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How Nuclear Apologists Mislead the World over Radiation

smiley nukes
© n/a
George Monbiot and others at best misinform and at worst distort evidence of the dangers of atomic energy

Soon after the Fukushima accident last month, I stated publicly that a nuclear event of this size and catastrophic potential could present a medical problem of very large dimensions. Events have proven this observation to be true despite the nuclear industry's campaign about the "minimal" health effects of so-called low-level radiation. That billions of its dollars are at stake if the Fukushima event causes the "nuclear renaissance" to slow down appears to be evident from the industry's attacks on its critics, even in the face of an unresolved and escalating disaster at the reactor complex at Fukushima.

Proponents of nuclear power - including George Monbiot, who has had a mysterious road-to-Damascus conversion to its supposedly benign effects - accuse me and others who call attention to the potential serious medical consequences of the accident of "cherry-picking" data and overstating the health effects of radiation from the radioactive fuel in the destroyed reactors and their cooling pools. Yet by reassuring the public that things aren't too bad, Monbiot and others at best misinform, and at worst misrepresent or distort, the scientific evidence of the harmful effects of radiation exposure - and they play a predictable shoot-the-messenger game in the process.


Canada: Tories manipulated G8 fund: auditor

Stephen Harper
© Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shown responding to a question during the family photo opportunity at the G8 G20 Summit in Huntsville, Ont., on Friday June 25, 2010.
Sheila Fraser's draft report says government failed to act 'transparently' in spending $50 million

The Harper government did not act "clearly" and "transparently" when it sought permission from Parliament to spend $50 million on a G8 fund that delivered projects last year in a Conservative riding, according to a draft report by the auditor-general.

Further, according to the document obtained Monday by Postmedia News, the Conservative government failed to adequately keep records to explain how the 32 projects were chosen for Parry Sound-Muskoka, the southern Ontario riding represented by Tony Clement, the industry minister.

The federal campaign was hit with a bombshell in media reports that said Sheila Fraser concluded in a draft audit prepared in mid-January that the government had misinformed MPs and perhaps had even broken the law through the way it sought funds in late 2009.

Senior Conservatives responded by saying that initial audit was not valid because it was overtaken by another draft written the following month by the auditor-general's office which wasn't as critical.

That second report-obtained by Postmedia News and dated Feb. 1 -does not flatly state that the Tories misinformed Parliament. But it is critical of the Conservative government -which first came to office in 2006, promising greater transparency -for failing to be adequately transparent in this instance.


Civilians Massacred by Western-Backed 'Rebel' Forces in Ivory Coast


Shock and Awe, EU-style. European neo-colonialists relive their forefathers' adventures in Africa by blowing up yet another tiny African nation.
Up to 1,000 civilians have reportedly been massacred in the town of Duékoué in the West African country of Ivory Coast. This is the biggest loss of life in the former French colony since the disputed presidential election in November 2010.

There has been a standoff between the two rival presidential candidates since the election. The stalemate has now descended into civil war, as Alassane Ouattara, who is backed by France, the United States and international bodies, tries to oust the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

Ouattara's forces have seized most of the country, including the political capital, Yamassoukro, and the main port, San Pedro. They are now fighting to gain control of the commercial capital, Abidjan. Gbagbo retains the support of his 2,500-strong presidential guard, an unknown number of mercenaries and the Patriotic Youth movement. Many elements in the army have shifted their allegiance to Ouattara, following a United Nations Security Council resolution on March 30.

France and Nigeria sponsored the resolution that called on all state officials to recognise Ouattara. This was the signal for the beginning of Ouattara's military assault on Gbagbo's forces.


Sarko's invasion of West Africa successful: Laurent Gbagbo detained by Ivory Coast opposition forces

© Luc Gnago/Reuters
French forces advance on the residence of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo, who has been captured by opposition forces.
Detention by fighters loyal to Ouattara comes after more than 30 French armoured vehicles join advance on Abidjan residence

Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to step down as president of Ivory Coast plunged the country into violence, has been captured in Abidjan and is in the custody of opposition forces.

News of his detention came after a column of more than 30 French armoured vehicles closed in on his residence in the city and amid initial reports that he had been seized by French special forces.

But both the French government and military insist that Gbagbo was taken by troops loyal to Alasanne Ouattara, who won last year's presidential election.


Evidence against alleged 9/11 plotters finally revealed 10 years on

© Unknown
US prosecutors compiled lots of evidence against the five men accused of having organized the September 11 attacks on the United States, but not until this week have details been fully revealed.

The indictment charging self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others was unsealed when US Attorney General Eric Holder referred the case to the Defense Department for military trials instead of trials at a US federal court in New York.

Holder said Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi could have been prosecuted in federal court and blamed Congress for imposing measures blocking civilian trials of Guantanamo Bay inmates.

They will be tried in military courts in the US naval base in southeastern Cuba.

The now-public details show that the United States, nearly 10 years after hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, reconstructed step by step the logistics of the five accused men.

