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TMCNet:  AP Top News at 1:39 p.m. EST

[January 20, 2014]

AP Top News at 1:39 p.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Iran, US, Europe start implementing nuclear dealTEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran unplugged banks of centrifuges involved in its most sensitive uranium enrichment work on Monday, prompting the United States and European Union to partially lift economic sanctions as a landmark deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran's nuclear program went into effect. The steps start a six-month clock for Tehran and the world powers to negotiate a final accord that the Obama administration and its European allies say will be intended to ensure Iran cannot build a nuclear weapon.


US to begin easing economic sanctions on IranWASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will begin easing economic sanctions on Iran after it began shutting down its most sensitive nuclear work on Monday, the White House said. Iran's move was part of a landmark deal struck late last year with the U.S., five other world powers and the European Union to ease concerns over Tehran's nuclear program and provide for the partial removal of some of the economic sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Iran has insisted that its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes only.

Syrian opposition issues ultimatum on peace talksBEIRUT (AP) — Syria's main Western-backed opposition group said Monday that Iran must commit publicly within hours to withdraw its "troops and militias" from Syria and abide by a 2012 transitional roadmap, or else the U.N. should withdraw its invitation for Tehran to take part in a peace conference this week. The Syrian National Coalition said if those conditions are not met by 7 p.m. GMT, then it will not attend the so-called Geneva 2 talks that are scheduled to begin Wednesday. The U.N. issued a last-minute invitation late Sunday to Iran, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, prompting the Coalition to threaten to skip the peace negotiations and throwing the entire Geneva conference into doubt.

Jailed American appears before reporters in NKoreaPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — An American missionary who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year appeared before reporters Monday and appealed to the U.S. government to do its best to secure his release. The missionary, Kenneth Bae, made the comments at what he called a press conference held at his own request. He was under guard during the appearance. It is not unusual for prisoners in North Korea to say after their release that they spoke in similar situations under duress.

Some Obama spy changes hampered by complicationsWASHINGTON (AP) — Several of the key surveillance reforms unveiled by President Barack Obama face complications that could muddy the proposals' lawfulness, slow their momentum in Congress and saddle the government with heavy costs and bureaucracy, legal experts warn. Despite Obama's plans to shift the National Security Agency's mass storage of Americans' bulk phone records elsewhere, telephone companies do not want the responsibility. And the government could face privacy and structural hurdles in relying on any other entity to store the data.

Parades, marches and service projects honor MLKATLANTA (AP) — Hundreds of people filled Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Monday to remember and reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The service at the church where King preached featured prayers, songs, music and speakers. It was one of many events, including parades, marches and community service projects, across the country to honor King, an Atlanta native.

In S. Sudan, rebel-held town of Bor destroyedBOR, South Sudan (AP) — Bor is a ghost town. Every shop is looted and empty. Bodies lie on the ground, and English-language graffiti curses the ethnic group of the South Sudanese president. Near the airport, the road is littered with trash. Shipping containers are pried open and their contents ransacked. Smashed cars and motorbikes litter the dusty streets.

Amid clashes, unclear roadmap for peace in UkraineKIEV, Ukraine (AP) — After a night of vicious street battles, anti-government protesters and police clashed again Monday in Ukraine's capital. Hundreds of protesters, many wearing balaclavas, hurled rocks and stun grenades. Police responded with tear gas. The violence in Kiev has seriously escalated Ukraine's political crisis, which has been marked by two months of largely peaceful protests. Here's a look at the unclear roadmap for peace there: Comet-chasing probe sends signal to EarthBERLIN (AP) — A comet-chasing space probe that has been in hibernation for almost three years has woken up and sent its first signal back to Earth. The European Space Agency received the all-clear message "Hello World!" from its Rosetta spacecraft some 800 million kilometers (500 million miles) away shortly after 7 p.m. (1800 GMT; 1 p.m. EST).

Russians study Islamic video threatening OlympicsMOSCOW (AP) — Russia's counter-terrorism agency says it's studying a video posted by an Islamic militant group that asserted responsibility for suicide bombings that killed 34 people last month and is threatening to strike the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Security experts say the Russians are right in taking the threat seriously.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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