Tuna Crabs Invade San Diego Beaches by the Thousands By ABBY BENN4 hours agoTuna Crabs Invade San Diego Beaches by the Thousands (ABC News)Thousands of tuna crabs have invaded the beaches of San Diego Bay.The thumb-sized crustaceans started washing ashore further up the California coast earlier this year, but turned up this week in San Diego in unusually larger numbers, officials said.They’ve washed ashore periodically over the years because of any number of natural effects, but research scientist Michael Shane of the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego cited El Nino as the phenomenon that might have pushed the crabs up from their normal habitat far offshore.The result is certain death and nothing can be done to save the crabs.“The crabs start to die because the local waters are much cooler,” Shane told ABC News today. “Local animals have begun to eat the crabs and they have been found in the gut contents of sea lions, fish, and birds.”The remaining carcasses will remain on the shore until they decompose or are swept back into the water.
Palau burns Vietnamese boats caught fishing illegallyBy | Associated Press – 13 hours agoColumns of black smoke rise from four Vietnamese boats in the waters off Palau Friday, …Columns of black smoke rise from two Vietnamese boats in the waters off Palau Friday, …Columns of black smoke rise from Vietnamese boats in the waters off Palau Friday, …In this photo taken Wednesday, June 10, 2015 and released by the Government of the …In this photo taken Wednesday, June 10, 2015 and released by the Government of the …FILE – In this June 13, 2009 file photo, children play at a resort beach in Ngerkebesang, …FILE – In this June 20, 2009 file photo, the Palau Capital building is seen in Melekeok, …In this photo taken Wednesday, June 10, 2015 and released by the Government of the …In this photo taken Wednesday, June 10, 2015 and released by the Government of the …In this photo taken Wednesday, June 10, 2015 and released by the Government of the …In this photo taken Wednesday, June 10, 2015 and released by the Government of the …In this photo taken on Nov. 7, 2014 and released by the Government of the Republic …FILE – In this June 15, 2009 file photo, cars drive down the main street in Koror, …TOKYO (AP) — The tiny Pacific nation of Palau, fighting a rising tide of illegal fishing in its waters, has set fire to four boats belonging to Vietnamese caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in its waters.Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr., said the boats were burned Friday morning. He hopes to turn most of the island nation’s territorial waters into a national marine sanctuary, banning commercial fishing and exports apart from limited areas to be used by domestic fishermen and tourists.”We wanted to send a very strong message. We will not tolerate any more these pirates who come and steal our resources,” Remengesau said in a phone interview with The Associated Press from Washington, D.C., where he was visiting.The country created the world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009, but until recently had only one patrol boat to help protect its great hammerheads, leopard sharks and more than 130 other species of shark and rays fighting extinction.The four boats destroyed Friday were among 15 Palau authorities have caught fishing illegally in their waters since last year with loads of sharks and shark fins, lobsters, sea cucumbers and reef fish. Several of the boats that it seized, stripped of their fishing gear, are due to carry 77 crew members of the boats back to Vietnam.Remengesau said that the stream of poachers showed that just stripping the rogue boats of their nets and confiscating their catches was not enough”I think it’s necessary to burn the boats,” he said.Palau, about 600 miles (970 kilometers) miles east of the Philippines, is one of the world’s smallest countries, its 20,000 people scattered across a tropical archipelago of 250 islands that is considered a biodiversity hotspot. In 2012, its Rock Islands Southern Lagoon was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.Driven by rising demand from China and elsewhere in Asia, overfishing threatens many species of fish. With 621,600 square kilometers (240,000 square miles) of territorial waters, including its exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, extending 200 miles (320 kilometers) from its coastline, Palau is battling to prevent poaching of its sea life by fishermen from across southeast Asia.Despite progress in tracing sources of fish sold to consumers, about a fifth of the global market for marine products caught and sold, or about $23.5 billion, is caught illegally.Advances in telecommunications and vessel tracking technology have improved surveillance, but enforcing restrictions on unauthorized fishing is costly and difficult, especially given the many „pockets” of high seas in the area.”There’s a lot of opportunity for illegal fishing and other transnational crime. It’s a challenge,” said Seth Horstmeyer, campaigns director for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Global Ocean Legacy program. High seas pockets, beyond the jurisdiction of any government, account for nearly two-thirds of all ocean areas.From Palau to Japan is a vast expanse of seas that nobody controls and nobody owns, areas that serve as refuges for illegal fishing vessels.The Vietnamese fishermen tend to prowl shallows seas and reefs in search of sea cucumbers and reef fish and then