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18.06.2015
Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me.
Each autumn, salmon return to the rivers of their birth a€“ there to spawn and once again trigger a renewal of the eternal passion play. Salmon that do eventually arrive at their destinations must once again compete a€“ this time for mates and to fight for access to the precious and very limited gravels. The profligate expenditure of life and extravagant wealth of biology is there everywhere to behold, as Death dances lightly among the gathering throngs of fish, picking and choosing from among them; who from their number shall successfully spawn and who shall just be food for the gathering predators and scavengers. Spend a day in silence, walking among the spawning salmon, as they dig spawning redds, jockey for position and slash at competitors with those gaping, snaggletoothed, hooked jaws. Jan Bohuslav Sobota has died, while half a world away; I was preparing these etchings of Spawned Salmon and dedicating them to Jan, the lover of fish.
The book you hold in your hands has evolved from my simply giving these etchings a second life in book form, to my using them as a vehicle for honoring a friendship of three decades. In 1985, Jan and I had been corresponding for some months without ever meeting a€“ all quite distant and correct. A short bit of background on Jan Sobota to begin, but fear not; Ia€™ll soon be spinning anecdotes and thoughts on books as art a€“ celebrating Jana€™s life of course, telling a few stories out of school, but also straying into the personal and speculative in search of the meaning to be derived from the life and death of a friend.
Jana€™s father was a serious bibliophile and collector of fine books, who nurtured that same love of books in his son a€“ an appreciation that steadily grew, until he was apprenticed to master bookbinder Karel A ilinger in PlzeA?. The pivotal event in Jana€™s early life as a book artist was the posthumous retrospective exhibition of fellow Pilsener, Josef VA?chal in 1969. Jan supported a family, sponsored workshops, exhibited widely, did conservation work on rare historic books, ran a gallery a€“ and on it went.
What Jan did for contemporary bookbinding, was to act as a bridge between the traditionally trained masters of the past and innovators of the present.
America was a great place to be a book artist in the early 1980a€™s precisely because it was an active zone of hybridization and hotbed of creativity. An instructive contrast to the anything-goes US scene was the icy reception I got when I showed a wooden box containing loose sheets of poetry and etchings to a Prague publisher. Neither Jan nor I had much interest in the book-like objects that often sneak into the museums as book arts a€“ the carved and glued together things that sorta, kinda have a bookish aspect to them a€“ rough-looking a€“ perhaps chain-sawed Oaken boards or granite slabs, slathered in tar and lashed together with jute; but lacking text. When Jana€™s books went beyond function, conservation or decoration, they were subtle statements about binding and the place of books, knowledge and art, as well as statements about the dignity inhering in the handcrafted - with a good dose humor.
There are others who know their conservation and those, whose scientific contributions are far greater, but few of them are also artists at heart.
It can sound so pedestrian, these eternal compromises between art and craft, yet what Jan represented was not at all common. There is an inflection point at which exceptional craft begins to make the transition to art and it is closely associated with surmounting the limitations inhering to the discipline. Visiting with Jan in his workshop you quickly realized, that he did what a professional must, but ultimately, he just loved messing about with books.
A curiously protean hybrid of artist and craftsman, ancient and modern, one cannot think of Jan without seeing an unabashed Czech patriot in a foreign land. Early on in their stay in Cleveland, the Sobotas experienced the quintessential American disaster. Even after their medical debts were retired, money was still an issue for a family of immigrants with three kids a€“ two with special needs.
Later on, when they were living in Texas, the massacre at Waco opened Jana€™s eyes to yet another difficult side of his adopted home. In 1979, I apprenticed with Jindra Schmidt, an engraver of stamps and currency, living in Prague. Schmidt had engraved stamps for Bulgaria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Albania, Guinea, Vietnam and Libya. In 1992, Jindra Schmidt was honored for his contributions and depicted on the last stamp of a united Czechoslovakia, before it split into Czech and Slovak republics a€“ a fitting tribute. Unlike most children of immigrants, my destiny remained connected to that of my parentsa€™ homeland.
My vocation as artist clarified itself in Prague while learning the increasingly obsolete skills of steel engraving. My first book was indeed, modeled after VA?chal, even to the extent of its diabolical subject matter.
Jan showed me a great deal in the following years about the tradition of books as the meeting place of art, craft and ideas a€“ where printmaking intergrades seamlessly with the worlds of language, typography and illustration. One can like these things just fine and admire them from an uncomprehending distance, or you can become engaged.
The book you hold was to have been a simple reprint of the Spawned Salmon a€“ something fun for Jan to work his magic upon.
Nice sentimental reminiscences, but there is still the matter of getting the work accomplished and out before the public, organizing exhibitions, printing catalogs and paying for transatlantic flights.
The Prague show was reconfigured and curated by Jana€?s longtime friend, Ilja A edo, for exhibition at the West Bohemian Museum in PlzeA?. Quite predictably, I like seeing the kind of work I do honored a€“ the wood engravings and etchings made to shine in the context of crisply printed type and an excellent binding. Ia€™ve heard printmakers lament that the surest way to devalue prints is to add excellent poetry, sensitive typography and a bang-up binding a€“ and then live to see the whole thing sell for half the price of just the unbound prints. Therea€™s nothing quite like seventeenth century Bohemia, the dead center of Europe, for particularly thorough violence a€“ with the Bubonic Plague stepping in afterwards as mop-up crew. The chapel at Sedlec was rebuilt after the major blood-letting of the thirty-years war as a memento mori a€“ reminder of death. What can you say about the mounds of dead, the ruined lives, destroyed nations and misery multiplied by millions that isna€™t trite or self-evident? But then I pan over to other fields a€“ not the kind where the grass is composting my fellow man, but to fields of endeavor where the ferment is of ideas recombining into ever more refined ways of thinking. I once lived at the Golem house in Prague a€“ at Meislova ulice, number 8, in the old Jewish ghetto. Horoscopes might seem a curious basis on which to select ministers and diplomats, but it is also more common than youa€™d think. Picture the scene before you: Ita€™s a late night in Prague, before the Marlboro man dominated every street corner, even before the neon of casinos and the vulgarity of Golden Arches assaulted the nightwalkersa€™ eyes at all hours a€“ back when darkness, oh yes, that beautiful comforting velvety, all-enveloping and blessed dark, broken only by the moon, stars and late night taxis, still ruled the streets after the sun went down. The Golem was a mythic being of Jewish folklore, created from clay and quickened by the Shem, a magical stone engraved with an ancient Hebraic inscription, inserted into Golema€™s forehead. The maternal tongues of these small nations have miraculously survived all the invasions, floods, plagues and foreign occupiers to this day a€“ a gift preserved and delivered to them across the generations.
Minority languages, on the other hand, carry an emotional load that can scarcely be exaggerated. Ishi and his sister were the last of the Yahi tribe to survive the genocidal colonization of California.
Those whose language and culture are not threatened can never know the burden under which the carriers of small minority languages labor a€“ nor how those in exile bring up their children to preserve that which is beyond their capacities to save. Jan was all about preserving traditions and the kind of ancestral knowledge that today is mostly enshrined in books. Today, the stories of our tribes are less and less passed on as oral tradition and most often read to us from the childrena€™s books wea€™ve learned to treasure a€“ illustrated by fine artists and produced with care for the highly discriminating purchasers of childrena€™s books a€“ for grandparents. A?epelA?k employed binders and typesetters to present complete suites of his work and in this too, he introduced me to a new world. Later in Prague I missed my flight back, due to the World Trade Center bombing and was delayed by a week.
The difficult thing to bear in acknowledging my teachers, models, heroes, suppliers and inspirations, is that these masters of the crafts and industries surrounding and supporting the book arts are mostly deceased. The fruit we seek is not fast food, but laden with full-bodied flavors, attained by slow natural processes. All of us come from grandfathers who once were wheelwrights, cobblers or instrument makers; men with a profound love of wood and leather, who knew the working qualities of every kind of obscure tree growing in their countryside a€“ men who knew when to reach for elm or hickory a€“ as well as for goat, dog or even fish-skins. Jan spoke fondly of his grandmother, who baked bread every week of the year to feed an entire estate a€“ farm hands, livery people, gentry, trainers and hod-carriers alike. Working consciously is the ultimate goal a€“ and that is the legacy youa€™ll find evidently contained within and upon the boards of every book bound by Jan Bohuslav Sobota.
The etchings you see here first came to life as illustrations for the wedding anniversary announcements of MA­la and Jaroslav KynA?l.
Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me.A  He was an exceptional bookbinder, teacher and promoter of the book arts, but also an exile who successfully returned home after years abroad. There seems to be a bit of a mystery surrounding the birth and youth of our ancestor, Albert Raymond Morton. The earliest events that any of his family knew of him was that, when a young man, he worked as a steamfitter on the Trans-Canadian Railroad. But, as to his birth, youth and parents, there are some real gaps in what is definitely knowna€”these were not topics of discussion in his home, and it simply did not occur to anyone to quiz him about his early life. Wea€™ll keep these vague impressions in mind as they may generate some leads in our search, but we must also guard against the assumption that they are all correct.
So, with the little that we know of him, we have started to collect, and sort out, the few documents we have been able to find regarding his origin.
At the time of his birth (in the 1880a€™s) states were not yet keeping actual birth certificates. Again, remember that this information was provided from Raya€™s understanding of what happened when he was an infant, and given to the state many years later.
Ira Homer Morton (Alberta€™s father) is buried there, next to Iraa€™s sister, Irene Morton Crankshaw. The next document that we will discuss is his application for a Social Security account number [2]. Just below this document, we will attach another, which Albert completed just a few months later, in which he applied to the Social Security board to make a correction in his date of birth. This leaves us wondering why he would intentionally give an older date to the state of Kansas (and to several others) and a later date to the Social Security office. But, an even more important discrepancy arises in the names, ages and places of birth of his parents. Based upon the research we have done so far, we cannot pinpoint the exact year of his birth with any certainty, and the following list will help to show the difficulty in determining that year. We have searched the records of the 1885 KS State census for Franklin Co., and have not yet been able to find him, or his family. We did find a record of his father, Ira Homer Morton, in the 1885 KS State census in Franklin Co., KS but in that record Ira stated that he was still a single man, unmarried, and he was living with his married sister, her family, and their aunt and a cousin.
One thing that has been very consistent about Raya€™s documents is that he invariably lists his mothera€™s name as Ida Louise Easley. We searched for twenty-five years to find any record of this woman, other than those listed by Raymond, and were infuriatingly unsuccessfula€¦ until June 2012. She was thirteen years old in the 1870 Federal census for Chetopa, Neosho Co., KS and still livng with her parents and siblings at that time. In the 1880 Federal census for Lincoln, Neosho, Kansas, we find Aaron and Ida Bonham with a new set of twin boys, just a few months old, Clarence and Lawrence, born in early 1880.
At about the same time, Aaron Bonhama€™s parents had settled in Franklin Co., Kansas, about 80 miles to the north. After this time, we can find no document to indicate that Aaron Bonham was still alive, but neither can we prove that he had died.
Aaron and Ida could have divorced, she then quickly married Ira Morton in the fall of 1885 (after the census) and they could have had a son, Raymond, the following year--Sept 1886. Aaron could have been away for an extended period and Ida could have met Ira Morton and had a child out of wedlock before Aarona€™s return.
Now, keeping that dilemma in mind, leta€™s proceed with the other documents that we have been able to find for Ida L. Note that at the time of this marriage, she was still going by the name of a€?Bonhama€? -- not Morton.
The 1890 Federal census would have been very helpful to us here, but unfortunately, it was destroyed. We would never have thought to search for this record under the names of a€?Holmesa€? without first finding the record of her marriage.
In the very same year, and census for the same county, we find that by the time the census taker had moved on to the home of Martha Bonhama€™s (the widowed mother of Aaron Bonham--and mother-in-law of Ida L. Now, this census was just a very short time after the previous exhibit (above) but here, Ray is listed as being 10 years old, and with the surname of a€?Bonham.a€? It is the same young boy. Even though Raya€™s mother had moved west, to Arizona, Ray continued to live with Martha Bonham. The questions must arise, that if Ray was born a€?out of wed-locka€? while Marthaa€™s daughter-in-law was still married to her son, Aaron, one might think that of all of the children, Martha might be the least likely to take this young boy into her home to raise. Whether Ray was actually going by the Bonham name, as indicated above, or whether the census taker once again made an assumption of that, is not known. In the 1905 KS State census we again find this family still living in Stafford Co., KS with Frank Bonham now showing as the head of the household, and Martha was still alive at age 78, but Ray is no longer living with them. It is interesting that Ida stated that her parent were born in KY, because in prior census records she had always correctly stated they were born in Tennessee. In the 1920 Federal census for Bakersfield, Kern Co., CA we find the family has moved inland. Note that Margaret Bonham Kelly had named her oldest son, William Raymond Kelly, with his middle name being a remembrance of her younger brother, Albert Raymond Morton. We have heard that Ida Louise Easley Bonham (Morton) Holmes Hamilton passed away in Bakersfield, CA in the 1930s but we do not have a specific date for her death at this time.
In only one record, his a€?Delayed Certificate of Birtha€? did Ray give an estimated age for his father. We have searched all the available records to try to find anyone by this exact name who may have lived in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, or any other surrounding state during this period of time and have found no one with that exact name. We previously mentioned the 1885 Kansas State census [9] in which a€?Ira Mortona€? was living in Williamsburg, Franklin Co., Kansas with his sister, Irene E. From this record, we have been able to go back to both Wisconsin, and New York, and find many records for this particular man. The purpose of this article is to document Raya€™s life, so we will not list all of the documentation for his parents, but merely summarize the key points that are pertinent. This connection, through Ohio, may account for why Ray understood that his father may have come from, and even been born in Cleveland, Ohio, and listed that city as the birth place of his father on one of the documents cited earlier. One other brief comment about this family: When Aunt Shirley Morton Donaldson, Raya€™s youngest daughter, went to Kansas on her research trip, and found the reference to George and Irene Crankshaw living in Williamsburg, she said that that name seemed to have a familiar ring to her from hearing comments made by her father years earlier.
We really know very little about Raya€™s youth, but with his consistent statements that he was born in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas, that is the first place we began looking. We actually have no other record for him anywhere between the 1900 census record mentioned earlier (for Stafford Co., KS) and the next one in 1915.
We did find one interesting record from 1912 that showed a Raymond Morton tried to cross over the boarder into Canada but was turned back by the authorities.
Although the Canadian recruiter judged him fit for duty at the time of his enlistment, Ray was in fact discharged from the army on 18 June 1916 in Toronto, Ontario with the comment that he was a€?medically unfit.a€? He had been entered on the a€?Casualty Forma€? on 22 May 1916 before the actual discharge came through about four weeks later. From this point we know that Ray made his way back to Big Valley, Alberta and went to work in the mines. This couple moved from place to place seeking work primarily on government jobs, particularly thoughtout the great depression. From this point on, the family has a clear knowledge and recollection of Raya€™s life, and so we will not go into that in this article. It appears that from about 1895, when Ray was approximately 8-10 years old, that he left his mother and siblings to live elsewhere. We hope this presentation is helpful to any of Alberta€™s posterity in future efforts of trying to find and document his life and his ancestry. Note that at the time of this marriage, she was still going by the name of a€?Bonhama€? -- not Morton.A  This adds credence to the supposition that she may not have actually married Ira H. In the days prior to the American Revolution, Pennsylvania, which was not only a Quaker, but also a pacifist, colony restricted her residents from crossing over the Susquehanna River and taking up Indian lands. Marylanders had no such compulsion and were more inclined to travel up a river, than to worry about where a rather arbitrary political boundary might cross through the woods. William grew up predominantly in York Co., PA where he met and married Catherine Houts on 27 Oct 1778, on his 21st birthday. Whether William participated in the Revolutionary War as a soldier, or not, is unknown, but it seems highly likely that he would have. From subsequent US census records, John, at one point, stated that he was born in Pennsylvania, but in another census, he said he was born in Maryland.
In the first US census taken in 1790, William Geery is found with his family in Baltimore Co., Maryland.
This last stay in Maryland was of a short duration and they were probably gone in the early 1790a€™s.
They must have lived fairly close to one of the original settlements in that state, as Williama€™s oldest son, John Geery, soon met a young girl, by the name of Elizabeth Guthrie, who was about his same age, and who was born there in Madison Co. In the mean time, William Geery and the rest of his family remained, at least for the most part, in Madison Co., KY. William remained for the rest of his life in Madison County, KY, passing away there on 14 Jan 1838 outliving his second wife by two years, as Hannah died there on 26 Oct 1835. William Geerya€™s older brother, John Geery, served in the Pennsylvania Militia during the War. By the turn of the century (early 1800a€™s) the threat from the Shawnee Indians had subsided quite a bit in Kentucky, although the Creeks were still giving the settlers in Tennessee a lot of trouble. For several years they made their home next to his in-laws and seemed happy in this community. Not too long after the death of little William, this family decided to pull up stakes and move to a new territory. They traveled down the Cumberland River to where it meets the Ohio, and then, just a short distance further, it merges with the Mississippi.
