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Country gains ability to reprocess N-fuel

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese scientists have mastered the technology for reprocessing nuclear fuel, potentially yielding additional power sources to keep the country's economy booming, state television reported Monday.

The breakthrough will extend by many times the amount of power that can be generated from China's nuclear plants by allowing the recovery of fissile and fertile materials to provide new fuel, CCTV said.

Several European countries, Russia, India and Japan already reprocess nuclear fuel. Each country's process is generally considered an industrial secret and not shared.

China, which has possessed nuclear weapons for decades, has enough known supplies of nuclear fuel to last 50 to 70 years, but the new process could yield enough extra fuel to potentially extend that to 3,000 years, the report said.


Key party demands progress in peace talks

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's Labor Party will pull out of the government within two months if no progress is made in peace talks, a senior member of the party said Monday, in a potential threat to the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition.

Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said his party will leave by early March if peace talks remain stuck. Netanyahu could still govern with a slim majority in parliament, but a Labor pullout would mean the loss of a key moderate ally -- including his defense minister, Ehud Barak -- and would leave him with a coalition of hard-line parties that could exacerbate Israel's international isolation.

"If I see real movement in the next month and a half or two months, then the Labor Party will continue to offer support," Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio. "If not, we will be out."


Amid rioting, action urged on complaints

CAIRO (AP) -- As fierce riots broke out in the capital after the New Year's Day church bombing that killed 21 people, the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church appealed to the government Monday to ease tensions by dealing with Christians' complaints.

Coptic Pope Shenouda III was interviewed on state television as hundreds of protesters, predominantly Christians, clashed with riot police in northern Cairo.

Shenouda, 87, called for government action on Christian grievances, especially laws restricting freedom of worship.

"The state also has a duty. It must see to the problems of the Copts and try to resolve them," he said.

Investigators, meanwhile, said they are focusing on a set of unidentified remains from the bomb attack that may be linked to the attacker, a security official said.