5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

If you don’t live near a big city, you might be unfamiliar with the term “Chinatown” and its significance in American history.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a Chinatown as: “A district of a large non-Chinese town or port in which the population is predominantly of Chinese origin.” So-called Chinatowns exist all around the world, though there are particularly large concentrations in North America, Europe, and Australia.

While Chinatowns had existed in other countries for hundreds of years before making their way to the U.S., the United States features a particularly high number of Chinatowns relative to its size. Here are a few of the biggest Chinatowns you’ll find in the states.

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

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While the exact boundary (and thus, the exact population) of the Honolulu Chinatown isn’t precisely known, it deserves mention on this list for its historical role in Chinese-American culture.

One of the earlier Chinatown settlements, Chinese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the island’s rich sugar plantations. Many of these laborers stayed in the area to work as merchants, and eventually, the early boundaries of Hawaii’s first Chinatown began to form. Of course, the area wasn’t without hardship—the Honolulu Chinatown was rocked by a great fire in 1886, an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1899, and another huge blaze in 1900. But the area endured, and it stands today as the home of the largest Chinese population in Hawaii.

4. Seattle, Washington

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Further north than most other U.S. Chinatowns, the Seattle Chinatown — more officially known as the Chinatown-International District of Seattle — is the biggest Chinese enclave in the American northwest. Home to a diverse range of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Vietnamese populations, the area acts as a hub of Asian culture in the region and brings in substantial tourism throughout the year.

3. Chicago, Illinois

Credit: stevegeer / iStock

The second-oldest in the United States, the Chinatown neighborhood in south Chicago is certainly worth visiting. The bulk of the Chicago Chinatown population came from immigrants fleeing persecution on the West Coast; the establishment of the San Francisco Chinatown (as detailed below) made Chinese culture a staple in America, but the immigrants there faced extensive prejudice from U.S. nationals.

In an ironic twist, U.S. citizens viewed Chinese influence as a detriment to American culture, despite the fact that American culture (not even 100 years old at that point) had its foundation in African slave labor and Native American blood. Regardless, immigrants found some relief in their newly-formed Chinatown, where it stands today as one of the most populous Chinese enclaves in the country.

2. San Francisco, California

Credit: JamesYetMingAu-Photography / iStock

The San Francisco Chinatown is possibly the largest, and certainly the oldest, Chinese enclave in America. Its origins date back to the 1850s, when large influxes of Chinese immigrants made their way to the West Coast. These immigrants typically worked hard-labor jobs, such as mining or railroad construction, and struggled to integrate into American culture. As their populations grew, so too did their enterprise, with Chinese-owned shops, restaurants, and apartments filling the town. This gentrification led to the birth of the United States’ first Chinatown, a historic landmark that exists to this day.

1. Manhattan, New York

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The Manhattan Chinatown is one of the biggest in the world, with the New York City area featuring the biggest Chinese population outside of Asia. Indeed, there are so many Chinese people there that one Chinatown can’t hold everyone; to date, there are nine different Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City alone.

This particular Chinatown is considered a bastion of Chinese culture, both in the U.S. and abroad. The region is home to the Museum of Chinese in America and is a regular destination for new Chinese immigrants coming to the country. However, in true Manhattan fashion, rent prices are skyrocketing in the area, forcing out many of the poorer populations in favor of wealthier patrons who can afford the exorbitant prices.

Going Down to Chinatown

Credit: MongkolChuewong / iStock

This list is just a small sampling of the diverse Chinatowns that exist in America. The enclaves have long been thought of as cultural oddities to natives, but to Chinese immigrants, they’re welcome reminders of the comfort and culture they left behind. And while most Chinatowns these days have experienced surges in diversity compared to what they once had, there’s no taking away from the cultural impact they’ve had on our history.

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Hawaii: The History Behind the Youngest State in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

The History Behind the Youngest State in the U.S.

Hawaii, a group of eight volcanic islands almost 2,400 miles off the coast of San Francisco, California, is the youngest, most recent territory to become a part of the United States. It’s the 50th state to join the nation, and its statehood only became official in 1959.

