In the news today…
UN Nuclear Inspector Reports Progress in Iran Investigation
The International Atomic Energy Agency says it has made “significant progress” in its investigation of reports that Iran worked to develop nuclear weapons.
The head of the agency, Yukiya Amano, told reporters Monday that he had recently visited Iran and went to the Parchin military area. For years, the Iranian government barred international investigators from visiting Parchin.
The IAEA chief is to present a final report on the investigation by December 15.
Poland Criticizes Refugee Plan
Poland’s Foreign Minister says Europe needs a united plan to deal with the refugee crisis. But he says the plan should not say how many refugees each country should accept.
Foreign minister Grzegorz Schetyna said that the European Union should first close its borders. Then, he said, it should build centers to separate those who are fleeing violence from those who are only looking for better economic conditions. His comments were published in the newspaper Politico Europe.
The International Organization for Migration says more than 470,000 people have arrived in Europe this year. Almost 40 percent of them are from Syria.
Leftist Syriza Party Wins Vote in Greece
Greek Prime Minister-elect Alexis Tsipras claimed victory Sunday in national elections. Mr. Tsipras said he will form a coalition government to put in place spending cuts demanded by European lenders. In exchange for the cuts, the lenders have promised Greece billions of dollars in aid.
Mr. Tsipras spoke to supporters in central Athens late Sunday. The election on Sunday was the third in Greece this year.
Pope Francis to Travel to Eastern Cuba
Pope Francis travels from Havana to eastern Cuba Monday. The Roman Catholic leader will visit Holguin, the home province of Fidel and Raul Castro. Then he will travel to Cuba’s second-largest city, Santiago.
On Sunday, Pope Francis met with the Castro brothers, who have ruled the country since 1959. The pope and Vatican officials supported months of secret talks between Cuba and the United States last year. The two countries later agreed to re-establish relations.
On Tuesday, Pope Francis will travel to the United States. He will visit Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.
US May Not Cast “No” Vote in UN on Cuba Trade
The United States is reportedly considering whether to vote on a possible United Nations General Assembly resolution on Cuba. The assembly’s members could vote on a resolution to end international trade restrictions against Cuba. Reports say the U.S. could decide not to vote at all on the resolution.
Cuba has proposed such a resolution at the General Assembly meeting for almost 25 years. For the past two years, the U.S. and Israel were the only two countries to vote against the measure.
VW Stock Price Drops Sharply
The value of Volkswagen stock dropped sharply Monday shortly after the Frankfurt stock market opened. On Sunday, the head of the German carmaker apologized to VW owners. His comments followed reports that many of the company’s diesel-powered cars in the United States had bad computer software. The software reportedly was designed to give false information about the amount of pollutants the cars produced.
On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Volkswagen to fix almost 500,000 vehicles for intentionally breaking clean air laws. The agency says the cars released pollutants up to 40 times above the limits allowed under the federal Clean Air Act.
Words in the News
significant – adj. large enough to be noticed or have an effect
province – n. any one of the large parts that some countries are divided into
software – n. the programs that run on a computer and perform certain functions
intentionally – adv. being done in a way that is planned or intended