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Post continues here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/the-ongoing-saga-11-news-updates-tidbits-trivia/. The oldest update is at the bottom and most recent at the top. This is a continuation of: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/the-ongoing-saga-9-news-updates-tidbits-trivia/ which started on December 20th and last updated today.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Our post about Chernobyl fallout in Europe, with focus on the impact on Reindeer, has been updated today: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/radioactive-reindeer/

There is a lot of Energy and Basic Mats news at Reuters news feeds. We must, in particular point out the rail accident explosion and fire involving two BNSF trains — one carrying oil hit one already derailed carrying wheat. It forced evacuation of a town. The oil tank cars were not up to contemporary standards for carrying oil. The container-containment was not adequately thick. According to Reuters,
In October 2011, the American Association of Railroads, the rail industry’s trade group, adopted new standards requiring tank cars manufactured after that date to have thicker hulls and reinforced valves to better protect against punctures and leaks in derailments. U.S. regulators also are considering tougher safety standards.”

It is estimated to cost $1 billion to bring all up to safety standards. Of course, it will probably take more energy to transport in a thicker, heavier container. Once again, better materials are needed — both light and resistant. WHO owns BNSF? Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett is worth $53.5 billion and so could easily afford the $1 billion to make all rail cars safer, not simply his own. He would have a lot to spare to invest in tank-container materials research. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes_list_of_billionaires Think about that next time you hear how great the so-called “Wizard of Omaha” is. That’s not honest money. The Wizard of Oz wasn’t all that great either.

This is not the only BNSF accident. Here is a reenactment of a BNSF coal train hitting a BNSF maintenance train in 2011:

When a company hits its own trains, there appears a problem!

Gold has lost 28% this year. Aren’t you glad you did the right thing for the environment and didn’t invest in it (or buy any)?

We added two news titles classified as “environment”. Reuters has the official results of how the Bald Eagles got sick in the US. It is West Nile virus. That being said, one cannot exclude the possibility of Fukushima or other radiation impacting their immune systems or the immune systems of birds they feed upon (as more than one suspect). Others will tie it into global warming since it is a mosquito born disease. All three could be true. Another title: they still haven’t been able to rescue the Antarctic research team. Although neither oil and gas nor mining are involved, it points to the challenges-dangers of drilling, mining, and transport in extreme Arctic or Antarctic environments.

We note between 5,000 and 20,000 antigovernment protesters in Niger. The current President used to work as a manager for France’s Areva uranium mine. Niger is the 4th uranium exporter in the world and has oil, but is one of the poorest countries in the world.

One of the more interesting is a Mexican mafia drug cartel taking over the iron industry from mining to port export. This again raises the question of how much mafias, along with the stock market, are responsible for so many of the woes of the earth. Be certain and watch yesterday’s two minute video on the homeless working at Fukushima (cleanup reportedly run by Yakuza mafia). Speak of the devil, let’s all save mouth muscles and pronounce Fukushima, as it really is: Fuck-a-shima. See how much more easy that is to pronounce? Fukushima means fortune or lucky island. No more luck so we vote to change the name.

Excerpt from Reuters “FEATURE-Chinese iron trade fuels port clash with Mexican drug cartel. BY DAVE GRAHAM:
“The Knights Templar cartel, steadily diversifying into other businesses, became so successful at exporting iron ore to China that the Mexican Navy in November had to move in and take over the port in Lazaro Cardenas, a city that has become one of the gang’s main cash generators……

Firstly, the Knights controlled how the ore moved, having imposed protection charges on local transport unions after becoming the dominant gang in the city a few years ago.

It also helped local prospectors stake claims to mine areas either unclaimed by others or beyond the control of the existing concession-holders. Then the Knights took their cut.

Finally, the gang pressured customs officials to ensure the ore passed through the port smoothly.

‘Most of the groups mining are Knights Templar or belong to them. They have the whole chain,’ a local official told Reuters.

Fueled by the appetite of Chinese buyers, about half the mining in the area was done without proper permits this year, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.” See entire article below:

Reuters News Feeds:  

  • Chinese iron trade fuels port clash with Mexican drug cartel

    Posted:Wed, 01 Jan 2014 18:04:24 GMT

    LAZARO CARDENAS, Mexico (Reuters) – When the leaders of Mexico and China met last summer, there was much talk of the need to deepen trade between their nations. Down on Mexico’s Pacific coast, a drug gang was already making it a reality.

  • West Nile virus blamed for death of bald eagles in Utah

    Posted:Wed, 01 Jan 2014 01:14:51 GMT
    (Reuters) – An unprecedented wintertime outbreak of West Nile virus has killed more than two dozen bald eagles in Utah and thousands of water birds around the Great Salt Lake, state wildlife officials said on Tuesday.
  • New York natural gas prices soar on frigid weather

  • Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 18:41:40 GMT

    NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Cold weather, which is forecast to remain over much of the northeast United States through the week, sent natural gas prices in New York to their highest level since January as homes and businesses cranked up the heat.

