December 1, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Britain ousts Iranian envoys

 

London – Britain ordered all Iranian diplomats out of the U.K. within 48 hours and shuttered its ransacked embassy in Tehran on Wednesday, in a significant escalation of tensions between Iran and the West.

The British measures were announced by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who said Britain had withdrawn its entire diplomatic staff after angry mobs stormed the British Embassy compound and a diplomatic residence Tuesday in Tehran, hauling down Union Jack flags, torching a vehicle and tossing looted documents through windows.

The diplomatic fallout from the attack quickly spread to other Western countries with embassies in Iran. Norway announced it was temporarily closing its embassy as a precaution, and Germany, France and the Netherlands all recalled their ambassadors for consultations. Italy said it was considering such a recall.

Mayan message reinterpreted

Mexico City – The end is not near.

At least that’s according to a German expert who says his decoding of a Mayan tablet suggests a reference to a 2012 date that others have cited as a possible end of the world rather denotes a transition to a new era.

The interpretation of the hieroglyphs by Sven Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia was presented for the first time Wednesday.

Gronemeyer has studied a stone tablet found years ago at Tortuguero in Mexico’s Gulf Coast state of Tabasco.

He said the inscription describes the return of a mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte at the end of a 13th period of 400 years on the equivalent of Dec. 21, 2012. He says there’s nothing apocalyptic in the date.

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