AJC.COM: Wells Fargo pays $108 million on fraud claim by Atlanta whistleblowers

Wells Fargo pays $108 million on fraud claim by Atlanta whistleblowers

Russell Grantham The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wells Fargo story:

Wells Fargo agreed to pay $108 million to settle claims that it defrauded veteran customers and taxpayers.

Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to pay $108 million to the federal government to settle two metro Atlanta whistleblowers’ allegations that the bank charged fraudulent fees on veterans’ home refinancing loans.

The settlement award, disclosed Friday by an Atlanta firm representing the whistleblowers, is the largest so far to result from the 11-year-old lawsuit. Two former metro Atlanta mortgage brokers sued eight banks or mortgage lenders on behalf of the government. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Atlanta.

“We’re glad its over, at least as to Wells Fargo,” said one of the two whistleblowers, Victor Bibby. The second is Brian Donnelly.

In 2012, SunTrust Banks, JP Morgan Chase, Countrywide Home Loans and three other major lenders agreed to pay $162 million to settle similar allegations by the whistleblowers.

Another lawsuit is pending against a St. Petersburg, Fla., lender, Mortgage Investors Corp. In 2013, the lender laid off hundreds of employees and stopped making new home loans, blaming tougher regulations under the federal Dodd-Frank Act.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said the bank changed its methods for handling Veterans Administration refinancing loans several years ago to fix the alleged problems and settled the lawsuit to “put the matter behind us.”

The San Francisco bank, which is metro Atlanta’s second largest bank in terms of total deposits, has been bruised lately in a number of legal skirmishes over its practices.

Last year, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies alleged that the bank’s employees broke the law by opening more than 2 million credit card, checking and savings accounts without customers’ knowledge, in order to meet sales quotas and win bonuses.

Last month, Wells Fargo said it would refund customers after admitting that about 570,000 borrowers may have been wrongly pushed into auto insurance policies that they didn’t need.

In the Atlanta whistleblower case, which affected veteran homeowners across the nation, Bibby and Donnelly alleged that Wells Fargo illegally collected lawyers’ fees and closing costs from borrowers who refinanced their mortgages, even though such charges were barred under the VA’s refinancing program.

The bank hid the fees by mislabeling them, according to Atlanta law firm Butler Wooten & Peak, one of three firms that represented the whistleblowers.

The law firm said taxpayers also lost money due to the alleged fraud. Under the VA loan guarantee program, the agency paid Wells Fargo a portion of any loans on which the borrowers defaulted, even though the fraudulent fees would have negated the government loan guarantees.

Friday, Wells Fargo spokeswoman Crystal Drake said, “Today, we are settling this longstanding lawsuit, which did not seek any refunds for individual veterans, in order to put the matter behind us, and to focus on restoring trust in Wells Fargo.”

She said the bank had previously made compensation available to affected veterans.

“More than six years ago,” she added, “when questions about fees on certain Veterans Administration refinance loans were raised, we resolved those concerns by improving our internal controls to ensure that veteran customers only pay appropriate fees on refinances.”

Under the federal whistleblower’s act, known as the Federal False Claims Act, people with knowledge of wrongdoing by a company can sue on behalf of the government, and collect up to 30 percent of any resulting settlement or jury award.

“Ultimately the government decided not to participate” in the lawsuit, Butler Wooten said in a press release.

Jim Butler, with Butler Wooten, said the whistleblowers’ share of the $270 million in total settlements with the seven lenders is still being negotiated with the federal Justice Department.

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RSOE EDIS – Emergency and Disaster Information

RSOE EDIS – Emergency and Disaster Information

EH-20171012-60175-AUS – Epidemic Hazard – Australia – Australia – New-Zealand
VI-20171012-60174-SWE – Vehicle Accident – Sweden – Europe
VE-20171012-60173-IDN – Volcano Eruption – Indonesia – Indonesian Archipelago
EH-20171012-60172-LKA – Epidemic Hazard – Sri Lanka – Asia
EH-20171012-60171-USA – Epidemic Hazard – USA – North-America
CC-20171012-60170-USA – Climate Change – USA – North-America
BH-20171012-60169-USA – Biological Hazard – USA – North-America
VE-20171012-60168-RUS – Volcano Eruption – Russia [Asia] – Asia
VIV-20171012-60167-USA – Vehicle Incident – USA – North-America
CC-20171012-60166-GTM – Climate Change – Guatemala – Central-America
WF-20171012-60165-USA – Forest / Wild Fire – USA – North-America
VIV-20171012-60164-JPN – Vehicle Incident – Japan – Asia
FL-20171012-60163-IND – Flood – India – Asia
BH-20171012-60162-USA – Biological Hazard – USA – North-America
EX-20171012-60161-USA – Explosion – USA – North-America
AC-20171011-60160-KEN – Technological Disaster – Kenya – Africa
EH-20171011-60159-FJI – Epidemic Hazard – Fiji – Pacific Ocean – East
ST-20171011-60158-VNM – Extreme Weather – Vietnam – Asia
EX-20171011-60157-TUR – Explosion – Turkey – Asia
FF-20171011-60156-IDN – Flash Flood – Indonesia – Indonesian Archipelago

