Archive for January, 2016

LA gas disaster

January 29, 2016


Report: Wildlife “disappearing” around massive LA gas disaster — Residents: “It’s completely quiet”… birds, butterflies, rabbits, coyotes are missing… all fish in pond found dead — “All of this is gone… Makes me wonder how bad it really is” — Animal with “worst blood” ever seen by doctor (VIDEO)

Posted: 29 Jan 2016 02:38 AM PST

Breaking: They may have “lost control entirely of entire field” involved in LA gas disaster, and it’s coming up everywhere… We learned there’s many other leaks -Attorney — Officials: Loud sound of gas escaping heard half mile away; A “mini-Chernobyl” — AP: Leak “out of control”… amount released “seriously underestimated” (VIDEO)

Posted: 28 Jan 2016 08:36 AM PST


Amari resigns, but denies taking bribes; Ishihara named successor

January 29, 2016

Amari resigns, but denies taking bribes; Ishihara named successorJapan’s Economics Minister Akira Amari reacts during a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.REUTERS/Yuya Shino


Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari resigned abruptly on Thursday to take responsibility for a political funding scandal that has rocked the government, but denied having taken bribes.

The resignation of Amari, who has spear-headed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies, could pose a setback to the administration’s Abenomics growth plan aimed at driving Japan out of deflation, analysts said.

But the government moved swiftly to contain the fallout by appointing Nobuteru Ishihara, a former environment minister and secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as his replacement.

In a packed news conference televised live, Amari acknowledged taking money from a construction company executive but said he told his aides to correctly record the funds as a political donation.

While asserting his legal innocence, Amari said he was stepping down to prevent the scandal from being a distraction to the Abe administration’s drive to pull the country out of deflation.

“Japan is finally emerging from deflation,” he said. “We need to pass legislation through parliament for steps to beat deflation and create a strong economy as soon as possible.”

“Anything that hampers this must be eliminated, and I’m no exception. I, therefore, would like to resign as minister to take responsibility” for what he said his aides had done.

Part of the money has gone missing because of mishaps by his secretaries, Amari said, but two of them have resigned and he must take responsibility as their supervisor.

Just hours before the news conference, Amari had said he would fulfill his duties as minister “with utmost effort”.

The yen, considered a safe haven from risk, ticked higher on Amari’s resignation, while Nikkei stock futures slipped.

Amari is a close ally of the prime minister and a core member of his policy team. He led Japan’s negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade bloc.

“This is definitely not good news for Abe and it’s going to make it harder to sell the TPP,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus.

“Corruption is just not something that goes down well with voters, and there’s going to be a lot of media scrutiny. It’s going to be a bit of a rough road.”

Last week, Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun published an article accusing Amari and his aides of accepting money from an unnamed construction company in exchange for helping that firm receive government compensation for disputes over land ownership and waste removal at a public works site.

Less than 90 minutes after Amari announced his resignation, Abe named Ishihara as his replacement and stressed that reforms would continue.

“Abenomics is at a critical juncture. I’d like him to use his full capacity to pull Japan out of deflation and put its economy on a growth path,” Abe told reporters.

Ishihara is the son of outspoken nationalist Shintaro Ishihara, a former governor of Tokyo, but is seen as less extreme in his views than his father. He served as environment and nuclear crisis minister under Abe and was also secretary-general of Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo, said he would want to see how Ishihara manages his new role but does not expect an immediate impact on monetary or fiscal policy.

“He doesn’t have much previous experience in the cabinet. By choosing someone with less experience, this could give Abe and his office even more influence over economic policy,” Tokuda said.

The accusations on bribery come at a sensitive time because policy makers are already grappling with a stock market sell-off, a rising yen and worries about a weakening global economy.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

Okinawa: They Came With Bayonets and Bulldozers

January 25, 2016

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Bribery, Bernie, Bombers, and Burning the Earth  

January 25, 2016


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Experts: Magnitude of LA gas leak “way beyond what any of us have ever been told”

January 25, 2016


 — “It’s a worst case emission” — “I’ve never seen a release of this magnitude” — It’s flowing directly into towns with “very little dilution… a worst case scenario” — “Very dangerous condition… be very, very concerned” (VIDEO)

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 09:48 PM PST

TV: “Worst wildlife die-off ever recorded” anywhere on Earth underway on West Coast

January 23, 2016


 — Expert: “And we’re not just talking marine die-offs… yeah, it’s a really big deal” — “There are many more species that are getting sick” — “Facing possibility of extinction” — Scientist: “Is it some sort of a toxin that’s there?” (VIDEO)

Posted: 22 Jan 2016 02:38 PM PST

LA gas well has ‘destabilized’, large crater develops in area

January 22, 2016


 — Officials: “Could be catastrophic” — TV: Risk of massive fire, possible explosion — Expert: “If wellhead fails, the thing is just going to be full blast… a horrible, horrible problem” — Company refuses to provide photos or media access (VIDEO)

Bizarre mutated animal found near US nuclear site

January 20, 2016


 — CNN: It can only be described as monstrous — Fully-formed teeth and extra jaw growing out of head — Scientists “mystified… stunned… puzzled” by extremely rare deformity — Official: “We haven’t seen anything like this” (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

Posted: 19 Jan 2016 03:52 PM PST

Multiple types of radioactive material constantly being emitted from LA gas blowout

January 15, 2016


Experts: Multiple types of radioactive material constantly being emitted from LA gas blowout — “I’d be running like hell” — “We are getting higher and higher levels…it’s accumulating” — “Poisons spreading through entire San Fernando Valley” home to 2 million people — “Thousands getting sick… it really is a major, major disaster” (AUDIO)

Posted: 14 Jan 2016 02:02 PM PST

Carcasses littering beaches for miles” on Pacific coast of Alaska — “Complete reproductive failure”

January 14, 2016


TV: “Carcasses littering beaches for miles” on Pacific coast of Alaska — “Complete reproductive failure” — “Horrifying… Horrid… Mind-boggling… Off the charts” — Unprecedented die-off “has potential to be biggest mortality event in state history” — “The most extreme I’ve ever seen” (VIDEOS)

Posted: 13 Jan 2016 12:00 PM PST