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Iran to attend talks in Geneva

GENEVA — Iran and six other nations will hold their first talks in 14 months today in Geneva, but despite the participation of a senior U.S. diplomat, chances for a quick breakthrough appear bleak, especially after last week's revelation of a previously covert Iranian nuclear facility.

In its first face-to-face negotiations with Iranian officials, the Obama administration will press Tehran to allow unfettered access to the facility buried under a mountain near the holy city of Qom and to take other steps to alleviate concerns over its nuclear work, a senior U.S. official said.

However, U.S. and European diplomats are skeptical after years of frustrating attempts to engage Iran that the talks will lead anywhere, at least anytime soon.

Fate of soldier held in Afghanistan unknown

KABUL — The troops hunting for the young private have little to go on: He disappeared near the border with Pakistan, his Taliban captors released a propaganda video of him two weeks later, downcast and frightened. Then, at least publicly, nothing about the only U.S. soldier missing in the Afghan war.

U.S. military officials in Afghanistan say they are still searching for 23-year-old Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, who disappeared June 30 — three months ago on Wednesday — but they reveal little else for fear of jeopardizing the search or his safety. Advanced intelligence gathering aircraft are being used for the hunt, but it's not even clear if Bergdahl is being held in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

There has been no public update on the Hailey, Idaho, native since his captors posted the video of him in mid-July.

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