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Nuke

Fukushima's Apocalyptic Threat

Image
© Shiho Fukada/IHT
A Japanese child evacuee rests at a temporary shelter in Kesennuma, 03/17/11.
Fukushima may be in an apocalyptic downward spiral.

Forget the corporate-induced media coma that says otherwise ... or nothing at all.

Lethal radiation is spewing unabated. Emission levels could seriously escalate. There is no end in sight. The potential is many times worse than Chernobyl.

Containing this disaster may be beyond the abilities of Tokyo Electric or the Japanese government.

There is no reason to incur further unnecessary risk. With all needed resources, it's time for the world's best scientists and engineers to take charge.

Even then the outcome is unclear.

For a brief but terrifying overview, consult Dr. Chris Busby as interviewed by RT/TV.

Fukushima Units One, Two and Three are all in various stages of melting down.

Stormtrooper

Canada: Angry Vancouver Fans Set Cars Ablaze, Fling Bottles After Stanley Cup Loss

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© The Canadian Press / Geoff Howe
Vancouver Canucks fans watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.
The same city that played peaceful host to an idyllic 2010 Winter Olympics showed a darker side Wednesday as a heartbreaking Stanley Cup loss sent furious hockey fans on a violent, liquor-fuelled rampage in downtown Vancouver.

Angry, drunken revellers ran wild after Wednesday night's 4-0 Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles.

For many, the ugly chaos added a vicious sting to the already bitter taste of defeat.

"This isn't what the Canucks are about," said Chad McMillan, 31, a Vancouver resident and lifelong Canucks fan.

"This isn't what their fans are about, this isn't what this city is about."

Tear gas mingled with the stench of acrid smoke and stale beer as riot police, truncheons drawn, moved in to quell the violence, pushing crowds away from the burning cars that were at the epicentre of the anger.

Later in the evening, police cars were also set aflame.

Image
© Reuters / Anthony Bolante
A Vancouver Canucks fan poses for photos in front of a destroyed pickup truck during a riot after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs to the Boston Bruins in Vancouver, British Columbia June 15, 2011. Riot police fired tear gas to control a mob that turned violent in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday after the game.
At one point, police were using flash-bangs - grenades that are designed to distract and disorient, rather than injure - to try to break up the mob, McMillan said.

People

Residents describe 'scary' China riots

Zengcheng - Residents of a southern Chinese town on Wednesday described frightening scenes of overturned cars engulfed in flames and armed police out in force after days of violent clashes.

A heavy security presence remained on the streets of , which is part of the greater Guangzhou area -- a bustling city in China's industrial heartland packed with migrant workers that lies near the border with Hong Kong.

The clashes, sparked by rumours spread on the Internet that police had beaten a street hawker to death and manhandled his pregnant wife, have so far led to 25 arrests.

"It was very scary -- the scariest thing I have encountered since I was born," said Chao, a 27-year-old owner of a denim shop in Xintang, a garment district in Zengcheng, which is about 90 minutes by car from central Guangzhou.

Chao said at one point in the melee, there were a "few thousand rioters" facing off against a massive police force, adding: "They burnt down one of the buildings."

Beaker

Illegal Spread of GM Rice Alarms Chinese Officials

rice
© AFP
Genetically modified rice has been spreading illegally for years in China, officials have admitted, triggering a debate on a sensitive aspect of the food security plan in the world's most populous nation.

Two strains of GM rice were approved for open-field experiments but not commercial sale in 2009. In January, the agriculture ministry said "no genetically modified cereals are being grown in China" outside the test sites.

But in April, an environment ministry official told the weekly Nanfang Zhoumo that a joint investigation by four government departments had found that "illegal GM seeds are present in several provinces because of weak management".

The agriculture ministry did not respond to an AFP request for clarification.

Arrow Down

US: Two Refugio Women Sue Sheriff, Deputies Over Illegal Strip Search

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© unknown
Two Refugio women have filed a lawsuit against Refugio County Sheriff Robert Bolcik and two of his deputies over claims that the officers illegally strip searched them on the side of the highway in plain view of oncoming traffic.

Plaintiffs Brittah Williams and Jessica Mascorro claimed Bolcik, who was elected sheriff in November 2008, along with deputies Jeff Raymond and Shelley Haertig, both of whom are named as defendants in the lawsuit along with Bolcik, violated the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights, which guard against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Refugio County also is named as a defendant.

The lawsuit was filed June 8 in federal court.

Bolcik, who received a copy of the lawsuit Monday via email, did not respond to messages left by The Advocate for comment.

Both Refugio County Judge Rene Mascorro and County Auditor Diana Moss said they were unaware of any lawsuit pending against the county, and therefore could not comment.

Crusader

US: Woman Accused of Stealing from Another's Purse at Church


Police say there's a woman stealing from purses in the middle of church services all over the Houston area and some people may not even realize they've fallen victim to her.

