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Source: BBC

The immediate concern is how to contain the crisis in Japan's nuclear plants. But thoughts are also turning to the future and, in the world's two big industrial blocs, the politics of nuclear power has already changed.

In Germany, there's already been a long debate about what to do with the country's 17 nuclear power stations. Last October, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government decided, with much opposition, to extend their lives by another 12 years so that the last one is now due to be closed in 2035.

That fractious debate has now reopened. The political difficulty for Mrs Merkel is that support for the Greens had already been rising in her heartland just as important elections take place.

In two weeks, the voters of Baden Wuerttemberg go to the polls. This is her natural territory. It has been controlled by the Christian Democrats for decades but Japan's disaster may now change that.

On Saturday, a previously scheduled anti-nuclear demonstration in the region attracted tens of thousands more than expected. That evening, the chancellor met her ministers to discuss the Japanese events and announced that safety standards in Germany would be reviewed.

But her dilemma is how to answer concerns without undoing her policy.

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Youth

John Holt: Homeschooling Pioneer and Visionary Progressive

One of the homeschooling movement’s foremost pioneers, John Holt, was an egalitarian atheist who explicitly opposed patriarchy, corresponded with progressive thinkers and helped initiate the still emerging children’s rights movement.

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Activism

“We're Under Attack”: Burlington, VT Holds Vigil for Orlando Shooting

More than 1,500 people gathered in Burlington on the evening of Monday, June 13th to hold a collective vigil for the 49 victims of the recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Organized on the fly by the Pride Center of Vermont, the vigil celebrated Burlington's LGBTQ community and condemned ongoing violent homophobia and transphobia in Vermont and across the nation.

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Environment

Vandana Shiva: The Great Seed Piracy

A great seed and biodiversity piracy is underway and it must be stopped. The privateers of today include not just the corporations — which are becoming fewer and larger through mergers — but also individuals like Bill Gates, the “richest man in the world”.

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