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88552 No.12734   [Reply]

"What’s a beleaguered utility to do when forced by the government to close its profitable nuclear power plants?

It turns to lignite, a cheap, soft, muddy-brown colored form of sedimentary rock that spews more greenhouse gases than any other fossil fuel.

The story of German power giant RWE AG (RWE) exemplifies the crisis facing the nation’s utility industry -- and those of many countries across Europe -- as nuclear power plants get shuttered in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, renewables steal away revenue, and consumers and companies complain about rising power costs that are three times higher than in the U.S.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2011 to shutter all 17 of Germany’s nuclear power stations by 2022 struck a blow to RWE’s profit stream, particularly for a company that has almost no presence in renewables. RWE posted its first loss last year since World War II and may face worse losses going forward."


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70433 No.12733   [Reply]

"A pump at Japan’s battered Fukushima power plant has mistakenly flooded its basements with highly contaminated cooling-tank water. But the latest mishap follows a far more worrying discovery about one last year’s leak.

About 200 tons of water ended up flooding the basements beneath the complex, although the water didn’t have a pathway to reach the ocean or leak out to any other areas, fortunately. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., ordered the leakage to be removed as soon as possible, The Asahi Shimbun reports.

The water has gathered beneath a cluster of facilities responsible for processing waste.

The scary part about this particular brand of tainted water has to do with its function to cool nuclear fuel rods in storage tanks."


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52917 No.12732   [Reply]

"A regular US air force unit based in the Nevada desert is responsible for flying the CIA's drone strike programme in Pakistan, according to a new documentary to be released on Tuesday.

The film – which has been three years in the making – identifies the unit conducting CIA strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas as the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron, which operates from a secure compound in a corner of Creech air force base, 45 miles from Las Vegas in the Mojave desert.

Several former drone operators have claimed that the unit's conventional air force personnel – rather than civilian contractors – have been flying the CIA's heavily armed Predator missions in Pakistan, a 10-year campaign which according to some estimates has killed more than 2,400 people."


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122119 No.12731   [Reply]

"South Korea's state health insurer is suing three tobacco firms, including the local unit of Philip Morris, to offset smoking-related treatment costs.

The local arm of British American Tobacco has also been named in the lawsuit, along with market leader at home, KT&G Corp.

The insurer is seeking an initial sum of $52m (£31m) in damages.

The state insurer has said previously it spends more than $1.6bn each year on treating smoking-related diseases.

South Korea's National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) said in a statement: "Smoking is a serious issue affecting people, particularly the youth and women.

"So we will push ahead with this suit with a strong determination, for the future of our nation and sustainability of our health insurance."

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46811 No.12730   [Reply]

JPMorgan Chase about to announce cryptocurrency entry via the ripple (XRP)

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99290 No.12729   [Reply]

"Turkey's prime minister seems to still be looking for a way to silence Twitter in his country, saying in a televised speech Saturday that the microblogging service is a tax evader and that his government will pursue it.

"Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are international companies established for profit and making money. Twitter is at the same time a tax evader. We will go after it," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to a report by news agency AFP. "These companies, like every international company, will abide by my country's constitution, laws, and tax rules."

Twitter was banned by Erdogan's government last month in a runup to elections, but the ban was later lifted after Turkey's supreme court ruled that it interfered with free speech and individual rights. The court also ordered that a YouTube ban be lifted (with 15 videos to remain inaccessible), but so far the government hasn't stopped blocking that site.

The bans have to do with posted content critical of Erdogan's government."


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78748 No.12728   [Reply]

"Ukrainian security forces launched an operation on Sunday to clear pro-Russian separatists from a police headquarters in the eastern city of Slaviansk, with Kiev reporting dead on both sides as it combats what it calls an act of aggression by Moscow.

Ukraine faces a rash of rebellions in the east which it says are inspired and directed by the Kremlin. But action to dislodge the armed militants risks tipping the stand-off into a new, dangerous phase as Moscow has warned it will protect the region's Russian-speakers if they come under attack.

One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five wounded on the government side in what interior minister Arsen Avakov called Sunday's "anti-terrorist" operation.

"There were dead and wounded on both sides," Avakov said on his Facebook page, adding that there had been an "unidentifiable number" of casualties among the separatists, who were being supported by about 1,000 people."


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86003 No.12727   [Reply]

"You may have seen so-called atomic wristwatches around, but there's a caveat: they actually keep atomic time by receiving radio signals from nearby government-owned atomic clocks. If they go out of range of those signals, you'll be left relying on a plain old quartz movement.

The Cesium 133 by scientist John Patterson's manufacturer Bathys Hawaii, first unveiled half a year ago in a more industrial-looking form and currently seeking Kickstarter backers, is different. Patterson calls his watch the "world's first true atomic wristwatch," and the difference is in the insides: a chip-scale atomic clock (CSAC) hosting a cesium-based oscillator fits right inside the case, dividing each second precisely into the 9,192,631,770 vibrations of the cesium atom."


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51786 No.12726   [Reply]

"Chinese investigators traced the source of a chemical that contaminated the water supply of 2.4 million people to a leak from an oil pipeline run by a unit of China National Petroleum Corp., the Xinhua News Agency said.

Crude oil leaked from the pipeline into the water source of a water plant in Lanzhou, a city 1,700 kilometers (1,100 miles) northwest of Shanghai, Xinhua reported today, citing Yan Zijiang, Lanzhou’s environmental protection chief. The seepage sent benzene, a carcinogenic compound used to manufacture plastics, into the city’s water supply, Xinhua said.

The incident is the latest in a series of mishaps that has raised concerns over the safety of industrial and oil facilities. The government pledged in November to conduct nationwide checks on underground oil pipelines after an explosion at a China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028) pipeline in the eastern city of Qingdao killed 62 people, the deadliest accident since at least 2005.

Li Runsheng, Beijing-based spokesman for state-owned CNPC, the country’s largest oil producer, didn’t answer three calls to his office line today outside of normal business hours.

Residents of Lanzhou were warned not to drink tap water yesterday after tests showed levels of benzene in their supply surged to 20 times the national limit of 10 micrograms per liter at the peak of the contamination, Xinhua said yesterday."

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33169 No.12725   [Reply]

"The co-pilot of the missing Malaysian airliner MH370 tried to make a mid-flight call from his mobile phone just before the plane vanished from radar screens, according to Malaysian newspaper reports.

The call ended abruptly possibly "because the aircraft was fast moving away from the [telecommunications] tower," the New Straits Times quoted a source as saying."


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