ISRAEL: A Labor leader demands action
A top leader of the Labor Party threatened Monday to pull out of the government if there is no progress in peace talks, reflecting growing impatience with the stalemate in negotiations with the Palestinians. An exit by Labor, a moderate party sitting uncomfortably alongside hawks in the ruling coalition, could undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's parliamentary majority and force an election, sidelining Mideast peace efforts for months. "If I see real movement . . . in the next month and a half or two months, . . . then the Labor Party will continue to offer support," Labor Party stalwart Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio. "If not, we will be out."
CHINA: Advance in nuclear fuel reported
Chinese scientists have mastered the technology for reprocessing fuel from nuclear power plants, potentially boosting the supplies of carbon-free electricity to keep the country's economy booming, state television reported Monday. The breakthrough would extend by many times the amount of power that can be generated from China's nuclear plants as fissile and fertile materials are recovered to be new fuel, CCTV said. Several European countries, Russia, India and Japan already reprocess nuclear fuel to separate and recover the unused uranium and plutonium, reduce waste and safely close the nuclear cycle.
AUSTRALIA: Floods bring other dangers
Residents of the coastal city of Rockhampton, cut off by the country's worst flooding in decades, are being warned to stay out of the water, and not just because of the risk of being swept away: debris, snakes and even crocodiles could pose a danger. Large parts of the city were under water and the level was still rising, with the 75,000-strong population bracing for the floods' expected peak in 24 hours. Up to 500 people have been evacuated from their homes along the Fitzroy River.