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Radioactive water ‘may have leaked’ from Fukushima

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Radioactive water may have leaked into the ground from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator said on Saturday, the latest in a series of troubles at the crippled facility.

Up to 120 tonnes of contaminated water may have escaped from one of the seven underground reservoir tanks at the tsunami-damaged plant, according to a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman.

The tank stores water used to cool down the reactors after radioactive caesium is removed but other radioactive substances remain.

“We are transferring the remaining water from the tank to others,” the TEPCO spokesman said, adding that the company believes the contaminated water was unlikely to flow into the sea.

The leakage came after one of the systems keeping spent atomic fuel cool at the plant temporarily failed on Friday, the second outage in a matter of weeks, underlining the precarious fix at the plant.

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Nuclear fuel, even after use, has to be kept cool to prevent it from overheating and beginning a self-sustaining atomic reaction that could lead to meltdown.

The plant was hit by the giant tsunami of March 2011 as reactors went into meltdown and spewed radiation over a wide area, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes and polluting farmland.

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The US has a history of testing biological weapons on the public – were infected ticks used too?

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The House of Representatives has instructed the Pentagon to disclose whether it used ticks to infect the American public with Lyme disease between 1950 and 1975. The allegation comes from Chris Smith, the Republican representative for New Jersey. A long-standing campaigner on Lyme disease, Smith says the claims are from a new book about the illness and the man who discovered it – a bioweapons scientist called Willy Burgdofer.

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What drove the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer into Al Franken denialism?

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The defenders of Sen. Al Franken are perhaps the single most embarrassing group of allegedly progressive people in the Democratic coalition. Franken, who resigned from the Senate in January 2018, was accused by eight different women of sexual impropriety. Most of these accusations were both serious and credible, in that the women making them were mostly liberals who had no apparent reason to lie about Franken's behavior toward them. Despite this, Franken's defenders are married to the delusional belief that it's all just a frame-up and that if he'd had "due process" in the form of a Senate ethics investigation (run by Republicans, who control that chamber) he would have somehow managed to prove this.

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Rush Limbaugh argues Kamala Harris and Barack Obama can’t be considered African-American

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Rush Limbaugh, the controversial radio host with a long history of racially charged comments, on Monday described Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and former President Barack Obama as not being truly "black."

In a clip captured by Media Matters for America, Limbaugh can be heard using a mocking tone to describe Harris and Obama — as well as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. — as people who want to be "victims" so they depict Trump as "this big man bully."

"And by the way, can somebody explain to me how Kamala Harris is an African-American?" Limbaugh asks. "Her father is Jamaican and her mother is Indian. How does that equal African-American? Same thing with Barack Obama. Obama's not African-American, he doesn't have any history here [inaudible] any of that stuff. And Rashida Tlaib is Palestinian, for crying out -- that'd be like calling a Jewish person a person of color. How is Rashida Tlaib a person of color? She's not! This is all about making them victims. It's all about making them appear to be 'Just little people trying to save themselves and save their country and this big man bully, this guy Trump comes along and squashes on them and steps on them and it's all because he doesn't like...' It's absurd!"

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