U.K. Parliament Rejects Military Strike On Syria

U.K. Parliament Rejects Military Strike On SyriaMPs have rejected possible UK military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to deter the use of chemical weapons.

‘Disappointed’

David Cameron said he would respect the defeat of a government motion by 285-272, ruling out joining US-led strikes. Speaking in Parliament immediately after the vote, the prime minister said:

“It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the government will act accordingly.”

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond later told BBC’s News night programme he and the prime minister were “disappointed” with the result of the Commons vote which he said would harm Britain’s “special relationship” with Washington. But he said he did not expect Britain’s decision to “stop any action” by other countries.


‘British national interest’

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the result meant military action was “off the agenda”, and added that MPs had reacted against the prime minister’s “cavalier and reckless” leadership. Mr Miliband said Britain’s relationship with the US “cannot simply be about doing what the American president says he wants you to do”.

“Sometimes, under my leadership, we’ll have disagreements with the United States, we’ll take a different view to them, but we’ve got to operate on the basis of the British national interest,” he added.

The defeat comes as a potential blow to the authority of Mr Cameron, who had already watered down a government motion proposing military action, in response to Labour’s demands for more evidence of President Assad’s guilt.

Should other countries go ahead with the military strike against Syria? What is your stance regarding this controversial issue?

Source: BBC News

Image: Yahoo! News

Nuclear Watchdogs Fear Fukushima Leak Is Getting Worse

Nuclear Watchdogs Fear Fukushima Leak Is Getting WorseA nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated.

‘A good deal worse’

Mycle Schneider is an independent consultant who has previously advised the French and German governments. He says water is leaking out all over the site and there are no accurate figures for radiation levels. Meanwhile the chairman of Japan’s nuclear authority said that he feared there would be further leaks.

The ongoing problems at the Fukushima plant increased in recent days when the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitted that around 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank on the site. But some nuclear experts are concerned that the problem is a good deal worse than either Tepco or the Japanese government are willing to admit.


‘Leaches into the sea’

They are worried about the enormous quantities of water, used to cool the reactor cores, which are now being stored on site. Some 1,000 tanks have been built to hold the water. But these are believed to be at around 85% of their capacity and every day an extra 400 tonnes of water are being added.

Several scientists also raised concerns about the vulnerability of the huge amount of stored water on site to another earthquake. The storage problems are compounded by the ingress of ground water, running down from the surrounding hills. It mixes with radioactive water leaking out of the basements of the reactors and then some of it leaches into the sea, despite the best efforts of Tepco to stem the flow.

Do you think Fukushima’s radiation problem is actually worse than we know? In connection to this problem, should Tokyo’s Olympic bid be withdrawn?

Source: Matt McGrath | BBC News

Image: The Washington Post