Leaders slammed

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at world leaders on Wednesday for demanding access to Iran’s newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant being built near the central holy city of Qom. “The leaders of these countries made a historic mistake with their comments about the new plant. After this they also said Iran must give access to the facility as quickly as possible,” state television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. “Who are you to tell the agency (International Atomic Energy Agency) and Iran what to do?” —AFP

Ex-diplomat arrested

NAIROBI: A former Eritrean diplomat who re-entered Kenya illegally after being expelled last month and who is suspected of terrorist activities, was arrested Tuesday and is to be deported, sources said. “We are finalizing plans to deport him, he is not supposed to be here because he had been deported back to his country. We don’t know how he managed to return,” a senior police officer said. “We are investigating him over terrorism links. He had been arrested, interrogated and deported but now he is back. We are going to have him deported back.” — AFP

Pavel Popovich dies

MOSCOW: Former Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Popovich, the sixth man to go into orbit, has died at age 78.Boris Yesin of the Russian astronaut training center says Popovich died Wednesday of a stroke in Gurzuf, a resort city on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Popovich was born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union. The first of his two trips into orbit was in August 1962 as the solo man aboard the Vostok-4 capsule. The launch came a day after another Soviet was launched into orbit, marking the first time that two humans were ever in orbit around the Earth at the same time. Popovich next went into space a dozen years later in July 1974 as the commander of the two-man Soyuz-14, a 15-day mission to the Salyut space station. No information on survivors or funeral arrangements was immediately announced. — AP

JAT Airways grounded

BELGRADE: Serbia’s troubled national carrier JAT Airways says all its flights have been grounded because its maintenance company has stopped work over unpaid bills. JAT said Wednesday that none of its planes has taken off since Tuesday evening, when aviation maintenance company JAT Tehnika halted its work on JAT’s fleet. The airline has already canceled at least 17 flights.JAT Tehnika says JAT Airways owes 100 million dinars (euro1 million; $1.45 million).JAT Airways and JAT Tehnika used to be part of the same company but the government has separated them, hoping to sell them more easily. However, tenders for both companies failed when no bids were made.JAT Airways has said it expects to post a euro20-25 million loss by the end of this year. — AP

Ivory seized

NAIROBI: Kenya police are looking for the people behind a shipment of 684 kilogrammes of ivory seized at Nairobi’s main airport and destined to Bangkok, a police official said Wednesday. The elephant tusks were discovered at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday during a nighttime cargo inspection. “The consignment was intercepted as it was about to be transported out of the country. No person has been arrested,” said the official on condition of anonymity. “We are now looking for the owners or people who were transporting it,” he added. Kenya Wildlife Service spokeswoman Kentice Tikolo confirmed the seizure. In July, authorities intercepted 16 elephant tusks and two rhino horns being illegally exported to Laos from Mozambique. — AFP