Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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Fish and sashimi imported from Tokyo are displayed for sale at a market on August 24, 2023 in Hong Kong, China.

Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Reuters

Fish fight: China vs Japan

Why did China’s annual imports of Japanese seafood fall 67.6% in August? Surely it’s no coincidence that Japan began its long-awaited 30-year discharge of treated wastewater from the hobbled Fukushima nuclear power plant on August 24.
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Smoke rises next to sunbeams and umbrellas as a wildfire burns, at the beach of the village of Dikella in the region of Evros, Greece.


Hard Numbers: Greece’s wildfire tragedy, Pakistan’s cable car nightmare, Japan’s radioactive water, Sudan’s hungry children

18: The Greek fire service said Tuesday that 18 bodies, possibly of migrants, were found in an area of the Dadia forest along the Turkish border that’s been hit by wildfires. Local media have reported the findings of eight additional bodies – if confirmed, this would bring the total to 26. Large swaths of southern Europe are fighting wildfires and on alert due to extreme heat and high winds.

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How Shinzo Abe's positive legacy could shape Japan's future
The Impact of Shinzo Abe's Assassination on Japan's Future | GZERO Media

How Shinzo Abe's positive legacy could shape Japan's future

How will the shocking murder of former PM Shinzo Abe affect Japan moving forward?

In past national tragedies, especially the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, longtime Abe adviser and close friend Tomohiko Taniguchi says that the "outpouring of sympathies and empathies from abroad helped a lot."

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Gabriella Turrisi

Europe's nuclear dilemma

Last Friday’s attack by Russian forces on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant triggered outcry over the potential for a Chernobyl-like disaster. The US called it a “war crime,” and the issue was debated in an emergency session of the UN Security Council, where Russia received a global dressing down.

The blaze resulting from artillery use at Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear facility was eventually controlled. But Ukraine’s nuclear regulator told the IAEA on Sunday that it is having problems communicating with staff at the plant, and that a Russian general now controls the facility.

Putin’s next target, according to Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace, could be the three reactors at the Yuzhnoukrainsk power plant, which generates 10% of Ukraine’s electricity and is a major energy supplier throughout southern Ukraine. “Loss of cooling function to the reactor cores and spent fuel pools could lead to a disaster far worse even than the [2011] Fukushima Daiichi [disaster],” Burnie warns.

While the war is threatening Ukraine’s nuclear power operations — not to mention impacting world energy supplies and prices — it’s also raising questions about the safe use of nuclear energy. The continent has been accelerating its nuclear power usage — now officially, and controversially, labeled “green” by the European Commission, despite the threat of accidents and radioactive waste.

But the fast-changing security landscape poses a dilemma for European policymakers. How can they fight global warming while balancing their energy needs with this new security threat posed by Vladimir Putin?

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Who's nuclear in the EU?

When Russian troops shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine on Friday, many feared it could cause a Chernobyl-like catastrophe. But even before this event, the status of nuclear energy within Europe has been a massive point of contention. Since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, European Union states have bolstered their guidelines for nuclear power safety, but some have been trying to phase it out altogether. Last month, the European Commission outlined how nuclear energy could be labeled a “green” investment (presuming the plants can safely dispose radioactive waste). Critics labeled the move as “greenwashing,” and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer tweeted that “Nuclear power is neither ‘green’ nor sustainable.” So how might this latest scare in Ukraine change Europe’s nuclear calculus, if at all? We take a look at which EU states produce the most nuclear heat, and how that’s changed since 2011.

Boxed meals for South Korean Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games athletes are pictured at a hotel in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Olympics corner: Radioactive food, anyone?

Talk about atomic (spicy Korean) wings.

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Gabriella Turrisi

What We’re Watching: US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Fukushima wastewater, US stops J&J jab, big rabbit hunt

The end of "forever" in Afghanistan: The Biden administration says it'll withdraw all remaining US troops in Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that prompted Washington to invade the country in the first place. It's unclear how the withdrawal will affect American plans to steer intra-Afghan peace talks in the right direction under the terms of a peace agreement reached by the Trump administration and the Taliban in May 2020. Trump promised to pull out next month as long as the former al-Qaida hosts kept their end of the bargain by not launching deadly attacks (spoiler alert: they have not). Biden's move honors his campaign pledge to end a "forever war" that has claimed more than 2,300 American lives and cost the US Treasury almost $1 trillion since 2001. However, critics fear that a hasty departure could leave the Afghans helpless to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, rendering the entire mission not only expensive, but ultimately pointless.

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J&J vaccine review will cause hesitancy; Blinken warns China on Taiwan
J&J Vaccine Review Will Cause Hesitancy | Blinken Warns China On Taiwan | World In :60 | GZERO Media

J&J vaccine review will cause hesitancy; Blinken warns China on Taiwan

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week on World In 60: J&J vaccine woes, Blinken warns China, Fukushima water and a large rabbit.

How will the pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine affect the overall pandemic fight in the United States?

Yeah. Right at it, right? Well, we heard that the FDA has suspended vaccines from J&J because of blood clots. They found six in seven million cases. It's kind of like the suspension of AstraZeneca in Europe. It's likely only going to last for a few days. It's a very small percentage of the total number of vaccines that are being jabbed right now into the arms of Americans. It's not going to really slow America's ability to get everyone vaccinated, but it is going to create more vaccine hesitancy. People at the margins will say, "Is this safe? They said it was fine. Now they're saying it's not okay." I understand why there's enormous caution on the part of the FDA, but I wish, wish, wish the communications had been a little softer around all of this. Also will be a problem in terms of export, as J&J is going to be a piece of that. And again, others around the world will say, "Well, if I don't get Moderna, if I don't get Pfizer, I'm not sure I want to take it at all." So all of this is negative news, though I would still say the United States this year is looking really, really good among major economies in dealing with pandemic.

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