Fukushima 'running out of space' to store radioactive water --Nuclear engineer: 'Radioactive water in the basements may already be getting into the underground water system, where it could reach far beyond the plant, possibly into the ocean or public water supplies.' 25 Oct 2012 Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tons of highly contaminated water, it emerged today. About 200,000 tons of radioactive water used to cool the broken reactors are being stored in hundreds of gigantic tanks built around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Tepco's tanks are filling up mostly because leaks in reactor facilities are allowing ground water to pour in.
Japan: Nuclear radiation could leak past zones 25 Oct 2012 Radiation leaks from Japan's nuclear reactors could spread farther than expected in the event of an accident, the country's nuclear regulatory agency said. Simulations conducted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority found hazardous levels of radiation could go beyond the 18.6-mile-radius priority zones used for emergency management planning, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday. A report released Wednesday by the NRA said the simulations found accumulated radiation levels around four of 16 nuclear plants could reach levels at which residents would need to evacuate in seven days.
Fukushima fish still radioactive --Many have cesium levels that are just as high as they were after disaster 25 Oct 2012 More than a year and a half after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, many fish in the area contain levels of radioactive cesium that are just as high as they were soon after the nuclear crisis. The finding suggests that the region's coastal-dwelling fish are still being exposed to new sources of cesium, possibly from the seafloor or from contaminated groundwater that's flowing into the ocean.
Britain rejects US request to use UK bases in nuclear standoff with Iran --Secret legal advice states pre-emptive strike could be in breach of international law as Iran not yet 'clear and present threat' --Military action not 'right course', Downing Street says 25 Oct 2012 Britain has rebuffed US pleas to use military bases in the UK to support the build-up of forces in the Gulf, citing secret legal advice which states that any pre-emptive strike on Iran could be in breach of international law. The Guardian has been told that US diplomats have also lobbied for the use of British bases in Cyprus, and for permission to fly from US bases on Ascension Island in the Atlantic and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, both of which are British territories. The US approaches are part of contingency planning over the nuclear standoff with Tehran, but British ministers have so far reacted coolly. They have pointed US officials to legal advice drafted by the attorney general's office which has been circulated to Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.
Iran military action not 'right course at this time', Downing Street says --Government reiterates its current opposition to military action against Iran after revelation US has requested use of UK bases 26 Oct 2012 The UK government has reiterated that it does not believe military action against Iran would be appropriate at the moment, following the disclosure that Britain has rebuffed US requests to use UK military bases to support the buildup of forces in the Gulf. Downing Street said: "We are working closely with the US with regard to UK bases" but "the government does not think military action is the right course at this point of time".
UK support for US drones in Pakistan may be war crime, court is told --Case opened as RAF confirmed it is to double number of its own drones flying combat and surveillance operations over Afghanistan 23 Oct 2012 The British government's support for US drone operations over Pakistan may involve acts of assisting murder or even war crimes, the high court heard on Tuesday. In the first serious legal challenge in the English courts to the drones campaign, lawyers for a young Pakistani man whose father was killed by a strike from an unmanned aircraft are seeking to have the sharing of UK locational intelligence declared unlawful. The British government has declined to state whether or not its signals intelligence agency GCHQ passes information in support of the CIA drone operations over Pakistan, although the court heard that media reports suggest that it does.
UK claims possible court hearing into CIA drone strikes in Pakistan would risk denting US ties 25 Oct 2012 Ties between Britain, the U.S. and Pakistan could be jeopardized if a judge grants a request for a court inquiry into the possible role of U.K. spy agencies in aiding covert CIA drone strikes in Pakistan's northwest tribal region, a government lawyer told Britain's High Court on Thursday. James Eadie, lawyer for Britain's Foreign Office, insisted that intelligence sharing between Britain and the U.S. -- already under strain by previous disclosures made in London courtrooms -- and links between Washington and Pakistan would all potentially be cast into doubt.
British ExxonMobil oil chief 'assassinated' in Brussels street 25 Oct 2012 Nicholas Mockford, a British executive for the oil company ExxonMobil has been shot dead in front of his wife in an assassination-style killing in Brussels. Belgian police have imposed a news blackout after Nicholas Mockford, 60, was shot as he left an Italian restaurant in Neder-over-Heembeek, a suburb of the capital. The executive was shot three times, once as he lay on the ground, after leaving the Da Marcello restaurant in Rue de Beyseghem at around 10pm on Oct 14... One family member told The Daily Telegraph he believed Mr Mockford had been killed in a professional hit.
Navy moving ships out of Hurricane Sandy's path 26 Oct 2012 The U.S. military will be moving ships from the Norfolk Naval Station region in Virginia out to sea to get out of the path of Hurricane Sandy. The Navy says 24 of the larger ships in southeastern Virginia bases, including the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, are preparing to leave and will be moving out over the next day or so. The orders affect ships at Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in the Hampton Roads area.
New York Held Hurricane Sandy Drill in October...1997 Posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 26 Oct 2012 The Hurricane Simulation 04 Oct 1997 Westchester County Communications Officer Sandy Fried, an Amateur Radio operator and ODES staff member, had recently attended a training seminar at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Part of the training was a simulation using data from the Hurricane of 1938 that caused major losses on Long Island and in Westchester. The texts of the simulated bulletins, forecasts, discussions and strike probabilities along with the hurricane's track were sent home with the seminar attendees. We named the simulated hurricane after Sandy, who incidentally was nine years old during the real Hurricane of 1938. [Courtesy for this nugget, Meria Heller.]
