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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Robert Reich: Celebrate Labor on Labor Day

BREAKING: Diana Nyad Completes Historic Havana-Key West Swim Without Shark Cage

Source: Associated Press / CBS News

Nyad 1st to Swim to Florida From Cuba Without Cage

Published: September 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM ET

KEY WEST, Florida — Diana Nyad has become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage.

The 64-year-old Nyad stepped ashore in Key West on Monday just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday.

As she approached the shore, spectators surrounded her in the water, taking pictures and cheering her on. She swam within a couple dozen feet of the beach and walked on to dry land. She looked dazed and sunburned.

It was Nyad's fifth try to complete the approximately 110-mile swim. She tried three times in 2011 and 2012. She had also tried in 1978.

Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau, via Associated Press

Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles from the coast of Key West, Fla. as she nears the completion of her 110 mile swim from Cuba on Monday.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/09/02/us/ap-cuba-swimming-to-florida.html

@CBSNews: On her 5th try, @diananyad completes historic swim from Cuba to Florida http://t.co/YHyhPtvttL


Diana Nyad completes historic Havana-Key West swim

September 02, 2013

KEY WEST, Florida U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad's completed a historic Havana-Key West swim on her fifth attempt, 35 years after her first try.

Nyad's journey began Saturday morning when she jumped from the seawall of the Hemingway Marina into the warm waters off Havana. She has been swimming the Florida Strait ever since, stopping from time to time for nourishment.

Around 11 a.m. on Monday, mere miles from Florida, Nyad called her support boats over and said she had "bad abrasions" in her mouth from her jellyfish-protection mask, according to her team.

While treading water, she said: "I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean. This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you. Some on the team are the most intimate friends of my life and some of you I've just met. But I'll tell you something, you're a special group. You pulled through; you are pros and have a great heart. So let's get going so we can have a whopping party."

How Labor Day Was Hijacked: 5 Reminders of the Day’s Real Purpose


MONDAY, SEP 2, 2013 11:45 AM UTC

How Labor Day was hijacked: 5 reminders of the day’s real purpose

Yes, plenty of holidays amount to just days off and barbecues. But this one has become particularly corrupted


Quite obviously, the transformation of Labor Day from a highly political occasion to specifically honor worker solidarity into an apolitical vacation day has much to do with the larger attack on the labor movement.

Today, from Wal-Mart to Amazon to fast food chains, the largest and most famous American brands are often the most hostile to unions. That has created a society in which it is standard operating procedure for corporations to regularly engage in the most intense union busting tactics. Meanwhile, from the Democratic president to Republican Party leaders, many of the most influential politicians proudly position themselves as opponents of the labor movement.

To say the least, these moneyed interests, the media outlets they sponsor and the political puppets they own have no interest in venerating a labor movement that challenges plutocracy. And so just like the modern celebration of Martin Luther King Day often ignores Dr. King’s economic justice campaigns, so too does Labor Day typically circumvent a celebration of organized labor.

But that doesn’t mean it has to, or that we have to just accept that reality. There are ways to take back this holiday — especially considering public sentiment.

- Legislation creating Labor Day did not pass the Congress in response to Americans’ demand for yet one more reason to sleep in, fire up the grill, drink beer and watch football. It passed the Congress as an outraged response to the U.S. government helping a rapacious corporation violently crush striking unionists who dared to fight for their economic rights.
Labor Day was not designed to give you a day off to commemorate the end of your summer nor to give parents a special day to hit the chain stores for back-to-school sales. It was designed to give us all a chance to honor and commemorate the American labor movement and all of its achievements for millions of workers — union and non-union alike. These achievements include (among other things) higher wages, healthcare benefits, child labor laws, the eight-hour workday and the weekend.
Labor Day was not created to give you one last day to work on your tan or to get drunk in the park at an annual picnic. Labor Day was created to give you a day to attend or participate in some sort of public event showing your solidarity with the American labor movement. As AFL leader Samuel Gompers said in the years after the holiday was created, it is a day when workers’ “rights and their wrongs would be discussed … (when they) may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it.”

- Labor Day was not designed to be cast as an apolitical holiday that everyone should pretend they honor because they simply support the apolitical notion of work. The “labor” in Labor Day refers not to generic “work” but to organized labor — as in unions. That makes it a deeply political occasion celebrating the ideas of worker solidarity against corporate power and organizing for collective economic rights. It is a day, in other words, to honor what even President Ronald Reagan recognized: namely, that “the right to belong to a free trade union” is “one of the most elemental human rights” and that “where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”

- Labor Day is not designed to be a day for anti-union politicians and corporations to say “Happy Labor Day” and momentarily pretend they support the rights of American workers. It is a day for Americans to speak out against union-busting activity and vitriolic anti-union rhetoric, whether that abhorrent activity and ugly rhetoric pops up in big box stores, in state legislatures in plutocrats’ campaign ads or in schoolhouses. It is also a day for us to consider new and simple ways to better protect the rights of workers to form unions.


