Friday, August 10, 2012

PNN - Show Notes for 8/12 w/ Progressive Journalists


PNN 8-12-12 - Our Guests and some of the stories we'll be discussing


Luis Cuevas - 7:10pm
Gwen Barry - 7:20pm
Susan Nilon - 7:30pm
Brian Stettan -7:40pm
Emine Dilek - 7:50pm
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Aug 18th Women's March on DC

August 24th at 10:00am - Women’s Equality Day Event is going to be at FAU  
 Any activist organization interested contact me (Meredith Ockman) at President@pbcnow.org.  

Sunday August 26th - Defend Women’s Rights - in LA, SF, NYC, Chicago & elsewhere

August 30th 
WAR vs HUMAN NEEDS - 6 p.m. Bring-a-Dish,  Eat, Socialize
7 p.m. - Legislative work for peace and human needs, Community Education on National Priorities, Discussions, 
January session with Judith LeBlanc, national Peace Action Field  Coordinator, your initiatives.
At Benders in Deerfield Beach. 
Please (re)confirm your attendance, preferably the end of the prior week, August 24. 
If you’re bringing a dish (for 5?)– what is it?  
Will send out details – menu  and directions,  Monday, Aug 27. 
MUST HAVE LIST OF ATTENDEES FOR ENTRANCE TO GATED COMMUNITY.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012   -   from 11:00 to 5:00 pm
Register Now- Progressive Fest in Melbourne
Progressive Fest: Communities in Action
Eau Gallie Civic Center 
1551 Highland Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32935


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0. racial impact republican voter suppression
Suppression of black voters in Florida:  Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer admitted that the party had meetings about “keeping blacks from voting,” in other words, voter suppression. Salon has an in-depth commentary on the alleged black voter suppression:

1. (11) state constitutional amendments struggle for voter attention
The Republican-dominated Legislature put a total of 11 constitutional amendments on the Nov. 8 ballot. If approved by 60 percent of those voting, they would scale back abortions; allow state aid to religious and parochial schools; and attempt to ban implementation of President Barack Obama's health-care law in Florida.
Five — Amendments 2, 4, 9, 10 and 11 — would give bigger tax breaks to first-time homebuyers, seniors living in a home for 25 years or more, surviving spouses of military veterans or first responders, and companies purchasing equipment.
But with the airwaves dominated by presidential and U.S. Senate races, congressional and legislative contests, and Super PACs, everyone from Planned Parenthood to the Roman Catholic Church to Realtors and even mighty corporations such as Florida Power & Light are struggling to compete.
So far, nearly a dozen political committees formed to advocate for or against particular amendments have amassed more than $1.8 million to be spent persuading voters.
But to put that total in perspective, Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, along with their Super-PAC surrogates, have spent more than $6.5 million on ads in Central Florida alone since May — with more millions planned. And a group called Defend Justice From Politics — supporting the merit-retention elections of Florida Supreme Court Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince — has reserved more than $528,000 in Orlando airtime this fall. That alone is likely more than any of the ballot initiative campaigns would be able to buy.
"That's a real problem. The air is going to be sucked out by the presidential and senatorial elections. These amendments could affect Florida for generations," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which is recruiting teachers, unions and religious groups to oppose Amendment 8. They've raised $80,000 through a Vote No Committee.
That amendment strikes a constitutional ban on funding for "sectarian" schools and adds new language prohibiting the government from denying "benefits of any program, funding, or other support" because of religious identity or belief.
Although it's called the "Religious Freedom" amendment, the ACLU and others say it would open the floodgates for taxpayer funding of religious social programs and schools.
The amendment's backers have raised $105,000 so far through a political committee called Citizens for Religious Freedom & Non-Discrimination; the money has come from Orlando-based Florida Family Action, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic dioceses in Miami, St. Petersburg, Pensacola and Orlando.
Critics say the amendment was carefully crafted by lawmakers and lobbyists to be an easy sell with voters.
"Well-meaning people will go to the polls and say 'Well, religious freedom. Who doesn't support that?' " Simon said. "It's an uphill battle because the Legislature did such a good job in trying to trick people."

2. FISA
In the wake of the program's exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. What wasn't revealed until now, however, was the enormity of this ongoing domestic spying program.
For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail...
As chief and one of the two cofounders of the agency's Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, [William] Binney and his team designed much of the infrastructure that's still likely used to intercept international and foreign communications. He explains that the agency could have installed its tapping gear at the nation's cable landing stations—the more than two dozen sites on the periphery of the US where fiber-optic cables come ashore.
If it had taken that route, the NSA would have been able to limit its eavesdropping to just international communications, which at the time was all that was allowed under US law.
Instead it chose to put the wiretapping rooms at key junction points throughout the country... thus gaining access to not just international communications but also to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the US. The network of intercept stations goes far beyond the single room in an AT&T building in San Francisco exposed by a whistle-blower in 2006. "I think there's 10 to 20 of them," Binney says... The eavesdropping on Americans doesn't stop at the telecom switches. To capture satellite communications in and out of the US, the agency also monitors AT&T's powerful earth stations...
... Binney suggested a system for monitoring people's communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you're just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything..."
To learn more, I highly recommend reading the featured Wired article5 in its entirety. It's a fascinating read, but it will not likely make you sleep better at night. The full article is available on their website and is free to view. 

Google Also in the Privacy News
Beginning the first week of June, Google will warn you every time it picks up activity on your computer account that looks suspiciously like someone trying to monitor your computer activities. Google won't say how it figured out that state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer. But it's promised to let you know if it thinks Big Brother is tuned in to what you're doing.
As recently reported on the New York Times' blog6, the warning will pop up at the top of your Gmail inbox, Google home page, or Chrome browser, stating:
 "Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer."
According to a Google blog post by Eric Grosse, VP of Security Engineering at Google7:
"If you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked. It just means that we believe you may be a target, of phishing or malware for example, and that you should take immediate steps to secure your account.



