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Fri, 14 Aug 2020
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Nuke

Daily life in Fukushima: 'It was like visiting another universe'

Jan Beranek, who is with a team of Greenpeace activists investigating the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, says Japanese are encouraged to return to their normal lives unaware of the dangers they face in the contaminated area. "I personally find it very disturbing, because on the one hand you see the Japanese authorities forcing people and society to get back to normal... And yet at the same time there are still extremely high levels of radiation and the contamination of the soil, and also potentially in the food," the activist told RT. "This is just unbelievable because at those levels of exposure it certainly poses a risk to the lives and health of the people. If you draw a parallel to the Chernobyl disaster, then actually the Soviets decided to evacuate everyone living in the place, where radiation was three or four times lower than what we see in Fukushima City today," added Beranek, who personally visited the Chernobyl area after the 1986 disaster.

Greenpeace is putting pressure on the Japanese government to gather and provide more information about the contamination in addition to doing its independent effort, Beranek said. "We've actually forced the government to, for example, extend the monitoring of the sea. And we also hear that the government is now revising at least some of the protective measures for children, which is definitely good to see. Yet the government is too slow and doing too little actually [compared to] what the situation would deserve," he said. The activist hopes the consequences of the Fukushima disaster will make Japan and other nations change their stance on nuclear energy and phase it out. There is such change already in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. "Nuclear power, as we have seen, is inherently unsafe. There is always an unpredictable combination of natural catastrophe, technological failure, human error that can result in a situation when a reactor gets out of control very fast. It's a question of a few hours before full meltdown happens. It's unsafe to take the bets and continue with nuclear power," Beranek believes.

Alarm Clock

Kids share their experiences with bullying

bullying
Marshall Elementary School students Sheldon Arce, who just completed eighth grade, Alex Pascua, who finished sixth grade, and Jonah Phillips, who finished fifth grade, have endured the physical blows and stinging words of bullies since they were in the first grade.

Sheldon, 14, who will be an Edison High freshman in the fall, is teased about his sexual orientation. It stems, he said, from his manners, the way he's always enjoyed "girl" things like sewing, and the fact he wore his hair long, a tradition in his Filipino family, when he first started school. Some even taunted him when his parents divorced, saying they must not have loved him very much.

Alex, 12, has been singled out since first grade as well, and the recently completed school year was the worst. All but one student in his class took exaggerated means to avoid him, prompted by "Alex Touch." This particularly humiliating exercise stemmed from an incident in the popular book and movie The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, called Cheese Touch, in which no one will touch a stale piece of cheese left on the ground.

Continue reading on Recordnet.com

Comment: For more information regarding possible causes of bullying, see these Sott links:

Bullying Linked to Psychotic Symptoms

The bullying epidemic

Behind Bullying: Why Kids Are So Cruel

The empathy gap in bullying


Dollar

Treasure worth billions reported in Hindu temple

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Senior police officials arrive to check the security measurements at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The inventory of the temple, maintained by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, is being made by a seven-member Supreme Court of India, appointed panel.

Thiruvananthapuram, India - A huge treasure has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India - gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones worth billions of dollars, Indian officials said Saturday.

The AFP news agency quoted Kerala Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar as saying the find had been estimated as worth more than $11 billion.

He said archaeological officials would have to examine the discovery in detail to determine its actual value.

Eagle

US: Minnesotans Frustrated, Angry Over State Government Shutdown

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© Reuters
Erik Meade protests in front of the closed Minnesota State Capital in Saint Paul
Tara and Jose Garcia wanted to spend the holiday weekend camping with their four children.

But a Minnesota government shutdown prevented them from pitching a tent at a state park. So they checked out county campgrounds, only to find those parks overflowing with people.

"It's bulls--t," said Tara Garcia of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. "I am just feeling, 'Are you kidding? C'mon!'"

So the Garcias parked their minivan at Ft. Snelling, a state historical site nestled on the edge of the Mississippi River, just outside Minneapolis. That too was closed. They wandered the desolate paths anyway, with nerf guns in hand and a gaggle of kids, all under age 8.

After Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders failed to reach agreement on a $5 billion budget deficit Thursday, state offices, parks, highway rest areas and a state zoo were shuttered. In addition, 22,000 government workers were hit with layoff notices.

When negotiations broke down, the two sides were about $1.4 billion apart with Democrats insisting on a tax increase for the rich and Republicans strongly opposed. The partisan impasse angered many people.

Handcuffs

Alleged Prophet Held in Saudi

A Saudi man mounted a prayers platform at the Grand Mosque in Islam's holiest shrine in the Gulf kingdom and told thousands of worshippers that he was a prophet and their saviour before he was seized by police.

The 36-year-old man, identified as Sami, waited until the Muslims finished their evening prayers at the Grand Mosque in the western town of Makkah, mounted the podium and delivered his brief, fiery speech. "I am Al-Mehdi Al-Montathar...I am a prophet sent (by God) to save and guide you," he told the packed hall before was overpowered by police.

