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WORLD IN BRIEF: Clinton says Iran is becoming dictatorship

Clinton: Iran is becoming dictatorship

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday Iran is sliding into a military dictatorship, a new assessment suggesting a rockier road ahead for U.S.-led efforts to stop Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

As the first high-level Obama administration official to make such an accusation, Clinton was reflecting an ever-dimming outlook for persuading Iran to negotiate limits on its nuclear program, which it has insisted is intended only for peaceful purposes. The U.S. and others -- including the two Gulf countries Clinton visited Sunday and Monday -- believe Iran is headed for a nuclear bomb capability.

Fear of 2nd quake has Haiti scared

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Hundreds of houses that survived Haiti's killer quake still stand empty even as quake victims desperate for shelter crowd the streets. The reason is fear: Nobody is quite sure they can withstand another quake.

At least 54 aftershocks have shuddered through Haiti's shattered capital since a Jan. 12 quake killed more than 200,000 people. They have toppled weakened buildings faster than demolition crews can get to them, sending up new clouds of choking dust. On Monday, three children were killed when a school collapsed in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. It wasn't clear what caused the collapse, which occurred after a late-night tremor and heavy rains.

''I tried sleeping in the house for a night, but an aftershock came and I ran outside,'' said Louise Lafonte, 36, who beds down with her family of five in a tent beside her seemingly intact concrete house. ''I'm not going inside until the ground calms down.''

Cyclone Rene pounds Tonga

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga -- Tropical Cyclone Rene pounded Tonga with powerful winds overnight, causing major damage to buildings in the capital city, tearing off roofs, downing trees and cutting power and phone lines in the South Pacific island nation.

When phone service was restored early Tuesday, police said they had no immediate reports of death or injury during the storm that has hammered the three main island groups of the kingdom for more than 24 hours.