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Tue, 20 Oct 2020
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Stuck in ice: Alaska fuel convoy moves just 50 feet


U.S. Coast Guard via AP

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy approaches the Russian-flagged tanker vessel Renda Tuesday evening.
What a difference a day makes: After cutting through 53 miles of ice on Monday, a seafaring convoy trying to get fuel to ice-bound Nome, Alaska, made just 50 feet of progress through most of Tuesday.

"They were roughly in the same position" as Tuesday morning, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis confirmed to msnbc.com early Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, as we watch, there has been no real 'change up' in Renda's progress toward Nome since this morning," ship pilot Pete Garay told alaskadispatch.com from the Russian-flagged fuel tanker on Tuesday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy is trying to break through ice for Renda, but the process can be tedious. Late Tuesday, they were still some 97 miles south of Nome, in northwest Alaska.

The two ships left Alaska's Dutch Harbor on Jan. 3 to deliver 1.3 million gallons of fuel to Nome, whose supplies could run out before the end of winter.

The convoy had hoped to make it to Nome by mid-January but the Coast Guard now says it cannot provide an estimated day of arrival.

Nome gets its fuel by barge but a November storm prevented its winter shipment from arriving before the annual sea ice formed. A fuel barge won't be able to make it in without icebreaker escort until June at the earliest, and Nome -- which has seen temperatures of minus 40 this winter -- could run out of heating oil by March.

One option is to fly in supplies, but that would add $3-4 per gallon of heating oil or gasoline, which already cost $6 a gallon in Nome. There is no road access to the coastal town of 3,500.

The operation is the first time a fuel ship is trying to reach any western Alaska community cut off by winter sea ice.


US: NDAA Protests End In Ironic Swarm Of Arrests

NDAA protest
© n/a
The absurdity of America today never ceases to amaze. In fact, it has become so elaborate that one might even suggest it has reached a kind of poetic symmetry. When a protest group is willing to stick their necks out to expose the horror of the National Defense Authorization Act and its open door strategy for unconstitutional arrest and indefinite detainment of American citizens, I have to stand up and applaud.

This is the kind of protest we need to see all over the country. Of course, any establishment system which is willing to dissolve the inherent liberties of its citizens certainly isn't going to stand by quietly while they blatantly point out the injustice. The Grand Central Terminal action featured in the video below is a perfect example of the swift and immediate stifling of peaceful dissent by an increasingly totalitarian government:


3 dead, 37 rescued in Antarctic fishing boat fire

© AP Photo/CCAMLR, Natasha
Undated photo provided by Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, the South Korean fishing boat Jung Woo 2 is moored in an unknown harbor. Three crew members aboard the fishing boat are believed to have died when a fire raged through their quarters early Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, while fishing near Antarctica.
Wellington, New Zealand - Fire raged out of control on a fishing ship near Antarctica as the crew tried to fight back the flames early Wednesday. Three fishermen died, and two of the 37 rescued had severe burns.

Rescue coordinators said help given by a nearby sister ship and another fishing vessel likely prevented a worse outcome. Two unconscious, severely burned men were hoisted off the flaming ship by crane, and five crew members suffered moderate burns.

The South Korean ship was continuing to burn and appeared to be sinking, said Mike Roberts, the senior search and rescue officer with the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand.

The Jung Woo 2, got into trouble in the Ross Sea about 370 miles (595 kilometers) north of the U.S. McMurdo Station Antarctic base.

The fire appears to have started in the living quarters of the 167-foot (51-meter) ship and spread quickly to the engine room and fish-processing plant, Roberts said. It raged out of control, with the crew's firefighting teams unable to halt its progress.


My Guantánamo Nightmare

Inmates gather for prayers at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in October 2007.
© Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Inmates gather for prayers at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in October 2007.
On Wednesday, America's detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone. Most of their letters were returned as "undeliverable," and the few that I received were so thoroughly and thoughtlessly censored that their messages of love and support were lost.

Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children's lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.

I left Algeria in 1990 to work abroad. In 1997 my family and I moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the request of my employer, the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates. I served in the Sarajevo office as director of humanitarian aid for children who had lost relatives to violence during the Balkan conflicts. In 1998, I became a Bosnian citizen. We had a good life, but all of that changed after 9/11.

When I arrived at work on the morning of Oct. 19, 2001, an intelligence officer was waiting for me. He asked me to accompany him to answer questions. I did so, voluntarily - but afterward I was told that I could not go home. The United States had demanded that local authorities arrest me and five other men. News reports at the time said the United States believed that I was plotting to blow up its embassy in Sarajevo. I had never - for a second - considered this.


Polish Prosecutor Cuts Short News Conference, Shoots Self

A polish military prosecutor shot himself in the head today while news cameras were rolling. Col. Mikolaj Przybyl made a statement defending a military investigation into the plane crash that killed the Polish president in 2010, then calmly told reporters, "I want to ask you to leave for a minute. I need a break."

