Germany's Bounty of Green Energy Overloads The Power Grid

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Czech Republic/Germany: The Czech Republic on the Verge of a Blackout - European energy policy has become a highly-charged issue because the rapid expansion of green electricity in Germany is putting a strain on the power grid in neighboring countries. Twenty percent of the electricity in Germany is generated from sustainable resources. Much of this is generated by wind farms in northern Germany and consumed in the southern part of the country. On especially windy days, the flow of electricity is spilling across Germany's borders and straining the power grids in neighboring countries. Now the Czech Republic is saying it will install security switches to avoid potential overload and blackouts. France: Churches into Mosques - The sale of church buildings has become commonplace in France - but a recent proposal to convert a church to a mosque has triggered a nationwide controversy. Church congregations in France are dwindling and the town of Vierzon is no exception. With a population of only 27,000, Vierzon is home to six Roman Catholic churches. To balance its books, the local diocese decided to sell one of the churches. But tempers flared after a Moroccan Muslim organization said it wanted to buy the church and convert it to a mosque. Austria: A Billionaire Takes a Political Turn - In Austria's upcoming parliamentary elections, a new political party that seeks an end to the euro and was founded by billionaire car boss Frank Stronach looks set to get around ten percent of the vote. It's a rags-to-riches story - when Frank Stronach emigrated to Canada in the 1950s, his first job was washing dishes and peeling potatoes in a hospital kitchen. Stronach went on to found Magna, one of the world's leading suppliers to the automotive industry. After returning to Austria some years ago, the auto parts magnate recently launched a new political party there. London: Squatters Fall on Hard Times - With rents in London ever on the rise, many squatters have taken over unoccupied properties they say are being kept vacant only for purposes of speculation. One disused office building owned by British Telecom was known for housing a group of squatters who included local homeless, artists and activist groups. Among the uses of the occupied space were simple shelter, a gallery and a music studio. But shortly after new anti-squatting laws were passed in England and Wales, the Telecom squatters also found themselves in jeopardy.

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