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A-bomb survivors view G7 Hiroshima summit as ‘piece of hope’ for nuclear disarmament



HIROSHIMA, Japan– This weekend’s Group of Seven Industrialized Nations Summit in Hiroshima provides a rare – and possibly last – chance for survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to advocate for nuclear disarmament before a global audience.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has roots in Hiroshima, chose the city in part to draw attention to nuclear nonproliferation efforts that have been undermined by Russia’s nuclear threats against Ukraine and growing aggression from nuclear-armed China and North Korea.

On Friday, he greeted G7 leaders at the city’s Peace Memorial Park and accompanied them as they paid tribute to those killed in the attack, visited a museum dedicated to the victims and met with survivors. On Sunday, Kishida will do the same for non-G7 leaders.

Kishida has promised to act as a bridge between nuclear and non-nuclear states, but some critics say his disarmament goals are empty. Japan relies on the United States nuclear umbrella for protection and is rapidly expanding its military forces.

Sueichi Kido, an 83-year-old survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, said he was skeptical whether the prime minister could persuade G-7 leaders, including nuclear powers such as the US, UK and France, to make real progress on disarmament.

“But since they are meeting in Hiroshima, I have a faint hope that they will have positive negotiations and take a tiny step towards nuclear disarmament,” Kido said.

Later on Friday, the G7 leaders released a joint statement on nuclear disarmament called “The Hiroshima Vision” that called for further non-use of nuclear weapons, transparency and reduction of nuclear arsenals. Critics argued that it contained no new real steps.

The United States carried out the world’s first atomic attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. Three days later, he dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000 people. Japan capitulated on August 15, ending World War II.

Kido said he hoped the leaders would spend more time than former US President Barack Obama during his hasty visit to the museum in 2016, which features displays of mutilated buildings and bodies from the attack.

Obama’s trip to Hiroshima was the first for a sitting US leader.

“I sincerely want leaders to have a firm understanding of what atomic bombs have done to people,” Kido said. “Many people think of mushroom clouds, but often don’t know what happened to the people below them.”

Some survivors expressed disappointment that the leaders only met with one survivor and did not comment on their visit to the museum.

Kunihiko Sakuma, who was exposed to radiation as a result of the bombing at 9 months of age, said he watched a report on TV on Friday about the leaders’ visit to the museum and found it short and superficial.

“I have no idea if they understood what we survivors were saying,” he said.

He urged leaders to explain to people in their countries what they have learned about the brutality of nuclear weapons. “Every leader must make sure that every citizen understands. Otherwise, the real threat of nuclear bombs cannot be understood,” he said.

Survivors criticized Kishida for his plan to double Japan’s defense budget in the next five years. He wants to fund a military buildup that will bolster the strike capabilities designed to contain the growing threat from China.

Japan wants to deepen trilateral ties with the United States and South Korea to strengthen its nuclear deterrence. But he also refuses to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, despite repeated requests from atomic bomb survivors to do so. Kishida says the 2021 nuclear ban treaty is unworkable because it lacks membership of nuclear states. Instead, he said, Japan needs to take a realistic approach to bridging the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear states in a complex world.

As a child, Kishida heard about the horrors of the atomic bombing from his grandmother. She was from Hiroshima, and her stories left “an indelible mark” on him, inspiring him to work towards a world without nuclear weapons, said Noriyuki Shikata, cabinet secretary for public relations. He said that Kishida’s resolve was strengthened when he became a politician representing the people of Hiroshima.

“The path to a world without nuclear weapons has become even more difficult,” Kishida told foreign media outlets, including the Associated Press, in April, “but that is why we need to continue to raise the flag of our ideal and gain new momentum.”

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, as of 2022, there were about 12,705 warheads in nuclear stockpiles, most of which were in the United States and Russia.

Kido, a Nagasaki survivor, was 5 years old when he saw a flash in the sky and was hit by an explosion on the morning of August 9, 1945.

He had burns on his cheek but was reunited with his family at the orphanage. When he went outside the next day, there were charred bodies everywhere, and people were walking around begging for water with dangling flesh.

“Everything turned black,” he said. “The city is completely wiped off the face of the earth.”

Kido is among the survivors who can tell first-hand stories of the explosions.

“We won’t be anymore. There will be no more survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” he said. “We all share the firm resolve to never let anyone else be victimized and feel that pain. And the surest way to do this is to make a world without nuclear weapons, to destroy atomic weapons, and not to wage war, because nuclear weapons will not be used if there is no war.

Many survivors lived for decades with unrelenting sadness, anger, fear and shame in Japan, where victims and their children faced discrimination because people believed radiation sickness was contagious or hereditary.

After decades of silence, some survivors began to speak out with a desperate hope that younger generations would continue their unfinished work.

