Friday, January 27, 2012

Naoto Matsumura defiant in Japan's exclusion zone: One man defies Japanese government and is Tomioka's only resident



In the shadow of the Fukushima nuclear plant, one man's quiet defiance echoes through the contaminated, empty streets of Tomioka, Japan.

Tomioka, 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from the disaster, is inside the 12.4 mile (20-kilometer) radius of the government-mandated evacuation zone. But that hasn't stopped Naoto Matsumura, 52, a life-long resident and fifth generation farmer, from refusing to heed the mandatory evacuation since the nuclear meltdown.

"I'm full of rage," says Matsumura. "That's why I'm still here. I refuse to leave and let go of this anger and grief. I weep when I see my hometown. The government and the people in Tokyo don't know what's really happening here."

His defiance began with a simple desire to feed the animals on his farm. The government evacuated 78,000 residents around the exploding plant without a plan to rescue pets and valuable livestock.

As Matsumura began to feed his own animals, the neighborhood's desperate cats and dogs started showing up. He started to feed them too and decided he couldn't leave them behind to die. When Matsumura ran out of food, he slipped out of the exclusion zone and bought dog and cat food and then snuck back into town.

Weeks turned into months and now nearly a year. Conditions are growing worse by the day, says Matsumura. more

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 27th Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the Izu Islands, Japan Region at a depth of just 38 km (23.6 miles), the quake hit at 18:29:48 UTC Friday 27th January 2012
The epicenter was 209 km (129 miles) ESE of Hachijo-jima, Izu Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

Europe is developing an asteroid shield... but it won't be in time for the 19-mile wide monster hurtling past Earth next week

Scientists are trying to find a way to protect Earth from the giant rocks which travel around the Milky Way.

Run out of Berlin with funds from the EU, the NEOShield project, which will look for a way to protect earth from the space rocks, is expected to take three years to complete.

Some of the ideas being tossed around at the moment include repelling asteroids with projectiles or explosives or using gravity to change its course. Read More

Note; 433 Eros is a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) discovered in 1898, and the first asteroid to be orbited by a probe (in 2000)

Iranian bloggers to be executed for 'spreading corruption' as Tehran cracks down in run up to elections

Two Iranian bloggers are to be executed for 'spreading corruption' - as Tehran cracks down on freedom of expression in the run up to its parliamentary elections in March.

Four journalists have also been arrested, prompting the U.S. State Department to urge Iranian officials to 'protect the rights of all its citizens and uphold the rule of law'.

It comes as Israel said the world must act quickly to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and the UN urged the West to resume talks with the pariah state.

And it is two days before Iran's parliament debates whether to stop exports of oil to the European Union, which if approved could start as early as next week.

It would deny the EU a six-month phase-in of the embargo on Iranian oil it agreed on Monday as part of tough new sanctions aimed at forcing the curbing of its nuclear programme. Read More

Eurozone countries 'must show the colour of their money' before IMF bailout funds are used, Osborne warns

Eurozone countries must show 'the colour of their money' in shoring up the single currency before any IMF funds are given to members facing economic collapse, George Osborne said today.

The Chancellor said the UK was 'ready to play our part' in boosting International Monetary Fund resources to bail out struggling European economies - but only if strict criteria were met.

Britain is expected to be asked to up its contributions to the global body as it seeks to raise an additional 500 billion dollars (£320 billion) - which could mean an additional liability of around £17 billion.

Some senior Tory MPs are angry at suggestions the Government will meet that request as they fear the additional contributions will be used to prop up the eurozone.

Parliament has previously approved around £40 billion in support for the IMF, of which about £30 billion has already been committed. Read More

Thou shall not bear false witness: Italian priest told friends he was going on a religious treat is rumbled - after being rescued from the Concordia!

A Roman Catholic priest who lied to his flock and told them he was going on a spiritual retreat is actually a survivor from the Concordia cruise liner disaster, it emerged today.

Father Massimo Donghi’s double life was unmasked on Facebook after his niece Elisabetta, who was with him on the ill fated Concordia, posted that she and all her family 'including uncle Massimo' were safe and well.

The 41-year-old clergyman had told church parishioners earlier this month that he was going on a ‘spiritual retreat’ for a couple of weeks and had arranged for a substitute priest to cover for him while he took time out to reflect on his vows as well as meditate and pray.

Locals at Besana Brianza near Milan were delighted for him and waved him off with their full backing - although today they were furious to learn that instead of being on a retreat he had set off on a week’s cruise and was among more than 4,000 passengers and crew on the doomed boat that hit rocks two weeks ago. Read More

Sex predator who murdered his wife in Czech Republic allowed into UK to carry out knifepoint rape and string of attacks

A dangerous sexual predator from the Czech Republic who murdered his wife at home came to the UK and carried out a knifepoint rape and three serious sex attacks on women, a court heard.

Kajus Scuka, 48, raped a woman on her 54th birthday as she walked her dog in a park and groped his other victims and offered them cash for sex.

The convicted killer was claiming £67-per-week in benefits after coming to the country in 2009.

A judge today expressed dismay that despite his serious convictions and lengthy sentence, Scuka was 'free to enjoy the same freedom of movement as any other European citizen.'

He was allowed into the country despite serving 11-and-a-half years of a 13 year sentence for murdering his wife.

He had been jailed in 1988 for stabbing her three times in his homeland when they argued over his infidelity.

Scuka also has convictions in the Czech Republic for gross indecency, indecent assault and assaulting a woman with an axe for which he was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Although he was already a convicted killer, as he was not deemed high profile enough he is likely to have slipped into the country unnoticed because border officials would not have known of his criminal past. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE - 27th Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Dodecanese Islands, Greece at a depth of just 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 19:06:32 UTC Friday 27th January 2012
The epicenter was 48 km (29.8 miles) Southwest of Emborion, Greece
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.