News Updates from CLG
26 May 2015

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Fukushima leak ‘could cause hydrogen explosion’ at nuclear plant –‘If the concentration level is high, a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode’ – Nuclear Regulation Authority official | 25 May 2015 | Leaking containers at Japan’s embattled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of possible hydrogen explosions, experts have claimed. Almost 10 percent of recently inspected containers holding contaminated water at the nuclear plant in northeast Japan were found to be leaking radioactive water. The leakages, discovered during inspections by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operators of the plant, were thought to be caused by a build-up of hydrogen and other gases due to radiation contamination.

Magnitude 5.5 Quake Rattles Tokyo, Temporarily Halts Rail and Air Transport | 26 May 2015 | A magnitude 5.5 temblor shook Tokyo on Monday at 2:28 pm. The earthquake resulted in a temporary stop to central Tokyo’s train system and airports. The Japan Meteorological Agency, or JMA, identified the epicenter of the tremor at 56 kilometres below ground of the northern part of Saitama prefecture…NHK said that the Tokai No 2 nuclear plant in southern Ibaraki, operated by the Japan Atomic Power Co, had neither irregularities nor changes in radiation levels near the site.

Britain sends biggest warship for NATO drills on Russian border | 24 May 2015 | Britain is ramping up its military rhetoric, sending its biggest warship for NATO drills in the Baltic, right off the Russian coast, in this latest show of force. The drills [‘Baltops 15’] kick off on June 5 and will last for two weeks. The helicopter carrier HMS Ocean is expected to reach Russia’s city of Kaliningrad sometime this week, carrying aboard about 80 Royal Marines who are to join other NATO troops in Poland, the Sunday Times reports. The international fleet of vessels to take part in the games will include close to 50 warships and submarines, some of which will assemble as close as 50 miles to the Russian border, in the Gulf of Gdansk. Some other weapons featured in the games will be American B-52 nuclear bombers, which have stood for decades more as a symbol of Cold War readiness than anything else.

2 civilians, including 12yo killed by Ukrainian army shell in Donbass – reports | 26 May 2015 | Two civilians, including a child, have reportedly been killed in eastern Ukraine after a shell fired by the [US-backed] Ukrainian military hit a residential area. The shell hit five people in the town of Gorlovka, killing a man and a 12-year old girl, senior rebel commander Eduard Basurin told Russia’s Rossiya24 channel. However, according to the Emergencies Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the victims were a man and an 11-year-old boy.

New US drone strike kills five in northeast Afghanistan | 22 May 2015 | At least five people have been killed and several others injured in a fresh US drone strike in the troubled northeastern Afghanistan, security sources say. Local Afghan security officials said that the attack took place in Kunar province on Friday evening. Provincial officials say the victims were Taliban militants, including one of their commanders. However, local residents say the attack claimed civilian lives.

At Least 10 Afghan Police Officers Killed in Taliban Assault | 24 May 2015 | Taliban insurgents attacked police checkpoints Sunday in volatile southern Afghanistan, killing at least 10 officers in the ongoing assault, authorities said. Mohammad Ismail Hotaki, the director of Helmand province’s Joint Coordination Office, said that Taliban fighters attacked 10 police checkpoints in the province’s Sangin district. Hotaki said Taliban fighters captured three checkpoints and continued to surge forward in their assault.

Iraqi army lacks ‘moral cohesion’ to fight Isis, says UK military chief | 25 May 2015 | The Iraqi army is struggling to deal with attacks from Islamic State fighters, despite heavily outnumbering them, because it lacks "moral cohesion" and effective leadership, according to the most senior British officer to be involved in postwar planning in Iraq. Maj Gen Tim Cross echoed comments by the US defence secretary that successive gains by Isis [I-CIA-SIS] militants in the region were because the Iraqi army did not have the "will to fight". Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Cross said: "It’s interesting that the secretary used that [will to fight] expression because we use that expression in the British army and our argument is that it’s about a moral cohesion in your army."

Carter: Iraqis showed ‘no will to fight’ in Ramadi | 24 May 2015 | Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in his first comments since the key town of Ramadi fell to ISIS [I-CIA-SIS], blamed the weak state of Iraq’s military as one major reason for the city’s fall, in an exclusive interview on CNN’s "State of the Union" aired Sunday. "What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter told CNN. "They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves."

Japan for first time joins US-Australian military drill ‘Talisman Sabre’ in July | 26 May 2015 | Japanese troops will take part in a major US-Australian military exercise for the first time in July, as Washington looks to strengthen links among its allies in the face of an ‘increasingly assertive’ China. Japan’s ground self-defence force — its army — will send 40 personnel to participate in Talisman Sabre, a two-yearly drill that begins on 7 July, which will involve about 27,000 service men and women, a Japanese government spokesman said. "We will participate in joint exercises with the US marines, rather than operating directly with the Australian military," he said.

Heads up! Canadian NORAD region to conduct Arctic exercise | 25 May 2015 | The Canadian NORAD Region will lead an exercise that will see Canadian and American military personnel and aircraft deploying to various locations in the North and High Arctic to train in aerospace detection and defence. The exercise starts today and ends June 1. Exercise AMALGAM DART [?!?] will involve approximately 300 military personnel and 15 aircraft staging air operations from Alaska, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to confirm integration procedures of NORAD’s bi-national force and benefit from realistic training scenarios in the North and High Arctic, according to the Canadian Forces news release.

Five New York flights searched for bombs in ‘chemical weapons’ terror scare: Fighter jets scrambled after anonymous threats to flights into JFK –Airline authorities have received threats warning about the risk of either ‘chemical weapons’ or bombs onboard at least five New York bound flights | 25 May 2015 | Airline authorities have received anonymous threats warning about the risk of either ‘chemical weapons’ or bombs onboard at least five New York bound flights. Three warnings have been received about ‘chemical weapons’ including an Air France flight which was forced to make an emergency landing at JFK at 10:17 a.m. on Monday. Further warnings about ‘chemical weapons’ were phoned in relating to an American Airways flight landing from Birmingham, England, and a Delta flight coming into Newark.