The journalists left the room and closed the door, but the cameras were still taping, and recorded the sound of a gun being cocked, then fired. Przybyl was just out of frame when he apparently pulled the trigger. His feet can be seen on the floor after the gunshot.


Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Ship in Gulf of Aden

Pirates in the Gulf of Aden have hijacked an Iranian ship carrying 30,000 tonnes of petrochemical products to a North African country, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Tuesday.

Somali sea gangs have seized vessels and crews across the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, extracting millions of dollars in ransoms.

Mehr did not say where the information on the latest reported attack came from.

Separately on Tuesday, the Pentagon said American forces had rescued six Iranian mariners who said their ship was taking in water off the coast off Iraq.

The announcement came less than a week after U.S. naval forces rescued 13 Iranian fishermen who were taken hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea for more than a month.


US: Food Dispute Led to Ohio Murder-Suicide

© Hocking County Sheriff's Office/The Associated Press
Paul Gilkey (top left) shot and killed sister-in-laws Dorothy Cherry (top right) and Barbara Mohler (bottom right) and his son Leroy Gilkey (bottom left) before killing himself, the sheriff says.
A dispute over whether a terminally ill woman should have been given tea and toast or an orange apparently upset her husband so much that he shot and killed two of her sisters and his son before killing himself, a sheriff said Tuesday.

The sick woman, 59-year-old Darlene Gilkey, who's dying of cancer, witnessed the shootings from a hospital bed in her living room but was uninjured, Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North said.

The woman's son, Ralph Sowers III, told a 911 dispatcher he survived when his stepfather, Paul Gilkey, said he was sparing him because he had kids. Sowers said his stepfather repeatedly warned him to get out of the way before putting the gun above his head and shooting his brother, who was hiding behind him.

After the shootings Monday, Paul Gilkey, 63, stepped out onto his front porch, sat down in a chair and shot himself to death, the sheriff said.

Killed inside the home were Darlene Gilkey's sisters, Barbara Mohler, 70, of New Straitsville, and Dorothy Cherry, 63, of New Plymouth. Also killed was Paul Gilkey's son, Leroy Gilkey, 38, of Columbus.


Thieves Pile Rocks into Containers to Hide Theft from Canadian Forces Containers

© The Associated Press//Rafiq Maqbool
In this Saturday, July 16, 2011 file photo Canadians soldiers load baggage on the back of a truck at Kandahar airbase in Afghanistan. Canada withdrew 2,850 combat forces from Afghanistan this summer
A new report says Canadian military equipment has been stolen from containers being shipped back from Afghanistan and replaced by sand and rocks to mask the larceny.

CBC News says the elaborate theft of Canadian Forces materiel was discovered when the shipping containers were opened in Montreal.

The Department of National Defence is confirming that various military hardware and gear is missing while insisting that none of the breached containers were carrying weapons, munitions or uniforms.

A full investigation into the theft is underway.

Montreal company A.J. Maritime is responsible for shipping goods back to Canada following the shutdown of the Canadian base in Kandahar last November.


British Celebrity Chef Apologizes After Being Caught Shoplifting Food

Antony Worrall Thompson
© unknown
Antony Worrall Thompson
A celebrity chef apologized on his website Monday after he was caught shoplifting from a supermarket.

Antony Worrall Thompson was arrested Friday after reportedly stealing cheese and wine from a Tesco store in the posh riverside town of Henley-on-Thames, west of London.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman who asked not to be identified because of force policy said there had been five separate offences over the Christmas holidays, leading to an arrest Friday.

In a statement on his website, the 60-year-old Worrall Thompson, who has appeared on daytime cookery show Ready Steady Cook, said he was sorry for his misdeeds.


US, California: What's in That OJ? Tropicana is Sued

© unknown
A California woman is suing the maker of Tropicana claiming it is squeezing consumers by touting the best-selling U.S. orange juice as "100% pure and natural" when it is not.

In her federal lawsuit, plaintiff Angelena Lewis said Tropicana Products Inc, knowing consumers "want and demand natural products," deceives them in its advertising and packaging for its Pure Premium juice, including cartons featuring an orange with a straw stuck into it.

Lewis said the unit of PepsiCo Inc actually puts the juice through extensive processing, adding aromas and flavors that change its "essential nature" and give it a longer shelf life.

This deception lets Tropicana charge more than rivals and helps fuel more than $5 billion of annual sales worldwide, according to Lewis, who lives in Vacaville, about 55 miles northeast of San Francisco.

"While Tropicana claims that 'making Tropicana orange juice is truly an art' it is far more a science," said the complaint filed on Friday in Sacramento, California. "The resulting product does not taste like fresh squeezed orange juice."