News Updates from CLG – 09 March 2016


Previous edition: Fukushima: Tokyo was on the brink of nuclear catastrophe; prime minister considered declaring martial law

Australia could be the next Paris, terrorism expert warns | 05 March 2016 | Progress in the bombing campaign against Islamic State has heightened the risk of the terror group lashing out and striking back on Australian soil, one of the world experts on suicide terrorism has warned. Professor Robert Pape, the director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, has told a series of top-level meetings with Australian government officials and researchers that IS is purposely lashing out at members of the coalition involved in the air strikes.

Isis planning ‘enormous and spectacular attacks’, anti-terror chief warns | 07 March 2016 | Islamic State want to inflict an “enormous and spectacular” terrorist atrocity on Britain and may have people trained to a paramilitary level to carry out attacks, a counter-terrorism chief has said. Mark Rowley, a Metropolitan police assistant commissioner, said terrorists still wanted to kill soldiers or the police and now posed a real danger of attacking western lifestyle targets. Privately, counter-terrorism officials see no sign of Isis’s [I-CIA-SIS’S] internet propaganda campaign being thwarted by community and government efforts and believe the group still has the same ability to attract devotees.

Farmers union head claims TPP will hurt rural America, open US jobs to foreign labor force | 05 March 2016 | The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to gain support on Capitol Hill for its Trans-Pacific Partnership…However, the National Farmers Union (NFU), which represents over 200,000 family farms and ranches, believes the USDA’s promises are the same kind made with previous trade pacts that did not come to fruition. “In its current form, the TPP stands to hurt our rural economies by pitting American jobs against foreign labor that is paid mere pennies per hour,” NFU President Roger Johnson said. “Beyond the farm gate, any consumer that cares about where their food comes from should be concerned with the TPP…I continue to urge Congress to give thoughtful consideration to opposing the TPP.”

Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton in stunning Michigan primary upset | 08 March 2016 | Bernie Sanders pulled off his biggest win of the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, defeating Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary on a night which also confirmed strong anti-establishment support for Donald Trump in the battle for the Republican nomination. In an industrial state hit hard by the decline of manufacturing, the Vermont senator’s consistent opposition to ‘free’ trade deals appears to have been a decisive factor, but he also showed signs of weakening Clinton’s dominance among African American voters. The shock victory – by a margin of around 3 percentage points when his win was first projected by Associated Press – comes despite Sanders trailing the former secretary of state by an average of 21 points in recent opinion polling.

Shock as Sanders storms Michigan: Vote goes to the wire but Bernie pips Hillary to victory after she triumphs in Mississippi –Clinton declared winner of Mississippi within minutes of polls closing, with early count giving her huge 81 per cent victory | 09 March 2016 | Hillary Clinton won the Mississippi Democratic primary early tonight, but in a surprise ending to the evening Bernie Sanders won Michigan – a state where the ex-secretary was up by double digits prior to today. Clinton and her family campaigned in aggressively in the motor-based state this week, and the former U.S. senator accused Sanders of voting against an auto bailout that helped the state and she voted in favor of. It wasn’t enough to keep the Vermont senator at bay, however. He hit her again, and again, and again for backing [insane] trade deals he said contributed to Michigan’s shattered economy.

Trump hits a triple! Candidate calls for Republican party to unite behind him after scoring wins in Mississippi, Michigan and Hawaii while Cruz clinches Idaho, leaving Kasich and Rubio on the brink –Trump swept primary elections in Mississippi (47 per cent of the vote) and Michigan (36.5 per cent) –Cruz later notched a victory in Idaho (45pc), a state Trump largely ignored | 09 March 2016 | Donald Trump told Republican voters and party bosses on Tuesday night that the time has come to rally around him following muscular primary victories in Michigan, Mississippi and later Hawaii. As he was urging GOP elites to ’embrace’ the growing voter base that he’s drawn to the polls, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was busy racking up a win of his own in Idaho. By night’s end, though, Trump returned to the winner’s circle by triumphing in Hawaii’s Republican caucuses. He led 45-21 over Cruz with 51 per cent of the vote counted.