'Okaz' newspaper said the incident took place on Friday night and that Sami insisted during police interrogation that he was a prophet. It said police would subject him to medical examination to check if he is suffering from mental illness.It was the latest in a series of incidents involving persons claiming to be Al-Mehdi Al-Montathar (the Chosen Imam Al-Mehdi) at Islamic holy sites in Makkah over the past few months.

All of them had been arrested and medically examined. Muslims believe Imam Al-Mehdi, dubbed "the ultimate saviour of mankind' will eventually reappear as a great reformer who will destroy the beliefs of injustice and ignorance and fill this earth with fairness after it has been filled with injustice and oppression.

Bizarro Earth

Mexican Drug Cartel's Message to US Agents: 'We'll Chop Your Heads Off'

A spray-painted sign threatening death for U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents was found Friday next to a school in a northern Mexico state capital, officials said.

Addressed with profanity to "Gringos (D.E.A.)," the unsigned graffiti warned: "We know where you are and we know who you are and where you go. We are going to chop off your (expletive) heads."

Anonymous messages conveying threats and other warnings are common in areas hit hard by Mexico's drug war, but it is rarer for them to threaten U.S. law enforcement. Authorities do not know who left the message, which was removed.

The DEA referred questions to the U.S. State Department. Officials there did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The message was left in the Chihuahua state capital, also called Chihuahua, which is about 220 miles (360 kilometers) from the U.S. border.

Handcuffs

Man Jailed for Six Days for Middle Finger Gestures at Casey Anthony Trial

A court spectator at the trial of Casey Anthony has been jailed for six days after sticking his middle finger up at the prosecutor.

Judge Belvin Perry pulled Matthew Bartlett up in front of the court and gave him a humiliating dressing down before sentencing him for contempt.

Bartlett, a 28-year-old TGI Fridays waiter from Orlando, was also fined $400 for the obscene gesture, which the judge said risked prejudicing the trial.

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© unknown
Obscene: Matthew Bartlett, left, made this obscene gesture in the direction of prosecuting attorney Jeff Ashton

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© Fox News
Contempt: Furious Judge Belvin Perry, left, sentenced Bartlett, right, to six days in the Orange County Jail and ordered him to pay a $400 fine
When asked to explain why he made the gesture, the young man answered: 'This is just some stupid thing that I did and I do apologise.'

Bartlett was spotted sticking his middle finger up at prosecuting attorney Jeff Ashton towards the end of proceedings on Thursday.

USA

My Time in the US Navy: "Service" to Whom?

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All warfare is based on deception," - Sun Tzu

"Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn." - John Stockwell

"If some peoples pretend that history or geography gives them the right to subjugate other races, nations, or peoples, there can be no peace." - Ludwig von Mises


I never in my life would have thought that I would I enlist in the military. Sure, there are a great many reasons that people do enlist, some want money for college, others want a change of pace, yet others had dreamed of it since they were a kid. None of these reasons explains why I joined. In many ways it would dictate my fate.

I grew up in a middle-class Ohio town, went to college for a year, quickly realized that it just wasn't for me, and began working for a records management service as a delivery/pickup driver pulling in about $27,000 a year. Sure, that isn't much to some people, but it was pretty good back then for a 21-year-old with no education. I certainly didn't love my job, but it paid the bills.

Bizarro Earth

Montana, US: Exxon oil spills in Yellowstone River, forces evacuations

Yellowstone River near Laurel, Mont.
© Matthew Brown / AP
Jim Swanson is seen in his yard east of Laurel, Mont. where absorbent sheets were laid down to soak up oil from a ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River on Saturday.

Laurel - An ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River near Billings in south-central Montana ruptured and dumped an unknown amount of oil into the waterway, prompting temporary evacuations along the river Saturday.

Company spokeswoman Pam Malek said the pipe leaked for about a half-hour, though it's not clear how much oil spilled into the water.

The cause of the rupture in the pipe carrying crude oil from Belfry, Mont., to the company's refinery in Billings wasn't known.

Brent Peters, the fire chief for the city of Laurel about 12 miles east of Billings, said the break in the 12-inch diameter pipe occurred late Friday about a mile south of Laurel.

Peters said about 140 people were evacuated starting about 12:15 a.m. Saturday due to concerns about possible explosions, and the overpowering fumes. He said many were allowed to return at about 4 a.m. after instruments showed fumes had decreased. He said more evacuations occurred farther downstream outside his district but those numbers weren't immediately clear.

Bell

US - Florida's debated welfare drug-screen measure kicks in

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© Getty Images
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a law requiring drug tests for adult welfare recipients.
A controversial law requiring adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening has gone into effect in Florida.

Saying it is "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction," Gov. Rick Scott signed the legislation in June.

"It's the right thing for taxpayers," Scott said after signing the measure. "It's the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don't want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs."

Under the law, which went into effect on Friday, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services will be required to conduct the drug tests on adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The aid recipients would be responsible for the cost of the screening, which they would recoup in their assistance if they qualify.