Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sri Lanka Road Trip Finds North And South Still Divided After Civil War

By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

ALONG THE A9 HIGHWAY, Sri Lanka — The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka’s graceful seaside capital in the south, to the northern town of Jaffna has rarely been a straight shot. Most of the 250-mile journey follows the A9 highway, which slices through palm groves and green carpets of farmland that were the main battlegrounds of the country’s three-decade civil war.

During the worst fighting between an army dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic majority and rebels from the mainly Tamil north, long stretches of A9 were closed to civilian traffic. As the main supply line for Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for an independent homeland, it held immense strategic value.…

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Iran Shifts On Key Issue In Nuclear Talks As Deadline Looms

By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Iran is backing off an earlier apparent agreement to allow enriched uranium to be shipped out of the country to Russia as a way to assure the material can’t be used as nuclear bomb fuel.

Speaking on the sidelines of ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iranian reporters that the country has “no plans to ship the uranium stockpile abroad at all,” Iran’s Mehr news agency reported.

He insisted that Iran had never had plans to do so, but that there were other ways to assure that the material is not diverted for weapons use, even if it remains in Iran.…

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Germanwings Co-Pilot’s Medical Records Given To Prosecutors

By Jessica Camille Aguirre, dpa (TNS)

BERLIN/PARIS — The German hospital that was treating the Germanwings co-pilot for an undisclosed illness handed his medical records over Monday to prosecutors in the city of Dusseldorf, a clinic spokeswoman said.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, who is believed to have locked himself into the plane’s cockpit and intentionally slammed the aircraft into a mountainside in southern France, killing himself and 149 others on board last week, is the focus of the investigation.

The teaching hospital at Dusseldorf University refused to say Friday what his illness was, except that it was not depression. Lubitz was at the hospital on three occasions starting February, the last on March 10, for a diagnostic examination.…

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