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French finance minister Lagarde poised to lead IMF

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde appeared poised to become the head of the International Monetary Fund this week despite a strong challenge to Europe’s traditional hold on the job. An informal survey by Reuters of voting countries indicated Lagarde would easily get the majority consensus…

Japan hopes to convince public of nuclear reactor safety

TOKYO — Japan began a campaign Sunday to convince communities hosting nuclear reactors to let operations resume, with several local governments blocking nuclear power generation after the atomic crisis in Fukushima. Central government officials held a briefing in Saga prefecture, where two reactors at the Genkai power plant are among…

Yemen opposition vows to keep out injured Saleh

SANAA (AFP) – Yemen’s opposition vowed Sunday to prevent the return of wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh from a Saudi hospital, as tens of thousands of protesters celebrated despite doubts over who holds the reins of power in Sanaa. “We will work with all our strength to prevent his return,”…

Supreme Court rules John Ashcroft did not misuse power to arrest terror witness

The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously threw out a lawsuit accusing former Attorney General John Ashcroft of misusing his power by jailing a supposed terrorism witness in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In the case Ashcroft v. al Kidd, the highest court in the nation ruled (PDF)…

Germany to scrap nuclear power by 2022

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany on Monday became the first major industrialised power to agree an end to nuclear power in the wake of the disaster in Japan, with a phase-out to be completed by 2022. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the decision, hammered out by her centre-right coalition overnight, marked the…

Switzerland: No more nuclear power plants

BERN (AFP) – The Swiss government on Wednesday recommended to parliament that the country’s five nuclear power plants should not be replaced as they age, leaving them to be phased out by 2034. The move, to be accompanied by a switch to more renewable energy, follows Switzerland’s decision to suspend…

Japan’s Hamaoka nuclear plant to halt operations over quake fears

TOKYO — The operator of Japan’s ageing Hamaoka nuclear plant, located near a tectonic faultline southwest of Tokyo, said Monday it would temporarily shut down its last two running reactors. Prime Minister Naoto Kan Friday called for the closure of the plant, eight weeks after a massive quake and tsunami…

US still wants to expand nuclear energy: Chu

WASHINGTON — The United States still wants to expand nuclear plant construction despite the Japan disaster and sees nuclear power as a key part of clean energy efforts, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday. Testifying at a House subcommittee hearing about President Barack Obama’s request for energy funds in the…

US lawmakers urge go slow on nuclear energy

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan at reactors damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami has led some lawmakers to call for putting the “brakes” on US nuclear development. “I’ve been a big supporter of nuclear power because it’s domestic — it’s ours and it’s clean,” Senator…

Libyan town bombed as rebels push west

UQAYLA, Libya (AFP) – Libyan forces bombed the rebel town of Ajdabiya on Friday as anti-regime fighters pushed the front line westwards and the UN refugee agency voiced concern for the safety of those fleeing the violence. US President Barack Obama said all options were on the table for driving…

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