Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups.
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Solar Companies Value Consumer Data That Utilities Ignore at Their Peril
2013-11-21, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:25:16
The same rooftop solar providers that are threatening utility revenues are more than just occupying customer roofs—they’re inside the home, monitoring usage trends and adapting the systems to meet both the homeowner’s needs and their own bottom lines. SolarCity, Sunrun, SunPower, and Locus Energy are amassing billions of points of data in smart home systems that consumers love and that baffle utilities, many of which have no incentive to help consumers manage their power usage more efficiently. While utilities have installed millions of smart meters in homes, they haven’t made use of the data to engage consumers the same way solar providers have, says Neil Strother, a smart-grid analyst. “Utilities are more focused on cutting their own costs than in helping consumers become more efficient,” he says. “They aren’t motivated to reduce demand.” The solar systems, meanwhile, collect real-time data on hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country that utilities could use to more efficiently and reliably manage their power grids. Nat Kreamer, chief executive officer of Clean Power Finance, says some utilities don’t see the potential benefits of using smart meters to engage with consumers to improve their service or reduce their utility bills. “I asked an executive at one top 10 utility what he was hoping to get from smart meters, and he basically said just to eliminate the meter readers,” Kraemer says.
Note: For more on new energy developments, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Peaceable Kingdom's games emphasize cooperation
2013-11-27, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:23:47
"Feed the Woozle" and "Hoot Owl Hoot!" are the top-selling titles from Berkeley's Peaceable Kingdom, which is making a name for itself with games for toddlers and families that emphasize cooperation over competition. The small, family-owned business tries to promote the value and fun of everyone working together. Its line of games is staunchly nondigital, encouraging face-to-face interactions instead of "screen time." "Cooperative games are a microcosm of how children can play differently," said company president Donna Jaffe. Child-development experts say the community-focused games can play a valuable role, teaching shared decision-making and problem-solving. "They have a lot of merit for classroom and family use," said Berkeley's Stevanne Auerbach, who reviews playthings at www.drtoy.com. "Kids can cut out the one-upmanship and learn to develop strategies and friendly connections. Many parents want their children to have the experience of playing games without feeling as if they have to win or lose." "Their games are in my therapy bag all the time," said Sherry Artemenko, a Connecticut speech pathologist who reviews games at www.playonwords.com. "Kids learn to help each other and work as a team. There's a lot of learning involved: You talk to each other, take different actions. There are visual skills as well as math and language." With slightly more than $5 million in sales, Peaceable Kingdom is minute compared with giants like Hasbro and Mattel. It has eschewed mass-market retailers like Target and Toys R Us, instead sticking to smaller local toy stores and some chains like Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
The Pope’s bold new vision
2013-11-26, CNN blog
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:22:18
Pope Francis on [November 26] issued a bold new document – in Vatican parlance an “apostolic exhortation” – called Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel.” In this document, he sets out an exciting new vision of how to be a church. It is to be a joyful community of believers completely unafraid of the modern world, completely unafraid of change and completely unafraid of challenges. The exhortation [expresses] an overriding concern for the poor in the world. Francis champions an idea that has lately been out of favor: the church’s “preferential option” for the poor. “God’s heart has a special place for the poor,” the Pope says. But it is not enough simply to say that God loves the poor in a special way and leave it at that. We must be also vigilant in our care and advocacy for them. Everyone must do this, says the Pope. “None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice.” And in case anyone misses the point, after a critique of the “idolatry of money” and an “economy of exclusion,” the Pope says: “The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.” This does not mean simply caring for the poor, it means addressing the structures that keep them poor: “The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed.”
Note: For how you can help to end poverty through microlending, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Police Arrest Aerialist for Performing Above the Williamsburg Bridge
2011-11-21, The Atlantic
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:20:55
In July, 24-year-old Seanna Sharpe scaled the Williamsburg Bridge to perform a jaw-dropping, and totally illegal, acrobatics show. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested and handcuffed. According to this short documentary, she was charged with a felony, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor. Fans raised her bail in under an hour, via Twitter. Filmmaker and artist Ronen V captures the whole amazing story in this video, incorporating footage shot by the crowd on cell phones and cameras.