3. Anxiety of the TEPCO Variety
from the Laramie Boomarang
A growing number of Japanese workers who are risking their health to shut down the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are suffering from depression, anxiety about the future and a loss of motivation, say two doctors who visit them regularly.

But their psychological problems are driven less by fears about developing cancer from radiation exposure and more by something immediate and personal: Discrimination from the very community they tried to protect, says Jun Shigemura, who heads a volunteer team of about ten psychiatrists and psychologists from the National Defense Medical College who meet with Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear plant employees.

They tell therapists they have been harangued by residents displaced in Japan's nuclear disaster and threatened with signs on their doors telling them to leave. Some of their children have been taunted at school, and prospective landlords have turned them away.

"They have become targets of people's anger," Shigemura told The Associated Press.

TEPCO workers _ in their readily identifiable blue uniforms _ were once considered to be among the elite in this rural area 230 kilometers (140 kilometers) north of Tokyo. But after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima plant, residents came to view them as "perpetrators," Shigemura said.

Many TEPCO families in the area now hide their link to the company for fear of criticism, local doctors and psychiatrists say.

Shigemura likens the workers' experience to that of U.S. Vietnam veterans returning home to hostility in the 1960s and early `70s.

"They both worked for (the good of) their countries, but they got a backlash," he said.

About a dozen nuclear workers approached by the AP declined to be interviewed for this report. Except in rare cases, TEPCO has repeatedly declined requests to interview workers, and the workers themselves have shunned virtually all media attention, so these doctors' accounts provide an unusual glimpse into their lives.

One former TEPCO employee who lived in the town of Tomioka, inside the 20-kilometer (15-mile) exclusion zone around the plant, told journalists during a rare visit to the Fukushima plant in February that she was frequently harassed by evacuees among the 100,000 displaced by the disaster.

"Many people who want to go home are getting frustrated and they often yell at me, `How are you going to make it up to us?'" said Saori Kanesaki, a former visitor guide at the Fukushima plant.

More than a half-century ago, many Japanese survivors of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were stigmatized due to fears about their exposure to radiation. But the Fukushima disaster has thrown up a completely new kind of discrimination because of the workers' links to TEPCO, a company widely despised throughout Japan for its mishandling of the disaster.

Some 3,000 TEPCO employees and other contractors continue to labor daily at the plant in one of the world's riskiest jobs _ keeping three melted-down reactor cores as well as spent fuel pools cool through a makeshift system of water pipes.

They face a long haul: Removing the fuel and completely shutting down the plant could take 40 years.

Worries about radiation exposure aren't overwhelmingly prevalent among the TEPCO workers, both doctors say, although some workers are concerned, especially those with higher exposure counts. During the crisis, authorities raised the maximum radiation exposure limit to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts. Six TEPCO workers surpassed that level, and were removed from work at the plant. That exposure level was lowered again in December to 50 millisieverts, with an exception allowing up to 100 millisieverts in emergencies.

In addition to the discrimination, the TEPCO nuclear workers, who are specially trained, are anxious that they will be transferred to a completely different kind of job, such as clerical work, if they should surpass the exposure limit, the doctors say.

"More than health risk, they are worried about social risk and employment risk," said Takeshi Tanigawa, an epidemiologist with Ehime University's medical school who visited the plant after the disaster and was the one of the first to report its harsh working conditions, which have since improved. He has been back 15 times since, and Shigemura later volunteered to join him.

The two doctors report that they are not aware of any case of radiation sickness or radiation burns among the workers, who undergo regular checks for radiation levels in their bodies.

A brief report on their experience visiting the Fukushima plant soon after the disaster that highlights the discrimination workers faced was published in Wednesday's issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The Japanese public and press, meanwhile, has offered the workers little praise, unlike the Western media, which during the height of the crisis portrayed the remaining band of workers at the plant as the heroic "Fukushima 50." The domestic press instead emphasized how the dangers faced by the workers reflected the risks of nuclear power.

Culture helps explain some of these dynamics, including the strong Japanese sense of duty and group responsibility.

"People believe the workers share in the responsibility" for the disaster even though they didn't cause it, Tanigawa said.

Disaster psychiatry is not well-developed in Japan. The 1995 Kobe earthquake brought growing awareness of the psychological trauma of disasters, but specialists in the field remain rare.

Research from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster suggests that mental health problems will persist for years.

Eighteen years after that crisis, Chernobyl clean-up workers experienced higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, headaches and suicidal thoughts than the general population, according to a 2008 study in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Many TEPCO workers now live in a temporary barracks at a soccer stadium called J-Village, several kilometers (miles) south of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Workers at J-Village approached by a journalist refused to talk, and other contractors said they would get in trouble with the utility if they did.

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also in charge of nuclear crisis management, has made a point of thanking the workers during visits to the Fukushima plant, and children from around Japan have sent drawings and words of encouragement. But the workers have told the doctors that in restricted areas around the plant, former neighbors have shouted, thrown bottles and shoved them during their brief visits home to retrieve belongings.

Such discrimination weighs heavily on the workers, said Shigemura.

"Showing appreciation to the workers is an urgent need. It's totally lacking," Shigemura said, adding that he believes stigmatization is a key factor in influencing the workers' psychological distress.

