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Japan quake survivors too shocked to contemplate the future

© STR/AFP/Getty Images
People stay close to the heater at a shelter at Yamada town in Iwate prefecture on March 16

A week after their lives were turned upside down by the biggest recorded earthquake in Japan's history, many survivors are too shocked to contemplate the future.

"My house does not exist anymore. Everything is gone, including money," said Tsukasa Sato, a 74-year-old barber with a heart condition, as he warmed his hands in front of a stove at a shelter in Yamada, northern Japan.

"This is where I was born, so I want to stay here. I don't know how it will turn out, but this is my hope."

The government said on Friday it was considering moving some of the hundreds of thousands of evacuees such as Sato to parts of the country unscathed by last week's tsunami and earthquake that killed thousands of people.

"We are considering it and making arrangements," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.

That just adds to the uncertainty for victims like Sato, as snow continues to fall gently on what remains of the town -- once home to nearly 20,000 people but now a wasteland of shattered and charred rubble.

Much of what wasn't destroyed by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake was smashed to bits by the subsequent tsunami; what escaped the giant waves was torched by fires that broke out in the aftermath.


Serious Danger of a Full Core Meltdown: Update on Japan's Nuclear Catastrophe

Fears of a full-scale nuclear reactor meltdown are increasing as Japanese authorities use military helicopters to dump water on the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The water appears to have missed its target and failed to cool the plant's reactors and spent fuel rods. "The walls of defense are falling, with the melting of the cores, the collapsing of the - we're expecting the collapsing of the vessels. And then, with these damaged containments, these are all open windows to the atmosphere," says Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear. Some experts say U.S. reactors are safer than those in Japan. But investigative journalist, Karl Grossman, notes a 1985 report by the National Regulatory Commission acknowledged a 50 percent chance of a severe core accident among the more than 100 nuclear power plants in the United States over a 20-year period.


US: Overdose leaves Minnesota teen dead, 10 hospitalized

Blaine - One teen died and 10 teenagers and young adults were hospitalized Thursday after an apparent mass overdose on a designer hallucinogen at a suburban Minneapolis home, authorities said.

Investigators said the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the drug as 2C-E. It appeared the hallucinogen, which is sometimes known on the street as "Europa" and has no approved medical use, was legally ordered over the Internet for a spring break party, said Paul Sommer, a commander in the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

Bizarro Earth

'They're leaving us to die': Mayor of town near stricken Japanese nuclear plant claims his people have been 'abandoned'

'We've been left to die': Minamisoma's mayor Katsunobu Sakarai told the BBC his people felt alone and in danger
Residents of a town lying within the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant claim they have been neglected by the Japanese government.

Minamisoma lies just 12 miles from the nuclear plant in crisis and villagers have been ordered to remain in their homes as their community lies on the edge of the state-ordered evacuation zone.

But as tonnes of water were dumped on the plant as the government attempted to prevent overheating, the mayor of Minamisoma has accused the authorities of ignoring his 'isolated' people's plight.

'They are leaving us to die,' Katsunobu Sakarai told the BBC in a video interview.

'We weren't told when the first reactor exploded - we only heard about it on the TV. The government doesn't tell us anything.'

Staff at the small town's hospital have remained with their patients although Minamisoma would be at a high risk of contamination should the plant at Fukushima enter meltdown.

'We're not really supposed to be here but this is our job,' said Dr Yukio Kanazawa.

'I really resent the nuclear plant.'

Supplies are said to be running low in the town, which has a population of around 1,700 and with fears of an imminent nuclear crisis, residents are receiving little help from relief teams.

Complaints from the abandoned people of Minamisoma come as the Japanese authorities resorted to dumping water on over-heating reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant from helicopters in a desperate last-ditch attempt to stop a catastrophic meltdown.

Experts have warned that they have 48 hours to avoid another Chernobyl.


US: Suicide at Costa Mesa City Hall

© Ken Sullivan, The Orange County Register
A city employee is held back by friends after charging at Councilmen Jim Righeimer and Stephen Mensinger at Costa Mesa City Hall after a maintenance worker jumped to his death Thursday afternoon just after more than 200 people were laid-off.
A city worker jumped off the roof of Costa Mesa City Hall this afternoon and died about an hour after he was called in to get his layoff notice.

About 3:20 p.m. the man jumped from the fifth floor of the building. Police said the man, who has not yet been identified pending notification of his family, was a 29-year-old maintenance worker with the city.

Two witnesses saw the man jump and attempted to help him after he landed.