EH-20171012-60175-AUS – Epidemic Hazard – Australia – Australia – New-Zealand

Posted: 12 Oct 2017 01:05 AM PDT
A Toowoomba school has issued an alert to its students after a case of chickenpox was confirmed today. Toowoomba State High School said the viral and highly contagious illness had been confirmed and any sick students must stay home for five days after a rash associated with the condition appeared. Chickenpox is infectious for two days before the rash appeared until all blisters had “formed scabs or crusts”. “We have been advised of a confirmed case of chickenpox in the school,” the statement from TSHS read. “Chickenpox is a viral illness that comes on suddenly and is highly contagious. “It …

VI-20171012-60174-SWE – Vehicle Accident – Sweden – Europe

Posted: 12 Oct 2017 12:51 AM PDT
A train carrying dangerous goods derailed and caught fire in central Sweden early on Thursday morning. The 36-carriage train derailed by the station in Ludvika, Dalarna, bringing train traffic to a stop as ten of its carriages covered lay over five tracks. “It’s a long freight train and one of the carriages was on fire, with ten-metre high flames. The fire seems to have extinguished itself,” Peter Persson, a local police officer who was on duty at the time, told TT. “It will take a long time to clean up, according to the information I have. There is no other effect on traffic in the area,” …

VE-20171012-60173-IDN – Volcano Eruption – Indonesia – Indonesian Archipelago

Posted: 12 Oct 2017 12:01 AM PDT
Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano, located in Karo regency in North Sumatra province, erupted on Thursday (Oct 12) early, sending an ash column as high as 2km into the sky. A disaster agency senior official said the eruption took place at 2.45 am local time. There was no casualties. Mount Sinabung, one of Indonesia’s 129 active volcanoes, has been on top alert since July 2015.

EH-20171012-60172-LKA – Epidemic Hazard – Sri Lanka – Asia

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 11:59 PM PDT
About 200 workers attached to a private garment factory in Haragama, Kandy have been admitted to the Kandy Teaching Hospital due to suspected food poisoning, Hospital sources said. They said the employees had been hospitalised after they fell sick soon after having their breakfast, today. The Hospital director said they were out of danger.

EH-20171012-60171-USA – Epidemic Hazard – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 09:29 PM PDT
Parents in a New Jersey school district are demanding answers over worries their high school is making them sick. From respiratory issues to rashes, student have been coming down with all kinds of symptoms. CBS2’s Jessica Layton was there as school board members were in their respective hot steads Wednesday night, forced to face fired up moms and dadss. “This is so damn frustrating,” one concerned father said. “We don’t know where to turn. Would somebody take responsibility that something went wrong?” The parents say anyone would be passionate too if they were worried about their children’s …
Epidemic Hazard in USA on October 12 2017 04:29 AM (UTC).

CAP Header Base data Geographic information Number of affected people Biohazard information
link: Link
Common Alerting Protocol information
Category Health Medical and public health
Certainty Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
Scope Public For general dissemination to unrestricted audiences
Severity Moderate Possible threat to life or property
Urgency Past Responsive action is no longer required
Base data
EDIS Number EH-20171012-60171-USA
Event type Epidemic Hazard
Date/Time October 12 2017 04:29 AM (UTC)
Last update October 12 2017 04:32 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Reliability of information Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites). Reliability: at least 70%
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level
Affected area Local event : The affected area up to a few kilometers
Geographic information
Continent North-America
Country USA
County / State State of New Jersey
Area Pinelands Regional High
Settlement Tuckerton
Coordinate 39.60, -74.34
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated/rescued person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0
Biohazard information
Biohazard level 2/4 – Medium
Biohazard description Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Disease, agent name Unidentified Illness
Infected person(s) 0
Species 1
Status 2
Symptomes burning in their chests, rashes, coughing and headaches.