flee back into those deeper waters to evade capture, Horstmeyer said.One way to counter that tactic is to create a „geofence” using vessel identification systems that could trigger alerts when vessels cross into national waters.Nearby Indonesia also is taking harsher action, recently blowing up and sinking 41 foreign fishing vessels from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, as a warning against poaching in the country’s waters.In Hanoi, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh recently told reporters the government was seeking to protect the rights of the fishermen. He urged other governments to „render humanitarian treatment toward the Vietnamese fishing trawlers and fishermen on the basis of international law as well as humanitarian treatment toward fishermen who were in trouble at sea.”While burning and sinking such ships seems drastic, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has backed such moves, ruling that countries can be held liable for not taking necessary measures to prevent illegal, unreported or unregulated, so-called IUU, fishing operations by their vessels in the waters of other countries.In a report on IUU fishing last year, the Indonesia government outlined a slew of tactics used by poachers, including fake use of Indonesian flags on foreign vessels, forgery of documents and use of bogus fishing vessels using duplicate names and registration numbers of legitimate ships.Poachers „go where the risk of being discovered is lowest, said Johanne Fischer, New Zealand-based executive secretary at the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization, which works on conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources in the South Pacific Ocean.”Part of the problem is the mafia type of the thinking of the industry of just trying to make money. It’s human nature, whenever you have possibility to make money with illegal activities. It’s the same in the ocean.”As Palau’s plan for a national marine sanctuary moves through its legislature, other Pacific countries and territories are taking similar measures.Britain is preparing to make the Pitcairn Islands, home to descendants of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty, the world’s largest continuous marine reserve at 834,000 square kilometers (322,000 square miles).Last year, the U.S. government announced it was expanding protected areas in three areas — Johnston Atoll, Wake Atoll, and Jarvis Island —of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to encompass about 1.05 million square kilometers (405,000 square miles) of non-contiguous sanctuaries.As it gears up for stricter enforcement, Palau is consulting with Pew, Japan’s Sasakawa Peace Foundation and some foreign navies on ways to better police its waters using land-based radar, aerial surveillance and satellite identification systems.
Tropical Update: Carlos the Third Eastern Pacific Named Storm; Gulf Moist Fetch By Stu Ostro, Michael Lowry, Dr. Greg Postel, Dr. Matt Sitkowski Published Jun 12 2015 09:37 PM EDT weather.comTropical Storm Carlos Off the Coast of Mexico Forecasted to be a Hurricane This Weekend Meteorologist Kelly Cass gives us the details about Tropical Storm Carlos. Highlights:Tropical Storm Carlos lingering off the Pacific side of Mexico, expected to parallel the coast this weekend ;Watching the Gulf of Mexico this weekend as tropical moisture ramps up;Potential for heavy rainfall across the western Gulf next week Enlarge Eastern Pacific Basin Satellite ImageEnlarge Atlantic Satellite Image TROPICAL STORM CARLOS / GULF MOISTURE & WAVES The thunderstorms became much more coalesced than Tuesday with 94E, prompting the NHC to upgrade the system to Carlos Thursday. (MORE: Carlos Forecast)A pretty brisk flow aloft is keeping its development in check despite very warm ocean waters sitting beneath. That said, the storm’s circulation remains only about 150 miles south of Acapulco so its presence has already been felt on and off during the day along the Pacific side of Mexico.The atmosphere will remain in a marginally favorable state for further development and Carlos should strengthen only modestly as it parallels the coast this weekend. High pressure steering is expected to keep the center offshore into early next week before Carlos begins to lift northward toward (once again) the Baja peninsula. Water temperatures will be noticeably cooler by then and Carlos should be a weaker system once it reaches northwestern Mexico by the middle of next week.The main impacts across Mexico will be heavy rainfall, especially along the coast from just east of Acapulco westward to Zihuatanejo.The National Hurricane Center for the first time since the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is highlighting an area to watch on the Atlantic side, near the Bay of Campeche into the western Gulf of Mexico.The 5-day outlook is telling us that a disturbance moving from the western Caribbean has a low (10%) chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm once it enters the Gulf of Mexico later this weekend. The combination of this disturbed weather and a broad low pressure area now over the central Gulf will produce an increasingly soupy atmosphere over the western Gulf by early next week. Although a few of our computer models are showing some weak tropical development, the atmosphere remains in a largely unfavorable state so odds are low with this one.Regardless of organized tropical development, there exists the potential for a heavy rainfall