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Toshiba to withdraw from nuclear plant construction, chairman to quit

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/28/business/corporate-business/toshiba-chairman-resign-struggling-u-s-nuclear-business/

Toshiba to withdraw from nuclear plant construction, chairman to quit

KYODO
JAN 28, 2017

Toshiba Corp. will cease taking orders related to the building of nuclear power stations, sources said Saturday, in a move that would effectively mark its withdrawal from the nuclear plant construction business.

The news comes amid reports Toshiba’s chairman may resign over the massive write-down that has doomed the company’s U.S. nuclear business.

The multinational conglomerate said Friday it will review its nuclear operations and spin off its chip business to raise funds in a bid to cover an expected asset impairment loss of up to ¥700 billion ($6.08 billion).

After Toshiba ceases taking new orders, it will focus on maintenance and decommissioning operations, according to the sources.

<snip>


One month ago:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/over-40-toshibas-stock-market-value-wiped-out-three-days-1598550

Over 40% of Toshiba's stock market value wiped out in three days

Third day of declines hammer Japanese technology giant after revelations of possible US writedown.

Gaurav Sharma By Gaurav Sharma
December 29, 2016 12:06 GMT

The Japanese industrial and technology giant Toshiba has seen more than 40% of its stock market value wiped off since Monday (26 December), after the company warned that its US nuclear business may be worth less than previously thought.

Shares in Tokyo-listed company fell 12% on Tuesday, followed by declines of 20% on Wednesday and another 17% at the close of trading in Thursday (29 December).

Earlier in the week, Toshiba revealed that it is facing the prospect of a hefty one-off loss at its US nuclear industry subsidiary Westinghouse Electric, which it bought in 2006.

<snip>


A year and a half ago:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-accounting-idUSKCN0PU0E920150720

Toshiba inflated profits by $1.2 billion with top execs' knowledge: investigation

Mon Jul 20, 2015 | 11:43am EDT
By Ritsuko Ando | TOKYO

Japan's Toshiba Corp overstated its operating profit by 151.8 billion yen ($1.22 billion) over several years in accounting irregularities involving top management, an independent investigation said in a report on Monday.

In the country's biggest corporate scandal in years, the findings could lead to the restatement of earnings, a board overhaul and potentially hefty fines at the computers-to-nuclear conglomerate.

Toshiba President and Chief Executive Hisao Tanaka and his predecessor, Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki, were aware of the overstatement of profits and delay in reporting losses in a corporate culture that "avoided going against superiors' wishes," the investigating committee said in a report filed by Toshiba to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The overstatement was roughly triple Toshiba's initial estimate. Sources have said Tanaka and Sasaki would resign in the coming months and most of the board would be replaced to take responsibility for the shortcomings.

<snip>


Further stock declines today:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-stocks-idUSKBN15E02P

Toshiba shares fall after report trust banks preparing to sue
Sun Jan 29, 2017 | 8:01pm EST

Shares of Toshiba Corp tumbled as much as 5.8 percent in early trade on Monday after a newspaper report that some trust banks are preparing to sue the company for damages.

The Asahi Shimbun reported that several trust banks including Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp are set to sue Toshiba after its share price tanked due to a massive accounting scandal that has upended the company.

On Friday, Toshiba said it would sell a minority stake in its memory chip business as it urgently seeks funds to offset an imminent multi-billion dollar writedown on its U.S. nuclear business. It said the overseas nuclear division was now under review.

The Nikkei business daily separately reported over the weekend that Chairman Shigenori Shiga was ready to step down to take responsibility.

Toshiba shares fall after report trust banks preparing to sue

Source: Reuters

Shares of Toshiba Corp tumbled as much as 5.8 percent in early trade on Monday after a newspaper report that some trust banks are preparing to sue the company for damages.

The Asahi Shimbun reported that several trust banks including Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp [MTFGTB.UL] are set to sue Toshiba after its share price tanked due to a massive accounting scandal that has upended the company.

On Friday, Toshiba said it would sell a minority stake in its memory chip business as it urgently seeks funds to offset an imminent multi-billion dollar writedown on its U.S. nuclear business. It said the overseas nuclear division was now under review.

The Nikkei business daily separately reported over the weekend that Chairman Shigenori Shiga was ready to step down to take responsibility.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-stocks-idUSKBN15E02P



One month ago:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/over-40-toshibas-stock-market-value-wiped-out-three-days-1598550

Over 40% of Toshiba's stock market value wiped out in three days

Third day of declines hammer Japanese technology giant after revelations of possible US writedown.

