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WORLD & NATION NEWS IN FEBRUARY 17, 2012 Stories by Becca Heller Graphic by DanielVasiles On Feb. 15, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad touted SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENT IN THE country's nuclear technology PROGRAM, CLAIMING TO HAVE DEVELOPED FASTER URANIUM ENRICHMENT CENTRIFUGES AND DOMESTIC FUEL RODS. The announcement has been viewed as a defiant move in response to Western sanctions, which were initially put into place in hopes of curbing the threat of Iran's rapidly growing nuclear program. "The era of bullying nations has passed. The arrogant powers cannot monopolize nuclear technology. They tried to prevent us by issuing sanctions and resolutions but failed," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a live television broadcast. "Our nuclear path will continue." Late on Tuesday night, a roaring fire broke out in A PRISON IN COMAYAGUA, HONDURAS, KILLING OVER 300 PRISONERS. Taking over an hour to bring under control, the fire spread throughout the cells, burning many prisoners beyond recognition and suffocating others by smoke. Amid the confusion, many inmates fled for their lives, breaking out of their cells any way they could. "The only thing that we were able to do was start breaking the roof apart so we could go out from above," one prisoner later told reporters. "We started ripping apart the ceiling above us." Despite reports that there had been a riot in the prison prior to the outbreak of the fire, prison service head Daniel Orellana denied that this was the cause of the fire. "We have two hypotheses. One is that a prisoner set fire to a mattress and the other one is that there was a short-circuit in the electrical system," said Orellana to Reuters. Mobile phones are expected to outnumber human BEINGS THIS YEAR, according to the latest analysis of mobile data traffic by Californian networking firm Cisco. At the end of 2011, 7 billion mobile phones were connected across the world, accounting for 0.9 devices per capita, and by the end of this year, that figure is expected to rise to 1.4. With the rise of smartphone usage, data consumption is rapidly increasing and, while the average smartphone currently uses about 150MB, this is expected to jump exponentially by 2016, to 2.6 GB, BBC reports. "By 2016, 60% of mobile users — three billion people worldwide — will belong to the Gigabyte Club, each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month," said Cisco Vice-President of Products and Solutions Suraj Shetty to BBC. After a tumultuous month of heated arguments amidst the EUROZONE NATIONS, GREECE —THE REGION'S ECONOMIC BLACK SHEEP — HOPES TO CLINCH A BAILOUT DEAL ON MONDAY. The second bailout of in two years, the deal would provide Greece with 130 billion euros, money which they desperately need in order to avoid a default when debt repayments fall in March, Reuters reports. Greece enters the meeting on Monday with confidence after having met demands of the EU arid IMF which included further austerity measures. However' many finance ministers have not yet forgotten Greece's failure to pull its economy together with the aid of the first bailout and remain skeptical.. Yemen looks to future as Saleh seeks safety in U.S. SALEH'S ARRIVAL IN U.S. COINCIDES WITH ELEQION IN YEMEN. LAST YEAR, SALEH AGREED TO END HIS REGIME By Haejin Song Staff Writer Three years ago. President Bush's surprisingly quick reflexes were revealed to the world. During a news conference in Baghdad, Bush successfully dodged a shoe thrown by an angry Iraqi journalist who called him a dog. Recently, in February, a similar situation occurred in New York City. Wearing a black beret. President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen stepped out of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York City where he waved to irate protestors and even motioned blowing kisses to them. The group of protestors angrily glared at Saleh, the notorious, authoritarian ruler of their homeland. They chanted, "N.Y.C. cries fear, Saleh is here" and "Saleh, oh thug, we will come for you, we will get you," reported the Wall Street Journal. During the hubbub. President Saleh was the target of a shoe attack by one protestor, which narrowly missed Saleh as he headed for his car. According to Human Rights Watch, while he was in power, the Yemeni president ordered an end to Arab Spring protests killing at least 270 people just of last year. In the city of Taiz, at least 120 protestors and bystanders in an anti-government demonstration were killed, reported Associated Press. "They had tanks and bulldozers," said protestor Arif Abd al-Salam to Human Rights Watch. "I saw with my own eyes, a man with a loudspeaker calling on the security forces to stop attacking and killing their brothers. He was shot dead with a bullet." On Jan. 28, Saleh arrived in the U.S. to receive medical treatment for injuries suffered during an assassination attempt in his presidential palace last June, reported Associated Press. However, some are skeptical that the Yemeni president came to the U.S. solely for medical reasons. "He's just buying time, and doing a song and a dance to avoid having to go back and face the music," said Robert Duncan, visiting assistant professor of political science. "He's looted the country enough that he has enough to retire on. What better place to retire than in the U.S. of A?" According to The New York Times, American officials believe that Saleh's visit to the U.S. was a shrewd decision. His absence from Yemen would result in a smooth transition into the Feb. 21 election, in which Saleh officially announced he would not be running, ending his authoritarian regime in Yemen. On Nov. 23 of last year. President Saleh reluctantly agreed to hand power to his current vice president Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, after the Yemeni parliament granted him immunity from prosecution for any criminal actions during his rule. Even though the future election will be a single-candidate election, Hadi and other Yemeni officials seem to believe it will be the "start of a new age in the life of Yemen," reported CBS News. Some are satisfied with Saleh's promise of resignation, which was greatly influenced by mass street demonstrations against his rule last year. However, many are pessimistic about any dramatic reform due to Saleh's family members' continuing command of military units and Yemen's air force. "What difference does it make?" said activist Hamyir Ali to USA Today. "His family still has the military in their hands. Ali Abdullah Saleh will still be able to control everything." "It won't change anything," said Duncan. "The controlling oligarchy, either Saleh or the vice president, are all part of the same regime. It's the same card. They are just painting it in a different color." While the future of Yemen and its new political control may be unclear, an infamous spotlight continues to shine on President Saleh wherever he goes — whether in Yemen or in the U.S.