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.

Possible Eruption at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano as Earthquakes Continue

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

This May 1, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano near Honolulu, Hawaii.
This May 1, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano near Honolulu, Hawaii.
U.S. Geological Survey—AP/Shutterstock
By KATIE REILLY

9:30 PM EDT

Dozens of earthquakes shook Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Wednesday, as scientists warnedof a possible eruption following the collapse of the crater floor at the Puu Oo vent.

“An eruption is possible because magma is clearly moving through the East Rift Zone and it could come to the surface. The possibility is definitely there, I can’t give you a probability,” U.S. Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb told the Associated Press.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a “high rate” of earthquakes in the area of the rift zone Wednesday. As the magma continues to flow underground, the observatory warned that an outbreak of lava — which is magma that reaches Earth’s surface — was possible.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense advised residents in certain areas to prepare an emergency plan in case an evacuation becomes necessary. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said county, state and federal agencies were preparing for a possible eruption, identifying shelters, mobilizing police and road crews, and warning residents in the lower area of the district of Puna to prepare to evacuate.

“Should an eruption occur, residents along the East Rift Zone may have little warning. Residents in that area should be prepared to evacuate,” Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said in a statement.

The first asteroid we’ve seen from outside our Solar System is totally bizarre

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE VERGE’ SCIENCE MAGAZINE)

 

The first asteroid we’ve seen from outside our Solar System is totally bizarre

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The first distant visitor we’ve ever observed

An artist’s impression of the first interstellar asteroid, `Oumuamua.
 European Southern Observatory

Astronomers have confirmed that an object that recently passed by our planet is from outside our Solar System — the first interstellar asteroid that’s ever been observed. And it doesn’t look like any object we’ve ever seen in our cosmic neighborhood before.

Follow-up observations, detailed today in Nature, have found that the asteroid is dark and reddish, similar to the objects in the outer Solar System. It doesn’t have any gas or dust surrounding it like comets do, and it’s stretched long and skinny, looking a bit like an oddly shaped pen. It’s thought to be about a quarter-mile long, and about 10 times longer than it is wide. That makes it unlike any asteroids seen in our Solar System, none of which are so elongated.

Astronomers also think this object — nicknamed `Oumuamua, Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first”— traveled for millions of years before stumbling upon our Solar System. It seems to have come from the direction of the constellation Lyra, but the asteroid’s exact origin is still unknown. More answers might come soon, as NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is observing `Oumuamua this week. “Our plan is to look at it through the end of the year, so we can get the very best pass possible and figure out where it came from,” Karen Meech, lead author of the study at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy, tells The Verge.

`Oumuamua was first spotted on October 19th by astronomers working on the Pan STARRS telescope in Hawaii. The telescope is used to scan the sky for objects orbiting near Earth, looking for any that might pose a threat to our planet. But one of the rocks in the latest observations looked as if it might not belong in our neck of the Universe.

The team at Pan STARRS continued observing the object over the next couple of days. Based on their measurements, they were fairly certain that they were watching the first ever interstellar asteroid. Up until then, such a distant visitor had never been seen before, so observatories all over the world started following the object, too, in order to calculate its path and figure out its shape.

Interstellar asteroids are thought to be rejects from other planetary systems. When our Solar System first formed, for instance, the giant planets tossed around all the smaller bits of material circulating around the Sun, some of which landed in the outer edges of the Solar System while others were ejected from our neighborhood completely. These outcasts then traveled through interstellar space, possibly passing by other stars. Conceivably, ejected material from other planetary systems must make their way to our Solar System once in a while, says Meech.

Such interstellar objects are thought to pass through our Solar System pretty frequently, but they’re usually moving too fast, and they’re usually too faint to see. With `Oumuamua, astronomers got lucky: the asteroid entered our Solar System at an angle, coming in close by the Sun, and then passed by Earth on its way out of the Solar System. That gave astronomers the chance to catch it with ground-based telescopes. “I think it’s really neat that we had this visitor, however briefly, and we had a chance to look at it up close,” says Meech.

This diagram shows the orbit of the interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua as it passes through the Solar System. Unlike all other asteroids and comets observed before, this body is not bound by gravity to the Sun. It has come from interstellar space and will return there after its brief encounter with our star system. Its hyperbolic orbit is highly inclined and it does not appear to have come close to any other Solar System body on its way in.
`Oumuamua’s trajectory through the Solar System.
 Image: European Southern Observatory

After it was first spotted, dozens of observatories all over the world continued to follow it over the next week and a half. Speed was crucial, since `Oumuamua is getting progressively farther away and growing fainter every day. “We had about a window of 10 days or two weeks to do anything practical,” says Meech. Through those quick observations, astronomers found that `Oumuamua had large fluctuations in brightness, indicating an unusually elongated, spinning object that makes one complete rotation every 7.3 hours.

Now, `Oumuamua is 124 million miles from Earth, zooming away at 85,700 miles per hour. It passed by Mars’ orbit on November 1st, and will reach Jupiter’s orbit sometime in 2018. Soon, it’ll be too hard to track, even with Hubble. “It’s really getting much too faint to do anything at all,” says Meech.

But in the next few years, we may be able to spot more interstellar objects like `Oumuamua. Once bigger telescopes start to come online, like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope that’s being built in Chile, astronomers will be able to see even more visiting rocks. “I predict there will be a lot of these detected in the future,” says Meech.

