U.S., Pakistan seek breakthrough to thwart bomb makers
A cloud of dust rises from an Afghan road after US troops destroy an IED in their path.
February 25th, 2013
05:05 PM ET

U.S., Pakistan seek breakthrough to thwart bomb makers

By Barbara Starr

The United States and Pakistan will begin working together on a new fertilizer formula that could be a significant technological step to limit the ability of terror groups to make improvised explosives and car bombs using the ingredient.

An agreement to try to make a product more inert was reached last week after Pakistani officials from Fatima Group, a major fertilizer manufacturer, met with Pentagon officials.

"Such a long-term solution would be a true scientific breakthrough," Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, the head of the Pentagon's Joint Improved Explosive Device Defeat Organization, said in a statement.

Barbero met with Fatima representatives to urge them again to take steps to control fertilizer inventories. The meeting itself was a step forward since the Pakistani government previously had stopped the U.S. military from talking directly to the company.
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Nuclear talks host also a model for possible Iran option
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (R) welcomes Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in the Kazakh city of Almaty, on February 25, 2013.
February 25th, 2013
04:22 PM ET

Nuclear talks host also a model for possible Iran option

By Elise Labott

Kazakhstan, the venue for the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, offers the kind of symbolism the United States hopes will serve as a model for Iran.

The former Soviet Republic gave up a formidable nuclear stockpile after achieving independence in the 1990s and now is in negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency to host a bank of nuclear fuel that would eliminate the need for a county like Iran to enrich uranium for themselves.

"Kazakhstan made very, very fundamental decisions to give up their nuclear weapons, to have a peaceful civil nuclear program," a senior U.S. official told reporters in Almaty, the nation's former capital. "In many ways, they are a model of what is possible."

From 1949 through 1989, the Soviet Union conducted hundreds of nuclear tests and experiments, both underground and above ground, at Kazakhstan's Semipalatinsk test site.
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Filed under: IAEA • Iran • Nuclear
Kerry works to assure Syrian rebels
February 25th, 2013
02:37 PM ET

Kerry works to assure Syrian rebels

By Jamie Crawford

Secretary of State John Kerry hit back on Monday at the notion the United States is not doing enough to support the Syrian opposition.

"We are determined that the Syrian opposition is not going to be dangling in the wind wondering where the support is or if it is coming, and we are determined to change the calculation on the ground for President (Bashar al-Assad)," Kerrry said in London.

Making his first foreign trip as America's top diplomat, Kerry appeared at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Kerry said the United States and its allies are pursuing a political resolution to the civil war that assures a broad cross section of Syrian society is represented in a new democratic government.
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Filed under: Free Syrian Army • John Kerry • Secretary of State • Syria