After marking off his farm ground, John built a large log cabin next to a perpetual spring of water.
In the mean time, after Johna€™s move to Missouri, his younger brother, James Geery, who had still been living with their folks back in Kentucky, packed up his family and in the early 1830a€™s moved to Missouri too. Robert was born in Williamson County, TN on 1 Dec 1808, and was the second child in the family of John and Elizabeth Guthrie Geery. Life was tough on the frontier for a young man, but his father needed him to help clear the land of most of the trees, and to plow and plant the crops. In the community near where they lived was another family, who had been their friends in Williamson Co., TN, and who had moved to Missouri with them. Robert and Sally were married in Ralls County, on 29 Sep 1831 and began building up their own farm ground in Pike County, next to the farm and home of William W. Robert was not only a farmer, but also followed the trade of being the local tanner of hides. No out-right military conflict resulted, but more and more Mormons kept moving into the western counties of the state, north of Jackson County.
In time, the Mormons were expelled from Missouri, and in the cold of winter, 1839, many of them migrated back across northern tier of counties, on their way to Illinois. In 1860, following the election of Abraham Lincoln, from the neighboring state of Illinois, the Civil War broke out and Missouri was referred to as a a€?split statea€? meaning that it was both a a€?slavea€? state, as well as a a€?freea€? state, and the people could chose which way they wanted to be. Coming from Tennessee, the Geerys had southern inclinations, but not so much so that they wanted to kill anyone over it. At this time, Robert Geery was 52 years old when his wife, Sally Parks, became ill and passed away on 23 Oct.
Eventually Robert died on 11 Jan 1899 and in Reading, MO; and his second wife, Catherine passed away some time after 1883.
RR Geery, as he usually styled himself, was named after both his maternal Grandfather, Reuben Parks, and after his father, Robert Geery. After an appropriate sweetheart courtship of these teenagers, Reuben and Lucy were married on 25 Feb 1864 in Pike Co., MO. Following the end of the Civil War, there was another huge explosion of the population moving west to occupy almost every piece of land that could be acquired. With the discovery of rich veins of gold, then silver, and then copper in a little known place that soon became the boom town of Butte, Montana, thousands of people from all over the world flocked to the newest strike zone to make themselves wealthy over-night. Reuben and Fanny had a young family at this time, but they were coming to the conclusion that their Missouri farm was not going to provide them with the life they wanted to live.
At least with the railroad, their trip west was much less of a hardship than it had been for earlier travelers. Additionally some of Reubena€™s brothers and sisters came to Montana with him, or shortly thereafter.
Reubena€™s mining efforts didna€™t pay off too well, and his farm, although pretty, didna€™t provide all that much either, but his freighting job supplied his family with their basic needs. After his death, Fanny went to live primarily with her married daughter, Mildred Geery Travers, who had married Reuben Travers on 6 Jan 1892. The second daughter, and third child of Reuben and Fanny Geery was Cora Bell, born 30 Mar 1869 in Pike County, MO. Cora grew up in a loving home where she was very close to her parents and siblings, but most especially to her only sister, Mildred. Sometime between 1881-84 a small group of people arrived from Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada. It wasna€™t long before big, tall Jim Fitzpatrick noticed the pretty Cora Bell Geery, and he began to court her. For her 17th birthday in 1886, Fanny Waddle Geery gave her daughter Cora an autograph book.
The thoughts of a loving and kindly father, who could see the hand writing on the wall and knew he would soon be giving his daughter away to another man. Jim Fitzpatricka€™s and Cora Bell Geerya€™s wedding was recorded in the new county courthouse located in Butte. The last two were twins, which were named after their mother, and her dear sister, who she sadly left behind near Butte.
Cora Geery Fitzpatrick, and her family were very happy in their Montana home, even though she was separated from the rest of her Geery siblings. Soon the family doctor diagnosed her with colon cancer, and there was not much that could be done to help her.
Left column is for John (himself), his first wife, Elizabeth Guthrie, and his mother Catherine Houts. Right column has: His Mother, Catherine Houts Geery (entered twice) followed by his Fathera€™s second wife, Hannah, and ending with his father, William Geery. Whether William participated in the Revolutionary War as a soldier, or not, is unknown, but it seems highly likely that he would have.A  His older brother, John, was a soldier, and with the opposing British Army stationed in Philadelphia, a patriotic feeling filled the hearts of most able bodied Pennsylvanians, perhaps more so than from any other colony, outside of Massachusetts. Reubena€™s mining efforts didna€™t pay off too well, and his farm, although pretty, didna€™t provide all that much either, but his freighting job supplied his family with their basic needs.A  With that being the case, he moved their residence from their Browns Gulch farm to the town of Rocker, about four miles west of Butte, where it was more convenient for him to spend time with his family.
The curtain fell a final time for elephants performing at Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus as the circus ended a practice that enthralled audiences for two centuries but became caught between animal rights activists' concerns and Americans' shifting views.
Six Asian elephants danced, balanced on each others' backs and sat on their hind legs during their last show in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday. An elephant performs in its final show for the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on Sunday.
He called elephants beloved members of the circus family and thanked the animals for more than 100 years of service.
After Sunday's performance, the animals will live at Ringling's 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, said Alana Feld, executive vice-president of Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus. The Humane Society says more than a dozen circuses in the United States continue to use elephants. Before Sunday's show, around half a dozen protesters stood outside, including one wearing a lion costume, to protest Ringling's use of animals.
Just as in the Disney movie Dumbo, elephants in the past have been dressed up as people and trained to do a range of tricks: play baseball, ride bicycles, play musical instruments, wear wedding dresses or dress in mourning clothes, said Ronald B. The change at Ringling signifies a shift in Americans' understanding of elephants, Tobias said.
After tantalizing the northern Chilean desert with the promise of moisture, the mist evaporates in the sun, leaving the heat to bake the stark lunar landscape. But the South American country is researching how to use a technique called "fog harvesting" to collect this mist in large quantities and deliver it to communities that currently depend on water shipped in from the city in tanker trucks.


Chilean researchers have patented a device resembling a large window screen to turn the mist into usable water. These fog harvesters are set up facing the wind, which blows the mist into myriad tiny black threads that crisscross them. Instead of passing through, the mist condenses on the polypropylene threads, slowly gathering into drops that eventually seep down into an awaiting container.
The technique is basic but efficient: each window-sized device can collect 14 liters of water a day, said Camilo Del Rio, a researcher at the geography institute of Catholic University in Santiago. The university runs a research center on fog harvesting in the northern city of Alto Patache. The technology has been exported to Spain, Nepal, Namibia and several other Latin American nations. The water tastes like rain, but must be treated for drinking because it contains minerals from the ocean and can harbor bacteria. The research center in Alto Patache comprises six white domes with a weather station, a kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms - all of which run completely on harvested fog, which provides the facility with more than 200 liters of water a day on average. The Atacama Desert's dawn mist is produced by the intense solar radiation that hits the nearby Pacific, evaporating large volumes of water that is then carried inland by the region's strong winds. When this moist air mass reaches the snowy peaks of the Andes mountains west of the desert, it cools and turns to a thick mist. The indigenous people native to the region call the mist camanchaca, which means "The Darkness" in the Aymara language. Massive forest fires sweeping across the north Indian state of Uttarakhand have killed at least seven people in recent weeks, and were threatening two tiger reserves, officials said on Monday. After state firefighters were unable for months to put the fires out, the Indian government sent air force helicopters over the weekend to drop water on the blazes covering nearly 23 square kilometers of pine forests.
Motorists had to negotiate fire and heavy smoke at Godkhyakhal near Pauri in Uttarakhand, India, on Sunday. There were dozens of fires burning on Monday, spreading unpredictably and threatening two major tiger reserves - Corbett National Park and Rajaji National Park - according to state forest officer Bhanu Prasad Gupta. Officials said the fires had been exacerbated by the year's dry weather, after two consecutive years of poor monsoon rains. Since February, the blazes have spread to 13 districts destroying vast swaths of forest land across Uttarakhand, Gupta said. Authorities have detained four men for questioning on suspicions they started some fires in a bid to clear land for real estate development, according to Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar.
Wildlife conservation officials said the fire had caused severe damage to the ecosystem of the forests.
Two years of weak monsoon rains had left very little moisture in the atmosphere, "so a small fire can spread very fast," Unnwal said. Experts expect the number of wildfires, as well as the intensity of those fires, to increase as climate change brings warmer temperatures that dry up forest areas and exacerbate the drought. India is also struggling with the aftermath of the El Nino climate cycle, which has exacerbated drought conditions and could still weaken this year's monsoon, expected to begin in June.