While it may be relatively young as far as statehood is concerned, Hawaii has a rich cultural history that sets it apart from any other state in the nation.

Humans on Hawaii

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Human settlements on the Hawaiian Islands are estimated to date back to anywhere between 124 AD and 1120 AD and are first attributed to the Polynesian people. These Polynesian people established religious practices, class structures, rulers of various subdivisions on the islands, rules based on taboos governing social order, land division, and a number of different genealogical observations.

The Hawaiian Islands remained in relative isolation for the next 500 years until “discovery” by European explorers in the late 1700s.

Explorer James Cook Lands on the Hawaiian Islands

Credit: Georgios Kollidas / Shutterstock.com

Captain James Cook, a surveyor for the British Royal Navy, explored the seas in an attempt to find the fabled “southern continent” and the Northwest Passage in the late 1760s and early 1770s. Cook took three voyages to chart the unknown for the British Empire, and his third led him to the Hawaiian Islands. His infamous visit marked both the introduction of white Europeans to Hawaii and the end of his days as a ship’s captain.

Cook and his crew were welcomed by the native Hawaiians upon landing on the islands in early 1778. There, Cook resupplied and set off to explore the coast of North America and Alaska and returned to Hawaii later that same year. Cook’s expedition explored the coastal regions of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island from early 1778 to early 1779.

Cook’s expedition came to an abrupt and violent end in February 1779. Hawaiian natives stole one of Cook’s longboats while he was anchored in Kealakekua Bay, and in retaliation, the captain attempted to kidnap the current aliʻi nui/king when negotiations for the return of the longboat went sour. Captain Cook and his crew fired on a mob of Hawaiian people and, in the ensuing struggle, Cook was stabbed and killed.

Hawaii from the 1790s to U.S. Annexation in 1898

Credit: Keiki / Shutterstock.com

The history of the Hawaiian Islands from James Cook’s visit to annexation by the United States government 100 years later is full of regional political struggles and rulers vying for power and control of the islands. This time period alone could fill volumes. Here are a few key highlights:

  • The House of Kamehameha was the reigning ruling family of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1795 to 1874.
  • Sugar plantations changed the course of Hawaiian history when the first plantation was established in 1835.
  • Sugar tariffs between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii led to turmoil as sugar production expanded.
  • The United States began leasing Pearl Harbor in 1887, considering Hawaii to be vital for defense of the West Coast.
  • Rebellions, overthrows, and a coup saw Hawaii’s queen Liliʻuokalani dethroned, the Kingdom of Hawaii ended, and Hawaii annexed by the United States in 1898.

Hawaii Becomes the 50th State

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Hawaii was actually the Territory of Hawaii (not an official state) for more than 60 years before it joined the United States as the 50th state in the nation in 1959. Hawaii became the Territory of Hawaii after its annexation in 1898, and during the next few decades saw a territorial governor appointed by U.S. President William McKinley, sugar plantation expansion continue, and even the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admission Act on March 18, 1959, opening the way for Hawaii to become the 50th state in the nation. The territory was officially admitted in August of the same year.

The Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement

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Is Hawaii currently a state under the federal governance of the United States? Yes. Does everyone accept this? No.

Annexation and statehood are still a touchy subject for a number of native Hawaiians, and there are groups that support the idea that the Hawaiian Islands were and are a territory taken by force, involuntarily joined to the United States, and deserves to be self-governed as an independent nation.

The Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement is a grassroots campaign supported by a number of different sovereignty groups that aims to shape what sovereignty could look like for the islands.

Plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Hawaii. All nine people aboard died

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Hawaii. All nine people aboard died

(CNN)A small plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Oahu and erupted into flames, killing all nine people aboard, Hawaii authorities said.