Global warming, the greatest national security threat went unmentioned in the 'debates,' of course. We don't want to upset the Koch-sucker brothers and ExxonMobil, now, do we? 'Our best available number-crunching simulations of the atmosphere simply weren't designed for this scenario' Hurricane Sandy 'could break 100-plus-year weather records': meteorologist 26 Oct 2012 Computer models are now showing a storm so intense that it would break 100-plus year weather records for the most intense pressure readings ever recorded throughout nearly all of the Mid-Atlantic region northward into New York City and Long Island... Normally, when hurricanes approach the East Coast from Sandy's angle, they are pulled safely out to sea by a semi-permanent low-pressure center near Iceland. This time around, that low pressure isn't there. In fact, it's been replaced by a high pressure so intense it only occurs approximately 0.2% of the time on average. The coincidence of that strong of a high pressure "block" being in place just when a hurricane is passing by -- in and of itself a very rare occurrence -- is just mind bogglingly rare. It's the kind of stuff that's important enough to rewrite meteorological textbooks. The result: Instead of heading out to sea Sandy's full force will be turned back against the grain and directed squarely at the East Coast. To top it off, an intense early-season snowstorm moving eastward out of the Great Lakes will provide an additional boost of energy to Sandy as it approaches the shore, broadening its windfield, strengthening its rainfall and waves, and increasing its destructive potential.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declares State of Emergency as Hurricane Sandy barrels through Caribbean, killing 40 --Sandy could be 'worst case' superstorm; officials will decide Saturday whether to evacuate wide swaths of New York City 26 Oct 2012 Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Friday and city officials considered evacuating as many as 375,000 New Yorkers as Hurricane Sandy moved up the coast. With the deadly hurricane expected to smash into the city as early as Sunday, Mayor Bloomberg said he'd make a decision about evacuation by late Saturday. AccuWeather warned that the storm would be "catastrophic" for the Middle Atlantic and Northeast.
Things that make you go 'hmm.' Faux News already preparing us: 'There could be widespread power outages lasting to Election Day' --East Coast prepares for pre-Halloween 'Frankenstorm' 26 Oct 2012 The pre-Halloween hybrid weather monster that federal forecasters call "Frankenstorm" is looking more ominous by the hour for the East Coast, and utilities and local governments are getting ready. Meteorologists expect a natural horror show of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow to the west beginning early Sunday, peaking with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday and lingering past Halloween on Wednesday. Hurricane Sandy, which has killed 21 in the Caribbean, is currently sweeping through the Bahamas and is barreling north. A wintry storm is chugging across the country from the west. And frigid air is streaming south from Canada. "It's looking like a very serious storm that could be historic," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground.
Worst Storm in 100 Years Seen for Northeast U.S. 26 Oct 2012 Hurricane Sandy will probably grow into a "Frankenstorm" that may become the worst to hit the U.S. Northeast in 100 years if current forecasts are correct. Sandy may combine with a second storm coming out of the Midwest to create a system that would rival the New England hurricane of 1938 in intensity, said Paul Kocin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in College Park, Maryland. The hurricane currently passing the Bahamas has killed 21 people across the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported, citing local officials. "What we're seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century," Kocin said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Bushies in Romneyworld 25 Oct 2012 Mitt Romney's running as far as he can from George W. Bush. In all three presidential debates, Romney's raced from the last Republican president's [sic] policies -- claiming he's got new ideas for foreign policy, the deficit and energy. But for all of Romney's efforts to divorce himself from Bush, behind the scenes there's one critical way he's given the era a full embrace: its people. Romney's brought on a cadre of Bush officials to serve as his senior policy advisers, lead his presidential transition effort and help him raise millions to fuel his run -- the pillars of his campaign and a potential administration.
Sununu suggests Powell's endorsement of Obama is racial 25 Oct 2012 John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor and surrogate for Mitt Romney, suggested during an interview with CNN Thursday night that Colin Powell endorsed President Obama because both are African American. Piers Morgan asked Sununu to comment on the former secretary of state, who is a Republican, bucking his party to back Obama. "[F]rankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama?" Sununu said. "What reason would that be?" Morgan pressed. "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president 25 Oct 2012 Former Secretary of State Colin Powell broke with the Republican party during the 2008 election, to endorse then-candidate Barack Obama for president, calling Obama a "transformational figure." With 12 days to go before the presidential election, Powell publicly endorsed President Obama for re-election on "CBS This Morning" Thursday "I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012 and I'll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month."
Sen. Harry Reid discharged from hospital after crash on Las Vegas freeway 26 Oct 2012 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was discharged from the hospital less than three hours after an apparent rear-end crash Friday afternoon on a Las Vegas freeway, a hospital spokeswoman said. Reid suffered rib and hip contusions in the crash that happened about 1:10 p.m. Friday on Interstate 15, staffers said. He was taken to the hospital by his security detail as a precaution. Troopers had earlier reported he was transported by ambulance.
Sen. Harry Reid taken to hospital after Vegas car crash 26 Oct 2012 Troopers say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been taken to the hospital in an ambulance after what appears to be a rear-end crash on an interstate through Las Vegas. Nevada Highway Patrol Office spokesman Jeremie Elliott says he doesn't know Reid's condition after the crash, which happened about 1:10 p.m. Friday on Interstate 15. Elliott says six vehicles were involved in the apparent chain-reaction crash, including two Las Vegas police vehicles, two civilian vehicle and two Capitol Police vehicles.
Italy's Berlusconi sentenced to jail for tax fraud 26 Oct 2012 Former Italian Prime Minister [and George W. Bush crony] Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in jail on Friday for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company. The billionaire media magnate, who was convicted three times during the 1990s in the first degree before being cleared by higher courts, has the right to appeal the ruling two more times before the sentence becomes definitive. That process is likely to be lengthy and he will not be jailed unless he loses the final appeal.
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