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US, EU package for Iran
Washington, June 7
The US and Europe have presented a “carrots and sticks” package to Iran offering it the possibility of enriching uranium in its own territory if Tehran adheres to certain stringent norms.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana (Ieft) listens to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki during their press conference in Tehran
EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana (Ieft) listens to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki during their press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. Iran gave a cautious reception to an international proposal aimed at resolving the crisis over its disputed nuclear drive, saying the offer contains “positive steps” but also ‘ambiguities”. The package, presented by Solana, offers a variety of incentives and fresh multilateral talks if the Islamic republic agrees to suspend uranium enrichment work, which can make both reactor fuel and weapons. — AFP



 

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‘Illegal immigrants’ from India, Pak detained
Madrid, June 7
More than 200 Indians and Pakistanis were detained in southern Spain today after their boat was found drifting off the coast, the authorities said.

Annan for forum on migration
United Nations, June 7
With international migration taking deep roots in the era of globalisation, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has suggested the establishment of a standing forum under the auspices of the world body where governments could discuss their experiences, compare approaches and draw up policies which are of mutual benefit.

2,000 workers strike work in Qatar
Dubai, June 7
Over 2,000 workers, including many Indians, struck work and protested at their labour camp in Qatar demanding an increase in salary.

Hands reveal age
Washington, June 7
If you think that going under the knife is enough to make you look young and pretty just take a look at your hands and the mirage of eternal youth will fade away.

Zadie Smith wins Orange Prize
London, June 7
British writer Zadie Smith has won the £-30,000 Orange Prize for fiction for her third novel “On Beauty”.


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US, EU package for Iran

Washington, June 7
The US and Europe have presented a “carrots and sticks” package to Iran offering it the possibility of enriching uranium in its own territory if Tehran adheres to certain stringent norms.

The proposal made to Iran yesterday by US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia was to encourage Tehran to stop developing its nuclear programme and offers a “fresh start” based on “mutual respect.”

The four-page document said Iran could be allowed to resume uranium enrichment in the future if it can convince the United Nations Security Council that it is for peaceful purposes only, ABC reported.

Designed to reward Iran, the document said that if Tehran addresses concerns over its nuclear programme, there is a possibility of international support for “regional security cooperation” involving states in the Gulf region and other “interested countries,” it said.

World powers would be ready to support discussion among Iran and countries in the region “with the aim of establishing regional security arrangements and a cooperative relationship on important regional security issues, including guarantees for territorial integrity and political sovereignty,” the document states.

After initially downplaying any interest in the proposal, Iran now says it needs more time to consider the proposal, a step President George W Bush says, “sounds like a positive step to me.”

Iran’s change in tone comes after the United States and its allies offered Iran the most generous proposal yet to resolve the nuclear standoff of the past two years.

Among the incentives, or “carrots” for Iran if it ceases its nuclear programme are - Tehran would get help building new nuclear power plants, specifically light water reactors that cannot be used to make weapons-grade nuclear fuel, ABC said.

Iran would get a new facility to hold a five-year supply of nuclear fuel.

The deal would also open the door to “guarantees for [Iran’s] territorial integrity”-words meant to assure Iran there would be no invasion by the United States or Israel.

A package of economic incentives so Iran can purchase a new fleet of American and European aircraft, something that it is now forbidden to do. Its aging airline fleet has become a safety threat, it said.

The incentives would all be contingent on Iran agreeing to stop enriching uranium-making fuel that can be used for bombs or nuclear power. Iran’s refusal to do just that has raised tensions with Iran over the past two years.

If Iran rejects the deal, the draft proposal threatens a long list of sanctions-”the stick” approach which includes freezing Iranian assets abroad, a travel ban on high-ranking officials, an arms embargo, reducing diplomatic relations with all the countries that made the proposal.

Very significant, since Russia and China-two hesitant partners in the sticks approach, both of which have extensive trade with Iran-have agreed to this proposal.

A source close to the Iranian government told ABC News today that Iran may agree to temporarily stop enriching uranium but is unlikely to agree to fully shut down the programme. It’s unclear if that is enough for a deal on negotiations

Meanwhile, American and European officials told the ‘Washington Post’ that the confidential diplomatic package leaves open the possibility that Tehran will be able to enrich uranium on its own soil.

But the Bush administration and its European allies have withdrawn their demand that Iran abandon any hope of enriching uranium for nuclear power, according to several European and U.S. officials with knowledge of the offer.

The new position, which has not been acknowledged publicly by the White House, differs significantly from the Bush administration’s stated determination to prevent Iran from mastering technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

“We are basically now saying that over the long haul, if they restore confidence, that this Iranian regime can have enrichment at home,” said one U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“But they have to answer every concern given all that points to a secret weapons programme.” The list of incentives that European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana detailed to Iranian officials yesterday was endorsed by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

It contains not only the revamped American promises on enrichment but a U.S. offer to join negotiations directly if Iran suspends its program, as well as pledges of European assistance in building additional light-water nuclear power plants and support for Iranian membership in the World Trade Organisation.

“We had constructive talks,” Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, told reporters after the two-hour meeting in the palatial offices of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

Meanwhile, the US State Department said the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana had briefed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on his mission to Iran to lay out the incentives package.