A growing number of the workers tell the visiting psychiatrists of sagging motivation and hopelessness, and Shigemura warned that such attitudes could lead to `'misconduct or human error or sabotage." He also said the workers are drinking more alcohol and smoking more.

His team started to receive some research funding from the Health Ministry in April.

Shigemura predicts that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among Fukushima workers 2-3 years after the disaster will surpass the rate among 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, which a 2007 study in The American Journal of Psychiatry said was 12.4 percent.

TEPCO says it is considering hiring a full-time psychiatrist to help meet the mental health needs of workers at the plant, but that there are a shortage of such experts, particularly in the Fukushima region.

"The public's trust in TEPCO has declined, so we will work to improve that," said Yuji Ohya, an official with the company's health and safety department. "Hopefully as that improves, it will boost the workers' spirits."

Associated Press Writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

4. Food Not Bombs volunteers are really busy. We are organizing a World Gathering in Tampa, plan to provide food to those protesting at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions while seeking to improve our skills and knowledge so we can be as effective as possible in our daily organizing. We hare witnessing a huge increase in hunger and poverty as the political and economic system continue to collapse. Instead of seeking lasting solutions to these crisis leaders continue to wage war while our environment is under increase threats from the very institutions responsible for causing so much suffering. 

We invite you to participate in these three projects. The Food Not Bombs World Gathering in Tampa, Florida on  August 20 - 26, 2012, The Elect To End Hunger and Poverty Tour and The Food Not Bombs Free Skool in Taos, New Mexico. If you are not able to help organize these projects maybe you can donate some of the items we list here. We are also in urgent need for funds and maybe you can make a finical contribution or organize a benefit concert or other event.

Thanks so much for your support. 

Keith McHenry
cofounder of the Food Not Bombs Movement
1-800-884-1136
keith@foodnotbombs.net
We know many of you are struggling to make your bills but if you can please contribute to today

The World is Closer to a Food Crisis Than Most People Realize

5. Obama Files to Overturn Stay of NDAA's Indefinite Detention of Americans! 
By Brett Redmayne-Titley (about the author) 

Note: This piece was published today, 8/7/12, on RT.com 

The White House has filed an appeal in hopes of reversing a federal judge's ruling that bans the indefinite military detention of Americans because attorneys for the president say they are justified to imprison alleged terrorists without charge. 

Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in May that the indefinite detention provisions signed into law late last year by US President Barack Obama failed to "pass constitutional muster" and ordered a temporary injunction to keep the military from locking up any person, American or other, over allegations of terrorist ties. On Monday, however, federal prosecutors representing President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta filed a claim with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of eliminating that ban. 

The plaintiffs "cannot point to a single example of the military's detaining anyone for engaging in conduct even remotely similar to the type of expressive activities they allege could lead to detention," Obama's attorneys insist. With that, the White House is arguing that as long as the indefinite detention law hasn't be enforced yet, there is no reason for a judge to invalidate it. 

Reuters reports this week that the government believes they are justified to have the authorization to lock alleged belligerents up indefinitely because cases involving militants directly aligned against the good of the US government warrants such punishment. Separate from Judge Forrest's injunction, nine states have attempted to, at least in part, remove themselves from the indefinite detention provisions of included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA. 

In section 1021 of the NDAA, the president's authority to hold a terrorism suspect "without trial, until the end of the hostilities" is reaffirmed by Congress. Despite an accompanying signing statement voicing his opposition to that provision, President Obama quietly inked his name to the NDAA on December 31, 2011. In May, however, a group of plaintiffs including notable journalists and civil liberty proponents challenged section 1021 in court, leading to Just Forrest to find it unconstitutional one month later. 

"There is a strong public interest in protecting rights guaranteed by the First Amendment," Forrest wrote in her 68-page ruling. "There is also a strong public interest in ensuring that due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment are protected by ensuring that ordinary citizens are able to understand the scope of conduct that could subject them to indefinite military detention." 

At the time Just Forrest made her injunction, attorney Carl Mayer told RT on behalf of the plaintiffs that, although he expected the White House to appeal, "It may not be in their best interest." 

"[T]here are so many people from all sides of the political spectrum opposed to this law that they ought to just say, 'We're not going to appeal,' " Mayer said . "The NDAA cannot be used to pick up Americans in a proverbial black van or in any other way that the administration might decide to try to get people into the military justice system. It means that the government is foreclosed now from engaging in this type of action against the civil liberties of Americans." 

The original plaintiffs, who include Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, have asked Just Forrest to make her injunction permanent. Oral arguments in the case are expected to begin this week. 

