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Friday
December 2019
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News Headlines
Mumbai, Kerala play out 1-1 draw in Hero ISL        Have some thoughts for T20 World Cup, will discuss with Kohli and Shastri: Ganguly        RBI keep repo rate unchanged        Saudi Aramco raises USD 25.6 bn in largest-ever IPO        Iran informs UN about determination to continue Ballistic Missile Program        Next Hearings in Trump Impeachment Process Scheduled on Monday - House Judiciary Committee        Burundi: 38 killed in landslide in Cibitoke        Naidu condemns attack on Unnao rape survivor        1984 riots: Javadekar slams Manmohan Singh, says if Rao was so bad, why did you become FM under him?        The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 returned to Lok Sabha        Govt clueless on how to tackle economic slowdown, FM statement on onion shows their mindset: Chidambaram        Rajya Sabha passes bill to amend SPG Act, Shah rejects charge of political vendetta, Cong stages walkout        Kerala shocked by plight of poor mother, six children        Rupee ends steady ahead of RBI policy outcome        HC asks Ker govt to take control of Church        Not difficult working with Sena compared to BJP: Pawar        India conducts fresh night trial of Prithvi-2 missile        Three directors of PMC Bank arrested        Quinta Brunson to star in HBO Max's single-camera comedy        David Kerr to helm 'Joy To The World'        
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International News
Iran's supreme leader makes uranium enrichment threat
 
Dubai: Iran's supreme leader issued a veiled threat in the same speech in which he stated that "no one is seeking war," saying it wouldn't be difficult for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels amid rising tensions with the US, state media reported Wednesday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments late Tuesday came after Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a coordinated drone attack on a critical oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. A satellite image obtained by The Associated Press shows one of the two pumping stations attacked by the drones apparently intact.

The drone assault is just the latest incident in the Mideast to shake global energy markets, as authorities allege oil tankers anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were targeted by sabotage. Benchmark Brent crude prices remained around 71 a barrel in early trading Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the US is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers into the region in response to a still-unspecified threat from Iran, further ramping up tensions a year after President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Speaking Tuesday night in Tehran at an iftar, the traditional dinner Muslims have when breaking their daylong fast during the holy month of Ramadan, Khamenei's reported comments first focused on him downplaying the chances of a wider conflict in the Mideast with America.

He reportedly told senior officials that his country won't negotiate with the United States, calling such talks "poison." But he also said, "Neither we, nor them is seeking war. They know that it is not to their benefit." In Wednesday's edition, the state-run IRAN newspaper carried his comments on the nuclear program, his first since Iran announced it would begin backing away from the accord itself.

Tehran is threatening to resume higher enrichment in 60 days if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the 3.67 per cent permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers.

Iranian officials have said that they could reach 20% enrichment within four days. Though Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, scientists say the time needed to reach the 90 per cent threshold for weapons-grade uranium is halved once uranium is enriched to around 20 per cent.

"Achieving 20 per cent enrichment is the most difficult part," Khamenei said, according to the newspaper. "The next steps are easier than this step." It was a telling remark from the supreme leader. Iran is not known to have enriched beyond 20 per cent previously and it's unclear how far Tehran is willing to go in this process.

Khamene spoke just after Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with Saudi Arabia and are believed by the West to receive weapons from Iran, said earlier Tuesday that they launched seven drones targeting vital Saudi installations. That included two pumping stations along its critical East-West Pipeline, which can carry nearly 5 million barrels of crude a day to the Red Sea.

Saudi Aramco, the government-controlled oil company, said that as a precaution, it temporarily shut down the pipeline and contained a fire, which caused minor damage to one pumping station. It added that Saudi Aramco's oil and gas supplies were not affected.

An image from San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc. that the AP examined on Wednesday shows Saudi Aramco's Pumping Station No. 8 outside of the town of al-Duadmi, 330 kilometers west of the kingdom's capital, Riyadh.

The photo, taken Tuesday after the attack, shows two black marks near where the East-West Pipeline passes by the facility. Those marks weren't there in images taken Monday. The facility otherwise appeared intact, corroborating in part Saudi Arabia's earlier comments.

Details around alleged acts of sabotage to four oil tankers, including two belonging to Saudi Arabia, off the coast of the UAE's port of Fujairah remain unclear. Satellite images obtained Tuesday by the AP from Colorado-based Maxar Technologies showed no visible damage to the vessels, and Gulf officials have refused to say who they suspected was responsible.

The MT Andrea Victory, one of the alleged targets, sustained a hole in its hull just above its waterline from "an unknown object," its owner Thome Ship Management said in a statement. Images of the Norwegian ship, which the company said was "not in any danger of sinking," showed damage similar to what the firm described.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, has said the other three showed damages as well.


Iran informs UN about determination to continue Ballistic Missile Program
Next Hearings in Trump Impeachment Process Scheduled on Monday - House Judiciary Committee
Burundi: 38 killed in landslide in Cibitoke
Putin signs off law to label journalists as foreign agents
US urges Iraq to probe 'abhorrent' killings of protesters
Trump campaign bars Bloomberg News, alleging 'bias'
UN chief urges countries not to surrender on climate fight
Hundreds rally in Myanmar to show support for Suu Kyi
Nearly 200 countries attend ambitious climate talks
Iraq parliament approves PM resignation, protesters mourn dead
At least 11 people Injured in shooting in New Orleans - Police
Suriname president sentenced to 20 yrs imprisonment
Leonardo DiCaprio paid to torch Amazon, claims Brazil President Bolsonaro
Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101
Iraq PM says will resign after bloody protests
London Bridge attack declared terrorist incident, suspect with hoax bomb vest shot dead by police
China summons US envoy, asks Washington not to implement Hong Kong bill
Pak SC grants 6-month conditional extension to Army chief Gen Bajwa
Former Maldives leader jailed for money laundering
Israeli aircraft hit Hamas site after rocket fire from Gaza
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Quinta Brunson to star in HBO Max's single-camera comedy
 Los Angeles: Actor-comedienne Qunita Brunson is set to play the lead role in a untitled single-camer  
David Kerr to helm 'Joy To The World'
Questlove to make directorial debut with 'Black Woodstock'
Taapsee Pannu to feature in Mithali Raj biopic
KERALA NEWS
Kerala shocked by plight of poor mother, six children
 Thiruvananthapuram: This hapless mother was unable to find food to fill the little stomach of her ch
Kerala: Youth hurled down by Policeman during vehicle checking, seriously injured
Kerala High Court takes suo moto case against lawyers protested against magistrate
School girl killed of snakebite: Separate demonstrations by YC, SFI turns violent, police resorts to lathicharge
NATIONAL NEWS
Naidu condemns attack on Unnao rape survivor
 New Delhi: Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu condemned the incident in which a
1984 riots: Javadekar slams Manmohan Singh, says if Rao was so bad, why did you become FM under him?
The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 returned to Lok Sabha
India conducts fresh night trial of Prithvi-2 missile
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