By Patricia Zengerle and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry intensified efforts on Tuesday to beat back criticism of the Iran nuclear deal and convince U.S. lawmakers that rejecting it would give Tehran a fast track to a weapon and unlock billions of dollars from collapsed sanctions. Battle-hardened from years of negotiations with Iranians, Kerry sharpened his response to U.S. congressional criticism that the deal's provisions were temporary and would not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in the long run. "Iran has agreed to refrain from producing or acquiring highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons forever," he told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
KAZAN, Russia (AP) — There were medals at stake in the women's 10-kilometer open water race at the world swimming championships. A top-10 finish was just as good, though, since it secured a trip to next year's Olympics.
Ukraine said Tuesday it had blacklisted French film star and newly minted Russian national Gerard Depardieu in apparent retribution for reportedly refusing to recognise the independence of the former Soviet state. A spokeswoman for the National Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said the 66-year-old actor was this week barred from entering the country for five years. Depardieu first outraged Kiev's new pro-Western leaders by striking up a close friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and once reportedly even denying the very existence of an independent Ukraine.