CC-20171012-60170-USA – Climate Change – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 09:22 PM PDT
About a year ago, Tununak opened a $19 million, state-of-the-art airport. But now, local airlines are refusing to fly there. The village’s shifting permafrost is buckling the runway, and both Ravn Alaska and Grant Aviation say that it’s too dangerous for pilots to land on it safely. According to Gordon Tester, Tununak’s school principal, the airport has been effectively shut down since last Thursday. Community members weren’t really told what was happening. “We were calling the airlines [and] asking when the next plane was coming in,” Tester said. “And they just said they’re not landing …


BH-20171012-60169-USA – Biological Hazard – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 09:17 PM PDT
A coyote has tested positive for rabies after biting a man in Marion County. The man told health officials the coyote walked up to him, sniffed him and then bit him on the leg. It happened at a farm in the Gervais area. The man and another person shot the coyote and then sought treatment for the bite wound. Marion County Environmental Health workers responded to the scene and collected the coyote for testing. Test results received Tuesday from the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory confirmed rabies in the animal. The man who was bit was treated with a rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, …

* Biological Hazard in USA on October 12 2017 04:17 AM (UTC).

CAP Header Base data Geographic information Number of affected people Biohazard information
Link

Common Alerting Protocol information
Category Health Medical and public health
Certainty Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
Scope Public For general dissemination to unrestricted audiences
Severity Severe Significant threat to life or property
Urgency Past Responsive action is no longer required
Base data
EDIS Number BH-20171012-60169-USA
Event type Biological Hazard
Date/Time October 12 2017 04:17 AM (UTC)
Last update October 12 2017 04:18 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Reliability of information Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites). Reliability: at least 70%
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level
Affected area County-level : Event affected one county.
Geographic information
Continent North-America
Country USA
County / State State of Oregon
Area Marion County
Settlement Gervais
Coordinate 45.11, -122.90
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated/rescued person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0
Biohazard information
Biohazard level 3/4 – Hight
Biohazard description Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist, such as anthrax, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, SARS virus, variola virus (smallpox), tuberculosis, typhus, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, yellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis, also come under this level.
Disease, agent name Rabies (coyote)
Infected person(s) 0
Species 2
Status 1
Symptomes

VE-20171012-60168-RUS – Volcano Eruption – Russia [Asia] – Asia

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 09:03 PM PDT
Mt Shiveluch has erupted many times in the past year. In June, The Siberian Times reported nearby villagers were being provided with gauze masks to protect them from hazardous ash falling due to Mt Shiveluch’s eruption. It is Mt Shinmoedake’s first eruption since 2011. Volcanic tremors in the area have intensified since late September, prompting Japan’s Meteorological Agency to raise the alert to level three and restrict entry. Ash has been falling in three cities and some small towns, but no injuries have been reported so far.

VIV-20171012-60167-USA – Vehicle Incident – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:56 PM PDT
A C-130 aircraft made an emergency landing at Bradley International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Connecticut National Guard, the aircraft had an issue with smoke in the cockpit about five minutes after takeoff. The smoke prompted the aircraft to immediately return to Bradley Air National Guard. The C-130 aircraft made a safe landing, the Connecticut National Guard said. State firefighters said 103rd Airlift Wing and Bradley International Airport fire departments responded to the scene. There were five crew members on board, however, no injuries were reported. The cause …

CC-20171012-60166-GTM – Climate Change – Guatemala – Central-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:53 PM PDT
Shuffling through the acres of robust green bushes, plucking off the ripe red coffee beans and filling bucket after bucket was what Miguel Pol Suy did best. He didn’t earn much in his rural Guatemalan town, but it was enough to buy maize and oil. He could feed his growing family. “Before, where we lived we could work and support our families,” says Pol Suy. Then the weather began to change. Too much rain one year and then no rain the next. The coffee plantation owners told Pol Suy and other workers not to come back. “The harvests turned bad. The farm owners couldn’t grow coffee anymore and …


