© Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
Top news: Worker safety at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at high risk four months after the meltdown; satellites show different figures of forest fire devastation; corporate-sponsored children’s books no longer welcome; leeches make themselves useful in the medical world.
#Fukushima: Even though the Fukushima nuclear disaster took place nearly five months ago, plant workers are still in great risk to get exposed to high radiation, with pockets of lethal radiation levels detected this week at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radiation exceeding 10 sieverts (10,000 millisieverts) per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors – enough to kill or incapacitate in a matter of minutes. Experts are warning that worker safety could be at risk if TEPCO insists on rushing towards deadlines.
#Forest fires: Greenpeace has accused the Russian government of downplaying the extent of damage caused by last month’s forest fires. Official reports suggest 93 acres burnt down in the Amur region; however satellite pictures show a forest devastation of more than 50.000 hectares.
#Children: The world’s largest children’s book publisher Scolastic caused uproar by offering a corporate-sponsored curriculum, prompting more than 57.000 people sent an e-mail to Scolastic calling for an end of sponsored education in general. Under pressure, Scolastic dropped all coal-sponsored lessons. Industry-sponsored ‘healthy egg’ programs continue. "It's important for children to learn about healthy eating, but not from people who have a vested interest in a particular food,” according to Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
#Yuck: In Georgia, leeches are enjoying a dubious comeback as a medical cure-all. Considered a health-benefit for thousands of years – doctors are once again using the wriggly creatures’ body to suck blood from patients. “At first I was really disgusted, but now I love leeches”, says one patient in this BBC video report.