More than 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, these overcrowded dwellings are now admired as a unique - if disappearing - cultural phenomenon, featured on guided tours and discussed at academic conferences. The former imperial capital has even started up its own kommunalka festival run by a group of local artists. She herself lives in one, a fairly small, three-room apartment which was among a few opened up to the public for this year's festival.
Her "neighbor", 75-year-old Eduard Yemelyanov, has lived in the flat in the central Petrogradskaya district for 15 years. Communal flats became a mass phenomenon in Russia after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, when factory workers and peasants flocked to cities and were housed in spacious apartments of well-to-do families, who themselves were often relegated to a single room after the space was partitioned off to make room for others. In Saint Petersburg, renamed Leningrad by the Soviets, these flats were still used up to the 1980s, when they accounted for almost 40 percent of the apartments in the historic center. In Moscow, where the city center was massively rebuilt in the Soviet era, there were far fewer communal flats and practically none are left. After the end of the Soviet era, a new generation of wealthy Russians snapped up communal flats - often in an advanced state of disrepair - and paid to rehouse residents in small, individual flats in the suburbs.
In 2008, Saint-Petersburg authorities launched a program aimed at moving out all the inhabitants of communal flats - which can have up to 10 rooms - to bring an end to the Soviet tradition. In the following seven years, the number of such flats in the city of five million fell from 116,000 to 83,000, according to official figures.
Today, many families who own rooms in communal apartment no longer live there themselves but rent them out to students, out-of-towners and migrant workers. Another kommunalka dweller, 39-year-old Anna Fyodorova, also opened her room with huge windows and a panoramic view of a central street to visitors for the festival.
But she has to share a kitchen, bathroom and toilet with the 10 people living in the flat's seven other rooms. The small bathroom and toilet with old, worn fittings are at the end of a long, dark corridor along with the large kitchen where at least one neighbor can be found at any given time.
With their country gripped by an economic crisis, Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday as their clocks were set forward to save power on President Nicolas Maduro's orders. At 2:30 am local time, the oil-dependent South American nation shifted its time ahead by 30 minutes - to four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
The move, announced in mid-April, is part of a package of measures the embattled socialist president is pursuing to cope with a crippling electricity shortage.
Maduro's government has also instituted four-hour daily blackouts across most of the country, reduced the public-sector workweek to two days and ordered schools closed on Fridays - adding to the woes of a nation already stuck in a crushing recession. The power cuts sparked riots and looting this week in Venezuela's second-largest city, Maracaibo. In announcing the time change, the government said 30 extra minutes of daylight at the end of the day would curb the use of lights and air conditioning, especially draining for the power grid. A video posted on Twitter showed the man charged with keeping the official time in Venezuela, Jesus Escalona, adjusting the atomic clock at the Cagigal Naval Observatory in Caracas. Maduro's late predecessor, Hugo Chi??i??vez, implemented the unusual half-hour time shift in December 2007, saying he didn't want children to have to walk to school in the dark. Maduro blames the power crunch on the El Nino weather phenomenon, which has unleashed the worst drought in 40 years, reducing the reservoirs at Venezuela's hydroelectric dams. But the opposition says mismanagement is to blame for the power crisis as well as the recession and shortages. Speaking in a national broadcast on the eve of International Workers' Day, Maduro also decreed a 30-percent increase in the minimum wage. The death of Guilio Regeni quickly poisoned ties between Egypt and Italy, where suspicions were high that Egyptian police - who have long been accused of using torture and secret detentions - snatched the 28-year-old and killed him. The claim was immediately dismissed by Italian officials as not credible, with some Italian media calling it an outright cover-up. Now accounts from witnesses and family members interviewed by The Associated Press raise further questions about the official version of the March 24 shooting in a wealthy suburban enclave outside Cairo. But witnesses say the men were unarmed and tried to flee as police fired on them, and that afterward police confiscated footage from security cameras near the scene. The AP spoke to six witnesses in Tagammu al-Khamis as well as six relatives and lawyers of the slain men.
Asked about their accounts, Interior Ministry spokesman Abu Bakr Abdel-Karim said he was not authorized to comment and referred questions to the prosecutor-general investigating the case. French and Turkish police fired tear gas at protesters as tensions erupted in both countries during May Day rallies on Sunday, while thousands marched across the globe for the annual celebration of worker's rights. From Moscow to Madrid, workers chanted demands for higher wages, better conditions and more job security as many countries battle economic uncertainty and high unemployment. Police estimated some 17,000 protesters marched through the French capital for a rally riding a wave of anger against planned labor reforms set to come before parliament on Tuesday. The May Day rally was the second protest against the reforms in a week to descend into violence led by troublemakers known as "casseurs" (breakers) who actively seek confrontation with security forces. While the government says it hopes the reforms will reduce chronic unemployment of about 10 percent, critics believe they threaten hard-won workers' rights by making it easier to lay off people in lean times. The government has already watered down the bill but this has failed to calm the anger among students and workers. In Istanbul, police clamped down on unauthorized protests at a time of particular tension after a succession of deadly attacks by suicide bombers this year in Turkey blamed on jihadists and Kurdish militants. Around 25,000 police were on duty, cordoning off the central Taksim Square and releasing volleys of teargas and water cannon on those trying to make their way to the protest hotspot, an AFP photographer said. In the flashpoint area of Okmeydani, masked radical leftists threw Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at police and created burning barricades out of junk. The office of the Istanbul governor said that 207 people were detained around the city for trying to march on Taksim. Five Seattle police officers were injured and at least nine people arrested on Sunday night, after unruly demonstrators hurled projectiles and broke windows, authorities said.
Mayor Ed Murray blamed the "senseless violence" in Seattle on a "different crowd" from those who had attended an earlier peaceful May Day immigration march.
In posts on social media website Twitter, the Seattle police department said one officer had suffered a cut to the head as protesters hurled Molotov cocktails, another was hit by a rock, and a third officer was bitten, apparently by a protester. Scrambling to resuscitate a nearly dead truce in Syria, the Obama administration has again been forced to turn to Russia for help, with little hope for the desired US outcome.
At stake are thousands of lives and the fate of a feeble peace process essential to the fight against the Islamic State group, US Secretary of State John Kerry has appealed once more to Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov for assistance in containing and reducing the violence, particularly around city of Aleppo. In Geneva, Kerry met with Judeh and was to meet UN envoy Staffan de Mistura and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday before returning to Washington. But Lavrov was not expected to be in Geneva, complicating Kerry's efforts to make the case directly to the Russians for more pressure on their Syrian government allies to stop or at least limit attacks in Aleppo.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday he is committed to building all of a new Australian submarine fleet in Australia, apparently contradicting the French contractor who said last week the deal would create jobs in France. Four new photographs of Britain's Princess Charlotte playing at her family's country home were released by the royal family on Sunday to mark her first birthday.
With "Holy Fire" and solemn Masses, Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected more than 2,000 years ago. Britain's foreign secretary met Cuban officials on Thursday on the first such visit to the island since 1959, for talks on boosting trade and tourism ties with the island.
Philip Hammond's trip comes a month after US President Barack Obama's historic visit to the Caribbean nation, which is opening up to warmer ties with its old Cold War rivals.
Hammond said in Havana that he was "the first UK foreign secretary to visit Cuba since the revolution" in 1959.
His visit also follows meetings in recent months between Cuba's President Raul Castro and other top officials and leaders from the European Union.
Hammond met with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez and signed several cooperation agreements with other government officials. Hammond said he wanted "enhanced bilateral cooperation underpinned by increased trade, increased investment and more tourists coming to Cuba" from Britain.
Britain was the second-biggest source of foreign tourists to Cuba last year after Canada, with 160,000 Britons making the trip, he said.
His ministry said earlier that he would sign a "bilateral agreement restructuring Cuba's debt to the UK," but Hammond did not comment about that during his news conference later in Havana. He also met with representatives from Cuban civil society and the British business community in Havana, the Foreign Office said. In March, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini became the highest-ranking EU official ever to visit Cuba when she traveled to Havana.
She signed a deal to normalize relations with Cuba, including an agreement on human rights. Hammond's office said he, too, would broach the sensitive topics of human rights and social and economic reform in Cuba.
Britain in 2010 launched a drive to strengthen its ties with Latin America and also backs the EU agreement with Cuba.
Britain wants to "strengthen a bilateral dialogue where we're able to raise issues of concern to both sides in the spirit of free and open discussions", he added. British direct exports to Cuba - mostly dairy, pharmaceuticals and machinery - increased by nearly a third last year to the equivalent of about $36 million, Hammond said. Indirect trade via companies based in third countries made the total even bigger, the British embassy in Havana added. The growth in trade coincided with the historic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States after 50 years of enmity stemming back to the Cold War.