Note: You can watch the fun, death-defying video at the link above. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
A Murmuration of Starlings
2011-11-03, The Atlantic
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:15:37
This is your moment of zen today. Two adventurers set out in a canoe and happened upon a [flock of] starlings (collectively known as a murmuration) doing their amazing collective dance in the sky. Watch the video. Just take it in. The starlings' coordinated movements do not seem possible, but then, there they are, doing it. Scientists have been similarly fascinated by starling movement. Those synchronized dips and waves seem to hold secrets about perception and group dynamics. Last year, Italian theoretical physicist Giorgio Parisi took on the challenge of explaining the [phenomenon]. What he found ... is that the math equations that best describe starling movement are borrowed "from the literature of 'criticality,' of crystal formation and avalanches -- systems poised on the brink, capable of near-instantaneous transformation." They call it "scale-free correlation," and it means that no matter how big the flock, "If any one bird turned and changed speed, so would all the others." It's a beautiful phenomenon to behold. And neither biologists nor anyone else can yet explain how starlings seem to process information and act on it so quickly. It's precisely the lack of lag between the birds' movements that make the flocks so astonishing.
Note: Don't miss the hauntingly beautiful video at the link above. For more, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:17:18
Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense's accounts. Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon's main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy's books with the U.S. Treasury's—a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take "unsubstantiated change actions" - in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called "plugs," to make the Navy's totals match the Treasury's. At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information. Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon's chronic failure to keep track of its money—how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen.
Note: For more on military corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here and see the admission of the military to trillions of dollars missing at this link.
Pope Francis 'is mafia target after campaigning against corruption'
2013-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:15:29
Pope Francis's crusade against corruption has made him a target for Italy's all-powerful mafia clans, a leading anti-mob prosecutor has warned. Nicola Gratteri, who has battled Calabria's shadowy 'Ndrangheta mafia, said [that] Francis's attempt to bring transparency to the Vatican was making the white collar mobsters who do business with corrupt prelates "nervous and agitated". He told the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano: "Pope Francis is dismantling centres of economic power in the Vatican. If the bosses could trip him up they wouldn't hesitate. I don't know if organised criminals are in a position to do something, but they are certainly thinking about it. They could be dangerous." Francis, who has called for "a poor church", has backed reform at the Vatican's bank, which has been suspected for years of being a channel for the laundering of mob profits. This week police impounded a luxury hotel on Rome's Janiculum hill – formerly a monastery – which the 'Ndrangheta allegedly purchased from a religious order. "The mafia that invests, that launders money, that therefore has the real power, is the mafia which has got rich for years from its connivance with the church," said Gratteri. "Priests continuously visit the houses of bosses for coffee, which gives the bosses strength and popular legitimacy," he said. A bishop in Locri in Calabria had excommunicated mobsters after they damaged fruit trees owned by the church, he said. "But before that episode, the bosses had killed thousands of people" without being sanctioned, he added.
Note: For more on secret societies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
JPMorgan settlement is a payout to victims
2013-11-20, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:13:47
When the fires from the 2007-08 financial crisis were still being fought, JPMorgan Chase looked like a winner. Not only was JPMorgan Chase able to scoop up former rivals Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns for bargain basement prices, but its stock value shot up by nearly 31 percent over the past 4 1/2 years. But this year has been a little less kind to JPMorgan Chase. On [November 20) JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the federal government over selling toxic mortgage investments. It also admitted to wrongdoing in knowingly peddling the instruments. Both settlements are for the "incomplete information" JPMorgan Chase gave to the pension funds for their purchases of toxic securities during the years 2004 to 2008. Even for a colossus such as JPMorgan Chase, $13 billion is a lot of money - about half of its annual profit. Forcing JPMorgan to admit wrongdoing - a rare concession - may open the door to more headaches for the company, especially because the government is continuing a criminal probe into its mortgage prices. The scale of the devastation is still so enormous that the only question left for the Justice Department to answer is why no one from any of the big banks has yet to go to jail. Wall Street's wrongdoing was about more than a dollar cost - it was about the widespread human suffering that remains with us today. Jail time would be more than appropriate, but so far the banks have been able to pay their way out of it.
Note: Because JP Morgan Chase can write off $11 billion of the fine as tax deductible, the real fine is actually reduced by $4 billion to about $7 billion, just one-third of Chase's $21 billion profit in the year 2012. For more on financial fraud, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Fukushima fallout: Should the West Coast be concerned?
2013-11-07, KABC-TV (Los Angeles ABC affiliate)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:12:23
The Fukushima nuclear power plant continues to spew radiation. It's 5,300 miles from Los Angeles -- and still not far enough. Fukushima is an enormous problem that's getting bigger. Nuclear Engineer Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, confirmed that ocean currents are carrying the radioactive water to the West Coast. "There are several hundred tons of radioactive water that are pouring into the ocean at the site every day," Makhijani said. According to a study published in the journal Deep Sea Research 1, it will begin arriving this March . But Makhijani says there's no need to panic. The radiation will be diluted, and levels found on the West Coast are very low and not considered dangerous so far. But the question is, will we really know? "I think we should be doing a better monitoring of food. I don't think the EPA and FDA are doing a good enough job," Makhijani said. The scariest part of Fukushima is not what has already happened; it's what could still happen. Every day is a desperate effort to keep the plant from melting down. Fukushima is potentially the biggest ticking time bomb in human history. The damaged plant is in no condition to withstand another massive earthquake or tsunami. Just last week, Dr. David Suzuki, one of Canada's top environmental scientists, stunned the audience when he described what will happen if a massive quake did hit today. "It's bye bye Japan, and everybody on the West Coast of North America should evacuate," Suzuki said.
