Real-life characters in HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ on the moment they found out about the world’s worst nuclear-power-plant accident

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HBO’s “Chernobyl” series tells the story of the world’s worst nuclear-power-plant accident.
The show is nominated for 19 Emmy awards, including in the Outstanding Limited Series category, in which it’s considered a frontrunner.
Most of the characters who appear in the show existed in real life — and a few have been willing to share their stories.
We rounded up actual accounts of the moment when disaster struck on April 26, 1986.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

HBO’s “Chernobyl” series paints a fairly accurate portrait of the 1986 nuclear disaster, which sent plumes of radioactive material coursing through Pripyat, a city that was once part of the Soviet Union.

The miniseries earned 19 Emmy nominations, including in the Outstanding Limited Series category, in which it’s considered a frontrunner. The award show will be held Sunday, September 22.

As the series shows, the disaster was the result of a flawed design and human error, which caused the core of a nuclear reactor to open into the atmosphere.

Read more: 16 people who helped with the Chernobyl cleanup share their devastating first-hand accounts

With a few exceptions, most of the characters in the series were based on people in the real-life accident. Some lived to tell their tales, and others did not.

A few of those who survived were willing to recall the moment when they either found out about the explosion or witnessed it with their own eyes. Here are their firsthand accounts, told in the years since.

SEE ALSO: 12 ways HBO changed the Chernobyl story

Chernobyl’s chief scientific investigator said the disaster took place on a “beautiful” Saturday.

Valery Legasov, Chernobyl’s chief scientific investigator, recorded his personal account of the disaster on cassette tapes before hanging himself on April 26, 1988 — the second …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Trump heads to UN with long list of deals he’s yet to close

By Deb Riechmann | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, a self-described deal-maker, is saddled with a long list of unresolved foreign policy deals he has yet to close heading into his U.N. visit this coming week.

There are challenges with Iran, North Korea, the Afghan Taliban, Israel and the Palestinians — not to mention a number of trade pacts. Some are inching forward. Some have stalled.

Trump has said repeatedly that he is in “no rush” to wrap up the deals. But negotiations take time.

He is nearly three years into his presidency and the 2020 election looms, which will crimp his ability to tend to unfinished foreign business.

“I don’t blame the president for having so many deals open,” said Nicholas Burns, a former undersecretary of state who has worked for Republican and Democratic presidents. He gives Trump credit for going after China on its trade practices and talking to the Taliban to try to end 18 years of war in Afghanistan.

“But I do think you have to be tough-minded as citizens and grade him,” Burns said. “How’s he doing? Well, in my book, he doesn’t have a single major foreign policy achievement in more than 2½ years in office.”

Trump’s critics say that lack of success means the president is going to the United Nations in a weakened position.

Some foreign policy experts give Trump credit for opening up international negotiations. Yet there is plentiful criticism of his brash negotiating style — blasting foreign leaders one day, making nice the next — because they think it makes the global chessboard more wobbly.

In his defense, Trump says: “It’s the way I negotiate. It’s done very well for me over the years, and it’s doing even better for the country.”

Trump’s “America first” mantra hasn’t gone over well at the United Nations before. Now, as tensions …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Flight attendants cringe when you order tea or coffee — and the reason is pretty gross

new flight attendant skitch

Flight attendant Jamila Hardwick dished to Inside Edition about what flight attendants want to tell you about flying.
One of the more shocking revelations: Don’t order tea or coffee. The pipes for hot water on planes aren’t regularly cleaned.
Flight attendants get annoyed when you order Diet Coke, too.
It’s just too fizzy.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Flight attendants know a lot about flying — and some of that inside knowledge is kind of gross.

Flight attendant Jamila Hardwick told Inside Edition one particularly alarming fact about what you should and shouldn’t order when the drinks cart comes down the aisle.

“The thing about the coffee and tea, the pipes are rarely cleaned,” Hardwick said.

Flight attendants have said the same to Business Insider. “Flight attendants will not drink hot water on the plane. They will not drink plain coffee, and they will not drink plain tea,” one said in 2017.

Read more: 6 things flight attendants want to tell you but can’t

Airlines are only required to disinfect their water tanks four times a year, Inside Edition reported. A new study from Hunter College even says most major airlines don’t have water that passes federal regulations for “relatively safe, clean water.” Another Environmental Protection Agency study says one in eight planes fails the agency’s standards for water safety.

Scores of three or higher for the EPA’s Aircraft Drinking Water Rule indicates the water is clean to drink. But the water on Spirit, JetBlue, United, American and Delta scored under a two in the Hunter College study.

Diet Coke isn’t gross, but it will annoy the flight attendant

Hardwick also told Inside Edition that flight attendants just get annoyed when you order Diet Coke. For flight attendants who are hustling to serve passengers, pouring that drink just …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Review: ‘The Great Wave’ barely makes a ripple at Berkeley Rep

Hoping to make a splash, Berkeley Repertory Theatre launched its first season under new artistic director Johanna Pfaelzer with “The Great Wave,” a political nail-biter about Japanese and Korean history.

The waters should churn with disturbing contextual currents from war crimes and dictators to racism, all of which would suggest that “The Great Wave” would suck us in to a deep exploration of geopolitical tragedy. Unfortunately, despite its thrilling subject matter and a breathtakingly immersive video design (Tara Knight) that washes over the stage with heat and light, Francis Turnly’s drama is the antithesis of visceral. This dry almost three-hour drama generates only trickles of emotion and suspense in its sluggish American premiere directed by Mark Wing-Davey.

Jo Mei stars in the American premiere of “The Great Wave.” (Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Built on the bones of a true story, the plot seems exciting at first. On a stormy night in 1979, a rebellious Japanese teenager named Hanako (Jo Mei) is seemingly swept out to sea by crashing waves as her big sister Reiko (Yurié Collins) looks on, bereft and broken. Unfortunately, the mystery of her disappearance is solved all too quickly, for the audience if not the characters. Hanako has been abducted by North Korean operatives to train their espionage missions. She is forced to drill spies like Jung Sun (Cindy Im) in the ways of the Japanese.

The tension dissipates as the action floats back and forth through time and place. Hanako’s grieving family searches the shore for her in vain, year after year, while she sinks deeper and deeper into the totalitarian culture of the “Great Leader,” Kim Il-sung. Turnly attempts to connect the personal and the political but the narrative feels choppy, particularly in the slow-moving first act. Too many cumbersome set machinations and some shallow performances also keep …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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