Analyzing the current mass bleaching event ravaging the Great Barrier Reef, researchers from the ARC Center of Excellence for Climate System Science found the effects of human-induced climate change had added one-degree Celsius of warming to the ocean temperatures.
But should greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, this extreme temperature will become the new normal within 20 years and cause similar mass bleaching events every two years, the as-yet unpublished findings show. That spells death for large swathes of the Great Barrier Reef as coral bleaching recovery rates are being overwhelmed by more frequent and severe mass bleaching events. Though the research is yet to be peer reviewed, the scientists took the unprecedented step of releasing their results early due to the grave nature facing the Great Barrier Reef from inaction. Coral reefs are one of the most important and productive marine ecosystems that the world depends on for tourism and fisheries sustainability. Coral bleaching occurs when stress such as heat caused the animal to expel the symbiotic algae, loosing vital nutrients and energy reserves, thus color, leading to the wide scale loss of productive habitats for fish. Recent research suggests corals with high levels of fat or other energy reserves can withstand annual bleaching events, which is critical to predicting the persistence of corals and their capacity to recover from more frequent events resulting from climate change. South African President Jacob Zuma should face almost 800 corruption charges that were dropped in 2009, a judge said on Friday, piling further pressure on the embattled leader. A sizzling heat wave has claimed more than 300 lives in India, and officials have forbidden daytime cooking in some areas to prevent fires that have killed nearly 80 others. Three people were killed and 25 wounded when rebel-fired mortars hit a mosque in Aleppo as people were leaving Friday prayers, the Syrian state news agency SANA said on Friday The mosque was in the government-held Bab al-Faraj area of Aleppo.
A helicopter with 13 people on board crashed off western Norway on Friday, with rescue workers saying there was no sign of survivors but that the search was going on. A 94-year-old former SS sergeant has told a German court he is "ashamed" that he served as a guard in the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp and that he knew what was going on there but did nothing to stop it.
Albania's governing Socialist Party says it has sued former prime minister Sali Berisha for calling on citizens to arm themselves. It's a big day for nine-year-old Nepali schoolgirl Riddhima Shrestha and her three-year-old sister, Ishita, as they dress up in silk brocade and gold jewellery, preparing to wed a Hindu god.
The two sisters are among dozens of girls taking part in the "ihi" or "bel bibaha" ceremony - a coming-of-age ritual practised by Kathmandu's indigenous Newar community, whose customs combine elements of Hinduism and Buddhism.
The two-day ceremony, usually held several times a year in the capital's historic durbar (royal) square, sees pre-pubescent girls "marry" the Hindu deity, Vishnu, symbolized by the local "bel" fruit.
The centuries-old custom is believed to protect girls from the stigma of widowhood by ensuring that a Newari woman's first husband - the god - will inevitably outlive her mortal spouse. During the ceremony, girls hold the bel fruit, also known as a wood apple, in one palm and touch a statue of the god with the other, symbolically giving Vishnu their hand in marriage. The girl's parents also secure their place in heaven by performing "kanyadaan" - the practice of giving away one's daughter in marriage - according to the priests who conduct the ceremony. After the rituals end, with gifts for the bride followed by a feast for family and friends, it's back to school for third-grader Riddhima, who is the first of her classmates to go through the ceremony. The Supreme Court of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Friday sentenced a Republic of Korea-born US citizen to 10 years of hard labor for alleged subversion and espionage activities.
Kim Dong-chul, who was born in 1953 in Seoul and emigrated to the United States in 1972, was charged with plotting to subvert the DPRK system, slandering the supreme leadership of the country and gathering state and military secrets. Running a trade company in Rason, a special economic zone in the DPRK, Kim started espionage in 2013 after coming into contact with several people from the ROK who tasked him with collecting top party, state and military secrets of the DPRK, including its nuclear facilities, nuclear tests and photographs of warships at repairing factories, according to the prosecutor.
The ROK citizens from whom Kim took orders included a correspondent of Donga Daily, an official with the ROK's Ministry of Unification and a professor at Seoul National University, said the prosecutor. He was also accused of illegally buying a DPRK-made mobile phone in the capital city of Pyongyang via his local employee and providing the phone to the ROK.
Kim received donations from a Canadian church, gave them to kindergartens in Rason and took pictures of the local children accepting the donations, according to the prosecution.
He was arrested on Oct 2, 2015 as he was receiving an SD card that contained photos of local markets in Rason and documents about the DPRK's nuclear programs from a local resident in Rason whom he had bought off, said the prosecutor. Evidence was presented to the court including his passport, the SD card, a Nikon camera, a mobile phone he used to contact with the ROK citizens, text messages showing him receiving orders from them, documents handed over to him when he was caught, and pictures he had taken of military vessels. The DPRK government has convicted a number of foreigners for anti-DPRK crimes in recent years, often making them publicly confess their actions before trying them in court. In March 2016, US student Otto Frederick Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for taking down a political slogan from a hotel in Pyongyang. In December 2015, the Supreme Court sentenced ROK-born Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim to lifetime labor. A young man poses as a sleazy, bejeweled politician in a white suit, sitting atop a white horse surrounded by hordes of bodyguards while promising jobs and prosperity to the voters. Luka Maksimovic and his friends started out to have fun, but the young pranksters have become a sensation - and have been elected to office - after finishing second in a local vote in a rundown industrial town in central Serbia. The success of the rookie citizens' group at last weekend's election in Mladenovac, outside Belgrade, seems to reflect widespread disillusionment with politicians in crisis-stricken Serbia and the desire for new, young faces still untouched by the corruption that has plagued all aspects of the Balkan country's political scene. Maksimovic described his alter ego - Ljubisa Preletacevic Beli - as the worst possible version of a typical Serbian politician: He is loud and dishonest, owns a shady business and obeys no rules. During campaigning, Preletacevic parodied Serbia's political reality: bare-chested, he saved children from imaginary danger, posed with small animals in his arms, handed out forged university diplomas and promised healthier sandwiches than his opponents. The group's election list, dubbed "Hit it Hard - Beli," won 20 percent of the votes, or 13 out of 50 or so seats in the municipal council - behind the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Aleskandar Vucic's populist Progressive Party but ahead of all the opposition parties in Mladenovac.
The future council members from the list include Preletacevic and Sticker, but also independent activists determined to change the situation in their town and serve as a control mechanism for the work of the local authorities. Draza Petrovic, editor of the liberal Danas daily and a satirical columnist, said the happenings in Mladenovac show that citizens increasingly have been turning to irony and satire as a form of opposition to the dismal reality of their everyday lives. Amid Serbia's recent economic crisis, Mladenovac has turned from an industrial hub into a worn-out town, where many of the 20,000 residents have been left without jobs after factories closed one after another.
Out in the streets, Mladenovac citizens laugh and wave as a cheerful, blue-eyed Preletacevic walks the town in his white suit, his hair bundled on top of his head.
Luka Maksimovic, who assumed the character of a bejeweled politician in a white suit during municipal elections, walks with his associates through the green market in the town of Mladenovac, outside Belgrade, Serbia, on Tuesday.
Dozens of gawkers stood upwind of the carcass on Tuesday, examining it, marveling at it, and of course taking selfies with it. Its enormous tongue was so swollen that it bulged out of its mouth like a giant black balloon. Authorities said on Wednesday the rotting carcass of the 30-ton gray whale would be cut up and trucked to a landfill. Beach Superintendent Rich Hardon said the work by an emergency contractor will begin on Thursday morning and take a couple of days at a cost of about $30,000. Curiosity seekers have been visiting the beach, despite the stench, since the huge animal washed ashore on Sunday at Lower Trestles, a popular surfing spot. Burial on the beach isn't feasible because the stretch is mostly cobblestones, Haydon said. The United Nations mediator on Thursday called on the leaders of the United States and Russia to salvage the "barely alive" two-month-old cease-fire in Syria and revitalize the damaged peace process. UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura voiced deep concern at the truce unraveling in Aleppo and at least three other hotspots, although he saw some narrowing of positions between the government and opposition visions of political transition. The US and Russia must convene a ministerial meeting of major and regional powers who compose the International Syria Support Group, he said. The main opposition High Negotiations Committee pulled out of the formal talks a week ago, in protest at intensified fighting and slow aid deliveries. Bashar Ja'afari, who led the government delegation, said on Tuesday the round had been "useful and constructive".
De Mistura said this round of talks had been "overshadowed by a substantial and indeed worrisome of cessation of hostilities".
