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The World and Everything in It: September 1, 2022


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: September 1, 2022

The United States enters a new era of space exploration; the Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to release radioactive water into the ocean in 2023; and a man ministers to people in the Ukrainian war zone. Plus: commentary from Cal Thomas, and the Thursday morning news.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!

NASA scrubbed Monday’s Artemis launch to the moon, but the delay hasn’t lessened people’s enthusiasm.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Also, what to do with millions of tons of radioactive water generated by the damaged Fukushima power plant in Japan.

Plus a Ukrainian Christian working to help his people.

And Cal Thomas on a potential GOP presidential candidate.

BROWN: It’s Thursday, September 1st. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

BUTLER: And I’m Paul Butler. Good morning!

BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: UN inspectors Zaporizhzhia » In Ukraine, a convoy of United Nations-marked SUVs finally arrived in Zaporizhzhia city on Wednesday.

A team of U.N. nuclear inspectors is on the ground in Ukraine this morning.

They’re inspecting the Russian-occupied and war-battered Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

UN nuclear chief Rafael Grossi:

GROSSI: This operation is a very complex operation. We are going to a war zone. We are going to an occupied territory. And this requires explicit guarantees from the Russian Federation.

He said both sides have guaranteed the safety of inspectors.

Grossi warns the plant is in dangerously poor shape. Inspectors hope to develop a plan to shore up the facility and avoid a catastrophe.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Russian forces must not interfere with the inspection.

KIRBY: We want to make sure that Mr. Grossi and his inspectors get full and complete access so that they can better understand the operations of that plant.

With fears of a radiation leak on the rise, officials have begun distributing anti-radiation iodine tablets to nearby residents.

UN cites possible crimes vs. humanity in China’s Xinjiang » A new UN report says China may be guilty of crimes against humanity. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The U.N. human rights office has released its long-awaited report, citing “serious” rights violations and patterns of torture in China.

The report points to the Chinese government’s detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in the western Xinjiang region.

It calls for an urgent international response to the allegations.

Outgoing U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet faced criticism for not releasing the report earlier after China pressured her office to withhold it.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

FBI-Trump latest » A Dept. of Justice court filing says classified documents were “likely concealed and removed” from former President Trump’s Florida estate prior to the FBI’s raid.

DOJ officials claim it was part of an effort by Trump’s team to obstruct a federal investigation.

The government filed the document as it tries to convince a judge not to appoint an independent special master to review documents the FBI seized.

Trump and his supporters say that’s essential to a fair process. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem:

NOEM: Hiding these documents and this information, keeping it within the DOJ is wrong. It needs to be transparent so people can start to build trust back in the FBI and the DOJ and what they’re doing.

Security camera footage shows documents being removed from the storage room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Jackson » In Jackson, Mississippi, people waited in lines at distribution sites and flooded stores Wednesday for water to drink and cook amid the ongoing water crisis.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba told residents the water is safe to bathe in…

LUMUMBA: However, if you are drinking or cooking with it, we ask you to boil that water. If you are washing your dishes, we ask that you boil the water in that circumstance.

The owner of a local diner said it’s getting expensive to truck ice in from out of town.

AUDIO: It also means that all my staff has to do double the work because we can’t do free refills. We have to have a cup of ice that we’ve outsourced the ice.

President Biden this week approved an emergency declaration for the state and pledged federal support.

COVID boosters » The FDA has approved the first update to COVID-19 vaccines.

The new shots are designed to target the most common omicron strains. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said they contain the same basic ingredients as the original COVID mRNA vaccines …

CALIFF: But are modified to target the circulating omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5, as well as the strain that was included in the original vaccines.

The drugmakers submitted evidence that their shots increased patients’ antibodies against omicron. But it’s not clear yet how well the vaccines ward off illness or how long the protection lasts.

Califf said the FDA hopes the modified Moderna and Pfizer boosters will blunt a potential new winter wave.

The boosters could be available within days, but the CDC must still issue a recommendation as to who should get the shots.

Taiwan warning shots » Taiwanese forces fired warning shots at Chinese drones this week as they hovered over the Kinmen islands of Taiwan. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: After bullets zipped past the drones, they retreated to the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen.

