News Briefs – March 15, 2011
Amber Sandlin / Sun Star Reporter
March 15, 2011
Japan nuclear emergency
On Friday, March 11, the Japanese government declared a nuclear emergency at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station after the reactor’s cooling system failed. The government ordered thousands of people living within 6 miles of the plant to evacuate. The plants automatically shut down when an earthquake strikes, but the radioactive material continues to decompose and create heat.
Source: USA Today
UniSea to pay $1.9 million
One of Alaska’s largest seafood processors, UniSea Inc., will pay $1.9 million in penalties and cleanup costs for discharging ammonia and other waste from its plant in Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian chain. On Thursday, March 10, UniSea agreed to the fine to settle allegations that it violated federal and state environmental laws. In 2005, the government claimed UniSea discharged pollutants from its Dutch Harbor facility into surrounding waters, without government approval or notification.
Source: Anchorage Daily News
Wisconsin Protests Escalate
Protests in Madison, Wis., escalated Wednesday, March 9, as state senate Republicans voted to cut nearly all collective bargaining rights for public workers, using a technicality that allows them to vote without the Democrats as long as any fiscal measures were removed from the new bill. An estimated 7,000 activists protested the surprise measure that passed on an 18-1 vote. Republican Gov. Scott Walker called the GOP vote “a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government.”
Source: CBS News
Beirut to arms
On Friday, March 11, a political program called for putting an end to non-state weapons and the supremacy of Hezbollah’s power over Lebanon. It stressed that the state should have control over weapons and defending Lebanon against any attacks, in a move apparently aimed at denying Hezbollah the freedom to use its arsenal at will. Lebanon fought Israeli occupation forces in south Lebanon from 1982 until 2000, and the document rejected the argument that defending Lebanon against a possible Israeli attack was the responsibility of one party.
Source: Daily Star