Record radiation found in fish near Fukushima plant
Workers stand near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 28.
August 21st, 2012
07:32 PM ET

Record radiation found in fish near Fukushima plant

Radioactive cesium measuring 258 times the amount that Japan's government deems safe for consumption has been found in fish near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Tuesday.

The Tokyo Electric Power Co. found 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in two greenlings in the sea within 20 kilometers of the plant on August 1  a record for the thousands of Fukushima-area fish caught and tested since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear disaster at the plant, Kyodo reported.

Japan's government considers fish with more than 100 becquerels per kilogram unsafe for consumption. A becquerel is a measurement of radioactive intensity.

TEPCO said it also found limit-exceeding radioactive cesium levels in several other kinds of fish and shellfish during the testing, which happened in the Fukushima area from mid-July to early August, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The finding comes 17 months after the disaster at the plant, which spewed radiation and displaced tens of thousands of residents from the surrounding area. It was the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
August 21st, 2012
01:43 PM ET

South Africa mine won't fire absent workers

The owner of the South African mine where 34 people died in a clash with police said Tuesday that it will not discipline workers who fail to return this week, reversing an ultimatum to return to duty or face being fired.

The announcement came a day after a government committee looking into humanitarian aspects of the tragedy told company leaders that such threats were not "in the national interest."

Meanwhile, South Africa's minister of police told a special session of Parliament on Tuesday that authorities had done everything in their power to avoid last week's fatal clash with miners.

"The events of Thursday, 16 August 2012, were not sudden eruption but a culmination of events that were building over months and months," Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said, according to a transcript issued by the government. "The South African Police Service is saddened by the events that unfolded on that fateful day. The police did all in their power to avert such a situation."

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Filed under: South Africa • World
August 21st, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Dismembered remains in Toronto from woman, 41, police say

[Updated at 12:36 p.m. ET] The body parts found in two Toronto area waterways in the past week belong to Guang Hua Liu, a 41-year-old woman from Toronto, police said Tuesday.

Liu was last seen on Friday, August 10, Peel Regional Police Inspector George Koekkoek said, according to a report from CNN affiliate CTV.

Liu was a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent who once owned a spa in Toronto, according to CTV.

Police have no suspects in the case, Koekkoek said, according to a report from the Toronto Star.

She had three children, one now an adult and two others who live with their father, CTV cited Koekkoek as saying.

[Posted at 10:08 a.m. ET] Police in the Toronto area were executing search warrants in the case of body parts found in two waterways in the past week, according to local news reports on Tuesday.

The parts a head and foot found in the Credit River in Mississauga last Wednesday and Thursday, and an arm, two calves and a thigh found in West Highlands Creek in Toronto over the weekend are likely from the same person, police said, according to a report in the Toronto Star. The two sites are about 60 kilometers (37 miles) apart.

"We have a female victim who unfortunately we’ve been able to find portions of her body in two jurisdictions," Peel Regional Police Sgt. Pete Brandwood said Monday, according to a report from CNN affiliate CBC.

He said there are "obvious similarities between the discovery of those body parts in Toronto and the recent discovery of our body parts here in Peel," the CBC reported.

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Filed under: Canada • Crime
August 21st, 2012
12:51 PM ET

Packed SUV flips, killing 5 children on way to Texas water park

Five children, ages 2 to 13, died when an SUV they were riding in blew a tire and crashed on a Texas highway, police said.

A dozen people were packed into the 2003 GMC Envoy on Monday, on the way to a family outing at Splash Kingdom water park in Canton, Texas, according to Trooper Jean Dark of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Driver Federico Acuna lost control when the right rear tire exploded on Interstate 20 just outside Canton in Van Zandt County on Monday afternoon, Dark said. Acuna apparently overcorrected and the vehicle flipped, she said.

None of the children who died was wearing a seat belt, Dark said.

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Filed under: Automobiles • Texas
August 21st, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Romanian president keeps his job

Romanian President Traian Basescu will officially return to office after the country's top court ruled Tuesday that a referendum to remove him was invalid.

The nation-wide impeachment effort last month had appeared to be heading for failure because turnout was below 50%.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta made a last-ditch effort Monday to get the Constitutional Court to approve the referendum by submitting new voter lists, but the court said Tuesday the vote was not valid.

