Tuesday, August 8, 2017

European Heat Wave

Just broke:

"Heat wave stifles Southern Europe" by Jovana Gec Associated Press  August 05, 2017

BELGRADE — A relentless heat wave that gripped parts of Europe last week and sent temperatures soaring to record highs showed no signs of abating Saturday.

The severe heat in Serbia, Romania, Croatia, and parts of Spain, France, and Italy has caused at least two deaths, fueled dozens of wildfires, damaged crops, and strained water and power supplies.

Although southern Europe is used to scorching summers, meteorologists said heat waves of this intensity are rare. Officials have not said whether the heat wave in southern Europe reflects global warming. 

Been a mild around here, and at certain point the narrative no longer fits.

The White House formally notified the United Nations on Friday that it intends to abandon the Paris agreement on climate change but remains open to “reengaging” on the accord. 

Yeah, so he isn't really out, just signaled an intention to be out, hasn't started the wheels in motion, or if he has the treaty was written in such a complicated fashion as it takes years to get out and can outlast a president.

The United States will participate in UN climate negotiations later this year despite its planned withdrawal, according to the administration’s statement of intent.

The letter has no legal weight and does not set in motion the United States’ departure from the pact of nearly 200 nations to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Rather, it is a political document that affirms President Trump’s declaration in June that the Paris agreement is a bad deal for the United States. 

I call that fooleys.

In Romania, train tracks buckled in the heat.

Has that happened before? Really? I suppose steel skyscrapers can drop.... never mind.

Maybe it was cheap steel?

The high temperatures came as a shock to Australian Mira Balic, who was visiting Serbia at a time when it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Belgrade was among the hottest cities in Europe on Saturday and hotter than Egypt’s capital, Cairo — which is normally far hotter than central Europe.

At the Budapest Zoo, Beliy and Seriy, a pair of 2-year-old polar bear cubs, were given huge chunks of ice and freezing-cold watermelons to help them withstand the weather conditions.

Some 15 wildfires had been reported in Albania, and dozens of others throughout the region. Hot and dry weather scorched crops amid fears of water shortages in Italy and Serbia as authorities appealed for care in consumption.

In the Alpine nation of Slovenia, authorities reported earlier this week the first-ever ‘‘tropical night’’ at 4,900 feet in the mountains, meaning temperatures were higher than 68 during the night.

In Croatia, health authorities reported a surge in emergency calls over the past week. They appealed to the thousands of tourists vacationing along the country’s Adriatic coast to be careful on the beaches and while traveling.

Greece is going through its second major heat wave of the year. Temperatures were forecast to reach 108 degrees in parts of mainland Greece over the weekend.....


That is where we will start then:



"Fire burns unchecked on Greek island of Kythira" Associated Press  August 06, 2017

SKOPJE, Macedonia — A wildfire that has blazed on the southern Greek island of Kythira since Friday morning continued to burn unchecked Sunday, officials said. 

I hate to be the one to bring this up but.... 

Firefighters in Sicily accused of starting blazes for cash 

Try too think of it as a labor move towards job security.

So far, no homes have been damaged, but Kythira’s mayor, Efstratios Harhalakis, said the fire has consumed at least 3,750 acres of forest and farmland. Four villages and a monastery were evacuated Sunday and a fifth village remained evacuated for a second day.

An intense heat wave has affected parts of Europe for the last week, sending temperatures soaring to record highs, causing at least two deaths and prompting authorities to issue severe weather warnings.

The extreme heat in the Balkans and and parts of Spain, France, and Italy has fueled wildfires, damaged crops, and strained energy and water supplies.

As of early Sunday evening, more than 40 wildfires had broken out across Greece during the previous 36 hours. Only one remained uncontained.

Macedonia, which borders Greece, declared a state of emergency in its southwestern mountainous region because of wildfire fears.

Well, maybe there should be. Fire is nothing to play with.


As if Greece didn't have enough problems:

Quake jolts Greek, Turkish resorts, kills 2, hurts 500

Here is another jolt:

"The mayor of Athens says more than 60 stores have been damaged in the city’s busiest shopping area following a violent protest organized by anarchist groups. George Kaminis visited Athens’ central Ermou Street early Tuesday, and said the violent protesters were trying to bring the city’s commercial activity ‘‘to its knees.’’ Late Monday, dozens of youths carrying hammers and metal bars smashed storefronts before being dispersed by police who used tear gas. Thirteen people were detained for questioning and later released, and one other was arrested on unrelated charges. The protest was sparked after an Athens court rejected a motion to suspend a sentence for a 29-year-old teacher who was convicted of being a member of militant anarchist group."

