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IRAN / Prez said to OK nuke site

A senior adviser said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has approved the location for a new uranium enrichment facility Iran plans to begin building over the next year. Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, Ahmadinejad's top adviser, does not specify the location or timeline for what would be Iran's third enrichment plant, the ILNA news agency said Monday. The West accuses Iran of seeking to build atomic weapons, but Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful. Also Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran wants to discuss a nuclear fuel deal directly with UN Security Council members.

IRAN / Women blamed for quakes

Women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes, a senior Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, was quoted by Iranian media as saying. His claim follows a prediction made two weeks ago by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate. Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that a catastrophic quake could hit the sprawling capital in the near future. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, but it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.

PAKISTAN / Bombing death toll rises

A police official says the death toll in a bombing close to a police station in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has risen to 21. Zahid Khan says the blast occurred Monday evening in a crowded market. A bomb exploded earlier Monday outside a school run by a police welfare foundation in Peshawar, killing a young boy and wounding 10 people.

VENEZUELA / Cops: Boxer hanged self

Former boxing champion Edwin Valero, noted for 27 straight knockouts and a tattoo of President Hugo Chávez on his chest, hanged himself Monday after being arrested on charges of fatally stabbing his wife, police said. He was found in his jail cell by an inmate and authorities were unable to revive him, they said. Valero, 28, used the sweatpants he was wearing to hang himself, said his lawyer, Milda Mora.

- Combined news reports

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