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News Brief


The board of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog will discuss Iran and Syria.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s meeting scheduled to begin Monday in Vienna explore the delayed investigation into Iran’s alleged work on a nuclear weapon. It also will likely receive an update on the probe of an alleged Syrian nuclear weapons plant that was bombed by Israel in September 2007.

A confidential report made public last week accused Iran of blocking IAEA investigators. Iran also has refused to halt nuclear enrichment and reportedly has built about half the uranium-enriching centrifuges needed to build a nuclear bomb.

The Syrian investigation is not officially on the IAEA meeting’s agenda, according to the French press agency.

The IAEA board also will discuss Libya, which halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

A private Palestinian company will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on projects in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

The Palestine Development and Investment Co., or Padico, announced Monday that it would begin the projects in the coming months, The Media Line reported.

Projects include an electric power generation plan in Kalkilya and an all-purpose hall in the center of eastern Jerusalem.

The projects will be unveiled officially during a Palestinian Authority investment conference scheduled for November in Nablus, The Media Line reported.

Padico executives believe the West Bank is more secure than in recent years.

“There is a state of better internal security compared with the past as a result of measures taken by the Palestinian Authority, particularly in Nablus and Jenin,” Padico Executive President Samir Huleileh told The Media Line. “There is no corruption, and investors don’t need to pay anybody in order for their projects to move.”

Padico owns or has a large stake in 31 West Bank and Gaza Strip companies.

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