The bankers must be treating them well these days, and that looks like a Gladio event save for one fact: my pre$$ snuck it into a talking point and never looked that way again.

"Storms, heavy winds hit Europe after intense heat wave" August 07, 2017

BELGRADE — A heavy storm with strong winds, hail, and rain hit the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe as the weather changed on Monday after a week of record-high temperatures in the region.

Temperatures dropped significantly in some areas, bringing relief after reaching more than 104 degrees last week.

Slovenia’s STA news agency reported that the storms caused havoc across the country overnight Sunday to Monday. Thousands of households were left without electricity, as the storm flooded dozens of houses, collapsed trees, and damaged cars, and crops.

On Sunday, two men were killed in separate incidents in northern Italy when strong winds toppled trees that crushed them. In another incident, a hiker slipped to her death from a muddy path. A lightning strike killed a man walking in a forest in a fourth incident Sunday.

Meanwhile, officials in neighboring Romania retrieved the bodies of two teenage boys who drowned while bathing in the Siret River to cool off during the heat wave.

In Croatia’s Istria peninsula, stormy winds late Sunday uprooted trees and damaged roofs. Temporary traffic restrictions were imposed along the Adriatic coast late Sunday and early Monday.

Greek authorities said Monday that they have contained a large wildfire that blazed through the southern island of Kythira for more than three days, devastating the landscape but causing no injuries or damage to homes.

Dozens of wildfires have erupted in Europe during an extremely hot and dry summer.


Also see:

"Eight people remained missing Saturday in a flooded diamond mine in Siberia, officials said. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said rescue workers removed most of the 151 miners who were in the pit when it flooded Friday. The mine’s owner, the state-controlled Alrosa company, said in a statement the mine flooded after water leaked into the quarry (AP)."

Oh, sorry. Russia is in Europe but Siberia is in Asia.


Greece's next door neighbor:


"Turks mark 1 year since failed coup with massive march" by Zeynep Bilginsoy and Suzan Fraser Associated Press  July 15, 2017

ISTANBUL — Turkish soldiers attempted to overthrow the government and the president using tanks, warplanes and helicopters on July 15, 2016.

The coup plotters declared their seizure of power on the state broadcaster, bombed the Parliament and other key locations, and raided an Aegean resort where Erdogan had been on vacation. But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already left and the coup attempt was put down by civilians and security forces.

The rumors are he was tipped off by the Russians.

The Bosporus Bridge, now called the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge, was the scene of clashes between civilians and soldiers in tanks. Some 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured across Turkey in the struggle. Thirty-five coup plotters were also killed.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim thanked the thousands who heeded a call by Erdogan to flood the streets to resist the coup.

‘‘We are able to come together again here today because of our 250 heroic martyrs, 2,193 heroic veterans and the great Turkish people. Your country is grateful to you,’’ Yildirim said.

In the aftermath of the coup attempt, Turkey declared a state of emergency that has been in place ever since, which has allowed the government to rule by decree and to dismiss tens of thousands of people from their jobs.

More than 50,000 people have also been arrested for alleged links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey blames for orchestrating the failed coup, and other terror groups.

Gulen has denied the allegations.

In the latest government decree published Friday evening, 7,395 more state employees were fired, including teachers, academics, military and police officers, bringing the number of dismissed to more than 110,000.

The government calls the crackdown necessary to purge state institutions of those linked to Gulen, but critics say the dismissals are arbitrary and the victims’ paths to recourse severely curtailed.

The State Department on Saturday issued a statement praising the bravery of the Turkish people who took to the streets to ‘‘preserve the rights and freedoms of their democratic society.’’

‘‘The preservation of democracy requires perseverance, tolerance, dissent, and safeguards for fundamental freedoms,’’ the agency said, warning that curbs on those key freedoms erode ‘‘the foundations of democratic society.’’

That's called damning with false praise.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid homage to those who lost lives resisting the coup and said attempts to undermine democracy in any one of the allied nations was ‘‘unacceptable.’’

July 15 has been declared a national holiday in Turkey. Public transit in Istanbul and Ankara is free over the weekend and bus destination signs displayed messages of congratulations.

