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Muzzling scientists: UK follows Canada’s lead

flag-UKflag-canadaFollowing Canada’s Bad Example, Now UK Wants To Muzzle Scientists And Their Inconvenient Truths https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150331/06512830496/following-canadas-
bad-example-now-uk-wants-to-muzzle-scientists-their-inconvenient-truths.shtml
 
from the non-appliance-of-science dept Free Speech by Glyn MoodyWed, Apr 1st 2015

Techdirt has been following for a while Canada’s moves to stop scientists from speaking out about areas where the facts of the situation don’t sit well with the Canadian government’s dogma-based policies. Sadly, it looks like the UK is taking the same route. It concerns a new code for the country’s civil servants, which will also apply to thousands of publicly-funded scientists. As the Guardian reports:

Under the new code, scientists and engineers employed at government expense must get ministerial approval before they can talk to the media about any of their research, whether it involves GM crops, flu vaccines, the impact of pesticides on bees, or the famously obscure Higgs boson.

media-propaganda

The fear — quite naturally — is that ministers could take days before replying to requests, by which time news outlets will probably have lost interest. As a result of this change, science organizations have sent a letter to the UK government, expressing their “deep concern” about the code. A well-known British neurobiologist, Sir Colin Blakemore, told the Guardian:

“The real losers here are the public and the government. The public lose access to what they consider to be an important source of scientific evidence, and the government loses the trust of the public,” Blakemore said.

Not only that, by following Canada’s example, the British government also makes it more likely that other countries will do the same, which will weaken science’s ability to participate in policy discussions around the world — just when we need to hear its voice most.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

April 10, 2015 Posted by | Canada, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Plea for retired journalists to return and save Japans press freedoms in the face of censorship and control!

imageImage source ; http://www.stripes.com/news/legal-experts-worry-japan-s-secrecy-law-may-silence-journalists-1.257943

“Those journalists that used to stand by the side of someone crying,

now stand by those in power.”

Hidetoshi Kiyotake 2015

Summarised by Shaun McGee

Posted to Nuclear-news.net

posted 3 April 2015

Video Published on 2 Apr 2015 by the FCCJ

Featuring;

Minoru Tanaka: Investigative Journalist
Hidetoshi Kiyotake: Investigative Journalist and Author

Comments from the Chairman of the press committee
The reason for the Press freedom Award in Japan is because of the fact that in 2010 Japan was 11th in the rankings for press freedom according to Reporters Without Borders. Japan now has a position of 61st (just behind South Korea and far behind Croatia) out of 180 countries.

The State Secrets Act of 2013 makes nuclear power and relations with the USA taboo for journalists. Journalist freedoms are being eroded to stop embarrassing details from being made public. The governments and Corporations also have been directly influencing Broadcasters and Journalists.

Japanese Media are more fearful and are more wimpy than ever before.

For instance the story of the Education ministers links to the Yakuza has been grossly under reported and there are other scandals not reported also.

The Freedom of the Press Awards will be formally announced on the 3rd May 2015 (World Press Day)
There will be one Award for investigative journalism and another award for non journalism but have contributed to Freedom of information causes.
The prizes are to confer due recognition that is supportive of Open Society, Free Speech and democratic accountability.

Minora Tanaka(Investigative journalist also on the judging panel for the Award)
Tanaka San has been investigating a range of subjects over the years including issues surrounding the nuclear energy industry.
Tanaka San begins outlining a problem called SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) against journalists getting too near the truth and these defamation cases have had a chilling effect on journalism. Even if the case is withdrawn because it is a weak case it could be years before that happens and by then time , money and stress will have taken their toll.
Added to the fact that the imposition of the Orwellian State Secrets Act of 2013, Journalism in Japan is in dire straights.
Tanaka San finishes of his statement by exclaiming;
“I am Kenji” (In reference to the recently murdered journalist)

