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U.S. concludes North Korea has more secret nuclear sites

WASHINGTON

N. Korea said to have more nuclear sites

The Obama administration has concluded that North Korea's new plant to enrich nuclear fuel uses technology that is "significantly more advanced" than what Iran has struggled over two decades to assemble, the New York Times said it learned from senior administration and intelligence officials. U.S. and South Korean officials say the new plant could not have been constructed so rapidly unless there was a sophisticated network of other secret sites — and perhaps a fully operating uranium enrichment plant — elsewhere in the country. "It is likely that North Korea had been pursuing an enrichment capability long before the April 2009 date it now claims," Glyn Davies, the U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last week.

LONDON

Sweden appeals bail for Assange

A British judge ordered Julian Assange released on $316,000 bail Tuesday, but the WikiLeaks founder will remain in custody for at least two more days after Swedish prosecutors challenged that decision. Assange, 39, has spent a week in a British jail after his surrender to police over a Swedish sex-crimes warrant. He denies any wrongdoing but has refused to voluntarily surrender to Sweden's request to extradite him for questioning, arguing that he could be questioned from Britain. Britain's High Court will hear the Swedish appeal.

BERLIN

Islamic groups in 3 states are raided

The German Interior Ministry ordered simultaneous raids in three states Tuesday against what it called Salafist networks suspected of seeking the imposition of an Islamic state. The raids, in Bremen, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, were directed at two groups — Invitation to Paradise in the cities of Brunswick and Moenchengladbach, and the Islamic Culture Center of Bremen on the North Sea coast. The raids were conducted under laws previously invoked primarily against right-wing nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.

MOSCOW

Russian highway to bisect forest

Environmentalists appeared to lose a protracted battle Tuesday to prevent construction of a highway through one of the Moscow region's last remaining forests. A government commission approved a plan to bisect the Khimki Forest with a five-mile stretch of a highway that will eventually link Moscow and St. Petersburg, officials said Tuesday. Environmentalists say the highway project would slice through a thinning belt of green space that helps filter the city's air pollution.

Elsewhere

Berlusconi survives vote: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pulled off another astonishing escape from the political dead, scraping through two confidence votes Tuesday in a dramatic parliamentary showdown.

Hamas celebrates: Tens of thousands of flag-waving Hamas supporters turned out in the Gaza Strip Tuesday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the militant group's founding.

Mexican drug war toll: Drug-related violence in the border city of Ciudad Juarez rose to 3,000 Tuesday after two men were shot dead on a street, authorities said.

Bangladesh fire: At least 27 people died and more than 100 were injured after a devastating blaze raced through a garment factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, on Tuesday.

Times wires

U.S. concludes North Korea has more secret nuclear sites 12/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:22pm]
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