Nations consider sanctions on Iran
WASHINGTON: Senior diplomats from six world powers discussed yesterday the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program but failed to reach a consensus on how or whether to proceed, U.S. officials said. Talks among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. - along with Germany, came after the Chinese dropped objections to them. The United States had been trying to organize the telephone conference call since the beginning of the month after the Security Council, in late September, passed a resolution reaffirming three previous rounds of sanctions but imposing no new penalties that the U.S. and its European allies had sought. The dual-track strategy is the main element of a campaign to persuade Iran to give up objectionable parts of its nuclear program. It calls for offering Iran incentives to stop enriching uranium but imposing sanctions if Tehran refuses, which it has thus far done. Russia and China have balked at additional sanctions.
Terrorism trial opens in alleged Fort Dix plot
CAMDEN, N.J. : Five men accused of planning an attack on an Army base in New Jersey were inspired by al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, a prosecutor said yesterday during opening statements in their terrorism trial. The government has presented the case as one of the most frightening examples of homegrown terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks. Authorities said that in 2006 and 2007, the men turned paintball games into terrorist training sessions and met to discuss a plot to sneak into Fort Dix. No attack was carried out. "Their motive was to defend Islam. Their inspiration was al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. Their intent was to kill members of the United States armed services," said Deputy U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick. The accused - foreign-born Muslims in their 20s - are charged with conspiring to murder military personnel, attempted murder and weapons offenses. Serdar Tatar, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka were arrested in May 2007. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.
Neb. reaches accord on new infant haven law
LINCOLN, Neb. : Stung by the abandonment of children as old as 17 at Nebraska hospitals, the governor and lawmakers struck a deal yesterday to rewrite the state's safe haven law so it applies only to infants up to 3 days old. A rash of drop-offs in recent months, particularly of teenagers and children from out of state, thrust the state into the national spotlight. The state's safe-haven law allows caregivers to abandon children - interpreted by some to include those as old as 18 - at hospitals without fear of prosecution. The age cap would change Nebraska's safe-haven law from the most lenient in the country to one of the most restrictive. Sixteen other states have a similar 3-day-old age cap. At least 18 children, ages 22 months to 17 years, have been abandoned since the law took effect in July.
Supreme Court to rule on migrant ID 'theft'
WASHINGTON: The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether people picked up on immigration violations can also face charges of identity theft if they use Social Security and other identification numbers that belong to others. Federal appeals courts have split over whether the defendant must know that the phony ID numbers belong to a real person, and the court said it will resolve the question. Prosecutors have increasingly been bringing the more serious identity-theft charges against undocumented immigrants, including many arrested in raids on meatpacking plants.