2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 24, 2006
NEWS IN BRIEF
HS. EADINESFRMARoND TE WoRLD
Enrichment can either
be used for production of
electricity or nukes
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Iran
upped the ante yesterday in its
nuclear standoff, warning that it will
immediately begin developing a full-
scale uranium enrichment program
if it is referred to the U.N. Security
The message, delivered by Ali
Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's senior
envoy to the International Atomic
Energy Agency, reflected Tehran's
defiance in the face of growing inter-
national pressure over its nuclear
program. Enrichment can be used in
electricity production but it is also a
pathway to making nuclear weapons.
Negotiations intensified ahead of
a Feb. 2 meeting of the IAEA's 35-
nation board to decide on referral.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali
Larijani, planned to travel to Mos-
cow today to discuss a proposal to
have Iran's uranium enriched in Rus-
sia, then returned to Iran for use in
the country's reactors - a compro-
mise that would provide more over-
sight and ease tensions.
A European official said the two
sides would discuss the possibility of
allowing Iran to conduct small-scale
experimental enrichment itself if it
agreed to move all industrial produc-
tion to Russia.
The official, who demanded ano-
nymity in exchange for discussing
confidential details of the negotia-
tions, refused to say whether Brit-
ain, France and Germany - the key
European nations behind the United
States - supported push for referral
- would tolerate such a deal.
Those European nations and EU
representatives also intensified dip-
lomatic efforts, with diplomats tell-
ing the AP they were.sending senior
representatives to Brazil, Russia,
China and Indonesia to persuade the
key IAEA board members to drop
their opposition to referral.
Yesterday, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel called for a step-
by-step diplomatic approach in the
standoff, saying she wants "the larg-
est majority possible" for whatever
course of action is decided upon by
While the Europeans believe they
have enough votes to get Iran hauled
before the council Feb. 2, they want
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, meeting with Qatar's First
Deputy Prime Minister yesterday.
broad support, including key devel-
oping countries as well as skeptics
Russia and China.
In Washington, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said "referral
absolutely has to be made" on Feb.
2, while remaining vague on what
action the Security Council would
take - and when.
Iran removed IAEA seals from
equipment Jan. 10 and announced it
would restart experiments, includ-
ing what it described as small-scale
enrichment - a move that led the
European negotiators to call for the
Feb. 2 emergency board session.
The Europeans also began draft-
ing a resolution calling for the
Security Council to press Tehran to
re-impose its freeze on enrichment
and fully cooperate with the U.N.
agency in its investigation of suspect
nuclear activities - though it stops
short of asking for sanctions.
Soltaniyeh, in comments to the
AP, warned against referral, suggest-
ing such a "hasty decision" would
Whether Iran's suspension of
its full-scale enrichment program
remains in effect "depends on the
decision of Feb. 2," he said. If the
board votes for referral, he said, Iran
would resume efforts to fully develop
its nascent enrichment activities.
Iran insists its nuclear ambitions
do not go beyond wanting to gener-
ate fuel, but concerns are growing
that its focus is on making nuclear
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal
health advisers voted yesterday to
recommend over-the-counter sales
of a weight-loss pill now sold only
with a prescription.
GaxoSmithKline Consumer Health-
care still needs final Food and Drug
Administration approval before it can
sell a nonprescription version of orlistat,
a diet pill already marketed in prescrip-
tion form as Xenical. The FDA approved
the prescription version of the fat-block-
ing pill made by Roche in 1999.
.A oit FDA advisory committee
voted 11-3 to recommend approval late
yesterday following a daylong hearing.
The agency usually follows the rec-
ommendations of its outside panels of
experts but its final decision could take
months. If approved, orlistat would be
the first weight-loss drug sanctioned for
over-the-counter sales. Roche will con-
tinue selling Xenical regardless.
"We are excited about the potential
opportunity to provide consumers with an
FDA-approved over-the-counter option
that promotes gradual yet meaningful
weight loss" said George Quesnelle,
president of GlaxoSmithK line Consumer
Healthcare North America.
In six-month clinical trials, obese peo-
ple who took orlistat lost on average 53
pounds to 6.2 pounds more than those
who were given dummy pills. Glaxo
suggests people use orlistatfor only six
months at a time, but as an over-the-coun-
ter item, its use would not be policed.