6. Media, Civil Rights Groups Challenge Gitmo Trial Secrecy
Written by  Joe Wolverton, II

The Army colonel presiding over the trial of five men accused of participating in the attacks of September 11, 2001 has ruled that attorneys for a consortium of media and civil liberties organizations may argue for increased transparency in the proceedings.
The lawyers for the 14 media groups (including the American Civil Liberties Union) filed motions with the military tribunal challenging a previously entered order that prevented publication of testimony considered “secret.”
Per the terms of the new one-page order issued by Judge James Pohl the lawyers will present their case for increased openness on August 22, the day on which a week of hearings on several pre-trial motions is set to begin.
The Judge Advocate General (JAG) lawyer representing the Pentagon, Army Brigadier General Mark Martins, also agreed to allow the hearing without objection.
Attorneys for the so-called “Gitmo 5” did not object to the hearing of oral arguments on the motions against the protective order. In fact, an attorney for one of the alleged 9/11 co-conspirators welcomed the ruling.
“Oral argument from the media and ACLU will emphasize the critical public interest in open proceedings at Guantánamo,” said James Connell, the attorney representing Ammar al Baluchi, also known as Ali Abdul Aziz Ali.
In a motion for challenging the government’s clamp-down on the flow of information filed May 2, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that such a restriction was overly broad and that the government has “no legal authority to classify defendants’ statements containing their personal knowledge of the detention and treatment, including torture, to which they were subjected in U.S. custody — information that defendants acquired by virtue of the government forcing it upon them.”
At issue in the ACLU’s motion is first, the government’s request that the public be denied access to the defendants’ statements regarding abuse and torture suffered while in the custody of the CIA or other American agents; and second, the 40-second delay in the audio feed of the commission’s proceedings.
Under the guidelines suggested by the prosecution, an intelligence officer present at the trial may hit a “white noise” button whenever defendants “describe their detention and interrogation in U.S. custody.”
Later in its motion, the ACLU outlined the constitutional issues at the center of the government’s request to censor the trial:
Both the Constitution and the Military Commissions Act of 2009 recognize the public’s presumptive right of access to all proceedings and records of this historic military commission.  That right of access may only be overcome if there is a countervailing interest of “transcendent” importance, a standard that the government’s extraordinary and draconian proposed restrictions cannot meet.  The government asks this Commission to suppress as presumptively classified the defendants’ every utterance concerning their personal knowledge of their detention and abuse in CIA custody....
The eyes of the world are on this Military Commission, and the public has a substantial interest in and concern about the fairness and transparency of these proceedings.  This Commission should reject — and not become complicit with — the government’s improper proposals to suppress the defendants’ personal accounts of government misconduct.
The legal proceedings began on May 5, 2012 when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused by the U.S. government of masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, was arraigned along with four alleged co-conspirators before a military tribunal at the Naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The five defendants were presented with an 87-page indictment that took nearly three hours to read. The indictment charges the men with 2,976 counts of murder, as well as acts of terrorism, hijacking, conspiracy, and destruction of property. If convicted by the military court, they will be eligible for the death penalty.
As The New American has previously reported, the Department of Defense referred the case against the “Gitmo Five” to a military commission last April, and a month later the Defense Department announced that charges had been formally filed against the men accusing them of participating in the planning of the attacks on the Trade Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Originally, President Obama promised to hold civilian trials for those suspected of terrorism. In fact, in that statement he specifically mentioned the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Last April, however, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Mohammed and the other four detainees classified as 9/11 co-conspirators would be arraigned before military tribunals.
Mohammed, a Kuwaiti national, is accused by the U.S. government of being a member of al-Qaeda, including running the group’s propaganda machine since 1999.
According to the report issued by the 9/11 Commission, Mohammed was the “principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.” His alleged terrorist activities also include playing a major role in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the bombings of nightclubs in Bali, and personally beheading American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
He was captured on March 1, 2003 in Pakistan and has been detained at the Guantánamo Bay facility in Cuba since September of 2006.
Mohammed, 46, was charged in 2008 by an American military commission with war crimes and murder and faces the death penalty if convicted.
The other four detainees have also been in custody at the Guantánamo facility since 2006 after having been detained (and allegedly tortured) by the Central Intelligence Agency at secret “black site” prisons located throughout the world.
A separate though related motion was filed by a group of newspapers calling themselves “the press objectors.” The Miami Herald, ABC Inc., the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, CBS Broadcasting Inc., Fox News Network, National Public Radio, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Reuters, Tribune Company, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post are participating in the group.
“The First Amendment allows commission proceedings to be closed only upon a specific finding of a "substantial probability" of harm to national security or some equally compelling governmental interest,” argued a lawyer representing “the press objectors” in its motion filed on May 16.
Evidence of why the government would want to keep a tight lid on the tribunal is found in the atmosphere surrounding the arraignment in May. There is no debate that the legal proceedings against the five “high value detainees” got off to a rocky — and, for the military and the Obama administration, embarrassing — start. Initially scheduled to last less than an hour, the event dragged on for 13 hours before being adjourned by Colonel James Pohl, the presiding officer.
A survey of reports from eyewitnesses reveals an almost circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment.
For example, take the description of the arraignment published by the Guardian:
KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] is refusing to address judge and has taken his headphones out in an apparent bid to ignore what he is being told.
Then there is this account from the Associated Press:
At one point, Mohammed cast off his earphones providing Arabic translations of the proceeding and refused to answer Army Col. James Pohl's questions or acknowledge he understood them. All five men refused to participate in the hearing; two passed around a copy of The Economist magazine and leafed through the articles.
Finally, this was the scene as reported by CBS News:
"All five of them were defiant. They were dismissive. They refused to answer repeated questions from the judge," [CBS News correspondent Jan] Crawford said. "They wouldn't even look at the judge when he asked them questions. They looked down, flipped through magazines or even read the Koran."
At the conclusion of the arraignment, Colonel Pohl announced that the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and three of his co-defendants is preliminarily scheduled to begin in May 2013, but he also indicated that the date was fluid and could be delayed

7. Cellphone exposure limits should be reassessed, GAO recommends
By Hayley Tsukayama 

Mobile phone exposure limits and testing requirements should be reassessed, according to a Government Accountability Office study released Tuesday.

The study, the culmination of a year-long review done at the urging of lawmakers, comes at a time of heightened concern about the possible impact of cellphone radiation on human health. Its findings may prompt the Federal Communications Commission to update its standards to more accurately reflect how people use their cellphones.

While the report did not suggest that cellphone use causes cancer, the agency did say that FCC’s current energy exposure limit for mobile phones, established in 1996, “may not reflect the latest evidence on the the effects” of cellphones. The study recommends that the FCC reassess two things: the current exposure limit and the way it tests exposure.

