Sunday, December 08, 2013

PNN Women's Rights 2013-2014


Join News Director Rick Spisak, and special Co-Host Meredith Ockman Vice President N.O.W. of Florida as they discuss 2013 and 2014, with some of Florida's Finest Women Leaders
Jeanie Economos Farm Workers Association
Anita Stewart Water Quality Activist / Progressive Journalist
Ann Fonfa Anti-Cancer Activist
And Special Reports by Harriett Heywood TPP Activist and Essayist and Attorney Lilllian Taylor  who will offer her tribute to Nelson Mandela

1. FAST TRACK approaching quickly… 
    engineer at the helm is feeling WOOZY

Negotiators from the House and Senate are nearing an agreement that would “fast-track” the sweeping trade deal the Obama administration is negotiating with a dozen Pacific nations, officials said Thursday.
Such fast-track authority is generally considered a prerequisite for achieving a major trade pact, as it would ensure that the package cannot be filibustered or subject to amendment by Congress, giving confidence to the foreign partners negotiating with the United States that any deal they agree to will stick.
A congressional aide close to the negotiations said that both sides had made significant progress on reaching a fast-track deal, also known as trade-promotion authority. But the aide, who declined to speak on the record because of the delicate nature of the talks, emphasized that an agreement was not complete.
Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Representative Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, have been working on a deal for months.
They are expected to bring forward a bill next week, during the last few days Congress will be in session this year. But the plan still faces several obstacles, including opposition from some Democrats and Republicans in the House. Aides doubted that the fast-track legislation would reach a floor vote this year, given the crowded the Congressional calendar.
The bill is strongly backed by business but generally opposed by labor unions. Many lawmakers have argued that a Pacific trade deal to lower some barriers to exports and open markets at home and abroad, and a sweeping deal the White House is working out with the European Union, would provide significant gains for the United States economy and help expand global commerce.
But the still unconsummated trade deals face skepticism from both sides. And some Republicans and Democrats have objected to the way the White House has dealt with Congress during its negotiations, signaling that they fear that granting trade promotion authority would cede too much power to the Obama administration.


2. Everything you's like to know is "Secret" - and the Engineeris also feeling WOOZY and his name is SECRET!
Shinzo Abe secured final passage of a bill granting Japan’s govt sweeping powers to declare state secrets. The Bill won final approval of the measures at about 11:20 p.m. Tokyo time after opposition parties first forced a no-confidence vote in Abe’s govt in the lower house. The first rule of the pending Japan’s Special Secrets Bill is that what will be a secret is secret. The right to know has now been officially superseded by the right of the government to make sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know. It might all seems like a bad joke, except for the Orwellian nature of the bill and a key Cabinet member expressing his admiration for the Nazis, "just as Germany needed a strong man like Hitler to revive defeated Germany, Japan needs people like Abe to dynamically induce change."
Submitted by Subcultureist of Japan's Subculture Research Center blog,
The first rule of the pending Japan’s Special Secrets Bill is that what will be a secret is secret. The second rule is that anyone who leaks a secret and a reporter who writes it up can face up to ten years in jail. The third rule is that there are no rules at to what government agency can declare state secrets and no checks on them to determine they don’t misuse the privilege; even of no longer existent agencies may have the power to declare their information secret. The fourth rule  is that anything pertaining to nuclear energy is of course a state secret so there will not longer be any problem with nuclear power in this country because we won’t know anything about it. And what we don’t know can’t hurt us.
The right to know has now been officially superseded by the right of the government to make sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know.
Legal experts note that even asking pointed questions about a state secret, whether you know or don’t know it’s a secret, could be treated as “instigating leaks” and the result in an arrest and a possible jail term up to five years. Of course, the trial would be complicated since the judge would not be allowed to know what secret the accused was suspected of trying to obtain.
Ask the wrong question, five years in jail. 
And of course, trials about state secrets, would by the nature of the law, also be secret trials and closed to the public.
At this point in time, no one has really claimed authorship of the secrecy bill. The author is a secret. Kafka would seem the most likely scrivener for this perplexing legislation, if he was still alive, but ruling coalition members acknowledge that another famous white man from the past may have provided the real inspiration for the bill and its implementation.
An Upper House member of the Diet said on background to JSRC,Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro sort of telegraphed the punches of the administration by expressing his admiration for how the Nazi Party forcefully changed the German constitution this summer.
Obviously, we’re not Nazis in Japan–because we hardly have any Jews, but we are like the defeated post World War I Germany in that we do not have the right to wage war to defend ourselves from our enemies. Just as Germany needed a strong man like Hitler to revive defeated Germany, Japan needs people like Abe to dynamically induce change.”


