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Fukushima nuclear clean-up to cost $58 bn

Fukushima nuclear clean-up to cost $58 bn 24 Jul 2013 The clean-up after the Fukushima nuclear disaster could cost five times more than estimated, figures have revealed, as Tokyo Electric Power said on Wednesday that steam had been seen again in a reactor building. It is the third time steam has been observed in the battered structure over the last week. The government-backed National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said decontamination work in Fukushima prefecture will cost up to 5.81 trillion yen ($58 billion), far more than the 1 trillion yen the government has so far allocated.

White House defeats NSA surveillance ban in narrow Congress vote

White House defeats NSA surveillance ban in narrow Congress vote 24 Jul 2013 The White House succeeded in heading head off attempts by libertarian and liberal members of Congress to outlaw the blanket collection and trawling of phone data by US intelligence agencies, after warning the move would damage American security. The proposal, tabled in an amendment last night, was defeated by just 12 votes after an impassioned debate on the floor of the House of Representatives. The amendment was the first serious attempt in Congress to curb the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA) following leaks by the security contractor Edward Snowden.

Russia is poised to permit Snowden to leave airport

Russia is poised to permit Snowden to leave airport 24 Jul 2013 After a month camped out in a transit area of Moscow's international airport... A Russian immigration official indicated Wednesday that his government would soon give former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden a document enabling him to leave Sheremetyevo Airport and stay in Russia temporarily, under tight official constraints. Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said Wednesday that his client, who has been charged in the United States with leaking classified information, has started to learn Russian and is preparing for an extended sojourn in the country. Vladimir Volokh, head of the public council of the Russian Federal Migration Service, said Snowden would be handed a certificate stating that he had applied for political asylum. Snowden will "only be allowed to stay in places designated by Russian law enforcement agencies," Volokh told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

House rejects amendment restricting NSA phone surveillance

House rejects amendment restricting NSA phone surveillance 24 Jul 2013 A controversial proposal to restrict how the National Security Agency collects telephone records failed to advance by a narrow margin Wednesday, a victory for the Obama administration, which has spent weeks defending the program since media leaks sparked international outrage about the agency's reach. Lawmakers voted 217 to 205 to defeat the proposal by an unlikely political pairing: Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a 33-year-old libertarian who often bucks GOP leadership and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), an 84-year old liberal stalwart and the chamber's second longest-serving member. Usually divergent in their political views, they joined forces in recent weeks in response to revelations about the NSA's ability to collect telephone and Internet records that were leaked by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who is seeking asylum in Russia.

Senate Approves College Student Loan Plan Tying Rates to Markets

Senate Approves College Student Loan Plan Tying Rates to Markets --Liberal senators like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT) accused their colleagues of forcing through a bill that betrayed their party's promises to working-class families. 25 Jul 2013 The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan plan that would tie interest rates for college student loans to the financial markets, bringing Congress close to finally resolving a dispute that caused rates to double on July 1. But the 81-18 vote, which drew overwhelming support from Republicans, masked deep divisions among Senate Democrats. Seventeen of them voted "no." Many liberals, who are upset that the plan would replace the fixed-rate subsidized federal student loan program, criticized their colleagues for leaving lower- and middle-income students vulnerable to swings in the market.

Leaders: Voter ID would suppress the vote

Leaders: Voter ID would suppress the vote 24 Jul 2013 Some lawmakers and groups gathered Wednesday in response to the proposed voter identification bill that, they say, would suppress the vote. The bill, which would require voters to show ID at the polls, has been approved in the state House and is awaiting approval in the Senate. Wednesday morning, members of the Legislative Black Caucus and members of the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People voiced their opinion against House Bill 589 at the General Assembly. Members of the Legislative Black Caucus held a news conference first, blasting Republicans and the bill -- saying they fought in the 1960s to get people registered to vote and the new bill would take them back to [well, before] that era.

Convicted U.S. spy Christopher Boyce: 'Snowden is doomed'

Convicted U.S. spy Christopher Boyce: 'Snowden is doomed' --'Do I think the government wants revenge against Snowden? Absolutely, they want revenge.' 15 Jun 2013 Former spy, fugitive and convicted traitor whistleblower, Christopher Boyce sold U.S. secrets to the former Soviet Union and dodged U.S. authorities for almost two years until his arrest in 1977 at the age of just 22... While 35 years separate his ill-starred foray into espionage and Edward Snowden's decision to reveal the secret surveillance plans of the National Security Agency (NSA), Boyce told CNN he has a good idea what Snowden might be going through. "I feel for the guy, and for what his life is going to become. I pity him," Boyce said. "He's in for a world of hurt, for the rest of his life... And I think that in the end, it'll end badly for him -- one way or another, they'll get their hands on him. He's going to pay for it. He's doomed."

