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Two communities fight for food on the Kenyan and Ethiopian border

Posted in News with tags on December 4, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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December 2, 2013

Two communities fight for food on the Kenyan and Ethiopian border

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/12/paragraph_photos_a.html

The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists, but the pastures needed to feed their herds suffer from recurring droughts and many have turned to fishing. The trend began back in the 1960s, following a devastating drought, which wiped out entire herds. The government introduced communities to fishing in the mostly untouched Lake Turkana. But now the lake is overfished, and scarcity of food and pastureland is fueling a long-standing conflict with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia. The Dhaasanac now venture deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass, clashing with neighbors. “The Turkana and the Dhaasanac have been enemies for a long time. However, before they used to fight with spears and other rudimental weapons,” said Turkana leader Pius Chuchu.–Thea Breite( 19 photos )

A Turkana man stands in the entrance of a cattle kraal (corral) at dawn in the disputed area of the Ilemi Triangle in northwestern Kenya near the borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan on Oct. 15. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

Simon Choko, 44, a community leader of a fishing camp near the shores of Lake Turkana, holds his gun as he shows a bullet wound which he says he got from an attack by raiders from the Dhaasanac tribe of southern Ethiopia near the Kenya-Ethiopia border in northwestern Kenya on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana girl holds a lamb at the end of the day inside her family’s cattle kraal on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

The skin of a large wild cat, which was shot dead after attacking several goats, hangs on a protective outer ring constructed to keep livestock safe, at a kraal in the Ilemi Triangle on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Dhaasanac man from southern Ethiopia and Kenyan soldiers from the Rapid Deployment Unit, an emergency response unit deployed due to reoccurring clashes and killings between the Turkana and Dhaasanac communities, try to lift a cow which is dying from hunger. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

Livestock is inside a Turkana cattle kraal, as food is cooked on a fire on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana man looks in the direction of Lake Turkana as he wakes up at dawn under a mosquito net, at a fishing camp on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

An armed Turkana man walks towards the shores of Lake Turkana near a temporary fishing camp on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana man walks past several guns at a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkanan on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana man pushes a boat as he prepares to venture onto Lake Turkana for the day’s fishing on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

Turkana fishermen raise the sail of their boat as they prepare to fish on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

Turkana fishermen venture into deeper waters on Lake Turkana on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana fisherman sits on a boat while fishing on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A man reaches for an AK47 assault rifle during a fishing expedition on Lake Turkana on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana fisherman holds a freshly caught fish on Lake Turkana on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

After untangling a fishing net from floating weeds, a Turkana fisherman attempts to climb back up onto his boat on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

At a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkana a boy flattens dried fish with his feet on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana boy carries a pot as he walks under a structure used to dry fish at a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkana on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A G3 battle rifle hangs from a structure used to dry fish at a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkana on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

Explore: Weddings

Posted in News with tags on November 3, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Explore: Weddings

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/125/photos/explore-weddings/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=inside_20131031&utm_campaign=Content

A group of couples in Taiwan, a Zulu king and Swazi princess in South Africa, a priest and child bride in Ethiopia—National Geographic has been documenting weddings around the world for over a century. Steeped in tradition or embracing modernity, these ceremonies often reflect cultural influences on generations of participants.

Picture of a man celebrating his wedding in Yemen

Relatives and neighbors fete bridegroom Ameen Ararah (in floral head scarf, at center rear), 21, at his wedding in the Old City of Sanaa, Yemen. In a country where nearly half the population lives on $1.45 a day, wedding expenses—which can exceed $5,000—are prohibitive. Many couples now pool resources and marry in groups.
Photograph by Stephanie Sinclair
Picture of Berber brides in Morocco 

In the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Berber brides are dressed for a traditional mass wedding that includes four days of ceremonial rituals. In one, brides purify themselves with water gathered from a river.
Photograph by Alexandra Boulat
Picture of newlyweds in a gondola in Venice, Italy 

Gondoliers ferry Venetian newlyweds down the Grand Canal around 1995.
Photograph by Sam Abell
Picture of Austrian women in headdresses 

