This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Jan. 7, 2015 for week ending Jan. 16, 2015

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"It is the law that (the world's) 30 big banks, if they become insolvent they are required to take the money of their creditors, basically steal the money, turn it into bank stocks, so it's just this sort of accounting trick where they move the money from the liability side of the balance sheet into the capital portion of the balance sheet ... and it turns out that the largest class of creditor of any bank is their depositors."

– Interview with Ellen Brown, attorney and founder of the Public Banking Institute and author of “Web of Debt” on the G-20's imposition of banking regulations that would confiscate depositor and pension funds in future financial crises


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

  MP3  64 kb/s   podcast  Podcast


G-20 Pushes New Banking Rule That Could Confiscate Deposits and Pensions in Future Financial Crisis

MP3 Interview with Ellen Brown, attorney and founder of the Public Banking Institute and author of “Web of Debt”, conducted by Scott Harris

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In March 2013, a historically significant banking crisis occurred in Cyprus, a divided island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus had a banking industry over five times larger than the nation’s annual GDP, which attracted billions of euros from overseas, especially from wealthy Russian oligarchs, due to its low tax rates. But because both the government and banking system had accumulated mountains of debt, the Cypriot economy was in free fall.  Story continues

Congressional Budget Rider Allows Continued Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, Toxic Waste Dumping

MP3 Interview with Chris Espinosa, legislative representative with Earthjustice, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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Before it recessed for the end-of-year holidays, Congress included several riders in its funding bill to keep the federal government operating for another year. One such rider in the so-called "Cromnibus" budget prohibits the EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies from using funds to make any changes to a regulation put in place by the George W. Bush administration, that allows waste from mountaintop removal coal mining to be dumped in valleys below, often destroying streams that provide drinking water to the people of Appalachia. This so-called "overburden" includes rocks, dirt and anything else that was part of the mountain before it was blown up to gain access to the coal seams beneath.  Story continues

Opting Not to Order Safety Improvements to U.S. Nuclear Plants, NRC Ignores Lessons of Fukushima

MP3 Interview with Paul Gunter, director of Beyond Nuclear's Reactor Oversight Project, conducted by Scott Harris

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It’s been almost four years since the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that claimed the lives of nearly 16,000 people in northeastern Japan. The catastrophic event at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex destroyed entire communities and triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters. When the tsunami disabled the plant’s cooling systems, three of the reactors melted down. The cleanup has been plagued with problems amid accusations that the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO, has mismanaged the effort. While groundwater continues to flood the basements of the crippled reactor buildings, radioactive fuel rods from the heavily damaged No. 4 reactor building were safely removed on Dec. 20. Observers say it may take decades to complete the removal of radioactive fuel from the three melted reactor cores, or, if that task is impossible, they may need to be encased in concrete.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

MP3  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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