The King Air twin-engine plane went down Friday evening near Dillingham Airfield with no apparent survivors, the Hawaii Department of Transportation tweeted.
It was on a skydiving excursion when it crashed, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel P. Neves said.
When firefighters arrived, the plane was engulfed in flames and they worked to extinguish them.Witnesses saw the plane coming inbound before it went down onto a fence line, away from the runway, Neves said.
“This is the most tragic aircraft incident that we had. We had some helicopters with the military but this is a civilian plane that went down and with that many people on board,” Neves told CNN affiliate KGMB.
The wreckage of an aircraft carrying nine people lies on the ground near a fence at Dillingham Airfield in Hawaii.

The names of the passengers have not been released. Some family members were at the airfield when the plane went down, Neves said.
“I am closely following the tragic developments out of Dillingham Airfield this evening. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be taking over the investigation.
The airfield is a general aviation airport operated by the department under a 25-year lease from the US Army, Hawaii’s government website says. The state leases 272 acres of the 650-acre Dillingham Military Reservation and operates the single 5,000-foot runway primarily for commercial glider and sky diving operations.

7 Incredible Castles in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

7 Incredible Castles in the U.S.

7

Incredible Castles in the U.S.

Think you have to travel to Europe to see a jaw-dropping castle? Think again. Although they aren’t nearly as common here as they are in England, there are actually several castles in the United States. Some are hidden, and some are just standing there in plain sight. Here is a list of the seven most incredible castles in the U.S.

Belvedere Castle, New York

Belvedere Castle, New York

Credit: patronestaff/Shutterstock

Did you know there’s a castle in Central Park? Not many people outside New York do. Belvedere Castle was created by Calvert Vaux in 1869 as a way to welcome visitors to the park he helped design. It looks out onto the park’s Great Lawn and gives visitors the opportunity to take in some fantastic views from the top. In fact, the view is so great that it gave the castle its name — “Belvedere” means “Beautiful View” in Italian. This castle is not just beautiful to look at, though, it is also functional. The National Weather Service takes advantage of its location to take measurements of things like wind speed, rainfall amount and temperature for its forecasts.

Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Credit: Pamela Au/Shutterstock

Montezuma Castle in Camp Verde, Arizona, is unlike any castle you have ever seen. It is built into the side of a cliff, where it has been sitting for more than 800 years. This pueblo “palace” contains 45 to 50 rooms, but unfortunately you will never be able to get inside to count them. Since 1951, this castle has been off-limits to the public as looters and time have rendered it too fragile for it to be safe. You can still climb up to peer in the windows, though, as you imagine what life must have been like back when it was built.

Castello di Amorosa, California

Castello di Amorosa, California

Credit: KK Stock/Shutterstock

If you have always wanted to visit Italy but can’t afford to leave the States, then head to Castello di Amorosa in California. Visiting this castle is like visiting Tuscany hundreds of years ago — and many visitors don’t realize that it was just completed in 2007 after a 14-year-long building period. Built by Dario Sattui, the great grandson of an Italian immigrant, this 107-room castle is a love letter to Italian culture, as well as a thriving vineyard and winery.

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Scotty’s Castle, California

Scotty's Castle, California

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Located in one of the only green areas of California’s Death Valley, Scotty’s Castle has an interesting history — and one that is full of lies. Rumor has it that this castle was built by a man named Walter Scott, also known as “Death Valley Scotty.” He told everyone that he had built it with a fortune he had gained from a collection of secret mines nearby that only he knew about. In reality, though, the castle was built by Albert and Bessie Johnson, who used it as a vacation home. Walter Scott was a friend of the family, though, and the castle bore his name, even if records show no evidence that he ever actually visited it at all.

Bannerman Castle, New York

Bannerman Castle, New York

Credit: karenfoleyphotography/Shutterstock

Of all the castles in the United States, Bannerman Castle arguably looks the most like an authentic castle from Europe, if only for the fact that it is now in ruins. The castle was built in 1901 by Francis Bannerman VI on Pollepel Island, an island that was once considered to be haunted. This was the perfect place for the owner of a military surplus company to build a fortress in which to store all the weapons he stockpiled during the Civil and Spanish Wars. Unfortunately, there proved to be some sort of curse on the island after all; in 1967, the castle was destroyed by a fire, turning it into a collection of beautiful ruins.