In this photo originally published in the June 1951 issue of National Geographic, women carrying rosaries and prayer beads pause en route to church in St. Wolfgang, Austria, where mothers for 500 years or more have handed down fan-shaped headdresses to the brides of eldest sons.
Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel
Picture of a Yemeni Jewish bride in Israel wearing traditional wedding clothing 

A Yemeni Jewish bride near Gaza wears a wedding costume styled centuries ago in this picture that originally appeared in the July 1985 issue of National Geographic.
Photograph by James Stanfield
Picture of a child bride being dressed for her wedding, Ethiopia 

Priest Addisu Abebe, 23, and his new bride, Destaye Amare, 11, are married in a traditional Ethiopian Orthodox wedding outside the city of Gondar, Ethiopia. Says photographer Stephanie Sinclair, who has documented child brides for National Geographic, “Since Abebe is a priest, it was necessary that he only marry a virgin.”
Photograph by Stephanie Sinclair
Picture of a bride and her dancers at a Kazakh wedding 

Flanked by traditional dancers, a bride awaits her formal unveiling at a wedding palace in Astana, Kazakhstan, where she has just been married in a ceremony capped by the release of two white doves. The revelry begins when the veil is lifted.
Photograph by Gerd Ludwig
Picture of Samburu young warriors dancing at a wedding ceremony, Kenya 

In keeping with tradition, Samburu families arrange marriages for their daughters when they’re as young as ten. Several days of elaborate ceremonies, such as the warrior dance pictured here in Kenya, are designed to counteract superstitions and bring the new couple good luck.
Photograph by Michael Nichols
Picture of an Afghan bride in Kabul 

In traditional Afghan weddings, brides are unveiled and often wear revealing dresses and heavy makeup. At this wedding in Kabul, Afghanistan, the bride wears green, a color associated with prosperity and paradise in Islamic tradition. Her sober expression reflects the fact that marriage is an enormous milestone in an Afghan woman’s life, not just a celebratory event.
Photograph by Lynsey Addario
Picture of a mass wedding in Taiwan 

Bridal couples pose at a mass wedding at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan.
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
Picture of a Zulu king dancing with Swazi princesses at his wedding, South Africa 

Adorned with symbols of royalty, a Zulu king dances at his wedding to a Swazi princess in Nongoma, South Africa. The photo was originally published in the January 1978 issue of National Geographic.
Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel
Picture of newlyweds cutting the cake at their wedding, Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska 

Called “God’s great cathedral” by the bride, Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier serves as the setting for her outdoor wedding ceremony near Juneau.
Photograph by Melissa Farlow
Picture of a bride and groom walking home after their wedding, Czech Republic 

On a country road in Bilcice, Czech Republic, a bride and groom walk home to her house after their wedding.
Photograph by James Stanfield

 

Flight turns unforgettable when passengers learn of fallen soldier

Posted in News, World Military Corner with tags on November 2, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Flight turns unforgettable when passengers learn of fallen soldier

Johnny Jet

Delta Flight 2255 from Atlanta to Los Angeles. (Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Jet)

Delta Flight 2255 from Atlanta to Los Angeles seemed to be an ordinary flight with the exception of Candy, who was the most loving flight attendant I’ve ever encountered. Besides using her Southern charm to quickly defuse every situation, she began her welcome announcement by thanking the handful of uniformed soldiers on-board for serving our country. Her poignant message was followed by applause, and it put into perspective that none of us would be able to do what we do without these brave men and women.

But this transcontinental flight turned out to be everything but ordinary. We later learned, when the captain got on the PA system about 45 minutes prior to landing, that we were transporting a fallen soldier. The plane went quiet as he explained that there was a military escort on-board and asked that everyone remain seated for a couple of minutes so the soldiers could get off first. He also warned us not to be alarmed if we see fire trucks since Los Angeles greets their fallen military with a water canon salute. See my video below.

A few minutes after touchdown, we did indeed have a water canon salute, which I’d previously only experienced on happy occasions like inaugural flights. This time, the water glistening on the windowpanes looked like tears.

Passengers in the airport must have been worried when they saw our plane pull into gate 69A, as we had a full police and fire escort, front and back.