  • Booming North Dakota takes latest oil train wreck in stride

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 18:24:13 GMT
    CASSELTON, North Dakota, Dec 31 (Reuters) – In this tiny North Dakota town, the shock of watching a dozen oil tank cars erupt into flames just a mile or two from residents’ homes and businesses stirred little anxiety over the safety of the thriving oil-by-rail business.
  • UPDATE 1-Indian steel group slasheD Afghan ore plant plan

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 15:42:49 GMT

    NEW DELHI/KABUL, Dec 31 (Reuters) – An Indian consortium has slashed a planned $10.8 billion iron ore investment in Afghanistan by 80 percent because it has been unable to get funding for the project.

  • Iraqi Kurds export first heavy oil to global market

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 13:43:01 GMT

    LONDON, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Kurdish region has started exports of heavy crude to world markets, traders and industry sources said, a further step to wrestle more control of its lucrative oil sector from the central government in Baghdad.

  • UPDATE 1-Israel’s Delek examines $3.6 bln energy spinoff

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 13:35:30 GMT
    TEL AVIV, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Israeli conglomerate Delek Group is examining a spinoff of its oil and gas activities, saying it could help maximise value for shareholders by separately listing a bunch of assets which one analyst valued at some $3.6 billion.
  • North Dakota town mostly evacuated after fiery oil train crash

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 13:25:57 GMT

    Dec 31 (Reuters) – Most of a small North Dakota town has been evacuated after a train carrying crude oil crashed into another train that had derailed, officials said on Tuesday.

  • UPDATE 1-Apollo’s failed deal for Cooper sows doubt on future Indian M&A

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 13:21:19 GMT
    MUMBAI, Dec 31 (Reuters) – The ambition from Indian mid-sized companies for large debt-fuelled acquisitions abroad was dealt a major setback after the unravelling of a $2.5 billion bid by India’s Apollo Tyres Ltd to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
  • US STOCKS-Futures flat as Wall St heads for best year since 1997

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:47:05 GMt

    * Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence data due

  • War, weather, bureaucracy cause Syria to miss chemical weapons deadline

    Posted:Tue, 31 Dec 2013 06:40:53 -0500
    BEIRUT, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Security concerns and bureaucracy have caused President Bashar al-Assad’s government to miss Tuesday’s deadline for the removal of deadly toxins from Syria under an international effort to remove its chemical arsenal, the global chemical weapons agency said.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Post for Haiti’s 210 anniversary of Independence, Jan. 1, 1804 to 2014. Pretty amazing images of New US Embassy, fancy new homes for Embassy workers and Haitian homeless shanties. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/haiti-new-us-embassy-homes-haitians-take-refuge-in-concrete-quarry/

Very short video, between one and two minutes and very shocking. Mostly older homeless people being used for Fukushima clean-up. This isn’t the young men who slept on cardboard boxes in Tokyo, even before the 2008 crisis. Either they used them up and spat them out already or they wouldn’t go. No, these are older, homeless, people and some which one might qualify as bums. Sad and worrisome.
Plight of homeless in Fukushima cleanup
Posted:Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:15:00 -0500
Dec. 30 – Brokers recruit and sell homeless people as workers to clear the site of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. Ruairidh Villar reports
. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USVideoMostWatched/~3/NqZLFWHi8KQ/plight-of-homeless-in-fukushima-cleanup

The common theme today seems to be homelessness versus something we can’t find words for and probably couldn’t print them if we could….Social Stratification, Haves and Have-nots…Oh, how about total lack of ethics. That would cover these two cases: no ethics. Also, caste arrogance, and even evil.

Mining? If no mining for uranium, no nuclear power then no Fukushimas. The poor in Haiti living in or near a concrete quarry.

The rest of the news titles are saved but will be posted later.

Update 1, Tuesday, 31 December 2013
operation nez rouge
This is for Canada. If you are outside of Canada check for similar services in your area to volunteer or if you need a ride home after drinking (a little bit):
Operation Red Nose needs volunteers
CTV Ottawa, Last Updated Monday, December 30, 2013 4:34PM EST
There’s an urgent call out tonight to help New Year’s Eve revellers get home safely. Operation Red Nose needs volunteers to offer safe rides home.
” See info here: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/operation-red-nose-needs-volunteers-1.1611947 Additional information is here: http://www.rednoseottawa.com

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Our post Radioactive Reindeer has been updated: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/radioactive-reindeer/ The Reuters news feeds tell us that South Korea is going to build around 5 new nuclear power plants in order to REDUCE its dependence upon nuclear. Go figure. Gee how Orwellian can you get? Another Fukushima in the making. Meanwhile, China has decided that an area the size of Belgium is too contaminated to use for farming. So, at least they will try to clean it up. They may have a lot of problems but at least they seem to be trying, which is more than can be said for many countries. The never ending great-grab for Africa’s natural resources continues on.

