Monday, March 14, 2011

Video: Libyan rebels braced for attacks euronews

Usher Sex Tape For Sale

At this point, news of a celebrity sex tape shouldn’t be all that surprising, but I didn’t see it coming for USHER! I guess one of the reasons people become celebrities is that they like being in front of the camera. A sex tape of Usher and ex-wife Tameka Foster is making the rounds.
TMZ was approached several days ago by someone claiming to have the sex tape. The person sent us a short video and two photos. We’ll keep this PG-13 and just say … the people in the video are both givers. 
The video and photos are clear — it’s Usher and Tameka.
Sources close to Usher tell TMZ that if there is such a video, it could’ve been among the things stolen from his car a few years ago (two laptops were among the items stolen).

Reps for Usher had no comment; Tameka’s reps couldn’t be reached. OMG.

Japan’s 1896 Earthquake, Tsunami: 125 Ft. Waves, Over 20,000 Japanese Killed

New tsunami warning lifted, second explosion at Japan nuclear power plant

8.9 Sendai earthquake tsunami

According to a new report from Yahoo news there was a second explosion at the No. 3 reactor of the Daiichi plant in Fukushima, and, a new tsunami ‘headed for the same coastline’ that was hit on March 11th after the 8.9 Sendai earthquake on March 11. Missing from the Yahoo news report, the reason behind the new tsunami warning. [New video footage of tsunami below]
Later, Reuters reported the second tsunami warning had been lifted:
(Reuters) – Japanese fears of a second tsunami proved unfounded on Monday, local media said, as the national weather agency made clear that it had not detected a wave on the Pacific coast.
Sunday the BBC reported an unusual statement from Professor Fumihoko Imamura, the 8.9 tsunami ‘was literally a “once-in-a-millennium” event’. An interesting statement given the devastating 1896 tsunami that struck the northeast coast of Japan after a 7.2 earthquake, the Meiji-Sanriku earthquake. A tsunami that had wave heights estimated at 125 ft. and a death toll of over 20,000 Japanese. The estimated wave heights of the 8.9 earthquake tsunami, 30 ft. The expected death toll from the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami, 10,000. Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, the location of where the June 15, 1896 and March 11, 2011 tsunami’s hit northeastern Japan.
Maybe the professor was misquoted by the BBC?
BBC News:
2056 This tsunami was literally a “once-in-a-millennium” event, says Professor Fumihiko Imamura from Tohoku University in Sendai. In 869, according to historical texts, there was an earthquake of this scale in which 1,000 people died, he says. Geological research has revealed evidence of the tsunami 5km inland, but only bits and pieces of what happened are known.
The 8.9 earthquake, a once-in-a-millennium event. The tsunami, with estimated 30 ft. wave heights, not as historical as the 1896 tsunami in regards to the height of the wave. Both tsunamis struck the northeastern coast of Japan. The largest number of casualties from the 1896 tsunami northwest of Sendai.

Location of 7.2, 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake

8.9 Japan earthquake map- USGS

The above map, the location of Miyagi, one of two

Will Mideast-Style Unrest Spread to China?

Guy Taylor | Bio | 14 Mar 2011 

Over the weekend, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered a glimpse into China's apprehension toward the popular uprisings in the Arab world when he rejected comparisons between China and the Middle East.

"We have followed closely the turbulence in some north African and Middle Eastern countries," said Wen, according to the Associated Press. "We believe it is not right to draw an analogy between China and those countries."

His remarks coincided with two worthy op-eds in the U.S. media questioning the likelihood that unrest may spread to China. "The communist government in Beijing is clearly worried," wrote Francis Fukuyama in the Wall Street Journal, while Guobin Yang asserted in the New York Times that the government's posture has prompted protesters to "express modest and concrete goals rather than demand total change."

Adam Segal, an expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and regular contributor to the council's Asia Unbound blog, tells Trend Lines that "the chances of an overthrow of the Chinese regime are very slim in the near term."

Segal cited a number of reasons, including the significantly more aggressive response to public demonstrations by Chinese authorities, whose monitoring and control over social media are also more sophisticated than what had been in place in Tunisia and Egypt.

More importantly, however, he pointed to the uniquely far-reaching nature of the Chinese state.

"We're talking about a Communist Party that has 60 million to 70 million members now," Segal said. "The state itself extends so far down to the village level and into the countryside, it's a much broader apparatus than you had in Tunisia or in Egypt."

Segal added that economic growth certainly also makes a difference in China, as widespread benefits spread to the middle class.