Hidetoshi Kiyotake (Investigative journalist and author)
Currently he has six lawsuits on the go and has 2 of them due in court next week (SLAPPs). Whilst not attending court Kiyotake San likes to do some journalism research and writing. He also leaves time for the freedom of the press issues also. He worked for the Yomuri Shimbun for many years as a financial analyst and has held managerial positions. In 2011 he was dismissed from his post and is now an independent journalist. He one a non fiction prize last year.
He quotes as an example his research into the Sony corporation where he reported on the use of “Isolation Rooms” being used as a punishment for employees.
He then goes onto say that reporting on government and corporate scandals and stories is getting harder and harder all the time, whilst the number of investigative journalists are going down.
It would appear that journalists have become numb to the big changes within these media corporations.
As an example he states that a story of 10,000 or 20,000 people being sacked is not a shock to them anymore.
There have been many job loses also in the media and that also would have been frowned on in the recent past in Japan.
Kiyotake San goes onto ask the question if Japan uses a managerial style that takes into account human dignity and long term perspective as it once did?
As an example he relates a story in the past where a Japanese CEO of Sony asks the CEO of GE on what might be the best managerial style. The CEO of GE announced that if a worker wakes up and is upbeat and positive about his oncoming work day than the right managerial style has been used.

“Those that used to stand by the side of someone crying now stand by those in power.”

Kiyotake San then went on to explain his hopes for the future.

He calls for retired investigative journalists to leave retirement and to come back to the job of reporting and to find some platform in the media or on the internet to publish their articles.

He also calls for working journalists to research topics and publish on other formats to increase competition and improve the quality of reporting and the oversight of government and corporations.

He finishes by asking journalists to not be content with being in a closed club but to go out and publish as independent journalists as well.

Questions and answers on the source video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tDcdodQY5E

UPDATE

Edited version by missmilkytheclown1 on YouTube for easy listening

April 3, 2015 Posted by | Japan, media | 4 Comments

Pattern of denial by nuclear industry set off after the Three Mile Island accident

News corporate disinformationThree Mile Island: Writing the Nuclear Meltdown Playbook, Fairewinds By Arnie Gundersen,March 25th, 2015

People today who are familiar with social media think that TMI means “Too Much Information”. But to me, and anyone listening to the news in 1979, TMI will always represent the disaster at Three Mile Island, when the public received too little information, not too much.

At the time of the nuclear disaster at TMI, there were plans to build more than 200 nuclear plants in the US, with some projections topping 1,000. Today, less than 100 nuclear plants are operating in the US. During the 1970’s, the total amount invested in those early plants easily exceeded one trillion dollars. If the public became fearful of nuclear power, then the nuclear industry, investors, and banks that had loaned money would face huge losses, so the nuclear industry and nuclear regulators tried desperately to minimize the significance of what was happening at the crippled reactor.

The pattern of denial created by the nuclear industry during the TMI meltdown had at least five steps in its playbook:

  1. Make it appear that “authorities” have the situation under control.
  2. Delay any evacuation orders for as long as possible.
  3. Claim radiation releases are much lower than they actually are.
  4. Claim radiation exposures are acceptable and that no one will die.
  5. And lastly, minimize conflicting information given to the press through paid off experts.

 

The formula for damage control at TMI was designed by the nuclear industry composed a one size fits all “playbook” the industry has followed for all nuclear catastrophes since TMI. Comments made during the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi by utility owner Tokyo Electric could easily mimic those made at Chernobyl and TMI! When Maggie and I saw these old tricks being played again at Fukushima Daiichi, we dedicated ourselves to ensuring that the public has an accessible resource on which to rely that provides accurate information, and thus the Fairewinds videos were born.

In this video posted to commemorate the TMI disaster, I discuss the pattern of denial regarding nuclear power plant failures and meltdowns, not just for TMI but also for Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi as well. We at Fairewinds Energy Education hope you will watch it and think about sharing the true facts with others. http://www.fairewinds.org/three-mile-island/#sthash.InUCa9Be.dpuf

March 28, 2015 Posted by | media, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Campaign to get the Canadian government to stop muzzling science journalism

6ceed-japan-government-officially-censors-truth-about-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-disasterflag-canadaAsk Canadian Scientists Why You Can’t Ask Them About Science http://motherboard.vice.com/en_ca/read/ask-canadian-scientists-why-you-cant-ask-them-about-science by
STEPHEN BURANYI March 24, 2015

​A coalition of journalists and academics is urging Canadians to write letters to government scientists, asking for data on pollution, global warming, and other federal research. They may not get much in response—but that’s precisely the point.

