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TOKYO: Three former executives at Fukushima‘s operator stand trial this week on the only criminal charges laid in the 2011 disaster, as thousands remain unable to return to homes near the shuttered nuclear plant.

nuclear-news

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TOKYO: Three former executives at Fukushima‘s operator stand trial this week on the only criminal charges laid in the 2011 disaster, as thousands remain unable to return to homes near the shuttered nuclear plant.

The hearing on Friday comes more than a year after ex-Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former vice-presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, were formally charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury.

The indictments are the first — and only — criminal charges stemming from the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant that set off the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

“We hope the trial will shed light on where the responsibility for this accident…lies,” Ruiko Muto, who heads a group that pushed for the trial, told AFP.

“The accident hasn’t been resolved. There is nuclear waste from the cleanup efforts everywhere in Fukushima and there…

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With liquified natural gas or LNG, natural gas has finally become a globally traded commodity like oil. This development ushers in the era of gas wars – to determine who will control the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

Rigged Game

There is a hidden thin red thread connecting the recent US Congress’ sanctions against Iran and now the Russian Federation, with the decision of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies to sanction Qatar. That red thread has nothing to do with a fight against terrorism and everything to do with who will control the largest natural gas reserves in the world as well as who will dominate the world market for that gas.

By F. William Engdahl and cross-posted from New Eastern Outlook

For more or less the past Century, since 1914, the world has been almost continuously at war over control of oil. Gradually with the adoption of clean energy policies in the European Union and most especially in China’s agreeing to significantly cut CO2 emissions by reducing coal generation, itself a political act not a scientific one, as well as advances in natural gas transport technologies, notably in…

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single payer now
By Bruce A. Dixon | Black Agenda Report | June 28, 2017

Extracting nuggets of truth from corporate media is an art. For example when you read something in the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune you can be pretty sure this is what our betters would like us to believe. But what you see in some other publications like the Wall Street Journal is a different matter. This is because WSJ is one of the outlets members of the ruling class often use to talk to each other.

So Tuesday’s WSJ op-ed by Elizabeth Warren, in which the Massachusetts senator urged Democrats to campaign on Medicare For All is a sign the tide is turning. Liz Warren is no dummy. She’s up for re-election in 2018. She knows what sells, and she knows that unlike most Republicans, Trump is entirely capable of running simultaneously to the left AND to the right of Democrats.

The Affordable Care Act elegantly painted Republicans into a corner. It was a Republican plan, originally floated by the right wing Heritage Foundation and called Romneycare when it was enacted into law in Massachusetts in the 1990s. When Obama stole the Republican plan to bail out insurance companies it deprived Republicans of contributions from the insurance industry and Big Pharma, and left Republicans with nowhere to go politically. They could rage and rail against Obamacare, but it’s pretty much impossible to imagine a bigger favor than the Democrats did when they passed the Affordable Care Act in 2009.

So the plans pushed by the House and Senate Republican leadership are standard, boilerplate unimaginative things which pursue old Republican goals like turning Medicaid from a program supposedly based upon need into one funded up to a set amount and no more, instituting health savings accounts and using that Medicaid money for more tax breaks for the wealthy. Republicans might not like Obamacare, but they are for the moment unable to whip their own Senate majority behind the plan of their leaders.

Newspapers like the Boston Globe explain Liz Warren’s sudden reversal on single payer by telling us that while Medicare For All was a “fringe idea” nine years ago the public might almost be ready for it now. What no corporate media outlet will tell you is that a majority of House Democrats have now signed on to John Conyers’ current Medicare For All bill. So-called progressive Democrats are known for striking courageous poses when they don’t have majorities to pass them, this is a very different political moment than nine years ago. Physicians for a National Health Plan, the foremost pro-single payer doctors organization, called the House Republican plan a meaner version of Obamacare, putting them in the same territory as Donald Trump, who now admits calling the bill “mean.” Before he became president Donald Trump was on record more than once favoring Medicare For All. it’s a position he’s entirely capable of circling back to. Trump is plenty smart enough to know that if he can assemble a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to deliver Medicare For All before 2020, his re-election will be a lockdown certainty.

So where is the nation’s foremost proponent of Medicare For All, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders? The answer is nowhere. Early in the year Bernie’s office was telling people to expect a senate version of Medicare For All that might drop in March, or April or May. It’s the end of June now. Maybe Bernie has postponed the push for single payer because Democratic party unity is more important. Bernie just did kick in $100,000 of his followers money to pay for the Democratic party unity tour. Maybe Bernie doesn’t want to shame his fellow Dems – he is the party’s outreach chairman now – by getting too far out in front of them on this. The potential embarrassment is real. California Democrats, firmly in control of their state government killed their own single payer bill not two weeks ago.

Whatever the reason, the fact is there exists NO Medicare For All Senate bill to which Greens, Democrats and others might demand senators affix their name to. Nobody’s holding that up but Vermont Senator and Democratic party outreach chair Bernie Sanders. The US Senate is a good old boys club, and Liz Warren despite her gender is very much a good old boy. Warren will never put Bernie on the spot by introducing her own single payer bill, and neither will any other Senate Democrat.

So the tide is finally turning on Medicare For All. But at this moment Bernie Sanders is blocking that tide.

Bruce Dixon can be reached via email at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

Source: The Tide Is Turning on Single Payer, With or Without Bernie Sanders

single payer now
By Jim Kavanaugh | The Polemicist | June 26, 2017

Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party—for all progressive intents and purposes—than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on Friday afternoon that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year.

The Democratic Party finds itself in a bind in California. They hold the governorship and a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, so they can pass any bill they want. SB 562 had passed the Senate 23-14.

There was enormous enthusiasm among California progressive activists, who, with organizations like Campaign for a Healthy California (CHC,) and the National Nurses United (NNU,) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) were working tirelessly, and hopeful of success. After all, Bernie’s people were taking over the California party from the bottom since the election. I recall a night of drinking last year with an old friend who has been spearheading that effort, as he rebuffed my skepticism, and insisted that this time there would be a really progressive takeover of the California party, and single-payer would prove it. After all, once enough progressive pressure was been put on the legislators, the bill would be going to super-progressive Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown, who had made advocacy of single-payer a centerpiece of his run for President in 1992, saying: “We treat health care not as a commodity to be played with for profit but rather the right of every American citizen when they’re born.” Bernie foretold.

Unfortunately, today that Governor is, according to Paul Song, co-chair of the CHC, “doing everything he can to make sure this never gets on his desk.” And it won’t. Unfortunately, all the Democrats like Rendon, who “claims to be a personal supporter of single-payer,” will make sure that their most progressive governor is not put in the embarrassing position of having to reject what he’s been ostensibly arguing for for twenty-five years, of demonstrating so blatantly what a fraud his, and his party’s, progressive pretensions are.

Thus unfolds the typical Democratic strategy: Make all kinds of progressive noises and cast all kinds of progressive votes, while carefully managing the process so that the legislation the putatively progressives putatively support never gets enacted. Usually, they blame Republican obstructionism, and there certainly is enough of that, and where there is, it provides a convenient way for Democrat legislators to “support” legislation they know will be blocked and wouldn’t really enact themselves if they could.

In the California case, the dissembling is obvious. The Republicans can’t be blamed. The only thing standing in the way of single-payer in California is the Democratic Party. As it was on the national level in 2009, when Obama and the Democrats could have passed any healthcare bill they wanted, just as they passed the Republican-inspired gift to the for-profit health insurance industry, the ACA—without a single Republican vote. It was true-believing capitalist Democrats like Max Baucus, led by Obama and his sidekick Rahm Emanuel (who called leftists “fucking retarded”) who arrested single-payer activists (including doctors) in order to prevent single-payer from even being considered. It was they who strong-armed reluctant Democratic legislators, who had signed an oath not to do so, into passing a bill that leaves 28 million Americans without health insurance, and forces the rest into plans whose premiums rise and networks of coverage shrink every year. . .

 

Source: California Scheming: Single-Payer Betrayed By The Democrats Again

 

photo credit: juhansonin Single Payer now! tshirt via photopin (license)

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A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association determined that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

peoples trust toronto

http://ift.tt/2rZwwoL

By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Because the female form has been sexualized in Western cultures, women feel immense pressure to wean their children off breast milk as soon as possible. Many also hide the practice in public, as they feel embarrassed about the necessity. Such is unfortunate, as there are well-established benefits to breastfeeding a young infant may miss out on if they are instantly transitioned to formula food. For instance, research has shown that breastfed babies have improved immune systems, reduced risk of developing childhood leukemia, reduced likelihood of becoming obese, developing type 2 diabetes, and even a reduced likelihood of getting cardiovascular disease later on in life.

Another lesser-known benefit to breastfeeding is that the mothers who partake in the practice actually safeguard their own health in the process. A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association determined that women who breastfeed have…

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Rojava: Syria’s Unknown War

VICE News (2014)

Film Review

In this documentary, a VICE news journalist illegally crosses the Turkish border to provide viewers a tour of Rojava, the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria. This is an ethnically diverse (with Christians, Jews and Sunni and Alawite Arabs) farming region possessing 60% of Syria’s oil. The Kurdish YPG (male) and YPJ (female) armies provide security (from terrorist attack) for the region, with assistance from farmer militias of other ethnicities. Men and women serve (unpaid) on an equal basis, although women are preferred as snipers. They supposedly make better snipers because “they’re more patient.”

Rojazava is presently under siege from Al Nusra, Islamic State and Al-Sham jihadists. Based on passports the YPG recovers from dead jihadists, most are foreign – from Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Turkey, which has sealed the Turkey-Rojava border to humanitarian aid and journalists, allows foreign jihadists to cross freely into Rojava. They have been strongly criticized by both the US government and Human Rights Watch for doing so.

Demonstrators protesting Medicaid cuts removed from hall outside Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s office. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

 

The Republican attempt to re-write the US health-care system is the main story in Washington this week, and the focus is largely on how the bill cuts spending on Medicaid, the health program for poorer Americans. But the cuts will actually affect a far wider swathe of the country—potentially, anyone elderly who isn’t pretty wealthy, and their families.

The bill hangs in the balance on this issue. Some Republican lawmakers, like Nevada’s senator Dean Heller, say the cuts are too deep, while a band of ultra-conservative senators, including Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee, say they don’t go far enough. (Democrats are universally opposed to the bill, written behind closed doors without any committee hearings or floor debate.)

Medicaid plays a huge role in providing for elderly Americans who have, in effect, outlived their savings. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation show that in 2015, 62% of the more than 1.3 million Americans in skilled-nursing facilities paid for their stay and care with Medicaid dollars. Medicare, the program for the elderly, covered only 14% of them. . .

 

Source: Quartz Media