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WhiteTara's Journal
WhiteTara's Journal
December 18, 2017

'Stupid idea' propels trail-blazing Silk Road runner


Shanghai (AFP) - The world today is enough to make some people want to get up and just run to the ends of the Earth, so that's what Kai Markus decided to do.

Troubled by what he sees as growing bigotry and division in the world, the German management consultant gave up a successful business to run the ancient Silk Road from Hamburg to Shanghai in a Quixotic quest to show that we are all one.
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Nine months, eight countries, 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) and two fractured heel bones later, Markus hobbled across a symbolic finish line in Shanghai on Saturday with a feeling of mission accomplished.


The first time he heard his now 18-month-old son say "Daddy" was on a bittersweet video call.

Halfway through China, their faithful Beetle's exhausted engine finally died. The car's corpse will be shipped back home.

Then, in late September, a freak stumble while running in China's central Hubei province broke both of Markus' heel bones. The incident made Chinese state news broadcasts, sent some sponsors fleeing and seemed like the end.
December 18, 2017

'Human error' after US chopper window falls on Japan school


The US military on Monday blamed human error after a window from one of its helicopters fell onto a school sports ground in Japan, sparking anger among local residents.

The military said it had conducted a thorough investigation into last Wednesday's accident and concluded that "the incident was caused by human error".

"The window in question is designed to be removed in order to assist pilot egress in an emergency situation. The appropriate procedures for ensuring the window was secured were not correctly followed," added the military in a statement.

It again apologised for what it called a "regrettable" accident.

There were no serious injuries from the window that landed at an elementary school near the Futenma marine airbase on Okinawa island.
December 18, 2017

Zimbabwe army ends intervention that led to Mugabe's ouster

Source: AFP

Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwe's army chiefs announced Monday the end of the military intervention which forced former president Robert Mugabe to resign, while urging citizens to remain alert and allow a smooth transition of government.

"The defence and security services come before you to pronounce the end of Operation Restore Legacy," Zimbabwe National Army commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda told journalists.

"Normalcy has now returned to our country. We want to thank all Zimbabweans for their support, patience and understanding during the five weeks of Operation Restore Legacy," he added.

Sibanda also called on people to be on alert for "malcontents and saboteurs".

"Your defence and security services would like to remind all Zimbabweans to remain vigilant and report any suspicious objects and individuals to law enforcement agents.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/zimbabwe-army-ends-intervention-led-mugabes-ouster-111432676.html

They may have democracy before us!
November 19, 2017

Ohio Lawmaker Quits After Having 'Inappropriate Conduct' With Man In His Office


State Rep. Wes Goodman (R-Cardington) resigned Tuesday after a witness reported the incident to Ohio House chief of staff Mike Dittoe, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Specifics of the alleged incident are unclear.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said he met with Goodman on Tuesday, and that the lawmaker “acknowledged and confirmed the allegations.”

“I was alerted to details yesterday afternoon regarding his involvement in inappropriate behavior related to his state office,” Rosenberger said Wednesday. “It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”

I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service.

Looks like another special election is coming up!
October 8, 2017

Donald Trump takes credit for inventing the word 'fake'


Donald Trump has apparently taken credit for creating the word “fake”, during a television interview.

The President of the United States suggested he had coined the term as he lashed out at the media for its coverage of his response to the Puerto Rican hurricane victims.

During an interview aired on Christian channel Trinity Broadcasting, Mr Trump also defended his decision to hurl “beautiful, soft towels” to those affected by Hurricane Maria in the style of a basketball player taking shots.

“I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake'," he said.

“I guess other people have used it, perhaps, over the years, but I’ve never noticed it."

Mr Trump was being interviewed by Governor Mike Huckabee, the father of his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and vocal supporter of the Trump administration.
October 8, 2017

Free Parking If you want to live like a Republican, Vote Democratic Harry S. Truman

“If you want to live like a Republican, Vote Democratic” Harry S. Truman

Well, my dear fellow Arkansans, I hope that love of Trump and Republicons will fill your bellies. The Republicons in the House (including our very own Steve Womack,) have put forth their $4.3Trillion Dollar budget and it guts every social safety net. SNAP and other programs designed to keep people from starving and freezing to death are being cut by $150Billion. So, pull in those belt buckles, you and the family are going to lose a bit of weight.

I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that your President has been golfing over 63 times in the past 9 months to the tune of $72Million tax dollars. He needs to relax, you know. It’s hard work tweeting insults to world leaders and black athletes while trying to start a war somewhere; North Korea or Iran are on the top of his list, but I think that any war will do.

But I digress. Back to our little lives and how we will all be impacted by the greed, arrogance and meanness of our leader and his cohorts; elected overwhelmingly by my fellow Arkansans. We have given the keys of the kingdom to Donald Trump and the rest of the Republicons. They have control of the Treasury and they sure are acting like it.

By several accounts, in only a few months, Trump’s cabinet has spent over $5Million dollars on themselves and their travel and all that entails: hotels, meals, entertainment; all at our expense. So put on a sweater, it’s going to be a hard winter.

Of course, while they are spending all our money, they are making sure that they stay in power. Voter suppression and district gerrymandering will ensure only Republicon votes will count. But then, many will be happy to see that Democrats lost another battle in Congress trying to save these programs; because after all, the only thing that matters is the win.

