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bananas

bananas's Journal
bananas's Journal
October 5, 2015

Iranian parliamentary panel gives conditional nod to nuclear deal

Source: Reuters

An committee of Iran's conservative-dominated parliament gave its support on Sunday to Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers on condition there would be no foreign inspections of military sites and no curbs on developing its missile program.

These proposals, contained in a report by a special parliamentary committee evaluating the agreement, could become law if passed by the assembly and approved by a top clerical body that vets proposed legislation.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sept 3 he favored a vote in parliament on the nuclear deal, but it will still go to him, as the country's highest authority with the ultimate say on all state policy, for approval.

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Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/iranian-parliamentary-panel-gives-conditional-nod-nuclear-deal-124801775.html

October 5, 2015

Tens of thousands protest against Cameron

Source: Agence-France Presse

Tens of thousands of anti-austerity protesters rallied today as British Prime Minister David Cameron’s governing Conservative Party opened its annual conference.

A spokesman for the Trades Union Congress told AFP that 60,000 people were involved in the protest in the northwestern city of Manchester. Police have not given an estimate.

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James Penfold, 44, a nuclear waste scientist, said: “I think they’re taking the cuts way too far. There are different ways of dealing with the deficit which involves taxation.

“What they are doing to the country is catastrophic and in many years we will really be regretting what’s happened.

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Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/world/2015/10/04/tens-of-thousands-protest-against-cameron/

October 5, 2015

David Cameron says that he would use nuclear weapons

Source: Independent

David Cameron has said there are circumstances in which he would launch a nuclear attack on another country.

The PM described nuclear bombs as “the ultimate insurance policy” and said the attack could be “justified”.

Mr Cameron’s statement comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would not use nuclear bombs on another country’s population.

“If you ... believe like me that Britain should keep the ultimate insurance policy of an independent nuclear deterrent, you have to accept there are circumstances in which its use would be justified,” Mr Cameron told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show on 4 October.

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Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-says-that-he-would-use-nuclear-weapons-a6679256.html

October 4, 2015

Doctors Without Borders: Kunduz Airstrike Was 'War Crime'

Source: NPR

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MSF's General Director Christopher Stokes, saying in a statement that the group operates &quot under) the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed," insisted that anything less than a fully independent probe of the incident would be unacceptable.

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"We reiterate that the main hospital building, where medical personnel were caring for patients, was repeatedly and very precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched. We condemn this attack, which constitutes a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law," he said.

In an interview on Sunday's Weekend All Things Considered, MSF Executive Director Jason Cone, said it has been the "darkest couple of days in our organization's history."

Speaking with WATC host Michel Martin, Cone reiterated Stokes' description of the attack as "a war crime."

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Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/04/445773358/doctors-without-borders-kunduz-airstrike-was-war-crime

October 3, 2015

Poroshenko Ends Cooperation With Russia on Nuclear Plant Construction

Source: Sputnik

Kiev decided to scrap the agreement with Russia on the construction of two units of a nuclear power plant in Western Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a set of laws to terminate cooperation with Russia on the construction of two units at the Khmelnitskiy nuclear power plant, a statement on the presidential website said on Saturday.

In 2010, Russia and Ukraine signed an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the third and the fourth units of the Khmelnitskiy nuclear power plant in western Ukraine. The estimated cost of the project was expected to be $5-6 billion, according to Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

In mid-September, Ukraine's parliament denounced the agreement.

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Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20151003/1027966237/poroshenko-russia-ukraine-nuclear.html

October 3, 2015

French PM Valls discusses nuclear, China, culture on Japan visit

Source: Radio France Internationale

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls met Japanese PM Shinzo Abe on Saturday during a three-day visit to the country that is Asia's biggest investor in France. The Mitsubishi conglomerate could buy into troubled French nuclear power company, Areva, he said as his trip started.

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- Nuclear power - French nuclear giant Areva is in trouble and its reactor branch is currently being bought by the EDF power company. Valls indicated that he was not opposed to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries investing in the branch in an interview with Asahi Shimbun newspaper and sources travelling with him said it could invest in Areva's other activities, uranium mining for example. While 47 Japanese nuclear reactors remain closed following the Fukushima disaster, one reopened in August and another should be soon. Japan's nuclear industry has always been an important client for Areva and EDF.

- Free trade - Negotations are under way for a free-trade deal between the two countries but, Valls told Japanese media, "a lot remains to be done", especially on non-tariff barriers and public market access. The two countries are both suffering from sluggish growth, despite Abenomics in Japan and the policies of French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, who joins Valls along with about 60 French business leaders in Tokyo on Monday.