It took over 40 years for Kido to join the anti-nuclear movement in Gifu, where he taught history at a local university and learned that the prefecture did not have an organization to help survivors.

Youth support was the main driving force behind the achievement of the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, which led to the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, said Setsuko Thurlow, survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. and activist from Canada.

“For years, survivors of the atomic bombings have held up the torch for peace through denuclearization. We need younger and stronger hands to replace the torch and lift it even higher so that its light can be seen from all over the world,” said Thurlow, who was only 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) from the epicenter of Hiroshima in time of tragedy. bombardment


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What is my aesthetic? This is the hottest question right now.



She added: “It seems that some of you are simply fascinated by thinness, whiteness and this imaginary wealth.”

The Pure Girl aesthetic in particular has led many to both the application and off to take a closer look at what this aesthetic is trying to say. Using the word “pure” to refer to someone who looks like Hailey Bieber seems to be racially coded, with one creator. speaking, “does that mean any other girl who doesn’t fit that description is dirty?” Other creators have pointed out that many elements of the style, such as slicked back hair and gold jewelry, were first created by women of color.

“Influence on the aesthetics of a pure girl. let’s pay homage to black and brown people who were ridiculed years ago and then accepted because they made it fashionable.” wrote one.

Problems with aesthetic devotion can also be more existential. Gia, a high school student from Chicago, has over 2.1 million views. video in October, she published a post in which she said she was concerned about her generation and their obsession with aesthetics. She worries that this focus on hyper-separated empty identities hinders their self-actualization.

“People take it to the point where they almost fetishize themselves as that character to the point where they subconsciously start shaping themselves as that person, even if it’s against what they really want,” she said in the video.

She blames it on something else, social media platforms, telling me that TikTok creates echo chambers where if you like, say, Old Money Aesthetic, it will just feed you more and more similar content. It may seem harmless at first glance, but what if you like the Soft Girl aesthetic that craves the “easy life”? Or fetishize Trad Wive Aesthetic, which idealizes a patriarchal society? It’s a slippery slope.

“It’s a very slow spiral, but if you’re exposed to it enough, how these apps work … the more you spiral into a more radical understanding of this label,” she said.

Gia once had an aesthetic that she spoke of: Human Eater Aesthetics, which idolizes “fatal women”. But then she found herself “repressing her genuine feelings for men” because it didn’t fit her “character.” She worries that other young women stay in these boxes, in TikTok feedback loops, and don’t reveal themselves to other people and ideas.

“This echo chamber promotes comfort, and you cannot grow in comfort… if you really want to grow as a person, really sort of merge and create your own personality that is authentic to you and feels right to you… you have to break out of the people who just mirrors and reflections of you,” she said. “You have to understand different points of view, you have to broaden your horizons.”

Playing with identity and belonging online, like buying only pink or a certain type of clothing, can create a sense of belonging, but it’s important not to lose your aesthetic. At the end of the day, no one is one thing, it’s best to be an amalgamation of many different aesthetics and constantly learn and grow. It’s something that young women like Gia are starting to focus on, not what aesthetic they have, but who they are.

Now Gia identifies with a radical new aesthetic: no aesthetics, she’s just herself. Maybe you can call it GiaCore.

“I don’t like to think of myself as a clothing, image, or label, but as a liquid,” she said. “I’m always evolving, and if I limit myself to style, I limit my authenticity and who I have the potential to be, you know?”

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Americans warned of cases of meningitis after surgeries in Mexico



BROWNSVILLE, Texas. State and federal health officials are warning U.S. residents to cancel planned surgeries in the Mexican border city after five Texas people who underwent procedures there returned with suspected fungal meningitis. According to official figures, one of them died.

The five people who fell ill traveled to Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, for surgical procedures that included the use of an epidural placed near the spine, the Texas Department of Public Health said Tuesday. Four remain in hospitals, one of them later died.

According to the department, the patients are between the ages of 30 and 50 years.

On Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for US residents seeking medical care in Matamoros.

Meningitis is swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and requires urgent treatment. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and sensitivity to light. Cases of meningitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, trauma, or fungi.

Fungal meningitis, like Texas cases, is not spread from person to person, health officials say. It may be accidentally injected during a medical or surgical procedure.

The Texas Department of Health said US and Mexican authorities are trying to find the source of the infection, whether the cases are related, and if there are other cases.

The CDC urged anyone who received an epidural anesthetic injection in the region after January 1, 2023 to monitor for symptoms of meningitis and consider consulting a physician.

Patients in Texas cases showed symptoms from three days to six weeks after surgery in Matamoros.

Experts say people are leaving the US for prescription drugs, dental procedures, surgeries and other treatments, also known as medical tourism. Apart from Mexico, other common destinations include Canada, India and Thailand.

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Biden refuses military contractor in the Supreme Court



Air traffic controllers who worked in Afghanistan ask judges for immunity.

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