SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Curtains on nuke power in Japan as last reactor closed
Tokyo, May 5
Hokkaido Electric Power Cos Tomari nuclear power plant in Hokkaido prefecture Japanese utility Hokkaido Electric Power Co began shutting the country's last active nuclear reactor on Saturday.

Hokkaido Electric Power Cos Tomari nuclear power plant in Hokkaido prefecture.

Barack Obama in Washington Obama kicks off poll campaign
Washington, May 5
With his wife by his side and Air Force One as a campaign plane, President Barack Obama holds his first political rallies of the 2012 presidential race on Saturday, targeting two swing states that could be critical to his bid to retain the White House.

Barack Obama in Washington. AFP


EARLIER STORIES


Obama: Will use money saved from Afghan war to pay debt
Washington, May 5
US President Barack Obama said today that the money saved from early pull back of forces from Afghanistan should be used to pay down the debt and rebuild the economy.

Prez poll today
Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy Sarkozy closes in on Hollande
Paris, May 5
Campaigning ended on Saturday in France for a decisive second-round presidential vote expected to crown Francois Hollande the country's first Socialist leader in two decades despite polls showing President Nicolas Sarkozy clawing back some ground.
                              Face-off: Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy

Pakistan, a failed state: Rohrabacher tells Gilani
Washington, May 5
Influential American Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has told Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani that his country is a failed state and no amount of US aid money will ever change that.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Ahmadinejad rivals cement hold on Parliament
Tehran, May 5
Final results for many Iranian parliamentary constituencies announced today show supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad relegated to a small fraction of the legislature, hugely outnumbered by the conservatives who once backed him but then turned against him after he was perceived to challenge the authority of top clerics.
                                                                  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

 

Glacial lake burst in Nepal:13 dead, 60 missing
  • A glacial lake burst in northwestern Nepal killed 13 persons and left 60 others missing, including three Russian trekkers, near Pokhara in Nepal on Saturday
  • The lake waters flooded the Seti River in the remote Kaski district, 300 km away from Kathmandu, sweeping away parts of Sardikhola village located on the foothills of the famous Machapuchare peak

 





 

 

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Curtains on nuke power in Japan as last reactor closed

Anti-nuke activists protest in Tokyo on Saturday
For a Safer future: Anti-nuke activists protest in Tokyo on Saturday. AF

Tokyo, May 5
Japanese utility Hokkaido Electric Power Co began shutting the country's last active nuclear reactor on Saturday, leaving the world's third-biggest user of atomic energy with no nuclear-derived electricity for the first time since 1970.

A crisis at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where an earthquake and tsunami in March last year triggered radiation leaks, has hammered public faith in nuclear power and prevented the restart of reactors shut down for regular maintenance checks.

The Hokkaido Electric said it started lowering output from the 912-megawatt No 3 unit at Tomari nuclear plant in northern Japan at 5 pm (0800 GMT). The maintenance on the unit is set to begin at around 11 pm (1400 GMT) when power generation falls to zero, with the unit to be shut down completely by the early hours of Sunday. The shutdown means all of Japan's 50 reactors have been taken offline, marking the country's first nuclear power-free day since May 1970.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano and three other ministers have been trying to win the support of communities to reactivate two idled reactors at Kansai Electric Power's Ohi nuclear plant to help ease expected power shortages of nearly 20 per cent in coming hot-weather months.The two Ohi reactors are the first to be considered for reactivation by the central government, but it faces an uphill battle of winning public support. Kansai Electric's expected deficit for this summer was the highest among four Japanese nuclear plant operators that forecast shortfalls when demand peaks in the summer. Reuters

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Obama kicks off poll campaign

Washington, May 5
With his wife by his side and Air Force One as a campaign plane, President Barack Obama holds his first political rallies of the 2012 presidential race on Saturday, targeting two swing states that could be critical to his bid to retain the White House.

Obama, a Democrat, formally launched his Chicago-based re-election effort last year, but his official political events have been confined to fundraisers since then. That changes this weekend.

The President, who was propelled to power in the 2008 election thanks in part to huge rallies across the nation, hopes to regain that momentum with events in large arenas in Columbus, Ohio and Richmond, Virginia. Thousands of people are expected to attend.