I was on the left side of the plane and later realized that the family could be seen off to the right, standing with the United States Army Honor Guard. According to Wikipedia, each military branch has its own honor guard, usually military in nature, and is composed of volunteers who are carefully screened. One of the primary roles for honor guards is to provide funeral honors for fallen comrades.

 

(Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Jet) 

When the jet door opened, another military officer addressed the escort who was standing at attention. He then stepped on the plane and told us passengers “I just addressed the escort. It is a sworn oath to bring home, to the family, the fallen.” He paused and then said, “Today you all did that, you are all escorts, escorts of the heart.” And then thanked us for our time and walked off the plane.

As you can imagine, everyone was silent and no one got up, not even that person from the back row who pretends he doesn’t [understand] English so he can be first off the plane. I’m sure most had meteor-sized lumps in their throats and tears in their eyes like I did.

(Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Jet) 

It only got more emotional when I deplaned. There was a large number of passengers, who are normally in a hurry to get home or make a connection, standing by the window to witness something truly moving. To see the Honor Guard and family waiting patiently, while LAX baggage handlers and a military loadmaster removed the flag covered casket first from the cargo hold, was humbling to say the least. I’m not sure if it was the fallen soldier’s mother or wife who I watched slowly walk up to the coffin while a few other family members, wrapped in blankets, stood near with a dozen or so of the Honor Guards standing in salute.

As soon as I saw her reach out to put her hand on her baby’s casket, I walked away.

This ordinary flight became extraordinary and is one that I will never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all the military who protect our beautiful country and let us live the lives we are able to lead. Without you we would be nothing. And thank you to the Honor Guard for making sure these fallen soldiers, warriors and heroes are not treated like just any piece of luggage as they used to, but rather with the care and respect they so rightly deserve.

Like Johnny Jet on Facebook.

(Photo: Stephen G Siler)

 

At these 10 thrilling airports, landing is part of the adventure

Posted in News with tags , on November 2, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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At these 10 thrilling airports, landing is part of the adventure

Airfarewatchdog 

(Photo: Alan R. Light / Flickr)
(Photo: Alan R. Light / Flickr)
Each year, the Airfarewatchdog team looks into some of the scariest airports known to mankind (okay, so they’re not truly scary—if an airport was actually dangerous, pilots wouldn’t land there—but these will definitely give you a thrill). It’s been two years since we put out an international list, but our research led us to some additional airports that definitely deserve to be on there. So here are 10 more of the world’s most thrilling airports.Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica 

Sea Ice Runway in Antarctica is unpaved, and there’s a chance the ice could crack under the weight of an airplane—which is downright terrifying. In fact, a few years ago, the runway was melting, so flights scheduled to land there were cancelled or rerouted. Now, pilots are advised to avoid landing too heavily and to try not to sink more than 10 inches into the ice. With a vehicle as big and heavy as an airplane, that seems like a tough challenge for any pilot!

(Photo: David Jones / Flickr)(Photo: David Jones / Flickr)

Gibraltar Airport (or North Front Airport), Gibraltar 

You might feel as if you’re at a railroad crossing when traveling through Gibraltar Airport. The peninsula’s only runway is perpendicular to a major highway leading into Spain. Thin, flimsy barriers block off traffic when an airplane is moving through, but we still think it’s pretty sketchy! In fact, our sister site SmarterTravel said, “You may be thankful if your plane gets diverted to a nearby airport due to weather, though you’ll still have to brave the runway when you walk over it to get from Spain to the British overseas territory.”

(Photo: Thilo Hilberer / Flickr)(Photo: Thilo Hilberer / Flickr)

Madeira Airport, Portugal

Don’t be alarmed if you feel the plane take a sharp right turn as you approach Madeira Airport, since its runway is extremely short. When the plane starts landing, it swoops through high mountains and strong turbulence and over the ocean. The pilot must aim straight for the mountains and take a last-minute sharp turn. According to Pyrex on the World’s Top 10 Scariest Airports forum on Airliners.net, “It is a scary ride, exactly as described (depending on the direction of the wind, of course). And those mountain rollers make for some bumpy landings.”