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Credit: Allen.G/Shutterstock

While most of the castles in the United States were built by millionaires, Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the only one that is an official royal residence. It was built in the early 1880s by Hawaii’s King Kalakaua, one of the last monarchs to ever reign over the region. The very last was his sister, Queen Liliuokalani, who ruled Hawaii after him and lived in the palace he had built. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the castle was kept up and restored, so now it still looks much like it did back then.

Boldt Castle, New York

Boldt Castle, New York

Credit: Victoria Lipov/Shutterstock

The history of the number one castle on our list is a sad one. The idea for Boldt Castle was conceived of by millionaire George C. Boldt, who was also the proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. He wanted to build a “full size Rhineland castle” on Heart Island in Alexandria Bay as an expression of his love for his wife. He was planning to gift the castle to her … but then something terrible happened. In 1904, Boldt’s beloved wife died. Bereft, Boldt immediately stopped construction on the castle and never returned to the island. The castle sat there, unfinished, for more than 70 years, until the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority bought the property in 1977 and began restoring it for future generations.

India’s Defense Minister to chart course for India-US tri-service military exercise

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Nirmala Sitharaman to chart course for India-US tri-service military exercise

During her visit, Sitharaman will also be charting out the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019.

INDIA Updated: Dec 03, 2018 07:23 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nirmala Sitharaman,US Indo-Pacific Command,Hawaii
Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii to review military-to-military relations and chart out the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Days after the apex Japan-India-America (JAI) trilateral meeting on Indo-Pacific on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii to review military-to-military relations and chart the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise off in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019. Defence minister Sitharaman left for Washington on Saturday night.

According to Indian and US diplomats familiar with the agenda of her visit, Sitharaman will be meeting her US counterpart James Mattis on December 3 to follow-up on the trilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Donald Trump and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and prepare grounds for sharing of information in the Indo-Pacific theatre through the secure COMCASA network. India recently signed a deal allowing it to become part of this network. With Japan, the US, Australia, and India all flying the P-8I anti-submarine surveillance aircraft, the Indo-Pacific theatre has become transparent for the QUAD grouping (of which these four countries are part) also as military information can now be exchanged through the secure network. This new network will be put to test during the tri-service amphibious exercise off the Indian seaboard next summer with all elements of Indo-Pacific command participating with their respective Indian military elements.

Senior government officials told Hindustan Times that Sitharaman will be interacting with key defence officials, thinkers and strategists on the west coast where she will be meeting a select group at Stanford university with former US National Security Advisor H R McMaster being the host. US Defence Secretary Mattis is also part of this network. She will also be visiting the highly rated Defence Innovation Unit (DIUx) in California in a bid to link Indian defence startups with this unit which aims to explore synergies between innovative US private sector firms and the Pentagon on latest technologies.

This will be largely funded by venture capital with Indian government providing the seed money. The main idea behind visiting DIUx is to understand the potential of constant technological upgrades achieved through research by private sector.

Sitharaman will be hosted by Admiral Phillip S Davidson, the top commander of all US armed forces in Indo-Pacific at Hawaii on December 6. The Minister’s visit to Hawaii is to recognize the American

effort to redefine and expand the strategic region in consultation with India. Simply put, the new definition gives India bigger play in the military affairs of the region with Japan and Australia being the other ends of the strategic grouping. The minister will also review the military to military exercises planned in future and discuss the strategic environment in the region with China in the focus.

During her meeting with Secretary Mattis at Pentagon, Sitharaman will also be exploring the acquisition of high-end military technologies for India such as the Predator-B hunter killer drone and reviewing the joint working groups on aircraft carriers and aircraft engines.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 07:20 IST

Guam: Truth, Knowledge, History Of This Pacific Island Nation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)

 

Guam

Introduction Guam was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three years later. The military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific.
History Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the King of Spain, reached the island in 1521 during his circumnavigation of the globe. General Miguel López de Legazpi claimed Guam for Spain in 1565. Spanish colonization commenced in 1668 with the arrival of Padre San Vitores, who established the first Catholic mission. The islands were then governed as part of the Spanish East Indies from the Philippines. Between 1668 and 1815, Guam was an important resting stop on the Spanish trade route between Mexico and the Philippines. Guam, along with the rest of the Mariana and Caroline Islands, was treated by Spain as part of their colony in the Philippines. While Guam’s Chamorro culture is unique, the cultures of both Guam and the Northern Marianas were heavily influenced by Spanish culture and traditions.[2]