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Filed under: Romania
Tropical Storm Isaac forms in Atlantic, could become hurricane
Tropical Depression Nine is expected to become a Category 2 hurricane by the weekend.
August 21st, 2012
12:04 PM ET

Tropical Storm Isaac forms in Atlantic, could become hurricane

Tropical Storm Isaac formed in the Atlantic Ocean and churned toward the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday afternoon, and it could become a  Category 1 hurricane by Thursday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Isaac was 500 miles east of Guadeloupe in the Leeward Islands and moving west at 17 mph. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph, just beyond the threshold for a tropical storm. It would become a hurricane if winds reach 74 mph.

Tropical storm watches and warnings cover much of the Leeward Islands as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Conditions are favorable for strengthening as the storm enters the northern Caribbean Sea, forecasters said.

It could become a Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds above 95 mph, as it approaches Cuba on Saturday.

Forecasters caution that the forecast track is uncertain and the storm could be anywhere from the Bahamas to the north and the Cayman Islands to the south on Saturday.

It is still too early to tell what, if any, effects the storm will have on the U.S. mainland, but there are several computer models that bring the storm into the Gulf of Mexico, while others move the storm further east.

With roughly 50,000 people headed for Tampa, Florida, for the Republican National Convention August 27-30, there is heightened interest in the future path of the storm.

August 21st, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Ebola outbreak kills 10 in Congo

The Ebola virus has killed 10 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

As of Monday, WHO said, the deaths are among 13 probable and two confirmed Ebola cases reported in Orientale province in eastern Congo.

The Congolese Ministry of Health has set up a task force to deal with the outbreak and is working with WHO, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Filed under: Congo
August 21st, 2012
07:59 AM ET

Nyad ends attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad's latest attempt to swim across the Straits of Florida ended Tuesday morning after severe jellyfish stings and a lightning storm put her off course, a spokesman said.

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Filed under: Cuba • Florida • Sports • Swimming
Autopsy: No apparent damage to Seau's brain
Junior Seau committed suicide May 2 in his Oceanside, California, home.
August 21st, 2012
07:56 AM ET

Autopsy: No apparent damage to Seau's brain

The brain of  former National Football League star Junior Seau showed no apparent signs of damage from Seau's years in professional football, according to an autopsy report released Monday.

Seau's death on May 2 in his Oceanside, California, home was classified as a suicide the next day by  the San Diego County medical examiner.

The autopsy results released Monday showed Seau shot himself in the chest with a hollow-point bullet from a .357-caliber revolver. The bullet hit Seau's heart, spleen and left lung.

He had used zolpidem, a sleep aid sold under the brand name Ambien among others, and naproxen, a pain reliever sold under the brand name Aleve among others, but there were no signs of alcohol, "common drugs of abuse," or other medications, according to the report by deputy medical examiner Craig Nelson.

Seau's suicide came on the heels of the suicides of other former NFL stars, including former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson just over a year earlier.

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Filed under: Football • Health • Pro football • Sports
August 21st, 2012
07:28 AM ET

False alarm declared in Dublin bomb scare

[Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET] An Irish army bomb squad searched the Israeli Embassy in Dublin after a suspicious device was reported Tuesday, but declared the incident a false alarm, police said.

Police said the embassy was evacuated, but Israel's Foreign Ministry said it wasn't.

[Posted at 7:28 a.m. ET] Israel's embassy in Ireland contacted police about a suspicious device at the diplomatic mission in Dublin, Irish police said Tuesday.

An Irish Army bomb disposal team is at the scene, police said.

The embassy had been evacuated, a police spokesman said.

 

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Filed under: Ireland • Israel
August 21st, 2012
01:33 AM ET

Woman held captive in Philadelphia basement for a decade sues city

A 20-year-old woman whose aunt allegedly beat her and held her captive for a decade in the basement of a Philadelphia apartment building has sued the city, claiming her ordeal could have been avoided if officials had acted appropriately.

Beatrice Weston alleges the city failed to "properly train Department of Human Services workers in child placements," resulting in her being put in the custody of her aunt, Linda Weston - a convicted felon, a statement from her attorney Shanin Specter said. The complaint says the city of Philadelphia failed to release information about the aunt's criminal history.

Linda Weston served eight years in prison for killing her sister's boyfriend in the early 1980s. In that case, the victim "was held captive for an extended period of time, locked in a closet and he literally starved to death," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in October.

Beatrice Weston suffered much of the same abuse, beaten with a baseball bat and forced to consume her own urine during the 10 years she was in her aunt's custody, according to her attorney.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.