In its conclusions, the report says that the FCC has not formally coordinated with the Food and Drug Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency on the exposure limits. The report also raised questions about the FCC’s decision to only test exposure at a distance from a body while using an earpiece, simulating, for example, someone setting their phone on a nearby table rather than in their pocket while speaking.

The FCC, the report said, “may not be identifying the maximum exposure, since some users may hold a mobile phone directly against the body while in use.” 

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who called for the GAO to conduct the report said that the study highlights that the FCC is behind the curve when it comes to evaluating the effects cellphones have on the human body.

“With mobile phones in the pockets and purses of millions of Americans, we need a full understanding of the long-term impact of mobile phone use on the human body, particularly in children whose brains and nervous systems are still developing,” Markey said.

Ahead of the study’s release, there’s been renewed interest in the area of cellphone radiation. The FCC has already said that it will investigate whether it should take a new look at the issue.

Last year, a World Health Organization report found that cellphone radiation might possibly be carcinogenic — a point that the GAO study does not raise.

On Monday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced a bill that would put warning labels on cellphones and tap the Environmental Protection Agency — not the FCC — to lead the way in examining the effects that radiation has on the human body.

In a statement, Kucinich said that cellphone users have a right to know how much radiation their phones give off, particularly as people spend more time with them, and not wait for scientists to prove whether there are harmful effects behind cellphone radiation or not.

“It took decades for scientists to be able to say for sure that smoking caused cancer,” Kucinich said. “While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cell phone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation.”

The city of San Francisco is looking at a labeling measure similar to the one proposed by Kucinich. CTIA, the wireless industry’s trade group, has filed a lawsuit against the proposed ordinance.

In response to the report, the FCC said that it will ask multiple stakeholders — including federal health agencies — for input as it assesses its standards.

"The U.S. has among the most conservative standards in the world,” said FCC spokesman Neil Grace in a statement. “As part of our routine review of these standards, which we began earlier this summer, we will solicit input from multiple stakeholder experts, including federal health agencies and others, to guide our assessment. We look forward to reviewing today's GAO report as part of that consideration."
By Hayley Tsukayama  |  02:30 PM ET, 08/07/2012 

8. Coca to be Expelled from Bolivia
Coca-Cola, one of the planet’s giant corporations, is to be unceremoniously booted out of Bolivia. The announcement was made by Bolivian Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, who stated that the date chosen, December 21, coincides with the end of the cycle in the Mayan Calendar, the end of capitalism and the start of a culture of life.
Coca Cola will be expelled from Bolivia on the date that the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle – December 21. According to the Bolivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Choquehuanca, the decision was taken to expel Coca Cola on the date of the end of the Mayan calendar so as to create a pretext for celebrating the end of capitalism and the beginning of “the culture of life” in community-based societies. The celebration will take place at the Southern Hemisphere’s Summer Solstice on La Isla del Sol (Sun Isle) in Lake Titicaca.

9. Copyright Limitations and Exceptions: What does the secret TPPA text say?
Submitted by James Love on 3. July 2012 - 15:21
This week, trade negotiators for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) are meeting in San Diego, where one are of focus concerns copyright policy. KEI earlier wrote to USTR with our concerns about the US proposals for copyright (see: http://www.keionline.org/node/1444). Today USTR published a blog, saying the "USTR Introduces New Copyright Exceptions and Limitations Provision at San Diego TPP Talks." USTR said:
For the first time in any U.S. trade agreement, the United States is proposing a new provision, consistent with the internationally-recognized “3-step test," that will obligate Parties to seek to achieve an appropriate balance in their copyright systems in providing copyright exceptions and limitations for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. These principles are critical aspects of the U.S. copyright system, and appear in both our law and jurisprudence. The balance sought by the U.S. TPP proposal recognizes and promotes respect for the important interests of individuals, businesses, and institutions who rely on appropriate exceptions and limitations in the TPP region.
The United States is proposing this at the current round of TPP talks in San Diego. The proposal has benefited from the input of a wide range of stakeholders, and we look forward to discussing it further and sharing more information as the TPP negotiations progress.
I have not seen the USTR proposal, and have had some bad experiences in the past speaking about text I had not actually read. KEI’s concern is that if the 3-step test is introduced, at a minimum it just gives right holders two chances to knock something out (once at WTO, and once at TPPA). But it could be worse, if this is designed to apply to the many areas of the Berne and Rome conventions that are not now subject to the three step test.
Not all Berne exceptions are subject to 3-step test: Articles: 2(4,7), 2.bis, 10, 11, 11.bis(2-3), 13(1-2) and the Appendix are not subject to the 3-step test, and neither are the first sale doctrine (Article 6 of the TRIPS) or the control of anticompetitive practices in contracts (Article 40 of the TRIPS). Article 15(1) of the Rome Convention is also not subject to the three step test. Will the secret TPPA text change this?
Given the fact that the WTO rules already provide for its own version of the 3-step test, there is no reason for the USTR to propose additional text within the TPPA, unless it wants to extend the jurisdiction of the 3-step to areas not covered by the WTO, or to provide right holders two opportunities to claim a particular exception is too favorable to users.
KEI has not seen the USTR proposal, which USTR claims "benefited from the input of a wide range of stakeholders." We intend to ask USTR for the text, and also the names of the stakeholders who were consulted on the text.
UPDATE. USTR is reportedly claiming it had previously shown the TPPA text on copyright exceptions to people outside of the USTR advisory board system. We are asking USTR for details on this.