As they did on the night of the 2016 coup attempt, after midnight Saturday mosques across Turkey simultaneously recited a verse to alert and invite Muslims to the streets.

As part of the commemoration, Erdogan flew to Istanbul on Saturday and was photographed waving at a fighter jet escorting his aircraft.....

Like Trump.


They said tens of thousands but "many inside and outside Turkey believe Erdogan has exploited the failed coup as a pretext to expand his power...." 

The propaganda pre$$ just tipped its hand on where independent Turkey, like 'em or not, stands.

"Turkish court orders arrest of six human rights workers on terrorism charges" by Kareem Fahim The Washington Post  July 18, 2017

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court on Tuesday ordered the formal arrest of Amnesty International’s director of operations in Turkey and five other human rights workers in a sign of what rights advocates say is the government’s growing intolerance of critical voices.

Kind of like Israel and the Gulf potentates shutting down Al-Jaazera, huh?

The Amnesty director, Idil Eser, was detained along with nine other human rights advocates this month during a raid on a hotel where the group was attending a workshop. The formal charges were not immediately available Tuesday, but Amnesty said in a statement that the rights workers had been held on the unfounded suspicion of committing crime in the name of terrorist organization without being a member.

Four members of the group were released on bail on Tuesday but remain under investigation, Amnesty said.

‘‘This is not a legitimate prosecution,’’ Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s international director, said in a statement. ‘‘This is a politically motivated persecution that charts a frightening future for rights in Turkey.’’

SeeTurkish opposition journalists accused of aiding terrorists

Human rights groups have said that the post-coup arrests and purges have swept up ordinary dissidents, critics, and innocent citizens. In a recent Amnesty report, some people dismissed from their jobs said they had fallen under scrutiny because of union activism.

As part of its campaign to protest the arrests this month, Amnesty called attention to its past advocacy on behalf of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was jailed in 1998 when he was the mayor of Istanbul, for reading a poem at a demonstration. The organization said it had written a letter to the Turkish government demanding Erdogan’s release, had declared him a prisoner of conscience, and launched a global campaign on his behalf....

Everybody switching sides all the time.


Like the former foes of WWII now being friends:

"Turkey defiant as German relations continue to slump" by Benjamin Harvey, Patrick Donahue and Selcan Hacaoglu Bloomberg News  July 20, 2017

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country wouldn’t give in to threats, as relations with its NATO ally Germany slumped to their lowest since World War II.

Cavusoglu was responding to an announcement by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel earlier Thursday of a ‘‘re-orientation’’ of German policy toward Turkey, in which he warned companies against doing business in the country and issued revised guidelines for travelers.

‘‘Germany knows very well that the Turkish people have never bent in the face of any threats or blackmail,’’ Cavusoglu said. ‘‘We will evaluate these threats made to us with the same state seriousness and we will of course respond.’’

Yeah, they were non-aligned during the Big One, you know, WWII.

The tit-for-tat escalation underscores what Turkey called a ‘‘serious crisis of confidence’’ with Germany that threatens to harm trading ties worth more than $36 billion last year. After months of discord over NATO troop visits, imprisoned journalists, and Turkish barbs peppered with Nazi references, tensions came to a head this week over the detention of a German human-rights activist.

I knew the N-word was going to come up, but that's a lot of loot left at stake for both sides.

‘‘This is the worst crisis between Turkey and Germany since World War II, when Turkey and Germany took their places on the opposite camps even though Turkey did not enter the war,’’ Huseyin Pazarci, a professor of international relations who lectures at Near East University in northern Cyprus, said by phone from Ankara. ‘‘Political and trade relations with Germany have been steadily improving since it began receiving Turkish workers in 1960s.’’

That means Turkey was officially neutral but helped block German avenues into southern Russia and in the Mediterranean. That's not something they teach you in the history books or something you see on TV.

The rapidly escalating situation affects two NATO allies that are mutually dependent. Germany is Turkey’s largest trading partner, while ethnic Turks make up Germany’s largest minority. More than 6,800 firms receiving German investment are currently operating in Turkey, according to the German-Turkish chamber of commerce.

Plus Turkey is a bottleneck for the war migrants.

At stake is also the future of a refugee deal between the European Union and Turkey. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was key in pressing for the accord with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under which Turkey keeps mainly Syrian refugees in the country in return for billions of euros in aid and progress toward EU membership.