(Photo: Bernt Rostad / Flickr)(Photo: Bernt Rostad / Flickr)

Qambo Bamda Airport, Tibet

When China’s Daocheng Yading Airport recently commenced service, it replaced Tibet’s Qambo Bamda Airport as the world’s highest airport—but we think Qambo Bamda is still a pretty good contender for world’s scariest airport. The runway is more than 14,000 feet above sea level and almost 3.5 miles long. High-altitude travel is very dangerous in general, but safe landings at these heights are also extremely difficult.

(Photo: Richie Diesterheft / Flickr)(Photo: Richie Diesterheft / Flickr)

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island

The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB) allows no room for pilot error: If he or she goes even a little bit too far when trying to land, the plane will end up in the ocean below. The windy, mountainous terrain makes for a hard-to-accomplish landing. Typically, only experienced fliers pilot the airplanes that travel through SAB, and as far as we know, there haven’t been any major accidents.

(Photo: Lok Cheung / Flickr)(Photo: Lok Cheung / Flickr)

Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

The Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong is no longer an operating airport, thankfully. Before it was closed down in 1998, planes were forced to fly very low over Hong Kong and had to take a sharp right to end up on the runway. When discussing the world’s top 10 scariest airports onAirliners.net, JM017 said, “From videos I’ve seen, I would give my votes to TGU [Toncontín International Airport] and the old Kai Tak.” It’s unsettling to hear that coming from a pilot, so we’re glad we don’t have the option of landing there anymore.

(Photo: Rudi Riet / Flickr)(Photo: Rudi Riet / Flickr)

Eagle County Regional Airport, Vail, Colo.

In America’s 10 Scariest Airports, SmarterTravel editor Caroline Costello interviewed pilot David Cenciotti, who said that “poor weather, high approach, and high surrounding terrain make this airport a bit challenging.” He continued: “Westward departures have high clearance altitudes due to nearby mountains.” The weather and surrounding conditions make traveling through this airport interesting, as the area is known for its bad winter weather.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho

The Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho is one of a kind. The runway is at the end of a mountainside gully, so instead of taking off into the air like normal flights, planes drop down the side of a the cliff until they start flying. According to traveler Karulm in The World’s Scariest Runways forum on TravBuddy.com ”You just drop until you start flying? I would never!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The runway mostly services medical and charity teams helping nearby villages, so leisure travelers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they won’t have to worry about this one.

(Photo courtesy of Narsaruaq AFIS)

Narsarauq Airport, Greenland

Greenland’s Narsarauq Airport is a traveler’s nightmare. Planes approach the runway through a fjord and need to make a 90-degree turn to line up on the runway. With the seemingly constant turbulence, making a plane turn 90 degrees is no easy task. It’s extremely difficult to judge how gusts of wind might direct the plane. Even though a pilot might need to make some last-minute adjustments to avoid being pushed into one of the valley walls, overcorrecting methods could backfire. Not to mention, there’s also the risk of icebergs drifting into the airplane’s path.

(Photo: asmythie / Flickr)(Photo: asmythie / Flickr)

Ketchikan International Airport, Ketchikan, Alaska

Beware of Ketchikan International Airport in Alaska! The awfully short runway is close to mountains and the ocean, which drops to freezing temperatures. We hear that it rains 150-190 inches per year, which can be scary to land in as it is, but sometimes the rain even blows sideways! It sounds like a wild ride to us.

Ice Tsunami in Canada

Posted in News with tags on October 24, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Post 2574

Se3nt By : Ben Draper – Canada

ben-lesley-20021

 Ice Tsunami in Canada

 

                                                             This is unreal…….I had never heard of this!

Have you ever seen an ice tsunami? It happened on the south side of Lac des Mille Lacs, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, on May 11, 2013! It destroyed more than 20 houses in 15 minutes!

The ice looked like legs creeping up to residences.

Debt Ceiling: How Much Is $16.699 Trillion?

Posted in News with tags on October 19, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Debt Ceiling: How Much Is $16.699 Trillion?

By Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor   |   October 14, 2013 01:44pm ET

This Thursday, Oct. 17, the U.S. Treasury Department will run out of money and will no longer have the ability to borrow the funds needed to pay the U.S. government’s bills.

