US: Radioactive fish near Vermont nuklear power plant deemed common

Radioactive Fish
In this May 29, 2010 photo, Shawn Cole, 12, of Hinsdale, N.H., left, and Peter Rosploch, 11, of Winchester, N.H. fish in the Connecticut River across from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. When a fish taken from the Connecticut River recently tested positive for radioactive strontium-90, suspicion focused on the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear plant as the likely source. Operators of the troubled 38-year-old nuclear plant on the banks of the river, where work is under way to clean up leaking radioactive tritium, revealed this month that it also found soil contaminated with strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer and leukemia. (AP Photo)

MONTPELIER, Vt. — When a fish taken from the Connecticut River recently tested positive for radioactive strontium-90, suspicion focused on the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear plant as the likely source.

Operators of the troubled 38-year-old nuclear plant on the banks of the river, where work is under way to clean up leaking radioactive tritium, revealed this month that it also found soil contaminated with strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer and leukemia.

Three days later, officials said a fish caught four miles upstream from the reactor in February had tested positive for strontium-90 in its bones. State officials say they don’t believe the contamination came from Vermont Yankee.

Tritium was reported leaking from the plant in January, and since then has turned up in monitoring wells at levels 100 times the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for that substance in drinking water. Other radioactive isotopes have been found as well, including cesium-137, zinc-65 and cobalt-60.

Read moreUS: Radioactive fish near Vermont nuklear power plant deemed common

Turkey withdraws ambassador to Israel and calls for U.N. Security Council emergency session over deaths

See also: Israeli soldiers murder at least 10 civilians on boat carrying aid to Gaza


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s deputy prime minister says Turkey is withdrawing its ambassador to Israel, canceling three joint military drills and calling on the U.N. Security Council to convene in an emergency session about Israel.

The moves come after 10 pro-Palestinian activists on an aid flotilla were reported killed and dozens wounded by Israeli forces.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says Turkey is withdrawing its ambassador on Monday and also calling back a youth soccer team from Israel. He equates Israel’s actions with “piracy.”

Read moreTurkey withdraws ambassador to Israel and calls for U.N. Security Council emergency session over deaths

Israeli soldiers murder at least 10 civilians on boat carrying aid to Gaza

“We have the most moral army in the world.”
– Defense Minister Ehud Barak


Israel defends the raid, saying troops had been ambushed. Organizers of the flotilla, who had hoped to break the Gaza blockade, call it murder of civilians. The killings spur international condemnation.

israeli-soldiers-murder-at-least-10-civilians-on-boat-carrying-aid-to-gaza
Pro-Palestinian activists from Turkey hold a news conference on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara as part of a humanitarian convoy. (Reuters / May 31, 2010)

Reporting from Jerusalem — Israeli naval ships seized control of a protest flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least 10 people and sparking widespread international condemnation.

Israeli television, citing foreign media reports, said the death toll could be as high as 16.

“The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel’s Army Radio.

The raid set off a storm of international protest and drew condemnations from leaders of Spain, Sweden, France, Germany, the U.N., the European Union and Arab League.

But after some initial expressions of regret, Israeli officials Monday came out strongly in defense of the raid, characterizing the protesters as hard-core extremists who had prepared an ambush for soldiers.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called the flotilla an “armada of hate and violence” that launched a “premeditated and outrageous provocation.” He said Israeli soldiers found evidence that “weapons” had been prepared in advance, but he did not specify whether those weapons included guns.

Israel’s military said protesters managed to grab two guns from Israeli soldiers and use them against the commandos, prompting soldiers to return fire.

Greta Berlin, leader of Free Gaza, one of the flotilla’s organizers, called those claims “absurd.”

“This was murder,” Berlin said in a telephone interview from Cyprus.

The six-vessel flotilla, packed with hundreds of international activists, food and other humanitarian supplies, had left Cyprus on Sunday night in an attempt to break Israel’s longstanding blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Read moreIsraeli soldiers murder at least 10 civilians on boat carrying aid to Gaza

ECB Buying Up Greek Bonds; German Central Bankers Suspect French Intrigue

The bailout for Greece was never about helping the people. Instead it was a bailout for the banksters with taxpayer money, looting the people.

And the ECB buying up Greek bonds is pure quantitative easing (=printing money=inflation=tax on monetary assets), which will not stabilize, but devalue the euro.

In this case things are a little more complicated because the credit line for the ECB quantitative easing policy comes directly from the US Federal Reserve.


GERMANY/
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet: German central bankers are skeptical about the ECB’s buying-up of Greek bonds.

The European Central Bank has been buying up Greek bonds by the bucketload, even though Athens is already getting money from an EU rescue fund. German central bankers suspect a French plot behind the massive buy-up — after all, it gives French banks the perfect opportunity to get rid of their Greek assets.

The senior members of the German central bank, the Bundesbank, regarded Axel Weber with a look of anticipation. What would Weber, the Bundesbank president, say about the serious crisis that had them all so worried, they wondered? And what did he intend to do about it?