event in the western Gulf come mid next week. Even with that, there’s a lot of uncertainty in exactly how much of this juicy tropical air will be squeezed out over land. Below are sea level pressure and rainfall forecasts from the American GFS and European weather models for next Wednesday, highlighting the differences.With such a high degree of uncertainty, residents along the Texas coast eastward to south Louisiana will want to follow this system closely into next week.Enlarge Western Pacific Basin Satellite Image WESTERN PACIFIC BASIN Western Pacific tropical cyclones, known as „typhoons” when reaching hurricane-equivalent status, can form any time of year, even in the heart of the northern hemisphere’s winter. Super typhoons are cyclones that reach maximum sustained winds of 130 knots (150 mph) or greater.Owing partially to this year-round calendar of potential development, roughly one-third of all the Earth’s tropical cyclones form in the western Pacific Basin. On average, 25 tropical cyclones form each year in the western Pacific Basin, with 15-16 of those strengthening to Category 1 equivalent typhoons.Four different typhoons – Halong, Vongfong, Nuri and Hagupit – reached Category 5 equivalent status in 2014. Then, Super Typhoon Maysak ransacked Ulithi Atoll in Micronesia, before weakening as it headed into the northern Philippines.(MORE: Super Typhoon Maysak’s Images)REAL-TIME UPDATESOur live wall below has the latest updates from our hurricane experts and from coastal National Weather Service offices. No need to refresh, the latest updates will appear at the top of the wall. Time stamps on each post are in Eastern U.S. time.(MORE: Glossary of Tropical Terms | New NHC Storm Surge Maps)
What’s ahead for Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant By MARI YAMAGUCHI16 hours ago TOKYO (AP) — Four years after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, the road ahead remains riddled with unknowns.The government approved a revised 30-to-40-year roadmap Friday that delays by three years the start of a key initial step — the removal of still-radioactive fuel rods in the three reactors that had meltdowns following the March 2011 disaster in northeast Japan.Experts have yet to pinpoint the exact location of the melted fuel inside the three reactors and study it, and still need to develop robots capable of working safely in such highly radioactive conditions. And then there’s the question of what to do with the waste.Some of the uncertainties and questions:__THE FUEL RODS: Kept cool in storage pools on the top floor of each of the three reactors, they need to be removed to free up space for robots and other equipment to go down to the containment chambers. The 1,573 bundles of fuel rods — mostly used but some new — are considered among the highest risks at the plant, because they are uncovered within the reactor building. To remove them, the building roofs must be taken off and replaced with a cover that prevents radioactive dust from flying out. Each building is damaged differently and requires its own cover design and equipment. The government and plant operator TEPCO hope to start the process in 2018, three years later than planned.FILE – This Nov. 12, 2014 file photo shows water tanks that store contaminated water at the Fukushim …___THE MELTED FUEL: Once the spent fuel rods are out of the way, workers can turn their attention to what is expected to be the hardest part of the decommissioning: Removing the melted fuel from the three wrecked reactors. The biggest questions are where the melted fuel is and in what condition. Radiation levels are too high for humans to approach. Based on computer simulations and a few remote-controlled probes, experts believe the melted fuel has breached the cores and fallen to the bottom of the containment chambers, some possibly seeping into the concrete foundation.A plan to repair the containment chambers and fill them with water so that the melted fuel can be handled while being kept cool may be unworkable, and experts are studying alternatives. How to reach the debris — from the top or from the side — is another question. A vertical approach would require robots and equipment that can dangle as low as 30 meters (90 feet) to reach the bottom. Experts are also trying to figure out how to obtain debris samples to help develop radiation-resistant robots and other equipment that can handle the molten fuel.___CONTAMINATED WATER: The plant is still plagued with massive amounts of contaminated water — cooling water that must be added regularly, and subsequently leaks out of the reactors and mixes with groundwater that seeps into the reactor basements. The volume of water grows by 300 tons daily. TEPCO runs it through treatment machines to remove most radioactive elements, and then stores it in thousands of tanks on the compound. Water leaks pose environmental concerns and health risks to workers. Nuclear experts say controlled release of the treated water into the ocean would be the ultimate solution.___RADIOACTIVE WASTE: Japan currently has no plan for the waste that comes out of the plant. Under the roadmap, the government and TEPCO are supposed to compile a basic plan by March 2018. Waste management is an extremely difficult task that requires developing technology to compact and reduce the toxicity of the waste, while finding a waste storage site is practically impossible considering public sentiment. This raises serious doubts about whether the cleanup can be completed within 40 years.