TSAI: [Speaking Taiwanese]

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen said Beijing is making a habit of intruding in her country’s airspace.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions with China after the Chinese military held military drills in the Strait of Taiwan. Taiwanese officials viewed the war games as a rehearsal for an invasion.

The United States is reportedly set to approve a defense package for Taiwan worth more than a billion dollars. It would include anti-ship and air-to-air missiles, which could be used to repel a potential Chinese invasion.

For WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: excitement for the next moon mission.

Plus, ministry inside a war zone.

This is The World and Everything in It.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: It’s Thursday the 1st of September, 2022.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

First up on The World and Everything in It: heading back to the moon.

The United States has entered a new era of space exploration. On Saturday, NASA is scheduled to launch its most powerful rocket ever. Artemis I will send an unmanned capsule to the moon and back in preparation of sending astronauts to the moon and, eventually, to Mars.

BUTLER: I was just 18 months old when the final Apollo mission ended. But being a military kid in the 70s meant lots of dreaming about being an astronaut and hopes that one day we’d return to the moon.

BROWN: Well you’re not alone. There were many space enthusiasts on hand for Monday’s canceled launch at Houston’s Johnson Space Center and WORLD’s Bonnie Pritchett was there.

BUTLER: Bonnie talked with attendees about how the Artemis program is rekindling Americans’ excitement for all things outer space. Retiree Lloyd Hadley traveled from Pasadena, Calif., to visit Houston during the launch.

Lloyd Hadley: Americans are just always pushing ahead. They never stop. That's great. I like that of course

Hadley remembers watching the space race as a child:

Lloyd Hadley: And of course, it was covered up on television. So we just grew up with it. You know, matter of fact, it actually got kind of boring after a while. Because you heard it every day.

BROWN: That might be so, but it’s not every day that a human being walks on the moon. It’s been 50 years since the last NASA moon landing. Artemis is bringing back the excitement. And in the internet era, anyone can get involved.

BUTLER: Bonnie also talked to a family from Germany who was visiting Houston on vacation.

GERMAN FAMILY: [We] read it on the internet. We wanted to visit the NASA because we've been to Cape Canaveral seven years before with the kids and now they've grown up and they're very excited to see the launch

BROWN: That excitement was tangible for the Briseño family, as well—though they didn’t travel quite so far. They’re from Dallas. Here’s mom Cecilia.

BRISENO FAMILY: It's just a once in a lifetime experience. So we couldn't make it out to Florida. So we definitely were willing to make this drive. And just I hope that she always remembers this. So cool.

Cecilia’s daughter Ava loves all things space-related.

BRISENO FAMILY: I was never really into space growing up. I mean, I thought it was it was kind of like intimidating to me. So it was just kind of like I stayed away from it. But my daughter has been into space probably for four years, three to four years. And she just reads every book and watches every show and watches every documentary. Now it’s a really fun experience like for all of us to get to do it together because we all enjoy it.

BUTLER: These families didn’t get to witness what happens at a NASA space center during the launch. But they heard from explorers and experts who share their enthusiasm. Douglas Terrier is an associate director for NASA. He grew up in Jamaica and learned about the Apollo 11 moon landing from newspaper reports. It inspired him to work for NASA when he grew up.

Terrier: So that Apollo mission had a profound effect on I'm sure millions of children like me, dots in the United States, but around the world. And that is exactly the kind of inspiration that we're bringing to bear with these Artemis missions in today's environment.

Thanks to Bonnie Pritchett for taking us to the Johnson Space Center.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Coming up next: radioactive cleanup. In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami destroyed Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant.

Now, the Tokyo Electric Power Company is trying to clean up the mess. It plans to release millions of tons of radioactive water into the ocean as soon as 2023.

WORLD’s Mary Muncy reports.

MARY MUNCY, REPORTER: In 2011, the tsunami destroyed the cooling mechanisms on Fukushima’s nuclear reactors. The Tokyo Electric Power Company—that’s TEPCO—immediately started pumping water over the reactors to try to keep them cool.

That water picks up radioactive material. It can’t just be pumped back into the ocean.

Most of the radioactive material can be filtered out but tritium is extremely difficult, if not impossible to take out of the water.

JAESCHKE: My name is Benedict Jaeschke. I have a PhD in ecotoxicology, with a specialization in the effects of radiation on the marine environment. I currently work as a consultant with regards to the impact of radioactive wastes from nuclear sites.

