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Birth Defects Rise Twentyfold in Mothers With Zika, C.D.C. Says

           

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first time looked at how common severe birth defects were in children whose mothers had the Zika virus. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

CLICK HERE - CDC - MMWR - Baseline Prevalence of Birth Defects Associated with Congenital Zika Virus Infection — Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, 2013–2014

nytimes.com - by DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. - March 2, 2017

American mothers infected with the Zika virus last year were 20 times as likely to give birth to babies with birth defects as mothers who gave birth two years before the epidemic, federal health officials said on Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded last April that Zika infection caused severe birth defects, including the abnormally small heads of microcephaly, but it had not previously estimated how common such defects were.

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The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States

A view into Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia. The complex plans to use AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Credit via Georgia Power

Image: A view into Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia. The complex plans to use AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Credit via Georgia Power

nytimes.com - February 18th 2017 - Diane Cardwell

This was supposed to be America’s nuclear century.

The Three Mile Island meltdown was two generations ago. Since then, engineers had developed innovative designs to avoid the kinds of failures that devastated Fukushima in Japan. 

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Evacuations Ordered; Oroville Dam Spillway Collapse Imminent

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‘A Conservative Climate Solution’: Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax

James A. Baker, seen here at former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral in March 2016, is a member of the Climate Leadership Council. Despite its impeccable Republican credentials, the group faces long odds with its carbon-tax idea. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

nytimes.com by John Schwartz - February 7, 2017

A group of Republican elder statesmen is calling for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change.

The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is “a conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles.

Mr. Baker is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser to the president, and Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, as well as Ivanka Trump.

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Climate Change - Tipping Points

Under the Trump administration, the EPA may be shifting away from its focus on preventing climate change and toward a posture where it deals much more with helping the country adapt to its impacts.  President Trump needs a better understanding of the Climate Change Tipping Points, and the effects of its aftermath.  The necessary actions needed to prevent the catastrophic effects after Climate Change Tipping Points have been reached requires both climate mitigation, which refers to actions that prevent further global warming, as well as adaptation.  The general scientific consensus is as follows . . . “Without immediate meaningful action, our governments will be stressed and most if not all will likely fail within this century. All indications are that working together increases survivability. But we must avoid passing deeply towards, or beyond the tipping points in order to mitigate the impacts” . . .

References:

OSS Foundation - Tipping Points ( Climate Change )
http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/tipping-points

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We Are Grossly Unprepared for Major Outbreaks

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

           

CLICK HERE - The BMJ - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action

CLICK HERE - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action (8 page .PDF report)

globalbiodefense.com - January 26, 2017

The world remains “grossly underprepared” for outbreaks of infectious disease, which are likely to become more frequent in the coming decades, warn a team of international experts in The BMJ.

They reviewed reports on the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and say better preparedness and a faster, more coordinated response could have prevented most of the 11,000 deaths directly attributed to Ebola and also the broader economic, social, and health crises that ensued.

. . . a research team, led by Suerie Moon at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, synthesized seven major post-Ebola reports and laid out the key problems and recommendations they highlighted.

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Highest Radiation Reading Since 3/11 Detected at Fukushima No. 1 Reactor

           

Based on image analysis, a two-meter hole has been found in the metal grate under a pressure vessel in reactor No. 2's containment vessels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. | TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY HOLDINGS INC. / VIA KYODO

japantimes.co.jp - KYODO, STAFF REPORT

The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.

Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.

The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.

At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tepco grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors crippled by the March 2011 disaster.

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Staff ‘Overwhelmed’ at Nuclear Plant, but U.S. Won’t Shut It

Diane Turco, the director of Cape Downwinders, which is opposed to the Pilgrim nuclear plant, speaking at a public hearing on Tuesday. Credit M. Scott Brauer for The New York TimesImage: Diane Turco, the director of Cape Downwinders, which is opposed to the Pilgrim nuclear plant, speaking at a public hearing on Tuesday. Credit M. Scott Brauer for The New York Times

nytimes.com - February 1st 2017 - Katharine Q. Seelye

One by one, ordinary residents confronted the federal regulators, telling them during a three-hour meeting Tuesday night that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station here was not safe and should be shut down.

Their chief piece of evidence? An internal email written Dec. 6 by the leader of a federal inspection team and sent accidentally — thanks to autofill in the “to” line — to Diane Turco, a citizen activist opposed to the plant.

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Questions multiply over Bannon’s role in Trump administration

Video: As nationwide protests against President Trump’s immigration mandate rage on, he reshuffled the National Security Council and put chief strategist and former Breitbart News chair Stephen Bannon in an unprecedented national security role. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

washingtonpost.com - January 29th 2017 - Karen DeYoung

President Trump’s elevation of his chief political strategist to a major role in national security policy, and a White House order banning refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries from U.S. entry, appeared to come together as cause and effect over the weekend.

Stephen K. Bannon — whose nationalist convictions and hard-line oppositional view of globalism have long guided Trump — was directly involved in shaping the controversial immigration mandate, according to several people familiar with the drafting who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

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