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Morning Briefing: Is Iran about to ratchet up nuclear enrichment?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, middle, visits the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in April, 2008.

PRESIDENTIAL OFFICIAL WEBSITE/REUTERS

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Jan. 31, 2013

Iran to accelerate nuclear program: reports

Iran is planning a significant technological upgrade that will accelerate its ability to enrich uranium, AP reports today. The installation of the new technology at its facility in Natanz, would allow the country to enrich uranium five times faster than the current process.

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Sentencing hearing begins for Canadian spy

How much damage was done to the security of Canada and its allies from Jeffrey Delisle's spying? That's the question at the heart of a two-day hearing set to begin today in Halifax, as the confessed spy gets sentenced for passing secrets on to the Russians. Sub-Lieutenant Delisle was nabbed by the RCMP last year after officials here were tipped off by the FBI.

Flaherty goes public with illness

After months of speculation about his health, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has taken the extraordinary step of going public with news that he suffers from a skin condition. "I would like those who have been concerned about my health … (to know) that my ability to do my job is not affected by this condition," he told The Globe in an exclusive interview. Treatment for the condition – bullous pemphigoid – causes weight gain and puffiness, symptoms that have prompted speculation about the veteran politician's health.

Israeli air strike shakes up region

The Israeli strike inside Syria Wednesday continues to reverberate across the region. The militant group Hezbollah slammed the Israeli for "barbaric aggression," while Russia – one of Syria's few remaining allies – said it was taking "urgent measures to clarify the situation." The strike was on a convoy suspected to be carrying weapons, possibly surface-to-air missiles, from Syria to Lebanon. Syria says the strike was on a research centre, but rebels claimed responsibility for that attack.

A better day for RIM?

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Will today be any kinder to RIM? Shares in the one-time market darling were pummeled Wednesday, despite a successful, splashy global launch and good reviews for Blackberry 10 , a make-or-break product for the Waterloo-based smartphone producer. Despite a positive reception, the stock dropped 12 per cent, attributed in part to news that launch of the phone in U.S. would not be until March.

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