March 18, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views.
Top global and national news stories include:
• U.N. Security Council authoritizes action against Moammar Kadafi: U.S. and allied forces begin preparing for military operations against Libya despite doubts the outgunned rebels can be saved (Los Angeles Times)
• Libya announces ceasefire; violence reported in Misrata (CNN)
• ‘Chernobyl solution’ could be last resort for Japanese reactors (MSNBC)
• House votes to end money for NPR, and Senate passes spending bill (New York Times)
• Saudi king offers more handouts, security boost (Reuters)
• Japan to move part of high-tech production to Mexico in wake of disaster (Rian)
• Japan races to restore power at reactors (Reuters)
• U.S. reactor pools store more spent fuel than Japan’s (Anchorage Daily News)
• Japan nuclear fears lift solar stocks (CNN Money)
• With U.S. nuclear plants under scrutiny, too, a report raises safety concerns (New York Times)
• AT&T & Verizon offer free calls to Japan (MSNBC)
• World considers nuclear-free future (Russian Times)
• Radiation sickness: who’s most at risk? (CBS)
• Quake sell-off wipes $287 billion off Tokyo stock market (Reuters)
• Volcano in Southern Japan erupts (Los Angeles Times)
• Escalating Yemen violence kills 3, injures hundreds (Reuters)
U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZES ACTION AGAINST MOAMMAR KADAFI
U.S. and allied forces began preparing for military operations against Libya despite doubts the outgunned rebels can be saved.
March 17, 2011 (Los Angeles Times)--U.S. and allied forces prepared to conduct military operations against Libya after the United Nations Security Council authorized international action to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi from using indiscriminate slaughter to quell a monthlong revolt.
LIBYA ANNOUNCES CEASE-FIRE; VIOLENCE REPORTEDIN MISRATA
March 18, 2011 (CNN)-- CNN) -- Libya's government announced a "immediate" cease-fire on Friday, but witnesses in western and eastern Libya says conflict is raging.
Witnesses in the western city of Misrata said a pro-government assault is persisting and casualties are mounting.
‘CHERNOBYL SOLUTION’ COULD BE LAST RESORT FOR JAPAN REACTORS
March 18, 2011 (MSNBC) A "Chernobyl solution" may be the last resort for dealing with Japan's stricken nuclear plant, but burying it in sand and concrete is a messy fix that might leave part of the country as an off-limits radioactive sore for decades.
Japanese authorities say it is still too early to talk about long-term measures while cooling the plant's six reactors and associated fuel-storage pools, comes first
HOUSE VOETS TO END MONEY FOR NPR, AND SENATE PASSES SPENDING BILL
March 18, 2011 (New York Times) — The House voted Thursday to cut off financing for National Public Radio, with Democrats and Republican fiercely divided over both the content of the bill and how it was brought to the floor.
Passes Stopgap Budget
Senate approved a short-term spending measure passed earlier in the week by the House that would keep the government financed through April 8. Members of both parties and chambers said the move, which once again averted a government shutdown, should be the last of its kind. The measure, which cut spending by $6 billion for this fiscal year, passed the Senate 87 to 13, with nine Republicans, three Democrats and an independent voting in dissent.
SAUDI KING OFFERS MORE HANDOUTS, SECURITY BOOST
March 18, 2011 (Reuters)-- (Reuters) - Saudi King Abdullah offered $91 billion in handouts on Friday and boosted his security and religious police forces, opting for a mixture of carrot and stick to stave off unrest rocking the Arab world.
JAPAN TO MOVE PART OF HI-TECH PRODUCTION TO MEXICO IN WAKE OF DISASTER
March 17, 2011 (Rian)--A number of large Japanese electronics companies damaged by the strong earthquake and tsunami last week plan to move part of their production lines to Mexico in the near future, President of the National Chamber of Electronics Industry Fernando Sierra Ortiz said.
Ortiz said the decision to move production lines to Mexico stems from the necessity to immediately renew the production and constant equipping of elements to the North American market.
