World briefs (9/14/12)
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ANTIGUA, Guatemala -- Guatemala's Volcano of Fire erupted near the colonial town of Antigua, forcing thousands to evacuate from surrounding communities as emergency officials warned of continued explosions.
The volcano, which has erupted six times this year, began spewing ash and lava early Thursday morning, the Central American nation's disaster agency said on its website. A 1,500-foot long lava flow has also been observed and more than 10,000 people from nearby villages have been evacuated, the agency reported.
The 12,346-foot Volcano of Fire is one of the most active in Central America and reports of its eruptions go as far back as the Spanish colonial era in 1524, according to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
TOKYO -- Japan is set to scrap atomic power by the end of the 2030s, bowing to public pressure after the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused mass evacuations and left areas north of Tokyo uninhabitble for decades.
A draft of the country's first post-Fukushima energy policy, which was obtained by Bloomberg News, shows the country will join Germany in abandoning the power source that helped both countries build world-beating economies and models for development from the destruction of World War II.
While the meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co. reactors in 2011 led nations from China to France to review atomic policies, including the phase-out ordered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, countries including Britain affirmed plans to rely more on splitting atoms. Even Japan's new policy will allow idled reactors to restart during the 27-year wind-down period.
HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam's government has vowed to crack down on three dissident blogs, a move that appeared to backfire Thursday as record numbers of people visited the sites and the bloggers pledged to keep up their struggle for freedom of expression.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's order for police to arrest those responsible for the websites reflects growing unease within the Communist Party over the emergence of blogs and social media accounts that publish dissenting views, independent reporting and whistle-blowing. The party doesn't allow free media, and it fears criticism or discussion of its failings on the Internet could lead to social instability and -- ultimately -- loss of its power.
JOHANNESBURG -- Lonmin, the third-largest platinum producer by volume, will resume talks in South Africa Friday to end a 36-day-old illegal strike that has spread to nearby mines that tap the world's richest reserves of the metal.
Workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine and Anglo American Platinum's Rustenburg operations are holding illegal protests to demand higher pay. At Marikana, 45 people have been killed in violence since the strike there started Aug. 10. The companies are losing thousands of ounces of production each day. The price of the precious metal has jumped 21 percent in the past month.
PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela -- Violence erupted at an opposition campaign event Wednesday as supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blocked a road and a campaign truck was torched.
Both sides hurled rocks, and police said at least 14 people were hurt. A large crowd of Chavez supporters in red shirts blocked a main road near the airport in the coastal town of Puerto Cabello before a visit by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. A truck used by Mr. Capriles' campaign was set ablaze, and a motorcycle was also torched.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published September 14, 2012 12:00 am