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News Wrap: At Nuclear Talks, Iran Says Uranium Enrichment Not Negotiable

January 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: Representatives from six world powers gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, today for talks with Iran about its nuclear program. Iranian delegates said they were off to a positive start. But they insisted a freeze on uranium enrichment is not open for discussion, since its program is for peaceful purposes. Iran currently is under four sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for its nuclear activities.

About 2,000 tribesmen rallied today in Northwest Pakistan against U.S. drone attacks on Taliban forces. The protest was in the town of Miranshah in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan. Nearly 150 Taliban fighters who control the area appeared to sanction the rally. Protesters called for the arrest of U.S. officials responsible for the drone attacks.

Tunisians began three days of national mourning today for those who died in a month of protests that led to a change in government. Meanwhile, the new governing coalition struggled to maintain calm. Today, hundreds gathered outside government buildings for more protests against keeping any members of the old regime in power. Police officers were seen joining their ranks, and protesters greeted them with hugs and kisses.

Chinese President Hu Jintao spent the final day of his U.S. visit in Chicago. He highlighted ties between China and Chicago area businesses. During his state visit, U.S. companies, including Intel, Microsoft, and Cargill, have announced new deals with China. Hu also spent time at a Chicago area high school, where he met with students in a Chinese language and culture lab.

House Democrats responded today to a conservative Republican group’s call for even deeper spending cuts than the GOP has proposed. Yesterday, the Republican Study Committee announced it wants to slash at least $100 billion from non-defense programs. And it called for a return to 2006 federal spending levels over the next decade.

Today, at a House Democratic retreat in Maryland, Congressman Chris Van Hollen called that a recipe for putting people out of work.

On Wall Street today, stocks had a mixed day of trading. The Dow was helped by strong results from General Electric, but weakness among technology stocks dragged down the Nasdaq. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 49 points to close above 11871. The Nasdaq fell nearly 15 points to close at 2689.

For the week, the Dow gained seven-tenths-of-a-percent; the Nasdaq fell nearly 2.5 percent.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.