For his PhD, Jaeschke researched the effects of tritium on marine organisms. He also studied how it moves through the environment.

JAESCHKE: Tritium is radioactive hydrogen, it's a hydrogen atom with two extra neutrons and chemically, tritium behaves effectively identically to hydrogen.

And, that hydrogen is very reactive and when it reacts with oxygen it creates H2O where one or both of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced with tritium.

JAESCHKE: So chemically, this is water, it's just radioactive water.

Unlike other radioactive materials like strontium or cesium, tritium changes the chemical composition of the water. So trying to filter tritiated water from regular water is like trying to filter water out of water—which sounds like a curse straight from Greek mythology.

No one really knows what to do with tritiated water. TEPCO has been working with the Japanese government, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and independent contractors to figure out a plan and the best they could come up with is releasing it into the ocean.

But that isn’t as bad as it might sound. Jaeschke said tritium can only damage living things under pretty specific conditions.

JAESCHKE: To damage populations of these organisms would require sustained tritium concentration on on the scale probably a mega becquerels per liter.

He’s saying it would have to be an incredibly high concentration of tritium for a long period of time, something that’s unlikely to happen in the ocean.

JAESCHKE: If you were to imagine putting red dye into water, it diffuses very, very quickly, and gets gets fainter and fainter as it spreads out.

The same thing happens to tritiated water. The radioactive water is seeking to distribute itself evenly throughout the entire ocean.

JAESCHKE: So unless there's very little water to exchange with, so it's a it's a small pond, or there are going to be many, many releases of high concentrations of treated water and wastewater, the chances for sustained high concentration and in that location are quite low.

TEPCO plans to dilute the water to 1/40th of the concentration allowed by the government before releasing it.

Tritium also has a relatively short half-life, which is the time it takes for half of a radioactive sample to decay. For tritium, that’s only about 12-and-a-half years.

So why can’t TEPCO just store the water until the tritium decays?

SEABORG: I'm Don Seaborg. I'm a retired engineer, I worked in nuclear operations or cleanup or waste management or weapons for all of national defense for the career that spanned 45 years, and retired from federal service in 2018 and I’ve been consulting ever since.

Seaborg said, just as there are risks to releasing the water, there are risks to storing it.

SEABORG: Then you run the risk of another tsunami, another earthquake and releasing all this, or at least large portions of this tritiated water at one time in an uncontrolled fashion.

But the fisherman around Fukushima don’t see it the same way. They’re just now getting their fishing ground back after the accident and they say that at the very least, releasing the water would hurt their reputation.

SEABORG: Any area that's subject to a nuclear action like this is always people avoid it, avoid the products, whether they're farm products, or in this case, water fishing products.

But Jaeschke said there is very little risk to humans. If the fish were somehow significantly contaminated, a fisherman could put the fish in a bucket of water. Within a few hours or days, the tritiated water would disperse evenly throughout the bucket, just like it does throughout the ocean. This would make the levels of tritium in the fish negligible.

TEPCO estimates that cleaning up Fukushima will take another 50 years and it will have to continue running water over the reactors until it’s completely decommissioned.

So until technology to separate tritiated water from regular water is perfected, TEPCO sees releasing it as its best bet.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Mary Muncy.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Most of us don’t like being woken up in the middle of the night. But for one girl, her dad knew she’d want to be awake for this “dream come true.”

Matthew Payne plopped his sleepy-eyed daughter down in front of his amateur radio gear.

Audio here courtesy of NBC-15:

PAYNE: Zero, lima, mike, kilo

LINDGREN: Mike kilo, this is NA1SS. Welcome to the International Space Station.

At that moment, the International Space Station was orbiting directly above Isabella’s part of the world in England. The communication window doesn’t last long, but ham radio enthusiasts can speak to astronauts aboard the space station when it's overhead.

PAYNE: My name is Isabella. I’m 8-years-old. 0-5-0-9. Thank you.

LINDGREN: This is November, Alpha, 1 Sierra, Sierra. Isabella, it’s so great to chat with you. Thank you for getting on the radio and saying hello.

PAYNE: Thank you. Fly safe.

