The Ongoing Saga 81: News, Updates, & More


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last update Wednesday 24 May 2017, UTC
Most recent updates are on top, after image-intro commentary, so that routine readers will not have to scroll-down far. Time is UTC-GMT. Updates as frequently as possible (recently around once per week; in the past daily; the future is unwritten). This is a continuation of: Recent post titles for the Mining Awareness blog should appear listed either to the side or at the bottom, depending on your device.

Scientists keep discovering that nuclear is more deadly than initially thought. Based on the Oct. 2015 multi-government funded study of nuclear workers, cancer risk appears around 15 times worse than even BEIR VII (ca 2005) concluded, maybe even higher: There are well-known risks of heart disease and cataracts, too. Cataract-heart disease damage occurs at lower doses than previously admitted, as well.

While it has become popular to talk about ROS damage from radiation (e.g. Timothy Mousseau), ROS occurs in everyday life in contrast to radiation induced clustered DNA damage which is unique to radiation-damage and nearly impossible to correctly repair: Clustered DNA damage is considered a signature of ionizing radiation: “clustered DNA damage sites, which may be considered as a signature of ionising radiation, underlie the deleterious biological consequences of ionising radiation…ionising radiation creates significant levels of clustered DNA damage, including complex double-strand breaks (DSB)” See: “Biological Consequences of Radiation-induced DNA Damage: Relevance to Radiotherapy“, by M.E. Lomax et. al. Clinical Oncology 25 (2013) 578-585. “The formation of clustered damage distinguishes ionising radiation-induced damage from normal endogenous damage: More here:

Closing Arguments: Energy Solutions, owned by Trump large donor Doug Kimmelman, is trying to take-over competitor WCS in clear violation of anti-trust law: “The United States of America, acting under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States, brings this civil antitrust action to enjoin EnergySolutions, Inc. (“ES”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Rockwell Holdco, Inc. (“Rockwell”), from acquiring Waste Control Specialists LLC (“WCS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Andrews County Holdings, Inc.
Kimmelman-Trump fund-raiser image: Trump hopes to cure cash woes with $449,400-per-ticket fundraiser

Energy Solutions is a primary contractor for this leaking tank of radioactive.
Possible leak investigated at US nuclear site after worker discovers radioactive materials on clothing The Double-Shell Tank AZ-101 contains 800,000 gallons of nuclear waste” by Narjas Zatat Monday 22 May 2017 09:46 BST

The responsible contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, is a joint venture between URS Corporation and Energy Solutions, with French State owned AREVA as the primary subcontractor. 

Energy Solutions Clive Nuclear Waste Dump :
(San Onofre Nuclear steam generators were sent to Clive.) Makan Delrahim, a veteran lobbyist on President Donald Trump’s transition team, is expected to be nominated to head the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division“.

TOSHIBA-WESTINGHOUSE BANKRUPTCY-SALE NEEDS TO BE WATCHED: Russian government owned Rosatom offered to bail-out Areva. Up to $8.3 billion US taxpayer money may be lost since they declared bankruptcy. If they sell it, who would buy it? Nuclear power is bad economics so most likely the purchase would be geostrategic. It could be Russia’s Rosatom, controlled by the Executive (i.e. Putin), or possibly UAE or perhaps Kazahkstan (Kazatomprom). Maybe a China State owned company or Korean. China and Korea have their own reactor designs.

A Rosatom subsidiary is trying to get an exemption to use its nuclear fuel in US reactors. It doesn’t want to tell what the fuel rods are made of, either, which matters for operating and waste safety.

Westinghouse is expected to break its contracts for designing and constructing the Georgia and South Carolina nuclear plants, which have been beset by years of missteps“. See “Westinghouse reaches deal for $800 million U.S. bankruptcy loan” Tue May 23, 2017, 1:53pm EDT,

SCE&G nuclear construction at VC Summer could hinge on federal tax credits” MAY 23, 2017 BY SOUTH CAROLINA RADIO NETWORK

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Reuters News Feed Selection

Senate panel says it will subpoena Michael Flynn businesses
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 18:02:19 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday they would subpoena two of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s businesses after Flynn declined to comply with a subpoena for documents in the panel’s Russia probe.

Ex-CIA chief: Worries grew of Trump campaign contacts to Russia
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 18:02:19 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former CIA director John Brennan said on Tuesday he had noticed contacts between associates of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and grew concerned Moscow had sought to lure Americans down “a treasonous path.”

Former FBI chief Comey postpones testimony before House committee
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 18:29:54 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former FBI Director James Comey is delaying an appearance before the U.S. House Oversight Committee that had been planned for Wednesday, the panel’s chairman said on Monday.

U.S. plan to sell oil reserves undermines OPEC supply management efforts
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 03:21:20 -0400
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to sell half of the United States’ strategic oil reserve surprised energy markets on Tuesday since it counters OPEC’s efforts to control supply in order to boost prices.

Exclusive: Trump EPA transition chief laments slow progress in killing green rules
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 07:03:16 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The man who led President Donald Trump’s transition team for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Myron Ebell, told a conservative conference last month that the new administration is moving too slowly to unravel climate change regulations.

Exclusive: U.S., Japanese firms collaborating on new missile defense radars – sources
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 01:09:29 -0400
TOKYO (Reuters) – Raytheon Co and Lockheed Martin Corp are working with Japanese partners on rival projects to develop new radars that will enhance Japan’s shield against any North Korean missile strike, government and defense industry sources in Tokyo told Reuters.

Exclusive: North American carmakers want rules of origin in NAFTA left untouched – Mexico lobby Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 20:39:30 -0400
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The auto industries of the United States, Canada and Mexico agree there should be no changes to rules of origin in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the president of the Mexican automakers’ association said on Monday.

Swiss voters embrace shift to renewable energy
Posted:Sun, 21 May 2017 10:40:37 -0400
ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss voters backed the government’s plan to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for renewable energy, ban new nuclear plants and help bail out struggling utilities in a binding referendum on Sunday.

Japan anti-conspiracy bill clears lower house despite rights worries
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 03:50:58 -0400
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc pushed a bill targeting conspiracies to commit terrorism and other serious crimes through parliament’s lower house on Tuesday, despite fears the changes could allow police to trample civil liberties.

SNP election policy document launch postponed after Manchester attack
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 04:02:02 -0400
EDINBURGH (Reuters) – The launch of the Scottish National Party’s policy offer was suspended on Tuesday after at least 22 people were killed by a suicide bomber at a concert in the English city of Manchester.

Exclusive: U.S. starts ‘extreme vetting’ at Australia’s offshore detention centers
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 01:57:45 -0400
SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. Homeland Security officials have begun “extreme vetting” interviews at Australia’s offshore detention centers, two sources at the camps told Reuters on Tuesday, as Washington honors a refugee swap that U.S. President Donald Trump had called “a dumb deal”.

Trump travels to Bethlehem for talks with Palestinian president
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 03:42:40 -0400
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump traveled in a high-security convoy to Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Tuesday to discuss Middle East peace with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

U.S. delivers patrol boats to Vietnam to deepen security ties
Posted:Tue, 23 May 2017 00:23:34 -0400
HANOI (Reuters) – The United States has transferred six patrol boats to the Vietnam coast guard, to help build security cooperation between the two countries, U.S. embassy in Hanoi said in a statement on Tuesday.

Supreme Court tosses Republican-drawn North Carolina voting districts
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 13:34:25 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Republicans in North Carolina unlawfully took race into consideration when drawing congressional district boundaries, concentrating black voters in an improper bid to diminish their statewide political clout.

Flynn declines Senate subpoena in Russia probe
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 19:54:18 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn declined on Monday to comply with a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee as it investigates possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump asked two top intelligence officials to deny Russia collusion: Washington Post
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 18:44:47 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump urged two senior intelligence officials in March to publicly deny there was any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing current and former officials.

Trump close to picking outside counsel for Russia probe: Washington Post
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 18:55:41 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is seeking outside counsel to help him during investigations into his campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and has narrowed the search to four prominent attorneys, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Senate confirms Iowa Governor Branstad as ambassador to China
Posted:Mon, 22 May 2017 18:59:43 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday to confirm Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, one of the U.S. politicians most closely acquainted with China, as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Beijing.

Rich mining legacy is poisonous future in parts of South Africa
Posted:Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:07:00 -0400
Waste from South African mines dug more than a century ago, stretching along one of the world’s largest gold deposits, has left communities exposed to radiation, contaminated dust and water that can contribute to life threatening health conditions like TB and cancer. Stuart McDill reports.

Under siege in Washington, Trump reaps Saudi arms deal, stronger ties
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 15:13:37 -0400
RIYADH (Reuters) – Under political fire at home, U.S. President Donald Trump sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday on his maiden foreign trip as he struggled to shift attention from the aftermath of his firing of the director of the FBI.

Decisively re-elected, Rouhani defies hardliners, pledges to open Iran
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 14:48:21 -0400
DUBAI/BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Hassan Rouhani pledged on Saturday to open Iran to the world and deliver freedoms its people have yearned for, throwing down a defiant challenge to his hardline opponents after securing a decisive re-election for a second term.