They compiled bank transactions, flight records, visa applications, and dozens of telephone conversations to create the most comprehensive account of the chain of events before the attacks.

Implementation of the plan began in 1999, when Sheikh Mohammed (referred to as "KSM" by US officials) proposed to Osama bin Laden to use commercial airliners as missiles against US targets.

Comment: For a much closer study of what really happened on 9/11, the reader may be interested in 9/11: The Ultimate Truth, by Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Joe Quinn.

"In the years since the 9/11 attacks, dozens of books have sought to explore the truth behind the official version of events that day - yet to date, none of these publications has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out.

Taking a broad, millennia-long perspective, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's 9/11: The Ultimate Truth uncovers the true nature of the ruling elite on our planet and presents new and ground-breaking insights into just how the 9/11 attacks played out.

9/11: The Ultimate Truth makes a strong case for the idea that September 11, 2001 marked the moment when our planet entered the final phase of a diabolical plan that has been many, many years in the making. It is a plan developed and nurtured by successive generations of ruthless individuals who relentlessly exploit the negative aspects of basic human nature to entrap humanity as a whole in endless wars and suffering in order to keep us confused and distracted to the reality of the man behind the curtain."


Bill Maher: America Needs "A Class War"

Bill Maher: America Needs "A Class War":


Gaddafi said to accept 'truce road map'

Terms of African leaders' proposal unclear, including whether the Libyan leader will pull troops out of cities.

Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has accepted a "road map" for a ceasefire with rebels, according to a delegation of African leaders.

The announcement followed a meeting between the leaders and Gaddafi on Sunday in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, just hours after NATO air raids targeted his tanks, helping the rebels push back government forces who had been advancing quickly towards their eastern stronghold.

The African Union (AU) delegation was due to meet the rebels on Monday.

The terms of the road map were unclear, including the matter of whether it would require Gaddafi to pull his troops out of cities as demanded by the rebels.


Iran expels Kuwait diplomats in tit-for-tat move

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi
© Agence France-Presse
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi addresses the Iranian parliament in Tehran in January
Iran has expelled "several" Kuwaiti diplomats in a tit-for-tat retaliation for the expulsion of its envoys accused of spying in the emirate, in a fresh blow to already tense relations in the Gulf.

"Iran has expelled several Kuwaiti diplomats in retaliation to the expulsion of three of its diplomats... and one Iranian embassy employee in Kuwait," state television said on its website, quoting an informed foreign ministry source.

The state IRNA news agency, also citing an informed source, said the three were "first secretary Mohammad al-Hajeri, second secretary Salam al-Mashari and third secretary Talal al-Deyk from the Kuwaiti embassy" in Tehran.

"The foreign ministry has given these diplomats 10 days to leave Tehran," IRNA said.

Iran's English-language Press TV said on its website, without giving a source, that three Kuwaiti diplomats were told to leave after the Iranian diplomats were expelled "on April 2."

Kuwait announced on March 31 that a number of Iranian diplomats would be expelled for alleged links to an espionage network working for Tehran, reportedly since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

Bizarro Earth

Israel and Hamas Consider Cease-Fire

© Bernat Armangue/Associated Press
“We are interested in calm in the Gaza Strip,” Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas deputy foreign minister, told Israel Radio Sunday.
Israel and Hamas signaled on Sunday that they were willing to restore calm after days of intense fighting, and while militants in Gaza fired about 10 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel, most fell in open areas close to the border and Israel did not immediately respond.

That represented a sharp reduction in activity since Hamas fired an antitank missile at an Israeli school bus on Thursday, critically wounding a 16-year-old boy and setting off Israeli aerial, artillery and tank fire against targets in Gaza that killed 18 Palestinians, 10 of whom were militants and the rest civilians, according to officials in Gaza.

Hamas and other militant groups fired about 130 mortar shells and rockets, including several mid-range ones, at southern Israel over the previous three days.

Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, said Sunday that Israel had received several messages indicating that Hamas, the militant Islamic group that controls Gaza, was interested in a cease-fire.

"If they stop firing on our communities, we will stop firing," Mr. Barak told Israel Radio.

Hamas spokesmen offered similar messages. Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, told Israel Radio, "We are interested in calm in the Gaza Strip, but also that the Israeli Army cease operations against our people."

Salah al-Bardaweel, a Hamas spokesman, said that Israel appeared to have accepted the idea of reducing hostilities. "The factions will be committed to the lull as long as Israel is," Mr. Bardaweel said.


About that mysterious $40 billion...

From msnbc.com's Tom Curry: "We agreed it's 78... The number was 78.... There's no question about the number... the number is 78. It was agreed upon last night." So said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Friday afternoon at a press conference describing an agreement that he said he, President Obama, and House Speaker John Boehner had reached on Thursday night to cut spending for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Reid calls it a $78 billion cut.

But why do news stories use the figure $38 billion as the amount that the negotiators have agreed to cut?

The different numbers are simply the result of two different ways of measuring.