WF-20171012-60165-USA – Forest / Wild Fire – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:48 PM PDT
Firefighters facing a resurgence of high winds on Wednesday struggled to halt wildfires that have killed at least 23 people, destroyed 3,500 structures and left hundreds missing in chaotic evacuations across northern California’s wine country. Nearly two dozen blazes spanning eight counties have charred around 170,000 acres (68,797 hectares). Flames erupted on Sunday night when gale force winds toppled power lines across the region, possibly igniting one of the deadliest wildfire outbreaks in California history. Flames were spread rapidly by hot, dry “Diablo” winds – similar to Southern …

Forest / Wild Fire in USA on October 12 2017 03:48 AM (UTC).
Link *Link

CAP Header Base data Geographic information Number of affected people Biohazard information

Common Alerting Protocol information
Category Fire Fire suppression and rescue
Certainty Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
Scope Public For general dissemination to unrestricted audiences
Severity Extreme Extraordinary threat to life or property
Urgency Past Responsive action is no longer required
Base data
EDIS Number WF-20171012-60165-USA
Event type Forest / Wild Fire
Date/Time October 12 2017 03:48 AM (UTC)
Last update October 12 2017 03:59 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Reliability of information Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites). Reliability: at least 70%
Damage level Catastrophic Damage level
Affected area State wide level : Event affected onestate (province).
Geographic information
Continent North-America
Country USA
County / State State of California
Area State-wide
Settlement
Coordinate 36.78, -119.42
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Dead person(s) 23
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 670
Evacuated/rescued person(s) 20000
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0

VIV-20171012-60164-JPN – Vehicle Incident – Japan – Asia

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:38 PM PDT
A US military transport helicopter made an emergency landing and burst into flames near a training area in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, Wednesday afternoon. None of the seven crew members or residents were injured, according to the local fire department and others. The crash occurred at a pasture outside the US military’s Camp Gonsalves training area in the village of Higashi around 5:15 p.m. (8:15 a.m. GMT), according to the Defense Ministry and others. The US Marine Corps in Okinawa said a CH-53E helicopter made an emergency landing after catching fire and that the cause of the …

FL-20171012-60163-IND – Flood – India – Asia

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:33 PM PDT
Downpour in Polavaram in West Godavari district rendered around 200 people homeless. Itukalakota, a tiny village near the Polavaram Right Main Canal delivery point in Polavaram Mandal, bore the brunt of heavy rain on Wednesday. Many poor people live in the village have lost their utensils, aadhar, pattadar passbooks and ration cards. On account of heavy rain in the mandal, water is overflowing on the Kothuru Causeway, the only way to the tribal villages. Due to the floods, 19 tribal villages were cut off from the mainland. The crop in 600 acres of land at Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme …

BH-20171012-60162-USA – Biological Hazard – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:28 PM PDT
Otter Creek was impacted by a manure spill that killed 1,300 fish, including brown and brook trout, on Oct. 4, but there are encouraging signs a week later. Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Shawna Stringham monitored the stream all weekend after the spill. She said she saw hundreds of fish swimming in the trout stream Sunday. Otter Creek is a tributary of the Kickapoo River, and fish in the Kickapoo were not affected, according to the DNR. The DNR measured, took photos and froze all of the dead fish pulled from Otter Creek. “Our trout streams, because they are spring-fed, …

Biological Hazard in USA on October 12 2017 03:28 AM (UTC).

*Link: Link

CAP Header Base data Geographic information Number of affected people Biohazard information

Common Alerting Protocol information
Category Env Pollution and other environmental
Certainty Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
Scope Public For general dissemination to unrestricted audiences
Severity Moderate Possible threat to life or property
Urgency Past Responsive action is no longer required
Base data
EDIS Number BH-20171012-60162-USA
Event type Biological Hazard
Date/Time October 12 2017 03:28 AM (UTC)
Last update October 12 2017 03:30 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Reliability of information Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites). Reliability: at least 70%
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level
Affected area County-level : Event affected one county.
Geographic information
Continent North-America
Country USA
County / State State of Wisconsin
Area Otter Creek
Settlement La Farge
Coordinate 43.60, -90.67
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated/rescued person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0
Biohazard information
Biohazard level 1/4 – Low
Biohazard description Bacteria and viruses including Bacillus subtilis, canine hepatitis, Escherichia coli, varicella (chicken pox), as well as some cell cultures and non-infectious bacteria. At this level precautions against the biohazardous materials in question are minimal, most likely involving gloves and some sort of facial protection. Usually, contaminated materials are left in open (but separately indicated) waste receptacles. Decontamination procedures for this level are similar in most respects to modern precautions against everyday viruses (i.e.: washing one’s hands with anti-bacterial soap, washing all exposed surfaces of the lab with disinfectants, etc). In a lab environment, all materials used for cell and/or bacteria cultures are decontaminated via autoclave.
Disease, agent name Mass Die-off (fish)
Infected person(s) 0
Species 2
Status 1
Symptomes


