Russia: Iran’s nuclear plant to get fuel
MOSCOW — Russia announced Friday it will begin the startup next week of Iran’s only atomic power plant, giving Tehran a boost as it struggles with international sanctions and highlighting differences between Moscow and Washington over pressuring the Islamic Republic to give up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.
Uranium fuel shipped by Russia will be loaded into the Bushehr reactor on Aug. 21, beginning a process that will last about a month and end with the reactor sending electricity to Iranian cities, Russian and Iranian officials said.
Pakistan floods fail to spark strong aid
ISLAMABAD — The global aid response to the Pakistan floods has so far been much less generous than to other recent natural disasters — despite the soaring numbers of people affected and the prospect of more economic ruin in a country key to the fight against Islamist extremists.
Reasons include the relatively low death toll of 1,500, the slow onset of the flooding compared with more immediate and dramatic earthquakes or tsunamis, and a global ‘‘donor fatigue’’ — or at least a Pakistan fatigue.
Triggered by monsoon rains, the floods have torn through the country from its mountainous northwest, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and an estimated 1.7 million acres of farmland. In southern Pakistan, the River Indus is now more than 15 miles wide at some points — 25 times wider than during normal monsoon seasons.
Tamil migrant ship docks in Canada
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A rusting cargo ship crammed with hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka docked at a Canadian navy base on Friday after a grueling three-month journey.
The government confirmed that there were 490 people aboard the ship, the MV Sun Sea, and that the ship had declared them to be refugees. But Canada forced them to dock at a military base, saying there were concerns that Tamil extremists could be on board.
Gary Anandasangaree, a lawyer with the Canadian Tamil Congress, was on the scene as the boat arrived and said he couldn’t believe how a ship just 194 feet long could be carrying so many people.