Oh, sorry, didn't mean to interrupt (heat is off Merkel on that issue, I have read, and she is clear to win a fourth term in September. By the time she's done she will have ruled longer than that guy with the mustache).

But as Erdogan has cracked down on dissent since a failed coup last year — sacking or jailing more than 100,000 supposed followers of the cleric Turkey says organized the takeover — Germany has been a prime target of his wrath.

The Turkish leader resorted to Nazi references when attacking Germany for stopping his officials from campaigning among Germany-based Turks ahead of a critical referendum, contributing to a 25 percent decline in German visitors to Turkey so far this year.

Yeah, that's kind of a low blow now.

Turkey is blaming Germany for harboring terrorists, including members of the Gulenist movement it accuses of leading the coup as well as the autonomy-seeking Kurdish PKK, Pazarci said.

Well, given the world we live in and what W. said in the well of the Congre$$ a while back, you know.

The web version of the story kept sizzling:

‘‘Turkey is very much disappointed over the lack of cooperation from its main allies, including the US and Germany, on that front, and the more its demands are ignored, the more the Turkish government is adopting a tougher tone.’’

This week’s flare-up was prompted by Turkey’s arrest of German rights activist Peter Steudtner and five others on the grounds that they were part of a terrorist organization — an act denounced by Merkel as ‘‘absolutely unjustified.’’

Turkey’s actions show that it’s ‘‘departing from the basis of European values,’’ Gabriel told reporters in Berlin on Thursday, raising the prospect of diminishing investment and a further drop in the number of Germans traveling to Turkey. Merkel backed his position, calling it ‘‘necessary and unavoidable’’ through her spokesman. German business groups, including the BGA exporter lobby, warned of a ‘‘significant drop’’ in sales to Turkey.

The Steudtner case ‘‘shows that German citizens are no longer safe from arbitrary arrests in Turkey,’’ Gabriel said. ‘‘We can’t go on as we have before,’’ he added. ‘‘We have to be clearer than before so that those in charge in Ankara understand that such a policy won’t be without consequences.’’

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry earlier accused Germany of meddling with the independence of its judiciary system by criticizing the arrests, saying statements by German government officials ‘‘directly interfere with Turkish judiciary.’’ Germany is ‘‘harboring various groups of terrorists who have been targeting our country and preventing their trial before justice,’’ the ministry said, in a reference to supporters of the Gulen movement.

Caught in the crossfires, Germany’s BGA exporters signaled the threat over business is real, saying that companies had already halted investment. At $25 billion in deliveries of mostly auto parts and chemical products, Turkey ranked in 15th place last year, BGA said. By contrast, Turkish exports to Germany of some $14 billion made it the No. 1 destination for foreign sales, ahead of the United Kingdom, Italy, and Iraq.

‘‘You certainly can’t advise any companies to take on investments in this climate,’’ said the BGA.


Can't they just talk it out?

"EU-Turkey talks fail to ease friction over detentions" Associated Press  July 25, 2017

BRUSSELS — Turkey has been mired in a diplomatic row with EU powerhouse and fellow NATO ally Germany following the arrests last week of a group of human rights activists, including a German national, on terror-related charges. Earlier, a German-Turkish journalist was arrested for allegedly spying.

Before the talks in Brussels started, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled that the era of Turkey bowing to Western pressure was over.

The meeting in Brussels was formally about Turkey’s long-stalled bid for EU membership, the fight against terrorism, and energy and trade ties. But the talks were held in the shadow of the sweeping government crackdown that came in the aftermath of a failed coup last year.....

I get the tone regarding Turkey.

That's not saying I think they are great guys; however, I respect them for serving their national interest first.




Things heating up in there, too:"Hundreds of boys abused at storied Catholic choir in Germany, new report says" by Melissa Eddy   July 18, 2017

BERLIN — For decades, a culture of silence pervaded a Catholic music school where the brother of a future pope directed a renowned boys’ choir, contributing to an environment in which at least 547 children were abused, a lawyer who carried out an investigation of the mistreatment said Tuesday.

It's being thrown on the Catholics, but the pedophilia is rife in the elite cla$$es.

The estimate of the number of children abused was far greater than a previous figure, 231, that the lawyer gave last year.

The choir, the Regensburg Domspatzen, dates to the 10th century and continues to perform at Sunday Mass in Regensburg’s 16th-century Gothic cathedral. The choir’s music director from 1964 to 1994 was the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, whose younger brother, Joseph Ratzinger, reigned as Pope Benedict XVI from 2005 to 2013.

