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In brief: Utilities want end to nuclear power

Berlin – Germany’s utility companies want “swift and complete” abolishment of nuclear power in the wake of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima reactors, says their umbrella organization.

The technology should be phased out by 2020 or at the latest by 2023, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, BDEW, said Friday following a board meeting.

The organization had been fully behind nuclear energy, but the events in Japan caused the dramatic U-turn.

The group called on the government to set everything in motion to speed up the transition toward a stable, ecologically responsible and affordable energy mix without nuclear energy.

The association represents about 1,800 utilities, among them the operators of the country’s 17 nuclear reactors. But the two biggest operators, E.ON AG and RWE AG, said after the vote that they were opposed to the decision.

Israelis attack Gaza after school bus hit

Gaza City, Gaza Strip – Israeli aircraft and tanks pounded Gaza on Friday, killing seven Hamas militants and five civilians in a surge of fighting sparked by a Palestinian rocket attack on an Israeli school bus the day before.

Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers seemed on the brink of another round of intense violence, just a little over two years after a three-week war in which persistent rocket fire from Gaza triggered a devastating Israeli military offensive in the territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack on the school bus “crossed a line.”

In Thursday’s attack, Gaza militants hit a yellow Israeli school bus near the border with a guided anti-tank missile, injuring the driver and badly wounding a 16-year-old boy. Hamas, which had largely held its fire since Israel’s last major offensive, claimed responsibility.

Brit sailor on sub shoots, kills officer

London – A British sailor aboard a nuclear-powered submarine apparently shot dead a crew member and seriously wounded another Friday while the vessel was on a goodwill visit to an English port, officials said.

The suspect was overpowered by colleagues and visiting dignitaries aboard HMS Astute and arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police and military officials said the incident was not related to terrorism, but offered few details about what may have prompted a sailor to open fire during a tour of the submarine by local officials, including the mayor of Southampton, in southern England.

Britain’s Press Association news agency reported the dead and injured crewmen were officers, and the suspect a sentry armed with an SA80 service rifle.


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