The week-long letter writing campaign, which bega​n on Monday and is called Write2Know, is a protest of the government’s controversial practice of controlling access to both science and scientists—a policy that has never been officially codified, but has been enforced by government agencies fo​r the past half-decade. Continue reading

March 27, 2015 Posted by | Canada, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Canada’s Orwellian muzzling of science writers

6ceed-japan-government-officially-censors-truth-about-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-disasterflag-canadaTightened science muzzle is ‘Orwellian’ July 3, 2012 Vancouver Sun, Sept 13, 2010 By Margaret Munro, Postmedia News   https://margaretmunro.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/tightened-science-muzzle-is-orwellian/

The Harper government has tightened the muzzle on federal scientists, going so far as to control when and what they can say about floods at the end of the last ice age.

Natural Resources Canada (NRC) scientists were told this spring they need “pre-approval” from Minister Christian Paradis’ office to speak with journalists. Their “media lines” also need ministerial approval, say documents obtained by Postmedia News through access-to-information legislation.

The documents say the “new” rules went into force in March and reveal how they apply to not only to contentious issues including the oilsands, but benign subjects such as floods that occurred 13,000 years ago.

They also give a glimpse of how Canadians are being cut off from scientists whose work is financed by taxpayers, critics say, and is often of significant public interest — be it about fish stocks, genetically modified crops or mercury pollution in the Athabasca River.

“It’s Orwellian,” says Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at the University of Victoria. The public, he says, has a right to know what federal scientists are discovering and learning………

Environment Canada and Health Canada now tightly control media access to researchers and orchestrate interviews that are approved.

Environment Canada has even produced “media lines” for federal scientists to stick to when discussing climate studies they have coauthored with Weaver and are based on research paid for through his university grants.

“There is no question that there is an orchestrated campaign at the federal level to make sure that their scientists can’t communicate to the public about what they do,” says Weaver, adding that the crackdown is seriously undermining morale in federal labs. “Science is about generating new knowledge and communicating it to others.”

March 27, 2015 Posted by | Canada, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

U.S. news media coverage of the Fukushima disaster largely minimized health risks to the general population.

media-propagandaNews coverage of Fukushima disaster minimized health risks to general population http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311124202.htm March 11, 2015 Source: American University

 
Summary:
A new analysis finds that U.S. news media coverage of the Fukushima disaster largely minimized health risks to the general population. Researchers analyzed more than 2,000 news articles from four major U.S. outlets.
Four years after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the disaster no longer dominates U.S. news headlines, though the disabled plant continues to pour three tons of radioactive water into the ocean each day. Homes, schools and businesses in the Japanese prefecture are uninhabitable, and will likely be so forever. Yet the U.S. media has dropped the story while public risks remain.

A new analysis by American University sociology professor Celine Marie Pascale finds that U.S. news media coverage of the disaster largely minimized health risks to the general population. Pascale analyzed more than 2,000 news articles from four major U.S. outlets following the disaster’s occurrence March 11, 2011 through the second anniversary on March 11, 2013. Only 6 percent of the coverage — 129 articles — focused on health risks to the public in Japan or elsewhere. Human risks were framed, instead, in terms of workers in the disabled nuclear plant.

Disproportionate access

“It’s shocking to see how few articles discussed risk to the general population, and when they did, they typically characterized risk as low,” said Pascale, who studies the social construction of risk and meanings of risk in the 21st century. “We see articles in prestigious news outlets claiming that radioactivity from cosmic rays and rocks is more dangerous than the radiation emanating from the collapsing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.”

Pascale studied news articles, editorials, and letters from two newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times, and two nationally prominent online news sites, Politico and The Huffington Post. These four media outlets are not only among the most prominent in the United States, they are also among the most cited by television news and talk shows, by other newspapers and blogs and are often taken up in social media, Pascale said. In this sense, she added, understanding how risk is constructed in media gives insight into how national concerns and conversations get framed.

Pascale’s analysis identified three primary ways in which the news outlets minimized the risk posed by radioactive contamination to the general population. Articles made comparisons to mundane, low-level forms of radiation;defined the risks as unknowable, given the lack of long-term studies; and largely excluded concerns expressed by experts and residents who challenged the dominant narrative.

The research shows that corporations and government agencies had disproportionate access to framing the event in the media, Pascale says. Even years after the disaster, government and corporate spokespersons constituted the majority of voices published. News accounts about local impact — for example, parents organizing to protect their children from radiation in school lunches — were also scarce.

Globalization of risk

Pascale says her findings show the need for the public to be critical consumers of news; expert knowledge can be used to create misinformation and uncertainty — especially in the information vacuums that arise during disasters.

