- The Guardian
- Issue #2054
JAPAN: Dozens of anti-nuclear activists protested to demand Japan scrap its plans to dump radioactive waste water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean (see page 8). The tsunami and earthquake on 20th March 2011 damaged the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s cooling systems, damaged three nuclear reactors, causing their cooling water to become highly radioactive and leak into the basement of the buildings. Japanese officials insist that the water is safe to discharge into the ocean and that it will be further diluted there, making it harmless. However, some scientists point out that the impact of long-term low-dose exposure to tritium and other radionuclides on the environment and people is still unknown and the release should be at least delayed. “The Pacific Ocean does not belong to Japan. It belongs to all living things in the ocean and everyone who depends on it for their livelihoods,” a Korean Radiation Watch coordinator said.
CUBA: Russia is to resume regular flights to Cuba as of 1st July 2023. The Russian deputy prime minister said that “Cuba is Russia’s key partner in Central America, and it is absolutely logical for economic relations to expand in all spheres.” Currently the travel from Russia to Cuba is conducted by charter flights. There will be two regular flights a week by Rossiya Airlines, which is part of Aeroflot group. The move is expected to encourage the tourist flow from Russia and it is expected to exceed 150,000. The news comes within the framework of the Cuba-Russia Business Economic Forum held in Havana. The two countries have also confirmed agreements for the credit sphere, supplies of wheat, oil and its derivatives, among others.
HUNGARY: Hungary is demanding a personal explanation from the EU president Ursula von der Leyen concerning reports of a possible interruption of oil supply from Russia to the EU via the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline. International treaties guarantee Hungary transit oil supplies from Ukraine. Any attempt to disrupt the energy supply to the country is an infringement on the country’s sovereignty. “We have received no explanations concerning this from Kiev, I think this is an issue of such importance that the European Commission’s president should personally present explanations as energy security is a question of sovereignty,” the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.
NORTHERN IRELAND: Northern Ireland voters went to the polls on 18th May 2023 to elect new local councils. For the first time Sinn Fein won a majority of seats in the local government. Sinn Fein won 30.9 per cent of the vote, which is an increase of 7.7 percentage points from the 2019 elections. The number of seats won rose from 106 to 144. Thus, the supporters of unification with Ireland have a majority in both local councils and the regional parliament.