Friday, July 6, 2012

  • As Japan Says Fukushima Disaster "Man-Made" & "Preventable," Fears Grow for Nuclear Plants Worldwide

    Japan

    A Japanese parliamentary inquiry has concluded last year’s nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was "a profoundly man-made disaster — that could and should have been foreseen and prevented." We speak to former nuclear industry executive Arnie Gundersen about the report and what it means for U.S. nuclear facilities, in particular the 23 with a similar design to the Fukushima plant. "There’s actually some curious information on Fukushima Unit 1. That was the first one to fail," Gundersen says. "That was built by an American company, General Electric, and an American architect/engineer. So it’s hard for the Japanese to blame themselves, when this was an all-American design. ... I am concerned that the industry, the nuclear industry in the United States, will say it’s a Japanese problem. And it’s not." [includes rush transcript]

  • Peru Declares State of Emergency as 5 Die in Protest Against Gold Mine Owned by U.S. Firm, Newmont

    Peru

    The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in the mountain region of Cajamarca where thousands have gathered in recent days to protest the expansion of a gold mine owned by the U.S.-based Newmont Mining that is already the largest in South America. Using live ammunition against the protesters, police have killed five people this week alone. In a dramatic video broadcast nationally on Peruvian television, police severely beat Marco Arana, a former Roman Catholic priest, who had rallied protesters despite emergency measures restricting freedom of assembly. We speak to journalist Bill Weinberg, who was recently in Cajamarca. "Every time the company, Yanacocha, proposes an expansion of the mine, the local people there get organized, and they block the roads, and they shut down the businesses," Weinberg says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rendered, Tortured & Discarded: A Shocking Story of an Innocent Man’s Ordeal in U.S. Prisons Abroad

    How_the_us_rendered_2

    A new exposé by human rights investigator Clara Gutteridge for The Nation magazine looks at secret U.S. operations in Africa and how the United States rendered, tortured and discarded one innocent man from Tanzania. Suleiman Abdallah was captured in Mogadishu in 2003 by a Somali warlord and handed over to U.S. officials, who had him rendered to Afghanistan for five years of detention and torture. Imprisoned in three different U.S. facilities, Abdallah said he was subjected to severe beatings, prolonged solitary confinement, forced nakedness and humiliation. He said he was also sexually assaulted, locked naked in a coffin, and forced to lie on a wet mat, naked and handcuffed. Abdallah was finally released in July 2008 from Bagram Air Force Base — with a piece of paper confirming his innocence. However, he has received neither reparations nor apologies for his ordeal. "The worst of the torture, we’re not authorized to talk about, because it’s too painful for him," Gutteridge says. "What I can say is that he was subject to some of the worst torture that I have ever encountered in interviewing over a hundred U.S. torture victims." [includes rush transcript]

  • Amy Goodman in Spain on the 75th Anniversary of Guernica Bombing, Portrayed by Picasso Painting

    Amy

    On April 26, 1937, Nazi German aircraft carpet-bombed the Basque town of Guernica in an attempt to support the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco. The bombing killed as many as 1,600 and wounded hundreds. Eighty percent of the city’s buildings were destroyed. It was one of the first aerial attacks on a civilian target. Pablo Picasso’s painting, "Guernica," was inspired by the bombing. Amy Goodman is in Guernica today and talks about the impact of the assault 75 years later. [includes rush transcript]