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Briefly

- - Sunday, September 5, 2010

ITALY

Study: Italy should get own nuclear energy

CERNOBBIO | A study chaired by the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) is making a strong case for the introduction of nuclear energy in Italy.

The study, presented Sunday at a business and policy conference on Lake Como, says Italy can diminish its dependency on foreign nations and cut carbon emissions.

Carrying out the analysis were experts including ones from Italian energy company Enel and France's EdF, which last year formed a joint venture to develop nuclear energy in Italy.

It also included neutral experts and was chaired by Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the Paris-based IEA.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in April that he expected the construction of the first nuclear reactor in Italy to get going within three years.

SPAIN

ETA declares cease-fire in independence battle

MADRID | Basque separatist fighters ETA declared a cease-fire Sunday in their flagging 42-year campaign of bombing and shooting for a homeland independent of Spain.

ETA, blamed for the deaths of 829 people, said it decided several months ago that it "will not carry out armed offensive actions." It vowed instead to seek a democratic resolution.

It did not say if the cease-fire was temporary or permanent.

ETA made the announcement in a video sent to the BBC and pro-independence Basque daily Gara, showing three people in berets and yellow hoods sitting at a table flanked by Basque flags and with an ETA symbol on the wall behind.

Listed as a terrorist group by the United States and European Union, ETA has not staged an attack on Spanish soil since August 2009, and the authorities in Spain and France have arrested much of its top leadership.

GREECE

Premier backs left, right in regional elections

ATHENS | Prime Minister George Papandreou said Sunday he would support candidates from the left and the right in forthcoming regional elections, when his Socialist government faces its first electoral test since the financial crisis.

The candidates, who range from an ecologist to a former culture minister for the opposition center-right party, are "capable" and could "bring great change" to Greece, Mr. Papandreou said.

The regional elections, which will take place on Nov. 7, will be the first electoral test for Mr. Papandreou since he took power in October 2009 and after he was forced to give drastic shock therapy to the economy in a bid to save Greece from bankruptcy.

Pasok, the ruling Socialist party headed by Mr. Papandreou, continues to have a good lead in polls, but surveys also reveal strong dissatisfaction among voters over the government's major austerity measures.

GERMANY

One person killed in flight-show accident

BERLIN | Police say the pilot of a small propeller-driven plane lost control of his aircraft during a flight show in southern Germany and crashed into a group of spectators, leaving one person dead and several injured.

A spokesman said Sunday that police had not yet established how many people were injured in the crash at the Lilinghof airfield near the Bavarian town of Lauf.

He could not say how serious the injuries were as the rescue effort was still ongoing.

The spokesman, who declined to be named in line with department policy, said it was still unknown why the pilot of the biplane — with two wings, one above the other — lost control.

DENMARK

Glitch grounds homemade rocket

COPENHAGEN | The first launch attempt of a homemade rocket built by two Danes failed on Sunday because of a technical glitch, according to Danish media.

Live footage of the launch off the Baltic island of Bornholm appeared to show brown smoke coming out of the rocket after the countdown.

Experts interviewed by TV2 News said the likely cause was a failure of the ignition system.

After an inspection, the builders of the rocket decided against a second launch and did not set a date for a new attempt.

Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtsson have toiled for more than two years to build the 30-foot-tall, 1.6-ton prototype, which is named after the famous Danish astronaut Tycho Brahe.

They intend "to show that with little financial means anyone can send a rocket into space, which is a privilege not just reserved for rich countries," said Mr. Madsen before the launch, which was delayed several times because of bad weather.

The prototype, which contained a doll, cost a total of $63,400 and was financed mostly by 2,000 individual sponsors and 20 companies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports