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17,500 Gather For Tokyo Rallies Against Nuclear Plants

anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo
© Reuters/Toru Hanai
Protesters take part in an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo March 27, 2011. The sign on the left reads, "Change energy policy". The sign on the right reads, "Do not sprinkle radioactive material".
About 17,500 people gathered Sunday for two rallies held in Tokyo against nuclear power plants amid the prolonged crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station some 220 kilometers to the northeast.

Around the JR Koenji Station in Suginami Ward, some 15,000 people took part in a demonstration march organized by local shop owners and reported online as a call for joining the event had spread on Twitter, organizers said.

''I learned of the event on Twitter. Now is the time to stop nuclear plants,'' said Takashi Kamiyama, who took part with his 2- and 6-year-old children among participants. ''I want to do what I can do for these kids.''

As an organizer, Hajime Matsumoto said, ''It's epoch-making that so many people gathered without being mobilized by a large organization. It's become big power as we joined hands over the Internet.''

Family

Thousands gather in New York to protests endless wars

Thousands of Americans have staged a protest rally in New York City to voice concerns over US war and foreign policies as well as the economy and the persisting reduction of social programs.

Scores of peace, labor and community activists took to the streets of the major commercial city on Saturday to call for peace and solidarity with Muslims and an end to US wars abroad, a Press TV correspondent reported.

"I am sick and tired of the elite trying to rule the country, the elite that is only one percent (of the society), ruling the country and getting us into wars that we do not need. Not paying their fair share of taxes while we suffer cutbacks in social programs," a demonstrator said.

The protesters called on Washington to create more job opportunities in a bid to revive the fragile US economy.

More than 500 organizations also came together from communities across the US to call for an end to government harassment of Muslim immigrants and people of color.

They also called for the restoration of peace and democracy.

Take 2

Hawaii-bound plane returns to Sacramento after bird strike

airplane, hawaii

An Alaska Airlines flight headed from Sacramento to Hawaii turned around and landed safely after striking a bird this morning, airport officials reported.

Flight 869 reportedly had engine trouble after the bird strike, but no damage details were available.

The plane, which took off at about 10 a.m., landed safely at Sacramento International Airport and the passengers deplaned.

There was no information available on reboarding or rescheduling for the passengers.

USA

The American Dream As We Know It Is Obsolete

Why progressives need to think beyond the mantra of creating a "middle class America."

Image
© Unknown
We want a decent home to call our own, healthcare to heal us when we are sick or old, education to improve our minds and job prospects, healthy food and clean water to nourish us, income to provide for all our needs and even some affordable luxuries, a career to give us social status and a sense of self-worth, and a pension for our golden years.

These seemingly universal desires define the post-WWII American Dream, and are still the reference point for both left and right. The "Golden Age of American Capitalism" from the mid-1940s to the early 1970s is commonly seen as the triumph of the middle class, a time when the fruits of a robust capitalist economy extended to tens of millions.

But today we are trapped in the fault lines of a violent global economy, and these dreams seem as archaic as waking up at dawn with the grandparents, children and cousins to milk cows, bake pies and plow fields.

However outdated the American Dream, organized labor and liberals desperately cling to it as they retreat in the face of the Republican and corporate blitzkrieg. In this war, the battlefield is social spending and the public sector, and for the losing side the situation is dire. (The critique that follows is not of the rank and file or all unions, but rather the dominant tendencies among many labor leaders and large national unions.)

Clock

Newly Born, and Withdrawing From Painkillers

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© Damon Winter/The New York Times
A nurse administered methadone to Matthew, 4 weeks old, at a medical center in Bangor, Me., while he was held by his father.
Bangor, Me. - The mother got the call in the middle of the night: her 3-day-old baby was going through opiate withdrawal in a hospital here and had to start taking methadone, a drug best known for treating heroin addiction, to ease his suffering.

The mother had abused prescription painkillers like OxyContin for the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy, buying them on the street in rural northern Maine, and then tried to quit cold turkey - a dangerous course, doctors say, that could have ended in miscarriage. The baby had seizures in utero as a result, and his mother, Tonya, turned to methadone treatment, with daily doses to keep her cravings and withdrawal symptoms at bay.

As prescription drug abuse ravages communities across the country, doctors are confronting an emerging challenge: newborns dependent on painkillers. While methadone may have saved Tonya's pregnancy, her son, Matthew, needed to be painstakingly weaned from it.

Infants like him may cry excessively and have stiff limbs, tremors, diarrhea and other problems that make their first days of life excruciating. Many have to stay in the hospital for weeks while they are weaned off the drugs, taxing neonatal units and driving the cost of their medical care into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Like the cocaine-exposed babies of the 1980s, those born dependent on prescription opiates - narcotics that contain opium or its derivatives - are entering a world in which little is known about the long-term effects on their development. Few doctors are even willing to treat pregnant opiate addicts, and there is no universally accepted standard of care for their babies, partly because of the difficulty of conducting research on pregnant women and newborns.

Binoculars

US: 'We think the Craigslist Ripper may be a cop': Investigators' chilling new theory on 'smart' Long Island serial killer

  • Calls to vice girls made on untraceable cell phones
  • He thwarted police with three-minute calls to sister of victim
  • They believe he may have murdered four prostitutes in Atlantic City in 2006
  • Search widened to Nassau County
The serial killer dubbed the Craigslist Ripper has a sophisticated understanding of police investigation techniques and 'may be a cop', it was claimed today.

The startling new theory emerged as it was revealed the last man to see suspected victim Shannan Gilbert believes the prostitute is still alive.

Officers in Long Island where four bodies of of vice girls have been dug up, are convinced the killer could be in law enforcement because:

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© Facebook
Shannan Gilbert: The 24-year-old was last seen in May 2010 in the Oak Beach area. She is from Jersey City and was known to be a prostitute.

Alarm Clock

Anti-war, pro-union rallies hit NYC

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© Unknown
New York (WABC) -- Two rallies took place in Manhattan on Saturday; one protesting war, the other supporting unions.

A boisterous, anti-war rally in Manhattan on Saturday with activists demanding an end to U.S. involved conflicts.

Hundreds of demonstrators took part in the Union Square rally on Saturday afternoon.

Protestors said if the U.S. would pull out of the wars it's involved in, the government wouldn't need to cut spending on programs such as Medicare, Head Start and Medicaid.

Bizarro Earth

Stranded Japanese farmer, 75, found alone in Minami Soma, city rocked by tsunami, earthquake

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© Komae/AP
Kunio Shiga poses for a photo at his home in Minami Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, inside the deserted evacuation zone established for the 20 kilometer radius around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in northeastern Japan. The 75-year-old man was stranded alone in his farmhouse ever since Japan's monstrous tsunami struck nearly a month ago.
Kunio Shiga must have felt like the last man on earth.

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© Komae/AP
The devasation in Minami Soma.
The feeble 75-year-old was discovered stranded alone in his small farmhouse on Friday, surrounded by fallen trees, dead pigs and garbage strewn by the deadly March 11 tsunami in Japan.

He doesn't know where his wife is, and his neighbors have all fled his city of Minami Soma because it's within the 12-mile zone of a radiation-leaking plant. Authorities had ordered evacuations but Shiga, who has trouble walking, and was unable to leave.

"You are the first people I have spoken to" since the earthquake and tsunami, Shiga told the Associated Press.

With the man's permission, local police were notified of his dire situation.

Heart - Black

US: Molly Midyette, a mother sentenced to sixteen years for the death of her son, speaks out

Molly Midyette
© unknown
Molly Midyette
On the afternoon of December 21, 2007, twelve jurors filed into a Boulder courtroom, ready to issue their verdict for the city's most sensational trial in years.

Over the previous two weeks, these jurors and everyone else in the packed courtroom had heard all about the very short life of Jason Jay Midyette. On February 24, 2006, the eleven-week-old had been rushed to Children's Hospital in Denver, where doctors had found him damaged almost beyond comprehension, with dozens of broken bones and a massive head injury that had left him comatose. Jason never regained consciousness; he died a week later, the victim of what the county coroner would rule a homicide.

Jason's death captured headlines in Colorado and beyond - not just because of the horrific nature of his passing, but because of his parents: Alex and Molly Midyette, the son and daughter-in-law of J. Nold Midyette, a wealthy architect and Boulder real-estate mogul. And as more than a year passed without any charges being filed, without any new details emerging, people began to wonder if in Boulder, a city still haunted by the ghost of JonBenét Ramsey, justice could be bought and sold.

But in May 2007, a Boulder grand jury indicted both Alex and Molly for child abuse resulting in death. Molly was the first to go to trial. She'd sat in the courtroom as doctors testified that they were struck by how long Jason's parents waited before they sought help, as social workers and police officers described an uncooperative family that seemed to care more about its own well-being than the child's.

Finally, Molly had taken the stand - the only witness called by her lawyer, superstar Denver defense attorney Craig Truman. She didn't know anything was wrong with Jason until it was apparently too late, she told the court. She didn't know how to explain all the damage inflicted on her baby, the brain contusion and the broken bones. "I have no idea," the emotional 29-year-old law-school graduate said. "I can't explain any of them."

Bomb

US: Death toll hits 5 in Hawaii fireworks bunker blast

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© KITV / AP
This image provided by KITV shows the entrance to the bunker where fireworks were stored at Waikele Business Center Friday, April 8, 2011 in Waipahu, Hawaii. At least two men were killed, injuring two others and two are missing after the explosion.
A bomb squad recovered the bodies of two more people Saturday who had been missing after a fireworks storage bunker blast in Hawaii, bringing the death toll to five, officials said.

The blast near the Waikele Business Center at a former military bunker where fireworks were warehoused occurred Friday, killing three people and leaving two the others missing.

The bodies of the two missing men were found Saturday, Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Gary Lum told The Associated Press.

Officials said the bunker burned throughout the day Friday and had been too hot and unstable to enter.

A police robot searched the facility Saturday to see whether explosions had stopped and whether the temperature had dropped low enough for rescuers to risk going in, Lum said.

"It wasn't as hot as yesterday but it was still warm. The bomb team went in ... in protective equipment and they were able to retrieve one victim at a time," he said.