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Nation/world in brief: Russia to help with nuclear plant plans

Sat., April 3, 2010

Caracas, Venezuela – Russia has agreed to help Venezuela draw up plans for a nuclear power plant, President Hugo Chavez said Friday.

Atomic energy was one of many areas of cooperation discussed as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made his first visit to the South American country.

“We’re ready to start drawing up the first plan of a nuclear power plant, obviously with peaceful aims,” Chavez said.

Russia and Venezuela also launched a joint business to tap vast oil deposits in eastern Venezuela, and Chavez said Moscow has offered to help Venezuela set up its own space industry including a satellite launch site.

Putin also pledged to keep selling arms to Venezuela. Chavez’s government has already bought more than $4 billion in Russian weapons since 2005, including helicopters, fighter jets and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles.

Pot found growing in writer’s barn

San Francisco – A popular California outdoors writer was free on bail after authorities said Friday they found a large marijuana growing operation in his barn in the town of Weed.

Deputies served a search warrant on 55-year-old Tom Stienstra’s home last week and seized 60 plants and more than 11 pounds of processed marijuana, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said.

Stienstra was arrested for investigation of possessing marijuana for sale and released March 26 on $75,000 bail. His wife and two other men were also arrested.

Prosecutors have sent the case back to the Sheriff’s Office for further investigation and have not filed any charges.

Stienstra writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and appears regularly on Northern California radio and television stations. He is the author of more than 20 guidebooks that together have sold more than a million copies and was twice named writer of the year by the Outdoor Writers Association of America.


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