Gaurav Sharma By Gaurav Sharma
December 29, 2016 12:06 GMT

The Japanese industrial and technology giant Toshiba has seen more than 40% of its stock market value wiped off since Monday (26 December), after the company warned that its US nuclear business may be worth less than previously thought.

Shares in Tokyo-listed company fell 12% on Tuesday, followed by declines of 20% on Wednesday and another 17% at the close of trading in Thursday (29 December).

Earlier in the week, Toshiba revealed that it is facing the prospect of a hefty one-off loss at its US nuclear industry subsidiary Westinghouse Electric, which it bought in 2006.

<snip>


Two days ago:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/28/business/corporate-business/toshiba-chairman-resign-struggling-u-s-nuclear-business/

Toshiba to withdraw from nuclear plant construction, chairman to quit
KYODO
JAN 28, 2017

Toshiba Corp. will cease taking orders related to the building of nuclear power stations, sources said Saturday, in a move that would effectively mark its withdrawal from the nuclear plant construction business.

The news comes amid reports Toshiba’s chairman may resign over the massive write-down that has doomed the company’s U.S. nuclear business.

The multinational conglomerate said Friday it will review its nuclear operations and spin off its chip business to raise funds in a bid to cover an expected asset impairment loss of up to ¥700 billion ($6.08 billion).

After Toshiba ceases taking new orders, it will focus on maintenance and decommissioning operations, according to the sources.

<snip>


A year and a half ago:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-accounting-idUSKCN0PU0E920150720

Toshiba inflated profits by $1.2 billion with top execs' knowledge: investigation

Mon Jul 20, 2015 | 11:43am EDT
By Ritsuko Ando | TOKYO

Japan's Toshiba Corp overstated its operating profit by 151.8 billion yen ($1.22 billion) over several years in accounting irregularities involving top management, an independent investigation said in a report on Monday.

In the country's biggest corporate scandal in years, the findings could lead to the restatement of earnings, a board overhaul and potentially hefty fines at the computers-to-nuclear conglomerate.

Toshiba President and Chief Executive Hisao Tanaka and his predecessor, Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki, were aware of the overstatement of profits and delay in reporting losses in a corporate culture that "avoided going against superiors' wishes," the investigating committee said in a report filed by Toshiba to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The overstatement was roughly triple Toshiba's initial estimate. Sources have said Tanaka and Sasaki would resign in the coming months and most of the board would be replaced to take responsibility for the shortcomings.

<snip>


Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Promoting Russian Hacking Story

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/25/seymour-hersh-blasts-media-for-uncritically-promoting-russian-hacking-story/

SEYMOUR HERSH BLASTS MEDIA FOR UNCRITICALLY PROMOTING RUSSIAN HACKING STORY

Jeremy Scahill
January 25 2017, 6:29 a.m.

PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview that he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case that President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts.

Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion of the pronouncements of the director of national intelligence and the CIA, given their track records of lying and misleading the public.

<snip>

Although critical of the Russia coverage, Hersh condemned the Trump administration’s attacks on the news media and its threats to limit the ability of journalists to cover the White House. “The attack on the press is straight out of national socialism,” he said. “You have to go back into the 1930s. The first thing you do is destroy the media. And what’s he going to do? He’s going to intimidate them. The truth is, the First Amendment is an amazing thing and if you start trampling it the way they — I hope they don’t do it that way — this would be really counterproductive. He’ll be in trouble.”

Hersh also said he is concerned about Trump and his administration assuming power over the vast surveillance resources of the U.S. government. “I can tell you, my friends on the inside have already told me there’s going to be a major increase in surveillance, a dramatic increase in domestic surveillance,” he said. He recommended that anyone concerned about privacy use encrypted apps and other protective means. “If you don’t have Signal, you better get Signal.”

While expressing fears about Trump’s agenda, Hersh also called Trump a potential “circuit breaker” of the two-party political system in the U.S. “The idea of somebody breaking things away, and raising grave doubts about the viability of the party system, particularly the Democratic Party, is not a bad idea,” Hersh said. “That’s something we could build on in the future. But we have to figure out what to do in the next few years.” He added: “I don’t think the notion of democracy is ever going to be as tested as it’s going to be now.”

