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BLUE FLAMES AS HAWAII BURNS

 

 

Why it’s blue – and what has officials worried.

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Wait… BLUE Flames?

When the lava buries plants, methane gas is produced. Methane can seep into the ground & produces a blue flame when ignited.

The blue flames are only visible at night, making it hard to judge how widespread they are.

Scientists are now concerned the methane may cause explosions.

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Mother Nature has put on quite a show... Kilauea’s eruption has also generated earthquakes, gushing molten rock, giant ash plumes & sulfur dioxide. No sign when it will end, but scientists say its similar to one in 1955 that lasted 3 months.

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“It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too…. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared.”

Paige Curry, 17-year-old student survivor of the May 18th Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas
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“We have zero guarantee to sleep here and wake up in the morning.”

Father Benoka, Catholic Priest, speaking to SmartHER News about the threats Christians face in Northern Iraq, by Shiite Militias, believed to be tied to Iran.
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Why Does This Matter?

  • Father Benoka use to live and work in Mosul and survived the ISIS invasion. He says Christians *still* face the threat of genocide.
  • The Shiite Muslim majority govt in Iraq & Iran’s Shiite regime work together through “Shiite Militias”.
  • Benoka says he believes the goal of these Shiite Militias inside Iraq is to push out minorities and claim land for Iran.

 

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This unique perspective comes from an area few journalists venture. As focus remains on the "Iran Deal" overall, we want to share the experience of someone on the ground in the Middle East. It's one story - We look forward to telling more.

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Kilauea 101

Who: 1,700+ residents of the Kīlauea summit area ordered to evacuate

When: Erupting regularly for 30+ years, but uptick began May 3rd

Where: Southeastern most volcano on Hawaii (aka the “Big Island”)

Why: Unclear, but likely, pressured magma erupted due to clog or heat

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When Will It End?
NO ONE KNOWS

“At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue.”

USGS May 9, 2018 Statement
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So far, Kilauea has destroyed 36+ structures and covered 116+ acres in lava, but thankfully, although many have suffered serious injuries, no fatalities have been reported. What is it really like to live near an erupting volcano? A SmartHER News reader tells us!

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The Forgotten War

 

 

 

33,739 = Americans killed in combat in The Korean War – an important reminder as North & South Korea discuss peace.

CLICK HERE: PHOTOS
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KOREAN WAR

  • Lasted 3 years.
  • U.S. fought on behalf of U.N. to repel communist North from South.
  • Tensions arose from WWII. Korean Peninsula occupied by Japan during war. After the war, U.S. divided peninsula into North & South arbitrarily at 38th parallel aka the “DMZ” or demilitarized zone”.
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What You Should Know:
KOREAN WAR

  • 3-4 Million Koreans killed ~ estimated 70% civilians.
  • Estimated 25% or 1 out of 4 North Koreans killed.
  • War isn’t *technically* over: no peace treaty signed.
  • Called “The Forgotten War” in America because Vietnam soon overshadowed the deadly conflict.
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Why we should #NeverForget: More than 20,000 American troops remain stationed in South Korea. Click through for link to photos of The Korean War and more background on why it matters.

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SEMI SAFETY NET

Heroic truck drivers line highway to prevent suicide attempt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trucks Prevent Tragedy

Michigan State Police shut down a highway outside Detroit, asking 13 semi trucks to make a “wall” for a man threatening to jump.

Truckers have helped police in similar situations in the past, but usually not in this large of numbers.

The man, in his 30s, did not to jump and walked to safety.

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If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans.

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Photographer behind this viral sensation shares backstory and the message he sees in this image.

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“They are real people … I think it really says a lot about the kinship that this very select group of people has for each other. They’ve all served. It’s not so much about the politics at that time. It’s about honoring a very select member of that club.”

Photographer Paul Morse to Time magazine. Morse worked for George W. Bush in the White House but has gone on to work with both the Clintons, Bushes and beyond.
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Morse estimates he had 4 shots to capture this image of multi-generations of American leaders. Read his description of the experience:

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Where Diesel Cars Go To Die

Incredible images of hundreds of thousands of cars in America…awaiting their fate & taking up space.

All fallout from the VW Diesel emissions scandal.

Sky News has the scoop.

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Backstory

  • 2015: Volkswagen admitted to cheating on U.S. emission tests.
  • Fallout: VW had to pay about $15B in fees & has until June 2019 to either buy back or fix 85% of its fleet, or face more fees.
  • 37 “lots” house vehicles to be destroyed or resold (if they meet appropriate emissions standards).
Sky News: The Scoop
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One "parking lot" is a suburban football stadium. This is Worth-It-To-See...especially since you could potentially buy one of these cars someday!

