Sunday, May 11, 2014

BIG BROTHER NOW: The Rise Of The Global Police State - European Union To Bug Every Car In The UK With Tracker Chips, And Ministers Admit They Are Powerless To Stop The Technology!

May 11, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM - Every new car sold in Britain will have to have a ‘black box’ device fitted to track drivers’ movements from next year, under plans being imposed by the European Union.


New model: Some car manufacturers, including BMW and Volvo, already include eCall devices in their latest models.
However, voluntary take-up has been low across the industry. Above, the BMW i3.

Despite serious concerns about privacy and cost, UK ministers admit they are powerless to stop the Big Brother technology being forced on motorists and car makers.

The Government believes the gadget, designed to help emergency services find crashed vehicles, will add at least £100 to the cost of vehicles without providing significant safety improvements.

Officials also fear the scheme, known as eCall, could be used by police or insurance companies to monitor motorists’ every move.

The European Commission has ruled that by October next year, all new cars and vans sold across Europe must be fitted with the technology, which contains a mobile phone-like SIM card designed to transmit the vehicle’s location to emergency services in the event of a crash.


New technology: Every new car sold in Britain will have to have a 'black box' device fitted to track drivers' movements
from next year, under plans being imposed by the European Union. Above, how the device works.

But The Mail on Sunday has seen official correspondence from the Department of Transport showing the UK’s opposition to the policy, which could lead to the ‘constant tracking’ of vehicles.

In a letter to MPs, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill writes: ‘The basis for our opposition is that costs to the UK outweigh the benefits.

‘Unfortunately, there is very little support for the UK position and no possibility of blocking this legislation. We are working with other member states to minimise the potential burdens on manufacturers and the potential cost to consumers.

‘With regard to the rules on privacy and data protection, other member states have expressed similar concerns to us, about the potential for constant tracking of vehicles via the eCall system.’

Emma Carr, of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said last night: ‘Motorists will not be comfortable forcibly having a black box installed which is capable of recording and transmitting their exact location when they are driving.’

Some car manufacturers, including BMW and Volvo, already include eCall devices in their latest models.

An SOS button near the dashboard, linked to a SIM card, allows drivers to call 999 quickly. And if airbags are deployed it automatically sends a text message to emergency services with the car’s location – as well as its unique vehicle ID number.

Voluntary take-up has been low across the industry so the EU ruled all new car models must include eCall from October 1, 2015. Motorists will be unable to switch it off and it will be tested in MoT checks.

The EU Parliament voted it through last month and a draft of the law is due to be published next week before it is agreed by the EU Commission.

Britain is trying to push back the deadline by two years.


Concern: Official correspondence from the Department of Transport shows the UK's opposition to the policy. Transport
Minister Robert Goodwill (pictured) claims the costs of the device to Britain 'outweigh the benefits'


The UK also hopes the new text will include assurances on the privacy risks of eCall, which were highlighted in a European Parliament legal report earlier this year.

The study said manufacturers will want to include ‘value added services’ for the SOS devices, such as sharing the data with insurers and recovery firms.

A separate study by the EU Data Protection Supervisor warns of the ‘potential intrusiveness’ of eCall given that it operates on the same basis as mobile phones and ‘potentially enables the constant collection of the vehicle’s geolocation’. It urges ‘stricter safeguards’ against ‘unlawful’ use of personal data.

Brussels insists eCall will save 2,500 lives a year by speeding up emergency services response times. - Daily Mail.


GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - 25 Feet Deep Sinkhole Opens Up On Johnson Parkway, St. Paul, Minnesota; Road In Ranson, West Virginia Stays Shut After 20 Feet Deep Sinkhole Appears; And Sinkhole Appears In Back Yard Of Plant City Home, Florida!

May 11, 2014 - UNITED STATES - The following stories constitutes some of the latest incidents of sinkholes across the United States.

25 Feet Deep Sinkhole Opens Up On Johnson Parkway, St. Paul, Minnesota
A sewer line collapsed at Johnson Parkway and Phalen Boulevard on Friday morning, May 9, 2014, opening a giant
crater in the road and forcing messy detours at the major intersection. The intersection will be closed until
further notice, and detours will likely last for several days.
Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri

Instead of the usual 10-minute trip from his St. Paul home, Po Lee spent an hour Friday trying to reach the Hmong Village Shopping Plaza, through no fault of his own.

"It's hard to get here," said the 22-year-old vendor at the Moon's Kitchen food stand, whose commute was interrupted by detours around a gaping sinkhole that opened up overnight north of the popular weekend destination.

A sewer line collapsed at Johnson Parkway and Phalen Boulevard about 2 a.m. Friday, creating a crater about 25-feet deep alongside the road and forcing traffic to reroute around the major intersection.

Johnson Parkway is the only north-south through-street between Earl Street and White Bear Avenue and a major gateway to Maryland Avenue, which runs east-west through St. Paul's East Side. Emergency contract crews hired by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services said the detours will likely be in place for four days or more.

"This is a big one; there's no question about it," said St. Paul City Council member Dan Bostrom, who spent the day touring the neighborhood with Public Works Department workers trying to figure out how best to deal with the traffic backups.

No one was hurt in the collapse, and the Met Council -- the Twin Cities regional planning agency -- said residents do not need to worry about boiling their water as a safety precaution or about sewage backing up into their homes.

"The drinking water supply is unaffected; the sewer system is unaffected," said spokesman Tim O'Donnell, who estimated the sinkhole was about 25 feet across.

Wastewater continued to flow through the 54-inch sewer line at a normal clip, according to a meter downstream from the intersection.

The sewer pipe, which was installed in 1989, carries about 12 million gallons of sewage daily from as far north as Forest Lake to the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant on the east side of the Mississippi River, across from Holman Field, St. Paul's downtown airport. The Met Council sewer line serves as a receptor for the city's local sewer pipes, which continue to collect sewage as normal, O'Donnell said.

He said it was too soon to say what caused the sinkhole, the first sewer-related street collapse he could recall in about a decade.

"It's more than likely natural corrosion of the concrete sewer," he said. "A large-scale collapse of the sewer surface is quite rare. We typically don't have sinkholes associated with sewer problems."

Heavy spring rains probably didn't help. It's more than likely, O'Donnell said, that the surface of the sewer pipe had caved in but the bottom half remains intact. To drain water while the repairs are made, wastewater will be pumped downstream through temporary piping, running several hundred yards north and south along Phalen Boulevard.

"It'll probably take several days to get this repaired," O'Donnell said.

Road crews were detouring nonlocal travel west to Arcade Avenue, east to White Bear Avenue, north to Maryland Avenue or south to Seventh Street.

Bostrom said many northbound Johnson Parkway drivers trying to reach Maryland Avenue Friday were turning east onto Magnolia Avenue and then north on Barclay Street.

The intersection at Barclay and Maryland is controlled by a stop sign, "and it's at the top of a hill, visibility is limited," he said. "It's just a recipe for disaster."

Because traffic was backing up for blocks on Barclay, he encouraged drivers to take Magnolia Avenue to Hazelwood Street, a block east, where they can reach Maryland from a traffic signal.

"We're going to have to ban parking in certain areas and close certain roads," Bostrom predicted.

At Hmong Village, the effect on sales was being felt Friday afternoon. Lucky Lee, the 23-year-old owner of the K Pho food stand, said business was down about 30 percent.

"We were wondering what was going on because yesterday was fine," he said. "Let's hope for the best." - St. Paul Pioneer Press.


Road In Ranson, West Virginia Stays Shut After 20 Feet Deep Sinkhole Appears
A road in Ranson, West Virginia remains closed after a sinkhole appeared earlier this week.

East Fifth Avenue by Charles Town Races and Slots is still blocked off, and crews were busy assessing the damage Tuesday afternoon.

Officials with the West Virginia Division of Highways say the sinkhole appears to be about 4x4 ft. from the surface, but when they took a look beneath the asphalt, they realized the hole is actually about 11 ft. wide and 20 ft. deep.

Authorities say the sinkhole was created due to erosion from a box culvert under this section of road. Culverts are man-made tunnels that let water pass under the road.

"We're taking a look at it. We have some of our geotechnical folks that are up in that area today beginning to just see how it happened," said Walker.

Walker says they are not sure how long the road will be closed because they are still trying to figure out how to repair it.