One of the churches hit by the thief is Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in northwest Houston, say police. But it's the video from another church that investigators want you to watch closely.

Sheriff's deputies believe she has targeted victims across the city and as far away as Galveston -- and in a place those victim's least expected it.

Cynthia Gonzalez, 43, also known as Cynthia Martinez, is not new to the criminal justice system. Her rap sheet goes back 20 years. But the doors she's suspected of passing through now are even surprising to investigators.

"It's rare that you see this type of surveillance video," Harris County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Christina Garza said.

Handcuffs

UK: Plot to 'Rob and Murder' Joss Stone Foiled as Police Swoop on Two Men Armed with Swords, Rope and a Body Bag Near Her Home

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© PA
Plot: International soul singer Joss Stone was the target of an alleged robbery and murder plan
  • Pair were caught with plans to the star's home
Two men armed with swords have been arrested over an alleged plot to rob and murder soul singer Joss Stone at her home in Devon.

The pair were caught in a car near her home with weapons - thought to be swords - along with a body bag, plans to her house and rope.

Police said the two men, aged 30 and 33, were arrested in Cullompton, Devon, at about 10am yesterday.

Detectives said the men were initially arrested for possession of offensive weapons and being equipped to steal.

Officers found swords, rope and a body bag when they arrested the men near the 24-year-old star's isolated country home, the Sun reported.

The men also had detailed maps and aerial photos of her rural property, it was reported.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: 'Police attended an address in Cullompton yesterday morning after alert residents notified officers about a suspicious-looking vehicle.

'Officers attended the area at around 10am and subsequently arrested the occupants of a red Fiat Punto.

Mail

Canada: Government Considers Back to Work Order as Canada Post Locks Out 48,000 Workers

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© The Canadian Press / Trevor Hagan
A Canadian Union of Postal Workers member pickets in front of the main post office on Graham Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Friday June 3, 2011. Winnipeg's postal workers will continue to walk the picket lines as their union representatives meet with senior Canada Post management officials later Friday.
Canada Post's lockout of 48,000 unionized workers on Wednesday has prompted Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and her officials to reconsider whether to order an end to service disruptions that began nearly two weeks ago.

With Canada Post deciding Tuesday night to lock-out the workers and suspend all mail service in urban centres, Raitt said the situation has fundamentally changed - although she wouldn't say back-to-work legislation was certain.

Raitt has previously called for the two sides to negotiate a settlement, with the help of a federal mediator, but several major issues remain unresolved after months of bargaining.

"Today we now have a lockout so there's a cessation of mail delivery, that's different than rolling strikes, that's different than cutting back on the mail service," she told reporters Wednesday morning.

"It's time to go back and take a look at the effect on the Canadian public, Canadian businesses and indeed on the national economy."

On Tuesday, Raitt tabled intent to order about 3,800 striking workers at Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) back on the job, citing the impact on a fragile economy.

Canada Post's decision to lock out members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers may leave lasting scars.

Laptop

UK: Facebook Chat Leaves Juror Facing Jail

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© Agence France-Presse
Joanne Fraill arrives at the High Court in London. Fraill was warned by a judge that she faces jail for contacting a defendant on the social networking site Facebook, causing the collapse of a major drugs trial
A juror was warned by a judge on Tuesday that she faces jail for contacting a defendant on the social networking site Facebook, causing the collapse of a major drugs trial.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Britain involving the Internet, juror Joanne Fraill admitted contempt of court at the High Court in London for chatting online with Jamie Sewart during a trial last year.

Lord Chief Justice, Igor Judge, said Fraill's sentence would be announced on Thursday, but warned the sobbing woman he did not think there were any circumstances under which she could avoid jail.

Fraill, 40, faces a maximum of two years in prison.

The judges also found that Sewart -- who ended up being acquitted during the trial last August -- had also committed contempt by asking Frail for details of the jury's deliberations.

But the judges ruled the 34-year-old would receive a suspended sentence because she had suffered a lengthy separation from her baby during the earlier trial.

Che Guevara

Massive strike to paralyze Prague, Czech Republic

cz strike
© www.dpmj.cz
Prague - From Madrid to Athens, EU governments are currently seeing mounting opposition of some social sectors against austerity reforms.

On Monday 13 June, this protest wave will flood the Czech Republic, and above all its capital, with massive strike and blockades planned by the country's labor unions on the same day. The capital is expected to be totally paralyzed - it is likely that even the subway will not operate.


Comment: Tthe strike was to take place on Monday June 13. After the Prague municipal court ruled it illegal, arguing that the organizers had failed to announce the protest three working days in advance it was moved to Thursday June 16 .

Read more: Czechs protest austerity in largest strike in 20 years
Read more: Czech Rep: Only EU state to increase deficit in 2011?

The strike will be probably the largest protest against the center-right government established approximately one year ago and the austerity reforms it plans. However, rather than by popular protests, the coalition is currently threatened above all by its own internal rupture, and it is increasingly uncertain whether it will be able to complete its full term.