Nuclear Waste And Life Lost In Jail

Phoenix Calida On Nuclear Waste

Phoenix Calida On Life Lost In Jail

US to label nuclear waste as less dangerous to quicken cleanup

Energy department says labeling some waste as low-level at sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina will save $40bn.

The US government plans to reclassify some of the nation’s most dangerous radioactive waste to lower its threat level, outraging critics who say the move would make it cheaper and easier to walk away from cleaning up nuclear weapons production sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina.

The Department of Energy said on Wednesday that labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.

A veteran died in police custody. His body was returned to his family with some organs missing

(CNN)Two days before he died, Everett Palmer Jr. called his brother, Dwayne, to tell him he was on his way from Delaware to New York to visit him and their sick mother. But first, he said, he wanted to resolve an outstanding DUI warrant from an incident in 2016 in Pennsylvania to make sure his license was valid for the drive to see his family.The phone call was the last time the family would hear from the 41-year-old US Army veteran and father of two.

On April 9, 2018, two days later, the family was told that Palmer had died in police custody at the York County Prison. Fourteen months later, the Palmers say they still don’t know what really happened. But they are suspicious because when Palmer’s body was returned to them, his throat, heart and brain were missing.


By Rosa Goldensohn and Savannah Jacobson

Layleen Polanco in an undated photo.

Layleen Polanco in an undated photo. Photo: Facebook

The 27-year-old transgender woman who died on Rikers Island Friday was insolitary confinement at the time of her death, sources told THE CITY.

Layleen Polanco, a figure in the city’s ballroom scene, was pronounced dead in a Rikers cell at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, about an hour after a jail officer noticed her there unconscious, according to the Department of Correction.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, a spokesperson for the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office said.

The restrictive housing unit where Polanco died stays in lockdown for 17 hours out of the day. During the other seven hours, detainees can attend activities, such as programming and group therapy, the DOC said.

Polanco was in the Rose M. Singer center, the women’s jail on Rikers Island, in a specialized unit for transgender women, according to a Correction Department spokesperson.

Louisiana coroner says woman died of THC overdose

LAPLACE, La. – A Louisiana woman who died in February was killed from THC overdose, according to a coroner who said he reached the conclusion this month from a toxicology report. 

The coroner’s claim would make it the first-ever recorded death from a marijuana overdose, but the result is also drawing fire from skeptics. The 39-year-old woman’s body was found in her apartment in LaPlace. Her name has not been released. St. John the Baptist Parish Coroner Christy Montegut told the New Orleans Advocate that the toxicology results showed that the woman was killed by an excess amount of THC. 

“It looked like it was all THC because her autopsy showed no physical disease or afflictions that were the cause of death. There was nothing else identified in the toxicology — no other drugs, no alcohol,” Montegut told the paper. “There was nothing else.”

THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a crystalline compound that is the main active ingredient of cannabis. 

Montegut believes the woman’s death could be an index case, “perhaps the first death on record solely as a result of THC exposure,” the paper reported. 

The coroner said that the THC in her system likely came through a vaping device with highly concentrated THC oil.  The toxicology report said she had 8.4 nanograms per milliliter of blood. 

“I’m thinking this lady must have vaped this THC oil and got a high level in her system and (it) made her stop breathing, like a respiratory failure,” he told the Advocate.

At this time, there’s no specific threshold considered by experts to be a lethal dose, the paper reported.

But based on the research of Bernard Le Foll, a professor and scientist at the University of Toronto who studies addiction, he estimated that any dangerous threshold would likely fall between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the THC level found in the woman’s blood, according to the report. 

Le Foll also told the paper that there’s no way to be sure how much THC was in the woman’s system when she died. This is because by the time an autopsy was done, the THC concentration — which does fall quickly — would have “certainly gone down.” 

Robert Johannessen, Louisiana’s Department of Health spokesman, told the Advocate that Montegut’s report appears to be the first to attribute a death to THC alone — in Louisiana, at least. He said all other deaths that he’s seen recorded with THC mentioned involved a combination with another drug.

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry: Boys raped by priests at ‘satanic parties’

A child abuse inquiry witness has told how he was raped by priests during “satanic” drink-fuelled sex parties.

Dave Sharp also described a catalogue of sexual, physical and emotional violence at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife, between 1971 and 1975.

Mr Sharp, from Glasgow, said the abuse had left him with “lifelong trauma”.

The independent Scottish Child Abuse inquiry is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care.

Mr Sharp urged inquiry chairwoman Lady Smith, to piece together the “jigsaw” of victims’ accounts and called for a “national discussion” on the subject.

The 60-year-old, who has waived his right to anonymity, was put into care after his mother died when he was aged one.

Catholic Church spent $10.6 million to lobby against legislation that would benefit victims of child sex abuse

A new report released Tuesday reveals that, over the past eight years, the Catholic Church has spent $10.6 million in the northeastern United States to fight legislation that would help victims of clergy sexual abuse seek justice.

“At the most basic level, we were inspired by frustration,” says attorney Gerald Williams, a partner at Williams Cedar, one of four law firms that jointly commissioned the report. “We represent hundreds of people, who have truly been victimized by clergymen in the Catholic Church. We’ve heard a lot about the church’s desire to be accountable and turn over a new leaf. But when we turn to the form where we can most help people and where we can get the most justice — the courts of justice — the church has been there blocking their efforts.”

In New York, for example, the Catholic Church spent $2,912,772 lobbying against the Child Victims Act, which Governor Andrew Cuomo ultimately signed into law on February 14, 2019. The act gives survivors more time to seek justice against their abusers, increasing the age at which victims are able to sue from 23 to 55.

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