Note: For more on the Fukushima meltdowns and the dangers of nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
FISA court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time
2013-11-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:10:53
A secret court order that authorised a massive trawl by the National Security Agency of Americans' email and internet data was published for the first time on [November 18], among a trove of documents that also revealed a judge's concern that the NSA "continuously" and "systematically" violated the limits placed on the program. Another later court order found that what it called "systemic overcollection" had taken place. In a heavily redacted opinion Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former presiding judge of the FISA court, placed legal weight on the methods of surveillance employed by the NSA, which had never before collected the internet data of “an enormous volume of communications”. The methods, known as pen registers and trap-and-trace devices, record the incoming and outgoing routing information of communications. Kollar-Kotelly ruled that acquiring the metadata, and not the content, of email and internet usage in bulk was harmonious with the “purpose” of Congress and prior court rulings – even though no surveillance statute ever authorized it and top officials at the Justice Department and the FBI threatened to resign in 2004 over what they considered its dubious legality. The type of data collected under the program included information on the "to", "from" and "bcc" lines of an email rather than the content. Metadata, wrote Kollar-Kotelly, enjoyed no protection under the fourth amendment to the US constitution, a precedent established by the Supreme Court in 1979 in a single case on which the NSA relies currently.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data
2013-11-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:09:12
The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America's National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. In the first explicit confirmation that UK citizens have been caught up in US mass surveillance programs, an NSA memo describes how in 2007 an agreement was reached that allowed the agency to "unmask" and hold on to personal data about Britons that had previously been off limits. The memo ... says the material is being put in databases where it can be made available to other members of the US intelligence and military community.
Until now, it had been generally understood that the citizens of each country were protected from surveillance by any of the others. But the Snowden material reveals that: • In 2007, the rules were changed to allow the NSA to analyse and retain any British citizens' mobile phone and fax numbers, emails and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet. • These communications were "incidentally collected" by the NSA, meaning the individuals were not the initial targets of surveillance operations and therefore were not suspected of wrongdoing. • The NSA has been using the UK data to conduct so-called "pattern of life" or "contact-chaining" analyses, under which the agency can look up to three "hops" away from a target of interest – examining the communications of a friend of a friend of a friend. Three hops for a typical Facebook user could pull the data of more than 5 million people into the dragnet.
Note: For more on government threats to privacy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Elizabeth Warren: Don’t cut Social Security. Expand it!
2013-11-18, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:07:24
[U.S. Senator] Elizabeth Warren is emerging as a kind of spokeswoman for the new economic populism that many Democratic activists want the party to embrace heading into 2014 and 2016. [A] speech that Warren [delivered] on the floor of the Senate suggests [that] the push to expand Social Security could become a key issue in the argument over the Democratic Party of the future. She strongly endorsed the push to boost Social Security benefits — in keeping with Senator Tom Harkin’s proposal to do the same: “Social Security isn’t the answer to all of our retirement problems. We need to find ways to tackle the financial squeeze that is crushing our families. We need to help families start saving again. We need to make sure that more workers have access to better pensions. The absolute last thing we should be doing is talking about cutting back on Social Security. The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 – at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors — is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch. Right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire — and the numbers continue to get worse. That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits — not cutting them. Senator Harkin from Iowa, Senator Begich from Alaska, Senator Sanders from Vermont, and others have been pushing hard in that direction. Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.”
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
How economic growth has become anti-life
2013-11-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:05:10
Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves. In effect, “growth” measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities. Today, economics is separated from and opposed to both ecological processes and basic needs. While the destruction of nature has been justified on grounds of creating growth, poverty and dispossession [have] increased. While being non-sustainable, it is also economically unjust. The dominant model of economic development has in fact become anti-life. Nobel-prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen have admitted that GDP does not capture the human condition and urged the creation of different tools to gauge the wellbeing of nations. This is why countries like Bhutan have adopted the gross national happiness in place of gross domestic product to calculate progress. We need to create measures beyond GDP, and economies beyond the global supermarket, to rejuvenate real wealth. We need to remember that the real currency of life is life itself.