More on the 3-step agreement.
This is an elaboration on the 3-step test in multilateral agreements. The 1996 WCT Copyright treaty has bad language on the 3-step test, but the WCT is not now part of the TRIPS agreement, and is only subject to dispute resolution via trade agreements outside of the WTO, like the TPPA.
If the WCT is referenced under the general provisions to the TPPA, you also get the 3-step test in the TPPA, subject, however, to the agreed upon statement regarding Article 10, which is helpful.
Note also that both Article 10 and the agreed upon statement regarding Article 10 the WCT were written in 1996, before the 2000 WTO decision on Section 110(5) of the United States Copyright Act. (See: World Trade Organisation Dispute Resolution Panel Report on Section 110(5) of the United States Copyright Act, http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/1234da.pdf). The 2000 WTO panel decision presented a restrictive view of the WTO's version of the 3-step test (Article 13 of TRIPS), motivating a number of academics to argue for a new interpretation of the 3-step test that is more liberal. One influential expression of this view is the Declaration on a Balanced Interpretation of the "Three-Step Test" in Copyright Law. (http://www.ip.mpg.de/de/pub/aktuelles/declaration-threesteptest.cfm).

The initial 3-step test was connected to Article 9 of the Berne Convention.
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Article 9
Right of Reproduction:
1. Generally; 2. Possible exceptions; 3. Sound and visual recordings
(1) Authors of literary and artistic works protected by this Convention shall have the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of these works, in any manner or form.
(2) It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to permit the reproduction of such works in certain special cases, provided that such reproduction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.
(3) Any sound or visual recording shall be considered as a reproduction for the purposes of this Convention.
A modified version appeared in the 1994 WTO TRIPS Agreement. Among other things, the TRIPS 3-step test was not specifically related to the reproduction right in the Berne Convention, and it replaced author with right holder, reflecting the more corporate focus of the TRIPS. It is also interesting to note that the provisions in the TRIPS concerning both patents and trademarks have different three-step tests, that give status to third parties.
1994 WTO Agreement On Trade-Related Aspects Of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
SECTION 1: COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
Article 13 Limitations and Exceptions
Members shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
SECTION 2: TRADEMARKS
Article 17 Exceptions
Members may provide limited exceptions to the rights conferred by a trademark, such as fair use of descriptive terms, provided that such exceptions take account of the legitimate interests of the owner of the trademark and of third parties.
SECTION 5: PATENTS
Article 30 Exceptions to Rights Conferred
Members may provide limited exceptions to the exclusive rights conferred by a patent, provided that such exceptions do not unreasonably conflict with a normal exploitation of the patent and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the patent owner, taking account of the legitimate interests of third parties.
Yet another version was included as Article 10 of the 1996 WCT.
WIPO Copyright Treaty
(adopted in Geneva on December 20, 1996)

Article 10 Limitations and Exceptions
(1) Contracting Parties may, in their national legislation, provide for limitations of or exceptions to the rights granted to authors of literary and artistic works under this Treaty in certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.
(2) Contracting Parties shall, when applying the Berne Convention, confine any limitations of or exceptions to rights provided for therein to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.10
/10/ Agreed statement concerning Article 10: It is understood that the provisions of Article 10 permit Contracting Parties to carry forward and appropriately extend into the digital environment limitations and exceptions in their national laws which have been considered acceptable under the Berne Convention. Similarly, these provisions should be understood to permit Contracting Parties to devise new exceptions and limitations that are appropriate in the digital network environment.
It is also understood that Article 10(2) neither reduces nor extends the scope of applicability of the limitations and exceptions permitted by the Berne Convention.

The 3-Step test in FTA agreements
On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico (NAFTA) entered into force.
NAFTA
Article 1705: Copyright
5. Each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to the rights provided for in this Article to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
The United States-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on December 17, 2001. Note the NAFTA language referring to limitation and exceptions "to the rights provided for in this Article" became limitations and exceptions "to exclusive rights" in the US/Jordan FTA.
United States-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
ARTICLE 4: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Copyright and Related Rights
16. Each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holders.
The United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on January 1, 2004. The US/Chile FTA brought back the reference to "limitations and exceptions to rights" language from NAFTA, and added a footnote 17 which provided a common understanding of how the 3-step test would be interpreted on certain issues.

United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
Article 17.5: Copyright
3. Each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.17
/17/ Article 17.7(3) permits a Party to carry forward and appropriately extend into the digital environment limitations and exceptions in its domestic laws which have been considered acceptable under the Berne Convention. Similarly, these provisions permit a Party to devise new exceptions and limitations that are appropriate in the digital network environment. For works, other than computer software, and other subject- matter, such exceptions and limitations may include temporary acts of reproduction which are transient or incidental and an integral and essential part of a technological process and whose sole purpose is to enable (a) a lawful transmission in a network between third parties by an intermediary; or (b) a lawful use of a work or other subject-matter to be made; and which have no independent economic significance.
Article 17.7(3) neither reduces nor extends the scope of applicability of the limitations and exceptions permitted by the Berne Convention, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (1996), and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (1996).
The United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on January 1, 2004.
United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

ARTICLE 16.4 : OBLIGATIONS COMMON TO COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
2. (a) Without prejudice to Articles 11(1)(ii), 11bis(1)(i) and (ii), 11ter(1)(ii), 14(1)(ii), and 14bis(1) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1971) (“Berne Convention”), each Party shall provide to authors, performers, producers of phonograms and their successors in interest the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the communication to the public of their works, performances, or phonograms, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works, performances, and phonograms in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them. Notwithstanding paragraph 10, a Party may provide limitations or exceptions to this right in the case of performers and producers of phonograms for analog or digital free over-the-air terrestrial broadcasting and, further, a Party may provide limitations with respect to other non-interactive transmissions, in certain special cases provided that such limitations do not conflict with a normal exploitation of performances or phonograms and do not unreasonably prejudice the interests of such right holders.
[...]
10. Each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights in Articles 16.4 and 16.5 to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
ARTICLE 17.5 : COPYRIGHT WORKS
ARTICLE 17.6 : PERFORMERS AND PRODUCERS OF PHONOGRAMS
3. (c) Each Party may adopt limitations to this right in respect of other non-interactive transmissions in accordance with Article 17.4.10, provided that the limitations do not prejudice the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
The United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on January 1, 2005.

