Sludge reservoir at risk of collapse
DEVECSER, Hungary (AP) The cracking wall of an industrial plant reservoir appeared on the verge of collapse late Saturday, and engineers were working to blunt a possible second wave of the caustic red sludge that already has deluged several towns in western Hungary and killed seven.
Residents of one nearby town were evacuated, others were ordered to be ready to evacuate, and everyone was bracing for a new onslaught of toxic material.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the northern wall of MAL Rt.s storage pool, which released at least 184 million gallons of caustic red sludge and water five days ago after one of its corners ruptured, was showing numerous cracks and seemed ready to fail completely.
Engineers were building retaining walls around the previous breach and the weakened wall of the reservoir just outside Kolontar, the town hardest hit by the sludge flood. Kolontars nearly 800 residents were evacuated early Saturday as a preventive measure.
Abbas seeks options if Mideast talks fail
SIRTE, Libya (AP) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday sought Arab League backing for possible alternatives to troubled peace talks with Israel, including urging the Obama administration to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, an Abbas aide said.
The Arab League, meeting in Libya over the weekend, has given the U.S. another month to try to salvage the negotiations, but has also begun to consider fallback options in case the talks collapse.
The U.S.-backed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which began last month at the White House, have hit an impasse over Israels refusal to extend a 10-month-old slowdown on settlement construction that expired in late September.
Abbas has said he will not resume talks without such an extension, and he won Arab League backing for his position. Israel has refused to extend the moratorium, though it is considering compromises.
Iran acknowledges nuke site espionage
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iran acknowledged Saturday that some personnel at the countrys nuclear facilities were lured by promises of money to pass secrets to the West but insisted increased security and worker privileges have put a stop to the spying.
The stunning admission by Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi provides the clearest government confirmation that Iran has been fighting espionage at its nuclear facilities.
In recent weeks, Iran has announced the arrest of several nuclear spies and battled a computer worm that it says is part of a covert Western plot to derail its nuclear program. And in July, a nuclear scientist who Iran says was kidnapped by U.S. agents returned home in mysterious circumstances, with the U.S. saying he was a willing defector who was offered $5 million by the CIA but then changed his mind.
With succession set, N. Korea celebrates
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) North Korean leader Kim Jong Il brought dancers at the Arirang mass games to tears Saturday by making a rare appearance at the dance extravaganza, accompanied by his son Kim Jong Un, on the second day of celebrations of the ruling Workers Partys 65th anniversary.
Kim Jong Il waved to the crowd, drawing a frenzy of applause from onlookers at Pyongyangs May Day Stadium, in what is believed to be his first appearance at the song-and-dance performance in years.
Pyongyang was in a festive mood as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of the ruling party with a weekend of celebrations that will culminate in a massive military parade today.