“The mainstream media — in print and online — did little to report on health risks to the general population or to challenge the narratives of public officials and their experts,” Pascale said. “Discourses of the risks surrounding disasters are political struggles to control the presence and meaning of events and their consequences. How knowledge about disasters is reported can have more to do with relations of power than it does with the material consequences to people’s lives.”

While it is clear that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown was a consequence of an earthquake and tsunami, like all disasters, it was also the result of political, economic and social choices that created or exacerbated broad-scale risks. In the 21st century, there’s an increasing “globalization of risk,” Pascale argues. Major disasters have potentially large-scale and long-term consequences for people, environments, and economies.

“People’s understanding of disasters will continue to be constructed by media. How media members frame the presence of risk and the nature of disaster matters,” she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American University. The original article was written by Rebecca Basu. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

March 13, 2015 Posted by | media, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby hype shows that the industry is desperate

The nuclear industry’s sense of desperation is palpable. Activists need to understand what the industry obviously knows: it’s in serious trouble. This is our time to really join together, ramp  up our efforts, and kick more of these reactors over the edge; they’re already teetering. They’re dangerous, they can’t provide cost-effective electricity, they don’t have a solution to their radioactive waste and they exist now only because they were built decades ago and the utilities want to milk them for everything they can before they surrender to the inevitable and have to begin spending huge sums of money again–but this time it won’t be to build new reactors, it will be to decommission their dinosaurs. 

news-nukeYou know the nuclear industry is desperate whenMichael Mariotte Greenworld  April 1, 2014 You know the nuclear power industry is getting desperate when it solicits its CEOs to start piling on ghost-written op-eds in publications chosen for their reach to key audiences. And you know the industry is really desperate when it brings out big guns like a couple of paid-for former U.S. Senators to support nuclear power in The Hill newspaper, which, as its name implies, is aimed at current legislators. And you know the industry is super desperate when it pulls out none other than Rudy Giuliani, who continues stuffing his wallet with nuclear-powered green. Continue reading

March 1, 2015 Posted by | media, USA | 1 Comment

A Canadian plea for ethical government, media integrity and true science

see-no-evilflag-canadaNot In Our Name, Kickstarter 1 March 15  by Chris Hill A film telling how a nation went to war against its own veterans and scientists, and kept its head in the tar sands on climate change.

About this project How many wrong decisions can one nation endure? Every
week there’s a new story that shows a shocking lack in judgment or ethics on the part of the government. It’s open season on the environment, on science, on the rights of veterans, and it shames us all.

Media in disarray  Cuts to investigative journalism by most media outlets (including Canada’s CBC, which has been decimated by recent government funding cuts) are allowing many stories to remain under-covered, or untold altogether.

Media consolidation has meant there are fewer voices reporting, with ever-tightening restrictions on what they can say. This is a critical threat to democracy, and it’s the principal motivation for this film. Independent voices must pick up the slack.

Science Abandoned The Canadian tradition of being at the forefront of scientific research and innovation, critical to the nation’s prosperity, has been all but abandoned. The Harper government has pulled the plug on any science that doesn’t conform to its specific oil and gas agenda, and it has effectively muzzled scientists by forbidding them from speaking out to the press.

Critical programs that monitored the melting arctic, smoke stack emissions, food inspections, water quality, oil spills and climate change have been systematically dismantled.

Hundreds of the world’s scientists have written an open letter to the Harper government, voicing concerns over the inability to conduct basic research environmental and health issues, and other areas of science that should contribute to the public good.

It is a frivolous waste of taxpayers’ dollars to fund research only to have it repressed, causing decisions to be made without adequate data and information. This puts our citizens at risk, as it leaves us flying blind amid the dangers of increasing pollution and climate change.and other environmental hazards.

Our tradition of scientific prowess and innovation has been flushed down the toilet because of what scientific research is revealing — the effects of our own country’s destructive policies……..

“Not in Our Name”: the film

“Not in Our Name” (NION) will explore the axis of Industry, Media, and Government, which prioritizes corporate interests over the people’s. The film will show how similar tactics are being employed in the US, Britain, Australia…leaders administering the instructions of the multinational corporations who bought them. They count the profits while we, society and the environment count the cost.

