News Briefs

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Wednesday that he and his government are set to step down amid public anger about corruption and a deadly weekend nightclub blaze.

Ponta, 43, has come under pressure from protests related to the government reaction to Friday’s blaze, which left 32 dead. Around 30,000 took to the streets Tuesday demanding his resignation.

“The anger is legitimate. It would have been a big mistake to ignore it,” Ponta said.

Romanians largely blame the problems that led to the blaze on official corruption, which allows venues such as the one hit by the fire to operate despite safety shortfalls.

Iran marks US embassy storming as deal leaves rivalry intact

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran held rallies to mark the 36th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. embassy on Wednesday, the latest reminder that July’s landmark nuclear deal has done little to reduce enmity between the Islamic Republic’s top rulers and their longtime foe.

In downtown Tehran, around 2,000 people gathered in Taleghani Avenue, where the building that once housed the U.S. embassy is located. University students, school children and government workers, some bused in from outside the capital, held placards emblazoned with “Down with U.S.A.” and chanted “Death to America.”

The protests are held every Nov. 4 to mark the day in 1979 a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy demanding the extradition of the deposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. They seized dozens of hostages, holding 52 for more than 14 months.JT