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US, Iran at odds over state of talks

Zarif
Kerry

– Iran and the United States on Monday blamed each other for the failure to reach agreement on a deal to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment in exchange for an easing of Western sanctions.

In spite of the accusations, there was some diplomatic progress as Iran promised to offer more information and expanded access to U.N. nuclear inspectors – including more openings at a planned reactor and uranium site.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Iranian envoys had backed away from a wider deal this weekend seeking to ease Western concerns that Tehran could one day develop atomic weapons.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, countered by criticizing Kerry’s remarks, telling an Iranian TV talk show that the American’s “conflicting statements” damaged confidence in the process, adding that “considerable progress was made” in Geneva.

Leader of militants in Pakistan killed

Gunmen killed a senior leader of one of the most feared militant groups fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he stopped to buy fresh bread from a bakery on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital, members of the militant organization and an eyewitness said Monday.

Nasiruddin Haqqani’s death Sunday night is one of the biggest blows to the Haqqani militant network since the Afghan war started, but the commander’s presence in Islamabad and questions over who killed him could spark fresh tension between Pakistan and the United States.

Suspects charged in party shootings

Two suspects have been charged in connection with a shooting at a house party in suburban Houston that left two teenagers dead and injured 19 others, authorities announced Monday.

Investigators said they still believe the shooting started as a result of celebratory gunfire, despite court documents that seem to indicate the incident started when the suspects shot at two people before firing into the crowd.

Live simply, papal envoy urges bishops

The Vatican ambassador to the U.S., addressing American bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected, said Monday they should not “follow a particular ideology” and should make Roman Catholics feel more welcome in church.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano noted the challenges from broader society to Christian teaching. He cautioned that the bishops’ witness to faith would be undermined if they failed to live simply. Francis, in office for eight months, has captured attention for eschewing some of the pomp of the papacy.

“There has to be a noticeable lifestyle characterized by simplicity and holiness of life. This is a sure way to bring our people to an awareness of the truth of our message,” said Vigano.

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