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The Top Short-Term Threat to Humanity: The Fuel Pools of Fukushima

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Greenpeace marks anniversary of the Fukushima disaster
The Greatest Single Threat to Humanity: Fuel Pool Number 4

We noted days after the Japanese earthquake that the biggest threat was from the spent fuel rods in the fuel pool at Fukushima unit number 4, and not from the reactors themselves. See this and this.

We noted in February:
Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima this year, and a 98% chance within the next 3 years.

Given that nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that an earthquake of 7.0 or larger could cause the entire fuel pool structure collapse, it is urgent that everything humanly possible is done to stabilize the structure housing the fuel pools at reactor number 4.

Tepco is doing some construction at the building ... it is a race against time under very difficult circumstances, and hopefully Tepco will win.

As AP points out:
The structural integrity of the damaged Unit 4 reactor building has long been a major concern among experts because a collapse of its spent fuel cooling pool could cause a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns.
***

Gundersen (who used to build spent fuel pools) explains that there is no protection surrounding the radioactive fuel in the pools. He warns that - if the fuel pools at reactor 4 collapse due to an earthquake - people should get out of Japan, and residents of the West Coast of America and Canada should shut all of their windows and stay inside for a while.

The fuel pool number 4 is apparently not in great shape, and there have already been countless earthquakes near the Fukushima region since the 9.0 earthquake last March.

Bomb

Some of the Worst Abuse Ever Seen in a Private Prison

Some of the Worst Abuse Ever Seen


Following on the announcement of the removal of all juvenile prisoners in Mississippi from private prisons, the Department of Justice has just released a report of its findings in investigating the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, which is run by the GEO Group. Walnut Grove was the target of the lawsuit that resulted in the prohibition on sending juveniles to private prisons, and it turns out the state was more than justified in ordering such a removal. Juveniles incarcerated at the facility were subjected to ongoing sexual misconduct and other forms of abuse; the abuse was "among the worst that [the DOJ has] seen in any facility anywhere in the nation."

Wolf

Police: Ex-teacher Arrested for Sex Abuse of Minor

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© The Associated Press
Christopher James Hooker
US: Modesto, California - A former California teacher who made national headlines when he left his job and family to move in with an 18-year-old student was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexually abusing a different student more than a decade ago, police said.

Christopher James Hooker, 41, was arrested for investigation of oral copulation with a minor.

Police said the case stems from a 1998 relationship he had with a 17-year-old student from Davis High School in Modesto, where he once taught.

Hooker appeared in court Friday. A judge set his bail at $50,000 and assigned him a public defender, the Modesto Bee reported.

Hooker requested that his bail amount be reduced, and the judge set a hearing next Tuesday to consider the matter.

Handcuffs

Toronto Artist Arrested Based Only on Facebook Photo

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© Ashton's blog
Canada - A Toronto artist was arrested, charged with assault and forced to pay $3,000 in legal bills because someone pointed to her photo on Facebook and told police she was the person who assaulted her.

Because of privacy settings, the photo couldn't have been bigger than a thumbnail.

It all started for Lizz Ashton, who tells the Toronto Star she has never been in a fight before, in January when she received an email from Toronto police asking her about an incident at the Piston bar on Bloor St. The incident reportedly took place in November.

Ashton called police who told her a woman was assaulted at the bar and identified her as the assailant after seeing a picture on Facebook. Ashton then went to the police station and showed the police text messages proving she wasn't at the bar when it occurred and said she was with her boyfriend later in the evening.

Eye 1

Connections? Adviser to Britain's police chiefs jailed after downloading child porn including guide on 'how to abuse infants'

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Nicolas White
An adviser to Britain's police chiefs downloaded more than 100,000 images of child porn - including a guide on how to abuse infants.

Among Nicholas White's sickening collection were images of youngsters being forced into sex acts with animals.

The 28-year-old was jailed for six months after he admitted 18 counts of making indecent images of children, two counts of possession of indecent images of children and two counts of possessing extreme pornography.

White, a communications officer who worked for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), was based with Cambridgeshire Police until his arrest last year.

He was found with level five images of abuse - the most severe category - and a guide to abusing children on his computer.

MIB

'Get away from me you damned priest!': Shocking documentary captures Vatican-approved exorcist working on 'possessed' woman

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A young woman screams uncontrollably as a priest recites a passage from the bible in a final attempt to exorcise the devil which has possessed her for 15 years.

