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Iran Announces New Centrifuges, Borders to Liquidate 399 Stores

Iran said Tuesday that it will install upgraded centrifuges that would help it progress toward nuclear enrichment, an announcement that stoked existing concerns that Iran may be closer to producing weapons-grade enriched uranium. The U.N. Security Council has already sanctioned Iran four times because of its continued efforts toward enrichment. Iran has repeatedly claimed that its nuclear aims are limited to peaceful endeavors, such as generating power, and that it is not building up weapons capability.

According to the Associated Press:

“Iran has been producing low-enriched uranium for years and began higher enrichment in February 2010, asserting it needs the higher grade material to produce fuel for a Tehran reactor that makes medical radioisotopes needed for cancer patients.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “[B]y installing the new centrifuges progress is being made with more speed and better quality.” Iran has also claimed that the International Atomic Energy Agency is aware of the installation.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Borders Bookseller Likely to Liquidate 399 Stores

A Borders Group Inc. bookstore that closed last month stands in Farmington Hills, Michigan, U.S. Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/ Bloomberg via Getty Images Borders bookstore. Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Borders is expected to seek permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York to liquidate its 399 stores, the latest blow in the 40-year-old bookseller’s financial demise. A last-ditch effort by a private equity firm to keep the company in business was met with resistance from creditors, who felt they could recoup more from a liquidation.

The Michigan-based chain has 10,700 employees, all of whom now stand to lose their jobs as early as Friday. The company originally filed for bankruptcy protection in February.

Guinea’s President Survives Assassination Attempt

Guinea’s first democratically elected president, Alpha Conde, survived an attack on his home Tuesday, with gunmen killing at least one member of his security team and wounding others. In a radio address to the nation, Conde said his security detail “had fought heroically at 3:10 a.m.”

Conde, who was elected seven months ago, has been moved to an undisclosed location. He called for calm amid fears that the attack could instigate further violence. Following his election, ethnic violence broke out in Conakry, the capital city.

“[O]ur enemies can try everything, but they cannot prevent the Guinean people’s march towards democracy,” Conde said in his address. “Democracy has begun and it will continue, I promised you change and, God willing, change will happen.”

The identity of the gunmen remains unknown. Several roadblocks have been set up near his presidential palace.

Heat Wave Spreads Across Central, Eastern States

The National Weather Service has issued an advisory warning for states in the Midwest and eastern United States because a “combination of very high temperatures and high humidity will create dangerous heat indices” this week. That combination will mean temperatures that feel in excess of 100 to 110 degrees.

Dangerously high heat kills an estimated 115 people in the United States each year. The elderly and other at-risk population groups have been urged to stay indoors, along with general warning to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged outdoor activity.

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