The pill's effect ends once its use
is stopped, said Dr. Julie Golden, a
medical officer in the FDA's division
of metabolism and endocrinology
products. A previous study showed
a progressive weight gain in patients
after they discontinued use of orli-
stat, she said. Quesnelle said people
could resume use or seek help from a
doctor if they gain weight.
"I think the drug is safe enough to be
OTC. It's an OTC indication. Although
there are some is that need to be dot-
ted and ts crossed, it's suitable for
OTC use," panel chairman Dr. Alastair
Wood said following the vote.
The panel requested that the com-
pany conduct follow-up studies if and
when the drug does reach the market,
as well as rework the pill's label to
ensure its proper use, Wood said.
Glaxo said the drug helps the over-
weight slim down only when combined
with a diet and exercise regimen. The
drug's actual effect on weight loss is
"gradual and modest," said Steve Burton,
Glaxo's vice president of weight control.
"There is no magic pill for weight
loss and orlistat is not a magic pill.
Orlistat is a tool that will help people
control their calorie intake and modify
their diet," said John Dent, the pharma-
ceutical company's senior vice presi-
dent of research and development.
Sidney Wolfe of the watchdog group
Public Citizen urged the panel to reject
the company's application, calling it a
Building crash kills 11 workers
The construction workers had just finished lunch and many were taking
a nap when the five-story building began to sway, then quickly collapsed,
killing at least 11 and injuring dozens, survivors and officials said.
Rescuers dug frantically through the rubble with bare hands, metal cutters
and crowbars to reach survivors who shouted through drainage pipes and
holes, while lights were set up so the search could continue into the night.
One person called a relative on a cell phone and said he was alive under the concrete
and steel. A trapped person's hand could be seen waving for help from beneath a beam.
More than 280 construction workers were inside when the unfinished
structure in central Nairobi came down, but officials said it was unclear how
many were still caught in the rubble.
"Some were lying down for a nap. They were too tired after working for
at least six hours," said food vendor Jane Wanji, 32. "We felt the building
shake and those of us who were on the rooftop jumped onto the roof of the
next building. We then watched it collapse."
Adding to the chaos, a bus crashed through the medical triage area, injuring a
medic and slamming into a parked ambulance. Its brakes had apparently failed.
Bush says spying program is legal
President Bush pushed back yesterday at critics of his once-secret domes-
tic spying effort, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance pro-
gram" and contending it has the backing of legal experts, key lawmakers
and the Supreme Court.
Several members of Congress from both parties have questioned whether the
warrantless snooping is legal. That is because it bypasses a special federal court
that, by law, must authorize eavesdropping on Americans and because the presi-
dent provided limited notification to only a few lawmakers.
"It's amazing that people say to me, "Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted
to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" Bush said. One of those who had
been informed, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, (R-Kan.)
was sitting behind him during an appearance at Kansas State University.
Train falls into canyon, killing dozens
A packed passenger train derailed yesterday and plunged into a steep river canyon
outside the Montenegrin capital, killing at least 39 people, the government said.
More than 135 people were injured in the late-afternoon crash, among the deadli-
est European train accidents of the past quarter-century.
The train, which carried dozens of children returning home from a ski vacation,
derailed near Bioce, a village about nine miles northeast of Podgorica as it emerged
from a tunnel above the Moraca River, police said. Interior Minister Jusuf Kalomp-
erovic said initial reports indicated the train's brakes may have failed.
Victims cried for help from the ravine, where four train cars lay smashed.
Darkness in the densely forested area hampered rescue efforts.
Canadian regime likely to turn over
Canadians voted yesterday in an election sure to dramatically change the
country's political landscape.
All the polls predict a victory for Conservative leader Stephen Harper.
That would end nearly 13 years of Liberal Party rule, shift the country to
the right and move to improve relations with the United States. If Prime
Minister Paul Martin somehow eked out a victory, he would likely head
a weak minority government and find it difficult to get legislation past a
divided House of Commons.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A caption on page 2A of yesterday's Daily (Leftist Evo Morales sworn in as Boliv-
ia's first Indian-president) should have said Evo Morales, Bolivia's new president, was
a former leader of Bolivia's coca growers, not cocoa growers.
A story on page 3A of yesterday's Daily (Ford officials to announce plant closings
today) incorrectly stated that Ford is expected to lay off 122,000 workers.
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