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Iran, Pakistan OK pipeline deal

Iran and Pakistan have reached a deal to build a multibillion-dollar pipeline to transport natural gas between the two countries, Iranian state television reported Saturday.

The United States opposes the project because it fears it will weaken efforts to isolate Iran, which it accuses of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

The pipeline is expected to run 1,625 miles from Iran to Pakistan and should carry 5.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

“The text of the Peace Pipeline contract has been finalized,” state TV quoted Iran’s deputy minister in charge of the project, Hojatollah Ganimifard, as saying.

The contract will be formally signed next month, the TV station said.

Gualeguaychu, Argentina

Protesters march against pulp plant

About 20,000 demonstrators marched to Argentina’s river border with Uruguay on Saturday to protest the impending startup of a paper pulp plant in the neighboring country that they fear will pollute the environment.

The peaceful protest came two days after Uruguay authorized the Finnish-built plant to begin converting eucalyptus trees into pulp, the base ingredient for paper.

Uruguay says its studies show it will operate within legal pollution limits.

But the Argentine government and environmentalists object to the plant, which is located on the border river, saying soybean, citrus and other crops in Argentina are at risk of contamination.

The $1.2 billion plant – the biggest foreign investment project in Uruguay’s history – is intended to create 600 jobs and boost exports by 15 percent.

The paper it produces is to be exported to the United States, Europe and Asia.