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North Korea said to agree to nuclear arms test moratorium

MOSCOW

N. Korea eyes nuclear arms test delay

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has agreed to consider a moratorium on nuclear weapons tests and production and said he would return to stalled six-party talks on the nation's nuclear program, Russian presidential press secretary Natalya Timakova told journalists Wednesday. Kim met Wednesday with President Dmitry Medvedev in the southern Siberian city of Ulan Ude, where he is stopping on a weeklong trip in his armored train. The U.S. and South Korea have demanded that North Korea announce such a moratorium before, not after, the six-party talks begin.

WASHINGTON

Cheney sought bombing of Syria

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says in a new memoir that he urged President George W. Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site in June 2007. But, he wrote, Bush opted for a diplomatic approach after other advisers — still stinging over "the bad intelligence we had received about Iraq's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction" — expressed misgivings. Cheney's account appears in his autobiography, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, which is to be published by Simon&Schuster next week.

Phone hacking report 'disturbing'

Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday called a report of possible phone hacking targeting 9/11 victims and their families "very disturbing" and assured them that the department is pursuing a preliminary criminal investigation of the matter. At a news conference outside the Justice Department, the family members said they were pleased about the ongoing inquiry into whether Sept. 11 victims or their families were the focus of phone hacking by journalists at Rupert Murdoch's now-shuttered News of the World.

Elsewhere

France cuts growth target: Announcing a $16 billion austerity package Wednesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government admitted that its growth forecasts were overly rosy. Prime Minister Francois Fillon revised the growth downward to 1.75 percent from the 2 percent growth touted just last week. The government built its 2012 budget, an election year for Sarkozy, on a target of 2.25 percent growth.

Arizona wildfire: The U.S. Attorney's Office on Wednesday charged cousins Caleb Joshua Malboeuf, 26, of Benson and David Wayne Malboeuf, 24, of Tucson, accusing them of causing the largest forest fire in Arizona's history by leaving a campfire unattended. More than 538,000 acres were burned in eastern Arizona and parts of western New Mexico starting May 29.

Houston ends red light cameras: Less than a month after Los Angeles turned off its cameras, the Houston City Council on Wednesday voted to do so.

Penis amputation: A Shelbyville, Ky. jury on Wednesday ruled against truck driver Phillip Seaton, 64, who sued his urologist claiming the doctor amputated part of his penis without his consent. Dr. John Patterson said Seaton, who had sought a circumcision in 2007, had potentially deadly penile cancer.

Cuban exile awarded $2.8B: A Miami-Dade judge awarded a $2.8 billion judgment against Cuba to Gustavo Villoldo, an exiled veteran of the CIA and the Bay of Pigs, the largest award of any U.S. lawsuit against the Castro government.

Times wires

North Korea said to agree to nuclear arms test moratorium 08/24/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:50pm]
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