Japan Reiterates May Consider Discharging Radiated Fukushima Water Into Ocean

Source: Reuters

Japan reiterates may consider discharging radiated Fukushima water into ocean

TOKYO | Mon Sep 2, 2013 12:30am EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear regulator reiterated on Monday that it may have to consider discharging into the ocean water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant that contains radiation below regulatory thresholds.

Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told reporters there was no evidence of new water leaks at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, following the discovery of high radiation levels in recent days.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, the Fukushima plant's operator, is rushing to contain a radioactive water crisis from the steady accumulation of water used to cool melted fuel rods.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98102420130902

Official: Afghan Militants Attack US Base

Source: Associated Press


Sep. 1 11:39 PM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says a group of suicide bombers have attacked U.S. base near the border with Pakistan, sparking an ongoing gunbattle. There was no immediate information on casualties.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, says the heavily armed militants attacked the site in the Torkham area Monday morning. An explosion heard toward the beginning was likely one of the suicide bombers detonating his explosives.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid says the insurgent group was behind the attack. NATO says it has no immediate information on the matter.

Abdulzai says Afghan and U.S. forces are engaged in gunfire against the militants, and that NATO helicopters are flying over the base.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/official-afghan-militants-attack-us-base

Exclusive: USS Nimitz carrier group rerouted for possible help with Syria

Source: Reuters

Exclusive: USS Nimitz carrier group rerouted for possible help with Syria
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON | Sun Sep 1, 2013 6:49pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and other ships in its strike group are heading west toward the Red Sea to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed, defense officials said on Sunday.

The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes four destroyers and a cruiser, has no specific orders to move to the eastern Mediterranean at this point, but is moving west in the Arabian Sea so it can do so if asked. It was not immediately clear when the ships would enter the Red Sea, but they had not arrived by Sunday evening, said one official.

"It's about leveraging the assets to have them in place should the capabilities of the carrier strike group and the presence be needed," said the official.

President Barack Obama on Saturday delayed imminent cruise missile strikes by five destroyers off the coast of Syria, and sought approval from Congress, a move that effectively put any strike on hold for at least nine days.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9800IT20130901

Saudi Arabia Urges International Action in Syria, Saying Regime "Has Crossed All w/ Its Tyranny

Source: CNN

CNN Breaking News - Saudi Arabia urges international action in Syria, saying regime "has crossed all the lines with its tyranny." Reply STOP 2 unsub

Will update.

Read more: Link to source

Breaking: Egypt's Mursi to Stand Trial Over Violence

Source: Reuters / AFP

@BreakingNews: Deposed Egyptian President Morsi to stand trial on charges of inciting murder of protesters - @Reuters, @AFP

Egypt's Mursi to stand trial over violence

Sun Sep 1, 2013 3:23pm EDT

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's public prosecutor referred deposed President Mohamed Mursi to trial on Sunday on charges of committing and inciting violence, the state news agency reported.

The prosecutor, Hesham Barakat, referred Mursi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood members to a Cairo criminal court on charges "of committing acts of violence, and inciting the killing and thuggery", the state news agency reported.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9800EI20130901

Radiation Readings Spike at Water Tank at Japan's Ruined Nuclear Plant

Source: Reuters

Radiation readings spike at water tank at Japan's ruined nuclear plant

Sun Sep 1, 2013 2:05am EDT

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) - Radiation near a tank holding highly contaminated water at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has spiked 18-fold, the plant's operator said on Sunday, highlighting the struggle to bring the crisis under control after more than two years.

Radiation of 1,800 millisieverts per hour - enough to kill an exposed person in four hours - was detected near the bottom of one storage tank on Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co, also known as Tepco, said.

An August 22 readings measured radiation of 100 millisieverts per hour at the same tank. Japanese law has set an annual radiation exposure safety threshold of 50 millisieverts for nuclear plant workers during normal hours.

Last month, Tepco revealed that water from the tank was leaking. Japan's nuclear regulator later raised the severity of the leak from a level 1 "anomaly" to a level 3 "serious incident" on an international scale for radiation releases.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98002520130901

Breaking: President Obama Formally Requests Congress Approve Military Strike Against Syria

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: White House: President Obama formally requests Congressional authorization for military strikes on Syria - @Reuters

Obama asks Congress to approve military strike against Syria

Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:10pm EDT

By Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama stepped back from the brink on Saturday and delayed an imminent military strike against Syria to seek approval from the U.S. Congress in a gamble that will test his ability to project American strength abroad and deploy his own power at home.

Before Obama put on the brakes, the path had been cleared for a U.S. assault. Navy ships were in place and awaiting orders to launch missiles, and U.N. inspectors had left Syria after gathering evidence of a chemical weapons attack that U.S. officials say killed 1,429 people.

But Obama decided to seek the backing of U.S. lawmakers before attacking, as polls showed strong opposition from Americans already weary of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approval will take at least 10 days, if it comes at all.

"Today I'm asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move as one nation," Obama said in a dramatic shift he announced in the White House Rose Garden.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE97K0EL20130901
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