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World Champions New Zealand became the first team in the professional era to win all their Test matches in a calendar year as Aaron Cruden converted with the last kick of the game to beat Ireland 24-22 in a pulsating encounter at Lansdowne Road on Sunday. The Irish had stormed into a 22-7 half-time lead but they failed to score a point in the second-half and a missed penalty by Johnny Sexton four minutes from time cost them their first ever victory over the All Blacks.
By Fredrik Dahl GENEVA (Reuters) - A breakthrough agreement between Iran and six world powers to restrain its nuclear program has been denounced by Israel as an "historic mistake" but should nevertheless make it harder for Tehran to build any atomic bomb if it wanted to. By halting Iran's most sensitive enrichment of uranium and stopping other aspects of its nuclear activities from expanding, Sunday's interim accord is designed as a "first step" to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old dispute. However, Iran will for now retain thousands of centrifuges refining uranium - albeit only to concentrations far below that needed for nuclear weapons - and a stockpile that could potentially be devoted to bomb-making if processed much more. A senior U.S. official said the agreement "rolls (Iran's nuclear program) back in some important respects".
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced a nuclear deal with Iran as a historic mistake on Sunday that leaves the production of atomic weapons within Tehran's reach and said Israel would not be bound by it. Having lost its battle against easing sanctions, Israel appeared to be charting a new strategy: intense scrutiny by its intelligence services of Iran's compliance with the interim agreement and lobbying for stronger terms in a final accord that world powers and the Islamic Republic are still pursuing. The terms of the deal and re-engagement of the West with Iran, after a protracted, volatile standoff, are a setback for Netanyahu, who had demanded Iran be stripped of its nuclear enrichment capabilities altogether. His military options in confronting Tehran now seem more limited and likely to risk Israel's isolation.
A young Saudi woman on Sunday urged a Yemeni court to let her stay and marry the man she loves, defying norms in both deeply conservative countries. In a case reminiscent of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, Huda al-Niran, 22, defied her family and crossed the border illegally to be with her beloved. As she pleaded her case to be able to stay and marry Arafat Mohammed Tahar, 25, her supporters demonstrated outside the Sanaa courthouse, sporting headbands proclaiming "We are all Huda." The lovers' plight has gripped imaginations in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia, where the young woman's courage is seen as astonishing.
JERUSALEM (AP) — In a story Nov. 22 about the new head of Israel's Labor Party, The Associated Press reported erroneously that outgoing party leader Shelly Yachimovich was the first woman to lead the party. Former Prime Minister Golda Meir also served as head of the Labor Party from 1969-1974. A corrected version of the story is below:
Ukraine's stunning refusal to sign a historic trade deal with the European Union highlights the perilous state of the ex-Soviet nation's economy and its continued reliance on its old master Russia. Add to that the danger of losing crucial Russian markets with no immediate benefit from the 28 EU nations and the choice facing Ukrainian leaders -- still publicly committed to closer political ties with Brussels -- was dire. "The International Monetary Fund's position was the final straw," a seemingly-exasperated Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said in reference to IMF pressure on Ukraine to raise its subsidised domestic gas prices before it gets access to a frozen financial lifeline. The end result is that the Eastern Partnership summit kicking off in Vilnius on Thursday will not see Kiev and Brussels sign an Association Agreement that would have pulled Ukraine out of Russia's orbit and put it on a path to eventual EU membership.
By William Maclean DUBAI (Reuters) - An interim international deal on Iran's nuclear program could tilt the balance of power in the Middle East towards Tehran after two years of popular revolts that have weakened leading Arab nations. Sunday's agreement opens the way for a thaw in U.S.-Iranian confrontation that has lasted almost as long as the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, alarming Israel and Gulf Arab rulers who fear a new regional hegemony deeply hostile to their interests. For some Gulf Arab states, which see Tehran as a regional troublemaker, and for Israel, which regards Iran as a mortal threat, the Geneva agreement means they have failed to dissuade Washington from a course they suspect will end in tears, such is their distrust of the Islamic Republic. Iran will grow richer and stronger through the easing and eventual lifting of sanctions that have shackled its economy, emboldening its Islamist rulers to step up support to Shi'ite Muslim allies in Arab countries, critics of the deal say.