Lindgren later tweeted that talking with Isabella may be his favorite earthling contact so far. Isabella seemed pretty jazzed about the whole things as well:

ISABELLA: I was thinking, Oh, my goodness, oh my goodness, I'm talking to someone out of the earth's atmosphere.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, September 1st. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler.

The disturbing images of suffering Ukrainians have shocked the world. And for some Americans, it’s deeply personal.

Sergey Rakhuba is president of Mission Eurasia—a Christian training ministry working in 13 former Soviet bloc countries and the nation of Israel.

BROWN: Rakuba lives in the United States, but he was born and raised in Ukraine and lived in Russia for more than a decade. WORLD’s Jill Nelson recently talked to him about his childhood, faith journey, and ministry inside the war zone.

JILL NELSON, REPORTER: In the months following Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Sergey Rakhuba developed a new routine. First thing each morning he checked in with family and friends to make sure they were still alive.

RAKHUBA: You want to wake up, you can't comprehend. I could not take it. It was happening actually in reality.

Now he worries about his two nephews who deliver humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine.

RAKHUBA: Will never forget the call I got. That was my nephew, apparently. Uncle, I think the war just began.

Rukhuba was born near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk that is currently occupied by Russian forces. His cousins from his mom’s side still live there. But they have pro-Russian sympathies and refuse to talk to the rest of the family.

RAKHUBA: They blame everybody, blames America. Everybody blames Nazis. We cannot figure out why.

That’s been hard on his extended family.

Rakhuba’s father has a unique conversion story. The German army captured him during World War II and shipped him to a prison camp.

RAKHUBA: He was captured by the Nazis because he was the son of the resistance commander.

He wound up in a refugee camp after American troops freed the region. It was there he heard the gospel through Slavic missionaries and became a Christian.

Rakhuba’s father could have moved to the United States but instead decided to take the gospel back to his homeland. He married a Ukrainian woman he met in Germany and together they had four children.

Rakhuba is the youngest. He remembers the 8-mile walk to church each Sunday and the city inspectors standing at the door.

RAKHUBA: Kids were not allowed in church until the age of 18. There was a special rule. It was a criminal offense.

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union at the time, and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev had banned teaching children religion. But that didn’t stop Rakhuba’s parents.

RAKHUBA: My dad grabs me, like this, so they would not let me in. He grabs me and breaks through to this, kind of totally takes me to church. So they would fine him and it would happen many times throughout the year. That fine was about half of his monthly income for violating the law of taking children to church and so on.

At one point, local authorities told Rakhuba’s family the four kids would be sent to an orphanage.

RAKHUBA: I was like, what, 3, 4 years old? I remember that. So that mom was crying like nothing could comfort her..

But the kids were spared after an internal coup changed the course of Soviet leadership.

During his teen years, Rakhuba questioned his faith.

RAKHUBA: When I was like 15, 16, I thought if that's for me or not. Maybe I should just not follow the path of my parents as a young boy, so teenager. I wanted to be popular.

He would often stay out late with friends. One night, as he was quietly sneaking into their small home after midnight, he heard his parents praying for him.

RAKHUBA: They were praying like it was an enormous tragedy imposed upon them because their youngest one is walking away. I was shocked. I realized if not my parents through all those years, if not their faithfulness, I don't know where I would be.

That moment prompted a change of heart, and he renewed his faith.

He met his wife Tanya in Ukraine and the couple moved to her home city of Moscow in 1983. Rakhuba got involved in youth ministry and church planting.

RAKHUBA: We were distributing smuggled Bibles, so taking all those risks and so on.

Rakhuba eventually helped establish 52 evangelism and church-planting centers in eastern Europe and Asia.

Now, he and his wife live near Wheaton, Illinois and have two grown kids and a young daughter. He has been a part of Mission Eurasia, formerly Russian Ministries, since the early ’90s. He travels to Ukraine, Russia, and other countries in the region four to six times a year.

He’s seen how the Russian war in Ukraine has damaged many of the relationships between Slavic people.

RAKHUBA: Our brothers and sisters in Russia, they're all victims of all this propaganda.

Russian forces in February made it all the way to a suburb of Kyiv called Irpin. They commited hundreds of alleged war crimes and took over Mission Eurasia’s Ministry Center. The building had a dormitory, a dining area, conference rooms, and a warehouse full of Bibles and Christian literature.

