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Iran says inspecting new IAEA cameras for nuclear site

Iran said Sunday the technical inspection of new surveillance cameras for the Karaj nuclear facility had begun after Tehran said previous cameras were damaged in an attack it blamed on Israel.

The new cameras, provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), are to replace those Iran says were damaged on June 23 during an Israeli “sabotage” operation.

Tehran and the Vienna-based IAEA announced Wednesday that they had reached agreement on replacing the cameras at the TESA nuclear complex in Karaj, west of Tehran, a facility which makes centrifuges.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, listed the three conditions set by Tehran for the reinstallation.

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Iran demands “legal and security investigations into the sabotage”, the IAEA's condemnation of the matter, and a “technical and security investigation of the cameras” before their installation, he said, speaking on state television.

“The authorization given by Iran did not come in the form of a new agreement, but after the three prerequisites were met,” Kamalvandi added.

The IAEA was not able to recover the camera memory cards destroyed in June, and on Friday the agency's director general Rafael Grossi said he had “doubts” over a missing camera memory unit.

Suspicions have been raised in Iran that June's attack could have been enabled by the hacking of the cameras.

But Grossi dismissed that suggestion as “absurd”, insisting the monitors were tamper-proof and that, once installed, they had no means of remote data transmission.

For the rest of the cameras at Karaj, as well as at other sites where the IAEA's activity has been restricted since February, Iran has said the footage will only be available to the IAEA once US sanctions are lifted.

How and when Iran could get sanctions relief is one of the topics being discussed at the Vienna talks.

Former US president Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sweeping sanctions including a unilateral US ban on Iran's oil sales, vowing to bring the US adversary to its knees.

The talks — aimed at bringing the US back into the agreement and Iran to roll back its nuclear activities — started in April this year, but then stopped for several months as the Islamic republic elected a new ultraconservative government.

The talks finally resumed in late November and on Friday European diplomats warned that they were “rapidly reaching the end of the road”.

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US: Bodies of two of three missing kids found in Minnesota lake

The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been released.

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The chain of events began Friday morning when the father was found dead at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

A search of the lake found one child’s body Friday evening. A second body was found overnight. Searchers from several organizations were busy Saturday looking for the third, as well as the mother.

Authorities believe all three children were under the age of 5.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He called the deaths a “likely triple homicide.”

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Several dozen Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took up their posts in Greece on Saturday, the first members of a European force being deployed to the country to provide backup in case of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland will be on standby during the hottest months of July and August in Greece, where a spate of wildfires caused devastation last summer.

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A group of 28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the two-month mission, financed and coordinated under the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

“We thank you very much for coming to help us during a difficult summer for our country, and for proving that European solidarity is not just theoretical, it’s real,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said on Saturday as he welcomed the members of the Romanian mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, you will be side by side with our Greek firefighters so we can save lives and property.”

The Bulgarian firefighters have been stationed in Larissa, in central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities.

In Greece’s worst wildfire disaster, 102 people were killed when a blaze tore through the seaside town of Mati and nearby areas close to Athens during the summer of 2018.

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One killed, six injured in shootout between migrant groups in Serbia

One migrant was killed and at least six others, including a teenage girl, were injured Saturday in a shootout between migrant groups in Serbia near the Hungarian border, the state-run RTS television reported.

The 16-year-old girl sustained life threatening injuries in the incident that occurred in a forest in the outskirts of Subotica, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Belgrade, where the injured were hospitalized, RTS reported.

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Police, who made no immediate comment, blocked access to the forest where the incident took place, only around a kilometer from the Hungarian border.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin rushed to the scene.

The injured, aged between 20 and 30, have no documents, Subotica mayor Stevan Bakic told local media.

It is not known what triggered the incident, he added.

Local media reported that the shootout occurred between Afghan and Pakistani migrants most likely over human trafficking from the area to European Union member Hungary.

Serbia lies on the so-called Balkans route used by migrants heading towards Western Europe as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Although the route is nowhere as busy as it was during Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, tens of thousands of illegal migrants still cross the region annually.

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