Fukushima meltdown apology: “It was a cover-up”

AP/CBS, June 21

Tokyo – The utility that ran the Fukushima nuclear plant acknowledged Tuesday its delayed disclosure of the meltdowns at three reactors was tantamount to a cover-up and apologized for it.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose’s apology followed the revelation last week that an investigation had found Hirose’s predecessor instructed officials during the 2011 disaster to avoid using the word “meltdown.”

“I would say it was a cover-up,” Hirose told a news conference. “It’s extremely regrettable.”
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Supreme Court Ruling Limits Constitutional Protections Against Searches

Evidence gathered after police illegally detain someone may be used in court absent ‘flagrant’ misconduct by law enforcement

WSJ, By Jess Bravin, June 20

WASHINGTON—A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday limited constitutional protections against searches, ruling that evidence gathered after police illegally detain someone could be used in court absent “flagrant” misconduct by law enforcement.

Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said a police officer’s possible “negligence” in stopping a pedestrian without reasonable suspicion shouldn’t prevent prosecutors from charging him with a drug offense.
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U.S. Third Fleet expands East Asia role as tensions rise with China

Reuters, By Idrees Ali & David Brunnstrom, June 15

The U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet will send more ships to East Asia to operate outside its normal theater alongside the Japan-based Seventh Fleet, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, a move that comes at a time of heightened tensions with China.

The Third Fleet’s Pacific Surface Action Group, which includes the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Momsen, was deployed to East Asia in April.

More Third Fleet vessels will be deployed in the region in the future, said a U.S. official who requested anonymity. He and a second official said the vessels would conduct a range of operations, but gave no details.

Is Particle Physics About to Crack Wide Open?

Hints of an unexpected new particle could be confirmed within days—and if it is, the Standard Model could be going down.

Scientific American, By Michele Redi, June 13

It’s December 15, 2015, and an auditorium in Geneva is packed with physicists. The air is filled with tension and excitement because everybody knows that something important is about to be announced. The CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has recently restarted operations at the highest energies ever achieved in a laboratory experiment, and the first new results from two enormous, complex detectors known as ATLAS and CMS are being presented. This announcement has been organized hastily because both detectors have picked up something completely unexpected. Rumors have been circulating for days about what it might be, but nobody knows for sure what is really going on, and the speculations are wild.
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Brexit vote is about the supremacy of Parliament and nothing else: Why I am voting to leave the EU

The Telegraph, By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, June 13

With sadness and tortured by doubts, I will cast my vote as an ordinary citizen for withdrawal from the European Union.

Let there be no illusion about the trauma of Brexit. Anybody who claims that Britain can lightly disengage after 43 years enmeshed in EU affairs is a charlatan, or a dreamer, or has little contact with the realities of global finance and geopolitics.
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Lindsey Graham to join global elite at world’s most secretive annual meeting

AP/McClatchy, By Vera Bergengruen, June 9

Washington – Lindsey Graham’s relentless, vocal criticism of Donald Trump has scored him an invite to meet this weekend with global leaders behind closed doors at one of the world’s most secretive annual gatherings.

The South Carolina Republican senator will join 126 high-profile figures from 20 countries for the annual Bilderberg Group meeting, his office confirmed Thursday. According to the guest list these include two prime ministers, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as well as a mix of politicians, bankers, business leaders and former CIA head David Petraeus.
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Machine Bias

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

ProPublica, by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner, May 23

On a spring afternoon in 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy bicycle and a silver Razor scooter. Borden and a friend grabbed the bike and scooter and tried to ride them down the street in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs.

Just as the 18-year-old girls were realizing they were too big for the tiny conveyances — which belonged to a 6-year-old boy — a woman came running after them saying, “That’s my kid’s stuff.” Borden and her friend immediately dropped the bike and scooter and walked away.
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‘We are like a bomb’: food riots show Venezuela crisis has gone beyond politics

Three years of shortages have left Venezuelans desperate and angry for change, posing the most serious threat yet to President Nicolás Maduro.

The Guardian, By Sibylla Brodzinsky, May 20

Guarenas, Venezuela – The rumour was there would be chicken.

Word had spread that a delivery of poultry meat was due at the Central Madeirense supermarket, and long before dawn a queue of shoppers was snaking around the block.

Kattya Alonzo was one of them. The 48-year-old mother of three was already planning to make the traditional chicken and rice dish arroz con pollo – if she could also find some rice.
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As Obama Heads to Vietnam, Current Events Overshadow History

New York Times, By Gardiner Harris & David E. Sanger, May 21

Hanoi — When Bill Clinton landed in this lake-studded capital 16 years ago, the first American president to visit since the end of the Vietnam War, his mission was to put that conflict behind him, and the trip was among the most remarkable of his presidency.

When President Obama arrives here early Monday, his task may be a bit less dramatic, but is in many ways far more ambitious. These two countries, bedeviled by decades of misunderstandings, violence and wariness, now have the chance to create a partnership that seemed unlikely even three years ago.

No mention of TPP in this wonderful NYT coverage of the trip, though NPR has.
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Bernie’s Brand Is Crisis

Image via Salon

You may have heard that Bernie’s senior strategist Tad Devine filled the same role for failed candidates Gore and Kerry. But let’s talk about his successes.

You hear that right. Tad Devine‘s winning candidate caused literal riots in the streets in Bolivia and several incidents locally called “wars”. Devine’s employer in Ukraine wound up signing a highly unpopular deal with Russia instead of the EU, triggering the Orange Revolution, and fleeing to the Motherland with several billion dollars from the Ukraine treasury.

An award winning documentary was named for a phrase Devine coined in Bolivia, “Our Brand Is Crisis”. A decade later Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton brought the story to the masses:

So here we have an election whose message was driven by fear, distrust in the government, accusations of fraud, polarizing division, hyperbolic statistics and empty financial promises. The same methodologies used in Bolivia are in play in the Sanders campaign. Even Russian state media and right-winger sites like Brietbart are welcome sources if it makes “the establishment” look bad.

The far left needs to pause and examine the credibility of its sources.


Related: When did optimism become uncool?

More via Kos, “So You’re Deeply Concerned About Clinton’s Connections…”

Some words on the subject from Devine himself.