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San Diego sailor angered over Japan radiation exposure

Source: KGTV

A San Diego sailor says she is suing Japan and the Tokyo Electric Power Company for radiation exposure.

Lindsay Cooper, 23, was stationed aboard the USS Ronald Reagan when it was sent to aid those in Japan affected by a devastating tsunami last year.

The world watched in awe as plumes from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant hung in the air last March. The same plumes which sent radioactive debris onto the Ronald Reagan, with roughly 5,500 sailors on board.

“The debris and the teddy bears and the pictures that you saw in the water, that was real,” Cooper told 10News. “The radiation … we couldn’t see that. We could only trust what our command was telling us.”


Read more: http://www.10news.com/news/san-diego-sailor-angered-over-japan-radiation-exposure12292012

Video news story interviews Lindsey Cooper and Paul Garner.

Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female government minister


Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female government minister
Reuters – Thu, Dec 27, 2012

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticized her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.


"Medicine is more essential than bread. I have heard that luxury cars have been imported with subsidized dollars but I don't know what happened to the dollars that were supposed to be allocated for importing medicine," she said on state television.


Dastjerdi's dismissal was criticized in parliament, where Ahmadinejad has been accused of concentrating power in his own hands.



The Sacking Of Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi And The State Of The Opposition In Iran

BY Maya Shwayder | December 28 2012 4:44 PM

The sacking of the only female minister in Iran's government announced Thursday represented a severe blow to anyone who was hoping to speak out against the country's establishment anytime soon.


Vahid Dastjerdi was Iran's only woman in the government. However, she was neither especially progressive nor particularly pro-woman as a lawmaker. Nonetheless, she was one of only three women nominated by Ahmadinejad for various positions after the controversial 2009 elections, and the only one of those three to be approved for her post.

Indeed, Vahid Dastjerdi has been known to be a social conservative, and thus in not very popular among women's-rights activists in Iran.


"Her sacking is indicative of an Iranian government in disarray," Sanei said. "Since the 2009 elections, the government has really shown very little respect or acceptance of dissent in the country. ... [T]here's been a widespread crackdown on dissent in the country. We've also seen internal fighting since then -- between Ahmadinejad's government and the conservatives on the religious bench, and within his [Ahmadinejad's] own government."


India claims problems with Russian-leased nuclear sub


India claims problems with Russian-leased nuclear sub
26/12/2012 RIA Novosti

India has asked Russia to replace the faulty parts on the leased Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine as they affect its operational readiness, the Times of India reported.


However, shortly after the start of sea trials in November 2008, an accident on board the submarine killed 20 sailors and technical due to a toxic gas leak when the automatic fire extinguishing system malfunctioned.

The Nerpa was finally handed over to India in January after prolonged and costly repairs.


The vessel is armed with four 533-mm and four 650-mm torpedo tubes, although it cannot carry nuclear weapons under the lease provisions.


San Diego's new mayor Bob Filner fires some parting shots at Congress

The 4-1/2 minute interview on KPCC-FM can be listened to here:

San Diego's new mayor Bob Filner fires some parting shots at Congress

Kitty Felde | December 26th, 2012, 9:00am

Former Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, a member of the House of Representatives for 10 terms, could have run for an eleventh. But when he saw a chance to run for mayor of San Diego, he jumped in the race – and won.

Why leave a comfortable life on Capitol Hill? It's simple, says Filner: "Congress is dysfunctional."

Filner, one of the most liberal Democrats on the Hill, points the finger at both parties. He says Congress began to change in 1994, when Republicans took back the House and Newt Gingrich became speaker.


But Filner saves his harshest words for his own party: A President who gives away the store before sitting down to negotiate; Democrats who had run the House for 40 years didn’t understand you can’t legislate as a minority; leadership wasting its time in the weeds on the process of government rather than the politics of trying to win back the House.


His criticism of Democrats is getting more attention than his criticism of Republicans:

Mayor Filner Sounds Off on President, Leading Dems
By Gene Cubbison | Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 | Updated 9:46 PM PST

San Diego's mayor is now back in the news in Washington, D.C. -- making headlines for critical comments about President Obama and his former Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill.

The fun started with a phone interview that former Congressman Bob Filner gave KPCC-FM, a public radio station in Los Angeles, and wound up in Politico, a leading national news outlet for political junkies.

The focus of the radio interview?

Why Filner left Washington to run for mayor.


Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies

In fighting against the Republican War on Science, some of the talking points you hear:
1. Global warming isn't real.
2. It would be too expensive to stop anyway.
3. It can't be stopped without nuclear energy.
4. It would be too expensive to stop without nuclear energy.

None of those are true, and a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences addresses that last item.


Public release date: 1-Oct-2012
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies

Incremental costs due to policy options restricting the use of nuclear power do not significantly increase the cost of even stringent greenhouse-gas emissions reductions

"Questions have been raised if restricting nuclear energy – an option considered by some countries after the accident in Fukushima, Japan – combined with climate policies might get extremely expensive. Our study is a first assessment of the consequences of a broad range of combinations of climate and nuclear policies," lead author Nico Bauer says. Restrictions on nuclear power could be political decisions, but also regulations imposed by safety authorities. Power generation capacities would have to be replaced, but fossil fuels would become costly due to a price on CO2 emissions, this in sum is the main concern.


