black sea

world news

I’m busy packing tonight, so here’s a quick crawl through the post-soviet periphery and a couple other things.

pirates and space – a quickie

Still no pirates in space yet, sad to say.

And your space roundup today is all hands-on. No pretty pictures from Hubble or exciting new discoveries, just the work of making it all happen. Or not, as the case may be.

And as long as I’m here:

oceanic news

Starting with some salvage opportunities for the clever lowbagging pirate:
In bad economy, boat owners abandon their vessels

Renewable “Energy Islands” at Sea To Power Cities, Produce Fresh Water and More

Off the coast of Somalia: ‘We’re not pirates. These are our waters, not theirs’
Regional meeting for fighting sea piracy acts to be held in Cairo
India wants UN force off Somalia after its ship is refused protection
Ship escapes pirate attack off Somalia, Russia says
Chinese fishing boat reported hijacked off Kenya

Mermaid actress, gamers join whale war
Japan will not hunt humpack whales this year
Japanese whalers go with no guard

Abkhazia, Russia in talks on Black Sea Fleet base – minister

Canada’s Arctic claim ‘promising’: researcher
Russia’s nuclear industry looks towards Arctic shelf
Drawing Lines in the Sea: Nations Stake Claims on Arctic Ocean Riches
Will the Opening of the Northwest Passage Transform Global Shipping Anytime Soon?

the usual global politics

Pirates Seize Crew of French Boat at Cameroon Rig
Piracy Attacks Boost Demand for Kidnap & Ransom Coverage

“Traditional marine cover will meet the cost of the ransom but none of the costs involved in the process. What we’ve found is the ransom can account for just 25 percent to 30 percent of the costs of the incident. Where K&R cover goes above the traditional marine policies is that it will become involved from the moment a vessel is seized.

Saakashvili Denies Georgian War Crimes During South Ossetia War
The truth about South Ossetia
Return a long way off for many Georgian refugees
Georgians Contemplate Future Five Years After Rose Revolution

Russian forces should withdraw from Moldova: Nato

“I sincerely hope on the basis on the principles we all agreed upon (in Istanbul) … a solution can be found,” the Nato chief said during a brief visit to Moldova. Trans-Dniester broke away in 1992 after a bloody war with Moldova that left more than 1,500 people dead. Russia maintains about 1,500troops and an unknown amount of light weapons in Trans-Dniester, despite calls by the United States and the European Union to respect the 1999 pledge to withdraw them.

Leader of troubled southern Russian republic quits
Ukraine says Russia pushing it out of arms market

Union for the Black Sea May Be Established in 2009

The New Cold War: Reviving the U.S. Presence in the Arctic

all your favorite news stories in one stylish package

Owners hire armed guards to secure ships against pirates
Kidnap ransoms a ‘toll’ to fund terrorist groups

EU mulling military action to tackle Somalia pirates
Tuna fishing vessels seek refuge in Seychelles after threats of piracy

Review: At the Edge of the World (Documentary)
Propaganda: At The Edge of the World Premieres at the Toronto Film Festival

A nonfiction pirate movie that tickles one’s inner eco-radical, “At the Edge of the World” spends a season in the frozen sea with Paul Watson and his militant-mariner Sea Shepherd crew as they try to save endangered mammals from the restaurant suppliers of the Japanese whaling fleet. Docu-cum-chase film may have limited theatrical appeal, but should make a dent in the specialty market and, certainly, the DVD racks.

Google search finds seafaring solution

RAF radar chief: I saw UFO fleet

Wing Commander Alan Turner, 64, said colleagues sat stunned when 35 super-fast vessels appeared on their screens.

Wing Cmdr Turner said six military radars, plus operators at Heathrow, spotted the UFOs east of Salisbury Plain and filed reports on the unexplained phenomenon in 1971.

Three days later, the Ministry of Defence visited the RAF and instructed staff to “never speak about the incident again”.

Hubble Finds a Mystery Object
China Broadcasts Greetings From The Moon
Japanese Beam-Down Solar Power System To Be Tested in Abu Dhabi

7 countries plan Black Sea naval exercises
U.S. warship enters Black Sea, Turkey rules out Montreux breach
Russia eyes Mediterranean as alternative to Sevastopol naval base

Georgia war sparks political battle in Ukraine

Arctic meeting calls for closer international cooperation

The right to assembly: The American Civil Liberties Union is representing dozens of protestors arrested at the RNC

When you’ve got a police presence that’s as strong and as aggressive as this, and where they use as much chemical irritant as these guys have been using—they have two million dollars’ worth of it; you might as well use it up; doesn’t last forever, you know—you’re going to get news people who will be gassed and, you know, who will be arrested. People are being swept up, including journalists, charged with a felony, thrown in jail, and then, you know, they’re sitting there for a day and a half, and then the prosecutors are looking at it and saying, “Oh, there’s no reason. We’ll let you go.”