Child abuse report reveals a betrayal of trust 'beyond comprehension'
2013-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:03:37
“We have called our report Betrayal of Trust,” said [Victoria, Australia MP] Georgie Crozier as she presented the findings of the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations. “Children were betrayed by trusted figures in organisations of high standing and suffered unimaginable harm,” she said. “Parents of these children experienced a betrayal beyond comprehension. And the community was betrayed by the failure of organisations to protect children in their care.” The report’s criticism of the Catholic church is unsparing. Its recommendations are radical. If adopted they would strip the Catholic church of its virtual immunity in the courts and compel religious leaders of all faiths to report child abuse to the police. The committee has recommended that priests and other religious leaders face imprisonment if they fail to report or if they conceal criminal child abuse; or if they knowingly put a child at risk of abuse or fail to remove children to safety. Even more radical are recommendations that would open the courts to victims of abuse by clergy. All faiths would be exposed by legal changes that gave victims more time to take action and clarified the legal responsibility to protect children from offenders. But the particular legal protection now enjoyed by the Catholic church may be swept away if the Victorian government accepts the recommendation that the church – like other churches – becomes a legal entity under Australian law.
Note: For more on child abuse by trusted institutions, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. For an in-depth report showing how even police assigned to investigate child abuse were intimately involved in the cover-up, click here.
The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam
1963-10-02, New York Times
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:02:11
Almost every day now [we read] dispatches from reporters—in close touch with intra-Administration critics of the C.I.A.—with excellent reputations for reliability. One reporter in this category is Richard Starnes of the Scripps-Howard newspapers. Today, under a Saigon dateline, he related that, "according to a high United States source here, twice the C.I.A. flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge ... [and] in one instance frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought from Washington because the agency disagreed with it." Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a "very high American official ... who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy ... are the following: The C.I.A.'s growth was "likened to a malignancy" which the "very high official was not sure even the White House could control ... any longer." "If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the C.I.A. and not the Pentagon." The agency "represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone." Whatever else these passages disclose, they most certainly establish that representatives of other Executive branches have expanded their war against the C.I.A. from the inner government councils to the American people via the press. And published simultaneously are details of the agency's operations in Vietnam that can come only from the same critical official sources.
Note: This revealing article, published less than two months before the JFK assassination, effectively suggests the CIA was behind the assassination. For an informative four-minute clip on this, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Are we all psychic? Scientists believe that animals - including humans - have a collective consciousness
2013-11-19, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 07:59:57
Why do people think about someone right before they call, for example, or ‘have a feeling’ something is about to happen before it does? It may be due to something called collective consciousness - a term used by certain scientists to describe the practice of humans, and animals, sharing behaviours and ideas with each other telepathically. The "Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon", for example, was an idea put forward by South African zoologist and ethologist Lyall Watson and his scientific author colleague Lawrence Blair in 1975. During the 1950s, macaques on the island of Koshima learned to wash sweet potatoes and explicitly passed this skill onto younger members of the group. This behaviour then spread and was observed on neighbouring islands among groups of macaques who had never [come] into contact with each other. [Watson and Blair] chalked this up to the monkeys sharing a collective consciousness, often referred to as a ‘shared mind’ or ‘hive mind’, in which the practices were shared telepathically. More recently ... blue tits ... taught themselves [to] break into milk bottles and drink the cream from the top. Similar groups of the same [non-migratory] species [later] exhibited the same skills in other countries throughout Europe and Asia. A science journal in 2010 published [the results of experiments] by Professor Daryl Bem, a physicist from Cornell University, that [indicated] humans have similar psychic abilities supposedly seen in the birds and monkeys. Professor Bem carried out nine different experiments involving more than 1,000 volunteers and all but one came down on the side of these so-called psychic theories.
Note: For a most astounding and moving documentary on a woman named Anna Breytenbach who communicates directly with animals, click here, or watch the three-minute trailer at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Whiz kid from Sierra Leone built own battery, radio transmitter
2012-11-20, NBC News
Posted: 2013-11-26 07:58:01
Kelvin Doe’s neighborhood in Sierra Leone has power lines, but they seldom deliver electricity. So, the 16-year-old whiz kid built his own battery out of acid, soda, and metal parts scavenged from trash bins that he now uses to light up area homes and help him work on his own inventions. Among other gadgets to his credit are a homemade radio transmitter, plus a generator to power it, that he uses to run his own community radio station under the handle DJ Focus. “People normally call me DJ Focus in my community because I believe if you focus you can do invention perfectly,” he said in a video. Doe’s engineering prowess was noticed by David Monina Sengeh, a graduate student MIT Media Lab, during a summer innovation camp called Innovate Salone that he runs in Sierra Leone. Sengeh arranged for Doe to visit the top-flight engineering school this fall. “It’s an opportunity for him to create the future that he wants to live in,” Sengeh said in the video. Check it out below to learn more about Doe’s inspirational story and his inventions.