Wildfire in drought-parched Northern California threatens small town By Alex Dobuzinskis7 hours ago By Alex Dobuzinskis (Reuters) – An out-of-control wildfire raging through a Northern California forest as the state battles a devastating drought has forced authorities to warn about 250 people to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes in a remote town, officials said on Friday.The fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest follows an outbreak of lightning-sparked blazes in neighboring Oregon that prompted authorities to warn residents that drought and low mountain snowpack could lead to a destructive fire season.California’s so-called Saddle Fire has charred at least 880 acres (360 hectares) since a lightning strike sparked it on Tuesday, officials said.The flames are tearing through forest land, much of it in areas scorched by a 2004 blaze that has left dead and downed trees on the ground which could provide ample fuel for the latest wildfire, said Shasta-Trinity National Forest spokeswoman Andrea Capps.Also the area has many damaged trees with limbs at risk of falling, Capps said. Firefighters have not managed to build any solid containment lines against the wildfire.”It makes it a really dangerous situation for our firefighters out in the field,” she said.Authorities placed a handful of residents on the outskirts of Hyampom, a town about 200 miles (320 km) north of San Francisco, under mandatory evacuation orders on Wednesday and told the rest of the town of about 250 people to prepare to leave if flames get near, said Trinity County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Lynn Ward. Those orders remain in place.One front of the fire is just a couple miles north of the town, and if it advances to the southeast the blaze could destroy homes, Capps said. So far, the blaze has not destroyed any structures.Nearly 200 firefighters are battling the fire, setting backfires to clear trees that could be consumed by the blaze and dropping flame retardant by helicopter, she said.The wildfire is the first major Northern California blaze in an annual fire season that normally runs from June to September in that region, Capps said. It also is the nation’s highest-priority wildfire, she said.Since it began, the fire has advanced in the late afternoon hours when winds and heat increase and moisture levels drop, Capps said.”We have lots of resources out there, we’re feeling good about the people we have on the ground, we feel hopeful about being able to catch this in the next few days,” she said.(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)
Europe’s internal frontier: Albania has long been a mystery to the West By 6/11/15 at 3:19 PMAn Albanian fisherman rows his boat in Shiroke lake, near the city of Shkoder, some 110 km (69 miles) north of the capital Tirana, December 18, 2011Arben Celi/REUTERS FILED UNDER: CultureI always thought the extremely ancient, shaggy, white-haired character in the long-running TV series The Wombles was misnamed: he should have been Great-Uncle Albania, not Great-Uncle Bulgaria. Bulgaria, after all, is relatively staid; it is even a member of the EU.Albania is the truly wild and woolly European nation: Edward Gibbon called it „a country within sight of Italy less known than the interior of America”. Completely closed for decades during the paranoid dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, Albania has been opening up for a while, but still seems to receive less attention than it deserves.A couple of stylish gestures have recently made the news: four Albanian religious leaders, Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Bektashi, marched hand in hand in Paris on 11 January in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre; at the same march their prime minister Edi Rama sported a tricolour of blue, white and red pencils in his breast pocket, defending both freedom of speech (he is a writer) and supporting the wounded Republic.Try Newsweek: subscription offersI must admit that my interest in the Albanian-British Festival of Culture in London and Anglo-Albanian relations more generally, has personal or familial roots: my great-grandfather was the first British ambassador to Albania in the 1920s and maintained close ties with the country until his death in 1944.He was not the only Englishman of his generation, and earlier ones, to have a strong and, perhaps, rather romantic interest in a country stuck in a mysterious warp of time, space, culture