Judge blocks Ore. logging project

the news- back on schedule for now

Giant ice penis – is climate change to blame?

And related to the monkey-hugging story we saw the other day:
Stroking reveals pleasure nerve

Somali pirates release German, Japanese ships: maritime group

“We have reports that they brought ransom and were coordinating its payment,” he added.

Sources close to the pirates in the northern Somali breakaway state of Puntland told AFP that a ransom of 1.5 million dollars was paid for the Japanese vessel but the information could not immediately be confirmed.

NASA Mars Rover Update: Farewell, “Victoria”!
Ares I Passes Critical Design Review In preparation For 2015 Space Mission

Conflict fear over Arctic borders

Russian troops dismantle west Georgia checkpoints
War wounds Georgia economy
Looting, fires rage in S. Ossetia – rights groups

“Currently the (ethnic) Georgian villages we visited…are practically burnt to the ground. Now, a month after military operations, the final houses are being torched, and every day we saw new fires.”

Separatists in Russia see hope in South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Russia slams ‘unfriendly’ Ukraine
Ukrainian PM questioned over president poisoning
Ukraine in suspense over Tymoshenko’s Nato position

For its part, the Kremlin appears in the mood to deal. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been travelling in Central Asia to bolster support for Russia and in addition to agreeing to up the price of Central Asian oil and gas, also signed off on new pipeline deals. The Kremlin would certainly be open to softening a price hike in Ukraine’s gas bill if Tymoshenko would back Russia in its standoff with the West.

Russia and Turkey tango in the Black Sea
Kyiv to host Black Sea Fleet talks September 25 – 26

yesterday’s news again

What I shoulda told you last night….

Blossom Goodchild’s Predicted Mass UFO Sighting: Will it Force Disclosure to Occur?
Robbie Williams: UFO visited my studio

Last Tree-Sitters Descend From UC Berkeley Grove

SKorean ship seized by pirates off Somalia: sources

All my space news comes from Space Ref today:
Unique animal species can survive in space
NASA Developing Fission Surface Power Technology
SpaceX Receives USAF Operational License for Cape Canaveral Launch Site

Saakhashvili: Georgia has evidence Russia started the war (Extra)
Pentagon set on mission to rebuild Georgian military
Russians seized U.S. equipment
Georgia policeman shot and killed
South Ossetia, Abkhazia get security cover

Nervous EU offers Ukraine hope for the future but no seat at the table
Ukraine PM speaks against conflict over Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

Serbia `Unhappy’ with OSCE in Kosovo

Transdnestr marks anniversary of de-facto independence

NATO ships leave Black Sea after exercises
Hearings in the Romania vs Ukraine dispute on the Black Sea continental plateau continue

news- bomb the zoo not iraq

Two medals for Team Zoobomb at gravity championships

And in case you should think bombing the zoo is some sort of animal rights activism:
Ask the Wikipedia!!1!

In the category of “How Not To Do It”:
Sheriff’s investigation: Anarchists discussed kidnapping delegates

The main sources for the information were “regular surveillance” of the group and three people who posed as members — two informants and an undercover investigator. The informants monitored e-mails and conversations.

Check it out: when you announce to the world that you’re going to engage in organized criminal activity, the police tend to investigate you. You do remember they work to support the state, yes? And when you eschew leadership and organization, you shouldn’t be surprised that some jackass running his mouth about kidnapping seems as credible as your spokeperson (who you insist isn’t a “leader”, after all) when she says it’s all about organizing yourselves around the idea of mutual aid. Oh, and when you organize in public, you should expect to be easily infiltrated. It’s not like there haven’t been plenty of examples of this model failing in the past.

Anyway, Amy Goodman kicks ass:
Amy Goodman, one of four journalists arrested at an anti-RNC protest, tells her story
Why we were falsely arrested

And one more from the RNC, because I did say I wasn’t going to cover it:
Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police, according to his mother
If you’re a jaded old bastard like me, you might not see much that’s new in this story. But you should read it anyway.

OK, on to the rest of the world….

