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Israeli diplomats targeted: Thai police

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's police chief says the Iranians who were arrested after accidentally exploding their rented home in Bangkok were plotting to attack Israeli diplomats.

National police Chief Prewpan Dhamapong told a Thai television station "the target of the operation was specific and aimed at Israeli diplomatic staff."

His comments late Wednesday came shortly after Israeli Ambassador to Thailand Itzhak Shoham said the homemade "sticky" bombs found at the blast site were similar to devices used against Israeli Embassy targets in India and Georgia earlier this week. He called it a "network of terror."

Two Iranian men were detained Tuesday in Bangkok after the explosion and a third was arrested Wednesday in Malaysia.

Iran open to talks over nuclear program

WASHINGTON -- Iran has told world powers it is ready to resume talks as soon as possible over its disputed nuclear program, according to a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. It's an offer that could reflect its difficulty in coping with tough U.S. and European sanctions, or amount to another delaying tactic as it moves ahead with activities that could bring it closer to developing an atomic bomb.

The letter from chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was sent Tuesday, a day before Iran claimed two major advances in producing nuclear fuel and indicated it was on the verge of imposing an oil embargo on European countries to retaliate for sanctions. The Obama administration dismissed the announcements as unimpressive and said Tehran's erratic behaviour was indicative of the squeeze it is feeling as a result of hard-hitting economic measures against it.

Electronic cig really bad for his health

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A man trying to kick the smoking habit was puffing on an electronic cigarette when a faulty battery caused it to explode in his mouth, taking out some of his front teeth and a chunk of his tongue and severely burning his face, fire officials said Wednesday.

"The best analogy is like it was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off," said Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department. "The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire."

Heart Attack Grill customer hospitalized

LAS VEGAS -- A man fell ill and was hospitalized after ordering a Triple Bypass burger at the Heart Attack Grill, a Las Vegas restaurant that jokingly warns customers "this establishment is bad for your health."

Laughing tourists were either cynical or confused about whether the man was really suffering a medical episode amid the "doctor," "nurses" and health warnings at the Heart Attack Grill, restaurant owner Jon Basso said Wednesday.

"It was no joke," said Basso, who promotes himself as "Doctor Jon," his scantily clad waitresses as nurses and customers as patients.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2012 A12

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