United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
ARTICLE 17.4 : COPYRIGHT
10. With respect to Articles 17.4, 17.5, and 17.6:
(a) each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder;
(b) notwithstanding sub-paragraph (a) and Article 17.6.3(b), neither Party may permit the retransmission of television signals (whether terrestrial, cable, or satellite) on the Internet without the authorisation of the right holder or right holders, if any, of the content of the signal and of the signal;
(c) unless otherwise specifically provided in this Chapter, nothing in this Article shall be construed as reducing or extending the scope of applicability of the limitations and exceptions permitted under the agreements referred to in Articles 17.1.2 and 17.1.4 and the TRIPS Agreement.
ARTICLE 17.6 : PERFORMERS AND PRODUCERS OF PHONOGRAMS
3. (a) Each Party shall provide to performers and producers of phonograms the right to authorise or prohibit the broadcasting or any communication to the public of their performances or phonograms by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of those performances and phonograms in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.
(b) Notwithstanding sub-paragraph (a) and Article 17.4.10, the application of this right to traditional free over-the-air (i.e., non-interactive) broadcasting, and exceptions or limitations to this right for such broadcasting activity, shall be a matter of each Party’s law.
(c) Each Party may adopt limitations to this right in respect of other non-interactive transmissions in accordance with Article 17.4.10, provided that the limitations do not prejudice the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
The United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on January 1, 2006.

United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
ARTICLE 15.5: COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
11. (a) With respect to this Article and Articles 15.6, and 15.7, each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) and Article 15.7.3(b), neither Party may permit the retransmission of television signals (whether terrestrial, cable, or satellite) on the Internet without the authorization of the right holder or right holders of the content of the signal, if any, and of the signal.
ARTICLE 15.6: COPYRIGHT
ARTICLE 15.7: RELATED RIGHTS
3. (a) Each Party shall provide to performers and producers of phonograms the right to authorize or prohibit the broadcasting or any communication to the public of their performances or phonograms, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of those performances and phonograms in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) and Article 15.5.11, the application of this right to traditional free over-the-air (i.e., noninteractive) broadcasting, and exceptions or limitations to this right for such activity, shall be a matter of each Party’s law.
(c) Each Party may adopt limitations to this right in respect of other noninteractive transmissions in accordance with Article 15.5.11, provided that the limitations do not prejudice the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
The United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on January 11, 2006
United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
ARTICLE 14.4: OBLIGATIONS PERTAINING TO COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
10. (a) With respect to this Article and Articles 14.5 and 14.6, each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) and Article 6.3(b), neither Party shall permit the retransmission of television signals (whether terrestrial, cable, or satellite) on the Internet without the authorization of the right holder or right holders of the content of the signal and, if any, of the signal.
ARTICLE 14.5: OBLIGATIONS PERTAINING SPECIFICALLY TO COPYRIGHT
ARTICLE 14.6: OBLIGATIONS PERTAINING SPECIFICALLY TO RELATED RIGHTS
3. (a) Each Party shall provide to performers and producers of phonograms the right to authorize or prohibit the broadcasting or any communication to the public of their performances or phonograms, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of those performances and phonograms in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) and Article 14.5.10, the application of this right to analog transmissions and free over-the-air broadcasts, and exceptions or limitations to this right for such activity, shall be a matter of domestic law.
(c) Each Party may adopt limitations to this right in respect of other noninteractive transmissions in accordance with Article 4.4.10, which shall not be prejudicial to the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
The CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America FTA) entered into force for the United States and El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua during 2006, for the Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007, and for Costa Rica on January 1, 2009. With the addition of Costa Rica, the CAFTA-DR is in force for all seven countries that signed the agreement.
CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America FTA)
Article 15.5: Obligations Pertaining to Copyright and Related Rights
10 (a): With respect to Articles 15.5, 15.6, and 15.7, each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
Article 15.7: Obligations Pertaining Specifically to Related Rights
3. (a) Each Party shall provide to performers and producers of phonograms the right to authorize or prohibit the broadcasting or any communication to the public of their performances or phonograms, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of those performances and phonograms in such a way that
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) and Article 15.5.10, the application of this right to traditional free over-the-air noninteractive broadcasting, and exceptions or limitations to this right for such broadcasting, shall be a matter of domestic law.
(c) Each Party may adopt limitations to this right in respect of other noninteractive transmissions in accordance with Article 15.5.10, provided that the limitations do not prejudice the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
The United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on February 1, 2009.
United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
Article 16.6: Related Rights
6. (a) Each Party shall provide to performers and producers of phonograms the right to authorize or prohibit the broadcasting or any communication to the public of their performances or phonograms, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of those performances and phonograms in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) and Article 16.7.8, the application of this right to analog transmissions and free over-the-air broadcasts, and exceptions or limitations to this right for such activity, shall be a matter of each Party’s law.
(c) Any limitations to this right in respect of other noninteractive transmissions shall be in accordance with Article 16.7.8 and shall not prejudice the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
Article 16.7: Obligations Common to Copyright and Related Rights
8. With respect to Articles 16.5 through 16.7, each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
9. Notwithstanding Articles 16.7.8 and 16.6.6(b), no Party may permit the retransmission of television signals (whether terrestrial, cable, or satellite) on the Internet without the authorization of the right holder or right holders of the content of the signal and, if any, of the signal.
The U.S.-Korea trade agreement entered into force on March 15, 2012.
U.S.-Korea trade agreement
ARTICLE 18.4: COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
Footnote 11 to Article 18.4.1.
/11/ Each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to the rights described in paragraph 1 to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder. For greater certainty, each Party may adopt or maintain limitations or exceptions to the rights described in paragraph 1 for fair use, as long as any such limitation or exception is confined as stated in the previous sentence.
10. (a) With respect to this Article and Articles 18.5 and 18.6, each Party shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance, or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
ARTICLE 18.5: COPYRIGHT
ARTICLE 18.6: RELATED RIGHTS
ARTICLE 18.6: RELATED RIGHTS
3. (c) Each Party may adopt limitations to this right in respect of other noninteractive transmissions in accordance with Article 18.4.10, provided that the limitations do not prejudice the right of the performer or producer of phonograms to obtain equitable remuneration.
Beijing treaty on audiovisual performances, adopted by the Diplomatic Conference on June 24, 2012
Beijing treaty on audiovisual performances
Article 1 Relation to Other Conventions and Treaties
(3) This Treaty shall not have any connection with treaties other than the WPPT, nor shall it prejudice any rights and obligations under any other treaties1,2.
/fn 1/ Agreed statement concerning Article 1: It is understood that nothing in this Treaty affects any rights or obligations under the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) or their interpretation and it is further understood that paragraph 3 does not create any obligations for a Contracting Party to this Treaty to ratify or accede to the WPPT or to comply with any of its provisions.
/fn 2/ Agreed statement concerning Article 1(3): It is understood that Contracting Parties who are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) acknowledge all the principles and objectives of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and understand that nothing in this Treaty affects the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, including, but not limited to, the provisions relating to anti-competitive practices.
Article 13 Limitations and Exceptions
(1) Contracting Parties may, in their national legislation, provide for the same kinds of limitations or exceptions with regard to the protection of performers as they provide for, in their national legislation, in connection with the protection of copyright in literary and artistic works.
(2) Contracting Parties shall confine any limitations of or exceptions to rights provided for in this Treaty to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the performance and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the performer /9/.
/fn 9/ Agreed statement concerning Article 13: The Agreed statement concerning Article 10 (on Limitations and Exceptions) of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) is applicable mutatis mutandis also to Article 13 (on Limitations and Exceptions) of the Treaty.
/fn 10/ Agreed statement concerning Article 15 as it relates to Article 13: It is understood that nothing in this Article prevents a Contracting Party from adopting effective and necessary measures to ensure that a beneficiary may enjoy limitations and exceptions provided in that Contracting Party’s national law, in accordance with Article 13, where technological measures have been applied to an audiovisual performance and the beneficiary has legal access to that performance, in circumstances such as where appropriate and effective measures have not been taken by rights holders in relation to that performance to enable the beneficiary to enjoy the limitations and exceptions under that Contracting Party’s national law. Without prejudice to the legal protection of an audiovisual work in which a performance is fixed, it is further understood that the obligations under Article 15 are not applicable to performances unprotected or no longer protected under the national law giving effect to this Treaty.