Ratzinger's brother! Between this and the money-laundering over at the bank you see why he had to resign.... so Francis could cover it up.

Georg Ratzinger, now 93, has apologized for slapping boys during his tenure, and said he stopped administering corporal punishment when the church banned it in 1980. He has denied awareness of sexual abuse taking place, and the new investigation does not implicate him in the abuse.

The abuse came to light in 2010, but only after intense pressure from a number of the victims did the diocese call upon an outside lawyer, Ulrich Weber, to conduct an independent inquiry.

That's always the case.

Over the past two years, Weber and a team of colleagues conducted interviews with victims, other former pupils, and scanned archives from the years 1945 to 1992.

Overall, Weber evaluated 616 reports of abuse. He deemed fewer than a dozen not at all plausible; others he determined to be questionable, meaning that the abuse could not be ruled out.

In the remaining cases, 547 in total, the reports of abuse were deemed plausible, based on interviews or other corroborating evidence. Of those cases, 67 are believed to have involved sexual abuse. The others involved corporal punishment, including ear-twisting and beatings with a cane.

As in other institutions in which long-standing patterns of abuse have come to light, a combination of shame, secrecy, and impunity contributed to the abuses at the music school in Regensburg, which is about 70 miles northeast of Munich, in southeastern Germany.

“In three areas of school — choir, musical education, and boarding school — many people actively took part in the abuse,” Weber found. The inquiry found the abuse was perpetrated by 49 people, most of them priests, who served as teachers and administrators.

“Many victims described the time as the darkest period of their lives, dominated by violence, fear, and helplessness,” Weber said.

This is why the Catholic Church makes me cringe when they preach morality. They are the last ones qualified to comment. Even Satan has more standing!

Survivors expressed relief at the release of the report, but one of them, Udo Kaiser, said it could not restore their stolen childhoods.

Yeah, that is the saddest thing, the destruction of innocence.

“It has been documented,” Kaiser said in a telephone interview from his home in Munich. “Everything I have been saying for the past 30 years, when no one believed me, everything I have been fighting for the past seven years is now public.”

I've been blogging for eleven.


Maybe the answer is Islam after all.

Wait, on second thought.....

"For all the talk of collusion, it isn’t exactly a crime in the political arena — but conspiracy is. The US criminal code provides an explanation of conspiracy that matches commonplace descriptions of collusion: “If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” So why do we talk about collusion rather than conspiracy, when conspiracy is the actual legal term? Maybe because “conspiracy” has been devalued in the public imagination due to the prominence of conspiracy theorists. The word “conspiracy” is associated with fake moon landings, 9/11 truthers, and — brace yourself — NASA enslaving children on Mars. “Collusion” isn’t the right word for a criminal court, but it’s just right for the court of public opinion....."

I guess you can dismiss Steele as another disinformation agent, and of course that is in there to discredit the other truisms.

I'm ignoring the elitist insult from the lying war-promoters today.



"Court convicts more than 40 in Rome corruption trial" AP  July 21, 2017

ROME — A Rome court convicted dozens of defendants Thursday in a wide-ranging corruption trial that revealed a system of kickbacks and intimidation to gain control of city contracts, but acquitted all of the defendants on key charges of Mafia-style association.

We call that politics as usual over here.

The trial was the first in Italy to unite allegations of corruption with the trappings of organized crime, and the court’s across-the-board rejection of the Mafia-style allegations was a blow to prosecutors’ case, touted by Italian media as ‘‘Mafia Capital.’’

The court gave the highest sentence to the alleged ringleader, Massimo Carminati, who was handed 20 years in jail.

Just one of the 46 defendants, a gas station operator with alleged Mafia ties, was acquitted.

Prosecutors say rampant corruption, which involved the management and supply of migrant shelters, sanitation agencies, parks maintenance, and other municipal services, dated back years.

Aaaaaah, you get used to it!



Vatican sets trial for alleged misuse of hospital donations

Whoop-de-doo. Cerberus, the three-headed hound that guards the entrance to hell to keep the dead souls from escaping buys up Catholic health system Caritas, meaning it's two sides of same coin. That makes sense, too, with the evil of the Catholic Church exposed via the pedophilia scandals. You can't preach morality after what they did

"Paul Shanley, notorious priest in Catholic sex abuse scandal, to be released this week" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  July 25, 2017

Paul R. Shanley , a former “street priest” who became one of the most notorious figures in the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal, is set to be released from prison as early as this week after serving 12 years behind bars for raping a Sunday school student in the early 1980s.