Iran says EU blacklisting of Hezbollah is 'unacceptable'

Iran says EU blacklisting of Hezbollah is 'unacceptable' 24 Jul 2013 Iran has condemned the European Union's decision to put the military wing of Lebanese group Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations, describing it as a "biased" move. The decision goes against all political and legal norms, is "surprising", and is "unacceptable", Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday. Pressed by Britain and the Netherlands, the European Union blacklisted Hezbollah's armed wing on Monday over accusations it was involved in a bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and their driver a year ago, and its deployment of thousands of fighters to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to Reuters.

Nuclear contaminated Pacific Ocean may become global threat

Nuclear contaminated Pacific Ocean may become global threat --Alarming rate of Thyroid cancer in Fukushima while tourism continues 24 Jul 2013 It has been officially confirmed. The crippled Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan is leaking highly contaminated [aka radioactive] water into the Pacific Ocean. This is continuing by the minute causing great concern not only for Japan, but for all nations bordering on the Pacific Ocean, including the United States, Canada, Russia, and most Pacific Island nations. Officials finally admitted this alarming news for the first time. Earlier this month, the tourism industry in this Japanese regions seemed to be doing fine. A new scheduled Asiana Airlines Charter Flight arrived with Korean tourists at Fukushima Airport on July 13.

Ex-supervisor at Indian Point nuclear plant charged with fabricating fuel tests

Ex-supervisor at Indian Point nuclear plant charged with fabricating fuel tests 23 Jul 2103 An ex-supervisor at the Indian Point nuclear plant was arrested Tuesday on charges he fabricated fuel tests on backup generators to prevent the facility from being shut down. Daniel Wilson, 57, the Westchester County plant's chemistry manager from 2007 to 2012, was charged in Federal Court in White Plains with two counts of violating rules of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 2011, the NRC threatened to shut plant down because unacceptable levels of contaminants were found in tests of diesel in the emergency generators.

TEPCO admits radioactive groundwater is leaking into the sea at Fukushima

TEPCO admits radioactive groundwater is leaking into the sea at Fukushima 23 Jul 2013 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear power facility, has admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater may be seeping out of the nuclear plant area and out into sea. In tests earlier this month, the embattled utility company said that groundwater samples have shown an increase in levels of cancer-causing cesium-134, but that the contaminated groundwater was contained at the current location by concrete foundations and steel sheets. TEPCO has changed its assessment of the situation on Monday. "We believe that contaminated [aka radioactive] water has flown out to the sea," a TEPCO spokesman said on Monday.

More steam reported at Fukushima nuclear reactor no 3, says TEPCO

More steam reported at Fukushima nuclear reactor no 3, says TEPCO 23 Jul 2013 For the second time in two weeks, workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have reported that steam was rising from the building that houses reactor no 3. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said that the reports came in at around 9:00 am Tuesday, but that no changes in the levels of toxic substances were detected by their monitoring equipment. Workers spotted the steam coming out of the same area as last week, which is the fifth floor of where reactor no 3 is, near the pool storing machinery of the building. The building’s roof was blown off during a hydrogen explosion a few days after the March 2011 nuclear meltdown and up to now is still dangerous to approach.

3 U.S. Soldiers Among 8 Dead In a Bombing in Afghanistan

3 U.S. Soldiers Among 8 Dead In a Bombing in Afghanistan 24 Jul 2013 Three American and four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter were killed Tuesday morning in Wardak Province after an insurgent riding a donkey detonated a bomb in one of the most hotly contested districts in the country, officials said. The attack occurred around 8:30 a.m. as the Americans and Afghans were conducting a joint patrol in a violent stretch of Sayadabad District, close to the main highway leading to Kabul, the capital. At least three more American soldiers were wounded in the bombing, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Environmental Toxins Enter the Brain Tissue of Polar Bear

Environmental Toxins Enter the Brain Tissue of Polar Bears 23 Jul 2013 Scientists from Denmark and Canada are worried by their new findings showing that several bioaccumulative perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are crossing the blood brain barrier of polar bears from Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. PerFluoroAlkyl Substances (PFASs) and precursor compounds have been used in a wide variety of commercial and industrial products over the past six decades. PFASs are highly resistant to chemical, thermal and biological degradation. PFASs and their precursor compounds have shown a dramatic increase and dispersal around the world over the past four decades.

