Slovakia: Truth Knowledge And The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Slovakia

Introduction The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I allowed the Slovaks to join the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993. Slovakia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
History Slovakia became independent on January 1, 1993.

Before the 5th century

From around 500 BC, the territory of modern-day Slovakia was settled by Celts, who built powerful oppida on the sites of modern-day Bratislava and Havránok. Biatecs, silver coins with the names of Celtic Kings, represent the first known use of writing in Slovakia. From 2 AD, the expanding Roman Empire established and maintained a series of outposts around and just north of the Danube, the largest of which were known as Carnuntum and Brigetio. Near the northernmost line of the Roman hinterlands, Limes Romanus there existed the winter camp of Laugaricio (modern-day Trenčín) where the Auxiliary of Legion II fought and prevailed in a decisive battle over the Germanic Quadi tribe in 179 AD during the Marcomannic Wars. The Kingdom of Vannius, a barbarian kingdom founded by the Germanic Suebian tribes of Quadi and Marcomanni, as well as several small Germanic and Celtic tribes, including the Osi and Cotini, existed in Western and Central Slovakia from 8–6 BC to 179 AD.

Slavic states

The Slavic tribes settled in the territory of Slovakia in the 6th century. Western Slovakia was the centre of Samo’s Empire in the 7th century. A Slavic state, known as the Principality of Nitra, arose in the 8th century and its ruler Pribina had the first known Christian church in Slovakia consecrated by 828. Together with neighboring Moravia, the principality formed the core of the Great Moravian Empire from 833. The high point of this Slavonic empire came with the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius in 863, during the reign of Prince Rastislav, and the territorial expansion under King Svatopluk I.

Kingdom of Hungary

After the disintegration of the Great Moravian Empire in the early 10th century, the Hungarians gradually annexed the territory of the present-day Slovakia. In the late 10th century, south-western territories of the present-day Slovakia became part of the arising Hungarian principality, which transformed to the Kingdom of Hungary after 1000. The territory became integral part of the Hungarian State as it was the case until 1918. The ethnic composition became more diverse with the arrival of the Carpathian Germans in the 13th century, Vlachs in the 14th century and Jews.

A huge population loss resulted from the invasion of the Mongols in 1241 and the subsequent famine. However, in medieval times the area of the present-day Slovakia was characterized rather by burgeoning towns, construction of numerous stone castles, and the development of art. In 1465, the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus founded the first university in Pozsony/Pressburg/Bratislava, but it was closed in 1490 after his death.

After the Ottoman Empire started its expansion into Hungary and the occupation of Buda in the early 16th century, the centre of the Kingdom of Hungary (under the name of Royal Hungary) shifted towards Pozsony/Pressburg (now Bratislava), which became the capital city of the Royal Hungary in 1536. But the Ottoman wars and frequent insurrections against the Habsburg Monarchy also inflicted a great deal of destruction, especially in rural areas. As the Turks withdrew from Hungary in the late 17th century, the importance of the territory of today’s Slovakia within the kingdom decreased, although Bratislava retained its position as the capital city of Hungary until 1848, when the capital moved to Buda.

During the revolution in 1848-49 the Slovaks supported the Austrian Emperor with the ambition to secede from the Hungarian part of the Austrian monarchy, but they failed to achieve this aim. Thereafter the relations between the nationalities deteriorated (see Magyarization), resulting in the secession of Slovakia from Hungary after World War I.

Czechoslovakia and World War II

In 1918, Slovakia and the regions of Bohemia and Moravia formed a common state, Czechoslovakia, with the borders confirmed by the Treaty of Saint Germain and Treaty of Trianon. In 1919, during the chaos following the breakup of Austria-Hungary, Slovakia was attacked by the provisional Hungarian Soviet Republic and one-third of Slovakia temporarily became the Slovak Soviet Republic.

During the inter-war period, democratic and prosperous Czechoslovakia was under continuous pressure from the revisionist governments of Germany and Hungary, until it was finally broken up in 1939, as a result of the Munich Agreement concluded a year before. Southern Slovakia was lost to Hungary due to the First Vienna Award.

Under pressure from Nazi Germany, the First Slovak Republic, led by the clerical fascist leader Jozef Tiso, declared its independence from Czechoslovakia in 1939. However, the government was strongly influenced by Germany and gradually became a puppet regime. Most Jews were deported from the country and taken to German concentration camps during the Holocaust. An anti-Nazi resistance movement launched a fierce armed insurrection, known as the Slovak National Uprising, in 1944. A bloody German occupation and a guerilla war followed.

Communist era

After World War II, Czechoslovakia was reconstituted and Jozef Tiso was hanged in 1947 for collaboration with the Nazis. More than 76,000 Hungarians and 32,000 Germans were forced to leave Slovakia, in a series of population transfers initiated by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference. This expulsion is still a source of tension between Slovakia and Hungary.[citation needed]

Czechoslovakia came under the influence of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact after a coup in 1948. The country was occupied by the Warsaw Pact forces in 1968, ending a period of liberalization under the leadership of Alexander Dubček. In 1969, Czechoslovakia became a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic.

Establishment of the Slovak Republic

The end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989, during the peaceful Velvet Revolution, was followed once again by the country’s dissolution, this time into two successor states. In July 1992 Slovakia, led by Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, declared itself a sovereign state, meaning that its laws took precedence over those of the federal government. Throughout the Autumn of 1992, Mečiar and Czech Prime Minister Václav Klaus negotiated the details for disbanding the federation. In November the federal parliament voted to dissolve the country officially on December 31, 1992. Slovakia and the Czech Republic went their separate ways after January 1, 1993, an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce. Slovakia has remained a close partner with the Czech Republic, both countries cooperate with Hungary and Poland in the Visegrád Group. Slovakia became a member of NATO on March 29, 2004 and of the European Union on May 1, 2004.

Geography Location: Central Europe, south of Poland
Geographic coordinates: 48 40 N, 19 30 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 48,845 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
water: 45 sq km
Area – comparative: about twice the size of New Hampshire
Land boundaries: total: 1,474 km
border countries: Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 197 km, Hungary 676 km, Poland 420 km, Ukraine 90 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Terrain: rugged mountains in the central and northern part and lowlands in the south
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Bodrok River 94 m
highest point: Gerlachovsky Stit 2,655 m
Natural resources: brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt; arable land
Land use: arable land: 29.23%
permanent crops: 2.67%
other: 68.1% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,830 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 50.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 1.04
per capita: 193 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment – current issues: air pollution from metallurgical plants presents human health risks; acid rain damaging forests
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: landlocked; most of the country is rugged and mountainous; the Tatra Mountains in the north are interspersed with many scenic lakes and valleys
Politics Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The last parliamentary elections were held on June 17, 2006 and two rounds of presidential elections took place on April 3, 2004 and April 17, 2004.

The Slovak head of state is the president (Ivan Gašparovič, 2004 – 2009), elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term. Most executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister (Robert Fico, 2006 – 2010), who is usually the leader of the winning party, but he/she needs to form a majority coalition in the parliament. The prime minister is appointed by the president. The remainder of the cabinet is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister.

Slovakia’s highest legislative body is the 150-seat unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic (Národná rada Slovenskej republiky). Delegates are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation. Slovakia’s highest judicial body is the Constitutional Court of Slovakia (Ústavný súd), which rules on constitutional issues. The 13 members of this court are appointed by the president from a slate of candidates nominated by parliament.

Slovakia has been a member state of the European Union and NATO since 2004. As a member of the United Nations (since 1993), Slovakia was, on October 10, 2005, elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council from 2006 to 2007. Slovakia is also a member of WTO, OECD, OSCE, and other international organizations.

Controversially, the Beneš Decrees, by which, after World War II, the German and Hungarian populations of Czechoslovakia were decreed collectively guilty of World War II, stripped of their citizenship, and many deported, have still not been repealed.

People Population: 5,455,407 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.1% (male 448,083/female 427,643)
15-64 years: 71.7% (male 1,947,112/female 1,961,788)
65 years and over: 12.3% (male 250,787/female 419,994) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 36.5 years
male: 34.8 years
female: 38.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.143% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 10.64 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 6.98 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.17 years
male: 71.23 years
female: 79.32 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.34 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Slovenia: Truth Knowledge And The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Slovenia

Introduction The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter’s dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow’s rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia’s transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
History Slavic ancestors of the present-day Slovenes settled in the area in the 6th century. The Slavic principality Carantania was formed in the 7th century. In 745, Carantania was incorporated into the Carolingian Empire, while Carantanians and other Slavs living in present Slovenia converted to Christianity. Carantania retained its internal independence until 828 when the local princes were deposed following the anti-Frankish rebellion of Ljudevit Posavski and replaced by a German (mostly Bavarian) ascendancy. Under Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia, Carantania, now ruled by a mixed Bavarian-Slav nobility, shortly emerged as a regional power, but was destroyed by the Hungarian invasions in the late 9th century. Carantania was established again as an autonomous administrative unit in 976, when Emperor Otto I., “the Great”, after deposing the Duke of Bavaria, Henry II.”the Quarreller”, split the lands held by him and made Carinthia the sixth duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, but old Carantania never developed into a unified realm. In the century of the second millenium protecting marches were established at the south-eastern borders of the Empire, which in the course of time developed into duchies in their right:[when?] Styria, Carniola and Friuli, into which the Slovene Lands remained divided up to 1918. The Carantanian identity remained alive[citation needed] into the 12th century[citation needed]when it was slowly replaced by regional identities. The first mentions of a common Slovene ethnic identity, transcending regional boundaries, date from the 16th century.

During the 14th century, most of Slovene Lands passed under the Habsburg rule. In the 15th century, the Habsburg domination was challenged by the Counts of Celje, but by the end of the century the great majority of Slovene-inhabited territories were incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. Most Slovenes lived in the region known as Inner Austria, forming the majority of the population of the Duchy of Carniola and the County of Gorizia and Gradisca, as well as of Lower Styria and southern Carinthia. Slovenes also inhabited most of the territory of the Imperial Free City of Trieste, although representing the minority of its population. Slovene majorities also existed in the Prekmurje region of the Kingdom of Hungary, and in Venetian Slovenia and north-western Istria, which were part of the Republic of Venice.

In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation spread throughout the Slovene Lands. During this period, the first books in Slovene language were written by the Protestant preacher Primož Trubar and his followers, establishing the base for the development of the Slovene standard language. Although almost all Protestants were expelled from the Slovene Lands (with the exception of Prekmurje) by the beginning of the 17th century, they left a strong legacy in the tradition of the Slovene culture, which was partially incorporated in the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 17th century. The Slovene cultural tradition was further reinforced in the Enlightenment period in the 18th century by the endeavours of the Zois Circle.

After a short French interim between 1805 and 1813, all Slovene Lands were included in the Austrian Empire. Slowly, a distinct Slovene national consciousness developed, and the quest for a political unification of all Slovenes became widespread. In 1848, a mass political and popular movement for the United Slovenia (Zedinjena Slovenija) emerged as part of the Spring of Nations movement within the Austrian Empire.

United Slovenia in 1848

Between 1848 and 1918, numerous institutions (including theatres and publishing houses, as well as political, financial and cultural organisations) were founded in the so-called Slovene National Awakening. Despite their political and institutional fragmentation and lack of a proper political representation, the Slovenes were able to establish a functioning and integrated national infrastructure. During this period, the town of Ljubljana, the capital of Carniola, emerged as the undisputed centre of all Slovene Lands, while the Slovenes developed an internationally comparable literature and culture. Nevertheless, the Slovene national question remained unsolved, so the political élite started looking towards other Slavic nations in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans in order to engage in a common political action against German and Hungarian hegemony. The idea of a common political entity of all South Slavs, known as Yugoslavia, emerged.

During World War I, after the Italian attack on Austria-Hungary in 1915, the Italian front opened, and some of the most important battles (the Battles of the Isonzo) were fought along the river Soča and on the Kras Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral.

With the collapse of the Austria-Hungary in 1918, the Slovenes initially joined the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which just a few months later merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, in 1929 renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The western part of the Slovene Lands (the Slovenian Littoral and western districts of Inner Carniola) was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and became known under the name of Julian March. In 1920, in the Carinthian Plebiscite, the majority of Carinthian Slovenes voted to remain in Austria. Although the Slovenes in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were submitted to an intolerant centralist policy trying to eradicate a distinct Slovene national consciousness, they were still better off than Slovenes in Italy, Austria and Hungary, who became victims of policies of forced assimilation and violent persecution. As a reaction to the fascist violence of the Italian State in the Julian March, the organisation TIGR, was founded in 1927.

In April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis Powers. Slovenia was divided between Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Horthy’s Hungary and several villages given to the Independent State of Croatia. Soon, a liberation movement under the Communist leadership emerged. Due to political assassinations carried out by the Communist guerrillas as well as the pre-existing radical anti-Communism of the conservative circles of the Slovenian society, a civil war between Slovenes broke out in the Italian-occupied south-eastern Slovenia (known as Province of Ljubljana) between the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People and the Axis-sponsored anti-communist militia, the Slovene Home Guard, formed to protect villages from attacks by partisans. The Slovene partisan guerrilla managed to liberate large portions of the Slovene Lands, making a contribution to the defeat of Nazism.

Following the re-establishment of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, Slovenia became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, declared on 29 November 1945. A Communist dictatorship was established, but due to the Tito-Stalin split economic and personal freedom were better than in the Eastern Bloc. In 1947, Italy ceded most of the Julian March to Yugoslavia and Slovenia thus regained the Slovenian Littoral, including access to the sea. From the 1950s, the Socialist Republic of Slovenia enjoyed a relatively wide autonomy under the rule of the local Communist elite. In 1990, Slovenia abandoned its communist infrastructure, the first free and democratic elections were held and the DEMOS coalition defeated the former Communist parties. The state reconstituted itself as Republic of Slovenia. In December 1990, the overwhelming majority of Slovenian citizens voted for independence, which was declared on 25 June 1991. A Ten-Day War followed in which the Slovenians rejected Yugoslav military interference. After 1990, a stable democratic system evolved, with economic liberalisation and gradual growth of prosperity. Slovenia joined NATO on 29 March 2004 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. Slovenia was the first post-Communist country to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first six months of 2008.