Reuters Energy and Basic Materials News Feeds
(click on Title for Full Text)

  • WRAPUP 3-Chile economy slows slightly, but consumption, jobs firm

    Posted:Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:16:51 -0500

    * Manufacturing output slips again * Retail sales healthy, jobless rate inches down * Central bank’s Dec decision to hold rates was unanimous By Antonio De la Jara and Anthony Esposito SANTIAGO, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Chile’s economy showed signs it was continuing to slow slightly in November, with manufacturing output slipping for a fourth straight month, even as consumption and the labor market remained firm. Manufacturing production fell 1.1 percent in November from a year e

  • Congo army clashes with Mukungubila’s followers in Lubumbashi

  • Posted:Mon, 30 Dec 2013 06:56:29 -0500
    KINSHASA, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Congo’s army clashed on Monday with followers of religious leader Paul Joseph Mukungubila in the eastern mining city of Lubumbashi, an official in the governor’s office said, hours after his supporters attacked targets in the capital.
  • Vedanta resumes operations at Karnataka iron ore mine

    Posted:Mon, 30 Dec 2013 05:19:29 -0500
    Dec 30 (Reuters) – Vedanta Resources Plc, a London-based mining conglomerate that has most of its assets in India, said it had resumed mining iron ore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka on Monday following clearance from a court-appointed panel.
  • China says over 3 mln hectares of land too polluted to farm

    Posted:Mon, 30 Dec 2013 00:41:31 -0500

    BEIJING, Dec 30 (Reuters) – About 3.33 million hectares (8 million acres) of China’s farmland is too polluted to grow crops, a government official said on Monday, highlighting the risk facing agriculture after three decades of rapid industrial growth.

  • Indonesia scores tentative tin win; blueprint for more commodities

    Posted:Sun, 29 Dec 2013 16:00:43 -0500

    * Tin trade rule seen as template for palm oil, coal, gold

Monday, 30 December 2013

We updated our Radioactive Reindeer post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/radioactive-reindeer/ Anyone concerned about radiation and health should take a look. It is currently an ongoing post. Caesium contaminated Reindeer is very related to international food standards. The “standards” used in the US, Canada, and Australia open them up to be radioactive food dumping grounds from Japan and even from Chernobyl impacted parts of Europe (e.g. canned Reindeer). Japan has such better standards it is amazing. These standards pre-date their current government. The EU shut off dumping, in theory, by only importing Japanese standard food. In reality, they told their Japanese counterparts to stop checking some food items. And, it is unclear if the EU checks the food or only depends on Japanese reports. However, Europe has internal problems of radiation. And, in the event of a radiation emergency the rates allowed for certain items will be truly astronomical. But, the low standards for the US, Canada and Australia are truly appalling. Clear information about the EU standards was truly difficult to find. We had to search for information in German, from Germany and Austria.

Yesterday we posted a Reuters news feeds about protests in Niger. This is a link to an article, in English, which helps to contextualize the situation:

French nuclear giant Areva slammed for ‘tax negotiation’ in Niger
Published 25 November 2013, updated 26 November 2013
The French uranium mining firm Areva is facing calls to end its practice of securing tax exemptions from the government of Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, as contract negotiations between the two reach a critical stage
“. http://www.euractiv.com/development-policy/french-nuclear-giant-areva-slamm-news-531914

Sunday, 29 December 2013

We will have to comment on the news titles later. However, it is worthwhile looking at our Radioactive Reindeer updates. We have found that Japan has comparatively good standards for protecting from radiation in food, meaning that there is the possibility for them to export highly contaminated food to other countries, like the USA. Europe got wise quickly and asked for the same standards as Japan. Although other countries are contaminated, Japan has the most recent and ongoing contamination with Fukushima. The radiation has and will impact everyone, but especially the US and its agriculture and then they are importing radioactive food and animal food from Japan! Food which is over 10 times more contaminated than that allowed in Japan and Europe is allowed in the US. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/radioactive-reindeer/

Reuters News Feeds, Basic Materials and Energy  (click on titles for full articles)

  • Tens of thousands protest against Niger government

    Posted:Sat, 28 Dec 2013 12:38:16 -0500
    NIAMEY, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of opposition supporters staged a protest rally on Saturday against what they said was the failure of President Mahamadou Issoufou to improve living standards in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries.
  • Australia’s iron ore ports prepare as Cyclone Christine nears