Brazil president lambastes testimony by JBS executives
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 15:14:51 -0400
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Michel Temer on Saturday challenged a recorded conversation implicating him in a corruption probe, saying he would continue as president and ask the Supreme Court to verify the integrity of the recording.

China killed CIA sources, hobbled U.S. spying from 2010 to 2012: NYT
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 14:44:48 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 CIA sources from 2010 to 2012, hobbling U.S. spying operations in a massive intelligence breach whose origin has not been identified, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

After Rouhani re-election, expect hardliners to ‘settle scores’
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 11:16:53 -0400
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranians yearning for detente abroad and greater freedoms at home have handed President Hassan Rouhani a second term, but the hardline forces he defeated in elections on Friday will remain defiantly opposed to his plans.

Turkish NBA star denied entry to Romania after passport canceled: police
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 14:45:52 -0400
BUCHAREST (Reuters) – U.S.-based Turkish basketball star Enes Kanter was refused entry into Romania on Saturday because his Turkish passport had been canceled, Romanian border police said.

Syrian rebels begin to leave last opposition-held Homs district
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 11:20:08 -0400
HOMS, Syria/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels started leaving the last opposition-held district of Homs city on Saturday in the final phase of an evacuation deal that will bring an early center of the uprising back under government control in the conflict’s seventh year.

Tunisia protesters shut oil transport pumping station: radio
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 14:31:07 -0400
TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian protesters on Saturday shut down an oil pumping station in southern Tatatouine province that feeds a coastal shipping terminal as part of their protests to demand jobs, local state radio and two witnesses said.

Poland’s Kaczynski blames Merkel for EU’s migration issues
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 12:45:20 -0400
WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski again criticized the European Union’s relocation scheme for refugees on Saturday, blaming Germany’s Angela Merkel for causing the bloc’s migration problems.

Trump’s trade rep brings ‘America First’ policy to Asia-Pacific summit
Posted:Sat, 20 May 2017 07:55:47 -0400
HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s new trade representative held his first face-to-face meetings with some key partners on Saturday as the United States charts an “America First” policy that has upended the old global order and sparked fears of protectionism.

White House adviser is person of interest in Russia probe: report
Posted:Fri, 19 May 2017 18:02:04 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior White House adviser is a significant person of interest in the law enforcement investigation of possible ties between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russia, the Washington Post said on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians: sources Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 13:07:28 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

Treasury’s Mnuchin concerned about alternate scoring models of Trump tax plan
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 18:08:41 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers on Thursday that he has some doubts that what are known as alternate scoring models will give enough credit to the potential for economic growth when assessing the impact of the Trump administration’s tax plan.

Treasury Secretary says Trump has approved new bank regulator
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 18:08:41 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has made his selection for the next full-time head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

U.S. lawmaker unveils sweeping Pentagon acquisition reform bill
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 17:12:10 -0400
(Reuters) – The head of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee introduced legislation on Thursday to cut cost overruns at the Pentagon by overhauling the way it buys everything from common off-the-shelf goods to services and intellectual property.

For Trump’s defenders, White House turmoil is politics as usual
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 18:55:43 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In Washington, the chatter about a deepening, Watergate-style crisis has engulfed the White House – and those conversations are echoed in big cities across the country and in a succession of headlines that seem to suggest almost certain doom for the young Trump administration.

Trump denies asking Comey to drop probe, decries ‘witch hunt’
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 22:50:42 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump, striking a defiant tone on Thursday after days of political tumult, denied asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe into his former national security adviser and decried a “witch hunt” against him.

Five dead, 19 missing after Haiti rains, flooding: officials
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 23:25:23 -0400
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) – Five people were killed and 19 went missing after torrential rains and flooding hit Haiti, its Department of Civil Protection said on Thursday.

Indian environment minister dies; was to have decided on GM crop
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 05:54:28 -0400
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s environment minister died on Thursday, depriving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of a key figure as it considers whether to approve the country’s first genetically modified food crop.

Belgium extends commuter benefits to all electric bicycles
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 07:49:05 -0400
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium on Thursday extended commuter tax benefits for cyclists traveling to work on any electric bicycles.

Greenpeace asks Alberta regulator to halt Kinder Morgan Canada IPO
Posted:Thu, 18 May 2017 14:21:17 -0400
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Environmental group Greenpeace on Thursday asked the Alberta securities regulator to halt Kinder Morgan’s initial public offering (IPO) of its Canadian business until the company disclosed climate-related risks to potential investors.

Putin offers transcript to prove Trump did not pass Russia secrets
Posted:Wed, 17 May 2017 17:02:23 -0400
SOCHI/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had not divulged any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials and offered to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript.