In Brief | Nation & World 11-08-13


Limited nuclear deal with Iran looks close as Kerry heads to Geneva

GENEVA — Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator signaled progress at talks with six world powers Thursday on a deal to cap some of his country’s atomic programs in exchange for limited relief from sanctions stifling Iran’s economy, saying the six had accepted Tehran’s proposals on how to proceed.

U.S. officials said Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to Geneva on Friday to participate in the negotiations — a last-minute decision that suggests a deal could be imminent.

Even if an agreement is reached, it would only be the start of a long process to reduce Iran’s potential nuclear threat, with no guarantee of ultimate success.

Still, a limited accord would mark a breakthrough after nearly a decade of mostly inconclusive talks focused on limiting, if not eliminating, Iranian atomic programs that could be turned from producing energy into making weapons.

Scientists: Arafat was probably poisoned; Israel denies involvement

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Yasser Arafat’s mysterious 2004 death turned into a whodunit Thursday after Swiss scientists who examined his remains said the Palestinian leader was probably poisoned with radioactive polonium.

Yet hard proof remains elusive, and nine years on, tracking down anyone who might have slipped minuscule amounts of the lethal substance into Arafat’s food or drink could be difficult.

A new investigation could also prove embarrassing — and not just for Israel, which the Palestinians have long accused of poisoning their leader and which has denied any role.

The Palestinians themselves could come under renewed scrutiny, since Arafat was holed up in his Israeli-besieged West Bank compound in the months before his death, surrounded by advisers, staff and bodyguards.

Arafat died at a French military hospital on Nov. 11, 2004, at age 75, a month after suddenly falling violently ill at his compound. At the time, French doctors said he died of a stroke and had a blood-clotting problem, but records were inconclusive about what caused that condition.

New video shows mayor in a rage, threatening to ‘kill’ someone

TORONTO — A new video that surfaced Thursday showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford threatening to “murder” someone and “poke his eyes out” in a rambling rage, deepening concerns among both critics and allies that he is no longer fit to lead Canada’s largest city.

Moments after the video was posted online, the mayor told reporters that he was “extremely, extremely inebriated” in it and “embarrassed” by it. The context of the video is unknown, and it’s unclear who the target of Ford’s wrath is. The video appeared at length on the Toronto Star’s website.

City councilors moved ahead in efforts to force Ford out of office, although there is no clear legal path for doing so.

Marathon bombing victim steps out with new leg for wearing high heels, skirts

WARWICK, R.I. — Heather Abbott rarely wore flats before she became one of the many people to lose a leg in the Boston Marathon bombings. She calls herself a “professional heel-wearer” and preferred heels that reached the towering height of 4 inches.

On Thursday, she showed off a new prosthetic that will help her reclaim a little bit of her personal style: a “high-definition” realistic silicone leg that can be worn with high heels.

To showcase it, she broke out a pair of black leather Nine West shoes with peep-toed 4-inch spiked heels that displayed painted red nails on both feet. It is almost impossible to tell just by looking that the prosthetic is not real.

Abbott, 38, of Newport, was going in to the Forum restaurant in Boston with friends on April 15 when one of two bombs went off a short distance away. Her left leg was badly hurt. She had to make the difficult decision to amputate it below the knee.

By wire reports