- Relations with China - Beijing has claimed control over most of the South China Sea, a subject of friction with its neighbours including Japan, which is looking at rearmament because of a perceived Chinese threat. This year it has built on several disputed islands, despite protests from them and the US. France wants international law to be respected, Valls told the press, but both he and President François Hollande had already visited China long before this trip. Valls also said that Chinese investments in Areva might be welcome, which may have ruffled some Japanese feathers.

- Science and technology - In Kyoto Valls and Abe were due to open a "Science Davos", the STS Forum, with 1,500 scientists attending. On Monday he was to inaugurate the Franco-Japanese Year of Innovation.

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Read more: http://www.english.rfi.fr/asia-pacific/20151003-french-pm-valls-discusses-nuclear-china-culture-japan-visit

October 3, 2015

NHK chief defends broadcaster amid 'Abe channel' claims

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/10/02/national/media-national/nhk-chief-defends-broadcaster-amid-abe-channel-claims/

NHK chief defends broadcaster amid ‘Abe channel’ claims

Kyodo Oct 2, 2015

NHK chairman Katsuhito Momii hit out at online criticism Thursday, in which the broadcaster was called the “Abe channel” in reference to its coverage of politics, saying it promoted “political neutrality.”

“We are often called the (Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe channel online, but there is no government interference in our coverage,” Momii said at a news conference at NHK. “I don’t think our coverage is biased.”

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Momii also talked about the possibility of using the My Number system at NHK to access detailed data on subscribers, which could potentially help it recoup outstanding fees. The My Number system will come into effect for all residents in Japan in January for tax and social security purposes.

About 76 percent of subscribers paid the NHK license fee as of the end of 2014.

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What a joke. Subscribers should get a refund - they were told it would be news, instead it's Abe neocon propaganda.

October 3, 2015

Police push for charges against TEPCO, execs over pollution problems after nuclear disaster

Source: Asahi Shimbun

Police are pushing for criminal charges to be filed against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and 32 of its current and former executives over leakages of contaminated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Prefectural police officials here announced Oct. 2 that they had referred the case to prosecutors, but at the same time did not disclose if they had asked prosecutors to indict those named in the documents.

The TEPCO executives, as well as the utility itself, were listed as suspected violators of the pollution law for failing to prevent the leakage of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

The Fukushima prefectural police sent papers to the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors Office in response to criminal complaints submitted against TEPCO and its executives since October 2013 by Fukushima residents who were affected by the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant.

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Read more: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201510030052

October 3, 2015

Daimler tests self-driving truck on German highway

Source: Agence-France Presse

German automaker Daimler said it trialled a self-driving truck under real traffic conditions for the first time Friday, on a motorway in southern Germany.

The truck has smart systems including radars, cameras and active speed regulators and works without a human driver -- although one has to be in the driver's seat and take the wheel if necessary.

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A totally self-driving truck, without the need for human monitoring, is still a long way off.

Daimler compared the Highway Pilot to a plane's autopilot. It is able to steer the truck by itself, while the driver "retains full responsibility, needs to monitor the traffic at all times and must be able to intervene at any time".

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Should the weather or the road markings deteriorate badly, the system prompts the driver to take over the controls with audible and visual signals and, if the driver fails to respond, brings the truck to a stop automatically.

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Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/daimler-tests-self-driving-truck-german-highway-214036272.html

October 3, 2015

ULA needs relief on Russian engines before GPS launch bid -CEO

Source: Reuters

United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, on Friday said it cannot bid in a U.S. Air Force competition to launch a GPS satellite unless it gets some relief from a ban on use of Russian rocket engines.

ULA Chief Executive Officer Tory Bruno told reporters in Cape Canaveral, Florida, that the company was seeking a partial waiver on trade sanctions enacted last year that ban U.S. military use of the Russian RD-180 engine that powers ULA's primary workhorse Atlas 5 rocket.

The issue is now in the hands of Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Bruno said. Without the waiver, he said, ULA could not compete for that launch or any other new national security launches until a new American-built engine is ready in 2019.

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Bruno said the ban affected 24 of 29 engines that ULA had ordered from Russia, but not paid for, before Russia invaded Crimea. The five engines that could be used under the law had already been assigned to other missions and were not available for ULA to use in a bid for the GPS III launch, he said.

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Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ula-needs-relief-russian-engines-154241139.html

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