- “I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day. I felt like I was blinded by headlights.”
— Viktor Prokofiev, 36, a resident of Yekaterinburg, where the meteorite hit in the Urals Mountains
- “What was it? People said it was a plane that fell and exploded. I saw a bright blast from behind me. Everything was lit up, very bright light. It was like from Armageddon movie when the meteorite rain started, I really thought it was like doomsday. It was so scary especially the explosion. It was very strong. I am speechless. It was so strong. My camera couldn’t reproduce how strong the bang was.’”
— Gulnara Dudka, a woman in her 20s
[Images: Reuters; screenshot]
On the future of Scotland as a independent nation including defence, Europe, NATO, nuclear weapons, and currency, for The Atlantic (October 19, 2012)
Houshang Shahbazi, the Iranian airline captain who saved the lives of more than 100 passengers and crew by making an emergency landing in Tehran, says he’s been forced into early retirement. […]
The 56-year-old Shahbazi says he still has nine years left before the end of his career as a pilot. He adds that authorities had repeatedly asked him to stop his public efforts against the U.S. sanctions that ban Iran from buying spare parts for its aging civilian airline fleet. ”[Officials] told me, ‘You can return to work under certain conditions.’ They said, ‘You have to commit yourself not to engage in social work anymore.’ I refused,” Shahbazi says, adding that he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong.
Read more. [Image: YouTube]
“The embarrassment is that political culture in America is such that we can’t have an adult conversation about the lessons of Benghazi, a conversation that would focus more on understanding al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa, on the limitations and imperfections of security, and on shortfalls in our intelligence gathering, than on who said what when in the Rose Garden.”
Jeffrey Goldberg refocuses our attention on what is really worth talking about after the attack in Benghazi. Particularly worth noting is his observation that Foreign Service personnel are just as integral to US operations in the Middle East and North Africa as active-duty military are, for better or for worse, and they know the risks when they sign up for the job.
These are not images of “problems.” They’re images of people. There are 27 million slavesin the world today: That’s more than double the number of people taken from Africa during the entire transatlantic slave trade. A hundred and fifty years ago, an average agricultural slave cost over three times the average yearly wage of an American worker, about $50,000 in today’s money. Yet now, entire families can be enslaved for generations over a debt as small as $18. Slavery is illegal everywhere, but it exists all over the world.
Read more. [Image: Lisa Kristine]