Trump wins Michigan in repudiation of Republican establishment | 09 March 2016 | Republican front-runner Donald Trump rolled to primary wins in the big prize of Michigan and in Mississippi on Tuesday, brushing off a week of blistering attacks from the party’s establishment and expanding his lead in the White House nominating race. Trump’s convincing win in Michigan restored his outsider campaign’s momentum and increased the pressure on the party’s anti-Trump forces to find a way to stop his march to the nomination ahead of several key contests next week. Trump built his victories in Michigan, in the heart of the industrial Midwest, and Mississippi in the Deep South with broad appeal across many demographics. He won evangelical Christians, Republicans, independents, those who wanted an outsider and those who said they were angry about how the federal government is working, according to exit polls.

Donald Trump wins Hawaii Republican caucuses | 08 March 2016 | The Latest on Hawaii’s Republican caucuses (all times Hawaii Standard Time): 9:35 p.m. Donald Trump has won Hawaii’s Republican presidential caucuses. The Hawaii Republican Party ran Tuesday’s caucuses in a style similar to a primary election, meaning people cast their votes privately. The party set up polling stations on every island, for a total of 45 polling places at 44 locations.

Florida’s Turkey Point nuclear plant leaking radioactive tritium into national park – study | 08 March 2016 | Cooling canals connected to the Turkey Point nuclear plant south of Miami have leaked water containing high levels of radioactive tritium into Biscayne Bay, a national park preserving one of the largest coral reefs in the world, according to a new study. The study, released by Miami-Dade County in southern Florida, found that tritium levels in Biscayne Bay were up to 215 times higher than average ocean water, the Miami Herald reported. Tritium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen, is considered a “tracer” of nuclear power plant leaks.

North Korea again threatens nuclear strikes on US and South Korea | 07 March 2016 | North Korea has threatened nuclear strikes on the US and South Korea, this time in reaction to the start of huge joint military drills by the two countries…Pyongyang says the drills, which will run until the end of April, are invasion rehearsals. Always ragged relations between North Korea and its rivals have worsened after Pyongyang’s nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket test last month. The United Nations has slapped the North with harsh sanctions, and South Korea has taken a harder than usual line on the North.

Trolling for WWIII: U.S., South Korea practice striking North’s nuclear plants, in drills | 06 March 2016 | The United States and South Korea started huge military exercises Monday, including rehearsals for surgical strikes on North Korea’s main nuclear and missile facilities. The exercises always elicit an angry response from Pyongyang, but this year’s statement was particularly ferocious, accusing the United States and South Korea of planning a “beheading operation” aimed at removing Kim Jong Un’s government…About 17,000 American forces and 300,000 South Korean personnel will take part in Key Resolve, 11 days of computer-simulated training, and in the Foal Eagle field exercises, which will last eight weeks and involve ground, air, naval and Special Operations services.

Putin’s electoral rating hits 4-year high | 03 March 2016 | According to latest research conducted by Russian state-owned agency VTSIOM the share of Russians who express willingness to vote for Putin in the nearest presidential polls is the largest in four years. “Seventy-four percent of Russian citizens say that they are ready to vote for Vladimir Putin at the nearest presidential elections, due in the beginning of 2018. This is the maximum value in four years and an almost two-fold increase from 40 percent in October 2012,” reads the letter issued by VTSIOM on Thursday.

Police shot Oregon protester in back but act was ‘justified’ – prosecutor | 08 March 2016 | A leader of the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge killed by police was shot three times in the back, a county prosecutor said on Tuesday, calling the shooting “justified and necessary.” Robert “LaVoy” Finicum died at the hands of Oregon State Police on Jan. 26 after he ran from his pickup truck at a roadblock along a snow-covered roadside during the occupation by lands rights protesters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Relatives of Finicum, who was a spokesman for the group that seized buildings at the refuge, have previously said that he posed no threat to police during the confrontation and have rejected official assertions that he was armed.


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