Radioactive water may have leaked into the ground from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator said on Saturday, the latest in a series of troubles at the crippled facility. Up to 120 tonnes of contaminated water may have escaped from one of the seven underground reservoir tanks at the tsunami-damaged plant, according to a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman. The tank stores water used to cool down the reactors after radioactive caesium is removed but other radioactive substances remain.
120 tonnes of radioactive water 'may have leaked' from Fukushima reservoir - TEPCO
06 Apr 2013
Workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant who were installing wire nets Friday to keep rats away from a vital cooling system instead tripped that system, causing it to fail for the second time in weeks. The spent-fuel pool at the site’s No. 3 reactor went without fresh cooling water for almost three hours on Friday afternoon, said the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco. Cooling was restored by late evening on Friday, and there was no imminent danger to the 566 nuclear fuel rods stored in the pool, according to the company. It would have taken at least two weeks for the pool to have risen above the safe level of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, Tepco said.
Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant
05 Apr 2013
The new bird influenza that’s killed six people in eastern China has some of the genetic hallmarks of an easily transmissible virus, according to the scientist who showed how H5N1 avian flu could become airborne. The H7N9 strain, which is a new virus formed as a result of two others merging their genetic material [by its creators], has features of viruses that are known to jump easily from birds to mammals, and a mutation that may help it attach to cells in the respiratory tract, said Ron Fouchier, a professor of molecular virology at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, in a telephone interview yesterday. "That’s certainly not good news," said Fouchier, who reviewed a gene sequencing of H7N9 published by Chinese health authorities. "This virus really doesn’t look like a bird virus anymore; it looks like a mammalian virus."
New Bird Flu Seen Having Some Markers of Airborne Killer
05 Apr 2013
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it has issued an advisory to U.S. doctors that may help them identify any cases of the new bird flu virus known as H7N9, but stressed that no cases have been found in the United States. So far, the new strain of bird flu that has infected 16 people in China and killed six has not been shown to be capable of transmission from person to person, CDC's Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters on a teleconference.
U.S. issues advisory to doctors to help identify bird flu
05 April 2012
Work on H7N9 bird flu vaccine begins [That's the reason H7N9 was created in the first place.]
Chinese authorities slaughtered over 20,000 birds at a poultry market in Shanghai on Friday as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six, spreading concern overseas and sparking a selloff in airline shares in Europe and Hong Kong. The local government in Shanghai said the Huhuai market for live birds had been shut down and 20,536 birds had been culled after authorities detected the H7N9 virus from samples of pigeons in the market. China's eastern Jiangsu province said two new H7N9 bird flu cases have been confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of reported infections nationwide to 16.
China culls birds as flu death toll rises to six
05 Apr 2013
In the midst of an ongoing hunger strike, the military is denying reporters access to the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay. The military is telling reporters it will be over a month before there's even a possibility of a tour of the detention facilities that house most of Guantanamo's 166 prisoners. A military spokeswoman based in Guantanamo told HuffPost on Friday that there would be no opportunity for press to access any of the prison facilities until May 6 at the earliest. New York Times reporter Charlie Savage had been trying to fly down for a visit next week, but told HuffPost that he was informed Friday afternoon the trip wasn't happening.
Guantanamo Hunger Strike Grows as Military Locks Out Press
06 Apr 2013
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday pardoned a US air force officer who had been convicted for his role in the CIA's kidnapping of an Egyptian imam in Milan in 2003. "The president... has granted a pardon to Colonel Joseph L. Romano III", who was sentenced to five years in prison in a conviction that became final last September, the presidency said in a statement. It added that Napolitano granted the pardon "in the first place" because of policy changes by US President Barack Obama, allowing him to "resolve a delicate situation" with a friendly country.
Italy pardons US officer in CIA rendition case
04 Apr 2013
A U.S. military pilot was killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed while on a night flight over mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday. There was no indication of enemy fire in the area at the time of the Wednesday's crash, in the east of the country. "While the cause of the crash is under investigation, initial reporting indicates there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash," an official with the U.S.-led international coalition, ISAF, said in a statement.
04 Apr 2013
The U.S. military on Thursday formally welcomed the return to South Korea of a battalion equipped to deal with nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, just hours after North Korea announced its military had the go-ahead to hit American interests with nuclear weapons. Unlike recent U.S. displays of military might on the Korean Peninsula, the timing of the uncasing and repatching ceremony marking the return of the 23rd Chemical Battalion had been in the works for weeks and was purely coincidental. ...The North, which is also upset about ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises on the peninsula, has threatened to turn Seoul and Washington, D.C., into a "sea of fire," and declared void the armistice that effectively ended the Korean War.
Chemical unit back in South Korea; timing coincidental
06 April 2013
[about his lame affair - not his war crimes]
FBI agents interviewed ex-CIA chief David Petraeus to probe whether secret files had been passed to the woman at the center of the scandal that brought him down, USA Today reported. Petraeus, America's most celebrated military leader in a generation, stepped down in November as head of the spy agency after admitting to an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire told AFP that agents conducted "law enforcement activity" in northern Virginia.
FBI interviews ex-CIA chief Petraeus
06 Apr 2013
A major 7.2 earthquake struck the eastern Indonesian province of Papua, the US Geological Survey said, sending panicked crowds running into the streets. There were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued after the quake struck on land at 1.42pm local time today at a depth of 75km, 272km west-southwest of provincial capital Jayapura, the USGS said. Local seismologists had measured the quake at 7.2.
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