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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bernard Orr)

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

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Never-before-seen tax docs show Trump’s businesses made themselves seem more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials

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Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

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‘Make it a twofer’: Trump brutally mocked after claiming ‘rumor has it’ CNN’s president will resign ‘momentarily’

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President Donald Trump unleashed his second attack on the media over the course of less than 24 hours, this time attacking his top news target, CNN, as "a virtual fraud." The president also claimed "rumor has it" CNN's president, Jeff Zucker, "will be resigining momentarily?" (The typo is Mr. Trump's.)

Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigining momentarily?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2019

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Trump and the end of the American myth of meritocracy

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The following is chock-a-block with spoilers for "Succession" Season 2, including the finale, so proceed with caution.For understandable reasons, the internet is all a-chatter about the final scenes of Season 2 of "Succession." On Sunday's finale, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), who spent most of this season looking like a whipped puppy, finally stuck it to his old man, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), throwing the patriarch under the bus during a live press conference, during which Kendall was supposed to offer himself up as the fall guy for Waystar Royco's criminal behavior. It was a moment of Kendall showing spine and competence, and understandably, audiences cheered him on.
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