and religion.The poet and artist Edward Lear spent several months visiting Albania and Macedonia in 1848 and published a beautiful and fascinating illustrated travel-diary, Journals of a Landscape Painter in the Balkans, in 1851. Lear and his work are celebrated in an exhibition at Europe House of paintings by the Albanian artist Bashkim Izano, inspired by Lear, which is the centrepiece of the Festival.Izano’s „Dawn” captures Albanian folklore and natureAtsje Bosma A certain romanticism informs the work of both painters but Izano’s is the more fantastical and surreal. In fact Izano’s large and quite gaudy oil paintings appear more influenced by Lear’s nonsense verse, and the accounts of his adventures in the Journals, than by his relatively conventional if exquisite landscapes.Dervishes in tall hats dance or wrestle in mid-air, suspended above phantasmagorical landscapes that recall El Greco’s view of Toledo. Folklore is alluded to then subverted, especially in the painting in which a group of young girls divest themselves of heavy traditional garb.Lear does mention „some few … very pretty” girls but the stronger connection is the dervishes: one night in a „pig-sty dormitory” Lear was kept awake by „a whirring, humming sound, followed by strange whizzings and mumblings”. These turned out to emanate from a dervish gyrating on the floor above.Lear’s affection for and fascination with Albania shine through the pages of his Journals. He loved the magnificent landscape, flora and fauna, and seems to have inspired affection and amusement among the people he met: his imitations of a train and steamboat reduce a young Turkish nobleman to helpless giggles. Izano returns the compliment, portraying Lear as a kind of English dervish, a tender hierophant of imaginary worlds.Influenced by surrealism and the work of Chagall, Izano’s homage to Lear is free of the restrictions or prudery of Victorian England. Eroticism is more frank and does not have to be expressed obliquely, through the poignant impossibilities of the owl and the pussycat or the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo. But if Izano has freed up Lear’s sexuality, Lear may have liberated Izano’s imagination.The most distinguished contemporary manifestation of Anglo-Albanian relations is the work of the historian and polymath Sir Noel Malcolm. Malcolm’s interest in Albanian culture and history was intensified by the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia. He foresaw the attempted ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and dispelled bogus historical claims in Kosovo: A Short History.His achievement in his latest book Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World is to show how a distinctively Albanian strand is woven into the history of relations between Western European powers and the Ottoman empire; or to put it in his words, to see how „Albanians crop up everywhere”. The result is as fantastical as anything dreamt up by Lear or Izano.
Estonian construction workers dig up medieval ships 19 hours agoThe remains of a medieval ship uncovered by construction workers building a new residential area in Tallinn, Estonia on June 11, 2015 (AFP Photo/Raigo Pajula)Tallinn (AFP) – The capital of Estonia is perhaps not the place where one would expect to find the remains of medieval ships, but that is exactly what happened to a group of construction workers in Tallinn this week.While working on the foundations for high-end apartments in a seaside area of the Baltic state’s capital, the men noticed something strange in the ground: the remains of at least two ships thought to be from the 14th-17th centuries.”We were digging the ground, when we found some massive wooden pieces, and we decided this might be something interesting,” said Ain Kivisaar, spokesman for property developer Metro Capital.They informed the heritage protection authorities, whose role over the coming weeks will be to recover the ships and find out their provenance.”Today we know there are two wrecks, and there may be another, but we don’t know, we need to continue digging,” said Maili Roio of the National Heritage Board.Archaeologist Priit Lahi said the find was important for shedding light on shipbuilding from previous centuries.”At the time, shipbuilders used their own methods — it wasn’t very scientific. There weren’t project drawings like we have today,” he told AFP.The discovery follows the unearthing of Viking-era ships on Estonia’s largest island, Saaremaa, in 2009.