If we don’t vigorously confront their stranglehold on our governments, we will have forever crossed the Rubicon, and there will be no turning back. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1916096034/not-in-our-name

March 1, 2015 Posted by | Canada, media | Leave a comment

Renewable energy for South Africa – not the cost, secrecy, corruption that goes with nuclear and coal

Next comes nuclear. The cost of $100 billion for 9 600 new MW of power – a guestimate at this stage – does not include ongoing expenses for uranium, transport and permanent safe storage. Illustrating the financial risk, the main French company bidding for SA’s attention is Areva, the world’s largest nuke builder – a company facing potential bankruptcy after its credit rating was cut to junk status in November.

Another huge risk is obvious: corruption

Instead of endorsing nuclear-powered corruption, the moment is surely nearing for the state’s phase-out of subsidised energy to foreign corporations? The capital-intensive, high-energy guzzling firms need to be replaced by civil society’s low-energy, high-employment ‘Million Climate Jobs’ campaign alternatives
 South Africa: Keep South Africa’s Lights On With Renewable Energy – or Irradiate a Darkened Nation All Africa, By Patrick Bond, 20 Feb 15 

After an explosive start to his State of the Nation Address last week, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma turned to nuclear, coal, fracking and offshore drilling projects – but what about the country’s free sunshine, wind and tides?

Last Thursday night in Cape Town’s Parliament hall, South Africa’s newest and cheekiest political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), fought gamely but lost their two-dozen seats for the evening. They were expelled during the State of the Nation speech when making what they termed a ‘point of order': asking whether President Jacob Zuma would ‘pay back the money’ (about $20 million) that the state illegitimately spent on upgrading his rural mansion. As police ushered them out with extreme force, seven were hospitalised, one with a broken jaw.

The society only saw the fracas on journalists’ cellphones later, because the SABC public broadcaster refused to screen the floor, panning only a small area where the Parliamentary leadership were gesticulating for police action. Showing surprising technical prowess but extremely weak political judgment, Zuma’s security officials had jammed cellphone and Wifi signals in the hall just before the event began, creating outrage by opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) and journalists alike. The centre-right Democratic Alliance then walked out in protest against armed police having cleared out the EFF MPs.

The dust settled 45 minutes later, with Zuma chortling and African National Congress (ANC) MPs cheering, and most observers sickened by the spectacle. Still, much more important news would follow, though in the dull tone that Zuma reserves for formal speeches. Given the country’s fury at electricity load-shedding – near daily outages of 2-4 hours – many were relieved that a substantial 14 percent of Zuma’s talk was dedicated to this theme: ‘We are doing everything we can to resolve the energy challenge.’

Listen more closely, though. Aside from building three huge coal-fired power plants, two of which are mired in construction crises, the other long-term supply strategy, accounting for one in six of his words on energy, is nuclear. By 2030 a fleet of reactors is meant to provide 9600 MW. Today we have 42 000 MW installed, of which 39 000 comes from coal. But the economy uses just 30 000 at peak. What with so much capacity unavailable, load-shedding is set to continue for at least the next three years.

To truly ‘resolve’, not defer, the challenge will require a huge roll-out of public investment. ………….

Next comes nuclear. The cost of $100 billion for 9 600 new MW of power – a guestimate at this stage – does not include ongoing expenses for uranium, transport and permanent safe storage. Illustrating the financial risk, the main French company bidding for SA’s attention is Areva, the world’s largest nuke builder – a company facing potential bankruptcy after its credit rating was cut to junk status in November.

Another huge risk is obvious: corruption. Last Thursday, Zuma proclaimed ‘a fair, transparent, and competitive procurement process to select a strategic partner or partners to undertake the nuclear build programme.’ Hmmmm. Replies Moulana Riaz Simjee of the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, ‘This nuclear deal poses an enormous corruption risk. It is happening in secret and will make the arms deal look like a walk in the park.’

With prescient timing, the Mail&Guardian last week exposed a Moscow foreign ministry website which provides details about the extent of the nuclear deal that Zuma had already cut with Vladimir Putin six months ago. The contract indemnifies Russian suppliers from any nuclear accident liabilities and gives ‘special favourable treatment’ for taxes.

A durable concern with nuclear energy is safety because three of the world’s most technically advanced countries – Japan, Russia and the US – conclusively demonstrated its catastrophic danger at Fukushima (2011), Chernobyl (1996) and Three Mile Island (1979)……..

