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Obama signs law to bar Iran diplomat from serving in UN post WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama signed a law on Friday that effectively bars an Iranian diplomat from serving as an envoy at the United Nations because of suspicions he was involved in the 1979-81 Tehran hostage crisis.Obama signed a law passed by the US Congress that blocks any individual from entering the United States who has been found to have been engaged in espionage or terrorist activity against the United States or if that person may pose a threat to US national security.The United States had already said it would not grant a visa to Iran's proposed UN ambassador, citing the envoy's links to the 1979-1981 hostage crisis. Obama had come under strong pressure not to allow Hamid Abutalebi into the country to take up his position in New York.The US government objects to Abutalebi because of his suspected participation in a Muslim student group that seized the US embassy in ...

Rice warns Russia 'we will be watching' WASHINGTON: The White House warned Russia on Friday that it was closely watching and evaluating whether Moscow was honoring a deal reached in Geneva designed to ease tensions in Ukraine.National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Moscow must quickly rein in pro-Russia separatist groups in eastern Ukraine and allow Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors into the area."We expect and we will be watching whether Russia does or does not uphold its responsibility ...

North Korea hits out at UN meeting over abuses SEOUL: North Korea hit out early Saturday at an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council in which the body was urged to slap sanctions on Pyongyang officials responsible for human rights abuses. Michael Kirby the head of a special UN inquiry into North Korean rights abuses had told Thursday's get-together convened by Australia, France and the United States that "perpetrators must be held accountable"."It is necessary to deter further crimes," the Australian judge ...

Russia not only responsible in implementing Ukraine deal: Kremlin MOSCOW: Russia will not be the only party held responsible for implementing an agreement on easing tensions in Ukraine, a Kremlin spokesman said on Friday, adding that threats of further sanctions by Washington were "absolutely unacceptable"."Our Western colleagues are trying to push responsibility (for implementing the deal) towards our side. But it must be underlined: it is a collective responsibility," said Dmitry Peskov, quoted on Rossiya 1 television. Moscow, Kiev and the West reached an ...

NASA robotic spacecraft ends mission with crash into the moon CAPE CANAVERAL: A robotic US spacecraft ended a pioneering mission to map dust and gases around the moon with a planned, kamikaze crash into the lunar surface early on Friday, NASA officials said.The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, had been flying at increasingly lower altitudes to study how dust is lifted off the lunar surface and what gases comprise the moon's so-called exosphere the region of space surrounding the airless moon.NASA officials ...

Mugabe slams Europe's 'homosexual nonsense' HARARE: Zimbabwe's strong man ruler Robert Mugabe lashed out at Europe's "homosexual nonsense" and condemned the refusal of its leaders to accept his grip on power in his latest marathon tirade on Friday."The Europe of yesterday is gone, we have a Europe of today which has no principles at all," the 90-year-old told a crowd of thousands gathered in a Harare stadium to mark 34 years since the country's independence from Britain.Mugabe, who has been ...


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