Mystery Object May Be Our First Visitor From Another Solar System

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

This mystery object may be our first visitor from another solar system

(CNN)Astronomers around the world are trying to track down a small, fast-moving object that is zipping through our solar system.

Is a comet? An asteroid? NASA’s not sure. The space agency doesn’t even know where it came from, but it’s not behaving like the local space rocks and that means it may not be from our solar system.
If that’s confirmed, NASA says “it would be the first interstellar object to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.”
“We have been waiting for this day for decades,” Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, said in a NASA news release. “It’s long been theorized that such objects exist — asteroids or comets moving around between the stars and occasionally passing through our solar system — but this is the first such detection. So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it.”
NASA says astronomers are pointing telescopes on the ground and in space at the object to get that data.
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For now, the object is being called A/2017 U1. Experts think it’s less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and it’s racing through space at 15.8 miles (25.5 kilometers) per second.
It was discovered October 19 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii.
Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, was the first to identify the object and immediately realized there was something different about it.
“Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit,” he said. “This object came from outside our solar system.”
Whatever “it” is, the object isn’t a threat to Earth.
NASA say that on October 14, it safely passed our home world at a distance of about 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) — that’s about 60 times the distance to the moon.
Where’s it going? Scientists think the object is heading toward the constellation Pegasus and is on its way out of our solar system.
“This is the most extreme orbit I have ever seen,” said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. “It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back.”
“It” may eventually get a better name than A/2017 U1, but since the object is the first of its kind, the International Astronomical Union will have to come up with new rules for naming the object.

2 Women Lost at Sea for 5 Months Survived Shark Attacks and Storms

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM)

 

‘Horrific.’ 2 Women Lost at Sea for 5 Months Survived Shark Attacks and Storms

7:41 AM ET

Two American women and their dogs were rescued this week by the United States Navy, after being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for five months.

Their engine had failed while attempting to sail from Hawaii to Tahiti. The women endured two separate shark attacks, with their boat surrounded at one point by seven sharks slapping their tails against the hull, they told reporters Thursday night on a conference call, in remarks reported by ABC NewsThe Guardian and other news outlets.

“We thought it was lights out, and they were horrific,” one of the mariners, Jennifer Appel, said of the shark attacks after being rescued Wednesday.

They also said they survived two major storms, the first of which lasted for two days, with 25-foot waves and hurricane force winds flooding the boat’s engine leaving the two of them to rely on the boat’s sail alone for the next five months. They had packed enough dried food for a year, but had another close call when Appel fixed their broken water purifier with only a gallon of clean water left on the boat.

Appel, an experienced sailor, was accompanied on the trip by her friend Natasha Fuiava, a sailing novice, and their dogs, Valentine and Zeus. The women, both from Honolulu, Hawaii, were spotted 900 miles south-east of Japan by a Taiwanese fishing vessel, which alerted Guam’s coastguard.

They were rescued by the USS Ashland the following day. “They saved our lives,” Appel said. “The pride and smiles we had when we saw [them] on the horizon was pure relief.”

The Navy said the women had received medical attention and would remain on the USS Ashland until its next port of call.

“The U.S. Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation,” Commander Steven Wasson, the Ashland’s commanding officer, said in a statement.

U.S. Federal Judges And Their Power Over Law Makers

U.S. Federal Judges And Their Power Over Law Makers

 

Last evening I read a couple of articles concerning issues that some other writers have about U.S. Federal Judges power/authority over our politicians, including the President. The writers were not, are not, happy about a Federal Judge in Hawaii named Derrick Watson who put a freeze on President Trumps latest ‘travel ban’. By the list of Nations on this ban it does appear that the President is trying to block entry into our country by Islamic fundamentalists. The only Nation on this list that isn’t primarily Islamic is North Korea. Even though I believe that our current President is the biggest idiot to ever step foot into the Oval Office there are still a few, very few, things that I agree with him on, this ban is one of them.

 

The President has made many ignorant statements about Federal Judges and even the States they are from many times in the past. Evidently the President doesn’t believe that the Judges who live in Hawaii should be allowed to press their Constitutional legal authority when it comes to the Presidents wishes. As we all know, this President would prefer to rule like President Putin of Russia or President Xi Jinping of China by simply issuing ‘Executive Orders’ to fulfill his personal agenda, regardless of what the U.S. Constitution says. Mr. President, this is not Russia or China, or even North Korea as you will find out when it is the Law’s of this country that will remove you from Office, and hopefully imprison you for the rest of your life along with several members of your family.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has the responsibility of making sure that laws enacted by the politicians are Constitutionally legal. The Federal Judges in our Nation are also saddled with this very important responsibility also, making sure that the laws made are ‘legal’ laws. One of the articles I read last evening was titled “Stop The Madness”, the meaning of the article was about stopping these Federal Judges from having the authority to stop a Presidents Executive Actions. If I have the figure correct there are 864 Federal Judges within the United States right now. This would be an average of about 17 per State. Much to the obvious disbelief of this President all of these Federal Judges whether they were appointed by former Republican or Democratic Presidents have the same authority, no matter what State they reside in, even States like Hawaii and Alaska. Mr. President, I personally agree with you on this issue concerning allowing people from certain Nations to enter our Country, BUT, do it legally. Mr. President, you have a whole team of lawyers at the White House at your disposal, use them!