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Category: WTF (Page 1 of 2)

Burning Man cleaning up after burners’ mass exodus » abandoned cars, burnt out RV, camps ditched, garbage

Reno Gazette Journal »

As of 5 p.m. Friday, at least a half-dozen vehicles were still scattered across miles of the Black Rock National Conservation Area, public land Burning Man leases from the Bureau of Land Management. Their drivers appeared to have made a run for the exit and got stuck in mud out on the playa. One burned-out RV that caught fire in the exit queue was still on site.

Entire abandoned camps were still in what had been Black Rock City, the temporary encampment that draws more than 70,000 burners each year. Tents, garbage bags, rugs, boxes, boots stuck in mud, a barbecue grill, cans of oil and even a wig were seen on Friday.

Elon Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his company’s Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet


…according to an excerpt adapted from Walter Isaacson’s new biography of the eccentric billionaire titled “Elon Musk.”

As Ukrainian submarine drones strapped with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” Isaacson writes.

Musk’s decision, which left Ukrainian officials begging him to turn the satellites back on, was driven by an acute fear that Russia would respond to a Ukrainian attack on Crimea with nuclear weapons, a fear driven home by Musk’s conversations with senior Russian officials, according to Isaacson, whose new book is set to be released by Simon & Schuster on September 12.

Alberta oil refinery operating for 22 years without environmental approval

An oil refinery in northern Alberta that started processing oil 22 years ago is facing an enforcement order for operating without regulatory approval.


The Enerchem plant was never granted approval under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), according to the order issued June 20.

The order states that no approval “has been issued to any person for the construction, operation and reclamation of the plant,” in contravention of the act.

Under the conditions set out in the order, the oil fractionation plant, 250 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, can continue operating while the owner, Calgary-based AltaGas, seeks approval from the province.

Experts in environmental law say the infraction is troubling evidence of cracks in Alberta’s complex regulatory system and undermines its approvals process.

Israel military pulled out of the West Bank city of Jenin following a large-scale attack that killed at least twelve Palestinians » Then conducts airstrike on Gaza [Updated]

Israeli forces began their withdrawal overnight after one of the biggest military operations in years in the occupied West Bank left several dead and forced thousands from their homes.

Even before the latest bloodshed, 2023 was on course to be deadliest year in the West Bank since 2005

DW | NY Times | In Photos | FT | The Guardian | AP

UN concerned over ongoing Israeli military operation »

VoA » Israel conducts Gaza Strip airstrike after “ending” West Bank assault

ArabNews » Israel withdraws troops from West Bank militant stronghold and warns 2-day raid is not a one-off

War » One hundred thousand people lost their lives in Ethiopia last year » Death toll at highest in 21st century

The study by the Institute for Economics and Peace calculated that war and violence cost the world 12.9 percent of GDP, with total conflict deaths at their highest this century.

DW »

Since the 21st century began, war has never cost humanity so much. The number of conflict deaths almost doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year. And war caused a 13% loss of global GDP, according to the Global Peace Index, released on Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

The major new survey by the global think tank said that the average level of “global peacefulness” had sunk for the ninth year in a row, with conflict deaths topping the previous global peak reached in 2014 during the Syrian Civil War.

The dramatic increase in death rates was mostly driven by the war in Ukraine, where 83,000 people were killed in the past year, though the bloodiest conflict was in Ethiopia, where 100,000 people lost their lives.

20 cities with the world’s worst air pollution

Mental Floss »

  1. Lahore, Pakistan
  2. Hotan, China
  3. Bhiwadi, India
  4. Delhi, India
  5. Peshawar, Pakistan
  6. Darbhanga, India
  7. Asopur, India
  8. N’Djamena, Chad
  9. New Delhi, India
  10. Patna, India
  11. Ghaziabad, India
  12. Dharuhera, India
  13. Baghdad, Iraq
  14. Chapra, India
  15. Muzaffarnagar, India
  16. Faisalabad, Pakistan
  17. Greater Noida, India
  18. Bahadurgarh, India
  19. Faridabad, India
  20. Muzaffarpur, India

Republicans don’t or can’t appreciate the potential gravity of the situation or even understand the basic details

Washington Post »

Multiple polls focused on the Trump classified documents case suggest that many, if not most, Republicans don’t particularly appreciate the potential gravity of the situation or its details. And it can’t simply be explained by mere partisanship.

One of the inescapable facts of the situation is that Trump got himself in trouble not because he took the documents in the first place, but because he declined to return them. The indictment only charges conduct after the government subpoenaed Trump’s documents in May 2022. After that subpoena, Trump only returned some of his remaining classified documents before the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago turned up more. The Washington Post recapped how Trump’s fateful decision not to return the documents resulted from rejecting his lawyers’ advice.

But despite it being readily apparent that Trump didn’t do what the government asked, a new YouGov poll shows Republicans, by and large, maintain that he did. It shows 53 percent say Trump “cooperated in returning documents,” with just 15 percent saying he didn’t.

Mexico’s Modelo Especial is now the best selling beer in the U.S.


Modelo Especial, the Mexican lager brewed near Mexico City by Constellation Brands, became the top-selling beer in May, overthrowing Bud Light from the top spot it has held for more than two decades. The fall from the top further highlighted how much trouble the Anheuser-Busch brand is in following transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s Instagram post showing off a customized Bud Light can.

Wall Street Journal »

Most everyone got the smoke wrong

Heatmap »

We didn’t know that the smoke was coming, for instance. On Tuesday morning, meteorologists predicted that the same moderate haze that has hung around all season would again hit the East Coast. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation put out an alert saying that the air quality index, or AQI, might rise to 150 across the state.

They did not forecast — nobody, as far as I can tell, did — that the worst air pollution in decades would soon wallop the state. By Tuesday night, New York City’s AQI had already reached 174, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. As I walked home in D.C., I could see tendrils of visible smoke hugging the upper stories of apartment buildings.

This prediction failure gave the ensuing response a halting, confused quality. How could such a massive event come out of nowhere? Not until Thursday afternoon — when the smoke had nearly passed — did the federal government advise its workers that they could telework or take vacation time to avoid the bad air. On Friday, New York closed in-person schools, just in time for blue sky to return.


Ten Chinese warplanes violated the Taiwan border

VoA » Ten Chinese air force planes crossed Taiwan Strait median line, Taiwan’s National Defense Ministry said Sunday. The strait is generally viewed as the unofficial border between Taiwan and China. The ministry also said four Chinese ships conducted combat patrols Sunday. Taiwan deployed its own aircraft and ships in response to China’s moves. This marks the second time in less than a week that China has stepped up military activities around Taiwan. On Thursday, Taiwan reported that 37 Chinese military aircraft had flown into China’s air defense zone. Taiwan is democratically governed, but China claims it as Chinese territory.

France 24

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