  • Posted:Sat, 28 Dec 2013 06:10:05 -0500
    PERTH, Australia, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Ports in Australia’s Pilbara region, through which almost half of the world’s seaborne iron ore is shipped, were sending ships out to sea on Saturday ahead of a tropical cyclone that is forecast to reach the coast by Tuesday.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Short new post today written by us, regarding the economics of fascism and nuclear power. Tepco’s profits will also be from getting rid of 2,000 workers! That is bad for safety.: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/criminal-tepco-will-make-a-profit-on-the-backs-of-the-japanese-people/

Most of the Reuters news items, found below, were commented upon, yesterday (ahead of time), in Ongoing Saga number 9. Today, we added comments on TEPCO’s making a profit to Ongoing 9, but intend to make it a new separate post, as well. Besides the fight for natural resources in Central African Republic, Sudan, Yemen and Libya, there is important Reuters news about Russia, China and other countries. We especially recommend those about Russia and the “March of State companies”. The US judge is not allowing BP to weasle out of agreed upon damages to small US coastal fishermen (and other small businesses), who can not necessarily document or prove their loses. Vestas shows that there is money to be made in wind power. One is left with the impression that the Chinese gov is the only one which wants to do anything about environmental problems, except they are funding a nuclear power plant in Pakistan! According to Reuters, the Chinese government is trying to improve things, because the Chinese people are fed up. But, even the Chinese gov is having trouble controlling some of the companies, according to Reuters. The conflicts in Africa and strikes in France, have had repercussions on oil prices. Arms manufacturers and dealers make killings off of these conflicts (not mentioned in Reuters). It is interesting to see, as well, the dependence of Australian and other stocks on mining.

One of the Reuters news posts is about something which we suspect was meant to slip through, unseen, during Christmas Holidays: OIG reprimanded the US EPA over Range Resources case. Based on what we saw with the EPA in conjunction with RadNet, one suspects that the US EPA needs house-cleaning done in their workforce. Reuters says legal action was taken by Range Resources – presumably against the EPA. Perhaps corporations should not be able to sue government? Unfortunately individuals need to be able to sue government at times. Based on the leniency which EPA showed to a fracking company, Range Resources, six US Senators — count them —SIX, and there are only 2 Senators per state, insisted that the Office of Inspector General of the EPA investigate the EPA’s dropping of an emergency order regarding contaminated water from Fracking. How many phone calls and petitions did that take? These are videos related to the case. The poor guy whose water well vent was flammable even got sued for defamation by Range Resources! Although we think that nuclear is the biggest problem facing us all — if you were to end up poisoned, on fire or dead in an explosion, related to fracking, dead is dead.

Videos related to this case:

Official Report regarding reopening case, dated the Friday before Christmas, when Christmas Eve was on a Tuesday and those who could took Monday off!
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 14-P-0044 December 20, 2013 Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
Why We Did This Review

We conducted this review in response to a congressional request. We evaluated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Region 6 issuance and withdrawal of an emergency order under Section 1431 of the Safe Drinking Water Act to the Range Resources Gas Drilling Company, to determine whether the EPA followed applicable laws and policy.

Region 6 concluded that a gas well owned and operated by Range Resources in Parker County, Texas, either caused or contributed to contamination found in the groundwater. Subsequently, on December 7, 2010, Region 6 issued an emergency order instructing Range Resources to investigate the groundwater and soil in the contaminated area to determine the cause of the contamination and to take actions to remediate and prevent further contamination.

This report addresses the following EPA themes:

 Making a visible difference in communities across the country.  Taking action on toxics and chemical safety.  Protecting water: A precious limited resource.

Response to Congressional Inquiry Regarding the EPA’s Emergency Order to the Range Resources Gas Drilling Company

What We Found

Laws and guidance do not address withdrawing Section 1431 emergency orders and the EPA used its discretion in withdrawing the emergency order. The EPA reached an agreement whereby Range Resources agreed to test 20 water wells every 3 months for a year to provide information about the presence of more widespread contamination. According to the EPA, the sampling that Range Resources has completed indicates no widespread methane contamination of concern in the wells that were sampled in Parker County. However, the EPA lacks quality assurance information for the Range Resources’ sampling program, and questions remain about the contamination.

Recommendations and Planned Corrective Actions

We recommend that the Region 6 Regional Administrator (1) collect and evaluate the testing results being provided by Range Resources to determine whether the data is of sufficient quality and utility, (2) determine whether an imminent and substantial endangerment still exists at the original residential well involved, (3) inform the affected residents of the present status of the contamination and of any Region 6 planned actions, (4) work with the Railroad Commission of Texas to ensure appropriate action is taken as needed, and (5) document the costs and resources invested to complete the work included in these recommendations.

In its official comments and in subsequent meetings, the EPA agreed with and provided corrective actions that address our recommendations. All recommendations are resolved with corrective actions underway. No final response to this report is required.” Entire report is here: http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2014/20131220-14-P-0044.pdf

Reuters RSS news feeds start here. Click on Titles for full article: