U.S. Sails Two Navy Ships Through The Taiwan Straight

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, the body of water separating China and Taiwan, the island nation that China considers a breakaway province.

The transit could increase tensions between the U.S. and China as both countries are involved in a trade dispute and as the U.S. voices concerns over China’s militarization of the South China Sea.

“USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on Oct. 22, in accordance with international law,” Cmdr. Nate Christensen, Deputy Spokesman, US Pacific Fleet. ”

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

A similar transit by two U.S. destroyers occurred in July, the first time the Navy had carried out a mission like that in more than a year.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry first confirmed the transit in a statement.

“The Ministry of National Defense said today that two US ships have sailed from the south to the north through the Taiwan Strait,” said a translation of the statement.

“The Ministry of National Defense pointed out that the US ship routinely passed the international waters of the Taiwan Strait, and the relevant details were explained by the US government,” it added.

While the U.S. and China cooperate in denuclearizing North Korea, tensions have increased as both the U.S. and China have engaged in a trade war.

There are also tensions between the two countries over China’s growing military presence on man-made islands in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month a Chinese Navy ship came within 45 yards of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur as it carried out a freedom of navigation passage through international waters close to those islands.

Another irritant in the U.S.-China relationship continues to be U.S. support for Taiwan. The U.S. continues to sell military weapons to the island nation even though it does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China maintains Taiwan is a breakaway province and not an independent nation.

Syria: Flooding in Damascus as Dumayr Dam Collapses

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Flooding in Damascus as Dumayr Dam Collapses

Monday, 22 October, 2018 – 08:15
A general view of Damascus, Syria. (AFP)
Damascus – Asharq Al-Awsat
The Syrian capital’s Adra district was left devastated by flooding caused by the collapse of the al-Dumayr dam in the western Damascus countryside on Saturday.

An official told Asharq Al-Awsat: “A real catastrophe has taken place in the Adra suburb and in the industrial city.”

Adra is seen as a vital district in attempts to revitalize Syria’s economy that has been ravaged by years of war.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that a technical malfunction caused the collapse.

The dam has a capacity of 2.150 million liters and lies some 14 kms away from the industrial city. Dam workers were swept away by the rushing waters and many remain missing.

The losses are estimated a millions of dollars, said the official.

Residents of the industrial city were left trapped by the floods for several hours before rescue teams could reach them.

The SANA state news agency reported that two children and a youth in the towns of Deir Muqrin and Kafir Zeit in Wadi Barada were killed. Dozens of houses were also damaged.

Damascus and its suburbs witnessed similar devastating floods last year.

This year’s flooding was compounded by the blockage of drainage pipes.

The Damascus chamber of industry blamed the flooding on poor planning in the city and the rescue teams’ lack of preparedness.

It demanded that authorities take the necessary measures to avert such disasters in the future and to compensate those affected by the flooding.

ISIS Launches New Bloody Threats Against West

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

ISIS Launches New Bloody Threats Against West

Monday, 22 October, 2018 – 08:45
New ISIS poster threatening to carry out attacks against the West. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
An ISIS-affiliated group threatened to launch new attacks in the West through a new poster celebrating the Orlando nightclub massacre.

The poster reminds of the June 2016 shooting rampage at the Pulse gay club that left 49 people dead and dozens more wounded.

It depicts a masked, gun-wielding militant in combat gear, an explosive, terror attack headlines, and the bloody caption, “Soon in your homelands”.

Notably, ISIS-affiliated groups routinely publish propaganda online threatening attacks against everything, from London’s Oxford Street shopping district to Halloween events in the US.

The post threatening new attacks was shared online by SITE Intel Group, which monitors terrorist activity on the internet.

In a related matter, a picture was published last week threatening a new attack in Paris, and it depicted a drone carrying explosives and a gun-wielding attacker at the Eiffel Tower.

The caption warned: “Await for our surprises”.

Orlando assassin Omar Mateen, 29, pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call that he made during the attack, which at the time was the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

He claimed that the death of ISIS leader Abu Waheeb, who was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq just weeks earlier, motivated him to carry out the massacre along with US military action in Iraq and Syria.

Mateen was shot dead when a SWAT team stormed the nightclub.

In the aftermath, investigators said Mateen may have been inspired by ISIS, but there was no evidence that he was instructed by or had been in contact with any terrorists.

ISIS has suffered heavy losses over 2017 as major offensives in Iraq and Syria pushed them out of their strongholds.

Last year, ISIS propaganda encouraged militants to attack Christmas markets in Europe, including those in the UK, France, and Germany.

One poster depicted a militant with a blood-stained knife stalking a Christmas market near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Another depicted a masked terrorist preparing to decapitate Father Christmas in what appeared to be London’s Regent Street.

Weekend Quote #36

PsiHub

Happy weekend everyone 🙂

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POLITICIANS, PLEASE!!

Christina Veysey

Political Cartoons 1-28 1

Quit Playing the Blame Game!!

I am so incredibly sick of hearing about Politics lately!!  I want to shoot my TV every time I see a political campaign ad.  I actually wanted to get more involved and learn more about our system and how it works.  I come from a family proud of our Country and its soldiers.

