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Nuclear arms abolition negotiations begin

Nuclear arms abolition negotiations begin
NHK World News
Published on Mar 27, 2017

The conference to negotiate a legally binding treaty to ban nuclear weapons begins at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday. But all the nuclear states will not participate.

The UN General Assembly voted to start negotiations last December. More than 50 non-nuclear countries submitted the proposal and 113 states supported the resolution.

The treaty is to ban nuclear weapons based on the interpretation they are in breach of international laws.

More than 100 countries are expected to take part in the negotiations. They will likely focus on how to substantiate the illegality of nuclear weapons.

The United States and Russia say the negotiations lack the realistic perspective of international security.

Japan is the only country to have experienced atomic bombings, but has also been against the treaty. The government's position is that disarmament should occur in stages with cooperation of both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

Japan is arranging to send an envoy to speak at the conference, but is unlikely to take part in the negotiations.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told NHK at the UN on Thursday that the negotiations are timely. She said there have recently been comments flaunting nuclear arms. She added that many countries are frustrated with the stalemate in nuclear arms reduction.

Former US President Barack Obama called for "a world without nuclear weapons." His successor Donald Trump has indicated he wants to strengthen US nuclear power.

Toshiba wants Westinghouse to file for bankruptcy as early as Tuesday: source

Source: Reuters

Toshiba Corp wants its U.S nuclear unit to file for Chapter 11 protection from creditors as early as Tuesday, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, seeking a quick ringfencing of losses before the Japanese parent's financial year ends.

While a Westinghouse bankruptcy filing would help limit future losses for Toshiba, it still falls far short of drawing a line under its problems.

Any filing would trigger complex negotiations between Toshiba, the nuclear unit and creditors, and could embroil the U.S and Japanese governments given the scale of the collapse and U.S. state loan guarantees for new reactors. A worry for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is that a bankruptcy would give President Donald Trump cause to criticize Japanese firms operating in the United States.

"Westinghouse is a major employer and nuclear industry company with ongoing nuclear new build projects in two different states, one of which is supported by U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees," said George Borovas, the global head of nuclear at law firm Shearman & Sterling.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-accounting-idUSKBN16X12P

UN to kick off talks on global nuclear weapons ban

Source: Agence France-Press

More than 100 countries are set to launch the first UN talks on a global nuclear weapons ban on Monday over objections from the major nuclear powers.


No major powers have commented on the start of the talks so far, although the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is expected to issue a statement on the sidelines of opening day.

US and French representatives explained their countries' opposition in October citing a need to make progress in stages, without disturbing the current strategic balance of weapons or jeopardizing nuclear deterrence.

Fihn compares such arguments to the logic of chain smokers: "It's never the right time to quit."


Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/un-kick-off-talks-global-nuclear-weapons-ban-053518198.html

House Intel Committee seeks names of Obama officials who requested 'unmasking' of Americans picked u

Source: CNN

The leaders of the House Intelligence Committee asked the three leaders of the intelligence community Wednesday about any time during the last seven months of the Obama administration whenever any of its agents and officials improperly named, or "unmasked," and disseminated the identities of American citizens picked up in intelligence collection.

Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, wrote that they were concerned that members of the intelligence community have not been sufficiently honoring previously established "robust 'minimization procedures'" to protect the identities of US citizens, including "masking" their names. The letter they sent refers to the disclosure to the public that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had several conversations with the Russian Ambassador.


An informed source told CNN that if Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was being surveilled, Flynn's name should not necessarily have been included on the intelligence report. Rather, "American Citizen 1" or a similar anonymous term should have been used.

"However, as recent news stories, seem to illustrate, individuals talking to the media would appear to have wantonly disregarded these procedures," Nunes and Schiff wrote. The congressmen also asked the names of individuals or agencies who "requested and/or authorized the unmasking and dissemination" of these identities.


Read more: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/03/15/politics/house-intelligence-committee-unmasking/index.html

1960s vs. Today ( Vault 7 )

Six years on from Fukushima disaster residents live in 'contaminated communities'

Source: International Business Times

A report has accused the Japanese government of forcing evacuees to return to areas with radioactive contamination at higher levels than internationally recommended safe levels.


Prime Minister Shinzō Abe addressed a national ceremony in Tokyo and bowed his head in silence at 2.46pm local time.


Prince Akishino was also in attendance, in place of his father Emperor Akihito and mother Empress Michiko, and offered his condolences to the dead.


Several hundred demonstrators gathered near Abe's office and in front of parliament to denounce government policy to restart nuclear reactors around the country shuttered after the disaster.


Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/six-years-fukushima-disaster-residents-live-contaminated-communities-1611049

Fukushima nuclear plant work behind schedule

Source: Jiji Press

Work to decommission Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant has not progressed smoothly, six years after the nuclear disaster began following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

In particular, measures to deal with radioactive water, which topped 1.02 million tons early this month, have been delayed.

Observers fear that decommissioning costs may even exceed the current projection of ¥8 trillion, which surprised many when announced last December because it was four times the previous estimate.

Some of the costs are already passed on to consumers. TEPCO started to charge for related costs in September 2012, when it raised power rates.


Read more: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003570166

Former Prime Minister Koizumi reiterates call for Japans complete exit from nuclear power

Source: Kyodo

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday reiterated his call for Japan’s complete exit from nuclear energy as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“Nuclear power plants will become a negative legacy for future generations,” Koizumi said at an event organized by a civic group in Sapporo.

The group is seeking the decommissioning of nuclear reactors at Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari power station in the village of the same name.


After his speech, Koizumi lambasted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nuclear policy, which promotes restarting atomic plants — most of which remain offline — and exporting nuclear reactors.


Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/11/national/politics-diplomacy/former-prime-minister-koizumi-reiterates-call-japans-complete-exit-nuclear-power/
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