1 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that talks with Iran regarding its nuclear program will resume in Istanbul, Turkey April 14. According to CNN, IAEA spokesman Michael Mann said, “We are very pleased that these talks, which will address the international community’s concerns on the Iranian nuclear programme, are going ahead after more than one year since we last met.” The agreement comes after weeks of diplomatic discourse between Tehran and Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United states. With mounting pressure on the country, Iran has decided to restart talks with the IAEA. While the country insists that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, Iran’s commercial and research reactors, though legal to have, also has the ability to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, which is why many people in the Western world are concerned.
2 In March, the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, announced that it would launch a rocket carrying a satellite sometime between April 12-16, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-Sung. But some countries, including Japan, South Korea, and the United States, see this as a cover for testing long-range ballistic missiles – a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. In an effort to combat the controversy, North Korea has insisted that the intentions are good and have invited foreign journalists to view the secret launch site.
3 On Sunday, an explosion went off in the middle of a road in the northern city of Kaduna, Nigeria, killing at least 41 people. In addition to the dead, at least 13 people are said to have been injured and rushed to the hospital for treatment. The bomb’s blast was so great that a witness said it shattered the windows of a nearby church as people were celebrating Easter. Another explosion occurred in the city of Jos, just 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Kaduna, though at the time there were no known casualties from the blast. These bombings are just a few in a string of attacks that have occurred over the last few months, yet no clear target has been established for the recent attack.
4 Israel declared Nobel Prize winning Gunter Grass persona non grata on Sunday, in the wake of a controversial poem Grass penned. Published in a German paper and titled “What Needs To Be Said,” Grass’ poem accuses Israel of planning a preemptive strike against Iran in order to “extinguish the Iranian people,” and claims that Israel’s “atomic power endangers” world peace. The poem is critical of the German government for supplying Israel with submarines capable of sending destructive warheads. Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu referred to Grass’ comparison between Israel and Iran as “shameful.” As a result, the poet is no longer welcome into the country of Israel.