A day after Maduro announced his latest drastic measures to tackle power shortages in the recession-hit country, the opposition was gathering signatures for an official petition to launch a referendum. Citizens queued up to sign, voicing anger at Maduro over a crisis that has led to power outages for four hours a day in most of the country, exacerbating an already disastrous economic implosion.
The International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning on the state of Venezuela's oil-dependent economy, hit hard by the collapse in global crude prices.
After daily power-cuts were imposed on Monday, looting was reported in several places including the country's second-biggest city, Maracaibo. Maduro on Tuesday announced enforced leave for public sector employees three workdays a week for at least two weeks in a bid to slash electricity use. Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz also said primary and high schools would be closed on Fridays. Electricity shortages have compounded an economic crisis that has left Venezuelans queuing for hours in shops to buy scarce goods. But the government has resisted using crude to generate electricity, calling it inefficient. April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, but this year's scorching weather has set a record for the longest heat wave in at least 65 years. The average peak temperature each day this month has been above 40 C, with the mercury spiking one day to 44.3 Cjust short of the all-time record. The heat wave has also fueled a new record for energy consumption and prompted health warnings on everything from foodborne illness to drowning, both of which rise every April when Thailand's hottest month coincides with school summer break.
On this very day, April 27, in 1960, Thailand posted its hottest day ever recorded with 44.5 C in the northern province of Uttaradit.
Countries across Southeast Asia are feeling the heat, which scientists said is triggered by El Nino, a warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that changes weather worldwide and tends to push global temperatures up. Thailand's Department of Disease Control has warned people to beware of food poisoning and other food-related illnesses that typically increase during hot weather when bacteria can thrive on unrefrigerated food. Oranges, watermelon, pineapple and other fruit get chopped up, mixed with fruit juice or water and is then frozen for the chimpanzees, orangutans and other primates.
The return to Paris of the last known survivor of those believed to have carried out the Nov 13 attacks in the French capital may help investigators untangle some of the still-unresolved questions about the assault, which claimed 130 lives at restaurants, a noted music hall and a sports stadium outside the city. Attorney Frank Berton told reporters that his client "volunteered that he would explain himself at some later date". Abdeslam, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, spent four months on the run following the attacks and a month in Belgian custody after being tackled by heavily armed police outside his hideout in the Mollenbeek neighborhood of Brussels. Abdeslam was extradited from Belgium to France earlier on Wednesday in what Berton described as a "muscular operation" involving an early-morning transfer from his cell in Belgium and a cross-border helicopter ride. The Paris attacks were carried out by three teams of assailants who blew themselves up or sprayed gunfire, and Abdeslam's testimony will likely prove significant to definitively linking the events that night - and in establishing how they fit in with the suicide bombings in Brussels that rocked the city on March 22.
Abdeslam faces preliminary charges of participating in a terrorist organization, terrorist murders and attempted murders, attempted terrorist murders of public officials, hostage-taking, and possessing weapons and explosives, French prosecutors said in a statement. French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas had earlier said that Abdeslam would be placed in isolation, watched by guards specially trained to deal with "people reputed to be dangerous". Georges Salines, whose daughter Lola died at the Bataclan music hall, said Abdeslam's arrival in Paris had enormous significance for victims of the attacks. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea fired what was believed to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile on Thursday, but it appeared to have failed, the Republic of Korea's defense ministry said. Russia on Thursday successfully launched the first rocket from its new space facility after a last-minute delay the day before. Turkish authorities detained 15 people on Thursday in connection with a suicide bomb attack in the northwestern city of Bursa which wounded 13 people, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said.
A woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a Jetstar flight has named her son after the airline, in a bizarre tribute to the flight attendants who helped deliver the child. A British couple and their son were savagely attacked during a family vacation in the latest blow to Thailand's image as a welcoming tourist paradise.
Japan is abandoning a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar satellite it sent to study black holes, disappointed space scientists said on Thursday, after spending a month trying to save it. After trekking nearly two hours through dense jungle, Brazilian government environmental special forces burst into a clearing where the trees had been sawed and a muddy crater dug: an illegal gold mine on indigenous land in the heart of the Amazon. The miners and gold were already gone, scattered by the whir of helicopter blades, but armed troopers in camouflage burned the tents and generators. The five-day operation last week, coordinated by Brazil's environmental agency Ibama and Indian foundation Funai, found 15 air strips and destroyed 20 barges used to transport equipment and supplies by the estimated 5,000 illegal miners in the vast remote region. At more than 29.5 million hectares, the Yanomami people's territory is twice the size of Switzerland and home to around 27,000 indigenous people.


The land has legally belonged to the Yanomami since 1992, but miners continue to exploit the area, sawing down trees and poisoning rivers with mercury in their lust for gold.
A study published last month by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a public biomedical research group, found that in some Yanomami villages, 92 percent of residents suffered from mercury poisoning. High mercury exposure harms the nervous, digestive and immune systems, can lead to impaired vision and hearing, and can be fatal. Last week's raid was considered a success but Ibama's operation leader Roberto Cabral said the miners will probably be back.
From a base in the Tepequem mountains on the frontier with Venezuela, three helicopters flew the 35-person team for an hour and a half to the banks of the majestic Uraricoera River.
From there it was another hour or two on foot, cutting aside branches and wading through waist-high mud, to reach the mines. For Fiona Watson, who works for the activist group Survival International and has campaigned for the Yanomami since 1990, any long-term solution must be based on having more people on the ground, graver punishments and a focus on those hiring the miners and supplying equipment. An agent takes cover as an illegal gold dredge burns down on the banks of Uraricoera River during an operation against illegal gold mining in the heart of the Amazon rain forest on April 15. So powerful was the indoctrination during his 20-month captivity in Iraq and Syria that the boy told his mother he wanted to stay at the camp where the Islamic State had trained him to kill "infidels", including his own people. Now in the relative safety of Kurdish-controlled territory, Murad's mother said how she had struggled to persuade her son - like other Yazidi boys being prepared for battle - to escape earlier this month with her and his little brother. Yazidi boys appear to be part of broader efforts by the IS to create a new generation of fighters loyal to the group's ideology and inured to its extreme violence. The IS captured Murad, his mother and brother in August 2014 at their village near the Iraqi town of Sinjar. The United States launched airstrikes against the militants partly to save the survivors and last month said the attacks on Yazidis, whose faith combines elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam, and other groups amounted to genocide.
More than one third of the 5,000 Yazidis captured in 2014 have escaped or been smuggled out, but activists said hundreds of boys are still held. Murad, wearing a jersey of the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, sat with his mother on the floor of a Spartan trailer in Qadiya camp, twiddling his thumbs and resisting answering questions.
The IS dressed the boys in the same long robes they wore, and trained them how to use guns and knives.
Around 750 other children have escaped in recent months but a few thousand more remain missing.
Close to 200 dogs, including Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Rottweilers, Japanese Tosas and Korean Jindo dogs, paced in circles inside the small wire cages, barking furiously at their rescuers.
The dogs in Gong's farm, one of thousands across the country, were bred specifically for consumption and confined in their cages from birth until slaughtered for their meat. Gong's business is the fifth and the largest dog meat farm to be closed down by the US-based Humane Society International, and Gong said he was happy to get out.
A poll conducted by Gallup Korea last year showed that only 20 percent of men in their 20s consumed dog meat in the past year, compared to half of those in their 50s and 60s. Gong also noted that the increasing popularity of dogs as domestic pets had played a large part in reducing demand for their meat.
The HSI rescued a total of 225 dogs last year, closing down four farms in what they call a "constructive and collaborative" approach to phase out an industry that has long been criticized by international animal welfare groups. In return for shuttering his business for good, a farmer receives up to $60,000 - depending on the number of dogs being bred - that can be used as seed money for a more "humane" farm, growing anything from blueberries to green peppers. Through its well-publicized rescues, HSI seeks to raise awareness about the cruelty of dog meat farms and "initiate a conversation with South Korean policymakers," the group's campaign manager Andrew Plumbly said. South Korea is preparing to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Plumbly said the global publicity surrounding the event provided an opportunity to push for change. The South Korean authorities are sensitive to the negative publicity attached to the dog meat industry, and dog restaurants in Seoul were shut down ahead of the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Gong, who stumbled into the dog meat industry after many failed business attempts, admits he was "never proud" of his farm, which only ever earned him a modest living.
In a normal year, he would sell around 200 animals, with an average price - depending on size - of about $200.
Running a dog farm in South Korea requires no special license, although Gong said there were regular government checks to ensure neighbors weren't being disturbed and dog waste was being properly disposed of.