Geography Location: Central Europe, eastern Alps bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Austria and Croatia
Geographic coordinates: 46 07 N, 14 49 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 20,273 sq km
land: 20,151 sq km
water: 122 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries: total: 1,086 km
border countries: Austria 330 km, Croatia 455 km, Hungary 102 km, Italy 199 km
Coastline: 46.6 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east
Terrain: a short coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Triglav 2,864 m
Natural resources: lignite coal, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests
Land use: arable land: 8.53%
permanent crops: 1.43%
other: 90.04% (2005)
Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 32.1 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.9
per capita: 457 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards: flooding and earthquakes
Environment – current issues: Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid rain
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: despite its small size, this eastern Alpine country controls some of Europe’s major transit routes
Politics The Slovenian head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote every five years. The executive branch is headed by the prime minister and the council of ministers or cabinet, who are elected by the National Assembly.

The bicameral Parliament of Slovenia is characterized by an asymmetric duality, as the Constitution does not accord equal powers to both chambers. It consists of the National Assembly (Državni zbor), and the National Council (Državni svet). The National Assembly has ninety members, 88 of which are elected by all the citizens in a system of proportional representation, while two are elected by the indigenous Hungarian and Italian minorities. Elections take place every four years. It is the supreme representative and legislative institution, exercising legislative and electoral powers as well as control over the Executive and the Judiciary. The National Council has forty members, appointed to represent social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Among its best-known powers is the authority of the “postponing veto” – it can demand that the Parliament re-discusses a certain piece of legislation.

People Population: 2,007,711 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.6% (male 140,686/female 132,778)
15-64 years: 70.1% (male 709,689/female 697,862)
65 years and over: 16.3% (male 127,313/female 199,383) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 41.4 years
male: 39.8 years
female: 42.9 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.088% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 8.99 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 10.51 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.73 years
male: 73.04 years
female: 80.66 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Solomon Islands: Truth Knowledge And The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Solomon Islands

Introduction The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the bitterest fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.
History It is believed that Papuan speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived circa 4,000 BC also bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. It is between 1,200 and 800 BC that the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics. The first European to discover the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568.

Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century. They made little progress at first, because “blackbirding” (the often brutal recruitment of laborers for the sugar plantations in Queensland and Fiji) led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the labor trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in 1893. This was the basis of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the protectorate; in 1900 the remainder of the archipelago, an area previously under German jurisdiction, was transferred to British administration apart from the islands of Buka and Bougainville which remained under German administration as part of German New Guinea (until they were occupied by Australia in 1914, after the commencement of World War I). Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon islands of Mono and Alu (the Shortlands) and the traditional societies in the south of Bougainville, however, continued without hindrance. Under the protectorate, missionaries settled in the Solomons, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century, several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow, however, and the islanders benefited little.

World War II

With the outbreak of World War II, most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia, and most cultivation ceased. Some of the most intense fighting of World War II occurred in the Solomons. The most significant of the Allied Forces’ operations against the Japanese Imperial Forces was launched on August 7, 1942 with simultaneous naval bombardments and amphibious landings on the Florida Islands at Tulagi and Red Beach on Guadalcanal. The Battle of Guadalcanal became an important and bloody campaign fought in the Pacific War as the Allies began to repulse Japanese expansion. Of strategic importance during the war were the coastwatchers operating in remote locations, often on Japanese held islands, providing early warning and intelligence of Japanese naval, army and aircraft movements during the campaign. Sergeant-Major Jacob Vouza was a notable coastwatcher who after capture refused to divulge Allied information in spite of interrogation and torture by Japanese Imperial forces. He was awarded a Silver Star by the Americans. Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana would be noted by National Geographic for being the first to find the shipwrecked John F. Kennedy and his crew of the PT-109. They suggested using a coconut to write a rescue message for delivery by dugout canoe, which was later kept on his desk when he became the president of the United States.

The Solomon Islands was one of the major staging areas of the South Pacific and was home to the legendary VMF-214 “Black Sheep” Squadron commanded by Major Greg “Pappy” Boyington. The Slot was a name for New Georgia Sound, when it was used by the Tokyo Express to supply the Japanese garrison on Guadalcanal.

Independence movement

Following the end of World War II, the British colonial government returned. The capital was moved from Tulagi to Honiara to take advantage of the infrastructure left behind by the U.S. military. A revolutionary movement known as Maasina Ruru helped to organize and focus a mass campaign of civil disobedience and strikes across the islands. There was much disorder and the leaders were jailed in late-1948. Throughout the 1950s, other indigenous dissident groups appeared and disappeared without gaining strength. In 1960, an advisory council of Solomon Islanders was superseded by a legislative council, and an executive council was created as the protectorate’s policymaking body. The council was given progressively more authority. In 1974, a new constitution was adopted establishing a parliamentary democracy and ministerial system of government. In mid-1975, the name Solomon Islands officially replaced that of British Solomon Islands Protectorate.

On January 2, 1976, the Solomons became self-governing, and independence followed on July 7, 1978, the first post-independence government being elected in August 1980. The series of governments formed since have not performed to upgrade and build the country. Following the 1997 election of Bartholomew Ulufa’alu the political situation in the Solomons began to deteriorate. Governance was slipping as the performance of the police and other government agencies deteriorated due to what is commonly known as “the tensions”.

Tensions

Commonly referred to as the tensions or the ethnic tension, the initial civil unrest was mainly characterised by fighting between the Isatabu Freedom Movement (also known as the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army) and the Malaita Eagle Force (as well as the Marau Eagle Force). (Although much of the conflict was between Guales and Malaitans, Kabutaulaka (2001) and Dinnen (2002) argue that the ‘ethnic conflict’ label is an oversimplification). For detailed discussions of The Tensions, see also Fraenkel (2004) and Moore (2004).

In late 1998, militants on the island of Guadalcanal commenced a campaign of intimidation and violence towards Malaitan settlers. During the next year, thousands of Malaitans fled back to Malaita or to the capital, Honiara (which, although situated on Guadalcanal, is predominantly populated by Malaitans and Solomon Islanders from other provinces). In 1999, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) was established in response.

The reformist government of Bartholomew Ulufa’alu struggled to respond to the complexities of this evolving conflict. In late 1999, the government declared a four month state of emergency. There were also a number of attempts at reconciliation ceremonies but to no avail. He also requested assistance from Australia and New Zealand in 1999 but this was rejected.

In June 2000, Ulufa’alu was kidnapped by militia members of the MEF who felt that although he was a Malaitan, he was not doing enough to protect their interests. Ulufa’alu subsequently resigned in exchange for his release. Manasseh Sogavare, who had earlier been Finance Minister in Ulufa’alu’s government but had subsequently joined the opposition, was elected as Prime Minister by 23-21 over Rev. Leslie Boseto. However Sogavare’s election was immediately shrouded in controversy because six MPs (thought to be supporters of Boseto) were unable to attend parliament for the crucial vote (Moore 2004, n.5 on p.174).

