Koenig's International News
Washington: 11:09:31 am - November 22, 2014 - Jerusalem: 6:09:31 pm - Heshvan 29, 5775


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Iran nuke talks stalled, despite Kerry efforts


(photo: AP, Ronald Zak)

Contentious nuclear talks between world powers and Tehran hit a new snag Friday after Iran apparently again turned down U.S. demands for concessions, leaving negotiations in limbo just three days before a deadline for a deal.

In hours of high drama reflecting the delicate stage of the talks, both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif first made, then cancelled plans to walk away from the talks — at least temporarily — for additional consultations.

UN calls for flexibility in Iran
talks as Kerry, Zarif meet


Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif, former EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and John Kerry
(photo: AFP/POOL, Ronald Zak)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged world powers and Iran to show flexibility in last-ditch negotiations to reach a deal on addressing concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program.

At the same time, top diplomats from the US, Iran and Europe wrapped up a trilateral meeting as diplomatic efforts for a pact before Monday’s deadline ramped up.

Ban said a deal on Iran’s nuclear capacities would contribute to world peace and security “at a time when global cooperation is needed more than ever.”

Kerry to leave nuke talks as Iran ponders next step

US Secretary of State John Kerry decided Friday to pull back from nuclear talks in Vienna, leaving Iran’s foreign minister to ponder an apparent new proposal from Washington meant to bridge differences standing in the way of a deal with less than four days to deadline.

Iranian officials and media initially said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was also departing Friday, to Tehran to consult after meeting with Kerry earlier in the day. But the official IRNA news agency later quoted an unidentified Iranian nuclear negotiator in Vienna as saying Zarif was staying “and the talks will continue.”

Hamas cell caught planning to assassinate Avigdor Liberman


(photo: Flash90)

Israeli forces foiled a Palestinian plan to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman during the summer war with Gaza, the Shin Bet security service said Thursday night.

A group of Hamas members from near Bethlehem in the West Bank planned to purchase a rocket-propelled grenade, which would be shot at Liberman, who lives in an Israeli settlement in the area, the Shin Bet said. The IDF, police and Shin Bet were involved in stymieing the plan, according to an official statement.

Residents in western New York call snow worst in memory


(photo: Reuters, Aaron Lynett)

Fresh snow fell on Thursday in snowbound western New York, where longtime residents described the blast of winter weather as the worst in memory. At least eight deaths were blamed on the storm.

Some areas of New York state along the Great Lakes had nearly 2 feet (60 cm) of new snow on top of accumulations as high as 5 feet (1.5 metres) from earlier in the week. The National Weather Service said parts of the region could expect 3 feet (9O cm) more snow before skies clear on Friday.

"I've been in a lot of snowstorms, and this is by far the worst. There's been more snow in the shortest period of time I've ever seen," said Chuck Specht, 58, who reported 7 feet (2.1 metres) of snow at his house in Marilla, New York.

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