The man, whom the Register is not identifying until next of kin has been notified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The employee, who had been at home with a broken ankle, was not supposed to work today, but he was called in about 2:30 p.m. to receive his layoff notice.

The employee was not married and did not have children, although he had an extended family he helped support, according to two of his coworkers.

"This is a tragic event for the city and all of its employees," Lt. Bryan Glass said. "The city is concerned for their wellbeing and making efforts to help them through this."

Police taped off a large portion of the parking lot on the east side of City Hall.


Japan Radiation Fears Spark Panic Salt-buying in China

Long lines and mob scenes ensue at stores amid a clamor for iodized salt fueled by rumors of a radioactive cloud from Japan's quake-damaged nuclear plant and the belief that the salt would protect against radiation poisoning.

© Reuters
A policeman tries to maintain order as residents throng a wholesale salt market in Taiyuan, northeastern China, to stock up on the seasoning in the mistaken belief that it would protect against radiation poisoning.
China tried to quell panic buying of iodized salt Thursday after grocery stores across the country were emptied of the seasoning by hordes of people hoping to ward off radiation poisoning after the nuclear accidents in Japan.

The clamor for salt reportedly started after rumors spread, possibly by cellphone text messaging, that China would be hit by a radioactive cloud from Japan's Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear plant, which had been badly damaged during last week's earthquake and tsunami.

People were under the false impression that consuming enough iodized salt would protect against radiation and that China's sea salt supplies would be contaminated as a result of the unfolding Japanese crisis.

That sparked long lines and mob scenes in major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou.

In a scene repeated across the country, online video from the eastern city of Wenzhou showed panicked shoppers filling their baskets with tubs of salt and street vendors complaining about being cleaned out.

"I hear there was also a huge earthquake in Taiwan and it will hurt salt supply," a woman was heard saying. There was no earthquake in Taiwan.


Army of Fake Social Media Friends to Promote Propaganda

social media graphic
© unknown
Does a code of ethics still exist in Intelligence firms? Does it disappear behind closed doors, dirty deeds done in the dark and used against the American people who are supposed to be free to express themselves?

It's recently been revealed that the U.S. government contracted HBGary Federal for the development of software which could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues by promoting propaganda. It could also be used as surveillance to find public opinions with points of view the powers-that-be didn't like. It could then potentially have their "fake" people run smear campaigns against those "real" people. As disturbing as this is, it's not really new for U.S. intelligence or private intelligence firms to do the dirty work behind closed doors.

EFF previously warned that Big Brother wants to be your friend for social media surveillance. While the FBI Intelligence Information Report Handbook (PDF) mentioned using "covert accounts" to access protected information, other government agencies endorsed using security exploits to access protected information.


Bahrain police killing people by drive by shootings

Police killer brutality. They are massacring the peaceful protesters . This happened today Sitra 16th March.

Comment: While Hilary Clinton sends US jets to attack Gaddafi, she sanctions the disgusting King of Bahrain's decision to call in troops from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait to do what you see in this video. Meanwhile, Britain invites the King of Bahrain to the "royal wedding".

Sick psychopathic, conscienceless animals.


Tokyo passengers set off radiation detectors at O'Hare

United Airlines O'Hare
© Tim Boyle/Getty Images
O’Hare International Airport

Passengers arriving this week on a flight from earthquake-and tsunami-ravaged Tokyo set off radiation detectors at O'Hare Airport, city officials acknowledged Thursday.

"We are aware that occurred [Wednesday]. We are working with Customs and Border Protection on this issue," Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino said, referring all questions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Andolino refused to say how the incident was handled or what happened to the Tokyo passengers in question.

"The protection of the person coming off the plane is very important in regards to any radiation - especially within their families and anything else," Mayor Daley said.


Palestinians: Three killed in Israeli air strike on Gaza

© Reuters
Palestinians carry a wounded man after an Israeli air strike in a Hamas camp in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip, February 26, 2011.
Palestinian medical officials say Israel fired two missiles at a security compound in the Hamas-ruled Strip, striking what used to be the Israeli settlement of Netzarim in Gaza.

Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at a security compound in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing three Palestinians and wounding four, Palestinian medical officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed the airstrike, saying they had hit two terror targets in central Gaza. The airstrike came as a response to rocket fire into Israel earlier in the day, apparently referring to a rocket that had landed in Sderot, causing no casualties or damage.

Hamas officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the air strike targeted a Hamas security facility south of Gaza City. The missiles apparently struck what used to be the Israeli settlement of Netzarim in Gaza, before Israel disengaged from the territory and withdrew all settlements in 2005.