U.S. military drone surveillance is expanding to hot spots beyond declared combat zones

U.S. military drone surveillance is expanding to hot spots beyond declared combat zones 20 Jul 2013 The steel-gray U.S. Air Force Predator drone plunged from the sky, shattering on mountainous terrain near the Iraq-Turkey border. Fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, filmed the charred wreckage on Sept. 18 and posted a video on YouTube. A narrator bragged unconvincingly that the group had shot down the drone. But for anyone who might doubt that the flying robot was really American, the video zoomed in on mangled parts stamped in English and bearing the label of the manufacturer, San Diego-based General Atomics. For a brief moment, the crash drew back the curtain on Operation Nomad Shadow, a secretive U.S. military surveillance program. ...The U.S. military is shifting its huge fleet of unmanned aircraft to other hot spots around the world.

200 in 4 states had unidentified stomach bug

200 in 4 states had unidentified stomach bug 23 Jul 2013 More than 200 people in at least four states have come down with a stomach bug that could be linked to foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control says the cyclospora infection causing diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms has been reported in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin. The CDC said eight people have been hospitalized and the reported illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the cyclospora infections, which are most often found in tropical or subtropical countries and have been linked to imported fresh produce in the past.

Snowden plans to settle and work in Russia – lawyer to RT

Snowden plans to settle and work in Russia – lawyer to RT 23 Jul 2013 NSA leaker Edward Snowden plans to settle in Russia and is ready to begin a court battle if the country's migration service denies his asylum plea, Anatoly Kucherena, a Russian lawyer who assists the whistleblower, told RT. "It's hard for me to say what his actions would be in terms of a positive decision [on the asylum plea]," Kucherena said. "We must understand that security is the number one issue in his case. I think the process of adaptation will take some time. It's an understandable process as he doesn't know the Russian language, our customs, and our laws. He's planning to arrange his life here. He plans to get a job. And, I think, that all his further decisions will be made considering the situation he found himself in," he added.

Allegations Surface of Explicit Exchanges by Weiner After His Resignation

Allegations Surface of Explicit Exchanges by Weiner After His Resignation 24 Jul 2013 Allegations surfaced on Tuesday that former Representative Anthony D. Weiner conducted sexually explicit exchanges with a woman over the Internet, even after he announced his resignation from office in 2011 and vowed to seek therapy. The exchanges were published on The Dirty, a racy gossip site, and reported by BuzzFeed. Mr. Weiner, in a statement issued hours later, did not deny that he took part in the exchanges, saying only, "Some things that have been posted today are true and some are not."

CDC admits 98 million Americans received polio vaccine in 8-year span when it was contaminated with cancer virus

CDC admits 98 million Americans received polio vaccine in 8-year span when it was contaminated with cancer virus 17 Jul 2013 The CDC has quickly removed a page from their website, but cached here, admitting that more than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine within an 8-year span from 1955-1963 when a proportion of the vaccine was contaminated with a cancer causing polyomavirus called SV40. It has been estimated that 10-30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of the vaccine. SV40 is an abbreviation for Simian vacuolating virus 40 or Simian virus 40, a polyomavirus that is found in both monkeys and humans. Like other polyomaviruses, SV40 is a DNA virus that has been found to cause tumors and cancer.

Senators cancel immigration meeting with lobbyists amid backlash

Senators cancel immigration meeting with lobbyists amid backlash 22 Jul 2013 Architects of the Senate's immigration [aka low-wage labor for corpora-terrorists'] bill on Monday canceled a meeting that had been planned with business groups and other supporters to try to rally momentum for the legislation, in a sign of how difficult it will be to enact the reforms. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, Republican Senator John McCain and other members of the "Gang of Eight" that shepherded a sweeping immigration bill through the Senate want to enlist business, labor and religious groups to help persuade members of the House of Representatives to back reform.

Top U.S. general urges approval of long-term American military presence in Afghanistan

Top U.S. general urges approval of long-term American military presence in Afghanistan 22 Jul 2013 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that he wanted the United States and Afghanistan to complete a security partnership agreement by October, allowing for the continued presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey played down the chances that no U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan after the United States formally terminates its combat role by the end of next year. He urged rapid completion of an accord that would pave the way for a long-term American presence here, and he expressed optimism that the agreement could be completed soon, despite public opposition from Afghan President Hamid Karzai [and US citizens].

Lawyer: Edward Snowden may leave airport

Lawyer: Edward Snowden may leave airport 22 Jul 2013 Edward Snowden may leave the Moscow airport he's been holed up in by this Wednesday, his Russian lawyer told Reuters on Monday. The former National Security Agency contractor has applied for asylum in Russia, a process that may take up to three months to process. In the meantime, the NSA leaker will be allowed to pass through customs based on the initial response to his request, Reuters reports.