The United States took control of the island in the 1898 Spanish-American War. Guam came to serve as a station for American ships traveling to and from the Philippines, while the northern Mariana islands passed to Germany then Japan.[2] During World War II, Guam was attacked, and invaded, by the armed forces of Japan on December 8, 1941. Before the attack, most of the United States citizens were transported from the island and away from imminent danger. The Northern Mariana Islands had become a Japanese protectorate before the war. It was the Chamorros from the Northern Marianas who were brought to Guam to serve as interpreters and in other capacities for the occupying Japanese force. The Guamanian Chamorros were treated as an occupied enemy by the Japanese military. After the war, this would cause some resentment by the Guamanian Chamorros towards the Chamorros in the Northern Marianas. Guam’s occupation lasted for approximately thirty-one months. During this period, the indigenous people of Guam were subjected to forced labor, family separation, incarceration, execution, concentration camps and prostitution. Approximately a thousand people died during the occupation according to Congressional Testimony in 2004. The United States returned and fought the Battle of Guam on July 21, 1944, to recapture the island from Japanese military occupation. To this day, Guam remains the only U.S. soil, with a sizable population (in the thousands), to have ever been occupied by a foreign military power – the Japanese Imperial Army. The U.S. also captured and occupied the Northern Marianas. After the war, the Guam Organic Act of 1950, which established Guam as an unincorporated organized territory of the United States, provided for the structure of the island’s civilian government, and granted the people United States citizenship.

Geography Location: Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 144 47 E
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 541.3 sq km
land: 541.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: three times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 125.5 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical marine; generally warm and humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season (January to June), rainy season (July to December); little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coralline limestone plateau (source of most fresh water), with steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal plains in north, low hills in center, mountains in south
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m
Natural resources: fishing (largely undeveloped), tourism (especially from Japan)
Land use: arable land: 3.64%
permanent crops: 18.18%
other: 78.18% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare, but potentially very destructive typhoons (June – December)
Environment – current issues: extirpation of native bird population by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic, invasive species
Geography – note: largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean
People Population: 173,456 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.6% (male 25,686/female 23,938)
15-64 years: 64.5% (male 57,023/female 54,872)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 5,592/female 6,345) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 28.8 years
male: 28.5 years
female: 29 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.4% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 18.56 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 4.56 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.073 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.039 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.881 male(s)/female
total population: 1.037 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 6.68 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.35 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.76 years
male: 75.69 years
female: 82.01 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.57 children born/woman

Sen. Booker Releases Judge Kavanaugh Doc’s Republicans Trying To Hide From Public

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Cory Booker Releases Confidential Documents During Kavanaugh Hearing

Hawaii’s Sen. Mazie Hirono followed Booker’s threat to publish formerly confidential documents with her own release during the third day of hearings.
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Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) released formerly confidential emails from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about racial profiling and racial discrimination at the start of the third day of confirmation hearings on Thursday, around an hour after threatening to do so.

The dramatic move appeared to defy Republicans who had shielded the documents from public view, and it seemed to risk breaking Senate rules. Senate Judiciary Committee staffers for Republican and Democratic officials told The Washington Post, however, that the committee cleared the documents for public viewing before either senator posted them to their websites. A spokesman for Bill Burck, the Republican lawyer overseeing the approvals, also told the publication that the emails Booker released were cleared last night.

The precise timing is not yet clear.

A spokesman for Booker said in a statement that the senator and unnamed Democratic colleagues “were able to shame the committee” into releasing the documents. Yet a spokeswoman for Hirono told HuffPost the senator did not ask the committee to release the emails that she made public around 10:30 a.m. before she published them online. Hirono did not know they would be cleared for public release, the spokeswoman said.