For their study, the scientists looked into different nuclear power policies. These cover a range of scenarios from "Renaissance", with a full utilization of existing power plants, a possible refurbishment for a lifetime expansion and investments in new nuclear power capacities, to "Full exit", with a decommissioning of existing power plants and no new investments. They contrasted each scenario with climate policies implemented via an inter-temporal global carbon budget which puts a price on carbon emissions. For the budget, the cumulative CO2 emissions from the global energy sector were limited to 300 gigatons of carbon from 2005 until the end of the century. This represents a climate mitigation policy consistent with the target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

"A surprising result of our study is the rather little difference between a 'Renaissance' or a 'Full exit' of nuclear power in combination with a carbon budget when it comes to GDP losses," Bauer says. While the 'no policy case' with a nuclear phase-out and no carbon budget has only negligible effect on global GDP, the imposition of a carbon budget with no restrictions on nuclear policy implies a reduction of GDP that reaches 2.1 percent in 2050. The additional phase-out of nuclear power increases this loss by about 0.2 percent in 2050 and hence has only little additional impact on the economy, because the contribution of nuclear power to the electricity generation can be substituted relatively easy by alternative technology options, including the earlier deployment of renewables.


Article: Bauer, N., Brecha, R.J., Luderer, G. (2012): Economics of nuclear power and climate change mitigation policies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition) [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1201264109]

The paper is paywalled at http://www.pnas.org/content/109/42/16805.abstract

The lead author has made the paper freely available, plus a critique and rebuttal,
on his webpage at http://www.pik-potsdam.de/members/nicolasb/

US sailors sue Japan's TEPCO for post-quake radiation exposure

Source: NBC News

A group of U.S. Navy personnel involved in the humanitarian effort after Japan's March 2011 earthquake and tsunami have filed a lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Co. for more than $200 million in compensation, punitive damages and future medical costs for exposure to radiation that leaked from the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant at the time.

The plaintiffs include eight troops serving on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier — one of whom was pregnant at the time of the alleged exposure — and her daughter.

They charge that the utility, known as TEPCO, "knowingly and negligently caused, permitted and allowed misleading information concerning the true condition of the (plant) to be disseminated to the public, including the U.S. Navy Department," according to the complaint filed on Dec. 21 in a U.S. federal court in San Diego.

The plaintiffs are suffering a variety of symptoms that attorney Paul Garner says were caused by the exposure, including rectal bleeding, thyroid problems and persistent migraine headaches, and all face an increased chance of developing cancer and requiring expensive medical procedures.


Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/27/16197507-us-sailors-sue-japans-tepco-for-post-quake-radiation-exposure?lite

The nuclear industry spin-machine will go into high gear over this.

This is a major story being covered by the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Japan Times, etc.

Be prepared for an onslaught of anti-science pro-nuclear PR.

Obesity killing three times as many as malnutrition


Obesity killing three times as many as malnutrition

Obesity is now killing triple the number of people who die from malnutrition as it claims more than three million lives a year worldwide, according to a landmark study.

By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent

5:00PM GMT 13 Dec 2012

With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, eating too much is now a more serious risk to the health of populations than eating poorly, found the Global Burden of Disease study, published in a special edition of The Lancet.

Across the world, there has been significant success in tackling malnutrition, with deaths down two-thirds since 1990 to less than a million by 2010.

But increasing prosperity has led to expanding waistlines in countries from Colombia to Kazakhstan, as people eat more and get less everyday exercise.


Between 1990 and 2010 overall global life expectancy at birth rose by about five years. The ‘average’ boy born in 2010 can expect expect to live to 67.5 and the ‘average’ girl to 73.3.


'She’s my role model,' says daughter of Attawapiskat Chief Spence, now into 9th day of hunger strike


‘She’s my role model,’ says daughter of Attawapiskat Chief Spence, now into 9th day of hunger strike

20. Dec, 2012 by APTN National News
By Jorge Barrera

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says she won’t allow authorities to take her to the hospital if the hunger strike takes a turn for the worse.


She also issued a woman-to-woman call to Harper’s wife, Laureen Harper, to convince her husband that he should meet with the chiefs.


“I had a talk with my girls and I explained the journey of life. There are times in the journey of life you lose your loved ones. That is part of life,” said Spence. “If I am not going to be here, you are not going to be alone…There will be people looking after you, my partner, your sisters, my friends will look after them and I am going to be there in my spirit with them every day.”

Spence’s partner Clayton Kennedy struggles with his emotions as he discusses Spence’s hunger strike. Kennedy said he feels “distressed,” but supportive.


Gerry Anderson, Thunderbirds creator, dies

Source: BBC

Gerry Anderson, the creator of hit TV shows including Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90, has died at the age of 83.

He also created Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and his puppet superheroes fired the imaginations of millions of young viewers in the 1960s and '70s.


His other creations included UFO, Space: 1999, Supercar and Fireball XL5.

Actor Brian Blessed, who worked with Anderson on shows including The Day After Tomorrow and Space 1999, told BBC News: "I think a light has gone out in the universe.

"He had a great sense of humour. He wasn't childish but child-like and he had a tremendous love of the universe and astronomy and scientists.


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-20845407

Letter: Flash mobs in United States support Idle No More and Theresa Spence


Letter: Flash mobs in United States support Idle No More and Theresa Spence
Montreal Gazette December 26, 2012

Not only are flash mobs happening in Canada, but this cause is being taken up in flash mobs across the United States, in solidarity and support of the Canadian First Nations and support of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and her hunger strike to call for a meeting with Prime Minister Harper to discuss with First Nations Bill C-45.

Many flash mobs have been held, two here in Albuquerque, N.M. in the past few days. As one of the organizers, we’ve seen 150 and 200-plus people attend to show their support. As well, other flash mobs have been held in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tulsa, Rapid City, Shiprock, Los Angeles and points in between.

Seeing this happen to our First Nations brothers and sisters makes us think this might happen to us in the future here in the States. A Republican philosophy excludes American Indian women from the bill Violence Against Women. There is something happening every day here in the U.S. related to Idol No More and I just wanted to let everyone know that we fully support the efforts of the First Nations.

Irene Edwards
Santa Fe, N.M.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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