Teheran, according to Solana, has said it would need time to consider the proposal.

The top EU official had called the discussions “very useful and constructive”.

“We want to give this every opportunity to succeed. The diplomacy, I would say, is at a 
sensitive stage,” remarked State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. — PTI

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‘Illegal immigrants’ from India, Pak detained

Madrid, June 7
More than 200 Indians and Pakistanis were detained in southern Spain today after their boat was found drifting off the coast, the authorities said.

The 30-metre-long boat was towed into the port of Cadiz yesterday, after a fishing vessel came across it about nine nautical miles from the town of Chipiona.

A regional government spokesman said Greek and Italian flags were found in the boat, which indicated that one of those countries was their destination.

The official said it contained 216 passengers, all men, from India and Pakistan, mainly from Kashmir, plus seven crew members from Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal.

The vessel had sailed from the Gulf of Guinea region of west Africa and was apparently preparing to pass eastward through the Straits of Gibraltar. — AFP

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Annan for forum on migration
Dharam Shourie

United Nations, June 7
With international migration taking deep roots in the era of globalisation, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has suggested the establishment of a standing forum under the auspices of the world body where governments could discuss their experiences, compare approaches and draw up policies which are of mutual benefit.

Such a government-led consultative forum on migration and development would not produce negotiated outcomes or recommendations, the Secretary-General explained.

Rather, it would make new policy ideas more widely known, add value to existing regional consultations, and encourage an integrated approach to migration. — PTI

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2,000 workers strike work in Qatar

Dubai, June 7
Over 2,000 workers, including many Indians, struck work and protested at their labour camp in Qatar demanding an increase in salary.

Saif Al Khayarin, a labour inspector, said 2,028 workers of an engineering company in the Doha Industrial Area were involved in yesterday’s strike, which he termed “illegal”.

“They were demanding an increase in their wages since Sunday and refused to report for work yesterday. These workers were from Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt and India,” the official was quoted as saying in The Peninsula newspaper. 
— PTI

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Hands reveal age

Washington, June 7
If you think that going under the knife is enough to make you look young and pretty just take a look at your hands and the mirage of eternal youth will fade away.

Hands can give away a person’s age according to a study in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

‘‘A primary motivation to have plastic surgery is to look and feel better, often by seeking a younger looking appearance. However, looking younger after your facelift or eyelid surgery can conflict with aged hands that simply do not match the face,’’ said Roxanne Guy, MD, ASPS president-elect.

‘‘After the face, hands are the second most visible, tell-tale sign of one’s age. If your goal is to look more youthful or you are bothered by the appearance of your hands, you may seriously want to consider hand rejuvenation.’’ In the study, people examined unaltered photographs of female hands and were asked to estimate the women’s ages, i.e., younger than 20 years, 20 to 30 years, 30 to 40 years, etc. In the majority of the cases, participants were able to accurately estimate the age of each woman in the unaltered photographs.

Participants were also asked to compare digitally altered photographs of female hands — blemishes and hand veins were removed or jewellery and nail polish were added — to unaltered photographs to assess which hands looked younger. The majority of the participants felt that the altered photos of women’s hands appeared younger. However, alterations to photos of very elderly hands—characterised by thin skin, age spots, wrinkles, deformity, veins and prominent joints — did not change the participants’ ability to distinguish the person's age.

Overall, the physical characteristic which most commonly gave away age was prominent hand veins.

‘‘The good news is, although your hands may reveal more about your age than you desire, there are remedies out there,’’ said Dr Guy.

‘‘A good medical skincare regimen that focuses on the hands can be highly effective in maintaining skin thickness and fullness. Non-surgical procedures like laser treatments and chemical peels can reduce age spots. Fat injections can be used to plump up hands and reduce the visibility of veins and laser ablation of unwanted hand veins can reduce veins,’’ he added. — ANI

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Zadie Smith wins Orange Prize

London, June 7
British writer Zadie Smith has won the £-30,000 Orange Prize for fiction for her third novel “On Beauty”.

Though the 30-year-old Smith has previously been shortlisted for UK’s top literary honours — the Man Booker, the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Orange Prize (three times) — this is the first time she has emerged victorious.

Other close runners for the prize, open to women authors writing in English, were Ali Smith’s “The Accidental” and Sarah Waters’ wartime intrigue “The Night Watch”.

After breaking down in tears when her win was announced last night, Zadie Smith said: “I cannot believe it. I am stunned.” “I am just really touched because I didn’t expect to win.

“It’s about being counted and being part of English writing. I guess that’s a good thing”, she said.

The novel “On Beauty” is set in east coast America and centres on the loveless marriage between an English academic Howard Belsey and his African-American wife Kiki.

Belsey’s struggles to revive his love for Kiki contrasts with the couple’s three teenage children who are starting to explore their own way through the minefield of relationships and cultural politics.

When she was short-listed in 2001 for her first book “White Teeth”, Smith had called it “just another prize”. The five judges, chaired by broadcaster Martha Kearney, disclosed last night that “On Beauty” had won on a 3-2 vote after a marathon three-and-a-half hour meeting. — PTI 

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