This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – July 26, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Fukushima wastewater plan puts Tokyo in hot water
  • California lawmakers struggle to drop fossil fuels from state pensions
  • Mondaire Jones is back when Democrats need him most

Tensions are rising in Asia, as Japan plans to release upwards of 1 million tons of radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex into the Pacific Ocean. The plant’s nuclear reactors were destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. While the International Atomic Energy Agency says the release plan meets international standards, South Koreans are protesting the radioactive water release. China criticized the IAEA report and announced it would continue to ban food imports from Fukushima and nearby regions.

“Fukushima Disposal Plans Put Tokyo in Hot Water,” Foreign Policy, July 12, 2023

In May, a bill to divest $15 billion in fossil fuel company assets from California’s public pension funds was passed by the state Senate. But the legislation faces an uncertain outcome in California’s State Assembly. The state of Maine and 52 communities in the U.S. have already divested from oil, gas and coal companies, including the cities of Oakland, San Diego, and San Jose.

“In Blue California, Lawmakers Struggles to Drop Fossil Fuels from State Pensions,”, July 12, 2023

New York progressive Mondaire Jones is on the comeback trail. The former one-term congressman is running to win back his Hudson Valley House seat that he was forced out of by Sean Patrick Maloney, a powerful centrist Democrat who ran in Jones’ 17th District in 2022 and lost to Republican Mike Lawler.  Jones, one of the first openly gay Black members of Congress was a former staffer in the Obama administration’s Justice Department.

“Mondaire Jones is Back—Precisely When the Democrats Need Him the Most,” The Nation, July 7, 2023; “Former NY Congressman Mondaire Jones Launches bid to Reclaim Seat,” Washington Post, July 5, 2023

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.

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