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After Talks Collapse, Iran Charges Ahead With Nuclear Program



TEHRAN - Iran unveiled on Tuesday a new uranium production facility and two extraction mines, a few days after talks with world powers on its disputed nuclear program ended in a deadlock, reports AFP.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Iran now controlled the entire chain of nuclear energy production -- and promptly called on work to be accelerated.

Iran says it opened the Saghand 1 and 2 uranium mines in the central city of Yazd, extracting uranium from a depth of 350 meters, and the Shahid Rezaeinejad plant at Ardakan, according tot the state news agency IRNA. The Ardakan plant, 120 kilometers away from the mines, is able to produce 66 tons of yellow cake -- raw uranium powder -- annually, according to the report.

The United States and its allies suspect the Islamic Republic of pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. Ahmadinejad says its atomic program, including its enrichment of uranium, is merely for civil purposes. Talks between sanctions-hit Iran and world powers (the Security Council's five permanent members and Germany) last week in Almaty, Kazakhstan failed to unlock the situation.

“They (the world powers) tried their utmost to prevent Iran from going nuclear, but Iran has gone nuclear,” said Ahmadinejad, in a speech at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization on Tuesday, reports Reuters. “This nuclear technology and power and science has been institutionalized...All the stages are in our control and every day that we go forward a new horizon opens up before the Iranian nation.”

Since 2006, the UN Security Council has passed repeated resolutions demanding that Iran halt the advancement of its nuclear program, notes Al Jazeera. A number of sanctions have been implemented, reinforced by international punitive measures targetting its vital oil income and access to global banking system.

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Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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