Native American tribes start yearly harvest of eel-like fish By GOSIA WOZNIACKA4 hours ago OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — They dove into the cold waters, emerging with writhing, eel-like fish in hand and thrusting them into nets.Thus began Northwest Native American tribes’ annual lamprey harvest at a rushing, 40-foot waterfall about 15 miles south of Portland.The jawless, gray fish are a traditional food source for tribal members in the Columbia River Basin, which stretches from the Oregon coast to Canada and into Idaho, Montana and Washington. Lampreys grow to about 2 feet long and are prized for their rich, fatty meat.On Friday, adults, teens and children from the Umatilla and Warm Springs reservations in Oregon and the Yakama reservation in Washington crawled over slippery rocks and waded through icy pools to reach the lampreys’ hiding spots. The fish latch onto rocks in Willamette Falls with their round, toothy mouths.”Our people have always come here, generation after generation,” said Bobby Begay, a Warm Springs tribal member who drove more than a 100 miles to the falls from his village of Celilo.Begay, 46, has attended the harvest for more than 40 years. He is teaching his children and nephews how to navigate the rocks and where to find the biggest catch.Native Americans catch lamprey, eel-like fish, at Willamette Falls, a 40-foot waterfall south of Por …”The same fishing holes my grandfather showed me, his father and grandfather showed him, and I showed my kids,” he said.Lampreys taste best when roasted over an open fire, Begay said. They also can be dried or frozen for later use. The fish harvested this month will be distributed to tribal elders and used for ceremonial purposes, he said.In previous generations, lampreys were abundant up and down the Columbia River and its tributaries. Biologists have estimated at least a million once were crossing Bonneville Dam on the Columbia east of Portland.But their numbers have dwindled over the past 30 years because of the dams and toxins such as pesticides. About 20,000 remain, said Brian McIlraith with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.Willamette Falls is the last place where the fish can be caught by the hundreds.Tribes have been instrumental in advocating for lamprey restoration, and the government has started paying attention. That’s because lampreys also offer an alternate food source for sea lions and other predators that otherwise would be munching on threatened salmon.Tribes have received funding and run research and recovery projects. They truck lampreys past dams and have pushed for construction of ramps to help the fish navigate the structures.They’re also looking at breeding lampreys in a hatchery, but that’s not the preferred method, said tribal elder Donnie Winishut Sr., who observed the harvest to assure safety.”We would rather see them grow in a natural way,” Winishut said. „It’s good to see the young people coming to the falls and learning our tradition, and I hope they can continue coming here to catch the fish.”
Educated Ukrainians flee east Ukraine for new lives in Kiev By NATALIYA VASILYEVAJune 11, 2015 4:32 AM KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Alesya Bolot worked for a contemporary arts foundation that converted an abandoned factory into a mecca for young and bright people with daring ideas. Vibrant and cosmopolitan, the 27-year-old would not look out of place in a gallery in New York.Related Stories
She was at the forefront of the avant-garde arts scene in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk when a pro-Russian insurgency took over and upended her life. When a rebel-controlled local television station portrayed creative people like her as the enemy, she decided it was time to flee.”Everything we did ran counter to their ideology,” she says, „the fact that we worked with foreign artists, the fact that we advocated for a plurality of opinions.”Bolot arrived in the capital Kiev a year ago with only a backpack, not planning a long-term stay. But she decided to remain after she was told she was on the wanted list of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic, for alleged subversive activity. A year on, the Izolyatsia contemporary arts center runs a much smaller gallery in Kiev.More than 2.2 million people have fled their homes in eastern Ukraine since the war between government forces and Russia-backed separatists began in April last year, according to the United Nations, some to neighboring Russia, but about 1.3 million to Ukrainian regions under government control.Educated, middle-class people like Bolot, whose arts center was turned into a rebel