Greenpeace continues vibrant anti-nuke protests, this month bringing the ship Rainbow Warrior to local ports and last week, once again unveiling its opponents’ security lapses by disrupting the opening session of Cape Town’s 2nd Nuclear Industry Congress Africa with a banner hang declaring, ‘Nuclear investments cost the earth.’

 Other civil society activists work hard against nuclear: to name a few, the National Union of Mineworkers’ Sibusiso Mimi, Mike Kantey from the Coalition against Nuclear Energy and, in Jeffreys Bay where one of the world’s greatest surf waves is threatened by a proposed power plant, Trudy Malan from the Thyspunt Alliance.

Such citizen advocacy helped halt South Africa’s zany Pebble Bed nuclear experiments, in which a generator was meant to be collapsed on top of pebble storage units after its life span, saving storage costs. But regrettably $1.5 billion of taxpayer funding was wasted, mostly under Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s nose (his successor Pravin Gordhan pulled the plug)……….

We really don’t need this risky behaviour. In three years from 2013-15, at least 2500 MW of renewable energy capacity will have been constructed in South Africa. According to Simjee, ‘Eskom itself has completed the construction of the Sere Wind Farm, which is already delivering 100 megawatts to the grid, well ahead of its intended launch in March this year.’ Sere’s cost is just $2.3 million/MW, far below all competitors, with no operating expenses aside from occasional maintenance.

These are supply-side enhancements, and will take time. For more rapid relief, on the demand side it appears Eskom is overdue in addressing wastage by the minerals and smelting corporations. The Energy Intensive Users Group’s 31 members use 44% of our electricity, and their Resource Curse has diminished the integrity of South African politics, economics, society, public health and environment.

Instead of endorsing nuclear-powered corruption, the moment is surely nearing for the state’s phase-out of subsidised energy to foreign corporations? The capital-intensive, high-energy guzzling firms need to be replaced by civil society’s low-energy, high-employment ‘Million Climate Jobs’ campaign alternatives…………..

for those aiming to breed a herd of nuclear White Elephants in coming years, maybe the opening theatrics before Zuma’s speech can resonate; maybe the EFF’s insistent call to, ‘pay back the money’, will prove a deterrent to those with nuclear fantasies.

Prof Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society in Durban. http://allafrica.com/stories/201502201281.html

February 21, 2015 Posted by | media, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

UK: Establishment pressure on the Press

Interception Commissioner: 82 journalists’ phone records grabbed by police in three years, judicial oversight needed, Press Gazette  William Turvill 04 February 2015 Some 82 journalists have had their communications data obtained by police under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in three years, the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office has found.

And the IOCCO has said forces should require judicial approval to do so in the future.

The report, which was partly prompted by the Press Gazette Save Our Sources campaign, reveals that in the last three years 608 RIPA applications have been made by forces for communications data to find journalistic sources……..

The RIPA scandal broke in September, when Press Gazette was the first news outlet to report that The Sun’s phone records had been targeted by the Met Police as part of Operation Alice into Plebgate.

Since then, it has emerged that two more Sun journalists had their phone records obtained by the Met under Operation Alice.

In addition, Kent/Essex Police has admitted to using RIPA to find a Mail on Sunday source, and Press Gazette has revealed how Suffolk, Thames Valley and Cleveland forces have also used the act to find journalistic sources.

Last month, Press Gazette co-ordinated a letter sent to the Prime Minister stating that the Home Office’s draft RIPA code was not acceptable. It was signed by every UK national newspaper editor.

More then 1,500 people have signed the Press Gazette Save Our Sources petition calling for judicial oversight of police requests to view journalists’ call records.

Sir Anthony May, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, said: “In October 2014 due to the serious nature of the concerns reported in the media about the protection of journalistic sources, and the allegations that the police had misused their powers under Chapter 2 of Part 1 of RIPA to acquire communications data the Rt Hon.

“Sir Paul Kennedy, who was at the time acting as interim Commissioner, considered it necessary to launch this inquiry and make an additional report to the Prime Minister……

“I am very pleased to be able to publish our inquiry report today and I hope that Parliament and the public will find it helpful.

“Our report sets out the extent to which these powers have been used by police forces to identify journalistic sources, examines the appropriateness of the use of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of RIPA for this purpose, and makes recommendations to ensure adequate safeguards are provided to protect journalistic sources.”

