding seven US soldiers.
Sixteen people were killed and 42 others were hospitalized with various injuries in Somalia's capital Tuesday amid some of the worst violence since Islamist militiamen were ousted by a force of government and Ethiopian troops late last year. Among the targets hit by mortar rounds was the presidential palace as guerrilla-style attacks by militia remnants challenge the government's ability to maintain security so the Ethiopians can return home. An African Union peacekeeping force that will replace the Ethiopians has yet to arrive.
NATO troops forced their way into the residence of Radovan Karadzic's daughter early Tuesday in a search for information on the whereabouts of the fugitive Bosnian Serb leader. A similar raid targeted her brother's home in Pale, a suburb of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. An alliance spokesman said the troops pried open the door to Sonja Karadzic's apartment after no one answered their knock. The elder Karadzic, who was indicted for genocide in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, has eluded capture for almost 12 years. His children are believed to part of his support network.
Environmentalists had only faint praise for the announcement by Australia's government that it will impose the world's first ban on incandescent light bulbs over the next three years. A nationwide shift to fluorescent bulbs, which use about 20 percent less energy, would help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons a year by 2012, the Environment Ministry said. The Australian Conservation Foundation called the plan "a very small step" and said new emissions targets also should be set for industry, especially coal-fired power plants.
Democratic elections will return to Fiji, but not until 2010, its self-appointed prime minister said Tuesday. Military chief Frank Bainirama, who toppled the civilian government Dec. 5, said voting must be preceded by a census, by amending the Constitution to elliminate "the politics of race," and by redrawing electoral districts for representatives to the legislature. He announced his timetable one day after a forum of South Pacific leaders said 18 months was "more than enough time" in which to hold an election.
The all-clear was sounded Tuesday for residents of Indonesia's Moluccas islands after a strong undersea earthquake did not trigger an expected tsunami. Almost 140,000 Indonesians died in tsunamis in 2005 and 2006.