Court allows diesel car ban
Handing environmentalists a landmark victory, a German court ruled Tuesday that cities can ban diesel cars and trucks to combat air pollution, a decision with far-reaching and costly implications in the country where the diesel engine was invented in the 1890s. The ruling by the Federal Administrative Court stirred fears from motorists, auto dealers and other businesses worried about the financial impact. And Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government scrambled to reassure drivers it would seek to prevent such drastic measures by pushing other ways to reduce urban pollution.
Disaster relief loan reduced
Puerto Rico’s governor said Tuesday that the U.S. Treasury Department has cut a $4.7 billion disaster relief loan available to the U.S. territory by more than half, and he demanded help from Congress. Gov. Ricardo Rossello said federal officials reduced the amount to $2 billion without providing an explanation nearly five months after Congress approved the loan. He warned the move puts Puerto Rico in a “dangerous financial dilemma” and that his administration could be forced to cut some essential services as the island continues to struggle after Hurricane Maria.
Papua New Guinea
15 deaths confirmed in quake
A powerful earthquake two days ago killed at least 15 people, injured dozens and disrupted work at mines, coffee plantations and oil fields in a remote Papua New Guinea region, the local governor said Wednesday. His comments were the first confirmation of deaths from a high-ranking official after Monday’s magnitude-7.5 earthquake severed communications and roads in the central region, hindering assessment of the scale of the destruction. The National Disaster Centre has declined to give numbers as it assesses the damage. Southern Highlands Governor William Powi said the death toll may rise.
Singer sentenced to prison
An Egyptian court has sentenced a famous Arab singer to six months in prison and fined her over a video clip in which she advises a concert fan against drinking from the Nile River. Sherine Abdel-Wahab, widely known by her first name, was accused of insulting the state by suggesting the Nile is polluted. The Abdin misdemeanor court sentenced her in absentia on Tuesday and fined her $560. She remains free on bail and can appeal the ruling. Sherine has apologized for the remark, calling it a “bad joke.”
Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires
World news briefs: Cheers, protests as German court lets cities ban diesel cars