World briefs – September 23

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that as an engineer he’s sure the twin towers were not brought down by jetliners.

Ahmadinejad says co-ordinated explosion,

not planes, caused towers’ fall

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that as an engineer he’s sure the twin towers were not brought down by jetliners.

Ahmadinejad, in an interview with The Associated Press, says it would have been impossible for two jetliners to bring down the towers simply by hitting them. he says some kind of planned explosion must have taken place.

Ahmadinejad stopped short of saying the United States staged the disaster 10 years ago.

But he says there are questions the world should resolve, and noted there are doubters in the United States as well.

Ahmadinejad was denied his request last year to visit the site of the World Trade Center collapse. He says he’s not making another attempt this year. He’s in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly.


‘Still a chance for U.S., Iran to improve ties’

NEW YORK — Iran’s president tells The Associated Press that he thinks time has not run out for Iran and the U.S. to repair their bad relationship.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says U.S. President Barack Obama could still make good on a pledge to try to improve on 30 years of enmity. Ahmadinejad, in an interview, says he’s open to meeting Obama. He says this week’s United Nations General Assembly would have been a good time to do that.

Ahmadinejad also says he doesn’t think Obama has anything to worry about his re-election bid, but he says it’s up to the American people to decide.

He says the two countries could co-operate in several areas, including intelligence, and could talk about his country’s disputed nuclear program.


Magnitude 6.2 earthquake shakes Tonga in South Pacific

NEW YORK — A magnitude-6.2 earthquake rattled the island nation of Tonga in the South Pacific on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The 12:07 p.m. Friday (2307 GMT Thursday) quake was 8.6 kilometres (5.3 miles) below the surface, the USGS said.

The USGS said the quake was some 382 kilometres (238 miles) northwest of Neiafu,Tonga.