"Today, no logical person goes after nuclear weapons," Iran's supreme leader said in a nationally televised speech Tuesday. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic republic "is after peacefully using nuclear energy ... and will reach it." His remarks appeared to be a response to last week's suggestion by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran may be withholding information on secret attempts to build nuclear warheads. Khamenei also suggested that President Bush was mentally ill for saying that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons would be "an unforgivable betrayal of future generations."
Under pressure from protesters, South Korea's government said Tuesday it has asked the US not to ship any beef from cattle that were at least 30 months old when slaughtered. A presidential spokesman said no imported US beef will be cleared for market until South Korea receives a reply to its request.
Relief efforts in cyclone-ravaged Burma (Myanmar) still are proceeding too slowly, the UN complained Tuesday, appealing to the ruling junta to stop closing internal refugee camps.Witnesses said a tent camp was shut down as recently as Monday, apparently because the government doesn't want such facilities to become permanent. But aid agencies contend that evicted people tend to return to areas where conditions remain bad following the powerful storm. Only one World Food Program helicopter has arrived in Burma since May 22, and it did not make its first flight into the devastated Irrawaddy Delta until Monday.
A ruling by Turkey's highest court could come as soon as Thursday on whether a law allowing Muslim women to wear head scarves on university campuses will be overturned, informed sources said. Justices of the Constitutional Court have been asked by opposition parties to abolish the controversial law, which many secular Turks see as a strong symbol of political Islam.
The prospect of a new election for parliament in Northern Ireland loomed amid doubts that the leading Catholic political party, Sinn Fein, will renominate its deputy first minister in the power-sharing government. Such a move reportedly is being considered out of frustration that the largest Protestant party is blocking progress on such key issues as policing and justice. If Sinn Fein doesn't renominate Martin McGuinness by Thursday, Britain's secretary for Northern Ireland will have one week to respond and could order voters back to the polls.
One of Australia's most senior police officials was arrested at his own desk and charged with conspiracy to produce narcotics worth $114 million. Mark Standen, assistant director of the crime commission in New South Wales State, allegedly assisted an international drug-trafficking syndicate that has been the target of a two-year investigation by keeping it informed of law-enforcement methods. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Angry farmers in Argentina announced a new extension of their strike against grain exports but said they'll allow beef to reach market. The extension, until at least next Monday, came after the government canceled a meeting with farm leaders over its controversial tax increase on soybean exports. Above, some strikers wait for a protest to begin.
A "green barrier" consisting of three new nature reserves will be developed to thwart deforestation of the Amazon, Brazil's Environment Ministry announced. But it warned that keeping deforestation from exceeding last year's scope will be difficult because the dry season, when the felling of trees increases, has just begun. The ministry also said it will sell timber, cattle, and agricultural products seized from deforested areas and use the proceeds to help finance antihunger programs.