Israel to CNN: Apologize for Biased Coverage

cnn fogel.jpg
Earlier today Snapshots flagged the tendentious coverage by CNN and BBC of the massacre of the Fogel family. Now the Israeli government is taking the networks to task for their biased reports about the murders. Ynet reports:

Israel is demanding an apology from CNN over its coverage of Saturday's terrorist attack in Itamar claiming it was "tendentious and deceptive." Government Press Office director Oren Helman sent a letter to CNN's Bureau Chief Kevin Flower saying he was astonished at the network's coverage of the ruthless attack. A CNN website report avoided describing the event as a terror attack, noting that the Israel Defense Forces consider it an act of terrorism. "Only you decided to use the term terrorist attack in quotation marks, as if this were not necessarily the case," Helman wrote. "There is a limit to the extent of objectivity regarding such a horrific deed." . . .

The BBC also referred to the terrorist as an intruder in its report. "The family - including three children - were stabbed to death by an intruder who broke into their home, Israeli media reported," the BBC reported Saturday. Readers might deduce the family members died in a failed burglary attempt.

Posted by TS

Is anything nuclear ever really super safe small and simple?

The gaping maw of Chernobyl.

Absent some terrible news from Japan this will be my second and last column about the nuclear accidents unfolding there. It turned out I was right last time about the sodium polyboride or boric acid or whatever neutron absorber the Japanese authorities dumped in first one and now two reactors along with a lot of sea water in an attempt to quench the reaction heat. I think it is pretty clear, too, that most of these reactors will not be coming back online… ever. This column looks at what that can mean for the nuclear industry in Japan and I also want to look at how these accidents are or aren’t like Chernobyl — a comparison I am seeing far too often in news reports.

To come up with a good comparison I turned to my friend Robert Bishop, one of the only Americans actually at Chernobyl back in 1986, helping fight that reactor.

These Japanese reactors are old and fairly well understood while Chernobyl was brand new. These Japanese reactors had already been in service for 16 years when Chernobyl melted down. In comparative terms there is no comparison — Chernobyl was vastly worse.

As just one example, when it came to poisoning the nuclear reaction in Japan they inserted the control rods, dumped-in the boric acid, then allowed sea water to enter the containment. In the course of all this the roof of the reactor building exploded revealing the containment vessel, inside of which lay the reactor core. But at Chernobyl it was all so much simpler — no reactor building, no containment vessel, just the out-of-control reactor, standing in the rain, emitting radiation.

Poisoning Chernobyl, according to Robert, came down eventually to dumping tons of powdered bismuth directly into the gaping maw of the reactor core from above. “It was almost instantaneous, ” he recalled. “Bismuth is a good neutron absorber, but more importantly it went through two complete phase changes from solid to liquid to gas, absorbing huge amounts of heat from the core, which was cooled by hundreds of degrees in just seconds. ”

It was a clever gambit, poisoning Chernobyl, but remember that somewhere between 30 and 60 workers died in the process leaving a further legacy of birth defects in the region.

These Japanese nuclear accidents come down to the simple fact that nobody back in the 1960s designed nuclear plants to run for 40 years then go through an 8.9 earthquake. Nor are today’s nuclear plants probably designed to that standard, which means Japan is facing what will by necessity be a significantly different nuclear future.

We’ll see rolling blackouts for months, maybe years, in Japan and the new nuclear plants that replace those old nuclear plants will be vastly different, too. If I were to predict a clear winner in Japan’s new nuclear future it would be Toshiba with its innovative 4S (Super Safe Small and Simple) reactors.

Japan needs increased generating capacity fast. They would like to replace nuclear with nuclear. But the new plants also have to show they can survive an 8.9 earthquake and reduce the number of critical failure points. Toshiba’s 4S reactors, which have been around for several years now, though not yet commercially successful, do all that quite easily.

4S reactor cores are like nuclear building blocks, built on a factory production line and transported by truck to be installed 30 meters under the ground. Each 4S puts out 10 megawatts of electricity or enough for 2000 Japanese homes. Following this path means the lost 1000 megawatt reactors will need 100 4S’s each to replace them or a total of 1200 4S reactors. 4S’s are fueled at the factory, put in place to run for 20 years then returned to the factory for refueling. They are sodium-cooled and pretty darned impossible to melt down. If the cooling system is compromised they automatically shut down and just sit there in a block of sodium.