Weber said nothing and, as some who attended the meeting report, even his facial expression was inscrutable. The Bundesbank president remained stone-faced as he acknowledged the latest figures, which indicated that by the end of last week the European Central Bank (ECB) had already spent close to €40 billion ($50 billion) on buying up government bonds from Spain, Portugal, Ireland and, in particular, Greece.

The ECB already has about €25 billion of Greece’s mountain of debt on its books, and it is adding another €2 billion a day, on average. The Bundesbank, which has a 27 percent stake in the ECB, is responsible for €7 billion of the ECB’s Greek government bonds.

Many Bundesbank members are wondering why the ECB is buying Greek bonds in the first place, particularly on this scale, now that the euro-zone countries’ €110 billion bailout package for Greece has been approved, and the first tranche of the funds has already been disbursed.

The general €750 billion rescue fund for the remaining highly indebted countries has been approved but not yet set up. For this reason, it certainly makes sense to stabilize the prices of Spanish, Portuguese and Irish bonds. Nevertheless, some of the central bankers have a sneaking suspicion that there is a French conspiracy at work.

Helping French Banks

Read moreECB Buying Up Greek Bonds; German Central Bankers Suspect French Intrigue

(Flashback) Obama: ‘I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank.’

change-we-can-believe-in

“I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank. “
– Barack Obama Campaign Promise – October 27, 2007

Germany may resort to raising taxes

Someone has to pay for the bankster bailouts! The bailout package for Greece was not for the people, but for the banks.

See also: ECB Buying Up Greek Bonds; German Central Bankers Suspect French Intrigue


France warns on credit rating, Germany on taxes (Reuters):

Berlin’s budget problems are less severe but Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble signaled at the weekend that Germans may have to stomach tax rises as well as spending cuts.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is considering raising value-added tax (VAT) to the full rate of 19 percent on certain items that currently benefit from a lower rate of 7 percent, coalition sources told Reuters on Friday.

Indebted Greece is still buying arms

Indebted Greece still faces arms purchases (BusinessWeek):

French European parliament member Daniel Cohn-Bendit was even blunter, accusing the leaders of France and Germany of obliging Greece to maintain arms sales negotiations with their countries before agreeing to financial aid.

“For the past three months, there were several billions in arms contracts that we forced Greece to confirm: French frigates … helicopters, airplanes, German submarines. It’s hypocrisy,” Cohn-Bendit said at a news conference in Paris earlier this month.

“We want to make money … on the backs of the Greeks,” he said.

Both the French and German governments flatly denied the allegations.

Greece urged to give up euro and default on its debt by British economists

See also:

ECB Buying Up Greek Bonds; German Central Bankers Suspect French Intrigue


euro

THE Greek government has been advised by British economists to leave the euro and default on its €300 billion (£255 billion) debt to save its economy.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a London-based consultancy, has warned Greek ministers they will be unable to escape their debt trap without devaluing their own currency to boost exports. The only way this can happen is if Greece returns to its own currency.

Greek politicians have played down the prospect of abandoning the euro, which could lead to the break-up of the single currency.

Speaking from Athens yesterday, Doug McWilliams, chief executive of the CEBR, said: “Leaving the euro would mean the new currency will fall by a minimum of 15%. But as the national debt is valued in euros, this would raise the debt from its current level of 120% of GDP to 140% overnight.

“So part of the package of leaving the euro must be to convert the debt into the new domestic currency unilaterally.”

Greece’s departure from the euro would prove disastrous for German and French banks, to which it owes billions of euros.

Read moreGreece urged to give up euro and default on its debt by British economists

China: Three Gorges Dam causes quakes and landslides

roads-are-cracked-in-the-huang-gu-po-district-of-badong-on-the-lower-reaches-of-the-three-gorges-dam
Roads are cracked in the Huang Gu Po district of Badong on the lower reaches of the Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges dam was so vast and sweeping a vision that nothing could stand in its way. Not the old cities of the Yangtze valley, storehouses of human toil and treasure for more than a thousand years. Not the lush, low-lying farmlands, nor the villages, nor even the pagodas and temples that graced the riverbanks.

The cries of dissenting scientists and the lamentations of more than a million Chinese people forced to leave their ancestral lands counted for nothing.

When the waters rose to 570ft last year, drowning all these things, it marked a triumph for the engineers at the top of the Chinese Communist party.

But in the past six months a sinister trail of events has unfolded from the dam all the way up the 410-mile reservoir to the metropolis of Chongqing.

It began with strange, small-scale earthquakes recorded by official monitoring stations and reported by the Chinese media.

Mysterious cracks split roads and sundered schoolhouses and apartments in newly built towns and villages on the bluffs looking down on the river.

The local government now says that 300,000 people will have to move out in addition to the 1.4m evicted to make way for the dam.

More than 50,000 residents have already been relocated owing to seismic problems that were not foreseen when the dam was built, according to the state news agency, Xinhua.

Read moreChina: Three Gorges Dam causes quakes and landslides