Iran’s Supreme Leader rules out talks with US
DUBAI • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ruled out negotiations with the United States over Teheran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes and urged Iranians to resist US pressure. “America’s brutal sanctions on Iran are aimed at collapsing our economy… Their aim is to limit our influence in the region and to halt our missile and nuclear capabilities,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on TV yesterday.
He also said that European states have failed to salvage the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, from which the US has already withdrawn.
Taleban, Kabul mark Eid with ceasefire
KABUL • Afghans offered prayers marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha yesterday as a three-day ceasefire between the Taleban and government forces began, with many hoping the truce will lead to peace talks and the end of the country’s nearly two decades of conflict.
President Ashraf Ghani – who said yesterday he had ordered the release of 500 Taleban prisoners – and the Taleban have both signalled that peace talks could begin straight after Eid.
Mr Ghani said the release would complete the government’s pledge to free 5,000 Taleban fighters as outlined in a deal the insurgents signed with Washington, but the 500 inmates are not on the original list of 5,000 demanded by the Taleban.
Hurricane Isaias set to move towards Florida
MIAMI • Atlantic hurricane Isaias is forecast to move near or east of the Florida peninsula today and tomorrow, the US National Hurricane Centre said in its latest advisory yesterday.
Forecasters are unsure how strong the storm will be when it nears the coast.
The hurricane had already hit the Dominican Republic, where a 53-year-old man was killed and rivers broke their banks.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Maxwell’s e-mails with Epstein released
NEW YORK • Documents about dealings between Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were publicly released on Thursday by a court in the US, where the British socialite faces criminal charges of aiding the late financier’s sexual abuse of girls.
Among the materials released was e-mail correspondence between the pair in early 2015, including an e-mail in which Epstein told Maxwell she had “done nothing wrong”.