News Briefs – March 22, 2011

Amber Sandlin / Sun Star Reporter
March 22, 2011

Alaska population tops 700,000

According to the 2010 United States Census, Alaska’s population has risen to more than 700,000 people. This marks an increase of roughly 80,000 people in a 10-year period. The Fairbanks North Star Borough population now stands at slightly less than 100,000.

Source: The United States Census Bureau

Japanese companies hid nuclear problems

On Thursday, March 17, news that the Japanese power companies potentially knew the reactors were unstable was released. Five TEPCO executives resigned in 2002 over suspected falsification of nuclear plant safety records. Five reactors were forced to stop operations. Leaks of radioactive steam and workers contaminated with radiation are just part of the disturbing catalogue of accidents that have occurred over the years and been belatedly reported to the public, if at all.

Source: The Associated Press

Temporary spending deal to be voted on

The House voted to approve a stopgap spending bill on Tuesday, March 15. The bill would fund the federal government for another three weeks. Although both political parties are arguing about a new budget, the House is set to vote Tuesday, March 22 on the newest stop-gap proposal. This would fund the government for an additional three weeks while cutting another $6 billion from the budget. If tension keeps building and neither side comes to an agreement, it could derail efforts to keep the government funded. A government shutdown would halt the flow of money to federal agencies.

Source: LA Times

Alaska Legislature considers banning ‘robocalls’

Automated phone calls, nicknamed “robocalls,” are often used in political campaigns. They would be banned under a proposal being considered by an Alaska Senate committee. Senate Majority Leader Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, claims thousands of unsolicited calls were made to Alaskans in last fall’s elections. Meyer said with social networking and e-mail, invading someone’s privacy in their home is not necessary. The bill also would ban automated calls offering goods or services for sale, soliciting information or gathering data.

Source: Anchorage Daily News

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