Iran quickens enrichment
In a defiant move ahead of nuclear talks, Iran announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads. Eager to avoid scuttling those negotiations, world powers are keeping their response low-key. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intentions last week, and the IAEA informed member nations.
Candidate shot in chest
A lesser-known candidate for the Armenian presidency was shot in the chest by an unidentified gunman late Thursday, officials said. Paruir Airikian, one of eight candidates in the Feb. 18 vote, was hospitalized in stable condition as police searched for the shooter, while the speaker of parliament suggested the election could be delayed.
Blast at oil headquarters
An explosion at the main headquarters of Mexico’s state-owned oil company in the capital Thursday left at least several workers injured, blew out windows and damaged the building, the company said. Local media reported that at least one person had died and that about 40 were injured. Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said workers were cleared out the building. A reporter at the scene saw rescue workers trying to free several workers trapped. Television images showed people being evacuated on office chairs and gurneys. Most of them showed injuries likely caused by falling debris.
Skulls found at dig site
Archaeologists say they have turned up about 150 skulls of human sacrifice victims in a field in central Mexico, one of the first times that such a large accumulation of severed heads has been found outside of a major pyramid or temple complex in Mexico. Experts are puzzled by the unexpected find of such a large number of skulls at what appears to have been a small, unremarkable shrine. The heads were carefully deposited in rows or in small mounds, mostly facing east toward the rising sun, sometime between 660 and 860 A.D.
Compiled from wire reports.