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Japan firm ‘told workers to lie’ about radiation dose

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A subcontractor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant told workers to lie about possible high radiation exposure in an apparent effort to keep its contract, reports said Saturday.

An executive at construction firm Build-Up in December told about 10 of its workers to cover their dosimeters, used to measure cumulative radiation exposure, with lead casings when working in areas with high radiation, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and other media said.

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The action was apparently designed to under-report their exposure to allow the company to continue working at the site of the worst nuclear disaster in a generation, media reports said.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 crippled cooling equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, triggering meltdowns that spewed radioactivity and forced tens of thousands of residents to flee.

The Asahi urged plant operator Tokyo Electric Power to strictly manage the safety of work crews.

The influential daily also called on the government to conduct a thorough survey of work conditions at the site, which has been off limit to the public, except for occasional visits by journalists guided by TEPCO officials.

Several workers at Build-Up told the Asahi that a senior official from the firm who served as their on-site supervisor said in December he used a lead casing and urged them to do the same.

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Without faking the exposure level, the executive told the workers they would quickly reach the legally permissible annual exposure limit of 50 millisieverts, according to the Asahi.

The workers had a recording of their meeting, the newspaper said.

“Unless we hide it with lead, exposure will max out and we cannot work,” the executive was heard saying in the recording, the Asahi reported.

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Some workers refused to wear it and left the company, the Asahi said.

The workers were hired for about four months through March to insulate pipes at a water treatment facility, Kyodo News said.

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The ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare was starting to investigate the matter, newspapers and Jiji Press reported.

Health ministry and Build-Up officials could not be reached for comment.


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Genocide expert breaks down how all of the ‘warning signs’ are present in Trump’s America

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Defense research scientist and genocide expert Brynn Tannehill laid out a terrifying warning on Thursday about President Donald Trump's administration.

As the United States Senate conducted an impeachment trial for the commander-in-chief, Tannehill posted an extended Twitter thread examining the situation in America from her perspective as a researcher studying the conditions that lead to genocide.

Here is what she wrote:

I study genocide. It's been a theme in my academic endeavours for nearly 30 years. More accurately, I study the conditions in the lead up to genocide, be they cultural, social, political, economic, etc... 1/n

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Year of Rat hails easy ride for Donald Trump — but bumps for Harry and Meghan

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As the world prepares to welcome the Year of the Rat, feng shui masters predict a lucky year for Donald Trump, but warn Harry and Meghan's futures are less certain as they make a bid for freedom.

Both the US President and the Sussexes have begun 2020 with a bang.

The former is facing down an impeachment trial -- and seeking re-election in November -- while the latter are beginning a new chapter in Canada after consciously uncoupling from the gilded but pressured career of being a working British royal.

But if experts in the field of Chinese horoscopes are to be believed, it is the US president that will have the easier journey this year.

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John Roberts caused a ‘crisis of democratic legitimacy’ — it’s ‘entirely fitting’ he has to preside over his mess: columnist

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Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was blasted in The Washington Post on Thursday for his culpability in creating the dynamics that resulted in President Donald Trump -- and his impeachment.

"There is justice in John Roberts being forced to preside silently over the impeachment trial of President Trump, hour after hour, day after tedious day," Dana Milbank wrote. "Roberts’s captivity is entirely fitting: He is forced to witness, with his own eyes, the mess he and his colleagues on the Supreme Court have made of the U.S. political system. As representatives of all three branches of government attend this unhappy family reunion, the living consequences of the Roberts Court’s decisions, and their corrosive effect on democracy, are plain to see."

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