3. Radiation high enough to kill in 20 minutes Found at Fukushima
Outdoor radiation levels have reached their highest at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant,warns the operator company.Radiation found in an area near a steel pipe that connects reactor buildings could kill an exposed person in 20 minutes,local media reported.

The plant’s operator and the utility responsible for the clean-up Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) detected record radiation levels on a duct which connects reactor buildings and the 120 meter tall ventilation pipe located outside on Friday. TEPCO measured radiation at eight locations around the pipe with the highest estimated at two locations - 25 Sieverts per hour and about 15 Sieverts per hour, the company said.

This is the highest level ever detected outside the reactor buildings, according to local broadcaster NHK. Earlier TEPCO said radiation levels of at least 10 Sieverts per hour were found on the pipe.

The ventilation pipe used to conduct radioactive gasses after the nuclear disaster may still contain radioactive substances, TEPCO added.

The earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that hit Japan’s coast, damaging the Fukushima Daiichi plant and causing the meltdown of three nuclear reactors. The crippled reactors burnt through the concrete basement while the water used to cool them has been leaking into the soil and contaminating the ground water on the premises of the nuclear facility. The radioactive water stored at the site has been seeping into the Pacific Ocean.

The water leakage has raised health concerns among Japan’s neighbors. For instance, South Korea has been testing fish caught off the country's coast, according to the country’s fisheries ministry.

Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission assured that the radioactive water will reach the US West coast at safe levels.

“The highest amount of radiation that will reach the U.S. is two orders of magnitude - 100 times - less than the drinking water standard,” Allison Macfarlane said in Tokyo on Friday as cited by Bloomberg. “So, if you could drink the salt water, which you won’t be able to do, it’s still fairly low.”

Currently 400 tons of contaminated water is being produced at the site on a daily basis. In an attempt to solve the storage problem the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposed on Wednesday to consider dumping toxic water into the ocean after lowering the level of radioactive materials.

"Regarding the growing amounts of contaminated water at the site, TEPCO should... examine all options for its further management, including the possibility of resuming controlled discharges (into the sea) in compliance with authorized limits," the IAEA said in a statement.

TEPCO has been testing a high-tech water processing machine called ALPS, which can remove all radioactive materials from the water except tritium. However, the low-energy isotope is considered to be less dangerous than other radioactive isotopes such as caesium and strontium, also contained in the tainted water.


4. Atomic mafia: Yakuza ‘cleans up’ Fukushima, neglects basic workers' rights

Homeless men employed cleaning up the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, including those brought in by Japan's yakuza gangsters, were not aware of the health risks they were taking and say their bosses treated them like “disposable people.”

RT's Aleksey Yaroshevsky, reporting from the site of the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, met with a former Fukushima worker who was engaged in the clean-up operation.  

"We were given no insurance for health risks, no radiation meters even. We were treated like nothing, like disposable people – they promised things and then kicked us out when we received a large radiation doze," the young man, who didn't identify himself, told RT.

The former Fukushima worker explained that when a job offer at Fukushima came up he was unemployed, and didn't hesitate to take it. He is now planning to sue the firm that hired him.

"They promised a lot of money, even signed a long-term contract, but then suddenly terminated it, not even paying me a third of the promised sum," he said.  

 While some workers voluntarily agreed to take jobs on the nuclear clean-up project, many others simply didn't have a choice.

An investigative journalist who went undercover at Fukushima, filming with a camera hidden in his watch, says that many of the workers were brought into the nuclear plant by Japan's organized crime syndicates, the yakuza.

"In Japan, quite often when a certain construction project requires an immediate workforce, in large numbers, bosses make a phone call to the Yakuza. This was the case with Fukushima: the government called Tepco to take urgent action, Tepco relayed it to their subcontractors and they, eventually, as they had a shortage of available workers, called the Yakuza for help," Tomohiko Suzuki told RT.

According to Japanese police, up to 50 yakuza gangs with 1,050 members currently operate in Fukushima prefecture. Although a special task force to keep organized crime out of the nuclear clean-up project has been set up, investigators say they need first-hand reports from those forced to work by the yakuza to crack down on the syndicates.

Earlier this year, Japanese police made their first arrest, detaining one yakuza over claims he sent workers to the crippled Fukushima plant without a license. Yoshinori Arai regularly took a cut of the workers' wages, pocketing $60,000 in over two years.  

 Meanwhile, according to Tepco's blueprint, dismantling the Fukushima Daiichi plant will require at least 12,000 workers just through 2015. But the company and its subcontractors are already short of workers. As things stand now, there are just over 8,000 registered workers. According to government data, there are 25 percent more openings for jobs at Fukushima plant than applicants. Tomohiko Suzuki says these gaps are often filled by the homeless and the desperately unemployed – people who have nothing to lose, including those with mental disabilities.

