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Middletown Press

@middletownpress - 6m 7s ago

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42

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EU seeks more time in effort to resolve Iran nuclear dispute

BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union's top diplomat said Friday that more time is required to unravel a dispute between countries involved in the Iran nuclear agreement. On Jan. 15, Britain, France and Germany reluctantly triggered the accord's dispute resolution mechanism to force Iran into discussions on possible violations of the deal, starting the clock on a process that could result in the "snapback" of U.N. and EU sanctions on Iran if no solution is found. But EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who is coordinating the effort to resolve the standoff, said the three European powers involved in the 2015 deal limiting Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for economic incentives, agree "that more time is needed due to the complexity of the issues involved." "The timeline is therefore extended," Borrell said in a statement. The dispute mechanism provides for a period of about one month, which can be prolonged if all parties agree, to resolve any disagreement. Borrell's spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for clarification. Borrell also underlined that during his consultations in recent days all parties that continue to adhere to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, "reconfirmed their determination to preserve the agreement which is in the interest of all." The accord, which Iran signed with the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia, has been unraveling since President Donald Trump pulled Washington out in 2018 and reinstated sanctions designed to cripple the Islamic Republic under what the U.S. called a "maximum pressure" campaign. Borrell said the so-called joint commission on the deal will meet again in February, and he noted that beyond the dispute, participants are also trying to...

middletownpress.com
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Avon News

@registercitizen - 6m 7s ago

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26

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Youth served: Gauff wins, Serena loses at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Perhaps Serena Williams, now 38, will win a 24th Grand Slam title someday. And maybe Coco Gauff, still just 15, never will earn her first major championship. Sure felt, though, as if a generational shift was being signaled Friday at the Australian Open, with a pair of monumentally significant third-round results hours apart in the same stadium: a surprising first-week loss by Williams, then a historic victory by Gauff. First, Williams faltered down the stretch for her earliest exit at Melbourne Park in 14 years, a 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 loss to 27th-seeded Wang Qiang of China. It pushed Williams' gap between Slam trophies to three years. "I'm way too old to play like this at this stage of my career," Williams said. "Definitely going to be training tomorrow, that's first and foremost - to make sure I don't do this again." Gauff also was planning a practice session for Saturday, but hers was to prepare for a fourth-round match. That's because the 67th-ranked Gauff took the latest step in her quick progression, becoming the youngest player in the professional era to eliminate the defending women's champion at the Australian Open, beating former No. 1 Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4. Only once the last point had been played did the preternaturally poised Gauff turn into a rather typical teen, joking about wanting to take "a selfie for Instagram" with Rod Laver, the 11-time major champion after whom the tournament's main stadium is named. "Honestly, like, what is my life? Like, oh, my gosh!" Gauff told the crowd. "Two years ago, I lost first round in juniors and now I'm here. This is crazy." It certainly is remarkable. With a booming serve, a top-flight backhand and a winner's mentality, Gauff reversed the result from the first time she was...

registercitizen.com
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Stamford Advocate

@stamfordadvocate - 6m 7s ago

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Houston building explosion shakes city, scatters debris

HOUSTON (AP) - A large explosion at an apparent industrial building in Houston early Friday left rubble scattered in the area, damaged homes and was felt for miles away. One person was taken to a hospital because of the blast, the Houston Fire Department said. A fire continued to burn at the site hours after the explosion and people were told to avoid the area. The explosion, which appeared to be centered on an industrial building, shook other buildings about 4:30 a.m., with reports on Twitter of a boom felt across the city. Houston police tweeted that officers were blocking off streets in the area. Police said people should avoid the area, but no evacuation has been ordered. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said first responders were checking on residents of nearby homes. Several people told Houston TV station KHOU that the explosion was so loud, they thought a bomb had gone off or that a vehicle had crashed into their homes. At one man's home about 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometers) away, glass doors were shattered, ceilings were cracked, and the lid of his toilet was even torn off, the station reported. Southeast Texas has seen a series of explosions in recent years up and down the Texas Gulf Coast, which is home to the highest concentration of oil refineries in the nation. Last July, an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown left more than dozen people with minor injuries and put nearby residents under a shelter-in-place advisory for three hours. In December, two blasts in the coastal city of Port Neches shattered windows and ripped the doors from nearby homes.

stamfordadvocate.com
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New Haven Register

@nhregister - 10m 16s ago

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23

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Taliban say frustrated by additional demands of US

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The Taliban, in a rambling commentary published on their website, expressed frustration with what they describe as additional U.S. demands in peace talks - even after they had offered a "reduction of violence." They have not publicly outlined what that would entail and did not explain the new Washington demands. The insurgents' gesture of reduced violence, though never quantified, was meant to open a window for the signing of a peace agreement that could see the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the end to the 18-year war in Afghanistan, America's longest conflict. Meanwhile, Amnesty International said in a statement Friday that to talk about a "reduction of violence" was an "absurdity." "In a conflict marked by attacks on civilians, the term 'violence reduction' is an absurdity. There can be no acceptable level of violence," said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty. "The United States and the Afghan Taliban must commit to abide by the laws of war and end all attacks on Afghan civilians," he added. Earlier, Taliban officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press the Taliban had offered a cease-fire, lasting seven to 10 days, to Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad durig their latest round of talks last week in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office. However, Khalilzad had previously sought a more comprehensive end to the fighting and it was never known whether Washington would have agreed to a temporary truce. The U.S. State Department has withheld comment. In their late Thursday commentary, the Taliban accused Washington of "wasting time" and said the talks with Khalilzad had become bogged down over a definition of "reduction of violence." The tone was...

nhregister.com