The lost roles! I can’t imagine any other actors in those roles…
Scott Walker admits repealing collective bargaining for state workers doesn’t save any money:
The rich don’t want you to know about taxes, from David Cay Johnston.
It had been a while since we had a factual update (as opposed to just lies and spin) from Fukushima. Courtesy of Kyodo, we now know that what was speculated by some as true, and rebutted by most as mere scaremongering, is in fact, fact. “Some of the spent nuclear fuel rods stored in the No. 4 reactor building of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant were confirmed to be damaged, but most of them are believed to be in sound condition, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday.”
Naturally, in one month we will learn that most of them are damaged, and in two months, that each and every one has been demolished. “The firm known as TEPCO said its analysis of a 400-milliliter water sample taken Tuesday from the No. 4 unit’s spent nuclear fuel pool revealed the damage to some fuel rods in such a pool for the first time, as it detected higher-than-usual levels of radioactive iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137.”
These confirm an ongoing fission reaction. In a tremendously ironic development, the No. 4 reactor, halted for a regular inspection before last month’s earthquake and tsunami disaster, had all of its 1,331 spent fuel rods and 204 unused fuel rods stored in the pool for the maintenance work. Unfortunately, the entire pool ended up being damaged following the quake and the subsequent explosion, in essence nullifying any protection that the containment dome would have provided.
As the picture from the Asahi Shimbun below shows, the damage from overhanging structures which have subsequently fallen into the fuel pool likely means that there could well be an uncontrolled, if weak, fission reaction currently going on in the reactor 4 SFP (where the water temperature is currently 90 degrees) unprotected by the elements due to the complete destruction of the Reactor 4 shell.
You knew this wasn’t going to happen. Obviously, the U.S. “motivated” them not to pursue it:
New York and Madrid, April 14, 2011 – Yesterday a Spanish judge chose to dismiss a politically charged case against six former Bush administration officials for their part in creating a legal framework that permitted the torture of detainees held in U.S. custody. Judge Eloy Velasco made his decision claiming the U.S. would conduct its own investigation, freeing Spain from the obligation of investigating under its universal jurisdiction law. He based this on a mere seven-page submission by the U.S. despite its clear statement that “the Department of Justice has concluded that it is not appropriate to bring criminal cases with respect to any other executive branch officials, including those named in the complaint, who acted in reliance on [Office of Legal Counsel] memoranda during the course of their involvement with the policies and procedures for detention and interrogation.”
In a statement, the Center for Constitutional Rights said, “This decision is a cowardly political act by a judge afraid to pursue justice under his country’s own laws. He is hiding behind the fig leaf of the U.S.’s scant seven-page response, but the submission made clear the U.S. has no intention of investigating these crimes or holding higher-level officials accountable for torture. As we saw from the WikiLeaks cables, the U.S. has been pressuring Spain to drop the case and interfering with the independence of judges. A second U.S. torture case remains open in Spain after a higher court ruled it should continue on February 25. Judge Velasco asked for opposing views but then issued his decision without even looking at our detailed submission refuting the U.S. claims. We will fight this decision and continue to demand accountability for torture.”
[...] The named defendants in the case are torture memo authors Jay Bybee and John Yoo, and David Addington, Douglas Feith, William Haynes and Alberto Gonzales.
Is it just me, or are you shocked, too, when courts now rule in favor of our civil rights? This is England, of course, but still. It’s encouraging:
In a landmark judgment on Thursday, high court judges found for protesters who had claimed police treated them unfairly. It also criticised the use of force by officers.
In the case, the court heard that officers used punches to the face, slaps and shields against demonstrators who police chiefs accept had nothing to do with violence. The judgment does not strike down the police tactic of kettling or mass detention, but it will be seen as a rebuff to the Met.
The judgment places limits on the use of kettling. It says: “The police may only take such preventive action as a last resort catering for situations about to descend into violence.”
The case concerned the G20 protests in London on 1 April 2009, during which Ian Tomlinson, a bystander, died after being struck by an officer. Police in charge of the protest ordered a Climate Camp to be kettled and then cleared, but officers were left to decide how much force they should use.
Video shot on the day showed demonstrators trying to avoid being beaten by raising their hands in the air and chanting “this is not a riot” at police clad in helmets and riot gear. Officers on the videos are seen to strike demonstrators, who cannot be seen to be engaged in violence.