- - Monday, December 5, 2011


Water leaks from crippled nuclear plant

TOKYO — Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant leaked about 45 tons of highly radioactive water from a purification device over the weekend, its operator said, and some may have drained into the ocean.

A pool of radioactive water was discovered midday Sunday around a decontamination device, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on its website.

After the equipment was turned off, the leak appeared to stop. Workers later found a crack in a concrete barrier leaking the contaminated water into a gutter that leads to the ocean.


Security budget doubled for 2012 Olympics

LONDON — The security budget for the 2012 London Olympics has doubled, a government report out Monday showed, with plans to recruit almost 14,000 extra personnel.

The operation to provide security at more than 100 venues has swollen after the decision was taken to boost staff numbers, the December 2011 Olympic Quarterly Economic Report showed.

The report stressed that the increase was not in response to a specific security threat. The overall budget for the games remains at $14.5 billion.


Court rules against Greece in Macedonia case

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Greece was wrong to block Macedonia’s bid to join NATO in 2008 because of a long-running dispute over the fledgling country’s use of the name Macedonia.

In a 15-1 ruling, the court found that Greece’s veto breached a 1995 deal under which Greece had agreed not to block Macedonia’s membership in international organizations if it used the name “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”

More than 15 years later, mediation over the name is still unresolved.

Although the question of Macedonia’s name is sometimes seen as superficial by outsiders, it is a matter of deep concern to both sides.

The young country has used the name in one form or another since shortly after World War II, when it was a province of Yugoslavia. But Greece considers use of the name historically inaccurate at best and a potential threat to its territorial integrity at worst.


Attacks kill 21 Shiite pilgrims

BAGHDAD — Bomb attacks struck Shiite pilgrims Monday during an important religious ritual for the Muslim sect, killing 21 people and wounding nearly 100 others, Iraqi officials said.

Pilgrims marking the ritual of Ashoura are often targeted by Sunni extremists who believe that Shiites are not true Muslims.

In Monday’s first attack, a bomb exploded in Latifiyah, about 20 miles south of the Iraqi capital, killing two of them and wounding three others, police said.

Hours later, a car bomb exploded near a group of pilgrims in the town of Mahaweel as they were heading to the city of Karbala, killing eight people and wounding about 56 other pilgrims, said police officials in Babil province.

And two later attacks against Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad killed 11 people and wounded 32 others, police said.


Communists seek to exhume laureate Neruda’s remains

SANTIAGO — Chile’s Communist Party is asking to exhume the remains of Nobel literature laureate Pablo Neruda because of allegations he had been poisoned.

Party member Juan Andres Lagos said the request will be reviewed by Judge Mario Carroza, who is probing deaths potentially caused by abuses during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.


King names French-speaking leader

BRUSSELS — King Albert II named Elio Di Rupo as the first French-speaking prime minister in nearly 40 years late Monday in one of the final steps before a new Cabinet takes office, formally ending the record 541 days the country has gone without a government.

The swearing-in Tuesday will be a long-awaited relief for the entire nation of 6.5 million Dutch speakers and 4.5 million French speakers who long ago grew frustrated with the deadlock between politicians over linguistic differences.

Mr. Di Rupo, 60, will lead a grand coalition of Socialists, Christian Democrats and Liberals, each split in Dutch- and French-speaking parties. Among his leading ministers, outgoing Finance Minister Didier Reynders, a Francophone Liberal, became foreign minister, and Dutch-speaking Christian Democrat Steven Vanackere made the reverse move.

Dutch-speaking Socialist Johan Vande Lanotte, experienced in finance and budgetary issues, was named economics minister.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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