Major ice-shelf loss for Canada

Pirates seize French nationals off Somalia
Malaysia Sends Navy to Protect Ships Near Somalia From Pirates
EU to set up anti-Somalia pirates coordination

Third US ship heads to Georgia to deliver aid
NATO rejects Putin’s remarks on its military buildup in Black Sea
Tension on the rise in Black Sea, Turkey stuck in the middle
Russians Chase Off U.S. Ship … with ‘Loud Music’
Romania and Ukraine go to UN Court over Black Sea border

Report: Israeli Bombers Planned to Use Georgian Airfields in Iran Strike
Georgia Eager to Rebuild Its Defeated Armed Forces
Rice: U.S. to Give $1 Billion to ‘Help Georgia Sustain Itself’
Georgia lifts state of war

Ukraine Government Near Collapse

And introducing another new tag… Moldova!
Georgia crisis raises hopes in Moldovan rebel region

headlines- martian sunrise and other things

NASA Mars Phoenix Mission: Ice Cold Sunrise on Mars
Ice Clouds in Martian Arctic

NASA Phoenix Mission Conducting Extended Activities on Mars
NASA Considers Keeping Space Shuttles in Flight Past 2010
Shutting down the shuttle
ISS Dodges Space Junk For First Time In Five Years
China to launch third manned space flight in September: report

Glenn Greenwald has been covering the crackdown outside the RNC pretty regularly:
Scenes from St. Paul — Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman arrested
RNC Welcoming Committee
Twin Cities Indymedia
I’ve got to say, I’m less concerned about Amy Goodman, who’s been arrested by worse than these goons, than I am about the state of our nation and how jaded I am about it. I shrugged my shoulders when I heard about all this, figuring we knew it was going to happen. But c’mon, let’s pay some attention:

Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 — with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured.

Georgia seems to have stabilized a bit since I last posted. You can expect a wrap-up in the next few days, but here’s a quick look at the region:
Russia says US may have sent weapons to Georgia
Ukraine defense faces dilemma after Georgia crisis
EU involves Ukraine into sanitary cordon off Russia
Turkish, Russian admirals meet on Black Sea
Russia will respond ‘calmly’ in Black Sea: Putin

Arctic Island: More Evidence of Melting, Scientists Say

Priest’s potty gift from God

A Bulgarian priest is to go under police surveillance – because of a field of cannabis he claims is a gift from God. Father Cyril Papudov has been arrested seven times but police have never caught him actually cultivating the crop. He claims the cannabis seeded by itself and is part of God’s gift of nature and nothing to do with him.

And I haven’t had a chance to digest this story yet, so consider this all raw data, but you can expect to be hearing more. I spent my hippiest treehugging days defending roadless areas in Idaho. If anything gets me out of my armchair, it could well be this. Stay tuned.
Two Roads Diverged in a Wood, and I … I Couldn’t Believe I Was in a Roadless Area: Deal to shrink roadless areas in Idaho approved by Bush admin
Truce Is Reached in Battle Over Idaho Forest Land
Idaho’s roadless deal may be final soon
I’m glad the Times and the Statesman are so impressed with “compromise.” Here’s a better compromise: you don’t mess with the forest, we don’t mess with you. Sounds fair, huh?

Damn, I haven’t dissed the Statesman in a decade. Hi, guys.

yep, there’s still news today

I was gonna say that I’m glad the weekend is over so I can get some rest, but the week is shaping up to be just as crazy as the weekend was. Why am I telling you this? So you know there’s nothing but drive-by posting for a few more days, of course.

Also, I’m going to skip the convention coverage. You can get plenty of official news and opinion from the internets, as well as lots of other perspectives. I’ll try to post later in the week with some good sources from the street level, but for now, here’s the activist sources.
DNC Disruption 08
Colorado Indymedia

Russian lawmakers back independence for rebels
Georgian President Vows to Rebuild Army
Georgian parliament extends military regime in country
US Navy warship sails into Georgia with aid
Tense stand-off in disputed Georgia village

Russian Actions Reignite Tensions Over Strategic Port in Ukraine
Wanted: A Plan for Ukraine

Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline back to normal operations, BP says
Azerbaijan exports oil via Iran as Med outlets fail
Kazakh Connection: Kazakhstan Says It Still Backs BTC Pipeline

Russia cruiser to test weapons in crowded Black Sea
Russian military concerned by larger NATO presence in Black Sea
U.S. to send third ship to Black Sea
Fatih Cekirge: U.S. likely to demand new arrangement for Turkish Straits

Serbia World Court move on Kosovo seen buying time
Kosovo Serbs hold protest rally in north

Why doesn’t U.S. join Law of the Sea treaty?
Global warming time bomb trapped in Arctic soil: study
ARCTIC GUARDIANS: In the North, Inuit Rangers are on patrol for Canada’s sovereignty

Pirate attack foiled
INTERVIEW-Piracy ransoms funding Somalia insurgency