VIENNA: The world’s nuclear power generation capacity grew again in 2012 after a drop in 2011 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, according to a draft new UN atomic agency report. “The Fukushima Daiichi accident (in Japan in March 2011) is expected to slow or delay the growth of nuclear power, but not reverse it,” the International Atomic Energy Agency report said. At the end of 2012, 437 nuclear power reactors were operating worldwide, two more than in 2011, with three new ones connected to the grid, two back on line after repairs and three permanently shut down, it said. In 2011, after what was the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years, 13 reactors were permanently switched off, including eight in Germany and four in Japan, although there were seven new grid connections. Construction work started on seven new reactors in 2012, four of them in China and one each in South Korea, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, added the report, called the 2013 Nuclear Technology Review.
Kenyatta takes early lead in Kenya
NAIROBI: Kenya’s deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces an international crimes against humanity trial, took an initial lead in presidential elections yesterday, the first since disputed polls five years ago sparked a wave of violence. Kenyatta edged ahead in partial results over rival Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who says he was robbed of victory in 2007 when disputed results triggered bloody ethnic violence in which more than 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 were forced to flee their homes. Some 40 percent of the almost 32,000 polling stations had sent partial results 24 hours after official centres closed to the national tallying centre in Nairobi, with so far five million valid votes counted from the 14.3 million registered voters. Of those counted at 1415 GMT, Kenyatta had won almost 2.7 million or 53 percent of valid votes cast against Odinga with 2.12 million or 41 percent, a gap that could still be easily overturned. But a staggering 320,000 ballots were rejected.
Pilot sees drone near JFK airport
NEW YORK: US aviation authorities said yesterday that they had opened an investigation into a pilot’s sighting of a small unmanned aircraft in the air near New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said an Alitalia pilot reported seeing “a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach” to land at the airport on Monday. The sighting was approximately four to five miles southeast of the airport “at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet,” the FAA said. It added that the pilot did not take evasive action and the Alitalia jet landed safely. “We saw a drone, a drone aircraft,” the pilot can be heard in a radio communication to the control tower, picked up and disseminated by the website LiveATC.net.
Winter storm grounds 1,100 US flights
CHICAGO: A massive winter storm pounding the northern United States grounded over 1,100 flights, closed hundreds of schools and made roadways impassible yesterday. More than a dozen states from Minnesota to Virginia were in the path of the huge storm which had already dumped as much as two feet of snow in Montana and 15 inches in North Dakota. Nearly 800 flights were grounded at Chicago’s O’Hare airport while another 240 were cancelled at Chicago Midway. Over 100 flights were cancelled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ikea pulls cakes after bacteria found
STOCKHOLM: Swedish furniture giant Ikea pulled a batch of almond cakes from its restaurants in 23 countries yesterday after Chinese authorities said they contained coliform bacteria, normally present in faecal matter. The Swedish-made cakes had failed tests “for containing an excessive level of coliform bacteria, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine,” the Shanghai Daily website wrote. Ikea said 1,800 Taarta Chokladkrokant cakes — described on its website as an almond cake with chocolate, butter cream and butterscotch — were destroyed in December after being intercepted by Chinese customs.
Dancer held in Bolshoi acid attack
MOSCOW: Russia’s interior ministry said yesterday that police had detained three suspects including a dancer over an acid attack on the Bolshoi ballet artistic director, in a case that has exposed vicious infighting at the theatre. “Police have detained the suspected perpetrator of the attack on the director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Filin,” the ministry said, naming the suspect as 35-year-old Yury Zarutsky, “an ex-convict”. Two other men have also been detained — Bolshoi Theatre soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko and driver Andrei Lipatov, who brought the suspected attacker to the scene of the crime, the ministry said.
Fans’ fury as Justin Bieber late to British gig
LONDON: Teen superstar Justin Bieber faced fury from his British fans yesterday after he showed up late for a sold-out concert here. The Canadian singer played the first of four nights at O2 Arena on Monday, but hundreds in the audience took to Twitter to vent their frustration after he failed to appear on stage until nearly 10:30pm. The 19-year-old insisted that he was only 40 minutes late — but many fans said they had been led to believe he would be onstage at 8:30pm, making him almost two hours late. “I was 40 min late to stage. There is no excuse for that and I apologise for anyone we upset,” Bieber wrote on his Twitter account. Agencies