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Report: France ‘deliberately’ used soldiers as ‘nuclear guinea pigs’

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France used soldiers as guinea pigs in nuclear tests in the 1960s, deliberately exposing them to radiation from atomic blasts to test the effects, according to a report revealed on Tuesday.

The secret military report, obtained by AFP, said that between 1960 and 1966 France sent troops onto Algerian desert test sites “to study the physiological and psychological effects caused on humans by an atomic weapon.”

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One operation in 1961 involved military personnel advancing on foot and in trucks to within a few hundred metres (yards) of the epicentre of a nuclear blast less than an hour after detonation, according to the report.

The conscripts were given 45 minutes to dig foxholes in the contaminated desert earth, protected only by the military-issue boots, capes, gloves and simple face masks.

“It appeared from the results that at 800 metres from point zero and outside the fall-out zone, the combatant was physically able to continue fighting,” the report said.

The tests aimed to help the military develop “physical preparation and morale training for the modern combatant” and teach soldiers how to protect themselves after a nuclear blast, it said.

France has allocated 10 million euros ($13.6 million) to compensate victims of nuclear tests in the Sahara and in Polynesia, but bitter political and medical fallout still lingers 50 years after the tests.

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According to campaigners, children are still born with deformities in the irradiated Algerian desert, while in France elderly army veterans complain of multiple unexplained cancers.

AVEN, an association representing the troops exposed to the 210 tests carried out by France in Algeria and French Polynesia between 1960 and 1996, says it has gathered 4,500 testimonies from victims and their spouses.

“Immediately after the explosion, they said to us ‘go and look at the result’,” said one veteran, August Ribet, 74, who suffers from throat cancer.

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“They gave us nice suits in white fabric which were no use at all, and a gas mask,” he said, speaking to AFP recently. Ribet hopes one day that the courts will recognise him as a victim of the tests.

Defence Minister Herve Morin told AFP he would ensure “transparency” concerning the levels of radiation in all of France’s nuclear tests.

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The report by unnamed military officials dates back to 1998. Morin said that in 2007 the defence ministry made a summary of the findings of what he described as “tactical experiments” in Algeria.


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QAnon Republican’s campaign kicks journalist out of event after he covered sexist slur against Pelosi: report

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According to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein, pro-QAnon congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene's campaign kicked him out of their election watch party shortly after he reported on the content of her victory speech from the primary runoff — saying that it was a closed press event.

Bluestein documented Greene attacking both mainstream Republicans and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whom she referred to as "that b*tch."

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Small businesses in turmoil as pandemic stimulus talks stalled: report

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On Tuesday, Politico reported that small businesses are in limbo as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has stalled, and as the White House and Congress appear to be at a standstill on extending coronavirus stimulus.

"The collapse of pandemic relief negotiations has brought complications for the massive emergency lending program, which shut down on Saturday to new loans after doling out more than $520 billion in funds, leaving banks and borrowers unsure of how to proceed with a key phase of the rescue," reported Zachary Warmbrodt.

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2020 Election

Trump can’t attack Kamala Harris without contradicting his own message: Bakari Sellers

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers broke down why Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) poses such a challenge for President Donald Trump.

"What we're seeing with the two parties is the narrow focus is going to be on the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump campaign have no way, and they do not know how to deal, with Kamala Harris," said Sellers. "It very difficult to say 'Kamala is a cop' and be a 'law and order president.' Those two things simply do not mesh. Not only ahistorical and inaccurate, but the messages, they collide."

"But second, it shows that the Republican Party and Democratic Party are going in two vastly different directions," continued Sellers. "The country is becoming more diverse, the country is becoming more brown. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent the demographics of what the country will be, and Donald Trump and Steven Miller and Mike Pence represent a day that's passed. So what I would say tonight is while Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to cheer on the Confederacy, we're trying to re-imagine what this country will look like. It goes back to a time where Americans can feel good about being first and about thinking about what our country can be: full of hope and faith."

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