Booker was the first to threaten to make the documents public, saying he would “knowingly violate” the rules and accept any punishment for his action, which he considered to be civil disobedience. Booker said the emails, taken from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House, do not pose a threat to national security.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asks Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a question during a confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asks Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a question during a confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said the emails Booker referenced had, in fact, just been deemed non-confidential, saying “the process worked.” Lee offered to work with Democrats in the committee to make other confidential documents public, too.

When Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) reminded Booker that he could lose his seat for breaking Senate rules, prior to the documents’ release, Booker responded: “Bring it.”

At the hearing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) argued that all the committee confidential documents should be publicly released, saying, “We are literally trying to get at the truth here.”

Booker’s documents, released Thursday afternoon, reveal that while Kavanaugh “generally” supports “race-neutral” security measures, the nominee also believed there was an “interim” question on whether to use racial profiling before neutral security measures are deployed. The emails between White House staffers were sent from mid-2001 and early 2002.

Messages released by Hirono reference unspecified government programs. Kavanaugh said in June 2002 that any such programs “targeting” native Hawaiians “as a group” are “subject to strict scrutiny” and “of questionable validity under the Constitution.” Hirono said in the hearing that her “colleagues from Alaska should be deeply troubled” by the nominee’s views because they would also apply to native Alaskans. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska is seen as a possible swing vote in the confirmation process.

Booker’s colleagues Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Hirono also rallied around him, pledging their support in the event Booker faced “retribution,” as Durbin put it. Hirono said she would “defy anyone.”

“You want everything to be made public? All your emails? I don’t think you do,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) responded at the hearing.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) jumped in to argue that the process of categorizing documents as committee confidential was far from transparent and perhaps unfair.

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“There is no process for ‘committee confidential,’” she said, adding that Democrats were not consulted in the decision to make certain documents private.

The release was in line with what progressive groups urged Democratic senators to do Wednesday: Go around Grassley and release the 141,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s record that are not permitted for public release or public discussion. Members of the committee can read and discuss the documents among themselves, but they cannot question Kavanaugh on their contents in the hearings.

Read the documents that Booker released below. Hirono also uploaded documents, which are now on her website.

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.

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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.

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges: The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges

Introduction All of the following US Pacific island territories except Midway Atoll constitute the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex and as such are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. Midway Atoll NWR has been included in a Refuge Complex with the Hawaiian Islands NWR and also designated as part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These remote refuges are the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country’s jurisdiction. They sustain many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere.
Baker Island: The US took possession of the island in 1857, and its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Howland Island: Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the uninhabited atoll was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano deposits until about 1890. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island, similar to the effort on nearby Baker Island, but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The famed American aviatrix Amelia EARHART disappeared while seeking out Howland Island as a refueling stop during her 1937 round-the-world flight; Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the west coast, was named in her memory. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Jarvis Island: First discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the US in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 after tons of guano had been removed. The UK annexed the island in 1889, but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied and reclaimed the island in 1935 until it was abandoned in 1942 during World War II. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Johnston Atoll: Both the US and the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston and Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934, and subsequently the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction, cleanup, and closure of the facility was completed by May 2005. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force are currently discussing future management options; in the interim, Johnston Atoll and the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the US Air Force.
Kingman Reef: The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge.
Midway Islands: The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was one of the turning points of World War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a National Wildlife Refuge and are the site of the world’s largest Laysan albatross colony.
Palmyra Atoll: The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862, and the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the archipelago in 1898. The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include Palmyra Atoll, which is now partly privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest owned by the Federal government and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These organizations are managing the atoll as a wildlife refuge. The lagoons and surrounding waters within the 12 nm US territorial seas were transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and designated as a National Wildlife Refuge in January 2001.
Geography Location: Oceania
Baker Island: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 1,830 nm (3,389 km) southwest of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Howland Island: island in the North Pacific Ocean 1,815 nm (3,361 km) southwest of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Jarvis Island: island in the South Pacific Ocean 1,305 nm (2,417 km) south of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Cook Islands
Johnston Atoll: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 717 nm (1,328 km) southwest of Honolulu, about one-third of the way from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands
Kingman Reef: reef in the North Pacific Ocean 930 nm (1,722 km) south of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and American Samoa
Midway Islands: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 1,260 nm (2,334 km) northwest of Honolulu near the end of the Hawaiian Archipelago, about one-third of the way from Honolulu to Tokyo
Palmyra Atoll: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 960 nm (1,778 km) south of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and American Samoa
Geographic coordinates: Baker Island: 0 13 N, 176 28 W
Howland Island: 0 48 N, 176 38 W
Jarvis Island: 0 23 S, 160 01 W
Johnston Atoll: 16 45 N, 169 31 W
Kingman Reef: 6 23 N, 162 25 W
Midway Islands: 28 12 N, 177 22 W
Palmyra Atoll: 5 53 N, 162 05 W
Map references: Oceania
Area: total – 6,959.41 sq km; emergent land – 22.41 sq km; submerged – 6,937 sq km
Baker Island: total – 129.1 sq km; emergent land – 2.1 sq km; submerged – 127 sq km
Howland Island: total – 138.6 sq km; emergent land – 2.6 sq km; submerged – 136 sq km
Jarvis Island: total – 152 sq km; emergent land – 5 sq km; submerged – 147 sq km
Johnston Atoll: total – 276.6 sq km; emergent land – 2.6 sq km; submerged – 274 sq km
Kingman Reef: total – 1,958.01 sq km; emergent land – 0.01 sq km; submerged – 1,958 sq km
Midway Islands: total – 2,355.2 sq km; emergent land – 6.2 sq km; submerged – 2,349 sq km
Palmyra Atoll: total – 1,949.9 sq km; emergent land – 3.9 sq km; submerged – 1,946 sq km
Area – comparative: Baker Island: about two and a half times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Howland Island: about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Jarvis Island: about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Johnston Atoll: about four and a half times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Kingman Reef: a little more than one and a half times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Midway Islands: about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Palmyra Atoll: about 20 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: none
Coastline: Baker Island: 4.8 km
Howland Island: 6.4 km
Jarvis Island: 8 km
Johnston Atoll: 34 km
Kingman Reef: 3 km
Midway Islands: 15 km
Palmyra Atoll: 14.5 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
Johnston Atoll and Kingman Reef: tropical, but generally dry; consistent northeast trade winds with little seasonal temperature variation
Midway Islands: subtropical with cool, moist winters (December to February) and warm, dry summers (May to October); moderated by prevailing easterly winds; most of the 1,067 mm (42 in) of annual rainfall occurs during the winter
Palmyra Atoll: equatorial, hot; located within the low pressure area of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) where the northeast and southeast trade winds meet, it is extremely wet with between 4,000-5,000 mm (160-200 in) of rainfall each year
Terrain: low and nearly level sandy coral islands with narrow fringing reefs that have developed at the top of submerged volcanic mountains, which in most cases rise steeply from the ocean floor
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Baker Island, unnamed location – 8 m; Howland Island, unnamed location – 3 m; Jarvis Island, unnamed location – 7 m; Johnston Atoll, Sand Island – 10 m; Kingman Reef, unnamed location – less than 2 m; Midway Islands, unnamed location – 13 m; Palmyra Atoll, unnamed location – 3 m
Natural resources: terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2008)
Natural hazards: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Kingman Reef: wet or awash most of the time, maximum elevation of less than 2 m makes Kingman Reef a maritime hazard
Midway Islands, Johnston, and Palmyra Atolls: NA
Environment – current issues: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, and Johnston Atoll: no natural fresh water resources
Kingman Reef: none
Midway Islands and Palmyra Atoll: NA
Geography – note: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: scattered vegetation consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife; closed to the public
Johnston Atoll: Johnston Island and Sand Island are natural islands, which have been expanded by coral dredging; North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina) are manmade islands formed from coral dredging; the egg-shaped reef is 34 km in circumference; closed to the public
Kingman Reef: barren coral atoll with deep interior lagoon; closed to the public
Midway Islands: a coral atoll managed as a national wildlife refuge and open to the public for wildlife-related recreation in the form of wildlife observation and photography
Palmyra Atoll: the high rainfall and resulting lush vegetation make the environment of this atoll unique among the US Pacific Island territories; supports a large undisturbed stand of Pisonia beach forest
People Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: public entry is by special-use permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service only and generally restricted to scientists and educators; visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service
Johnston Atoll: in previous years, an average of 1,100 US military and civilian contractor personnel were present; as of May 2005 all US government personnel had left the island
Midway Islands: approximately 40 people make up the staff of US Fish and Wildlife Service and their services contractor living at the atoll
Palmyra Atoll: four to 20 Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife staff, and researchers
Government Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Baker Island; Howland Island; Jarvis Island; Johnston Atoll; Kingman Reef; Midway Islands; Palmyra Atoll
Dependency status: unincorporated territories of the US; administered from Washington, DC by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system
note on Palmyra Atoll: incorporated Territory of the US; partly privately owned and partly federally owned; administered from Washington, DC by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior; the Office of Insular Affairs of the US Department of the Interior continues to administer nine excluded areas comprising certain tidal and submerged lands within the 12 nm territorial sea or within the lagoon
Legal system: the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territories of the US)
Flag description: the flag of the US is used
Economy Economy – overview: no economic activity
Transportation Airports: Baker Island: one abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m covered with vegetation and unusable
Howland Island: airstrip constructed in 1937 for scheduled refueling stop on the round-the-world flight of Amelia EARHART and Fred NOONAN; the aviators left Lae, New Guinea, for Howland Island but were never seen again; the airstrip is no longer serviceable
Johnston Atoll: one closed and not maintained
Kingman Reef: lagoon was used as a halfway station between Hawaii and American Samoa by Pan American Airways for flying boats in 1937 and 1938
Midway Islands: 3 – one operational (2,409 m paved); no fuel for sale except emergencies
Palmyra Atoll: 1 – 1,846 m unpaved runway; privately owned (2008)
Ports and terminals: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, and Kingman Reef: none; offshore anchorage only
Johnston Atoll: Johnston Island
Midway Islands: Sand Island
Palmyra Atoll: West Lagoon
Military Military – note: defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues Disputes – international: none