<snip>


Political World Embraces Encrypted-Messaging App Signal Amid Fears of Hacking

Paywalled article, can be read for free by using a google search for it and clicking that.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/political-world-embraces-encrypted-messaging-app-amid-fears-of-hacking-1485492485

Political World Embraces Encrypted-Messaging App Signal Amid Fears of Hacking

Aides close to President Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton use app as memory of Wikileaks scandal lingers

By Mara Gay
Updated Jan. 26, 2017 11:57 p.m. ET

Signal, a smartphone app that allows users to send encrypted messages, is gaining popularity in the political world amid rising fears about hacking and surveillance in the wake of a tumultuous election year.

<snip>

“It’s funny,” Mr. Marlinspike said. “In the past, people asked, ‘Are you worried terrorists are using it?’ Now they’re asking about politicians.”

<snip>

Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union, an ethics group, said he understood why politicians and their aides would seek to avoid a repeat of the WikiLeaks scandal. But he said that by using apps like Signal, they also could be keeping conversations private that should be made public under freedom of information laws.

<snip>


CW 6 San Diego shuts down March 31

Heard a short segment on Channel 10 news last night.
CW entertainment shows will be picked up by channel 8.3, which is low-def.
Don't know what will happen to the excellent local news staff.
This is a significant loss for San Diego.

A couple of links I found:

CW switching to KFMB
http://www.sandiegohdtv.org/community/threads/cw-switching-to-kfmb.1661/

Bay City TV shutting down
http://www.sandiegohdtv.org/community/threads/bay-city-tv-shutting-down.1662/

These Large NASA-Supporting Twitter Accounts Did Not Exist The Other Day

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/01/these-large-nas.html

These Large NASA-Supporting Twitter Accounts Did Not Exist The Other Day
By Keith Cowing on January 26, 2017 8:33 PM.

<snip>

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/01/25/what-the-rogue-epa-nps-and-nasa-twitter-accounts-teach-us-about-the-future-of-social/#24c5d0e05dc0

What The 'Rogue' EPA, NPS and NASA Twitter Accounts Teach Us About The Future Of Social, Forbes

"These new accounts also raise the fascinating question of whether "alternative" or "rogue" or "resistance" social media accounts will become a new norm even in Western nations that have not typically had a history of "governments in exile." One could imagine that every administration would have its "rogue" employees who disagree with particular policies heading out to Twitter to fire up their own resistance accounts. Taking this a step further, the party not in power could set up its own alternative Twitter accounts for each federal agency and issue their own statements interpreting the actions of each agency through their particular partisan lens."


Keith's note: I could not be happier to see this happen. NASAWatch started out as RIFWatch - an effort to inform people about an impending downsizing (RIF) at NASA. Guess what - that may be in NASA's future once again. I used to warn NASA that someday there would be dozens of websites like NASAWatch. I am so happy to have totally underestimated that number.

Keith's update: At first these Twitter accounts focused mostly on science issues. Then their originators (government employees, based on tweets these accounts made) handed the accounts over to non-government employees. Shortly thereafter, as visibility exploded, a lot of the commentary and follower's comments took a turn into overtly partisan, anti-Trump territory. Now its hard to extract the science policy issues from the rest of the noise. Such is social media.

http://www.govexec.com/magazine/1996/10/rogue-webmasters/1232/

Rogue Webmasters, Government Executive, 1996

"What does RIF really stand for? According to Keith Cowing's NASA RIF Watch Web site, the answer is "Resistance Is Futile." On the site, Cowing cut and pasted NASA Administrator Dan Goldin's face onto the body of a "Borg," the race of villains from television's "Star Trek: The Next Generation" who attempt to destroy Earth and enslave its people. Cowing, a former NASA employee who quit in 1993 because he didn't like the way the agency was being managed, launched the RIF Watch site in April to provide information for NASA employees whose jobs are at risk as the agency's budget shrinks and it is asked to carry out its mission with fewer employees. He's not alone in his effort to supplement--and circumvent--official agency information sources. Rogue webmasters have set up sites for IRS employees and Postal workers. And an online magazine has devoted a section to let federal employees of any agency sound off about what ticks them off."


http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_programs-july-dec96-nasa_11-29/

Changes in Thinking At NASA, PBS NewsHour 1996

"TOM BEARDEN: Goldin and his associate administrators want their people to make quick decisions and fix mistakes later, instead of doing what he says NASA used to do, study a problem to death for fear of failing. Keith Cowing follows all of this in cyberspace. He's a former NASA engineer who set up an Internet site that functions as a kind of super water cooler for all of NASA's far-flung employees. He calls it "RIF Watch." It features rumors, editorial comment, jokes, cartoons. It also frequently publishes high-level internal memos that NASA employees send to Cowing. He says there are a lot of unhappy people out there in NASA Land."