EX-20171012-60161-USA – Explosion – USA – North-America

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 08:26 PM PDT
Multiple people have been hospitalized Wednesday afternoon, including one person who was air-lifted to Portland, after a chemical explosion in Detroit, Maine. Police, fire, and emergency officials were called to North Agriculture Sales around 1 p.m. in response to the explosion. The explosion caused a fire, which has since been put out. Authorities say the explosion was caused by sulfur dust being ignited. The conditions of the victims who were hospitalized are unknown at this time.

Explosion in USA on October 12 2017 03:26 AM (UTC).
*Link: Link

CAP Header Base data Geographic information Number of affected people Biohazard information

Common Alerting Protocol information
Category Safety General emergency and public safety
Certainty Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
Scope Public For general dissemination to unrestricted audiences
Severity Severe Significant threat to life or property
Urgency Past Responsive action is no longer required
Base data
EDIS Number EX-20171012-60161-USA
Event type Explosion
Date/Time October 12 2017 03:26 AM (UTC)
Last update October 12 2017 03:27 AM (UTC)
Cause of event chemical explosion
Reliability of information Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites). Reliability: at least 70%
Damage level Medium Damage level
Affected area Local event : The affected area up to a few kilometers
Geographic information
Continent North-America
Country USA
County / State State of Maine
Area Northeast Agricultural Sales
Settlement Detroit
Coordinate 44.80, -69.32
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated/rescued person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0

AC-20171011-60160-KEN – Technological Disaster – Kenya – Africa

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 11:09 AM PDT
Five people have been confirmed dead and 27 reported missing after a four-storey building at Membe area in Kisii town, collapsed Wednesday morning. The building, which was still under construction, collapsed at around 8.30 am. According to Julius Tinega, the director of the Disaster Management team in Kisii, many were pulled out of the building and rushed to hospital where they are recuperating. Rescue operations are still underway though they are being hampered by heavy rains pounding the area. Kenya Defence Forces rescue team has arrived at the scene with their state of the art machinery to …


EH-20171011-60159-FJI – Epidemic Hazard – Fiji – Pacific Ocean – East

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 11:02 AM PDT
Fiji confirmed on Wednesday a typhoid outbreak in one of the islands in the Lomaiviti Group, one of the 14 provinces in the South Pacific Island state. The Ministry of Health said in a statement that 13 patients who were diagnosed with typhoid on Moturiki Island have been treated with the required medical care and the Public Health Team continued to monitor the situation. In consultation with the community, mass gatherings have been temporarily suspended in the hot spot areas as a preventative measure. The ministry said the health team has taken prompt action to assist the communities in …

Epidemic Hazard in Fiji on October 11 2017 06:02 PM (UTC).

*Link: Link

CAP Header Base data Geographic information Number of affected people Biohazard information

Common Alerting Protocol information
Category Health Medical and public health
Certainty Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
Scope Public For general dissemination to unrestricted audiences
Severity Severe Significant threat to life or property
Urgency Past Responsive action is no longer required
Base data
EDIS Number EH-20171011-60159-FJI
Event type Epidemic Hazard
Date/Time October 11 2017 06:02 PM (UTC)
Last update October 11 2017 06:05 PM (UTC)
Cause of event
Reliability of information Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites). Reliability: at least 70%
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level
Affected area County-level : Event affected one county.
Geographic information
Continent Pacific Ocean – East
Country Fiji
County / State Lomaiviti Group
Area Moturiki Island
Settlement
Coordinate -17.77, 178.74
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated/rescued person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0
Biohazard information
Biohazard level 2/4 – Medium
Biohazard description Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Disease, agent name Typhoid Fever
Infected person(s) 13
Species 1
Status 1
Symptomes

ST-20171011-60158-VNM – Extreme Weather – Vietnam – Asia

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 09:38 AM PDT
Floods triggered by a tropical depression in Vietnam have killed 15 people and left eight others missing, officials said Wednesday. The storm hit central Vietnam on Tuesday, bringing heavy rain to the region and to parts of northern Vietnam. Eight people, including two children, were killed in central Nghe An province, disaster official Nguyen Thi Kim Dung said. Provincial officials said three people died and five others were missing in the northern province of Yen Bai. In Thanh Hoa province, north of Nghe An, two people were killed and three others were missing. Disaster officials said two …

EX-20171011-60157-TUR – Explosion – Turkey – Asia

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 06:39 AM PDT
Turkey’s state-run news agency says four people have died in an explosion at an oil refinery in Izmir. Anadolu Agency said the blast occurred on Wednesday during maintenance work on a product tank at the Tupras oil refinery, killing four workers and injuring two others. Bayram Yilmaz, the governor for the Aliaga district in Izmir province, western Turkey, said that the blast occurred during work on a naphtha gas tank that had been out of use for a long time and confirmed that the explosion was an accident caused by gas pressure in a boiler. Dogan private news agency reported that Yilmaz said …

FF-20171011-60156-IDN – Flash Flood – Indonesia – Indonesian Archipelago

Posted: 11 Oct 2017 06:34 AM PDT
Flash floods submerged four villages in Sumpiuh Sub-district, Banyumas District, Central Java Province, on Wednesday, as a dike of the Reja River burst. The dike burst at 6:30 a.m. local time, and floods submerged the villages of Karanggedang, Karangpucung, Kemiri, and Nusadadi, Kusworo, head of the Banyumas disaster mitigation office, noted. Several rescuers have been deployed to help the flood victims, he added. In Karanggedang, at least 50 houses were flooded. Farming areas were also affected by the flooding. A landslide hit Watuagung Village in Tambak Sub-district, Banyumas, on the same …
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‘Surprisingly’ high levels of radiation now detected along Pacific coast and in groundwater


(Wearing protective clothing and masks, a husband and wife walk along the coast damaged by the 2011 tsunami, with the Fukushima plant in the background. (Photo: AP)).

Hidden Fukushima nuclear waste being released into ocean — ‘Surprisingly’ high levels of radiation now detected along Pacific coast and in groundwater far from reactors — Expert: No one expected this — “Alarming example of how radiation has spread”

http://enenews.com/hidden-fukushima-nuclear-waste-being-released-into-ocean-suprisingly-high-levels-of-radiation-now-detected-along-pacific-coast-and-in-groundwater-far-from-reactors-expert-no-one-expected-th?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Published: October 5th, 2017 at 3:25 pm ET
By ENENews

Newsweek, Oct 4, 2017 (emphasis added): Radiation From Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Discovered in Sand and Groundwater 60 Miles Away… the beach groundwater is even 10 times more radioactive than the ocean directly next to the Fukushima plant.

Gizmodo, Oct 4, 2017: Fukushima’s Radioactive Waste Is Leaking From an Unexpected Source — A new and unexpected source of radioactive material left over from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has been found up to 60 miles away along coastlines… The discovery shows that damaged nuclear reactors are capable of spreading radiation far from the meltdown site, and in some surprising ways.

UPI, Oct 3, 2017: Beaches found releasing radioactive cesium into ocean 60 miles from Fukushima… Scientists have discovered a surprising new source of radioactive cesium… [Researchers] found unusually high levels of radioactive cesium-137 in the groundwater beneath several beaches… “No one expected that the highest levels of cesium in ocean water today would be found not in the harbor of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, but in the groundwater many miles away below the beach sands,” WHO researcher Virginie Sanial said…

Fox News, Oct 3, 2017: Fukushima’s radioactive cesium found an unexpected hiding spot… The find wasn’t just a surprise, but significant. As the researchers write, “Aside from the aquifer beneath [the plant], the highest recorded present-day activities of [cesium-137] in the aqueous environment in Japan are associated with brackish groundwater underneath beaches.”

IFL Science, Oct 2, 2017: Scientists investigating the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan have found an unexpected source of radioactive material… [It’s] an alarming example of how radiation from the reactor has spread… “It is as if the sands acted as a ‘sponge’ that was contaminated in 2011 and is only slowly being depleted,” said study co-author Ken Buesseler…