It sounds like something from a horror movie, but this sinister scene is from a new real life documentary that highlights the extraordinary work of one of Europe's only Vatican-approved 'exorcists'.

Produced by Norwegian filmmaker Fredrik Horn Akselsen, the film entitled The Exorcist in the 21st Century follows Father José Antonio Fortea on his one man crusade to rid the world of demons


Comment: For the real deal on 'exorcisms' read Malachai Martin's Hostage to the Devil and Laura Knight Jadczyk's High Strangeness


Info

Mass Killer Charles Manson to Face New Parole Hearing

Charles Mason
© Agence France-Presse
Serial killer Charles Mason, now 77, is to face a new parole hearing. He is serving life for the killings of nine people, including actress Sharon Tate in 1969.

He may be old, grey and dishevelled, but the swastika tattoo on his forehead still tells a chilling story.

A new photograph has emerged of guru-psychopath Charles Manson, who has been in prison for more than 40 years for his role in a series of gruesome murders and is due for a new parole hearing.

The photo - dated June 2011 and released by California penitentiary authorities - shows Manson, 77, with grey hair and a full beard, and with the swastika tattoo emblazoned on his forehead.

The photo was released with Manson due for a regular parole hearing next Wednesday.

"The last time he had a parole hearing, it was in May of 2007, and he received a five-year denial," said Terry Thornton of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"This is just his next regularly scheduled parole hearing. It's automatic."

One of the nation's most notorious inmates, Manson is incarcerated at Corcoran state prison, 300 kilometres northwest of Los Angeles. In 2007, he was denied parole for the 11th time.

Hourglass

Suicide of Greek Pensioner Triggers Protests

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A Greek retiree has shot himself dead in Athens' main square, blasting politicians over the country's financial crisis in a suicide note that triggered violent clashes hours later between police and anti-austerity protesters.

Riot police fired tear gas and flash grenades after protests attended by some 1,500 people turned violent on Wednesday, and youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs outside Parliament. Authorities reported no injuries or arrests.

The 77-year-old retired pharmacist drew a handgun and shot himself in the head near a subway exit on central Syntagma Square which was crowded with commuters, police said. The square, opposite Parliament, has become the focal point of frequent public protests against Greece's two-year austerity campaign.

The incident, during morning rush hour, jolted public opinion and quickly entered political debate, with the prime minister and the heads of both parties backing Greece's governing coalition expressing sorrow.

"A pharmacist ought to be able to live comfortably on his pension," said Vassilis Papadopoulos, a spokesman for the "I won't pay" group. "So for him to reach the point of suicide out of economic hardship means a lot. It shows how the social fabric is unraveling."

House

Americans Brace for Next Foreclosure Wave

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© Reuters/Joe Skipper
A member of the protest group Occupy Fort Lauderdale Foreclosure Mobilization, who identified himself as "Peace", sits in front of a home owned by 84-year-old Adeline Pierre in North Miami Beach, Florida, March 28, 2012. The Occupy group hopes to stop a pending eviction order on Pierre, who has lived with her family for 20 years in the home.
US: Garfield Heights, Ohio - Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.

But a painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.

"We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010," said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

"Last year was an anomaly, and not in a good way," he said.

In 2011, the "robo-signing" scandal, in which foreclosure documents were signed without properly reviewing individual cases, prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement.

Five major banks eventually struck that settlement with 49 U.S. states in February. Signs are growing the pace of foreclosures is picking up again, something housing experts predict will again weigh on home prices before any sustained recovery can occur.

Airplane

Judge orders psych exam for JetBlue captain

Clayton Osbon
© The Associated Press
Police yesterday escort JetBlue captain Clayton Osbon (right) from an Amarillo, Texas, hospital to court, where he faced charges of interfering with a flight crew over his midair meltdown.
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a psychiatric exam for the JetBlue Airways captain accused of interfering with a flight crew when he disrupted a Las Vegas-bound flight after he left the cockpit and screamed about religion and terrorists

The order U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo signed will send Clayton Osbon to a medical facility for federal prisoners for tests to determine if he was legally sane when passengers wrestled him to the floor after witnesses said he ran through the cabin yelling about Jesus and al-Qaida.

The exam also will determine if he's competent to stand trial.

The prosecution's motion filed Wednesday comes the day Osbon's attorney asked another judge to reschedule a Thursday detention hearing. That judge set the hearing for Monday.

The motion seeking the psychiatric states that events enumerated in an FBI affidavit "establish a likelihood that Osbon may be suffering from a mental disease or defect."