The federal debt ceiling of $16.699 trillion was actually reached on May 19, but the engine of government was able to keep chugging along by accessing an extra $412 billion through so-called “extraordinary measures,” according to the Washington Post. Having now maxed out all available resources, however, the U.S. government will no longer be able to meet any debt obligations, including billions of dollars in Social Security, military personnel, Medicare and other payments that are due Nov. 1.

If $16.699 trillion seems like a hard figure to wrap your head around, you’re not alone. It’s difficult for most people to have a concept of even a much smaller amount, like the proposed $700 billion Treasury bailoutfor failing bank assets, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2008. (The amount was reduced to $475 billion in 2010, with the signing of the Dodd-Frank Act.) [The 18 Weirdest Effects of the Government Shutdown]

A trillion dollars’ worth of $1 bills stacked on top of one another would reach about 67,000 miles (108,000 kilometers) high, according toFreakonomics. Therefore, $16.699 trillion of stacked $1 bills would be more than 1 million miles (1.6 million km) high — enough to stretch from the Earth to the moon four times and still have money left over.

But most people have never been to the moon, so it might be easier to grasp that sum by spreading all those trillions around: If each of the United States’ 317 million people took up his or her share of $16.699 trillion, each American man, woman and child would be in debt to the tune of about $52,678 — slightly more than the current U.S. mean annual household income of $52,100.

Perhaps it’s unfair to soak the average taxpayer with that kind of debt. So if you look to plutocrats for help, you’ll find that Bill Gates is worth about $67 billion, according to the 2013 Forbes list of billionaires. It would take 250 times Bill Gates’ fortune — far more than the bankrolls of Gates, Warren Buffet, Charles and David Koch, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg combined — to equal the $16.699 trillion debt ceiling. In fact, if each of the Earth’s 7 billion-plus people coughed up $2,000, there would be still be a shortfall of more than $2 trillion.

There is still time for Congress to act to prevent the government from defaulting on its obligations. As Winston Churchill famously quipped, “You can always trust America to do the right thing — after it has exhausted all other options.”

Follow Marc Lallanilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

US Ivory Crush Canceled in Wake of Shutdown

Posted in News with tags on October 8, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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US Ivory Crush Canceled in Wake of Shutdown

By Megan Gannon, News Editor   |   October 07, 2013 12:13pm ET
A pile of old ivory tusks.
Credit: saddako | Shutterstock   

In a bid to discourage poachers and wildlife traffickers, federal officials had planned to pulverize 6 tons (5.4 tonnes) of illegal elephant ivory this week, but the event has been canceled due to the lapse in government funding.

After the shutdown began on Oct. 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) suspended most of its programs and operations, including the ivory crush scheduled for Tuesday (Oct. 8) at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo., just north of Denver.

The agency was slated to destroy the United States’ government-held stockpile of ivory that it has compiled over the past 25 years. The move was part of an executive order to fight wildlife trafficking that President Barack Obama signed in July. The initiative called for a new task force to address the issue and allotted $10 million to aid Africa’s efforts to combat poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife, which has imperiled rhinoceroses, elephants and great apes. [Black Market Horns: Images from a Rhino Bust]

The Colorado ivory crush will be rescheduled, but a spokesman said the agency will not be able to make a decision about when until the Fish and Wildlife Service resumes normal operations. The agency has yet to determine what it will do with the crushed ivory.

The public destruction of the trinkets, figurines, statues and other goods is meant to send a message that ivory is not a legitimate commercial product to be bought and sold or used in art and jewelry.

“If we’re going to solve this crisis we have to crush the demand, driven by organized crime syndicates who are robbing the world of elephants and stealing the natural heritage of African nations,” Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement in September when the Colorado event was announced. “It’s a global phenomenon. So we hope this encourages other governments to take bold, decisive steps to curb the demand for illegal elephant products.”

The international ivory trade was banned in 1989 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). But a CITES report published last year found that elephantpoaching has been on the rise and in 2012 it was at its worst in a decade. According to some estimates, at least 25,000 elephants were killed in Africa last year.

Traffickers sometimes go to great lengths to circumvent the law and sell ivory on lucrative global markets. Last year in Chinese-ruled Macau, customs officials discovered chocolate-coated ivory hidden in suspiciously heavy candy boxes.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us@livescienceFacebook Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

 

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