Study – Unexpected source of Fukushima-derived radiocesium to the coastal ocean of Japan, Sep 26, 2017: [T]he highest radiocesium (137Cs) activities outside of the power plant site were observed in brackish groundwater underneath sand beaches… During our study period, we found the highest cesium-137 (137Cs) levels (up to 23,000 Bq⋅m−3) outside of the FDNPP site not in the ocean, rivers, or potable groundwater, but in groundwater beneath sand beaches over tens of kilometers away from the FDNPP. Here, we present evidence of a previously unknown, ongoing source of Fukushima-derived 137Cs to the coastal ocean… This estimated ocean 137Cs source (0.6 TBq⋅y−1) is of similar magnitude as the ongoing releases of 137Cs from the FDNPP site for 2013–2016, as well as the input of Fukushima-derived dissolved 137Cs via rivers… This unexpected and ongoing 137Cs source requires further investigation…

View the full report here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/09/26/1708659114.full.pdf?with-ds=yes

Hot particles with over 1 Quadrillion becquerels per kilogram detected


Pieces of Fukushima reactor cores still floating around, new study reveals — Hot particles with over 1 Quadrillion becquerels per kilogram detected — Radioactive materials contain Uranium, Polonium, Americium (VIDEO)

Published: August 8th, 2017 at 7:23 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/

Science of the Total Environment, by Marco Kaltofen (Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, Department of Physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Arnie Gundersen (Fairewinds Energy Education), Dec 2017 (emphasis added): Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan… Radioactive particles from Fukushima are tracked via dusts, soils, and sediments; Radioactive dust impacts are tracked in both Japan and the United States/Canada; Atypically-radioactive particles from reactor cores are identified in house dusts… After the March 11, 2011, nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi, 180 samples of Japanese particulate matter (dusts and surface soils) and 235 similar U.S. and Canadian samples were collected and analyzed… Samples were collected and analyzed over a five-year period, from 2011 to 2016. Detectable levels of 134Cs and 137Cs were found in 142 of 180 (80%) Japanese particulate matter samples… U.S. and Canadian samples had detectable 134Cs and 137Cs in one dust sample out of 32 collected, and four soils out of 74… The mean in Japan was skewed upward due to nine of the 180 (5%) samples with activities > 250 kBq kg− 1 [250,000 Bq/kg]… 300 individual radioactively-hot particles were identified in samples from Japan; composed of 1% or more of the elements cesium, americium, radium, polonium, thorium, tellurium, or strontium. Some particles reached specific activities in the MBq μg− 1 level and higher [1,000,000,000,000,000 Bq/kg]… Some of the hot particles detected in this study could cause significant radiation exposures to individuals if inhaled. Exposure models ignoring these isolated hot particles would potentially understate human radiation dose.

Fairewinds Press Release, Jul 27, 2017: Radioactively-Hot Particles in Japan; New Study Shows Full Radiation Risks are not Recorded… the article details the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns. Based on 415 samples of radioactive dust from Japan, the USA, and Canada, the study identified a statistically meaningful number of samples that were considerably more radioactive than current radiation models anticipated. If ingested, these more radioactive particles increase the risk of suffering a future health problem…

Truthout, Aug 1, 2017: Radioactive Hot Particles Still Afloat Throughout Japan Six Year After Fukushima Meltdowns — Radioactive particles of uranium, thorium, radium, cesium, strontium, polonium, tellurium and americium are still afloat throughout Northern Japan more than six years after… three full-blown nuclear meltdowns. That was the conclusion reached by two of the world’s leading radiation experts after conducting an extensive five-year monitoring project… 108 of the Japanese samples were taken in 2016, while the other 72 were gathered in 2011… “A majority of these samples were collected from locations in decontaminated zones cleared for habitation by the National Government of Japan,” the study revealed… In contrast to external X-rays, gamma, beta or alpha rays, hot particles are small mobile pieces of radioactive elements that can be breathed in, drunk or eaten in food. The fragments can then become lodged in bodily tissue where they will emanate high-intensity ionizing radiation for months or years, damaging and twisting cells, potentially causing myriad diseases and cancer… “Comparing external radiation to hot particles inside the body is an inappropriate analogy,” Gundersen toldEnviroNewsin an email. “Hot particles deliver a lot of energy to a very localized group of cells that surround them and can therefore cause significant localized cell damage.”…

Forgotten history: US bankers financing US enemies

Forgotten history: US bankers financing US enemies—and why it is important now By Jon Rappoport In 1971, Gary Allen published his book, None Dare Call it Conspiracy. It quickly became an unofficial best seller. Over the years, several million copies have been sold. Allen’s thesis was stark: super-rich American capitalists were financing socialism. This bizarre […]

via Forgotten history: US bankers financing US enemies—and why it is important now — Jon Rappoport’s Blog