The full report can be read here. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/interception-commissioner-82-journalists-phone-records-targeted-police-three-years-forces-should

February 13, 2015 Posted by | media, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation is causing nosebleeds -Manga artist

Manga artist claims again Fukushima radiation is causing nosebleeds, Japan Times,  Tetsu Kariya, author of the gourmet manga “Oishinbo,” says in the series’ latest edition that radiation is so high in Fukushima Prefecture it is causing nosebleeds among local residents.

Manga-nosebleed

The theme echoes one in a previous story that critics panned when Kariya had the main character suffer a nosebleed after visiting the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The controversial episodes ran in Shogakukan Inc.’s Big Comic Spirits magazine last May. But when the manga was compiled into book form, critical passages, including one linking nosebleeds and radiation exposure, were watered down.

In his latest book, published by Yugensha, Kariya questions the Environment Ministry’s assertion that radiation is unlikely to be causing nosebleeds locally. He cites surveys that found that “many people” have been suffering nosebleeds in the prefecture…..http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/02/national/manga-artist-claims-again-fukushima-radiation-is-causing-nosebleeds/#.VNF_0tKUcnk

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, health, Japan, media | 1 Comment

USA propaganda system destroys democracy

media-propagandaHOW PROPAGANDA CONQUERS DEMOCRACY, bigOfeature  Nicolas JS Davies January 25, 2015 In recent decades, the US propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public. By Nicolas JS Davies.

Do we live in a country where citizens are critically informed on the issues of the day by media that operate independently of the government? Or do our political leaders deliberately plant a false view of events and issues in the mind of the public that complicit media then broadcast and amplify to generate public consent for government policy?

This is a basic test of democracy for the citizens of any country. But the very nature of modern propaganda systems is that they masquerade as independent while functioning as the opposite, so the question is not as straightforward as it seems.

In Democracy Incorporated; Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, political scientist Sheldon Wolin examined how America’s “managed democracy” has devolved into “inverted totalitarianism,” concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a small ruling class more efficiently and sustainably than 20th Century “classical totalitarianism” ever succeeded in doing.

Instead of sweeping away the structures of constitutional government like the Fascists, Nazis or Soviets, this “political coming-of-age of corporate power” has more cleverly preserved and co-opted nominally democratic institutions and adapted them to its own purposes.

Self-serving politicians and parties compete for funding in election campaigns run by the advertising industry, to give political investors the most corrupt President, administration and Congress that money can buy, while courts uphold new corporate and plutocratic political rights to ward off challenges to the closed circle of wealth and political power.

Oligarchic corporate control of the media is a critical element in this dystopian system. Under the genius of inverted totalitarianism, a confluence of corrupt interests has built a more effective and durable propaganda system than direct government control has ever achieved.

The editor or media executive who amplifies government and corporate propaganda and suppresses alternative narratives is not generally doing so on orders from the government, but in the interest of his own career, his company’s success in the corporate oligarchy or “marketplace,” and his responsibility not to provide a platform for radical or “irrelevant” ideas.

In this context, a common pattern in five recent cases illustrates how the U.S. government and media systematically deceive the public on critical foreign policy issues, to generate public hostility toward foreign governments and to suppress domestic opposition to economic sanctions and to the threat and use of military force.

1. Non-Existent WMDs in Iraq. ……..

Calling out foreign nations on weak evidence is an essential core element of US propaganda strategy. US officials quickly and loudly establish the narrative they want the public to believe, and leave it to the echo chamber of the complicit US media system to do the rest.

2. Non-Existent WMDs in Iran. …….

US officials believe they can win a global propaganda war, much as they think they won the Cold War. But they seem to be losing the global struggle for hearts and minds… As the lies that clothe our emperor and our empire become ever more transparent, Americans are inevitably growing more skeptical than ever of politicians and the media.

3. Sarin Attack at Ghouta in Syria. ……
4. Who shot down Malaysian Airlines MH 17? ………
Note: Nicolas JS Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. Davies also wrote the chapter on “Obama At War” for the book, Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader. The above article was posted at Information Clearing House.     http://bigozine2.com/feature/

January 26, 2015 Posted by | media, politics, USA | Leave a comment

A Charlie Hedron review of A Stage Play about France’s Nuclear History

book-avenir-radieuxWe must keep in mind that all the words chosen by Nicolas Lambert were actually spoken. This is an element of the play that gives the performance its considerable impact.