Meanwhile, drivers have been detoured away from the area. The closure has added 5 minutes to Vivien Engelberg's commute.

"I teach at Jefferson High so I just had to go into town, and then come back." said Engelberg.
A local historian says Jefferson County is prone to sinkholes due to its natural topography. There is limestone under the ground throughout the county that can give out with conditions like heavy rain.

"They're pretty common here," said Doug Perks, a historian at the Jefferson County Museum. "If you can envision a cross section cut of the land, you'd see a bunch of holes. They create caverns."

But despite the fact that Jefferson County has seen its fair share of sinkholes, authorities say there is no need to panic.

"It doesn't mean that the ground in that town is unstable," said Walker.

Traffic is being diverted through the Charles Town Races parking lot by the Hollywood Casino.

There's also an official detour taking drivers from Flowing Springs Road to Washington Street to George Street. - Your4State.


Sinkhole Appears In Back Yard Of Plant City Home, Florida
A specialist is being called in to evaluate a sinkhole that opened up in between two homes in Plant City on Wednesday morning.

Plant City Fire Rescue crews responded to the sinkhole around 10:55 a.m.

The sinkhole is located in the back yard of a home at 3517 Trapnell Grove Loop. It extends into a neighboring back yard.

The sinkhole measures 4 feet by 10 feet wide and is five feet deep, according to Jim Wilson who is the EMS Chief at Plant City Fire Rescue.

"It is not endangering homes or businesses," said Wilson. - WFLA.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Sakurajima Volcano Erupting In Japan - Sends Ash 4,5km High!

May 11, 2014 - JAPAN - The Sakurajima volcano started erupting on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu today. Sakurajima is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes in Japan.


Photo: "Vesti.Ru"

The national meteorological service of the country reports that the column of ash is rising to the height of over 4,5km.

According to Japanese meteorologists, this eruption has become the most powerful this year. The flow of lava and ash is moving in the direction of Ibusiki City but currently there is no information about any wreckage or casualties.

Sakurajima erupts up to several hundred times a year. Today's eruption is No.126. The volcanic activity usually harms the neighbouring Kagoshima Prefecture where the only Japanese space launch site Uchinoura is located. - VOR.



SECOND SUN MEMES: Solar Siblings - Astronomers Discover Our Sun's Long-Lost Brother?!

May 11, 2014 - SPACE - It turns out that the sun has a long-lost brother -- and now astronomers are racing to map a solar family tree.


Luke Skywalker staring at two setting suns in the sky on his desert-like home planet of Tatooine in the Star Wars film saga.


A new study from researchers at the University of Texas provides clues as to how our sun was formed, whether there are other “solar siblings” in our universe and, perhaps, a better understanding of how life in the universe was formed billions of years ago.

The finding, which will be published next month in The Astrophysical Journal, identifies a star that was almost certainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as the sun. Located 110 light years away in the constellation Hercules, the star, called HD 162826, is 15 percent more massive than our sun, and can be seen with low-power binoculars.

"We want to know where we were born," University of Texas at Austin astronomer Ivan Ramirez said in a news release from McDonald Observatory. “If we can figure out in what part of the galaxy the sun formed, we can constrain conditions on the early solar system. That could help us understand why we are here.”

Ramirez and his eight-person team discovered HD 162826's relation to the sun by following up on 30 possible candidates found by several groups around the world looking for solar siblings. Ramirez's team studied 23 stars in-depth at McDonald Observatory and several stars, visible only from the southern hemisphere, using the Clay Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Both observations required the use of high-resolution spectorscopy to understand the stars' chemical makeup.


The star HD 162826 is probably a "solar sibling," that is, a star born in the same star cluster as the sun. It was identified
by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Ivan Ramirez, in the process of honing a technique to find more solar
siblings in the future, and eventually to determine how and where in the Milky Way galaxy the sun formed.
Ivan Ramirez/Tim Jones/McDonald Observatory

There's even a small chance these solar siblings could host life-sustaining planets. When these stars were born, collisions could have knocked chunks off planets, and these fragments could have traveled between solar systems -- perhaps bringing primitive life to Earth. Conversely, fragments from Earth could have sent life to planets orbiting other stars.