training camp and prison, represent a big chunk of those who opt for Ukraine-controlled areas, especially the capital — a serious brain drain for Ukraine’s east. There are so many of them in Kiev, the displaced say, that it often feels like their city has moved with them.In this May 13, 2015, photo, Vladimir Voronov speaks during an interview in Kiev, Ukraine. According …According to the U.N., a total of 94,000 people from eastern Ukraine are now living in Kiev and its suburbs. More than 8,000 are subscribed to a „Donetsk people in Kiev” group on Facebook, set up by Vladimir Voronov, a 36-year old who created the brand for the glittering new Donetsk airport, which was transformed into an apocalyptic wasteland by months of heavy fighting there.For people who have left their careers, homes and often extended families behind, community outreach is vital for survival, Voronov says. Along with the war trauma, he explains, people from the east have to struggle with the dire financial realities of a recession, with the government offering a paltry 400 hryvnias ($20) a month in benefits.”Because of the need to survive many people here have discovered new resources in them,” Voronov says. „It’s a seasoned community that has nothing to lose, has nowhere to go back to, all bridges burnt.”Voronov’s friend and business partner, Andrei Budyak, runs the informal Donetsk community in Kiev. He says the community is helping newcomers to integrate, offering legal advice as well as a chance to simply „meet and chat, to have a good time to reminisce about the good old days.” The community trades advice, organizes picnics and offers free classes for children.The displaced long to return home but are afraid that the war has changed their homeland beyond recognition. Some feel betrayed by those who stayed, regarding them as supporting the separatists. Bolot says she is certain that many people who stayed in Donetsk do not share the separatists’ views — but still finds reconciliation difficult.In this Thursday, May 14, 2015, photo, Victoria Sosnina poses for a photo, during an interview in Ki …”I don’t know how you can live and work alongside people who have supported what is going on there,” she said.The population of Donetsk, the rebel region’s largest city, is believed to have shrunk by a third from its pre-war 1 million. A city that hosted the Euro 2012 football matches, with glittering store fronts and a vibrant restaurant scene, Donetsk is now eerily empty during what could be the rush hour, as if it’s always a lazy Sunday morning.The exodus has drained the region of countless professionals. Viktoria Sosnina, a gynecologist from Donetsk who fled to Kiev, says roughly half the doctors at her once-prestigious hospital have left. And so have many patients.But Sosnina also defends those who choose to remain at home. She says a professor at her hospital in Donetsk stayed „because the hospital is his child. It doesn’t mean he betrayed someone, like a child he cannot abandon it.”The Ukrainian government never organized a proper evacuation from rebel-held areas, but it has taken pride in „evacuating” major universities — opening new campuses in Ukraine-controlled areas and inviting students and faculty. Many stayed behind, however. The Donetsk rebels say 17 universities with 38,000 students operate on the territory they control; schools are open too.The Donetsk National University literally split in two when it was ordered to move to the city of Vinnytsia and some professors and students chose to stay put. The university staff who moved issued a statement last year accusing those who stayed of „taking part in terrorist activities.”Most of those who have fled war-torn areas still have friends and relatives on the other side of the front lines, and are baffled by such claims.Konstantin Reutsky, a human rights activist from the rebel-controlled city of Luhansk who now lives in Kiev, says many of those who fled the heavy fighting last summer are coming back to their hometowns, some driven by the hostility they often face as refugees „who came to take our jobs,” some by the failure to build a life from scratch. But most of these people, according to Reutsky, leave again „when they begin to see the lack of prospects” in the rebel-controlled zone, a weapon-choked land in limbo.Still, many of the displaced believe in an eventual revival in the east.”Reconciliation is possible,” says Sosnina. „But only when the fighting stops and people can talk freely without weaponry around them and without the poisonous rhetoric from both sides.”She says she is still in touch with her former colleagues in Donetsk: „When we talk, we try not to talk about politics.”