The biggest problem facing the 4S has been regulatory approvals, which would normally take in aggregate 100 times as long (and cost 100 times as much) if done the same way as a larger nuclear plant. That’s where this earthquake will probably change everything, at least in Japan, where the process will be streamlined almost to nothing with a 4S soon stashed under every power substation giving Japan a smart grid in the process.

By Robert X. Cringely

Dwayne Wade Wins Custody Of Kids; Siovaughn Devastated

Written by MrsGrapevine

This is sad news, yet people are celebrating like it’s a victory. Dwayne Wade was awarded sole custody of his children. His wife, Siovaughn, who has been there for the boys before the divorce, is devastated and heart broken by the news. Not sure how you can win in a case like this when both parents want their children in their lives. If one parent wins, then the children lose. I’m glad Dwayne Wade fought for custody of his children, but I’m sad that Siovaughn had to lose the battle, and I’m even more sad that they couldn’t work it out.
Dwayne Wade Sons Dwayne Wade Wins Custody Of Kids; Siovaughn Devastated
According to 24 Hour Hip Hop, Dwayne Wade received a standing ovation when he informed teammates of his legal win. Get the details when you continue, plus here from Siovaughn’s lawyer…

A Chicago judge has given Miami Heat all-star guard Dwyane Wade sole custody of his two sons after a legal battle with his ex-wife, attorneys said Sunday.An attorney for Wade’s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Wade, told the Chicago Tribune the mother of the boys, ages 8 and 3, was informed of the judge’s decision Friday.
The woman’s lawyer, Michael Haber, said she was considering an appeal of the decision, under which the boys will live with Dwyane Wade in Miami while Siohvaughn Wade is allowed visitation on alternating weekends and holidays.
“Unfortunately I think the court got it wrong and it’s not in the best interest of these children and fails to recognize that Siohvaughn Wade has been a wonderful mother and a provider for these children, educationally, emotionally and physically,” Haber said.

At slightest 2 deputies shot in Virginia

(CNN) — At slightest dual deputies in Buchanan County, Virginia, have been shot, according to a Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

The sharpened occurred in a Devils Branch community, pronounced mouthpiece Sharon Thornsbury. The whole sheriff’s dialect of 35 staffers was on a scene, she said.

Information on a deputies’ conditions was not immediately available. The dialect has asked for assistance from U.S. Marshals and a Virginia State Police, Thornsbury said.

Buchanan County is in southwestern Virginia, nearby a limit with West Virginia.> CNN’s Darrell Calhoun contributed to this report.

84 Pct. Cop Killed in Struggle with Suspect

Police Officer Alain Schaberger. NYPD Photo.

Police Officer Alain Schaberger, 42, assigned to the 84th Precinct, lost his life early this morning after being pushed over the railing of a stairwell by a suspect at 45 St. Marks Pl.  Police say that Schaberger responded to a 911 call at 334 Bergen St. at 4:22 this morning in which a woman reported her boyfriend, George Villanueva, had threatened to kill her before he fled to his residence on St. Marks Pl.  Officers responded to Villanueva’s residence, where they led him down the front stoop to have the victim identify him.  Villanueva began struggling with the officers, and Schaberger was pushed over the railing.

“Officer Schaberger fell approximately nine feet, striking his head on cement and landing feet up.  He had a gash on the left side of his head, his neck was broken,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.  He was taken to Lutheran Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Daily News reports Schaberger was a well-respected member of the department, and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Commissioner Kelly said that Villanueva was the subject of 12 prior domestic complaints, and has 28 prior arrests for robbery and burglary.  His last stint in state prison ended in 2005.

UPDATE:  George Villanueva has been charged with Murder 1: Police Officer, Aggravated Murder of a Police Officer, Criminal Contempt of Court 1, and Assault 3.

Japan nuclear plant: 2nd blast

A second explosion has struck the Fukushima nuclear plant, raising fresh fears of emissions of radioactive gas.

Such radioactive releases could last months, according to The New York Times:
As the scale of Japan’s nuclear crisis begins to come to light, experts in Japan and the United States say the country is now facing a cascade of accumulating problems that suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months.

Japanese reactor operators now have little choice but to periodically release radioactive steam as part of an emergency cooling process for the fuel of the stricken reactors that may continue for a year or more even after fission has stopped.
Nuclear energy still very safe, you think? Does Malaysia really want to go down this path?
It’s weird to see all those professors on global television stations trying to downplay the seriousness of the situation. Big money is at stake in the nuclear power industry. See the concerns in the business community as reported by Bloomberg here. Not surprisingly, the media damage control and spin began soon after the first explosion.

I hope sanity will prevail in Malaysia.
Posted by Anil