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Radioactive Substances Found in Breast Milk of 5 Japanese Women

—Safety levels of radioactive substances in breast milk have not been set by Japanese government.

May 19, 2011—“Small” amounts of radioactive substances have been detected in the breast milk of five women in Japan, online newspaper Japan Today reported Thursday, citing a study by a citizen’s group. Taking samples from 41 women across five prefectures, the tests found cesium in the breast milk of four women in Tokyo, Fukushima and Ibaraki, and radioactive iodine in the breast milk of a woman in Fukushima.

Japan’s Fukushima Reactor May Have Leaked Radiation Before Tsunami Struck

May 19, 2011—A radiation alarm went off at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima nuclear power plant before the tsunami hit on March 11, suggesting that contrary to earlier assumptions the reactors were damaged by the earthquake that spawned the wall of water. A monitoring post on the perimeter of the plant about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the No. 1 reactor went off at 3:29 p.m., minutes before the station was overwhelmed by the tsunami that knocked out backup power that kept reactor cooling systems running, according to documents supplied by the company. The monitor was set to go off at high levels of radiation, an official said.

Strauss-Kahn forced to wear prison “suicide smock,” also worn by Guantanamo prisoners

May 19, 2011—Bleary-eyed, unshaven and forced to wear a blue anti-suicide smock, this is Dominique Strauss-Kahn pictured in jail ahead of his bail hearing. The former head of the International Monetary Fund had to give up his expensive suit for the unflattering one-piece during his stay in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison. Suicide smocks—also worn by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay—are usually made from nylon Cordura, a hard-wearing synthetic material which is ten times tougher than a pair of Levi’s jeans.

Police open fire to disperse more protests in north Afghanistan

May 19, 2011—Protesters spilled into northern Afghan streets on Thursday, a day after at least 14 people were killed and scores wounded in wild protests that underscored deep tensions between Afghans and foreign troops. The second day of outcry came as the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said some of its troops had fired during protests on Wednesday, during which at least 80 people were also wounded… The protests were sparked by a disputed “night raid” by Afghan and NATO troops late on Tuesday in which four people were killed, including two women.

Oops. Bomb at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was only a drill

May 18, 2011—With their guns drawn, police surrounded a man who reportedly was trying to get through security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with a bomb in a carry-on bag. It was a drill, but the trouble was no one had told the cops, who thought it was real. The routine drill conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began about 2:40 p.m. last Thursday, when a man with a fake bomb in his bag attempted to get through the security at checkpoint 2, Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airport Commission, said.

U.S. Inspector General to Investigate “Secure Communities” Program

May 19, 2011—The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General will be conducting an investigation next year of a controversial federal program that requires local law enforcement to run information of people they detain through an immigration database. In a May 10 letter to California Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D), who has expressed concerns about the program, which is called Secure Communities, acting Inspector General Charles K. Edwards said he was planning a review “to determine the extent to which ICE uses the program to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens from the United States.”

Israeli PM Netanyahu rejects Obama “1967 borders” view

May 19, 2011—Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected comments from U.S. President Obama that a future Palestinian state must be based on the 1967 borders. In a major speech to the State Department, Mr. Obama said “mutually agreed swaps” would help create “a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel.” But Mr Netanyahu said those borders, which existed before the 1967 Middle East war, were “indefensible.” Mr Netanyahu is preparing to meet Mr. Obama for talks at the White House.

Canada to provide additional radar data to U.S. on border security

May 17, 2011—Canada will contribute to American efforts to better patrol its northern border by providing information from 22 Canadian radar feeds starting in November, a U.S. Senate hearing was told Tuesday. Canada will provide the additional radar data to a California agency that monitors air traffic along the Canada-U.S. border. The purpose of the surveillance is to nab not just drug smugglers, but anyone illegally entering the United States, said Alan Bersin, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Israel OK’s over 1,500 new settler units

May 19, 2011—Israel’s Interior Ministry Planning Committee has given the final approval for construction of 620 settlement units in Pisgat Zeev in northeastern Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and another 900 in Har Homa in the south of the city. The plan was approved on Thursday just hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to leave for Washington, where he is to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on Friday.

Lawmakers Agree to Patriot Act With No Oversight Revisions

May 19, 2011—Congressional leaders reached a deal Thursday to extend the Patriot Act, the set of antiterrorism laws passed in the wake of Sept. 11, with no oversight revisions, leadership aides in both parties said. The plan would extend the law until June 2015. The most controversial elements of the antiterrorism law were set to expire May 27. The provisions give law enforcement access to troves of personal information, including business and library records, so long as a judge approves. They also let officials keep wiretaps on terrorism suspects who change numbers and permit surveillance of foreign terrorism suspects who appear to be acting on their own.

Senate GOP filibusters Goodwin Liu

May 19, 2011—Senate Republicans staged the first successful filibuster of a judicial nominee since 2005 on Thursday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration on the long-stalled nomination of Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The final vote was 52-43, eight votes shy of the 60 needed to overcome the filibuster. Only one Republican joined Democrats in supporting Liu and only one Democrat voted “no” to opening debate on the 39-year-old University of California, Berkeley professor’s nomination.

Copyright 2011 Citizens For Legitimate Government


This link roundup originally appeared at

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  Tom Engelhardt: Bored to Death in Afghanistan (and Washington): Mating Déjà Vu with a Mobius Strip in the Graveyard of Empire: If nobody told you otherwise, you could easily believe that almost every breaking Afghan story in the last four weeks came from some previous year of the war. More
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  Rob Boston: 10 Great Things About America That Drive Conservatives and the Religious Right Insane: Religious Right groups and their frequent allies in the Tea Party talk a good line about respecting American values, but much would change if they had their way. More


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