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World news briefs — compiled on Feb. 18


Iran remains defiant

Iran drew a red line on Tuesday on how far it would go at landmark nuclear talks, saying as the meeting opened that it would not buckle to pressure from the U.S. and five other world powers to scrap any of its nuclear facilities. The statement by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi suggested tough talks ahead, constituting a rejection of a central demand by the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The talks are formally led by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s top foreign policy official, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.


Ex-congressman arrested

Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds of Illinois, once a rising star in the Democratic Party whose career collapsed when he was convicted of rape two decades ago, is under arrest again, this time for allegedly possessing pornography and violating immigration laws in Zimbabwe. Reynolds, who had won some prominence in Zimbabwe for helping draw investment to hotel and office projects, was in custody and was expected to appear in court soon, an immigration official said Tuesday.


Four charged with spying

Authorities on Tuesday charged two Israelis and two Egyptians with forming an espionage ring for Israel, the second such trial to be called for in a month. Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat alleged that the two Israelis are Mossad officers, and that two Egyptians helped provide them with information. The Egyptians are in custody and authorities have issued arrest warrants for the Israelis.


Band members detained

Two members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot were picked up by police in Olympics host city Sochi on Tuesday. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were questioned in connection with a theft at their hotel, police said. No charges were filed. Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, and other people who were detained on Tuesday insisted that Pussy Riot were not protesting or demonstrating when they were picked up.

Compiled from wire reports.


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