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News in Brief: Iowa Considers Criminalizing Undercover Videos of Farm Animal Abuse, and More

Iowa Considers Criminalizing Undercover Videos of Farm Animal Abuse

Iowa Considers Criminalizing Undercover Videos of Farm Animal Abuse

According to Democracy Now!, Iowa lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit animal rights activists from recording undercover videos of farm animals being abused. The bill, which has garnered support from the state’s agricultural industry, would impose fines and jail time on anyone who seeks employment in an agricultural position in order to capture the footage. Undercover videos in recent years have led to numerous plant closures and meat recalls after revelations of mistreatment of cows, pigs, and other farm animals.

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Japan Facing Nuclear Disaster

Reuters reports that a nuclear power plant ravaged by the earthquake exploded Tuesday, sending low levels of radiation toward Tokyo. Two blasts at the facility had apparently blown a hole in a building containing a reactor, exposing nuclear fuel to the atmosphere. Prime Minister Naoto Kan asked people to stay within 18 miles of the building and to remain indoors, while officials in Tokyo said the radiation did not pose a health threat to the city of 13 million. Toxicologist Lee Tin-lap said while the levels were not an immediate danger, long-term consequences were unknown amid the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Southern Sudan Secession Falters

Leaders of the newly formed southern Sudan walked out of secession talks Saturday over what they said are plans by the northern government to implement a “puppet government” in the oil-abundant south, McClatchy Newspapers writes. Sudan split into two countries earlier this year after five decades of civil war, but the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) said that the north’s National Congress Party has continued to arm southern dissidents even after a 2005 peace deal. “The National Congress Party is not interested in peace, it is not interested in cooperation. They are only interested in destabilizing Southern Sudan,” said SPLM Secretary-General Pagan Amum.