9. the most vulnerable components of a nuclear power plant -- its spent fuel pools
As the photo I've attached shows, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7675 the spent fuel pools at Units 3&4 are exposed to the open sky and might be draining. The dose rates coming off the pools appear to be life threatening. Lead shielded helicopters trying to dump water over the pools/reactors could not get close enough to make much difference because of the radiation dose-rates.
If the spent fuel is exposed, the zirconium cladding encasing the spent fuel can catch fire -- releasing potentially catastrophic amounts of radiation -- particularly Cs-137. Here's an article I wrote in January 2002 in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists about spent fuel pool dangers. http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/atreactorstorage/alvarezarticle2002.pdf
In October 2002, then Washington Attorney General Chris Gregoire organized a group letter signed by her and 26 of her colleagues to the U.S. Congress requesting greater safeguards for reactor spent fuel pools. The letter urged "enhanced protections for one of the most vulnerable components of a nuclear power plant -- its spent fuel pools." It was met with silence. I've attached the letter to this message
In January 2003 my colleagues and I warned that a drained spent fuel pool in the U.S. could lead to a catastrophic fire -- resulting in long-term land contamination substantially greater than that created by the Chernobyl (roughly half the size of the State of New Jersey). http://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/sgs/pdf/11_1Alvarez.pdf
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the nuclear industry strongly disagreed. Congress then asked the National Academy of Sciences to referee this dispute.
In 2004, after the NRC tried unsuccessfully to suppress its report, the NAS panel agreed with our findings. The Academy panel stated "...[a] partially or completely drained pool could lead to a propagating zirconium cladding fire and release large quantities of radioactive materials to the environment." http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11263#toc
U.S. reactors are each holding as at least four times times by weight than in the individual pools at Fukushima. According to DOE about 63,000 metric tons of spent fuel has been generated as of this year containing approximately 12.4 billion curies. These pools contains some the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet. Only 14% of U.S. spent fuel is in dry storage.
At this stage it is critical that::
Efforts to extend the operating license at CGS by the NRC be suspended, given that it sits in an earthquake/volcano zone that could experience greater destruction than previously assumed.
The NRC should promptly require CGS to end the dense compaction of spent fuel and ensure that at least 75 percent of the spent fuel in that pool be removed and placed into dry, hardened storage containers on site, which are capable to withstanding greater than expected seizmic events.
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