In October 2000, the Townsville Peace Agreement,[3] was signed by the Malaita Eagle Force, elements of the IFM and the Solomon Islands Government. This was closely followed by the Marau Peace agreement in February 2001, signed by the Marau Eagle Force, the Isatabu Freedom Movement, the Guadalcanal Provincial Government and the Solomon Islands Government. However, a key Guale militant leader, Harold Keke, refused to sign the Agreement, causing a split with the Guale groups. Subsequently, Guale signatories to the Agreement led by Andrew Te’e joined with the Malaitan-dominated police to form the ‘Joint Operations Force’. During the next two years the conflict moved to the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal as the Joint Operations unsuccessfully attempted to capture Keke and his group.

New elections in December 2001 brought Sir Allan Kemakeza into the Prime Minister’s chair with the support of his People’s Alliance Party and also the Association of Independent Members. Law and order deteriorated as the nature of the conflict shifted: there was continuing violence on the Weathercoast whilst militants in Honiara increasingly turned their attention to crime and extortion. The Department of Finance would often be surrounded by armed men when funding was due to arrive. In December 2002, Finance Minister Laurie Chan resigned after being forced at gunpoint to sign a cheque made out to some of the militants. Conflict also broke out in Western Province between locals and Malaitan settlers. Renegade members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) were invited in as a protection force but ended up causing as much trouble as they prevented.

The prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness, widespread extortion and ineffective police prompted a formal request by the Solomon Islands Government for outside help. With the country bankrupt and the capital in chaos, the request was unanimously supported in Parliament.

In July 2003, Australian and Pacific Island police and troops arrived in the Solomon Islands under the auspices of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). A sizable international security contingent of 2,200 police and troops, led by Australia and New Zealand, and with representatives from about 20 other Pacific nations began arriving the next month under Operation Helpem Fren. Since this time some commentators have considered the country a failed state.

In April 2006 allegations that the newly elected Prime Minister Snyder Rini had used bribes from Chinese businessmen to buy the votes of members of Parliament led to mass rioting in the capital Honiara. A deep underlying resentment against the minority Chinese business community led to much of Chinatown in the city being destroyed. Tensions had also been increased by the belief that large sums of money were being exported to China. China sent chartered aircraft to evacuate hundreds of Chinese who fled to avoid the riots. Evacuation of Australian and British citizens was on a much smaller scale. Further Australian, New Zealand and Fijian police and troops were dispatched to try to quell the unrest. Rini eventually resigned before facing a motion of no-confidence in Parliament, and Parliament elected Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister.

Geography Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 159 00 E
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 28,450 sq km
land: 27,540 sq km
water: 910 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 5,313 km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate: tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
Terrain: mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m
Natural resources: fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use: arable land: 0.62%
permanent crops: 2.04%
other: 97.34% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Total renewable water resources: 44.7 cu km (1987)
Natural hazards: typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis
Environment – current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara, the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit
Politics The Solomon Islands are a constitutional monarchy and have a parliamentary system of government. Queen Elizabeth II is the Monarch of the Solomon Islands and the head of state; she is represented by the Governor-General who is chosen by the Parliament for a five-year term. There is a unicameral parliament of 50 members, elected for four-year terms. However, Parliament may be dissolved by majority vote of its members before the completion of its term. Parliamentary representation is based on single-member constituencies. Suffrage is universal for citizens over age 21. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is elected by Parliament and chooses the other members of the cabinet. Each ministry is headed by a cabinet member, who is assisted by a permanent secretary, a career public servant, who directs the staff of the ministry.

Solomon Islands governments are characterized by weak political parties (see List of political parties in Solomon Islands) and highly unstable parliamentary coalitions. They are subject to frequent votes of no confidence, and government leadership changes frequently as a result. Cabinet changes are common.

Land ownership is reserved for Solomon Islanders. The law provides that resident expatriates, such as the Chinese and Kiribati, may obtain citizenship through naturalization. Land generally is still held on a family or village basis and may be handed down from mother or father according to local custom. The islanders are reluctant to provide land for nontraditional economic undertakings, and this has resulted in continual disputes over land ownership.

No military forces are maintained by the Solomon Islands, although a police force of nearly 500 includes a border protection unit. The police also are responsible for fire service, disaster relief, and maritime surveillance. The police force is headed by a commissioner, appointed by the governor-general and responsible to the prime minister. On 27 December 2006, the Solomon Islands Government said it had taken steps to prevent the country’s Australian police chief from returning to the Pacific nation. On 12 January 2007, Australia replaced its top diplomat expelled from the Solomon Islands for political interference in a conciliatory move aimed at easing a four-month dispute between the two countries.

On 11 July 2007, the Solomon Islands swore Julian Moti in as their Attorney General. Moti is currently wanted in Australia for child-related sex offences. Australian Prime Minister John Howard called the move “quite extraordinary”. Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has described the country as the “laughing stock” of the civilised world. However the Australian charges against Moti relate to events in Vanuatu, and parallel charges which the courts in Vanuatu dismissed in the 1990s. Julian Moti has attracted Australian attention because he advised the Solomons Government to inquire into the role of Australian police in provoking the 2006 Honiara riots.

On 13 December 2007, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was toppled by a vote of no confidence in Parliament, following the defection of five Ministers to the Opposition. It was the first time a Prime Minister lost office in this way in the Solomon Islands. On 20 December, Parliament elected the Opposition’s candidate (and former Minister for Education) Derek Sikua as Prime Minister, with 32 votes to 15.

People Population: 581,318 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.1% (male 118,856/female 114,173)
15-64 years: 56.5% (male 166,004/female 162,317)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 9,487/female 10,481) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 19.4 years
male: 19.3 years
female: 19.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.467% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 28.48 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 3.81 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: NA (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 19.67 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.36 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.44 years
male: 70.9 years
female: 76.1 years (2008 est.)

Should The Weak, The Poor And The Children Be Left To Be Slaughtered?

Should The Weak, The Poor And The Children Be Left To Be Slaughtered? 

 

I ask, I pray, that you will stay with me as I write my thoughts down on this issue. For your ease of mind, I do not want anyone being or any group of people to ever be slaughtered, as the title shows, this is simply a question. It is a question that I hope that you agree with me on, on my answer. I know that there are people who would have no problem getting rid of all of the old the sick the weak and the poor as they consider them as nothing but a financial drain on society. I am a Christian by faith and ‘by faith’ I believe in the teachings of our Lord Jesus. In Scripture we are taught to love our enemies, to offer them food and drink. Because a group of people are old, weak, sick, poor or just children this should never be a reason to consider them as our enemy. So, if they are a class above what or whom we would consider as an enemy then shouldn’t we then also treat them better?

