05-24-2018  4:21 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

Portland streetcar derails in crash; 1 injury

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland streetcar derailed during an accident involving several vehicles.No major injuries have been reported, but police say one person was taken to a hospital.The crash happened early Thursday afternoon in the Central Eastside Industrial District.The streetcar's "B...

Suspect in 1986 Washington murder case pleads not guilty

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man arrested in the killing of a 13-year-old Tacoma, Washington girl over three decades ago has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.The News Tribune reports 60-year-old Robert Washburn pleaded not guilty Thursday in Tacoma, Washington, to murder with aggravated...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Staley settles lawsuit against Missouri athletic director

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has reached a ,000 settlement in her lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk.Missouri is paying the ,000. One half of the settlement will go to INNERSOLE, a nonprofit foundation co-founded by Staley. The other half will...

San Francisco police not charged in black man's 2015 killing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco prosecutors said Thursday that they will not charge officers in two shooting deaths, including the killing of a black man that led to citywide protests three years ago and federally recommended police reforms.District Attorney George Gascon declined to...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve relations between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

Jethro Mullen and Yoko Wakatsuki CNN

TOKYO (CNN) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has waded deep into the effort to deal with the aftermath of the world's worst nuclear accident in a quarter century.

His government said Tuesday it would spend the equivalent of $470 million to try to tackle the alarming toxic water crisis at the country's tsunami-crippled nuclear power plant.

National authorities are stepping in as Tokyo Electric Power Company struggles to cope with an array of daunting problems at its stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The move is a gamble for Abe, who comfortably won elections last year and has so far remained popular.

"Today, instead of the previous stopgap countermeasures, we have put together a basic policy for countering the contaminated water issue," Abe said after a ministerial meeting Tuesday.

TEPCO has accumulated a huge volume of tainted water at the site since a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 set off meltdowns at three of the plant's reactors.

A litany of leaks

Last month, it said one of roughly 1,000 huge storage tanks at the site had leaked 300 tons of toxic water, prompting Japan's nuclear regulator to declare the situation a Level 3 serious incident, its gravest assessment since the meltdowns at the plant in 2011.

Now, the regulator says it suspects more leaks from other containers after the company detected high radiation levels in some parts of the water storage system over the weekend.

TEPCO is also having difficulty managing the large quantities of groundwater that flow into and out of the area around the plant each day. In July, it admitted that radioactive groundwater was leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the site, bypassing an underground barrier built to seal in the water.

Michael Friedlander, a former nuclear plant operator and engineer, described the groundwater problem as one of the biggest long-term issues at the plant.

"It's like having a leak in your basement," he told CNN Tuesday.

Government measures

Amid mounting concerns about the crisis and TEPCO's ability to deal with it, Abe said last month his government would step in.

In the plan outlined Tuesday, the government said it intends to spend roughly $320 million on a technologically challenging project to freeze the ground around the reactors to prevent groundwater from leaking into the plant and carrying radioactive particles with it as it seeps out.

The plan to freeze the ground had already been proposed by TEPCO, but the government says it is trying to speed up measures to get a grip on the water crisis.

It earmarked a further $150 million for a new, more effective processing system for the tainted water at the plant.

Authorities will also replace water storage tanks that are held together by bolts with welded tanks, which have a lower risk of leaking.

The three main elements of the government's plan are to decrease the amount of contaminated water in and underneath the reactor buildings and surrounding trenches, keep groundwater away from already toxic water and prevent tainted water from seeping into the ocean.

Frozen ground

The plan to freeze the ground around the reactors is particularly ambitious. The Japanese government has previously described the task as "unprecedented."

The technology has been used before in the construction of tunnels, but never on the massive scale that the Fukushima plant would require. It also has never been used for the years or decades that experts think will be needed at the plant.

It is likely to involve plunging tubes carrying a powerful coolant liquid deep into the ground. The liquid would freeze the ground solid so that no groundwater could pass through it.

Friedlander said that the ground freezing is "a good solution as an interim fix" until the leaks underneath the reactors are permanently sealed.

TEPCO has been grappling with water issues ever since the plant was hit by the natural disasters in 2011. The resulting meltdowns constituted the second-worst nuclear accident in history, trailing only the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl, in the former Soviet Union.

CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki reported from Tokyo and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong. CNN's Junko Ogura contributed to this report.

 

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