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Iran Deadline, ISIS Loses Tikrit, April Fools

DEADLINE PASSES BUT IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS CONTINUE
Tehran and the six world powers gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland failed to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program before yesterday evening’s deadline but talks have resumed this morning for a seventh consecutive day. According to Iranian news agency Tasnim, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was hopeful the leaders could start drafting a deal in the next hours. His Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov said that a preliminary deal had been reached on "all key aspects" though “technical details” for a final agreement might not be cleared until June. Here’s the latest from the Associated Press.

IRAQI ARMY RETAKES TIKRIT FROM ISIS
After weeks of intense fighting, the Iraqi army and Shia militias have recaptured the city of Tikrit, the hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein, from ISIS, Al Jazeera reports. The army has reached the center and are now clearing parts of the city where ISIS troops remain. Fighting continues on the outskirts of Tikrit. As CNN explains, this first major victory against ISIS paves the way for a “bigger prize,” the city of Mosul which Baghdad hopes to retake in the coming weeks.

ON THIS DAY
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We dare you not to sing “the harder they come, the harder they fall” after watching your 57-second shot of history. (Plus a great April Fool’s prank from the BBC from 58 years ago!)

EXTRA! CHALLENGER WINS NIGERIA ELECTION
The victory of challenger Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election in Nigeria, Africa's biggest and richest country, was making big headlines around the world Wednesday. At home, the daily Nigerian Tribunecovered the results and reactions of Buhari's victory over incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. "Our country has now joined the community of nations that have used the ballot box to peacefully change an incumbent president in a free and fair election," Buhari said in a speech Wednesday at his party headquarters in the capital Abuja.

$1.3 BILLION
President Barack Obama announced yesterday the U.S. would resume its supply of military equipment to Egypt, which was frozen after the military ousted Mohamed Morsi in August 2013. Commenting on Obama’s decision, journalist Glenn Greenwald said it was “as unsurprising as it is noxious.” This comes as Egyptian President Al-Sisi is leading together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar the ongoing “Decisive Storm” military operation in Yemen.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
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WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
Lies and mistrust are spreading throughout society, destroying the relationships between people and states. How could it get this far?, asks Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Stefan Ulrich. “Lies can save lives if they are aimed at preventing mass hysteria. Lies can be viewed as a forgivable sin because everyone expects to be lied to — for example during election time. And lies can even become truths. In 2008 Chancellor Angela Merkel and then Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrueck reassured the citizens that their saving deposits were safe. That was a lie when spoken. But because many believed it at the time, the confidence inspired made it become the truth.”
Read the full article, Lying Power, Humans Can't Always Handle The Truth.

PALESTINE JOINS ICC
Palestine officially becomes a member of the International Criminal Court today, with the Palestinian Authority aiming to pursue Israel for alleged war crimes during its military operations in Gaza and for its building settlements on Palestinian territory. Read more from The Daily Telegraph.

FAREWELL
Photo: storydumonde via Instagram
Japan’s Misao Okawa, the world's oldest person, has died just a few weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday. Her “successor” is Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, who was born on July 4, 1898. We’ll let you do the math.

THE 7 BEST APRIL FOOL’S NEWS
It’s that time of year again when journalists are getting their facts wrong ... on purpose. Here’s a selections of our best finds:

GOOGLE PAC-MAPS
P.S. You can now play Pac-Man in Google Maps.

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Geopolitics

The West Must Face Reality: Iran's Nuclear Program Can't Be Stopped

The West is insisting on reviving a nuclear pact with Iran. However, this will only postpone the inevitable moment when the regime declares it has a nuclear bomb. The only solution is regime change.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have lasted for 16 months but some crucial sticking points remain.

Hamed Mohammadi

-OpEd-

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear inspectorate, declared on Sept. 7 that Iran already had more than enough uranium for an atomic bomb. He said the IAEA could no longer confirm that the Islamic Republic has a strictly peaceful nuclear program as it has always claimed because the agency could not properly inspect sites inside Iran.

The Islamic Republic may have shown flexibility in some of its demands in the talks to renew the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, a preliminary framework reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., the U.K., China, Russia, France and Germany). For example, it no longer insists that the West delist its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. But it has kept its crucial promise that unless Western powers lift all economic sanctions, the regime will boost its uranium reserves and their level of enrichment, as well as restrict the IAEA's access to installations.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have been going on for 16 months. European diplomacy has resolved most differences between the sides, but some crucial sticking points remain.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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