Iran reported nearing nuclear capability
VIENNA, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Iran reportedly is making steady progress toward producing nuclear fuel and could make a significant amount of enriched uranium within a year.
Mastering enrichment would move Tehran a big step closer to being able to build an atomic bomb, the Los Angeles Times said Thursday.
Iran's closely guarded progress, according to new estimates by diplomats, scientists and intelligence officials, already has intensified its confrontation with the United States and other countries that fear it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran insists that its goal is to generate electricity.
Its leaders have so far rejected demands by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States and European countries that they freeze enrichment activities.
The United States and its allies, arguing that the threat is imminent, want the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran.
U.S. gymnast Hamm to keep Olympic gold
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Thursday U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm can keep his Olympic gold medal despite a South Korean appeal.
Hamm was the first U.S. man to win the gymnastics' all-round title at the Olympic Games.
The three-judge panel in Lausanne, Switzerland, threw out South Korea's appeal that Yang Tae-young should be awarded the gold because he was mistakenly docked 0.1 points in his parallel bars routine.
Had he been given the correct score, he would have beaten Hamm. Instead, he was awarded a bronze medal.
The International Gymnastics Federation had previously refused to redistribute the medals because the South Koreans did not protest until after the event.
The three judges involved in the controversy were suspended by the federation.
The ruling ends two months of appeals to various bodies, including the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee.
Study shows college students support Kerry
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A national poll of college students Thursday indicated college voters prefer Sen. John Kerry over President Bush by 13 points.
In the survey from Harvard University's Institute of Politics, 52 percent of students favored Kerry and 39 percent supported Bush. Kerry's lead is even greater in 14 swing states, with Kerry winning by a 17-point margin there.
College-age voters have traditionally favored Democrats, but this poll also showed student interest and engagement in the election at record highs.
Nearly 72 percent of respondents said they are registered and "definitely" plan on voting in this election.
The students most often cited the economy as the most important issue for them in this election, followed by Iraq and terrorism.
Bush led on questions of which man is a stronger leader and who takes clear stands on issues, but Kerry won on who would make a better commander-in-chief.
School boss says Halloween offends witches
PUYALLUP, Wash, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The Puyallup, Wash., school district has put the kibosh on Halloween activities this year saying some costumes could offend witches.
Parents in the district received letters Wednesday canceling the traditional elementary school costume parades and parties, KOMO-TV, Seattle, reported Thursday.
A district spokeswoman said the superintendent felt Halloween celebrations were a waste of classroom time, they wanted to be sensitive to children who could not afford costumes and they did not want to offend any "real witches."
"Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so want to be respectful of that," the spokeswoman told KOMO.
"They're so worried about being politically correct anymore that we're not allowed to do much of anything," one parent said.
"I think it's terrible," another parent told KOMO. "I think it just kind of takes away from the little stuff they get to do that's fun at school."