- - Wednesday, May 9, 2012


TOKYO — The government approved a $12.5 billion public bailout Wednesday for the operator of Japan’s tsunami-devastated nuclear power plant and put it under temporary state control.

In exchange, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) has appointed new management and pledged to cut costs while raising utility rates as it works to stabilize the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant and compensate tens of thousands of victims of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

“I hope Tokyo Electric will work to win back public trust,” said Economy and Trade Minister Yukio Edano.

He stressed the need for Tepco to become more transparent amid criticism that it did not release complete and timely information about the disaster.

Tepco has come under fire for being unprepared for the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeastern coastline last year.

The cooling systems at the plant failed, causing meltdowns of at least three reactor cores and the release of large amounts of radiation.

The plan calls for $41.3 billion of cost cuts over 10 years by Tepco.


Court rejects appeal of al Qaeda-linked cleric

LONDON — Europe’s highest appeals court Wednesday refused to hear a challenge by the radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada against a British order that he be deported to Jordan.

The ruling marks a milestone in the legal wrangling over the suspected senior al Qaeda figure, effectively exhausting his efforts to have European judges intervene in the case. He could be sent to Jordan within months. Britain’s efforts to remove the radical preacher have dragged for more than a decade.

The Palestinian-Jordanian preacher has been in detention since his arrest last month. His lawyers applied Wednesday for bail, though no date for that hearing has been set.

The ruling Wednesday by judges in Strasbourg, France, clears the way for a fresh British deportation hearing for the Islamist cleric, who has been described in both Spanish and British courts as a leading al Qaeda figure in Europe.


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