RAKHUBA: So we were told they just took it over and turned it into their, like a command outpost for their special force.

When Ukrainian troops retook Irpin in March, the Russian forces burned down the building as they fled. They also killed hundreds of civilians. A video shows bodies lining the street near the destroyed ministry center.

But Mission Eurasia’s work continues, and Rakhuba will soon make his fifth trip to Ukraine since the war began. He has witnessed the pain and trauma Ukrainians struggle to deal with.

RAKHUBA: What I saw was that enormous suffering. Everybody's sharing the same story: Our community, our house was destroyed, we lost family and so on.

That’s why his team isn’t just delivering tens of thousands of food packages to internally displaced people and refugees. They’ve also trained more than 800 camp leaders in trauma counseling. And those leaders worked with around 20,000 women and children over the summer.

RAKHUBA: The psychological or emotional trauma, it's enormous.

Rakhuba says Ukrainians have a long road ahead.

RAKHUBA: I can't comprehend and I can't explain what's good when people suffer and see that suffering. See children being uprooted, losing everything, being traumatized, falling asleep with fear bombs will fall. Hard to justify.

Still, he has hope that God will work through the suffering in his homeland.

RAKHUBA: But God is doing absolutely amazing work. And I think it's possible to see that's good only with the redeemed heart. The Church is becoming extremely powerful, exhausted physically, but unbelievably empowered spiritually to continue bringing the gospel amid this unbelievable tragedy, war, destruction, rising from the ashes of this destruction.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jill Nelson.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, September 1st. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. Commentator Cal Thomas joins us now with a closer look at one Virigina’s rising political stars.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has been in office only seven months and already he is listed at number five in a Washington Post story about possible 2024 GOP presidential candidates.

In an interview, I asked him to respond to suggestions in some quarters that he might be well positioned to run for president in 2024. His answer sounds close to what could develop into a campaign speech: “What I find telling is that someone new on the political scene who, yes, turned a blue state red, who is delivering on promises made, who is conservative and believes in a larger group of Americans in the (Republican) party who embrace these American values that underpin our great nation … is all of a sudden in the national discussion around running for president.”

Youngkin’s record of accomplishments in such a short time is impressive. He and the legislature have cut state taxes by $4 billion, while reducing spending and creating a $3.2 million surplus, much of which he wants to rebate to taxpayers. He’s got a good applause line for it: “The money belongs to Virginians; it doesn’t belong to the politicians, or to government.”

A major issue that propelled him into office was the woke agenda imposed in many schools. Virginia has a limited school choice plan, which Youngkin wants to expand to include private and religious schools. “Parents don’t trust their public school system,” he contends. In addition to what is being taught in the classroom, he cites a school counselor who had been arrested for soliciting sex from a minor in one Northern Virginia county, released and later arrested for soliciting sex from a minor in another county. “Or a young girl who was assaulted in one school and a young man is found guilty and they move him to another school where he assaults someone else. These are things that erode a sense of safety in our schools.” Not to mention school shootings.

Youngkin blames President Biden for creating the migrant crisis at the border. “To enable people to come into our country and then sort out whether they should be here is just wrong.” Speaking about the drug crisis, he adds, “We have record levels of drug overdoses in Virginia. Sixty percent of them are Fentanyl-related … every state in America has been impacted.”

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, some states are passing new laws restricting abortion, while others are protecting abortion rights. Asked about Virginia’s approach, Youngkin takes a pragmatic position: “I am a pro-life governor. I also recognize Virginia is going to be a tough place to pass legislation on abortion.” He supports a 15-week “pain threshold bill” because he says most Virginians – and polls show much of the country — favor restricting or banning late-term abortions. He says pro-lifers should turn around the “radical” label the other side uses against them and point out that the pro-choice side favors allowing abortions to the moment of birth. “That’s radical,” he says.

Youngkin will campaign for several Republican congressional candidates this fall. It could be a warm-up for something greater. Eight previous presidents were Virginians. Could Youngkin be number nine?

I’m Cal Thomas.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Tomorrow: John Stonestreet is here for our weekly Culture Friday conversation.

And, returning to Middle Earth. WORLD’s Collin Garbarino reviews Amazon Studios’ new series: The Rings of Power.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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