Dark City Down Under

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand: The light at the end of Auckland's dark tunnel just went out: The blackout, 12 days old, will last another 10 weeks. Attempts to repair two of the massive power cables feeding downtown Auckland have failed, and the city will have to rely on generator power (about 10 percent) until new cables can be run into town by Auckland city utility Mercury Energy.

"I said 10 days ago it was a dark time -- it is much darker now," Mercury Energy chief executive Wayne Gilbert said. "There is no apology great enough." That may indeed be the case; a government inquiry into the outage is expected to begin within two weeks, and the city's businesses have already launched a class action suit to claim loss and damages from Mercury Energy.