U.S. congressional hurdles lifted on arming Syrian 'rebels'

U.S. congressional hurdles lifted on arming Syrian 'rebels' --Committee sessions on arming the 'rebels' are classified and have been held in secret. 23 Jul 2013 President Barack Obama will move forward with a plan for the United States to arm the struggling Syrian rebels [aka cannibals, terrorists, and war criminals] after some congressional concerns were eased, officials said on Monday. "We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward," House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told Reuters. "We have been working with Congress to overcome some of the concerns that they initially had, and we believe that those concerns have been addressed and that we will now be able to proceed," a source familiar with the administration's thinking told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Peace Pilgrims enter Shoalwater Bay Military Training Facility

Peace Pilgrims enter Shoalwater Bay Military Training Facility 23 Jul 2013 Two people entered the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area this morning to disrupt the Talisman Sabre training exercises. The two are Greg Rolles (31yrs), school teacher from Brisbane; and Graham Dunstan (71yrs), retired grey nomad. There are currently 28,000 Australian and US troops undertaking joint military training in Australia, with a focus on the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area. Last week two US aircraft dropped 4 bombs on the Great Barrier Reef when they were unable to land at their planed location.

Russians hint at Snowden asylum

Russians hint at Snowden asylum 23 Jul 2013 Russian officials have complained that the United States routinely disregards extradition requests by the Russian government, the latest in a series of public statements that seem aimed at laying the groundwork for granting asylum to Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor on the run from US authorities. In separate but apparently coordinated statements, officials from the Russian Interior Ministry and from the prosecutor general's office complained that the United States had refused to extradite individuals sought by Russia as suspected terrorists or on serious criminal charges. The Interior Ministry accused the United States of "double standards" in demanding Mr Snowden's return. [Yeah, the US is the *Lord of the Double Standard,* sans doute.]

Canada allows spy agency to use information obtained through torture

Canada allows spy agency to use information obtained through torture 22 Jul 2013 Canada has given the country's spy agency permission to use information extracted from suspects through torture, despite claims that it would never use such data, Press TV reports. Canada's intelligence services, including the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), have recently been given an annual budget of about $400 million to use and share information extracted through the use of torture, despite the Canadian government saying it does not condone such acts. In a directive, issued in December 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was given permission to employ such information in cases where it claimed 'public safety is at stake'. The move is part of a broader, 'Five Eyes' intelligent sharing network involving the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

More than 500 prisoners escape Abu Ghraib

More than 500 prisoners escape Abu Ghraib [Sweet!] 22 Jul 2013 Iraqi security forces locked down areas around the infamous Abu Ghraib prison and another high-security detention facility on Baghdad's outskirts Monday to hunt for escaped inmates and militants after daring insurgent assaults set hundreds of detainees free. The carefully orchestrated late-night attacks killed dozens Sunday, including at least 25 members of the Iraqi security forces. Insurgents fired dozens of mortar shells and detonated suicide and car bombs, drawing Iraqi forces into firefights that lasted more than an hour. The prisons in Abu Ghraib and Taji house thousands of prisoners, including convicted 'al-Qaida' militants.

Federal judge delays North Dakota abortion law

Federal judge delays North Dakota abortion law 22 Jul 2013 A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected--as early as six weeks into pregnancy, calling the law "clearly invalid and unconstitutional." U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck granted a temporary injunction Monday that blocks the Aug. 1 enactment of the law that abortion rights advocates call the most restrictive in the nation. "There is no question that (the North Dakota law) is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion," Hovland wrote. " (It) is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973...and the progeny of cases that have followed."

Japan nuclear plant admits radioactive water leaked to sea

Japan nuclear plant admits radioactive water leaked to sea --Experts suspected continuous leak since March 2011 22 Jul 2013 A Japanese utility has said its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is likely to have leaked contaminated water into sea, acknowledging for the first time a problem long suspected by experts. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. had previously denied contaminated water reached the sea, despite spikes in radiation levels in underground and sea water samples taken at the plant. Japan's nuclear watchdog said two weeks ago a leak was highly suspected, ordering TEPCO to examine the problem.

Cattle producers want to get rid of new meat labels

Agri-terrorists don't want people to know where their chemical-laden, cancer-causing dead animals are from: Cattle producers want to get rid of new meat labels 22 Jul 2013 For many U.S. consumers, it's a popular idea: Label packages to let them know what country the meat comes from... But Texas cattleman Bob McCan, the president-elect of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, is among a group of cattle producers and meat companies that has sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture for moving ahead in late May with new country-of-origin labeling rules. In a lawsuit filed July 8 in U.S. District Court in Washington, the groups claim the labels will hurt beef exports and are unconstitutional as "compelled speech" [?!?] that doesn't advance a government interest. [Of course, the US High Whore Court will back them, 5-4. Boycott agri-terrorists' beef - problem solved.]

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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