Middlesex prosecutors said they had hoped to keep the 86-year-old defrocked priest behind bars even after his sentence was completed by having him declared a “sexually dangerous person.” But two doctors who examined Shanley found that he did not meet the required criteria, prosecutors said.

Shanley was accused of abusing roughly two dozen victims over several decades, many of them troubled adolescents who came to him for counseling when he ran a “ministry for alienated youth” in Boston in the 1960s and ’70s....



‘I’m concerned he’s going to abuse again’: Those who say priest abused them criticize his release

Paul Shanley, convicted child rapist and former priest, released from prison

Also see:

What happened to other clergy abuse perpetrators?

Ex-Catholic bishop of Phoenix accused of sex abuse of boy

European Central Bank chief says inflation lags behind growth

Look at the toll the lies are taking on Draghi!


"An American Airlines flight lurched violently over the Atlantic Ocean, sending drinks and people flying, and putting 10 passengers in the hospital after landing in Philadelphia. The plane didn’t divert to another airport after the Saturday incident. It made a safe landing at Philadelphia International Airport, where paramedics were standing by. In the half-hour or so before it reached Philadelphia, the pilot apologized for what the Federal Aviation Administration and American Airlines later described as ‘‘severe turbulence,’’ the cause of which was unknown. Alex Ehmke said he and his family had spent nearly 10 hours in the air — flying home from a vacation in Europe. Flight attendants were handing out a last round of drinks before landing, and the US shore had just come into view. What happened next is a bit of blur to Ehmke, but he recalled what he calls ‘‘the lurch.’’

I'm told ‘‘it felt like the whole plane was in free fall.’’

Time to tack for home:

Boston wants to fight climate change. So why is every new building made of glass?

Trustees group looks to Boston for next project

What's good for the goo$e....

For a quick check of the weather.

"National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Jankowski said tornadoes are generally associated with spring months, but they can occur any time. ‘‘I wouldn’t say outrageously rare, but it is uncommon,’’ to see an August tornado....."

"Autopsies show two North Texas toddlers died of heatstroke after, investigators say, their mother allegedly left them in her hot car for several hours to teach them a lesson. Parker County records show the mother, Cynthia Randolph, was arrested in June on injury to a child counts and remains jailed. Investigators didn’t immediately return a message. In New Mexico last week, a mother and daughter who are day care workers were indicted on felony charges stemming from the death of a 1-year-old girl left in a hot car and the injury of another female toddler....."

You can't say little girl anymore?

"A sinkhole that swallowed two homes last month is growing. Pasco County officials said Saturday that a large part of the hole’s edge has collapsed. Two more homes in Land O'Lakes, a Tampa suburb, have been condemned. The sinkhole, which opened up July 14, is now about 260 feet wide. Officials say vibrations from trucks and construction equipment could be to blame (AP)."

Go burn wood:

"Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies" by David Abel Globe Staff  August 07, 2017

The Baker administration plans to designate a fuel derived from felling trees and clearing brush in forests as a form of renewable energy, a move that environmental advocates say would increase emissions and counter promises the governor made after President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord.

He didn't technically pull out, but that destroys the narrative so.....

The proposed rules, which stem from a provision in a 2014 law supported by the logging industry, would provide financial incentives for the energy source known as woody biomass — wood chips and pellets made from tree trunks, branches, sawdust, and other plant matter.

Administration officials say biomass is part of an effort to diversify the state’s energy portfolio, and that over time, the fuel shouldn’t increase carbon emissions, especially when it’s used in place of fossil fuels.

But environmental advocates have opposed the rules, saying they would in fact increase carbon emissions, create more pollution in the form of soot, and lead to greater deforestation. Trees and plants grow by absorbing carbon dioxide; when they’re burned, they release the heat-trapping gas back into the atmosphere.

Critics also say the administration had the latitude to make the regulations far more stringent than the state has proposed. The law requires the state to ensure that the rules are “protective of public health” and reduce emissions.