Gabriel Wildgen, right, and Abbey Herbert of the Humane Society International transfer a dog from a cage to a crate before transport during a publicized rescue event involving the closure of a dog farm in Wonju, southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday.
Australia's hard line immigration policy was thrown into turmoil on Wednesday after Papua New Guinea ordered a processing camp to close, leaving the fate of hundreds of asylum-seekers hanging in the balance. The move to shutter the Australian-funded Manus island facility follows a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday that detaining people there was unconstitutional and illegal.
Piling further pressure on Canberra, just weeks out from an expected election campaign, an Iranian refugee set himself on fire during a visit by UN officials to Nauru, the other Pacific nation where Australia sends boat people. Four others on the tiny outpost reportedly attempted suicide by drinking washing powder on Tuesday.
Papua New Guinea's former opposition leader Belden Namah had challenged the Manus arrangement in court, claiming it violated the rights of asylum-seekers, leading to the center's closure.
In a 34-page finding on Tuesday, the Supreme Court found that detaining them on the island was "contrary to their constitutional right of personal liberty". Despite this, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton remained adamant that none of the 850 or so men held there would come to his country and that the government's policy designed to deter others wanting to make the risky journey would not change. Canberra currently has an arrangement with Cambodia, along with Papua New Guinea, to resettle those found to be refugees, although only a handful have taken up the option.
Australian media have reported that it is also trying to negotiate deals with Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The court ruled that Australia and Papua New Guinea must "take all steps necessary to cease and prevent" the continued detention of asylum-seekers and transferees on Manus.
Earlier this month, the gurdwara in Peshawar's crowded Old City opened its doors to worshippers for the first time in 73 years.
On Friday, a Sikh leader and provincial lawmaker was shot and killed outside his home in a remote area in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, some 140 kilometers from Peshawar. It also added to human rights activists' despair over rising violence against religious minorities in Pakistan.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting of Sardar Suran Singh, but police disputed their claim, blaming the shooting on political rivalry and saying they had arrested the culprit. Peshawar is a deeply conservative city at the foot of the mountainous Khyber Pass - once a popular route for traders and tourists traveling to nearby Afghanistan, now the focus of an extremist insurgency.
The newly-opened gurdwara has a 24-hour Sikh Security detail as well as police guards, but their Muslim neighbors believe an attack is inevitable. Gohar Iqbal, a bookseller who works at a busy stall opposite the temple was certain the building would be targeted by militants. There they encounter resident trout and bass a€“ even sunfish, chubs and dace, all keyed into the increasingly plentiful and highly nutritious bounty of salmon eggs. Situated 90A km south-west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers, PlzeA? is first recorded in writings from the tenth century.
That vision was about innovation and creativity within the context of an historical tradition. This is what youa€™ll see in a Sobota binding a€“ exceptional attention paid to context and relationships, using materials and technical means that do indeed function and last. He knew his work was valuable and documented it fastidiously a€“ confident that it would be last.
There was, however, nothing about his nationalism that demeaned anybody elsea€™s traditions or origins.
That smallish incident within the parade of American fringe politics elicited an insanely violent level of suppression.
Masaryk a€“ and the cute little girl with a bouquet of flowers, is my mother Eva, at the age of three. Schmidta€™s income from the federal mint far exceeded anybody elsea€™s in the extended family and supported a network of cars, cottages and rent-controlled flats.
Schmidt, as he preferred to be called, was a man of conservative demeanor who preferred polite and reserved forms of speech and address. While visiting their unassuming engraver and extending my tourist visa 30 days at a time, I was quietly becoming qualified for life as a counterfeiter a€“ a vocation within which, one is set for life, however it may eventually turn out. Jan allowed several binders to have their way with it a€“ amo boxes for slipcases with shell casings for hinges and so forth. This next incarnation of our exhibit in PlzeA? was all just a bit more prosaic and provincial. Is it the binding we consider and exhibit a€“ or is the binding there to conserve a text, which is ultimately the point? There are also binders to whom everything else is merely the text block, who care little if it is an offset trade edition or a book made by hand.
The tales therein recorded reflected the accreted wisdom and wit of a people as they retold them across the highlands in modest log cottages after the harvest was in. The way of working belongs to the Sobota vision I addressed earlier a€“ the honor and soul to be found in conscientiously made handcrafts. I dona€™t feel that accomplished or ready to assume their mantle and yet with every generation that is what must happen.
Gravels, with just the right flow of fresh water running up through stones of the right size are but a tiny portion of the riverbed.A  The salmon must struggle past cities and sewer pipes, farms and irrigation systems, dams and turbines, fishermen and waterfalls a€“ just to reach the streams of their birth.
In the second document, he changed his year of birth to 1883--which now coincides with his recreated birth certificate.
Morton Crankshaw and her family, as well as their widowed Aunt Sarah Cather, and her son, Henry Cather (a cousin of Iraa€™s). 1915, Raymond was standing in the Army recruitera€™s office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he enlisted in the Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force.
Easley Bonham--the twins who died at just a few months old, and the four living children, three of which (# 1, 2 & 4) all claim that Aaron Bonham was their father, but #3 (Raymond) always claimed that his father was Ira Morton. Aaron and Ida could have divorced, she then quickly married Ira Morton in the fall of 1885 (after the census) and they could have had a son, Raymond, the following year--Sept 1886.A  We know Ira died in 1888, and Ida could have been reconciled to Aaron and remarried him with Bernice born to them in 1888-89. 1816 a tragedy struck the family when their oldest little boy, ten year old William, suddenly died. 1822 just a copule years after their arrival, much like Roberta€™s mother; and she was raised by her widowed mother, who died about a month after Sally was married.
Waddle (sometimes spelled a€?Waddella€? especially in the earlier generations), as well as his son, George R.
Elephants will no longer be part of the circus act, and will be sent to an elephant sanctuary in the US state of Florida to live out the rest of their lives. An elephant carried a performer holding an American flag then stood at attention as the song ended. Its herd of 40 Asian elephants, the largest in North America, will continue a breeding program and be used in a pediatric cancer research project. Dozens of cities have banned the use of bullhooks - used to train elephants - and some states are considering such legislation. Other countries collect water with the same principle, but using trees to gather the condensed moisture. Indian military helicopters began spraying water over the burning forests in Uttarakhand on Sunday morning. More than 530 hectares of the Rajaji and Corbett tiger reserve had been destroyed by the fire, adversely affecting animals and birds in the area. A leftover from the Soviet era, the communal flat or kommunalka with bathroom and kitchen shared by a dozen or so residents is very much alive in Russia's historic city of Saint Petersburg.
Wearing an undershirt and baggy shorts - "just like every day" - he happily spoke with visitors.
There is a corner fireplace - no longer functioning - and stunning, 3.5 meter-high ceilings. Egyptian officials - as high up as the president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in a national address - have denied any police role, but in the months since the slayings, the Italian government has hiked the pressure for answers.
Egyptian police announced they had killed a gang of five Egyptian men they said specialized in kidnapping and robbing foreigners and, while searching the gang leader's sister's home, came upon Regeni's passport.
Even the editor-in-chief of Egypt's top government newspaper, Al-Ahram, wrote that Egyptian authorities had to get serious about uncovering the truth and that such "naive stories" about Regeni's death were only hurting the country.
The Interior Ministry said security forces hunting for the gang stopped their minibus and the men opened fire on them, prompting a gunbattle in which all five were killed.
The men's relatives say they were house painters merely heading to a job in the suburb, Tagammu al-Khamis, when they were killed. No video footage from the shooting has emerged, so their accounts could not be independently verified. The Italian graduate student vanished after leaving his apartment on Jan 25, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. The charges, relating to a multi-billion dollar arms deal, were dropped by the chief state prosecutor in a move that cleared the way for Zuma to be elected president. The eastern state of Bihar banned cooking between 9 am and 6 pm after accidental fires exacerbated by dry, hot and windy weather swept through shantytowns and thatched-roof houses in villages and killed 79 people.
SANA also said there were more deaths and injuries from rebel mortar attacks which hit the Bab al-Faraj and al-Midan quarters of Aleppo on Friday. The chopper was transporting workers from a North Sea offshore oil field when it crashed around midday near the shoreline off the coast of Bergen, Norway's second biggest city.
So far we have not seen any sign of survivors," Sola rescue center spokesman Anders Bang Andersen told reporters.
Reinhold Hanning told the Detmold state court on Friday that he had never talked about his service in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, even to family, but wanted to use his trial as an opportunity to apologize.