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“Hun, you really got that windswept look.”

What a gas station clerk said to ultra-cyclist Lael Wilcox after she removed her helmet and hadn’t showered for 17-days.

Wilcox cycles the equivalence of the circumference of globe every year.

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She Loves To Cycle

“I just wanna be out there.”

Wilcox biked from Alaska to America’s southern border and won cross-country races – beating men & women.

Click Here To See Her Ride:
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Wilcox keeps everything she needs on her bike - learn what she never leaves home without.

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NEW WEEK:
New Florida Gun Laws

New laws passed 23 days after one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.

“It’s an example to the entire country that government can and has moved fast.”  FL Gov. Rick Scott, March 9, 2018

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New Florida Laws

  • Rifles: raises purchase age (from 18 to 21) & implements 3-day waiting period. NRA filed lawsuit hrs after bill signed.
  • Creates “Guardian Program” allows teachers & staff to carry guns w/proper training. Program NOT mandatory; school districts can decide to participate. FL Teachers Union opposes – hopes gov’t strikes funding.
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“Break” In Unsolved Story

The big unanswered question at the center of the Florida school shooting is: Why, if the shooter was repeatedly violent & threatening, did he NOT have a police record?

Real Clear Investigations may have found the answer – and they aren’t the only ones.

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Reports: Why FL Shooter Had No Criminal Record

  • Federal policy implemented in the Florida school district (and many others) to avoid suspending or arresting students.
  • Policy dates back to the Obama Administration.
  • Reports: Policy aimed to slow the “school-to-prison” pipeline that disproportionately impacts minority students.
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“Students charged with various misdemeanors, including assault, would now be disciplined through participation in ‘healing circles,’ obstacle courses and other ‘self-esteem building’ exercises.”

Paul Sperry, Real Clear Investigations, March 1, 2018
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Several other sources have also reported similar explanation to Real Clear Investigations - We included a few on the sources page, but RCI is worth-a-read.

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AMAZING DISCOVERY!

Billionaire-turned-shipwreck hunter, Paul Allen (also, the son of a WWII veteran) & his research team discovered a sunken U.S. aircraft carrier no one has seen since WWII.

Team posted play-by-play – View It Below!

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Backstory:

  • USS Lexington (“Lady Lex”) = One of America’s first aircraft carriers
  • Battle of Coral Sea = Major WWII battle vs. Japanese in 1942
  • Americans stopped the Japanese and their advance into Australia, but “Lady Lex” sank.
  • 2,770 men rescued at sea, but 200+ went down with the ship.
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Why It Matters:

  • USS Lexington = FIRST American aircraft carrier to sink at war
  • Battle of Coral Sea = FIRST “air-sea” battle in history; opposing ships NEVER saw each other.
  • Marked a notable shift in WWII & America’s success containing Japanese.
  • A month later, the “Battle of Midway” turns the tide of the war in America’s favor.
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“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor. As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”

Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder & Explorer of Historic Battleships
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BTW Paul Allen is building the world's largest airplane. Expect to hear more about that soon! Preview In Sources:

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Dangerous Duo:
North Korea & Syria

North Korea shipping chemical weapon supplies to Syrian government, according to a United Nations report reviewed exclusively by the New York Times.

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What NYT Reports

  • North Koreans spotted at chemical weapons facilities inside Syria.
  • Supplies include valves, acid resistant tile, & thermometers.
  • Syria’s “payment” for chemical weapons supplies could help fund North Korea’s nuclear program.
  • Dozens of black market shipments: 2012-2017
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What You Should Know:

  • NYT reporting on one United Nations report, that no other outlet has at the time of our writing.
  • UN would not comment to NYT.
  • UN report is not public, nor do we know if it will ever become public.
  • However, there is precedent for military relationship between North Korea & Syria.
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Context:
North Korea & Syria

  • North Korea helped Syria build a nuclear power plant that could aid in Syria’s development of nuclear weapons. (Reminder – North Korea has nuclear weapons).
  • Some experts say North Korea helped Syria build chemical weapon stockpile dating back to the 1990s.
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Public Reaction To Report

  • Commander, U.S. Central Command, asked about report during congressional testimony; General Votel said he had not seen report, but had concerns about use/spread of chemical weapons inside Syria.
  • White House: “no comment” when asked about report during daily press briefing.
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Timing: America levied serious sanctions against North Korea shipping companies last Friday. Also reminder: President Assad agreed to “destroy” his chemical weapons back in 2014. Use of chemical weapons illegal & sanctioned by UN.

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