"It could be argued that solar siblings are the key candidates in the search for extraterrestrial life," Ramirez said.

Next, Ramirez’s team wants to create a road map for how to identify solar siblings, operating on the theory that the sun was born in a cluster with up to 100,000 stars. That cluster, however, formed more than 4.5 billion years ago, and has long since broken up, spreading the stars out to different parts of the Milky Way galaxy. Finding more solar siblings will provide the best clues toward discovering our sun’s origin, and Ramirez’s discovery is an important step in streamlining the identification process when it comes to tracking down stars with the same galactic DNA, he told FoxNews.com on Friday.

“Already, we’re getting a lot of data from a number of surveys,” Ramirez told FoxNews.com on Friday. “In five to 10 years from now, we’re going to be able to analyze 10,000 times more stars than what we’re able to do right now.”  - FOX News.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Guatemalan Santa Maria Volcano Erupts - Sends Volcanic Ash Up To 7.6 Kilometers! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

May 11, 2014 - GUATEMALA - Intense activity was observed at Guatemalan Santiaguito, lava-dome complex of Santa Maria volcano, at 16:00 UTC (10.00 am local time) today. INSIVUMEH reported moderate to strong pyroclastic flows on southeastern flanks. Regions Quetzaltenango and Retalhuleu are on orange alert.




According to Washington VAAC notification issued at 18:44 UTC, volcanic ash was estimated rising up to 7.6 km (25 000 ft) and moving SW-W.

Volcanic material is spreading over an area of ​​at least 20 kilometers around the volcano and can cause respiratory and eye problems and contaminate water sources, INSIVUMEH said.

The relief agencies, including fire brigades, were deployed to nearby regions as a preventive measure.

Ash falls were particularly affecting the villages of Las Marías, San Marcos Palajunoj, El Faro, La Florida, Patzulín, all located on the south side.





In bulletins issued a few days ago INSIVUMEH and CONRED warned that risk of lahars is increasing with the arrival of wet season.

Updates:

Pyroclastic flows occurred shortly before 15:00 local time on May 9. According to CONRED bulletin, some have reached a distance of 7 km! The figure seems important and remains to be confirmed but the same report speaks of the destruction of two bridges over the river Nima 1.

Some parts of the Nima 1 river are completely filled with volcanic deposits which increases the risk of lahars.


WATCH: Eruption at Santa Maria.



CONRED reported lahars in the Nima I region early on May 10.

Geologic summary
Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The 3772-m-high stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit of Volcán Santa María to the lower flank and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902.

The renowned plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, the most recent of which is Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. - The Watchers.



INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Experts On Capitol Hill Warn That Our Electric Grid Is Vulnerable To An EMP Attack - Could Kill NINE IN TEN Americans!

May 11, 2014 - WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - Experts on Capitol Hill Thursday warned that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack aimed at the nation’s electrical grid could leave the majority of Americans dead.




The hearing, “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Threat to Critical Infrastructure,” before the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies explored the effects an EMP would have.

“Some would say it’s low probability, but the damage that could be caused in the event of an EMP attack, both by the sun, a solar event, or a man-made attack, would be catastrophic,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas). “We talk a lot about a nuclear bomb in Manhattan, and cybersecurity threat to the power grid in the Northeast, and all of these things would actually probably pale in comparison to the devastation that an EMP attack could perpetrate on Americans.”

Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), who has worked to raise awareness on the issue for years, testified during the first panel that “catastrophic civilian casualties” could result unless Congress acts.

An overload of radio waves to electric systems, an EMP could result from a natural disaster, such as a solar storm, or a terrorist attack. Franks said “every single facet of modern human life” would be “crippled” by such an event.

“It strikes at my very core when I think of the men, women, and children in cities and rural towns across America with a possibility of no access to food, water, or transportation,” he said. “In a matter of weeks or months at most, a worst-case scenario could bring devastation beyond imagination.”

Franks told the Washington Free Beacon that while the nation’s critical defense assets, including nuclear defense capabilities, are currently protected against an EMP, the civilian grid is “almost entirely vulnerable.”

