Passed along in email was this wonderful adventure in safety and optical illusion.
Where else but in Iceland?
After a nine-month battle, Islamic State was finally expelled from Mosul, leaving devastation and residents physically and psychologically scarred by the war. Abbie Trayler-Smith’s new exhibition records the devastating effects of life under Isis control in northern Iraq and the bewildering aftermath of conflict. After Darkness is at Anima-Mundi, St Ives, until 27 March.
|Sara, age 24, arrives at Hasan Sham camp for displaced people after being taken by bus straight from the battle|
Robert Dallek, a biographer of Lyndon Johnson, has written that “when people mentioned Kennedy’s many affairs, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose.”
It used to be that the United States acted as intermediary in cleaning up other people's messes. Now that role seems to have fallen to others who may help clean up America's mess.
NEW DELHI (AP) -- India and Iran said Saturday that they would step up cooperation in combatting extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan in an effort to restore peace and stability to the war-wracked country.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries would also make efforts to improve energy security and regional connectivity to reach landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia by developing Iran's Chabahar Port and road and rail routes.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tens of thousands of soybean and cotton farmers across the country are taking free but mandatory training in how to properly use a weed killer blamed for drifting and damaging crops in neighboring fields.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required the training and other restrictions last fall in a deal with three major agribusiness companies — Monsanto, BASF and DuPont. All three make special formulations of dicamba for use on new soybean and cotton varieties that are genetically engineered to resist the herbicide, using seed technology commercialized by Monsanto. The products are increasingly popular because they give farmers a new weapon against aggressive weeds such as pigweed that have become resistant to other herbicides such as glyphosate, also known as Roundup.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's attorney general has asked police to delay issuing their recommendations into two corruption allegations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until the Supreme Court hears a petition against them.Police were scheduled to present their long-awaited findings this week. But officials say Avichai Mandelblit wants the court to first rule on the petition of a right-wing lawyer who is seeking a gag order on details of the investigation.One probe reportedly concerns allegations Netanyahu improperly received lavish gifts from Hollywood and business figures.Another is over secret talks with the publisher of a major Israeli newspaper in which Netanyahu allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for reining in a free pro-Netanyahu daily.Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing and has dismissed the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by a hostile media.
|‘Hurtful language that has oppressed the people for over 200 years’ … Brock Peters and Gregory Peck in the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Photograph: Allstar|
A school district in Minnesota has pulled To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from its curriculum, arguing that the classic novels’ use of racial slurs risked students being “humiliated or marginalised”.Sometimes the niceness of nice people can drive you nuts, not least because, in the end, its kindness is cruel and unrealistic (you should pardon the expression), in spades.
The Duluth school district will keep the titles in its libraries, but from the next school year, they will be replaced on the curriculum for ninth and 11th-grade English classes, according to local newspaper the Bemidji Pioneer....
The Duluth move was supported by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People....
[T]he move was strongly criticised by the National Coalition Against Censorship....
Teenagers playing with mud started the Bloco da Lama in 1986 and it has since become an annual event in the city of Paraty. Hundreds of people wrestle, coat each other in mud and throw it around to the sound of samba and reggaeton at a [Brazilian] carnival beach party. Clothes are optional, but mud is not.
KEFLAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland is expected to use more energy mining bitcoins and other virtual currencies this year than it uses to power its homes.It is hard not so speculate that in the world of nuclear fear-mongering indulged by the United States (oh those wicked North Koreans!), targeting Iceland might be a more fearsome target than, say, Cleveland or Seattle.
With massive amounts of electricity needed to run the computers that create the precious bitcoins, large virtual currency mining companies have established a base in Iceland, a chilly North Atlantic island blessed with an abundance of renewable energy from geothermal and hydroelectric power plants....
The energy demand has developed because of the soaring cost of producing virtual currencies....
“We are spending tens or maybe hundreds of megawatts on producing something that has no tangible existence and no real use for humans outside the realm of financial speculation,” he said. “That can’t be good.”
In a state where the youth voting rate is even worse than the dismal national average, more than half a dozen Kansas teens are running for statewide office in 2018 — a sort of viral movement against apathy that could, in theory, make a high school student governor.Based on responses some youthful candidates gave to mainstream media, the young people sound straightforward. Whether they lack depth is hardly a question that needs asking in an era when prevarication seems to pass for historical perspective.
Naturally, adults are trying to stop it.
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the biggest budget the Pentagon has ever seen: $700 billion. That’s far more in defense spending than America’s two nearest competitors, China and Russia, and will mean the military can foot the bill for thousands more troops, more training, more ships and a lot else.Peace is hard. War is easy. And the American taxpayer, me included, makes it all possible. I wonder if it would be possible to add a cabinet post status to a Department of Spines.
And next year it would rise to $716 billion. Together, the two-year deal provides what Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says is needed to pull the military out of a slump in combat readiness at a time of renewed focus on the stalemated conflict in Afghanistan and the threat of war on the Korean peninsula.
|The Mongolian sumo grand champion Harumafuji|
The incident comes just as sumo was beginning to rebuild its reputation following a string of scandals and criticism that the sport’s authorities had failed to address a culture of violence outside the ring.There are a variety of other malfeasance incidents (eg. driving a car without a license) riveting the Japanese public, which seems to attribute to the world of sumo a dignity and purity worthy of ... what? ... Arthurian knights? Clearly this is not the slobolicious and lucrative World Wrestling Entertainment institution.
Every one of Japan’s sumo wrestlers is to face questioning by outside investigators after a series of incidents tipped the sport into crisis.In Washington, we've got the chisel-faced Robert Mueller hovering over Trump's insanities and perhaps lies. I wonder if Japan has a counterpart or would that be too gauche in a world so raffiné.
The Japan Sumo Association has setup an external panel to question 900 members, including wrestlers and elders of the sport. Former members will also be invited to submit details of old incidents that may have gone unreported.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $400 billion budget deal that sharply boosts spending and swells the federal deficit, ending a brief federal government shutdown that happened while most Americans were sleeping and most government offices were closed, anyway.And, as well...
The House and Senate approved a bill to keep the government funded through March 23, overcoming opposition from liberal Democrats as well as tea party conservatives to endorse enormous spending increases despite looming trillion-dollar deficits. [emphasis added] The House voted 240-186 to approve the bill just before dawn Eastern time, hours after the Senate had approved the measure on a 71-28 vote.
“With this deal, we will experience trillion-dollar deficits permanently,” said Andy Roth, vice president of the conservative Club for Growth. “That sort of behavior, the last time I checked, is not in the Republican platform.”