 

I don’t want this to be a political article yet I guess is some ways it has no choice but to be so. This letter to you today is derived from this latest mass shooting at a high school in south-east Texas this week. Every time these is one of these demonic events you have political activists, movie stars and some politicians who use the event to jump on the ‘anti-gun’ bandwagon. In American politics it does seem that it is mostly people of the Democratic Party persuasion like Hillary Clinton who preach about how guns are bad and how people shouldn’t have them. Illinois, California and New York are states very Democratic in their politics and they are all very anti-gun states, yet, look at the gun violence rates in these state, there horrible. Since this weeks school shooting in Texas I have heard 3 different people say how surprised they were because Texas is quite ‘liberal’ in their gun laws and that they didn’t expect such a thing to happen in a state like Texas.

 

Folks, all of this ideology, in my opinion is quite ignorant. I live in the state of Kentucky and the gun laws here are as open as a person could realistically hope for if you believe in the persons right to carry arms if they wish to. Guns are easy to buy here as long as you are not on the Federal Registry forbidding you to buy one and as far as I know this simply means that as long as you haven’t been convicted of a felony you can buy and take your firearm home with you the same day you pay for it. You are also allowed to open carry in this state, you can strap a holster on and go in just about anywhere you wish. This freedom also goes along with having your concealed carry license like I do and every member of my household does. I carry concealed when it is cold enough to wear a jacket, when it’s not I simply open carry and I have never even seen one time where anyone has had a problem in a store, or any place else, with me or anyone else carrying a firearm. I know that the way I look at it, and I know that people who work in stores have told me that they look at it is that they feel safer with customers in the store having guns. Think about it folks, here in Kentucky if a person comes in to rob a store or a restaurant and lets say there are 10 customers in the store at least 3 or 4 of those customers are going to shoot you if you pull a gun on an employee. People being able to protect themselves is called security, only an idiot is going to pull a gun out on someone here because you are going to be dead if you do, the police will be being called after the fact. I am an NRA Card carrying member yet I have never once ever shot another person or even an animal, I have never ever even pulled a gun on anyone and I hope that I never have to. To me our weapons are simply for defense for myself and my family and no one has the right to take my firearms because I am never going to do anything stupid with them and everyone I know personally who has firearms feels this same way.

 

When you have situations that happen like this week in Texas you have cowards who are going into ‘soft targets’ like a school to cause their carnage. If this young man had any guts he would have went into a Police Station or to a Military Base and started acting like a fool there. The reason people don’t, is because they are cowards, they want soft targets where they know there will be no other guns than the ones they themselves are carrying, or, at the most only one pistol on one Resource Officer. I do not know how some folks think that making gun laws tougher on folks like me are going to have any positive effect what so ever on stopping things like these school shootings. Some Republican Politicians have floated the idea of allowing some teachers to conceal carry while at school as long as they get a lot of training first. Personally I still believe that every school in the nation should now have to have at least 6 National Guard Soldiers, fully armed at each school. One for the north, south, east and west sides of the building plus two inside in a camera room. This would allow there to be one person in the room at all times and there being one extra security person, maybe a local Police Officer with authority to arrest there also. I hate the concept that any Police Officers or National Guardsmen would ever be needed on any school grounds but not having them is to not be facing up to the reality of this world we are all living in. I know that school districts will say that they can’t afford what I am and have been suggesting but the answer is, yes they can. School districts should not be having to pick up any of the cost of having the National Guard personal, this is something that all of the states should have to pay for.

 

Democrats who say they are for the weak and the poor lie a lot. The reason I have included these demographics is the fact that because of their anti weapons propaganda the cost of firearms has gone crazy and because of the efforts of President Bill Clinton the cost of ammunition is so high many people, including myself really can’t afford to buy it. This means that even if people can buy a gun for protection they can’t afford to do any target practicing. Many nations around the world have had the curse of armed groups going into schools and killing as many kids as they can, it will happen here someday. Other nations have also had the reality of multiple gunmen attacking markets. How long do you think it will be before we have gunmen entering a high school gym during a basketball game and start shooting? We live in a sick society and disarming ourselves is totally an idiotic idea.

Israeli questioned, FBI traveled to Tel Aviv, in Trump election probe — report

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Israeli questioned, FBI traveled to Tel Aviv, in Trump election probe — report

New York Times says ‘Israeli specialist in social media manipulation,’ emissary for Saudi, and Emirati princes met with Trump Jr. and others 3 months before election

Then-Republican nominee Donald Trump (R) standing with his son  Donald Trump Jr. after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, September 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Jewel SAMAD)

Then-Republican nominee Donald Trump (R) standing with his son Donald Trump Jr. after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, September 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Jewel SAMAD)

Three months before the November 2016 elections, senior members of the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump, including his son Donald Trump Jr., met with a small group of people from the Mideast who offered to help the controversial businessman win the race against Hillary Clinton. The group included “an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation,” an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes, and Erik Prince, a Republican donor and the former head of the private security firm Blackwater whose sister Betsy Devos is now secretary of education, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

The August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan, according to the report, “was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.”

According to the report, the Israeli specialist, Joel Zamel, “extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign,” and his firm “had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump.”

The company, PSY-Group, according to the NY Times report, “employed several Israeli former intelligence officers” and “specialized in collecting information and shaping opinion through social media.” Zamel is also founding director and CEO of geopolitical analysis and business consultancy group Wikistrataccording to Bloomberg.

This 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. (C-SPAN via AP)

The plan, according to the report which cited three people involved and a fourth briefed on the effort,” involved using thousands of fake social media accounts to promote Mr. Trump’s candidacy on platforms like Facebook.”

Meanwhile, the Gulf emissary was George Nader, a longtime close adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed of Abu Dhabi, who conveyed to Trump Jr. “that the crown princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president.”

Nader allegedly said that the two crown princes “saw the elder Mr. Trump as a strong leader who would fill the power vacuum that they believed Mr. Obama had left in the Middle East, and Mr. Nader went on to say that he and his friends would be glad to support Mr. Trump as much as they could, according to the person with knowledge of the conversation.”

Trump Jr. “responded approvingly,” the New York Times said, citing “a person with knowledge of the meeting,” and following the initial offers for help, Nader “was quickly embraced as a close ally by Trump campaign advisers — meeting frequently with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and Michael T. Flynn, who became the president’s first national security adviser.”

Nader was also reportedly “promoting a secret plan to use private contractors to destabilize Iran, the regional nemesis of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.”

After Trump won the election, Nader paid Zamel “a large sum of money, described by one associate as up to $2 million.” and while the NY Times said there were conflicting accounts for the payment, “a company linked to Mr. Zamel provided Mr. Nader with an elaborate presentation about the significance of social media campaigning to Mr. Trump’s victory.”

In this June 21, 2017, photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The August 3 meeting is a focus of the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who was tasked last year with examining possible cooperation and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the lead-up to the election.

The revelation of the meeting is the first indication that countries other than Russia may have offered assistance to the Trump campaign.

Nader also reportedly visited Moscow twice during the campaign and Zamel’s businesses have ties to Russia, which are “of interest” to the special counsel’s investigation, according to the report.