Due to the fact that the Japanese government has been reluctant to invite multinational workers into the country, its nuclear industry mostly uses cheap domestic labor, the so-called "nuclear gypsies" - workers from the Sanya neighborhood of Tokyo and Kamagasaki in Osaka, known for large numbers of homeless men.

"Working conditions in the nuclear industry have always been bad," the deputy director of Osaka's Hannan Chuo Hospital, Saburo Murata, told Reuters. "Problems with money, outsourced recruitment, lack of proper health insurance – these have existed for decades."

The problem is that after Japan's parliament approved a bill to fund decontamination work in August 2011, the law did not apply existing rules regulating the profitable construction industry. Therefore, contractors engaged in decontamination were not required to share information on their management, so anyone could instantly become a nuclear contractor, as if by magic.


5. Help save HB1 to Label GMOs in Florida -- Click: HOUSE BILL 1
{General Bill   by Rehwinkel Vasilinda (CO-SPONSORS) Berman; Kerner; Pafford; Peters; Pritchett; Stewart; Zimmermann
Genetically Engineered Foods: Provides list of commercial commodities commonly cultivated in genetically engineered form; requires DACS to publish list by specified date & annualy update list; provides mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered raw agricultural commodities & processed foods made with or derived from genetically engineered ingredients; provides for enforcement of labeling requirements; provides civil remedies & penalties.}

PART ONE: (Volunteer) *If you'd like help out more and to be connected with groups across FLORIDA sign up on and be sure to let us know the following:

1. You'd like to volunteer 2. Your ZIP, CITY, PHONE & EMAIL 3. How you'd like to help

PART TWO: (CALL The Committee - Start today) Please share and ask your contacts to do the same.

HB1 to Label GMOs needs your support! This is the last chance we have to place it on the Committee Contact Tom Goodson, the Vice Chair of the Ag & Natural Resources Subcommittee, and ask him to co-sponsor the bill because you NEED TO KNOW IF IT'S GMO.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? Please contact the committee members and ask them to support HB1. The bill needs more public support for it to pass out of committee. Every call makes a difference! Call and get others to call.

WHEN DO YOU NEED TO DO IT? Start calling all through the weekend until Thurs, December 12th. This is our deadline to get as many calls in as possible.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO SAY? If you do not know what to say when you call, here is a simple script to help you along:

THE SCRIPT: “My name is ______________. I'm calling today to urge Representative Goodson to co-sponsor House Bill 1, the bill to label genetically engineered foods, because my family and I need to know if a product contains genetically engineered ingredients. Please put HB1 on the Committee!”

WHO DO I NEED TO CALL? The committee members are listed below. If you can only call one person, call Rep. Tom Goodson. If you can call more, call as many as you can!

COMMITTEE CALL LIST: Tom Goodson: Phone: (321) 383-5151 Email:

Katie A. Edwards: Phone: (954) 838-1371 Email: "Matt" Caldwell: Phone: (239) 694-0161 Email:

Kevin Rader: Phone: (561) 218-5010 Email:

Halsey Beshears: Phone: (850) 653-1213 Email:

Jim Boyd: Phone: (941) 708-4968 Email:

Larry Lee, Jr.:

Phone: (772) 595-1391 Email:

Cary Pigman: Phone: (863) 386-6000 Email:

Ray Pilon: Phone: (941) 955-8077 Email:

Elizabeth W. Porter Phone: (386) 719-4600 Email:

Betty Reed: Phone: (813) 241-8024 Email:

Patrick Rooney, Jr.: Phone: (561) 625-5176 Email:

Clovis Watson, Jr.: Phone: (352) 264-4001 Email:

Thanks and look forward to connecting with you.


6. Canada Busted Covering Up Spikes In Fukushima Radiation
Posted on December 5, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
Falsely Stated That There Were No Unusual Radiation Levels

The governments of Japan, America and Canada have covered up the severity of the Fukushima crisis ever since it started in March 2011.

They’ve cut way back on radiation monitoring after the Fukushima meltdown, underplayed the amount of radiation pumped out by Fukushima, and raised acceptable radiation levels … rather than fixing anything.


British news staff may face terrorism charges over Snowden leaks --Lawmakers put it to Rusbridger that he had committed an offence under Section 58A of the Terrorism Act. 03 Dec 2013 British police are examining whether Guardian newspaper staff should be investigated for terrorism offenses over their handling of data leaked by Edward Snowden, Britain's senior counter-terrorism officer said on Tuesday. The disclosure came after Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, summoned to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry, was accused by lawmakers of helping terrorists by making top secret information public and sharing it with other news organizations. Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who heads London's Specialist Operations unit, told lawmakers the police were looking to see whether any offenses had been committed, following the brief detention in August of a man carrying data on behalf of a Guardian journalist.

