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Investigators to re-enter New Mexico nuclear waste site after radiation leak

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By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) – An investigative team plans to re-enter an underground nuclear waste site in New Mexico next week for the first time since an accidental release of unsafe levels of radiation there last month, a U.S. Energy Department official said Thursday.

U.S. authorities now say that 21 workers at the Carlsbad-area “waste isolation pilot project” (WIPP) were exposed to radiation after the accidental leak from the site, which stores waste from U.S. nuclear labs and weapons production facilities.

Eight workers will test air for contamination as they seek to make their way into an ancient salt formation half a mile below ground where radioactive waste is stored, Energy Department spokesman Bradley Bugger said in a statement.

The team will wear protective clothing and use self-contained breathing devices in a mission designed to determine the cause of the February 14 accident.

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Testing of surface air in and around the Energy Department complex has shown elevated levels of radiation since the mishap, but those have steadily decreased. None reached concentrations considered harmful to human health or the environment, Bugger said.

He added that four additional employees at the facility in the Chihuahuan Desert have tested positive for contamination based on more stringent testing protocols. That brings to 21 the number of workers who inhaled or ingested particles emitted from the decay of radioisotopes like plutonium while working above ground on February 14 or the following day.

The amount of radiation the workers took into their bodies is very low and they are not expected to experience ill health effects, Bugger said.

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(Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bernard Orr)

[Image: “Man In Protective Hazmat Suit,” via Shutterstock]


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Trump is facing massive criticism for his attacks on young women of color in Congress

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US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

"All they do is complain," Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products "Made in America."

"These are people that hate our country," he said of the four lawmakers. "If you're not happy here, you can leave."

Trump also accused the four first-term congresswomen -- who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin -- of having "love" for US "enemies like Al-Qaeda."

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Trump’s campaign is spending massively at his own businesses — and even more on lawyers

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President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign filed their latest campaign finance reports on Monday.

Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the money in politics watchdog group Open Secrets, dissected the numbers and made two startling discoveries.

In the three months covered, from April through June, Trump's campaign and affiliated joint fundraising committees spent $326,094.24 at Trump businesses, including six figures at both Mar-a-Lago and Trump Hotel DC.

Trump's campaign also spent over $1.3 million on legal bills. He spent approximately $7 million on legal bills in 2018, Massoglia noted.

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Trump is ‘one pointy white hat shy of a Klan rally’: GOP strategist Rick Wilson ripped Trump as a ‘flagrant racist’ on MSNBC

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Republican strategy ripped President Donald Trump for being a "flagrant racist" during a Monday night appearance on MSNBC.

Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Wilson about Trump's latest nativist attacks on young women of color in Congress.

"Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy? Is this Donald Trump and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the voters we already have and energizing them and getting them to come and squeak out that electoral formula once again?" O'Donnell asked.

"Absolutely, Lawrence. As everyone else stated on the show, it’s been obvious for a long time from the long arc of his dad to redling to the Central Park Five to birtherism to this stuff today, this guy, he's racist adjacent in of the best day of his life," Wilson is explained.

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