Zamel was already questioned by investigators for the special counsel, the report said, “and at least two FBI agents working on the inquiry have traveled to Israel to interview employees of the company who worked on the proposal.”

The Israeli police worked with US investigators to seize the computers of one of Mr. Zamel’s companies, which is currently in liquidation, according to the report.

Nader too has been cooperating with the inquiry, the report said, “and investigators have questioned numerous witnesses in Washington, New York, Atlanta, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere about what foreign help may have been pledged or accepted, and about whether any such assistance was coordinated with Russia, according to witnesses and others with knowledge of the interviews.”

Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A lawyer for Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, told the NY Times in a statement that “prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. recalls a meeting with Erik Prince, George Nader, and another individual who may be Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it.”

A lawyer for Zamel, Marc L. Mukasey, told the NY Times, that “neither Joel Zamel, nor any of his related entities, had any involvement whatsoever in the US election campaign.”

“The DOJ [Department of Justice] clarified from Day 1 that Joel and his companies have never been a target of the investigation. My client provided full cooperation to the government to assist with their investigation,” he said.

“There was a brief meeting, nothing concrete was offered or pitched to anyone and nothing came of it,” he added.

The New York Times reported that though it is still unclear if any direct assistance was forthcoming from Saudi Arabia, or the UAE, “two people familiar with the meetings said that Trump campaign officials did not appear bothered by the idea of cooperation with foreigners.”

The August 3, 2016 meeting came two months after Trump Jr., Kushner, and others met with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Clinton.

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee released about 2,500 pages of interview transcripts and other documents tied to the New York meeting on June 9, 2016.

In a closed-door interview last year with the committee, Trump Jr., said he did not give much thought to the idea that the meeting was part of a Russian government effort to help his father in the presidential race.

AP contributed to this report

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Pregnant, deaf woman punched along with her service dog on airplane

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF WTHR CBS ORLANDO FLORIDA)

 

Pregnant, deaf woman punched along with her service dog on airplane

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Image from Phillip Moreno
PUBLISHED: 
UPDATED: 

ORLANDO, Florida (WESH) – Chaos on-board an airplane heading to Orlando when police say a man punched a service dog in the face because his wife was allergic.

He also hit the animal’s owner, who is deaf, and pregnant.

“I heard yelling. At first I didn’t think it was anything and I looked over and there was a big group of people,” said Phillip Moreno, who works at the Orlando Airport. “It was kind of shuffle. I saw a dog running around.”

What Moreno didn’t see was what had happened on the plane as it was landing.

The woman with the dog and her husband are both deaf and travel with their Great Dane service dog. Their children were also flying with them.

Police say the suspect claimed his wife complained of an allergy to dogs.

And he felt the dog was taking more space than it deserved, so he punched it with a closed fist.

The dog yelped.

Then, at some point, the pregnant woman was punched in the stomach by the suspect, who also touched her two children.

A flight attendant notified local police when the plane landed.

Moreno, working at the gate, took cell phone video. “I saw a woman, I couldn’t really understand what she was saying,” he said. “She was freaking out. And I couldn’t figure out why this man was chasing another man.”

So far no one has been arrested, but federal charges could be filed because the incident happened in the air.

Situation at Kilauea Volcano ‘steadily worsening’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF EARTHSKY NEWS SITE)

 

Situation at Kilauea Volcano ‘steadily worsening’

A large explosion happened Friday night into Saturday at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano. The 1st serious injury is reported. USGS warns of the release of toxic gases in a plume called a laze, which happens when molten lava hits sea water. Latest images and videos here.

Kilauea Volcano has been spewing lava and belching hazardous gases on Hawaii’s Big Island since early May, and the BBC reported on Sunday, May 20, 2018, that the situation for residents is “steadily worsening.” At the summit, a large explosion happened at around midnight on Friday night (May 18) into Saturday, sending a plume of volcanic gas some 10,000 feet (two miles, or 3 km) into the air. Early in the day on May 20, media outlets were reporting the first serious injury from Kilauea. HawaiiNewsNow reported:

The injured man was sitting on a balcony at his home when “lava spatter” – projectile molten rock – landed on him. “It hit him on the shin and shattered everything there down on his leg,” a spokeswoman for the county mayor said.

Lava spatters can weigh “as much a refrigerator,” she told Reuters.

The man has reportedly been hospitalized with serious injuries.

In the meantime, on Saturday night, May 19, Hawaii Civil Defense confirmed that lava from Kilauea’s Fissure 20 had entered the ocean, creating conditions for toxic laze. Laze is what happens when molten lava hits sea water; a chemical reaction creates “hazy and noxious conditions” laced with hydrochloric acid and tiny particles of glass. USGS said:

Even the wispy edges of it can cause skin and eye irritation and breathing difficulties.

Helicopter overflight of Kilauea Volcano’s lower East Rift zone on May 19, 2018, around 8:18 a.m., HST. Lava flows emerging from the elongated Fissure 16-20 form channels. The flow direction in this picture is from upper center to the lower left. Image via USGS.

The USGS reported on Saturday, May 19, 2018:

Eruption of lava and ground cracking in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision continues. Beginning yesterday and into today, the rate of lava eruption has increased. Fissure 17 is weakly active now, and Fissures 16-20 have merged into a continuous line of spatter and fountaining. Flows from the consolidated Fissure 20 crossed upper Pohoiki road late yesterday afternoon and continued flowing southward. This afternoon two flows from the merged fissure complex have joined less than a mile from the coast and continue to flow southward between Pohoiki and Opihikao Roads. The lava flow from Fissure 18 is stalled. It is unknown whether the flows will continue to advance, or stop, and new lava flows are likely given the rate of activity seen at the rift zone. Volcanic gas emissions remain very high. Read more

Click here for maps of recent activity at Kilauea Volcano

Click here for the latest photos and videos from USGS, at Kilauea

The following is the most recent video update from a USGS scientist (May 18):

More than 1,700 people have already evacuated their homes, particularly in the area around Leilani Estates, located in Hawaii’s District of Puna, where 27 homes had been destroyed as of May 9.

Helicopter overflight of the southeast coast of the Puna district during the early morning hours of May 19, 2018. Flows are moving downslope toward the ocean. Photograph courtesy of the Hawai`i County Fire Department/via USGS.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported on May 14 on “speculative stories, rumors and blogs” about a possible Pacific-wide tsunami, caused by conditions at Kilauea:

There have been several recent highly speculative stories, rumors and blogs about the stability of the south flank of Kilauea and the potential for a catastrophic collapse that could generate a Pacific-wide tsunami. We wish to put these speculations in their proper context by presenting observations of the current situation and an assessment of past evidence of landslides from Kilauea.

There is no geologic evidence for past catastrophic collapses of Kilauea Volcano that would lead to a major Pacific tsunami, and such an event is extremely unlikely in the future based on monitoring of surface deformation … Geologic history combined with models of south flank motion suggest that the likelihood of a catastrophic failure event is incredibly remote. Read more

The following video is from May 14, when a new fissure in Hawaii’s Puna District sent gases and lava exploding into the air, spurring officials to call for more evacuations as residents waited for a possible major eruption at Kilauea Volcano’s summit.