MPs' questions to Alan Rusbridger: do you love this country? --Key extracts from the Guardian editor's appearance before the home affairs select committee over the impact of NSA leaks 04 Dec 2013 Committee chair, Keith Vaz: You and I were both born outside this country, but I love this country. Do you love this country? ... Conservative MP Michael Ellis: Mr Rusbridger, you authorised files stolen by [National Security Agency contractor Edward] Snowden which contained the names of intelligence staff to be communicated elsewhere. Yes or no? Rusbridger: Well I think I've already dealt with that. ... Ellis: Do you accept that that is a criminal offence under section 58(a) of the Terrorism Act, 2000? ... Mark Reckless: I think you have committed a criminal offence in your response. Do you think that it would not be in the public interest for the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] to prosecute or should it be dealt with by the authorities in the normal way?
Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells MPs --Editor tells parliamentary committee that stories revealing mass surveillance by UK and US have prompted global debate 03 Dec 2013 The Guardian has come under concerted pressure and intimidation designed to stop it from publishing stories of huge public interest that have revealed the "staggering" scale of Britain's and America's secret surveillance programmes, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper has said. Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee about stories based on the National Security Agency leaks from the whistleblower Edward Snowden, Alan Rusbridger said the Guardian "would not be put off by intimidation, but nor are we going to behave recklessly".

NSA gathering 5 billion records per day on cellphone locations --NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show 04 Dec 2013 The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals -- and map their relationships -- in ways that would have been previously unimaginable. The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.

Edward Snowden revelations prompt UN investigation into surveillance --UN's senior counter-terrorism official says revelations 'are at the very apex of public interest concerns' 02 Dec 2013 The UN's senior counter-terrorism official is to launch an investigation into the surveillance powers of American and British intelligence agencies following Edward Snowden's revelations that they are using secret programmes to store and analyse billions of emails, phone calls and text messages. The UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC said his inquiry would also seek to establish whether the British parliament had been misled about the capabilities of Britain's eavesdropping headquarters, GCHQ, and whether the current system of oversight and scrutiny was strong enough to meet United Nations standards.


Thanks in part to the expansion movement, Social Security benefit cuts are all but off the table.2 But to ensure that Social Security isn't slashed at the last minute, we've got to double down and get every Democratic senator on the record in support of expanding Social Security benefits.

Senator Bill Nelson has not added his name to the list of senators who support expanding Social Security benefits. Will you call Sen. Nelson and tell him that you want him to co-sponsor the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013? - Sen. Nelson: 904-346-4500 

Thousands of protesters are expected to demonstrate during a Day of Rage against an Israeli government plan that would evict up to 40,000 Bedouin citizens from their homes and force them into impoverished townships.

The Israeli government's Prawer-Begin plan, officially known as the Bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, will move the Bedouin from so-called unrecognised villages into government-planned towns, where poverty is high and services are few.

The main protest was to be held near the Bedouin township of Hura on Saturday afternoon, while other demonstrations were planned in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and in several cities across Europe, North America and the Middle East.

"The government is trying to present the plan as 'in the best interest of the Bedouin', while with one hand it is acting to destroy Bedouin villages… and with the other it is building new Jewish localities in the Negev, some of these in the very same places where the [Bedouin] villages stand today," Huda Abu-Obeid, a Bedouin activist, said in a statement.

About 200,000 Bedouin currently live in the country's southern Negev desert.

Half of those live in seven crowded Israeli townships, while the other half live in 35 villages, which lack basic services such as running water, electricity, paved roads or schools.

Israel says these villages are illegal, accusing the Bedouin of a conducting a land grab in the Negev.

The government says its proposal aims to modernise the Bedouin, and improve their quality of life. It says it has earmarked $340m - to be spread over the next five years - to support the community's development.

"The idea is to ... better integrate Jews and Bedouins; to bring many more Bedouins to our work force; to employ and educate many more women for employment; and to build new communities; and to expand some of the current communities and make them modern," Doron Almog, a retired Israeli army general charged with implementing the government's plan, told Al Jazeera in August.

But critics say the plan fails to recognise Bedouin land claims and ignores the community's needs.

"You cannot uproot an entire population and urbanise it without consultation - and that is precisely what the government is doing," said Fadi El-Obra, a resident of Rahat, the largest government-planned Bedouin town in the Negev.

The plan has been condemned internationally.


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