Nicolas Lambert prepared this play about nuclear for seven years, poring over heaps of articles and books, visiting nuclear power plants, attending public debates on the EPR reactor proposed for Penly, meeting union leaders, intermediaries, militants, corporate spokespersons for Areva and EDF—and then March 11, 2011: Fukushima.

A Radiant Future: A Stage Play about France’s Nuclear History Nuclear Free by 2045? By Dennis 15 Jan 15, (translation by Dennis) Two months before Charlie Hebdo became a famous name, I came across a youtube video of the French actor Nicolas Lambert performing his play Avenir Radieux (A Radiant Future). It was just a short clip, and it seems no other video recording was made of it, but I was intrigued. I ordered the book, read it, then contacted the publisher to ask if I could take it on as a translation project. The translation will be finished soon, so this is some advance publicity for the English edition. I’m not an agent for the publisher, but if someone out there in the publishing world is interested, they can contact me and I will put them in touch with the publisher (Editions L’Echappée, Paris) or the author. Part 1 is a review that appeared in Charlie Hebdo’s special nuclear edition in 2012, written by one of the persons injured in the January 7th shootings. Part 2 is the promotional blurb from the French edition.

Part 1
Review of A Radiant Future   translated from French published in The Nuclear Swindle (L’Escroquerie Nucléaire), special edition of Charlie Hebdo, September 2012.

The Seditious Theater of Nicolas Lambert  by Fabrice Nicolino

Nicolas Lambert invented a new genre that could be called investigative theater. In A Radiant Future: A French Fission he lights up the nuclear lobby while keeping the audience laughing……… Continue reading

January 17, 2015 Posted by | France, media | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear allies: the terrorist victims cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo

Slain cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were allies of anti-nuclear movement http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2015/1/8/slain-cartoonists-at-charlie-hebdo-were-allies-of-anti-nucle.html We pause today to remember those slain at the French satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo. Several of the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdowere close allies of the French anti-nuclear movement, even providing cartoons to the French anti-nuclear network, “Sortir du nucléaire.”

Stéphane Charbonnier, its editor in chief, drew many cartoons lampooning the nuclear industry. (One Charlie-Hebdo-2
example is pictured at right. It reads: “What could one do without nuclear? Live.”) Charb, as he was known by his pen name, participated in opposition to both nuclear power and nuclear weapons. He was among the 12 killed.
Charlie-Hebdo-1Another Hebdostaffer, Fabrice Nicolino, who was wounded but we are told will survive, was the author of the brilliant special edition of Charlie Hebdo focusing on nuclear power and called The Nuclear Swindle (cover pictured left). In it, Nicolino, an author and environmental journalist, pointed out that nuclear power is a hold-up, with democracy as the spoils. The assassination of the 12 people atCharlie Hebdo, and the injuring of others, was also an assault on democracy. Tens of thousands rallied the same night in Paris and elsewhere, holding vigil for the victims and for freedom

January 14, 2015 Posted by | France, media | Leave a comment

Nuclear Free by 2045? – pays tribute to Charlie Hebdo’s anti nuclear stand

http://nf2045.blogspot.jp/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-special-nuclear-swindle.html 12 Jan 15  As the French nation prepares for a massive rally in support of liberty and free speech in the wake of the January 7th murders, certain ironies cannot escape attention.

The entire political establishment will be out for this rally, yet they were all targets in the past of Charlie Hebdo’s pointed satire. Some of them voiced disgust and disdain when they were the targets, or they showed no interest in fixing the problems exposed in the journal. Good for them, I suppose, if they are now ready take criticism more seriously and pay free speech and democracy more regard.

Just in case anyone gets the impression that Charlie Hebdo did only crude satirical cartoons about religion, let’s remember that these jokers had the courage to take on all sacred cows, even the ones with Iodine 131 and Strontium 90 in their milk.

Below is the cover page of Charlie Hebdo’s special nuclear issue from 2012. The French original of the cover page and accompanying text is here.  –(pictures are at sidebar on right of this Antinuclear page) 
The full issue does not appear to be available in digital format.

The Nuclear Swindle: 70 Years of French Atomic Radiation

Charlie Hebdo Responds to Montebourg* Special Edition of Charlie Hebdo, September 2012

January 12, 2015 Posted by | France, media | Leave a comment

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