The view between Kilauea Fissures 16 and 20 on May 16, 2018. Image via USGS.

.

The Overlook vent on the summit of Kilauea threw out chunks of rock on May 16 that hit the ground near a parking lot, breaking apart on impact. The rocks were about 24 inches (60 cm) before they hit. Image via USGS.

Steam jets out of Fissure 17 on May 14. Image via USGS.

A flow emerges from Fissure 17 on May 13. Image via USGS.

Cracks on Highway 132 on the Big Island on May 13. Researchers marked the cracks with orange spray paint to track changes over time. Image via USGS.

Bottom line: A large explosion happened on the night of May 18, 2018, at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano. The 1st serious injury was reported on May 19. Molten lava reached the ocean on May 20, and the USGS warns of the release of toxic gases in a plume called a laze. Latest images and videos here.

In America Police Are Their Own Worse Enemy

In America Police Are Their Own Worse Enemy

Here in America if you are a parent of an Elementary school child or a teacher at an Elementary school do you still tell the children to go find a Police Officer if they get lost or are scared? In a few days I will be 60 yrs old (Lord willing) and when I was a young kid this is what you would see on TV and hear from your school teachers. I also remember seeing Police Officers treating people very hatefully and physically rough since I was about 3 or 4 yrs old. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I was going to trust such mean and hateful people because of things I had seen and things I had heard from the adults in my life about how crooked so many of them were.

 

During my early twenty’s I dabbled in Security and Police work for about five years (1976-81) and the reason I decided to change from that profession was because of the attitudes I witnessed on a regular basis. I did not find their humor to be funny and I refused to treat people badly unless they forced the issue upon me and gave me no choice. I then spent 30 yrs as a long haul truck driver traveling the lower 48 States and Canada trying to make a living that way. During this time I came across many very dirty Police Officers all across the country, as a person who tries to be a good Christian (follower of Christ’s examples) many of these Officers actions really disappointed me greatly. I have never been roughed up by a Police Officer but I have always been pleasant with them even when they were being crooked with me. I have always tried to live by the philosophy of “don’t give an A-hole an excuse to act like an A-hole.” My bad adventures with Officers were always about crooked tickets, fraudulent fines. Think about this one issue, the issue of truck stop scales. When I first started driving a truck there were few private scales for you to weigh at and most of them were just where you could only weigh one axle at a time and none of them were ‘certified’ to be accurate. So when you came to a set of State Scales the Officers could say anything they wanted as far as what your weight was and then they would fine you for being over weight either on your individual axles and your total gross weight. The problem was so bad that finally a whole new industry was born because of it.  Now certified platform scales are in almost all truck stops everywhere plus a lot of big shippers have their own. Think about it, a billion dollar industry was born because of crooked Cops. Another issue to remember is that Police Departments are the fists of crooked politicians.

 

When I was in my tween years our local Police Department had members who were stealing snow mobiles each winter for a few years. When they got caught they were given a two-week paid vacation as punishment. After that they were stealing pool tables off of parked train cars and having inmates put them together for their ‘clients’. Again their penalty was paid time off. These issues were well known in the populous. I was a bit surprised to hear a man who was a Deacon at our Church say to my parents one day that he would rather have a thief knock at his door than to have one of the local Police Officers to knock at his door. His reasoning was that with a thief you knew what he wanted but with a Cop you just never knew what he was up to. I could give you several examples of crooked cops that I know of from all around the country but that would just be a waste of ink, I believe that most of you know exactly what I am speaking of.

 

Any time I come across a Police Officer I always treat them with nothing but respect, if they will allow that to happen. I so badly want Officers to act in a professional manner and if the Officer refuses to act like a decent human-being I still will give the Uniform respect. People must understand that every time that a Police Officer comes up to you that your financial and physical life are in their hands, so do not act like an idiot when they are in your presence. I have seen many times on TV where a person whom a Police Officer has made contact with where the civilian acts like an idiot, refusing to obey an Officers commands (whether they were legal or not) and then the Officer did something stupid like shoot them. Now days with all the cameras available to the public it would seem like all Police Officers everywhere would always act in a professional manner, but it is obvious that some still don’t.

 

The issue for every community everywhere is for the Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, Mayors, District Attorneys and States Attorneys to insist that their Officers obey the laws of the land and to not allow them to be the worse criminals on the streets. Being a Police Officer is a very tough and dangerous job and they need the general population to be on their side. This should be because of respect that the civilians have for them, not because the population is scared of them. Just as there is the reality of Doctors who protect their own and refuse to report other Doctors who are dangerous, Policing Departments also have this issue. Reality is that if an Officer turns in another Officer because they are a ‘bad apple’ that they themselves will be black-balled by the Department, or even worse. All Police Departments must be clean from the top down, if not, the bad actions of Officers within the Departments only get worse, not better. Also is the issue of some of the Police Unions. An example I am going to use today is the one where a young black man in Chicago was chased down by a Chicago City Officer about two years ago because he was waving a small knife around, and once the Officer caught up with him he shot him 16 times in about 15 seconds. If you have seen the video it appeared that the Officer shot him at least ten times after he was laying lifeless on the ground. Two other issues about trust in regards to this horrific event, one is that even with the videos of this event the Police Union is paying the legal fees for this Officer and have given him a job within the Union so that he doesn’t lose his pay check. The other big issue is that this happened about eleven months before the Mayoral election and the Mayor’s Office didn’t release the video’s until after the Election. One simple question before I finish this article, when Politicians, Police Departments and Police Unions along with the District Attorneys and State Attorneys act like this, how are the people, the citizens, ever suppose to be able to trust any of them? There is an old and truthful saying, if you want respect then you must give respect. True leaders lead by example, not by tyranny.

Understanding Revelation Chapters 16,17 & 18 (Armageddon, Babylon And The Harlot)

Understanding Revelation Chapters 16,17 & 18 (Armageddon, Babylon And The Harlot)

Like all things that are writings about Scriptural Truths there will be people who are offended and upset about what is written. I am sure that this article today will be one of those events, but I am not here to please humans, I am here to help them to see and to understand. In this article today it will seem to many that I am picking on the Catholic Church, that is not my intention, truth is my intention. Many people do not read the Book of Revelation because they say that they just don’t understand it because the parables are beyond their understanding, unfortunately most of the Christian Religions also fall into this abyss. Unfortunately many Churches do not teach Revelation because what is written does not jive with their Church Doctrine. I am going to start this article at Revelation chapter 16, verse 14. When the end times of this system of things that we all live in today there are seven Vials in Heaven that will be poured upon the Earth by Angels of God. Where I am beginning is after the Sixth Vial has been poured. This is a time when all the Nations of the Earth gather their Armies together to fight against God/Jesus and His Angels at the Second Advent of Christ. This is when the world will see that they have been deceived by the three ‘would be’ Gods who are actually three Devils. The sad part is that these people will be the ones who have the Mark of the Beast/Devil (your government given number) in their foreheads or implanted in their forearm/wrist and it will be too late for them.