“We need to be planting trees, not burning them,” said Mary Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity in Pelham, an advocacy group that opposes the regulations. “Incentivizing a technology that pumps more carbon into the air isn’t going to reduce emissions. The administration needs to realize that the urgency of addressing climate change increases by the day.”

I am for planting the trees for different reasons.

Supporters also say that biomass can be used to displace fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and that there’s little threat of deforestation in Massachusetts. They also note that regulations would require any users of biomass seeking the subsidies to employ emissions-control systems that reduce their impact.

“Wood is a local, renewable, economical alternative to fossil fuels, and an important part of a renewable portfolio,” said Charles Thompson, president of the Massachusetts Forest Alliance in Marlborough, a trade association for forest landowners, foresters, and the logging industry. The more that private landowners can derive financial benefits from harvesting and replanting trees, the less likely they are to sell their land to a developer, who might use the land to build on, Thompson said.

On Monday, state energy officials plan to hold their last public hearing on the regulations at Holyoke Community College. Environmental advocates promised to be there to protest.

The state has been studying for years the pros and cons of using biomass for energy. Officials, who expect to enact the regulations in the coming months, acknowledge the concerns.....

Globe will get back to you.


Meanwhile, you can go for a bike ride.

Taunton teen angler reels in state-record bowfin

Had a bear of a time hauling it in, too.

Climate change is dramatic, and we’re feeling it now, report says

Time to vanish in the blinding light of the sun.


"EU nations move to resume returning migrants to Greece" Associated Press  August 08, 2017

BRUSSELS — European Union countries have begun the process of sending migrants who arrived over the last five months via Greece back there to have their asylum applications assessed, resuming a practice that was suspended as Greece struggled to cope with a massive refugee influx.


First the countries and regions involved are flattened by wars based on lies, leading to the chaos and migration flows. They finally get where they are going, for good or ill, and now they are being jerked around again saying you have to go back. 

EU rules oblige migrants to apply for asylum in the country they first entered. But the requirement was put on hold as hundreds of thousands of people, many of them Syrian refugees, reached Greece on boats from Turkey in 2015.

The EU’s executive arm recommended in December that member countries gradually resume sending unauthorized migrants who arrived after March 15 back to Greece, which often is the first point of entry to the 28-nation EU.

Some countries have requested permission from Greece to return such people, but none have been transferred since mid-March, Greek officials say.

‘‘Greece has to give assurances that they have adequate reception conditions,’’ European Commission spokeswoman Tove Ernst said Tuesday, adding that the country’s services for migrants, overwhelmed a year ago, had improved to the point that the commission felt comfortable making its nonbinding recommendation for transfers to resume.

Greece’s asylum service says it has received requests to accept more than 400 returned migrants.

Seven people, most of them Syrian nationals, have been accepted so far.

A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry confirmed Tuesday that Berlin has asked Athens to take back 392 asylum-seekers.

‘‘So far, no transfers to Greece have taken place yet,’’ Johannes Dimroth said. ‘‘However, I can tell you that to date the confirmation from Greek authorities has been received in three cases.’’

The Greek asylum office put the German request number at 354 asylum seekers.

Austria, Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and non-EU countries Norway and Switzerland have also asked to transfer smaller numbers, according to the asylum service.

Greece’s migration minister said the returns would involve ‘‘tiny numbers.’’

Greece’s asylum service said the refugees and migrants returned to Greece under the rules known as the Dublin agreement would be housed in rented accommodations or camps on the mainland. They also will have the option of seeking asylum in Greece, the service said.

The number likely to be sent to Greece represents only a tiny fraction of the total number of migrants required to leave Germany.


What you notice is the heat has dissipated so it must not have been to hot in the refugee camps.

"UK ex-police officer jailed for filming sex from chopper" AP  August 08, 2017

LONDON — A British former police officer has been given a year in jail for using a helicopter to film people having sex.

Judge Peter Kelson sentenced Adrian Pogmore at Sheffield Crown Court for using the South Yorkshire police helicopter to capture graphic scenes of sex and sunbathing.

Kelson told Pogmore, ‘‘You, quite literally, considered yourself above the law.’’

Pogmore admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office last month. He was fired by the police.

Two other officers were acquitted in the case after testifying they had no idea what Pogmore was doing with the high-powered camera.


He was filming another cop friend as a candid camera-style joke, I don't remember where it is on this blog nor do I don't care to invest the time to find it, so I will see you at the movies!

Also see:

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North Dakota governor asks for new federal help amid drought