The request was handed to the prosecutor general's office on Friday, according to lawmaker Taulant Balla. He was charged with attempts to overthrow the DPRK government and undermine its social system under the guise of conducting religious exchanges over 18 years. The English translation would be something like "Switchover" - suggesting that he switches political parties easily for personal gains.
Seaweed still dangled from its mouth, and only a few patches of grey-black skin were left on the body, which was a light beige color from the fat underneath. California parks officials said it would be impractical to tow the whale out to sea or bury it at San Onofre State Beach in San Diego County.
It's something that even I find it difficult, can you imagine the Syrians?" de Mistura said, adding he aimed to resume talks in May, though he gave no date. But he gave no sign of ceding to the HNC's central demand for a political transition without President Bashar Assad. It warned the economy would shrink 8 percent this year and inflation would exceed 700 percent.
There are areas that have been nearly 10 hours without electricity and that has made people even more annoyed," said Doris Falcon, a Maracaibo resident. That followed the start of daily four-hour electricity blackouts in several states on Monday, which Maduro said would last 40 days. Berton said the 26-year-old was being sent to Fleury-Merogis, a massive, high-security prison about 30 kilometers south of Paris, where he is due to be held in isolation in a special camera-equipped cell until his next hearing on May 20.
The express transfer surprised even Berton, who had to rush from Lille to join his client at Paris' Palace of Justice, arriving in the early afternoon. A ROK official said that the DPRK launched a projectile, estimated to have been a Musudan missile, at about 6:40 am local time from the Wonsan area in northeastern DPRK.
The Soyuz 2.1a booster blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East in the early hours Moscow time on Thursday. The female attacker blew herself up near an Ottoman-era mosque in Bursa's historic district on Wednesday.
Jetstar, a subsidiary of Australia's national airline Qantas, allows pregnant women to fly up until the end of their 40th week of the pregnancy for flights shorter than four hours, but passengers were surprised when a woman went into labor midway through the flight.
The ultra-high-tech "Hitomi" - or "eye" - was launched in February to find X-rays emanating from black holes and galaxy clusters.
While miners once killed the Yanomami with guns or disease - nearly 20 percent of the population was wiped out in the 1980s - today the threat is the toxic liquid metal used to separate gold from grit. The results shocked experts, who believe mercury is entering the food chain through fish in polluted rivers. We're not able to arrest them, there's no space in the helicopter," he said, sweat pouring down his face in the middle of the steamy jungle. Beyond the equipment, authorities have been hunting for clues on the illicit business interests behind the miners.
With Brazil suffering through its worst recession in a century, Funai's budget for 2016 was cut by 24 percent, while Ibama had its spending reduced by 30 percent. During that offensive, the radical Sunni Muslim group massacred, enslaved and raped thousands of Yazidis, whom they consider to be devil-worshippers. The group also forced Murad to pray, study the Quran and sit through extremist religious lessons, according to his mother, who said she had been beaten as well as raped by at least 14 men.
He kept a watchful eye on everyone who passed him on the narrow street, looking for a suspicious gesture, or a bulge beneath the clothes that hints at a hidden gun or a bomb. The reopening was celebrated by Pakistan's tiny Sikh minority, but security is a constant concern.
The murder of Sardar Suran Singh devastated the Sikh community and heightened their fears of militant attacks. It is increasingly intolerant," said Zohra Yusuf, chairwoman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Militants have attacked Peshawar schools, killing children as they studied, bombed buses of government workers and attacked Christians in their churches. The vast majority migrated to India in 1947, the year Pakistan was created as a homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent.
They are easily identifiable because of their tightly wound and often colorful turbans, and because they share the surname Singh. This widely beloved stamp was re-issued in 2000 and mother continues to receive philatelic fan mail to this day. He died the day I was composing a colophon for the Spawned Salmon with words of praise for his lifea€™s work.
Geery, that to the best of their knowledge and belief, the names of the heirs of John Geery deceased, and their places of residence are as follows: Robert Geery and Catharine Shotwell formerly Catherine Geery of Pike County and John G.
Geery, that to the best of their knowledge and belief, the names of the heirs of John Geery deceased, and their places of residence are as follows:A  Robert Geery and Catharine Shotwell formerly Catherine Geery of Pike County and John G. PT Barnum added the African elephant he named "Jumbo" to "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1882. A few minutes later, six elephants entered the ring, each holding the tail of the one in front of her. Major forest fires raged across the region, where some 5,000 workers were engaged in extinguishing the blaze.
A number of other family members have been arrested, and their lawyers say they have not been allowed to see investigators' reports on the shooting.
A series of visits to the forensic agency, security headquarters in Cairo and the Tagammu al-Khamis police station were also unfruitful. Speaking at a parliamentary session last week, Berisha accused the government of having links to crime gangs and urged Albanians to get weapons to protect themselves. The official said the launch appeared to have failed as the projectile was believed to have crashed several seconds after liftoff. The Roscosmos space agency said in a statement that the three satellites the rocket was carrying orbited several hours later.
A video of the attack, which was captured by overhead security cameras, has stirred shock and outrage over its brutality and the ages of the victims, a 65-year-old woman and 68-year-old man from Scotland and their 43-year-old son.
But shortly after the expensive technology reached orbit, researchers admitted they had lost control of it and said it was no longer communicating.
The Sikhs that lived in the area and attended the gurdwara left when it closed in the 1940s.
The CIA Factbook estimates that 3.6 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people are non-Muslims, including Sikhs, Christians and Hindus. The engraving was masterfully done by Schmidta€™s long-dead colleague, Bohumil Heinz (1894-1940). The state security apparatus was surely aware of my presence, but if they kept tabs on me, I never knew. Hamilton.A  It could be that for personal safety reasons, that she listed the name of her deceased husband as if he were still living, but there is another listing with the date of 30 Nov. Parliament has suspended Berisha for 10 days, prompting his opposition Democratic Party to boycott Parliament. Everything is just so wonderful and everybody so creative, but suspending judgment long enough to actually look at some artwork and then giving it a chance isna€™t so bankrupt, is it? Human body parts are again flying and the Baron is at his best defeating Turks and evading friendly fire from buffoonish generals. Farmers would occasionally find their possessions and take them as souvenirs, unaware that the last Indians still lived in their midst.
Damn the cost; ita€™s who we are and the last material vestiges of soulful encounters with our elders a€“ onea€™s whose stories are slipping inexorably away, thinned by each passing year and generation.
Their kids were grown and they were by then slipping into that last, reflective phase of life a€“ done competing. These scraps turned out to be a deck of medieval playing cards - the second oldest such cards known. A book is so much more than the sum of its parts a€“ and yet each of us tends to have our own bailiwick in which we shine and to which we look first.
These plates have been inked and wiped by hand, employing methods that woulda€™ve been familiar to Rembrandt.
They crashed with my wife Jana and me in Kalamazoo, while taking the a€?orientation coursea€?nearby. I can confidently report back to my English reader, that Jan would only grow in stature for you, if you could have fully understood the subtlety of his thoughts in his own maternal tongue. Louis Missouri children and heirs of Mary Copelin formerly Mary Geery, and Jane Geery widow of the deceased. Perhaps right for those who shouldna€™t have sharp objects, for fear of hurting themselves. That show was purchased whole by Special Collections at Western Michigan University and constitutes the largest collection of Sobota bindings and the most complete archive of my work.
Few people would have cast a second glance at that glued-up mess of moldering old papers before pitching it, nor would they have recognized what they had in hand or known how to restore or sell it.
These folks were a profound blessing to a family facing some truly rough sailing a€“ a Godsend. Schmidt had worked was signed with warm dedications to him and thus worth real money to collectors. He wanted to see the printmaker in me come to full fruition and I wanted to be worthy of his attentions. The family has dwelled within sight of the seats of power, pushing copper plates through a press and outlived the Hapsburg Monarchy, First Republic, Nazis and Communists.
The intact packages were still there on their shelves, all duly graded, labeled and priced, awaiting an owner who was never to return. Back home, their Czech neighbors would have envied them and accused them of theft or worse, but people here seemed to be pleased as punch to see them prosper a€“ genuinely happy for them. Those items too, kept trickling out the door, until there came a sad, sad day, when the golden eggs were all gone. They bashfully admitted their foolishness and went back to making beautiful books a€“ and their American friends were so relieved to see them regain their sanity. You take time to grieve and then pick yourself up by your bootstraps (by God a€“ get a grip) and get on with it (Rome wasna€™t built in a day you know). StrejA?ek was still working, but it was all coming to an inevitable end, as he grew shaky of hand and hard of seeing. Enriched by my days of being nurtured by Prague, Matkou MA›st (Mother of Cities), I moved on to meet my destiny with art.



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