 

16:14 “For they are the Spirits of Devils working miracles who go forth to the Kings of the Earth and to the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” 16:16 “And He (the Devil) gathered them together to a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” 16:17 “And the seventh Angel poured out his vial into the air: and there came a great voice out of the Temple of Heaven, from the Throne, saying, It is done.” 18 “And there was thunder and voices and lightning; and there was a great earthquake such as has not been since men have been upon the Earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” 19″And the great city (Jerusalem) was divided into three parts (Jewish, Islamic, Christian), and the cities of the Nations fell: and great Babylon (Rome/Vatican) came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.” 20 “And every island fled away (disappeared) and the mountains were not found (flattened).” 21 “And there fell upon men a great hail out of Heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (7.5 lbs): and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”

 

For the purpose of not making this article into a book itself I am going to hit the ‘high points’ of chapters 17 and 18. These high points are designed to help you understand these two chapters if you decide to read them for yourself which I sincerely hope you will.

 

In 17; it speaks of the ‘Great Whore’ that sits upon many waters: with whom the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of Her fornication. (This Great Whore is the Catholic Church/the Vatican). You see when Christ returns He is coming for ‘His Bride, The Church’. The Catholic Church throughout its history has called itself ‘The Church’ and at one time it was but it started committing adultery with the kingdoms of the Earth, it did not keep itself clean/pure. The reach of the ‘spoiled Bride’ reaches to all the continents and all its Kingdoms. ‘The Church’ is not pure, it has committed mass adultery with the Kingdoms of the world of which Satan rules thus they have been in league with evil for at least 1600-1700 years, thus the Catholic Church is ‘the Great Whore’ spoken of here in Revelation. Starting in verse 3 the Apostle John speaks of the Woman (the Catholic Church/ the Vatican) sitting upon a scarlet colored Beast (Devil). “And upon her forehead was a name written, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:”

 

Chapter 18 starting with verse 2 the Apostle John speaks of another Angel that came down from Heaven who spoke with a mighty voice saying “Babylon the great is fallen and has become the habitation of Devils and the dwelling place of every foul Spirit,” 3: “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of Her fornication, and the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication with Her and the merchants of the Earth are become rich through the power of Her delicacies.” 8: “Therefore shall Her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning and famine; and She shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges Her.”

 

I will end this article today with this last little bit from the last few verses of chapter 18 starting with verse 20. “Rejoice over Her, thou Heaven, and ye Holy Apostles and Prophets (preachers); for God has avenged you on Her.” “And a mighty Angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, This with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” 23: “…; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” Then lastly verse 24: “And in Her was found the blood of Prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth.”

I hope that this article helped to clarify a few things for you. I am not trying to be hateful or mean toward anyone, I am only trying to be totally truthful with you. My hope is that through this article some of you will take the time to read these passages and hopefully understand them a little more. I pray that God will bless each and every one of you, good night.

Two Truths About Noah’s Ark And The Great Flood That You Don’t Hear In Church

Two Truths About Noah’s Ark And The Great Flood That You Don’t Hear In Church

Most all people who live in a Christian, Jewish or Islamic Nation know at least a little bit about the story found in the book of Genesis (first book in the Bible) of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood. I wish you to refresh yourself on the Bibles teaching on this man and the events that formed during his life, you can find the information in chapters 5 through 9. The material that I am going to bring to your attention is done so for the reason of getting people to think for themselves, to get beyond what is taught in most Churches as ‘Biblical truth’.

 

As you are probably well aware of there are issues with events in the Bible, especially in the book of Genesis that science does not agree with. The reason that this is so is because so many churches teach that which they do not know. When they do these things they are running off many millions of people from ever even trying to learn God’s words. Just as churches do not seem to know that in the first two chapters of Genesis God makes it very plain that there were two creations, not one. If you will open your eyes when you read it is made very plain to us. In the first chapter on the Sixth Day God created men and women, these were the Gentiles (all of our blood lines). Then He rested on the Seventh Day from all His work that He had done. Then in chapter two after the Seven Days were complete God created Adam then Eve. After Cain (Adam and Eve’s son) had killed his brother Able and God cast Cain out but in doing so Cain was worried about all the other people who would find him. Question is, what other people? So God put a mark upon Cain’s’ forehead so that “all that found him” would not kill him, folks, all who? Then Cain found him a wife as he journeyed in the land of Nod which was east of Eden. Where did this wife come from? The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden happened about 5,500 years ago. Most all logical people know that humans have been on the earth for at least a couple of hundred thousands of years. The Bible does not disagree with science on these issues, it’s just that most Christians, Jews, and Islamic people don’t understand what is right before their own eyes in the Bible. Man kind just started being ’tillers of the ground’ about 5,500 years ago, changing from just being hunter gatherers. We are all told in Scriptures several times in the New and Old Testaments that ‘God’s days are not the same as our days and that “God’s time is not our time” yet we humans keep trying to pigeonhole God into our time which is Scriptural ignorance. Think about this for a moment please, every single planet in our own solar system has a different amount of time that constitutes what one of their ‘days’ are.  Adam and Eve were the first of the “Royal Bloodline”, the Hebrew bloodline, which God created after He had rested from His six days of Creation and after His seventh day of rest.

 

Throughout both Testaments  the terms “all the earth”, “all the land” and “all the people” are referred to many times even though it is plain that they are referring to all the land as in “all of Israel” or “all of that region”. Just as God used the winds to open up the Red Sea for the passage of Moses and the people of Israel to escape the Egyptian army. For the story of Noah God opened up the Earths waters to go along with the heavy rains from the heavens for 40 days and nights to drown all the people and things of that region. Noah’s Ark was a huge ship for the day and it was three levels high but it was no where close to big enough to put in seven of all clean animals and two each of all unclean animals that exist today from all over the Earth! Just as there are animals that existed in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ that did not all live in other continents and vise versa. God the Father and His son Jesus have told us several times that He does not want us humans to be ignorant yet we keep on acting as though we are. Just as the current day state of Israel is only a small sliver of the land that God says belongs to Israel, Gods flood was designed to kill off the Royal Bloodline He had created, except for the people who were in that Ark. After the waters had subsided the Royal Bloodline was refurbished through the bloodline of Noah. All the people’s on all the continents did not start from just 8 people from 4,000 or so odd years ago. Also regarding God, the winds and the waters we are told that God used the winds to help push the waters back into their normal dwelling places, just as he did with the Red Sea.

 

These are no great mysteries that I myself have been given the enlighten too. The information is there for all to see and read if they so choose to do so. I did not give you the exact verses of these passages because I want you to spend a few moments and read them for yourself. Just as the ignorance of some churches who teach such stupidity as the dinosaurs lived and died on ‘day 3’ of the creation story their ignorance of what the Bible actually says has kept untold hundreds of millions if not a few billion people from hearing the actual ‘Word of God’ and being saved! Science and the Scriptures simply back each other up in most cases, it is just that the people who should know the teachings within the Bible, do not, they have been blinded by ‘Church Doctrines’ which are only the Doctrines and commandments of men.