You all need to grow up, behave yourselves and go back to Ethics class.  I think you missed a few lessons.  Instead of degrading your opponents, tell me why you deserve my vote.  Tell me what you would like to see happen with our cities, counties, states and most of all our Country.  Tell us what you believe in, you may not win over every voter; however, if you all would learn that life is not Black and White, we might all win.

Maybe we should demolish the current political system and…

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Hurricane Michael

Christina Veysey

I have never seen anything in my life that can explain the roller coaster of emotions from the last week or so. The destruction of this hurricane on the Panhandle of FL makes me pause…. Scared, sadness, exhaustion, hope, love, greatfulness, bewildered, anger and so much more. There were so many good people from all over the country that volunteered to put their lives at risk to help, others so desperate and evil to steal from others who have lost almost all or everything they had. To see homes leveled, trees twisted and broken like toothpicks. I went down because this is my hometown, a LOT of my family live there including my Father and Sister. I am lucky to know they are safe. I will be going back soon. My Father was to have a surgery to save him from becoming paralyzed from the waste down. The hospital and…

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China: The Worlds Longest Bridge Just Opened: China To Hong Kong And Macau

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE)

(DON’T ACT LIKE A FOOL:  JUST AS PRESIDENT EISENHOWER BUILT THE AMERICAN INTERSTATE SYSTEM TO MAKE IT EASIER AND QUICKER TO TRANSPORT MILITARY EQUIPMENT ACROSS THE NATION, PRESIDENT XI JINPING BUILT THIS BRIDGE TO HONG KONG FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON!) (I GOT THIS IN AN EMAIL FROM ANDY  TAI FROM HIS GOOGLE PLUS ACCOUNT)

By HALLIE DETRICK

6:43 AM EDT

Later this week, the long-awaited 34-mile sea bridge connecting mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau will finally open.

In a ceremony on Tuesday that Chinese president Xi Jinping will reportedly attend, the bridge will officially open. Its accolades include the designation of “world’s longest sea bridge,” a $20 billion price tag, nine years of construction, and a whole lot of controversy. Supporters say the bridge will massively reduce the time it takes to travel between the three places, reducing journey times from three hours to 30 minutes. But opponents have concerns about the impact of the bridge.

Autonomy

Some critics see the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge as an attempt by mainland China to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, which is an autonomous region. A Hong-Kong based writer for CityLab described the bridge as “a piece of infrastructural propaganda to announce the unity of China and her former colonies.” The bridge opens amid increasing fears that China is tightening its control over the region. Claudia Mo, a lawmaker who supports greater democracy in Hong Kong, told CNN earlier this year that the bridge was like an umbilical cord: “You see it, and you know you’re linked up to the motherland.”

Who gets to use it

Although the bridge is opening to traffic this week, making practical use of it may prove to be another challenge for citizens. Private cars will need a special permit to be allowed to drive on the bridge, and public transportation will not cross it. Shuttle busses crossing the bridge will cost between $8 and $10 for a one-way trip. Permits may not be easy to come by either. Hong Kong residence will have to vie for 300 permanent permits to drive to Macau, though a certain number of non-permit holders will be allowed to cross each day as well. Permits to drive to mainland China are only available under certain conditions, such as having paid a certain amount of tax on the mainland, having donated to mainland charities, or working for a “recognized high tech enterprise.”

Endangering species

The waters under the bridge are home to the Chinese white dolphin, a species whose population is seriously declining, with only 47 of them seen in the year from April 2017 to March 2018. Experts fear the bridge construction, in addition to expansion of the local airport, have sounded the death knell for the species, and governmental conservation efforts will prove to be too little too late.

The human cost

Nine workers have died in the construction of the bridge and 200 have been injured. Subcontractors carrying out works have been found to be endangering their workers, and questions have been raised as to the safety of the bridge itself, after photos that emerged earlier this year appeared to show concrete blocks from the construction “floating away.” Though officials said the placement of the blocks was intentional, it’s not a good time to have the safety of you bridge called into question.

By HALLIE DETRICK

6:43 AM EDT

Later this week, the long-awaited 34-mile sea bridge connecting mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau will finally open.

In a ceremony on Tuesday that Chinese president Xi Jinping will reportedly attend, the bridge will officially open. Its accolades include the designation of “world’s longest sea bridge,” a $20 billion price tag, nine years of construction, and a whole lot of controversy. Supporters say the bridge will massively reduce the time it takes to travel between the three places, reducing journey times from three hours to 30 minutes. But opponents have concerns about the impact of the bridge.

 

How do dogs process words?

Source: How do dogs process words?

Our Milky Way almost collided with another galaxy

Source: Our Milky Way almost collided with another galaxy

Waterfall of the Gods~


Godafoss, the Waterfall of the Gods, originates deep in the Icelandic Highlands.

The first cascade falls 12 meters, over a span of 30 meters, and the cascades continue for quite a distance. There is an incredible volume of water moving here, and the sound, spray and color, are quite remarkable.

It is one of Iceland’s many spectacular waterfalls.

Godafoss can be accessed from the nearby town of Akureyri, which in turn is reachable by Iceland’s famed Ring Road.

Akureyri, like all Icelandic towns is charming, and boasts the northern-most botanical garden in the world,

where you can see many unusual and beautiful plants.

We are home at The Holler now, but it is still, cheers to you from stunning Iceland~

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