The tragedy is that if they win, we all lose.


October 8, 2017

Melania Is Exploiting Puerto Rico For Money Just Like Donald Exploited The NFL Controversy


his vampiric clan of Trump seems dedicated to the proposition that “the family that preys together stays together,” and prey they do — on us. Rachel Maddow effectively demystified Donald Trump’s NFL tweetfest by revealing on “The Tonight Show” a few days ago that Trump had a fundraising campaign through his PAC asking for donations if you agreed with his NFL stance, i.e., if the emotional trigger of listening to Trump’s dog whistle of telling the black men their place was enough to make you take out your wallet and donate.

Now Melania’s doing the same thing, creating a way to make cash out of some pre-existing situation which is a news story. AOL Lifestyle is running a series of ads, disguised as news articles chronicling the fashion exploits of Hurricane Barbi. Her costume changes are all recorded and everything she wears is for sale. Now her questionable taste in wearing stilletos in a hurricane zone is one thing and that’s not the scope of this piece. The fact that what she is actually doing is modelling and selling the stilletos, and everything else, while people are dying and she’s supposedly present on the scene as an icon of mercy and hope is. She’s literally using the misery of people egregiously affected by natural disaster and her visibility as FLOTUS to sell clothes and make money. Here’s a sample:


But Melania does communicate a lot to us through clothing. Whether it was the infamous “pussy bow” blouse that she donned right after her husbands “Grab them by the pussy” comments surfaced or the [$51,000] Dolce & Gabbana jacket fiasco, her clothes speak loudly. Today, her outfit spoke above all to the baffling spectacle of her husband’s response to the horrifying damage that Puerto Rico continues to suffer.

The Trumps are insensitive and vulgar with no sense of proportion or propriety. All they care about is money. When their compatriots like Tom Price, Scott Pruitt and Steve Mnuchin are not bleeding the public coffers dry charging private jets, the Trumps are capitalizing on their visibility in order to hold fundraisers and sell merchandise. In a time of national disaster, they are nothing short of a national disgrace.
October 8, 2017

Here is an ocean of butterflies, 70 miles wide, captured on radar over Colorado


An enormous migration of painted lady butterflies was captured by a Denver weather radar. There are more images, which you can see on the Denver Star, and they are pretty extraordinary. It was so extraordinary that the first person to see the 110 kilometer (68.35 miles) spread wasn’t sure what he was looking at.

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 11: A Painted Lady butterfly rests on a flower April 11, 2005 in Oakland, California. The heavy rains that pounded California over the winter have resulted in bumper crops of both thistles and wildflowers throughout the state and are attracting millions and millions of migrating Painted Lady butterflies that lay their eggs on thistles and, as adults, avidly feed on the nectar of a wide range of wildflowers. The last similar migration was in the spring of 1992, which also followed a particularly wet winter. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) The painted lady butterfly

Paul Schlatter of the National Weather Service said he first thought flocks of birds were making the pattern he saw on the radar Tuesday, but the cloud was headed northwest with the wind, and migrating birds would be southbound in October.

He asked birdwatchers on social media what it might be, and by Wednesday had his answer: People reported seeing a loosely spaced net of painted lady butterflies drifting with the wind across the area.

Schlatter said the colours on the radar image are a result of the butterflies’ shape and direction, not their own colours.

Short article. No more at link
October 7, 2017

Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor


Most everyone knows that the islands of the South Pacific are some of the most remote and unique places on Earth, but a new study reveals just how unique they really are.

According to a report from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, researchers have found traces of a previously unknown extinct hominid species in the DNA of the Melanesians, a group living in an area northeast of Australia that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islands.

A computer analysis suggests that the unidentified ancestral hominid species found in Melanesian DNA is unlikely to be either Neanderthal or Denisovan, the two known predecessors of humankind to this point.

Archaeologists have found many Neanderthal fossils in Europe and Asia, and although the only Denisovan DNA comes from a finger bone and a couple of teeth discovered in a Siberian cave, both species are well represented in the fossil record.

But now genetic modeling of the Melanesians has revealed a third, different human ancestor that may be an extinct, distinct cousin of the Neanderthals.
September 27, 2017

Interpol approves Palestinian membership, angering Israel


PARIS (AP) — International police agency Interpol voted Wednesday to include Palestine as a member state, in a new boost to Palestinian efforts for international recognition and influence amid long-stalled negotiations with Israel for full statehood.

The decision drew an angry Israeli reaction and threat of retaliation. It also raised concerns that the Palestinians might use their elevated status to seek the arrests of Israelis, though Palestinian officials said there were no immediate plans to do so.

Interpol announced the inclusion of the "State of Palestine" as well as the Solomon Islands on Twitter and its website Wednesday after a vote by its general assembly in Beijing.

With the new votes, Interpol will have 192 member countries. Interpol didn't immediately announce how many members supported Palestinian membership.

Over Israeli objections, the U.N. General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012. Since then, the Palestinians have sought to join various U.N. and international bodies to buttress their dream of gaining independence. Israel has condemned the campaign as an attempt to bypass negotiations.

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