News Updates from CLG
18 August 2015
Previous edition: Pentagon under fire for guidelines that liken war reporters to ‘belligerents’
Auckland TPP protest could turn ‘confrontational’ US citizens told [It’s about time!] | 14 Aug 2015 | The United States is warning its citizens in Auckland that a TPP protest planned for Saturday could turn ugly, and they should stay away. In an email, the US Consulate General in Auckland urged any US citizens to avoid the march as "even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational." The US State Department email also mentions the risk of a terror threat ay any large gatherings. [LOL!] Up to 8000 protesters are expected to gather on Auckland’s Queen St, to march against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreement corporate takeover.
Volcano near nuclear plant raising concerns in Japan | 17 Aug 2015 | Just under a week after the first nuclear power plant [Reactor Sendai 1] re-opened in Japan, critics are voicing concerns about safety. Oh, and there’s a volcano…The Japan Meteorological Agency raised the warning level near Sakurajima from 3 to 4 this past week in light of tectonic plate movement. The highest level is a 5, which means necessary evacuation due to impending eruption. The Japan Times reported all 77 residents who live within a 2-mile radius of Sakurajima had been evacuated by Saturday. The Sendai nuclear plant has not made any changes in light of the volcano warning level.
Fukushima operator’s mounting legal woes to fuel nuclear opposition –Judge forces Tepco to disclose internal report | 17 Aug 2015 | Four and a half years after the [beginning of the ongoing] Fukushima disaster, and as Japan tentatively restarts nuclear power elsewhere, the legal challenges are mounting for the crippled plant’s operator. They include a judge’s forced disclosure of a 2008 internal document prepared for managers at Tokyo Electric Power Co warning of a need for precautions against an unprecedented nuclear catastrophe. Also, class actions against Tepco and the government now have more plaintiffs than any previous Japanese contamination suit and, overruling reluctant prosecutors, criminal charges have been levelled against former Tepco executives for failing to take measures to prevent the 2011 meltdowns and explosions.
Japan’s plutonium stockpile worries Oxford specialist | 17 Aug 2015 | The handling of Japan’s huge plutonium stockpile remains a challenge for the whole world, an Oxford environmental expert has warned. When Japan marked the 70th anniversary of Nagasaki’s obliteration by a plutonium bomb on Aug. 9, its own cache of weapons-usable plutonium was more than 47 metric tons, enough to make nearly 6,000 warheads like the one that flattened the Japanese city, Dr. Peter Wynn Kirby of University of Oxford wrote in an op-ed on Monday’s New York Times.
US nuclear site placed in lockdown over explosive scare | 17 Aug 2015 |The US Department of Energy‘s Savannah River Site nuclear reservation in South Carolina was briefly placed on lockdown Monday after a delivery truck scan prompted an emergency response over potential explosive residue. A "potential security event" was declared after electronic scans and detection dogs discovered a "possibility of explosive residue" on a delivery truck, the Energy Department said in a press release. "Law enforcement agencies from South Carolina and Georgia were called and are on the scene to assist Centerra, the site security contractor," the agency stated.
Pentagon to expand drone flights by 50% in next 4 years | 17 Aug 2015 | The US military will increase the number of drone flights from the current 61 a day to as many as 90 by 2019 while expanding lethal strike capabilities. The expanded drone program, operated mostly by the US Air Force, will allow for broadened surveillance and intelligence gathering from Ukraine and North Africa to Iraq and the South China Sea. The move would mark the most expansion within the drone program since 2011.
AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale | 15 Aug 2015 | The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as "highly collaborative," while another lauded the company’s "extreme willingness to help." AT&T’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the documents, which date from 2003 to 2013.
Feds give final approval to Shell’s Arctic drilling plan | 17 Aug 2015 | The [corporate-owned] Obama administration has given Royal Dutch Shell the final approval it needs to drill into potential oil reserves beneath the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. The approval, issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on Monday, gives the company the chance to drill deeper for oil than it has before…The Obama administration’s approval of Shell’s drilling plans has angered environmentalists, who say the Arctic is too sensitive an ecosystem to permit oil drilling and risk a potential spill. Many major green groups released statements Monday slamming the BSEE’s final approval of the company’s drilling plan.
Trump saves 1,000 US jobs: Ford announces new U.S. production day after Trump blasts its $2.5 Mexican plant | 12 Aug 2015 | A day after GOP Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Ford Motor Company for its plan to invest 2.5 billion in plants in Mexico, Ford announced that it is actually moving production out of Mexico to a plant outside of Cleveland. While Trump’s comments and Ford’s announcement appear to have no connection, the move to build the medium-duty F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks at a plant in Avon Lake, Ohio is the first time that the Detroit-based company has returned its auto-manufacturing operation back to American soil from a foreign country. The shift back to the 41-year-old Ohio plant means that about 1,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers union will keep their jobs, Jimmy Settles, United Auto Workers vice president, said in a statement released by Reuters.
Latest CNN Republican Poll Has Donald Trump at 24% | 18 Aug 2015 | Support for Donald J. Trump remains robust among Republicans after the first debate, according to a new poll from CNN that shows nearly a quarter of the party’s likely voters would support his nomination for president. According to the latest survey, Mr. Trump leads the Republican field by a large margin with 24 percent supporting his White House bid. Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, whose standing dipped after the debate, is in second place with 13 percent, and Ben Carson, whose prospects have improved, comes in third at 8 percent.
State Department flags 305 more Clinton e-mails for review [Yeah, too bad the media didn’t care when Bush/Cheney had ‘1,000 days of e-mails’ that went missing from January 2003 to 10 August 2005, many of which likely covered their 9/11 drill-gone-live.] | 17 Aug 2015 | A State Department official told a federal judge Monday that 305 more of former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail messages have been flagged for further review by intelligence agencies, to see whether they contain classified material that should not be released to the public. Clinton turned 30,000 e-mails over to the State Department in December 2014, and the department now has a team reviewing the correspondence to determine what should be released and what should be redacted under laws that allow the government to withhold public documents from release on a variety of grounds, including national security. A federal judge has ordered the State Department to release the cleared documents to the public on a rolling basis, with all of them to be available by January.
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