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Oregon’s Siletz River Ecosystem Files Lawsuit to Defend Its Rights

Published on Truthout, 26 July 2017.

Ecuador, New Zealand, India and Colombia have recognized the personhood rights of rivers. Now representatives of the Siletz River Ecosystem in Oregon have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit to protect the ecosystem’s right to be “free from toxic trespass and aerially sprayed pesticides.”

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Japan Plans to Expose Its People and 2020 Tokyo Olympians to Fukushima Radiation

Published on Truthout, 17 July 2017.

Former nuclear industry senior vice president Arnie Gundersen, who managed and coordinated projects at 70 US atomic power plants, is appalled at how the Japanese government is handling the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

“The inhumanity of the Japanese government toward the Fukushima disaster refugees is appalling,” Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 45 years of nuclear power engineering experience and the author of a bestselling book in Japan about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, told Truthout.

He explains that both the Japanese government and the atomic power industry are trying to force almost all of the people who evacuated their homes in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to return “home” before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This March Japan’s federal government announced the subsidies that have, up until now, been provided to Fukushima evacuees who were mandated to leave their homes are being withdrawn, which will force many of them to return to their contaminated prefecture out of financial necessity.

And it’s not just the Japanese government. The International Olympic Commission is working overtime to normalize the situation as well, even though conditions at Fukushima are anything but normal. The commission even has plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to have baseball and softball games played at Fukushima.

Gundersen believes these developments are happening so that the pro-nuclear Japanese government can claim the Fukushima disaster is “over.” However, he noted, “The disaster is not ‘over’ and ‘home’ no longer is habitable.”

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Navy Introduces Toxins to Drinking Water, Then Expands Operations

Published on Truthout, 12 July 2017.

In Washington State, a Naval Air Base on Whidbey Island has turned the area into a Superfund site and local residents fear that the island’s soil and water may be compromised beyond recovery. The Navy’s response has been to avoid mentioning some of the highly toxic substances in its environmental impact report as it seeks to expand operations at the base.

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The GOP’s Health Care Legislation Is Cruel and Punitive, Doctors Say

Published on Truthout, 10 July 2017.

Insurance is not the same as health care, which is intensely personal, relationship-based and immensely complex, point out physicians and other health professionals. To have non-clinicians in Congress denigrate a service they know nothing about is at the core of this tragic and ill-informed policy debate, says Dr. Bruce Amundson of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

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