Russia threatens ‘consequences’ if US deploys missiles in Europe June 11, 2015 9:14 AMSoviet leader Mikhail Gorbatchev (L) and US President Ronald Reagan sign a treaty eliminating US and Soviet intermediate-range and shorter-range nuke missiles in 1987 (AFP Photo/) Moscow (AFP) – Russia on Thursday warned the United States of consequences if it moves to deploy land-based missiles in Europe in contravention of a key Cold-War era arms control treaty.”It is clear that such actions would mean complete destruction by the American side of the regime of the treaty with all its attendant consequences,” the Russian foreign ministry said, referring to the 1987 INF treaty on intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.”We urge the United States to ensure the full implementation of the INF, (and) not to threaten the feasibility of this document,” the ministry said in a statement.The two countries have accused each other of violating the treaty signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.US defence officials said last week Washington is considering a range of moves to counter Russia’s alleged violation of the treaty, including bolstering missile defences or deploying land-based missiles in Europe.The INF agreement eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate range of 500-5,500 kilometres (300-3,400 miles). The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals.A US State Department report last week said Russia in 2014 „continued to be in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 kilometres to 5,500 kilometres, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”The Russian foreign ministry said that statement was not „consistent with reality”, challenging the United States to provide firm evidence.Moscow for its part took issue with Washington’s plans to deploy in Poland and Romania systems capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles.”Such deployment would directly contravene the INF treaty,” the foreign ministry said.Ties between Russia and the United States sank to their post-Cold War lows after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year and supported Russian-speaking rebels fighting Kiev government forces.
WHO: South Korea’s MERS outbreak large and complexAl Jazeera – 47 minutes agoWHO: South Korea’s MERS outbreak large and complex A World Health Organization (WHO) team of experts has said that South Korea’s outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS is „large and complex” and more cases should be anticipated.The WHO has conducted a joint review with South Korean officials and experts of the country’s response to the MERS outbreak which has infected 138 people and killed 14 of them since the first case was diagnosed on May 20.South Korea’s Health Ministry confirmed on Saturday the 14th death from the outbreak, with 12 new cases including that of an ambulance driver who moved a patient infected with the deadly virus.The latest fatality was a 68-year-old woman who contracted the virus at a hospital in Pyeongtaek City, 65km south of Seoul, the ministry said.It said all the 14 deceased had pre-existing health conditions, with the most recent fatality suffering from hypertension and hypothyroidism.Twelve new infected patients brought to 138 the total number of confirmed cases, in the largest outbreak of the virus outside Saudi Arabia.The new cases included an ambulance driver who fell ill after transporting a 75-year-old infected woman to Samsung Medical Centre in southern Seoul on June 7, where she died three days later.Out of 133 people whose contacts have been traced, the largest single group of 60 people have contracted the disease at Samsung Medical Centre, one of the largest hospitals in Seoul.The first infected patient in South Korea was diagnosed on May 20 after a trip to Saudi Arabia.The 68-year-old man visited four medical facilities, infecting other patients and medics, before he was finally diagnosed.
South Korea reports 14th MERS death, 12 new casesBy AFP | AFP – 3 hours agoAFP/AFP/File – A couple shelter beneath an umbrella on a hilltop overlooking skyline of northern Seoul, on June 11, 2015South Korean health officials fumigate a theater in Seoul, on June 12, 2015South Korea on Saturday reported the 14th death from an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), with 12 new cases including that of an ambulance driver who moved a patient infected with the deadly virus.The latest fatality was a 68-year-old woman who contracted the virus at a hospital in Pyeongtaek City, 65 kilometres (40 miles) south of Seoul, the Health Ministry said.It said all the 14 deceased had pre-existing health conditions, with the most recent fatality suffering from hypertension and hypothyroidism.Twelve new infected patients brought to 138 the total number of confirmed cases, in the largest outbreak of the virus outside Saudi Arabia.The new cases included an ambulance driver who fell ill after transporting a 75-year-old infected woman to Samsung Medical Centre in southern Seoul on June 7, where she died three days later.Out of 133 people whose contacts have been traced, the largest single group of 60 people have contracted the disease at Samsung Medical Centre, one of the largest hospitals in Seoul.Five other cases are being investigated to find out how and where the patients were infected.The first infected patient in South Korea was diagnosed on May 20 after a trip to Saudi Arabia.The 68-year-old man visited four medical facilities, infecting other patients and medics, before he was finally diagnosed.