Doomsday Clock expected to move closer to midnight as threat of global annihilation grows

Source: Telegraph

A Doomsday Clock, which symbolises the current threat of global annihilation, is expected to be moved closer to midnight by scientists.

<snip>

But the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is expected to move it forward by one minute on Thursday, the closest it has ever been to the apocalypse since 1953 when the US took the decision to upgrade its nuclear arsenal with the hydrogen bomb.

The Doomsday Clock now not only takes into account the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon but also other emerging threats, such as climate change and advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

<snip>

On Thursday the Bulletin will announce the new "time" in an event to be streamed live at 3.30pm GMT.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/25/doomsdayclock-expected-move-closer-midnight-threat-global-annihilation/



Their website is http://thebulletin.org/

Japan launches first military communications satellite

Source: Reuters

Japan on Tuesday launched its first military communications satellite to boost the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces as they reinforce an island chain stretching along the southern edge of the East China Sea.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the military is operating further from Japan's home islands as it takes on a bigger role to counter growing Chinese military activity in the region.

<snip>

The Tuesday launch marks the successful resumption of a program that was halted last year by an embarrassing mishap.

The first of the three satellites, which was meant to go into space from Europe's Space port in French Guiana, was crushed during a flight from Japan after a blue tarpaulin covering its transport box blocked valves meant to equalize the internal air pressure as the cargo aircraft descended.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-military-satellite-idUSKBN1580VZ?il=0



Some older articles about the resurgence of fascism in Japan:

Oct 2013: Japan secrecy act stirs fears about press freedom, right to know
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014630730

Feb 2014: Japanese Broadcast Official: We Didn’t Commit War Crimes, the U.S. Just Made That Up
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014722003

Feb 2014: News Giant in Japan Seen as Being Compromised
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101684156

May 2014: Abe Pushes for More Active Japanese Military
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101693308

Sept 2015: Japan kept no record of talks over revised constitution, report says
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141219060

FBI reviewed Flynns calls with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit

Source: Washington Post

The FBI in late December reviewed intercepts of communications between the Russian ambassador to the United States and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn — national security adviser to then-President-elect Trump — but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government, U.S. officials said.

The calls were picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the United States, which is one of the FBI’s responsibilities, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss counterintelligence operations.

<snip>

Although Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were listened to, Flynn himself is not the active target of an investigation, U.S. officials said. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that U.S. counterintelligence agents had investigated the communications between Flynn and Kislyak.

<snip>

The FBI’s counterintelligence agents listen to calls all the time that do not pertain to any open investigation, current and former law enforcement officials said. Often, said one former official, “they’re just monitoring the other [foreign official] side of the call.”

<snip>

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-reviewed-flynns-calls-with-russian-ambassador-but-found-nothing-illicit/2017/01/23/aa83879a-e1ae-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?postshare=1121485223748974&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.ed48b11344b8



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.[1] It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism."[2] The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression as well as a campaign spreading fear of influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents.

<snip>

"McCarthyism" soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries. During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,[4] laws that were later declared unconstitutional,[5] dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[6] or actionable,[7] or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.

The most notable examples of McCarthyism include the speeches, investigations, and hearings of Senator McCarthy himself; the Hollywood blacklist, associated with hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the various anti-communist activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under Director J. Edgar Hoover. McCarthyism was a widespread social and cultural phenomenon that affected all levels of society and was the source of a great deal of debate and conflict in the United States.

<snip>

The first images from the new weather satellite just arrived, and they're absolutely incredible

Source: Washington Post

The satellite formerly known as GOES-R (so Prince, right?) has transmitted its first images back to Earth, and they are flooring. From the details on the face of the moon to the incredible resolution of cumulus over the Caribbean, these first pixels portend a sunny future for NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite.

Meteorologists are drooling. This release coincides with the first day of the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting. There are thousands of weather geeks in Seattle this week, and — at least on Monday — they’re all looking at this next-gen satellite imagery.

<snip>

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/01/23/the-first-images-from-goes-r-have-come-in-and-theyre-absolutely-incredible/?tid=pm_local_pop
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