“The civilian grid, in my judgment, is very vulnerable,” he said. “Some of the largest transformers, the very largest ones, have an inherent resistance to all but the more intense electromagnetic pulses. But the fact is, we have enough of those mid-range transformers where a major event would be catastrophic.”

To protect the civilian grid against an EMP event, Franks has introduced H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which would enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement practical steps to protect the electric grid.

Dr. Michael J. Frankel, a senior scientist at Pennsylvania State University, said Franks’ bill is a “necessary first step” for the defense of the electric grid. The bill currently has 19 cosponsors.

The issue is an urgent one, said Dr. Peter Pry, a member of the Congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, who testified that an EMP event could wipe out 90 percent of America’s population.

“Natural EMP from a geomagnetic super-storm, like the1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse,” he said.

Subcommittee Vice Chairman Scott Perry (R., Pa.) said that America’s adversaries may already have the ability to launch an EMP attack, which could be achieved by dropping a nuclear warhead miles above the electric grid.

“Currently the nations of Russia and China have the technology to launch an EMP attack, and we have speculated that Iran and North Korea may be developing EMP weapon technology,” Perry said. “This is why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the effects of an EMP attack.”

Franks told the Free Beacon that Americans are unaware of the devastation that would occur if the country experienced a solar storm similar to the Carrington Event. Named after British astronomer Richard Carrington, Carrington is the biggest solar storm on record, and took place in 1859.

“If a Carrington event happened now, it’s an unthinkable, almost cataclysmic event,” Franks said. “What people don’t realize, we’re so used to things we think, ‘Oh, well power goes down for a week and it usually comes back up.’ And most of the reason it does is because of a lightning storm. Well, lightning is EMP. Lightning is E2.”

“We have put a lot of hardware-based protections against lightning over our grid installations,” he continued. “Even so, we still once in a while have some extended damage for a few days. But it almost always comes back.”

“The thing that people don’t realize is it’s the length of the blackout that begins to make it dangerous,” Franks said. “Everybody thinks, ‘Oh, well we’ll go outside and we’ll build a campfire and we’ll have a nice evening at home, we’ll break out the candles, it’ll be nice.’ A couple of days like that is okay. A week like that might be okay.”

“But you start looking at two or three months, you start looking at a very dangerous and unthinkable scenario in a society that is as dependent on electric supply as we are.” - Free Beacon.



TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines - "Killer Robots" To Be Debated At The United Nations!

May 11, 2014 - TECHNOLOGY - Killer robots will be debated during an informal meeting of experts at the United Nations in Geneva.


Autonomous killer robots do not currently exist but advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality

Two robotics experts, Prof Ronald Arkin and Prof Noel Sharkey, will debate the efficacy and necessity of killer robots.

The meeting will be held during the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

A report on the discussion will be presented to the CCW meeting in November.

This will be the first time that the issue of killer robots, or lethal autonomous weapons systems, will be addressed within the CCW.

Autonomous kill function

A killer robot is a fully autonomous weapon that can select and engage targets without any human intervention. They do not currently exist but advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality.

Those in favour of killer robots believe the current laws of war may be sufficient to address any problems that might emerge if they are ever deployed, arguing that a moratorium, not an outright ban, should be called if this is not the case.

However, those who oppose their use believe they are a threat to humanity and any autonomous "kill functions" should be banned.

"Autonomous weapons systems cannot be guaranteed to predictably comply with international law," Prof Sharkey told the BBC. "Nations aren't talking to each other about this, which poses a big risk to humanity."

Prof Sharkey is a member and co-founder of the Campaign Against Killer Robots and chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

Side events at the CCW will be hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

Automation of warfare


Prof Arkin from the Georgia Institute of Technology told the BBC he hoped killer robots would be able to significantly reduce non-combatant casualties but feared they would be rushed into battle before this was accomplished.

"I support a moratorium until that end is achieved, but I do not support a ban at this time," said Prof Arkin.

He went on to state that killer robots may be better able to determine when not to engage a target than humans, "and could potentially exercise greater care in so doing".

Prof Sharkey is less optimistic. "I'm concerned about the full automation of warfare," he says. Drones

The discussion of drones is not on the agenda as they are yet to operate completely autonomously, although there are signs this may change in the near future.