Note: Don't miss the awesome video of Kelvin at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Quantum weirdness: What we call 'reality' is just a state of mind
2009-03-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 07:56:36
What quantum mechanics tells us ... is surprising to say the least. It tells us that the basic components of objects – the particles, electrons, quarks etc. – cannot be thought of as "self-existent". The reality that they, and hence all objects, are components of is merely "empirical reality". This reality is something that, while not a purely mind-made construct as radical idealism would have it, can be but the picture our mind forces us to form of [a] mysterious, non-conceptualisable "ultimate reality", not embedded in space and (presumably) not in time either. The quantum mechanical formalism ... compels us to consider that two particles that have once interacted always remain bound in a very strange, hardly understandable way even when they are far apart, the connection being independent of distance. Even though this connection-at-a-distance does not permit us to transmit messages, clearly it is real. In other words space, so essential in classical physics, seems to play a considerably less basic role in quantum physics. [Erwin] Schrödinger had even given [this reality] a name: entanglement, and had claimed entanglement is essential. A real breakthrough took place [when John Bell] published his famous inequalities, which - for the first time - opened a possibility of testing whether or not entanglement-at-a-distance had experimentally testable consequences. Entanglement-at-a-distance does physically exist, in the sense that it has physically verifiable (and verified) consequences. Which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of our most engrained notions about space and causality should be reconsidered.
Note: For lots more intriguing scientific information suggesting reality is much more fluid and miraculous than most might suspect, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Removing Fuel Rods Poses New Risks at Crippled Nuclear Plant in Japan
2013-11-11, New York Times
Posted: 2013-11-18 08:32:29
It was the part of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that spooked American officials the most, as the complex spiraled out of control two and a half years ago: the spent fuel pool at Reactor No. 4, with more than 1,500 radioactive fuel assemblies left exposed when a hydrogen explosion blew the roof off the building. In the next 10 days, the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, is set to start the delicate and risky task of using a crane to remove the fuel assemblies from the pool, a critical step in a long decommissioning process that has already had serious setbacks. The operation addresses a threat that has hung over the plant since the crisis started. It is still dangerous to have the fuel high up in a damaged structure that could collapse in another quake, experts warn. But removing it poses dangers, too. The fuel rods must remain immersed in water to block the gamma radiation they emit and allow workers to be in the area, and to prevent the rods from overheating. An accident could expose the rods and — in a worst-case scenario, some experts say — allow them to release radioactive materials beyond the plant. “There are potentially very big risks involved,” Shunichi Tanaka, the head of Japan’s nuclear regulator, said last week. “Each assembly must be handled very carefully.” “All I can do is pray that nothing goes wrong,” said Yasuro Kawai, a former plant engineer who now heads a group that is independently monitoring the decommissioning process.
Note: For further assessment of the risks associated with any attempt to remove the rods from the damaged Fukushima Reactor #4 fuel pool, click here. For more on the risks of nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Japan Ex-Leaders Join Calls Against Nuclear Power
2013-11-12, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-11-18 08:31:11
Japan's flagging anti-nuclear movement is getting a boost from two former prime ministers who are calling for atomic power to be phased out following the Fukushima disaster. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said [on November 12] that the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, ... "should use the power given to him to do what the majority of the people want," Koizumi said in a speech at the Japan Press Club. "It can be achieved. Why miss this chance?" Koizumi, who supported nuclear power during his 2001-2006 term in office, said that with Japan's nuclear plants all offline for safety checks it would be easiest to begin the phase-out soon. Polls have shown the majority of the public ... prefers to shift away from the nuclear plants that provided nearly a third of Japan's power generation capacity before the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. Three [former prime ministers], including Koizumi, have said they support ending use of nuclear power.
Their support could help reinvigorate the anti-nuclear movement, which has lost some of its vitality nearly three years after the Fukushima accident. Another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, said in an interview ... that he also favors an end to reliance on nuclear power. "I can't understand why they want restarts of the nuclear plants when there is no place to discard the nuclear waste," said Hosokawa, who served as prime minister for eight months in 1993-94. "It would be a crime against future generations for our generation to restart nuclear plants without resolving this issue," he said. Experts have questioned whether earthquake-prone Japan can safely store nuclear waste under any scenario.
Note: For more on the risks of nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.