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In brief: No uranium enrichment, Vietnam vows in deal with Kerry

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei – The United States and Vietnam are moving to boost cooperation in the energy sector by signing a deal on civilian nuclear power that will allow American firms into the market and commits the Vietnamese to not producing ingredients for atomic weapons.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Vietnamese counterpart inked the so-called “123 agreement” today at the East Asian Summit in Brunei. Under its terms, Vietnam pledges not to enrich its own uranium and instead acquire what it needs on the international market.

Once the U.S. energy secretary and Nuclear Regulatory Commission sign off, the deal will go to President Barack Obama for formal consideration. Once he signs it, Congress will have 90 days to review it. If lawmakers do nothing, the deal will take effect.

Russia says drugs found aboard Greenpeace ship

Moscow – Russian investigators said Wednesday that they found drugs and equipment that could be used for spying on board a Greenpeace ship used in a foiled protest against offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.

Additional charges are expected to be filed against 30 people accused of piracy for their roles in last month’s protest, according to a statement posted on the website of Russia’s Investigative Committee.

Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said “narcotic substances” – apparently morphine and poppy straw, which is used to manufacture opiates such as heroin – were found on the ship along with “dual purpose” equipment that “could be used not only for ecological ends.”

Investigators also are trying to determine which of those in custody were allegedly responsible for ramming coast guard ships during a failed attempt to board an oil drilling platform, Markin said. He said the suspects’ actions “endangered the life and health” of those on board.

Greenpeace has said that its activists tried to hang a banner from the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Barents Sea on Sept. 18.


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