Sunday, October 06, 2013

PNN - Women's Rights & Healthcare

PNN 
10/6/13

7:07pm -  Christopher Cano

7:13pm - Gretchen Borchelt - Senior Counsel & Director, State Reproductive Health Policy, National Women’s Law Center

7:39pm - Dr. Maureen McKenna President of the Democratic Women's Club of Florida.

7:53pm - Heidi Williamson - Senior Policy Analyst for the Women’s Health and Rights program at Center for American Progress 

8:22pm - Dr. Ellen Shaffer, PhD -  Director, Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign, Co-Director of the EQUAL Health Network, 
and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco



News:

1. NHK World News, October 2, 2013: High radiation levels in rainwater overflow [...] The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it has detected high levels of radioactive substances in water that overflowed from a storage container on Tuesday. [...] 4 tons of the tainted water seeped into the ground before workers halted pumping. [...] [Tepco] says it found 390 becquerels per liter of beta-ray emitting substances, believed to be mostly strontium [...] much higher than the government limit for releasing strontium-tainted water into the ocean, which is set at 30 becquerels per liter. [...] The officials explain the overflows occurred because the rainwater was transferred into the wrong container. [...]

2. NHK Newsline, October 2, 2013: [...] They say workers at Fukushima Daiichi may have been pumping it into the wrong container. [...] The crews may have transferred it into the wrong tank leading to an overflow. [...] [The level] was 13 times higher than the government’s safety limit for releasing tainted water into the ocean. For some reason the level of radiation in the rain water had doubled since measurements taken just after the storm. Plant managers are looking into what caused the spike.

3. Thousands in Japan reported to be suffering massive and recurring nosebleeds in recent days — Gundersen: Japan doctors tell us, “We know our patients have radiation illness” but forced to keep it secret

4. Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen, Oct. 1, 2013 (At 5:10 in): The problem right now is that Japanese researchers are afraid to tell the truth. We’ve got doctors calling us at Fairewinds saying, “We know our patients have radiation illness and the hospital isn’t allowing us to tell the patients that.” [...] So the last piece of this is transparency. And frankly if you leave it to the Japanese government we’re never going to get transparency. We’ve got get the people involved with an oversight panel made up of civilians who have nothing to gain, or nothing to lose from telling the truth.

5. Professor Hideo Yamazaki, Kinki University: We estimated concentration levels to be so low they wouldn’t be detectable in the U.S., but the fact they found contaminated fish off the coast of the U.S. really shocked us […]

NHK: Researchers at Stanford University in April sent twenty 3-gram slices of tuna to Japan, but Customs agents at Kansai International Airport stopped them. They said proper documentation was missing. […]

Yamazaki: This is an urgent situation. We need Customs officials to understand just how critical this is, and facilitate the timely transportation of materials that need to be studied.

6. Inhalation anti-therapy
Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer: Let me relay just one more thought from my health physicist friend. Even here in the U.S., he’s worried about inhaling a hot particle; I’m just letting you know — and so am I. […]
Either uranium, plutonium, or something bad — remember they’re not even monitoring for strontium and uranium, so it’s very difficult to monitor what we’re getting and not getting. […]
This is real; we don’t want this to happen here. It’s upsetting other people too.


7. TOKYO (AP) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan is open to receiving overseas help to contain widening radioactive water leaks at the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima.

Abe made the comments Sunday in a speech at an international science forum in Kyoto in western Japan.
Despite Abe's reassurances to the International Olympic Committee last month that the leaks were "under control," many Japanese believe he was glossing over problems at the plant.
Officials have acknowledged that the ground water contaminated with radioactive leaks have been seeping into the Pacific since soon after meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Recent leaks from storage tanks have added to public concerns.

HUNDREDS OF COMMUNITY LEADERS AND RESIDENTS TO JOIN AIRPORT WORKERS IN RALLY AGAINST POVERTY WAGES AT FORT LAUDERDALE AIRPORT

AIR LINES PROFITS SOARING AS BLACK WORKERS OF CARIBBEAN DESCENT, ESPECIALLY HAITI AND JAMAICA, MAKE UP A MOSTLY LOW-WAGE WORKFORCE

8. FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—Haitian-American leaders will lead over two hundred workers and residents in a rally against poor working conditions and poverty wages at  the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the region’s premier economic engines. To collectively address this problem, community will rally together nearby the FLL airport, at Welcome Park (State Road 84 and US1), 11:30am-1:30pm, Saturday, October 5th, 2013.
Pastor Mari Gauthier of Fort Lauderdale said most FLL workers are from Jamaica and Haiti and live in some of Broward County’s poorest communities, including Lauderdale Lakes, North Lauderdale and East Miramar.
“If airlines are doing well and our employers are doing well and we all know the airport is doing well, then these workers, members of our communities, deserve to do well, too,” Pastor Mari Gauthier said. “We will stand with them in this fight. We won’t stop until the airport’s powers that be treat them right.”
FLL passenger service workers continue to earn minimum wage without affordable benefits, even as the nation’s news pages tout soaring profits by the industry and air line executives pocket obscene compensation packages. Community supporters of the workers argue that profits in the industry need to reach down to the 1,500 FLL workers who play key roles in keeping the air lines, the airport and the industry profitable.
In contrast to continuously low pay for local airport workers, airlines are making increasing profits.  The top 4 airlines at FLL made $1.7 billion in 2012 and according to a recent report by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nationally the largest passenger airlines made a net profit of $2.1 billion in the second quarter of 2013 alone. Southwest, one of FLL’s top air lines, has raked in $223 million in profits in that period.


9. TPP 
What if our national leaders told us that communities across America had to eliminate such local programs as Buy Local, Buy American, Buy Green, etc. to allow foreign corporations to have the right to make the sale on any products purchased with our tax dollars? This nullification of our people's right to direct expenditures is just one of the horror stories in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
This is a super-sized NAFTA, the 1994 trade scam rammed through Congress by the entire corporate establishment. NAFTA promised the "glories of globalization": prosperity across our land.
Unfortunately, corporations got the gold. We got the shaft - thousands of factories closed, millions of middle-class jobs went south, and the economies of hundreds of towns and cities were shattered.
Twenty years later, the gang that gave us NAFTA is back with the TPP, a "trade deal" that mostly does not deal with trade. Of the 29 chapters in this document, only five cover traditional trade matters! The other chapters amount to a devilish "partnership" for corporate protectionism:
  • Food safety. Any of our government's food safety regulations (on pesticide levels, bacterial contamination, fecal exposure, toxic additives, etc.) and food labeling laws (organic, country-of-origin, animal-welfare approved, GMO-free, etc.) that are stricter than "international standards" could be ruled as "illegal trade barriers." Our government would then have to revise our consumer protections to comply with weaker standards.
  • Fracking. Our Department of Energy would lose its authority to regulate exports of natural gas to any Trans-Pacific Partnership nation. This would create an explosion of the destructive fracking process across our land, for both foreign and U.S. corporations could export fracked gas from America to member nations without any DOE review of the environmental and economic impacts on local communities - or on our national interests.
  • Jobs. US corporations would get special foreign-investor protections to limit the cost and risk of relocating their factories to low-wage nations that sign onto this agreement. So, an American corporation thinking about moving a factory would know it is guaranteed a sweetheart deal if it moves operations to a TPP nation like Vietnam. This would be an incentive for corporate chieftains to export more of our middle-class jobs.
  • Drug prices. Big Pharma would be given more years of monopoly pricing on each of their patents and be empowered to block distribution of cheaper generic drugs. Besides artificially keeping everyone's prices high, this would be a death sentence to many people suffering from cancer, HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis and other treatable diseases in impoverished lands.
  • Banksters. Wall Street and the financial giants in other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries would make out like bandits. The deal explicitly prohibits transaction taxes (such as the proposed Robin Hood Tax here) that would shut down speculators who have repeatedly triggered financial crises and economic crashes around the world. It restricts "firewall" reforms that separate consumer banking from risky investment banking. It could roll back reforms that governments adopted to fix the extreme bank-deregulation regimen that caused Wall Street's 2007 crash. And it provides an escape from national rules that would limit the size of "too-big-to-fail" behemoths.
  • Internet freedom. Corporations hoping to lock up and monopolize the Internet failed in Congress last year to pass their repressive "Stop Online Piracy Act." However, they've slipped SOPA's most pernicious provisions into TPP. The deal would also transform Internet service providers into a private, Big Brother police force, empowered to monitor our "user activity," arbitrarily take down our content and cut off our access to the Internet. To top that off, consumers could be assessed mandatory fines for something as benign as sending your mom a recipe you got off of a paid site.
  • Public services. Trans-Pacific Partnership rules would limit how governments regulate such public services as utilities, transportation and education - including restricting policies meant to ensure broad or universal access to those essential needs. One insidious rule says that member countries must open their service sectors to private competitors, which would allow the corporate provider to cherry-pick the profitable customers and sink the public service.
Lori Wallach, director of Global Trade Watch, correctly calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership "a corporate coup d'etat." Nations that join must conform their laws and rules to TPP's strictures, effectively supplanting U.S. sovereignty and canceling our people's right to be self-governing. Worse, it creates virtually permanent corporate rule over us.

Is it impossible to stop? Nope. There is also a broad, well-organized and politically experienced coalition of grassroots groups, which has stopped other deals and will do it again. We the people can protect our democratic rights from this threat of corporate usurpation. Check out globaltradewatch.org.

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