Must-Reads from Around the World: February 15, 2012

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the 1st International Islamic Awakening Conference in Tehran September 18, 2011. (Photo: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the 1st International Islamic Awakening Conference in Tehran September 18, 2011. (Photo: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)

Nuclear Achievements - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed additions to the country’s nuclear program Wednesday. The Daily Telegraph reports Iran’s state television unveiled faster carbon fiber centrifuges and fuel plates for a “research reactor.” Israeli Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the developments telling the Jerusalem Post, “the world must denounce Iran’s terrorist activity and mark red lines on the Iranian nuclear program.”

Primary Problems - The Miami Herald reports that voter lists from the February 12 primary elections in Venezuela were destroyed despite a Supreme Court order they be kept. The Democratic Unity coalition set fire to the information, keeping with a promise of voter confidentiality. Police clashed with opposition party members tried to stop the confiscation of voter information Wednesday, sending one man to the hosiptal in serious condition, CNN reports.

Airlines Grounded - Congo’s government has suspended the licenses of two airlines following a crash that killed a top presidential aid, the Washington Post reports. Air Katanga Express and Katanga Wings are grounded until experts can determine what caused the February 12 crash that killed five, including the plane’s two pilots. Congo has one of the world’s worst air safety records.

Too Much to Drink - Excessive drinking costs Britain’s National Health Service £2.7  billion pounds per year. British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to unveil a larger plan to curb the national “scandal” of binge drinking, the BBC reports. Aspects of the proposal may include minimum pricing, the introduction of U.S.-style “drunk tanks” and increased taxation. The importance of cross-departmental cooperation is essential, public health minister Anne Milton told Sky News (via the Guardian), there is “no magic bullet” for solving binge drinking.  

Burmese Boom – Better diplomatic relations and political reforms have many businesses eying Burma for potential investment. The Atlantic explores the potential of the Southeast Asian nation. Sanctions have kept the population of 50 million virtualy isolated  from Western businesses; is Burma the next Asian tiger cub?

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