Experts make little progress on N-deal
US and Indian technical experts made little progress when they met in London this week in another attempt to work through persistent serious differences over a nuclear cooperation agreement, a US official said on Tuesday.
The official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters he had not received a full report on the talks but "there was not a lot of progress" when negotiators met on Monday.
The much-heralded agreement would give India access to US nuclear fuel and reactors for the first time in 30 years, even though New Delhi tested nuclear weapons and never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
On May 1, the two countries claimed extensive progress during two days of talks in Washington aimed at salvaging their landmark deal, and Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, the chief US negotiator, said he would "visit India in the second half of May to reach closure."
But last week Burns postponed his trip, and the decision was made to send technical experts to London to continue working on the issues.
The deal is the touchstone of new US -India relationship that Washington envisions as a pillar of 21st century international security, but its history has been rocky.
Obstacles have included a US Congress mandate that Washington halt nuclear cooperation if India tests a nuclear weapon as it did in 1998.
Other disputed points have been US refusal to give India prior approval to allow reprocessing of spent fuel with US components and to assure permanent fuel supplies.
Another scorching heat wave is set to hit northwest and central Europe this week, putting further pressure on the continent's strained power infrastructure. Sizzling temperatures are expected to hit the UK, Germany and France -- reaching almost 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit) on Friday -- according to Maxar Technologies LLC. The heat will boost demand for cooling, aggravating already dry conditions that hurt crops and force limits on water use.
Sri Lanka has allowed permission to the Chinese built-Pakistani guided missile frigate PNS Taimur to make a port call at Colombo while on its way to join the Pakistan Navy in Karachi.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for international inspectors to be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of Europe's largest atomic plant at the weekend. "Any attack (on) a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing," Guterres told a news conference in Japan, where he attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on Saturday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing.
After the White House gave initial approval and then settled the final details with senators, that became the version that was shepherded into law. The president next tried to strike a deal on a social spending and climate package with Sen. Joe Manchin, going as far as inviting the West Virginia lawmaker to his home in Wilmington, Delaware, until the conservative Democrat abruptly pulled the plug on the talks in a Fox News interview.
Air traffic around Taiwan is gradually returning to normal after airspace surrounding the island reopened, Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications said on Monday, although China later announced fresh military drills in the area. China last week deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near during military exercises sparked by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.