Further Hawaii Volcano Eruptions after Major Quake

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

 

Further Hawaii Volcano Eruptions after Major Quake

Saturday, 5 May, 2018 – 08:30
Lava is seen coming from a fissure in Leilani Estates subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island on May 4, 2018. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook Hawaii’s Big Island on Friday, prompting fresh eruptions of the Kilauea volcano that has been spewing lava into residential areas, and forcing hundreds of people to flee amid a high alert.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 12:32 pm and was centered on the south flank of the volcano, which first erupted on Thursday after a series of tremors on the island.

“This is in almost exactly the same location as the deadly 1975 M 7.1 quake,” USGC said in a tweet.

Another 5.7-magnitude tremor hit the island earlier on Friday and authorities said they expect more seismic activity.

The quakes have prompted the volcano, one of five active on the island, to erupt.

Drone and video footage showed orange magma gushing up from cracks in the ground and snaking through a wooded area.

Molten lava could also be seen bubbling up through cracks on streets in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhood where residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday.

The area is home to about 1,700 people and 770 structures. The broader district potentially impacted by the threat is home to some 10,000 people.

No injuries have been reported but several homes were said to have been destroyed or badly damaged on Friday, authorities said.

Officials urged any remaining residents to evacuate and warned of extremely high levels of toxic fumes.

“Elderly, young and people with respiratory issues need to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and leave the area,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.

Governor David Ige said residents were being housed in community centers until the danger from Kilauea has passed.

Ige signed an emergency proclamation releasing disaster funds to the Big Island.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in an alert that a total of six lava fissures had occurred. Although no significant lava flows have yet formed, additional outbreaks of lava, which can reach temperatures of about 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (1,150 Celsius), were expected, the agency said.

Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes and one of five on the island, has been in constant eruption for 35 years.