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Australia enforced United Nations sanctions on Iranian individuals and institutions involved in nuclear proliferation. The sanctions target two major state-owned banks, Melli and Saderat, as well as officials involved in Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. The United States welcomed Australia’s actions. “We applaud Australia for taking steps to further isolate Iran and we encourage countries around the world to take similar steps,” said an Oct. 16 statement by Stuart Levey, the U.S. Treasury undersecretary for terrorism.

Chinese laborers on Turks and Caicos released their remaining Israeli captives after an Israeli company agreed to pay lost wages. Six Israelis of the Israeli company Ashtrom were released late Saturday. Nine Israelis had been freed the day before, according to reports, after some payments were paid to the laborers.

Some 300 laborers took the employees captive after Ashtrom halted construction on a project in Turks and Caicos, a Caribbean nation. The laborers insisted on being paid before releasing the Israelis and several other foreign nationals. Ashtrom had stopped the project because one of the banks involved collapsed in the current financial crisis, Israeli media reported.

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