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Nuclear deal cleared...Prisoner swap with Iran...Trying to solve natural gas leak

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 17, 2016 at 12:10 a.m.



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VIENNA (AP) — Secretary of state John Kerry says implementation of the Iran nuclear deal leaves the world just a bit safer. Years-old western economic sanctions have been lifted, unlocking access to $100 billion in frozen assets and unleashing new opportunities for its battered economy. That's the result of certification by the U.N. nuclear agency that Iran has met all of its commitments under the deal.

VIENNA (AP) — Iran's nuclear program isn't the only irritant to the U.S. to get some soothing. A negotiated exchange has given four Americans their freedom in a prisoner swap for seven Iranians. A fifth American was released separately. It could help bring about smoother relations after decades of hostility, though Iran and the U.S. remain sharply at odds on many issues.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California air regulators have decided to do some more thinking about a plan to trap and burn leaking natural gas that has persisted for 12 weeks and driven thousands from their Los Angeles homes. The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Saturday postponed voting on an order of abatement until after a final hearing on Wednesday. There will also be further safety assessments.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N.-appointed panel looking for ways to close a $15 billion gap in funds needed for humanitarian purposes says one possibility is a small voluntary tax on tickets for soccer games and other sports, concerts and entertainment events, airline travel, and gasoline. An estimated $40 billion is needed annually to help the rapidly growing number of people needing humanitarian aid. The panel notes the world produces $78 trillion of annual GDP.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian government official says a terrorism-related arrest came just in time. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar says a man arrested in Kuala Lumpur confessed he planned to blow himself up in an attack after receiving orders from members of the Islamic State group in Syria. The planned suicide bombing was to happen just hours after the man was arrested.

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The Associated Press

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