JAPAN RACES TO RESTORE POWER AT REACTORS
March 17, 2011 -- (Reuters) - Japanese engineers toiled frantically to avert a catastrophic release of radiation from a crippled nuclear power plant north of Tokyo on Friday, but the United States said it could take weeks to cool the facility's overheating fuel rods.
Officials said they hoped to fix a power cable to at least two of the six reactors in the hope of restarting water pumps and were preparing to douse them in the afternoon with water from fire trucks. However, no one was holding out hope that the crisis -- about to enter its second week after last Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami -- could be overcome anytime soon.
Japan's nuclear agency spokesman conceded that a "Chernobyl solution" of burying the reactors in sand and concrete was in the back of the authorities' minds.
US REACTOR POOLS STORE MORE SPENT FUEL THAN JAPAN’S
March 17, 2011 (Anchorage Daily News) -- U.S. nuclear plants use the same sort of pools to cool spent nuclear-fuel rods as the ones now in danger of spewing radiation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, only the U.S. pools hold much more nuclear material. That's raising the question of whether more spent fuel should be taken out of the pools at U.S. power plants to reduce risks.
JAPAN NUCLEAR FEARS LIFT SOLAR STOCKS
March 15, 2011 (CNN Money) -- It seems callous to try and look for investing opportunities in the wake of a disaster as colossal as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
But you know what they say about Wall Street. Fear and greed motivate the stock market. Both emotions appear to be contributing to the sharp rise in solar energy stocks Monday morning.
WITH U.S. NUCLEAR PLANTS UNDER SCRUTINY, TOO, A REPORT RAISES SAFETY CONCERNS
March 17, 2011 (New York Times)--With Japan’s nuclear industry facing intense scrutiny after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, critics of nuclear power in the United States are increasingly shining a spotlight on American regulators and power companies.
On Thursday, the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental and nuclear watchdog group based in Cambridge, Mass., accused the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a report of allowing companies that operate plants to ignore, or delay repairs to, leaky pipes, electrical malfunctions and other problems that could escalate into something more serious.
ATT & VERIZON OFFER FREE CALLS TO JAPAN
March 14, 2011 (MSNBC)--AT&T and Verizon are helping out individuals who are trying to reach Japan-based friends and family in the aftermath of the recent earthquake by providing free calling to the country.
WORLD CONSIDERS NUCLEAR-FREE FUTURE
March 15, 2011 (Russian Times) -- The Japanese disasters have raised questions as to whether nuclear technology can ever be called safe to use. EU nuclear experts are considering if the union should eventually move away from nuclear energy.
The devastation in Japan and the nuclear threat now posed are making countries around the world think again about how they create their energy.
The International Atomic Energy Agency says 20 per cent of the world’s nuclear reactors are located inside the zones of seismic activity, similar to Japan.
RADIATION SICKNESS: WHO’S MOST AT RISK?
March 14, 2011 (CBS)-- There are conflicting reports on how much radiation has leaked and might still escape from the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Dai-ichi, Japan damaged by Friday's disaster in Japan.
But there's no doubt that any significant exposure to extra radiation poses a health risk.
QUAKE SELL-OFF WIPES $287 BILLION OFF TOKYO STOCK MARKET
March 14, 2011 (Reuters)— A massive selloff on the Tokyo Stock Exchange wiped out some 23.5 trillion yen ($287 billion) from the market's value on Monday with investors dumping stocks as the country recoiled from a devastating earthquake and struggled to avert nuclear disaster.
VOLCANO IN SOUTHERN JAPAN ERUPTS
March 13, 2011 (Los Angeles Times)--The Shinmoedake volcano on Japan's Kyushu island, after lying dormant for a couple of weeks, resumes activity in a blast heard miles away. It was unclear if the eruption was linked to Friday's massive earthquake in the north.
ESCALATING YEMEN VIOLENCE KILLS 3, INJURES HUNDREDS
March 12, 2011 (Reuters) - Three people died and hundreds were injured on Saturday in some of the fiercest clashes between police and anti-government protesters since popular unrest started to batter faction-riven Yemen in January.