The UK successfully tested the Taranis, an unmanned intercontinental aircraft in Australia this year and America's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has made advances with the Crusher, an unmanned ground combat vehicle, since 2006.

The MoD has claimed in the past that it currently has no intention of developing systems that operate without human intervention.

On 21 November 2012 the United States Defense Department issued a directive that, "requires a human being to be 'in-the-loop' when decisions are made about using lethal force," according to Human Rights Watch.

The meeting of experts will be chaired by French ambassador Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel from 13 to 16 May 2014. - BBC.



FUK-U-SHIMA: Japan Research Team - Cesium-137 Levels Are FIFTY PERCENT HIGHER Than Previously Estimated At Fukushima!

May 11, 2014 - JAPAN - The amount of Cesium-137 leaked from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could be worse than expected, a Japanese research team has concluded. They believe 50 percent more of the radioactive material could have escaped into the atmosphere and seawater.


This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on April 13, 2014 shows leakage of radioactive
water from a plastic tank (yellow) at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant
at Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)

The original estimate of 13,600 terabecquerels was made by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the power station. However, a new report by Japanese researchers estimates that between 17,500 and 20,500 terabecquerels have been released, which is 50 percent higher than originally thought.

Michio Aoyama, a professor at Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity who is part of the team, told Kyodo News that TEPCO is “underestimating” the amount of Cesium-137 that was released into the atmosphere and later fell into the sea.

Cesium-137 is a radioactive isotope produced by nuclear fission. However, it is problematic due to its ability to spread easily as it is highly soluble. It is also very harmful to humans and can cause cancer, while it has a half-life of around 30 years.

The team announced its findings at a conference in Vienna and it will come as another blow concerning their handling of the accident, which happened in 2011 after being triggered by a tsunami, following an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean off the Japanese coast.

Three weeks ago, the manager of the plant, Akira Ono, said attempts to plug the leaks of radioactive water had failed.

“It's embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don't have full control,” Ono told Reuters. Last year, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe attempted to assure the world that the situation at the stricken nuclear power plant was under control.


AFP Photo / Toru Hanai

The Fukushima plant contains radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago. The main task now is to try and limit the fallout from the disaster, with Aoyama saying, “the release of radioactive cesium-137 has a big impact on the ocean,” since the Fukushima nuclear complex is near the coast.

TEPCO has consistently faced contaminated water leaks at the Fukushima plant. Water has to be pumped over the facilities’ stricken reactors to keep them from overheating, but this process creates large quantities of contaminated water which has to be stored in tanks on the site.

Ono acknowledged to the media that in TEPCO’s rush to deal with the stricken facility following the earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011, the company may have made mistakes.

“It may sound odd, but this is the bill we have to pay for what we have done in the past three years,” he said. “But we were pressed to build tanks in a rush and may have not paid enough attention to quality. We need to improve quality from here.”

TEPCO will have to improve the quality of the tanks so the plant can survive the next 30 to 40 years of the decommissioning process, Ono said. - RT.


INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Small Plane Crashes In Arizona - 1 Dead And 5 Injured!

May 11, 2014 - ARIZONA, UNITED STATES - A single-engine plane carrying a pilot and six French tourists crashed while landing at a northern Arizona airport, killing one person and injuring five others, authorities said.


File photo.


The aircraft hit the ground and toppled over near the airport runway amid windy conditions Saturday afternoon in Page, the center of a tourist area about 200 miles north of Phoenix, Page Police Capt. Ray Varner said.

"The plane hit the sand and flipped over upside down," Varner told The Associated Press.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the Cessna 207 crashed 400 to 500 feet short of the runway.

One passenger died after being rushed to a hospital, while another was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center. Varner didn't have injury details but said the passenger was apparently in stable condition.

He said four others received hospital treatment for minor injuries and were released, while the seventh person was unhurt. The pilot was among the injured.

The aircraft had been on a sightseeing tour, Varner said.

Both the captain and the FAA website listed the aircraft's registered owner as American Aviation Inc. of Salt Lake City.

A person answering the phone there late Saturday said they didn't have any information.

Varner said that the hometowns of the passengers were still being determined, but at least one of them was from the French city of Le Havre.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash. Both Gregor and Varner said it was being investigated. - ABC News.