Since Republican Mitt Romney became his party's presumptive nominee, Obama has criticised his opponent in formal and informal situations - a sign that he is more than ready to start the attacks that are expected to characterise a potentially ugly and negative campaign. He is likely to be sharply critical of Romney during his Saturday rallies.

Republicans accuse Obama of infusing politics into his official White House events and scoff at the notion that his campaigning is just starting. The president has done official trips in recent months to highlight his energy record and to tout proposals to reduce costs for students. Young people are an important constituency for his campaign. Reuters

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Obama: Will use money saved from Afghan war to pay debt

Washington, May 5
US President Barack Obama said today that the money saved from early pull back of forces from Afghanistan should be used to pay down the debt and rebuild the economy.

In his weekly address to the nation, Obama, who early this week made a surprise trip to this war torn country, said the tide of war has turned in Afghanistan.

"Because of the progress we have made, I was able to sign an historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries - a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins," he said.

Obama said as the American troops returns from Afghanistan, the country should spend the money thus saved in rebuilding the economy and paying its huge debts.

I've called on the Congress to take the money were no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America," he said. PTI

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Prez poll today
Sarkozy closes in on Hollande

Paris, May 5
Campaigning ended on Saturday in France for a decisive second-round presidential vote expected to crown Francois Hollande the country's first Socialist leader in two decades despite polls showing President Nicolas Sarkozy clawing back some ground.

Sunday's election, which coincides with parliamentary polls in Greece, may prove decisive for the direction of Europe as Hollande has promised he will try to temper a German-led austerity drive across Europe and reorientate the recession-struck euro zone towards growth.

Sarkozy, who became the first sitting president of modern times to finish second in a presidential first round vote, must overcome high disapproval rates because of his abrasive style.

If he did win, it would be a political sensation after a whirlwind campaign by the man many voters blame for stubbornly high unemployment, running at a 12-year high of nearly 10 per cent, and France's stagnant economy.

Sarkozy was due to spend Saturday at home in Paris with his wife, former supermodel Carla Bruni, while Hollande visited a market in Tulle, the town in central France where he was mayor for seven years. Reuters

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Pakistan, a failed state: Rohrabacher tells Gilani

Washington, May 5
Influential American Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has told Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani that his country is a failed state and no amount of US aid money will ever change that.

"It is becoming increasingly clear to members of the US Congress that Pakistan is a failed state and no amount of US aid money will ever change that," Rohrabacher wrote in a letter to Gilani.

In his letter, Rohrabacher condemned a recent police action that resulted in the death of four Baluchi men.

"Pakistan's future will remain bleak and marred by political violence as long as the Pakistani Government and military continue to deny ethnic groups within Pakistan a right to self-determination," he wrote.

"American aid money for Pakistan will dry up. It is clear that the Pakistani military and intelligence services have for years diverted money intended to help the people of Balochistan, and the other provinces of Pakistan, into funding terrorism and buying weapons to repress their own people," Rohrabacher said.

Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

He along with Congressman Steve King and Louie Gohmert, introduced legislation on February 17, 2012 expressing the sense of Congress that the people of Balochistan have a "right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country". PTI

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Ahmadinejad rivals cement hold on Parliament

Tehran, May 5
Final results for many Iranian parliamentary constituencies announced today show supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad relegated to a small fraction of the legislature, hugely outnumbered by the conservatives who once backed him but then turned against him after he was perceived to challenge the authority of top clerics.

Iran has touted the turnout for yesterday's elections as a show of support for the country's religious leadership in their confrontation with the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

It represents another blow against the populist President who, while allied with the conservatives on foreign policy and many other issues, had tried to change the rules of the political game in the Islamic Republic, where the President and legislature are subordinate to religious figures like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khanenei. The new Parliament will begin its sessions in late May.

It has no direct control over major policy matters like Iran's nuclear programme, but it can influence the run-up to the election of Ahmadinejad's successor in 2013.

Of 65 seats for grabs in yesterday's run-off election, Ahmadinejad's opponents won 20, while the President's supporters got only 8 seats. Independents won 11, according to the state media today. AP

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