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The English-language TV service of Iran aired the government's version of the video showing the confrontation between US warships and patrol craft from the Islamic republic. An accompanying audio track contained only standard chatter between radio operators from both sides, and an Iranian announcer called the incident of last Sunday morning "a routine and regular measure." Iran has denied that its craft threatened three Navy vessels, and the video showed no indication of what President Bush and the Defense Department have called a "provocation."

A new deadline for North Korea to finish disabling its nuclear facilities appeared to be offered by special US envoy Christopher Hill. The communist state missed its Dec. 31 target to fully divulge the scope of its nuclear activities. Hill, who indicated earlier this week that Western nations were prepared to allow the North more time, said Thursday that the report should be forthcoming by Feb. 25, when President-elect Lee Myung Bak of rival South Korea is scheduled to take his oath of office. He also said "there is no reason why" the North's nuclear program cannot be ended "in '08."

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