Advertisements

10 Incredible Pets That Returned Home After Years Of Being Lost


Post 8269

10 Incredible Pets That Returned Home After Years Of Being Lost

SHANNON QUINN FEBRUARY 15, 2017

http://listverse.com/2017/02/15/10-incredible-pets-that-returned-home-after-years-of-being-lost/

Anyone who has had their pet go missing knows the heart-wrenching fear and sadness that is mixed with the small hope that their pet will reappear someday. In these 10 stories, the owners got their wishes. They were able to reunite with their lost pets several years after the animals went missing.

Featured image credit: nydailynews.com

 

10Nigel The Parrot

10-gray-parrot-like-nigel

Photo credit: The Guardian

A British man named Darren Chick was living in California with his parrot, Nigel. The bird was learning to talk and even adopted Darren’s British accentwhen it spoke. In 2010, Nigel managed to fly away, and Darren never found him.

Four years later, someone else found Nigel and brought him to a veterinarian. They scanned his microchip and returned him to Darren, but the parrot no longer spoke with a British accent. Somehow, in his four years away, Nigel had learned to speak Spanish.

It turns out that Nigel had been living with the Smith family during all that time. They had purchased him for $400 at a yard sale shortly after he went missing from Darren’s home.

Ruben Hernandez, the 86-year-old grandfather of the Smith family, had formed a special bond with Nigel and renamed the bird Morgan. Ruben had lost his wife, so he dealt with the loneliness by speaking with Morgan instead.

When the parrot flew away from the Smiths’ home, Nigel’s miraculous return to Darren after four years was all over the news. Liza Smith, Ruben’s granddaughter, contacted Darren to explain where the bird had been all that time. Touched by the story, Darren brought Nigel, now officially renamed Morgan, back to the Smith family.

9Woosie The Cat

9-helen-johns-with-woosie

Photo credit: plymouthherald.co.uk

Helen and Phillip Johns from Cornwall, England, were devastated when they could not find their seven-year-old cat, Woosie, in 2011. After enough time went by, they decided it was best to accept that he was never coming back.

Unknown to the Johns family, little Woosie had wandered a full 50 kilometers (30 mi) away, stopping at the Ginsters pasty factory. Workers thought that Woosie was simply adorable and decided to adopt him as a sort of mascot. They renamed him George and spoiled him with bits of sausage and assorted meats that are normally stuffed inside the miniature pie’s crust.

Three years later, after living in what seems to be a cat’s version of Heaven, the workers of Ginsters finally decided that it was time for George to visit the veterinarian. They had assumed that he was a stray. But when the doctor scanned the cat for a microchip, the doctor discovered Woosie’s true identity and contacted Phillip and Helen. They happily reunited with their now-chubby cat.

 

8Corky The Dog

8a-montez-family-with-dogs

Photo credit: ABC News

In 2009, one-year-old Corky, a scruffy little terrier mix, escaped from his kennel in the backyard of his home in Texas. He had been a gift for the young children of the Montez family.

Nearly seven years later in 2016, someone reported seeing two little stray dogs wandering together by the side of a road. Animal control workers picked up the dogs and scanned them for microchips. They were able to contact the Montez family, who reunited with Corky after all those years.

During his time away, Corky had become best friends with a younger, one-eyed dog, which was named Captain by the Montez family. From the dogs’ behavior, it was clear that Corky had looked after Captain like he was a little brother. Corky makes sure that Captain always eats first and protects him by standing guard.

The two dogs most likely survived in the wild by helping one another. With his missing eye, Captain might not have survived without Corky’s help. The Montezes refused to separate these two best friends and welcomed Captain as a new addition to the family.

7Charlie The Cat

7-jo-and-charlie-the-cat

Photo credit: intrepid-optimist.com

In Hampshire, England, in 2006, Jo and Ade Haigh began to worry when their indoor-outdoor cat, Charlie, did not return home for dinner. They posted signs and searched for the cat all over town for several months. After giving up on ever finding Charlie again, the couple moved to a different town a few miles away.

In 2012, six years after Charlie’s disappearance, life was very different for Mr. and Mrs. Haigh. They were the new parents of twins. Jo’s mother was looking to buy a new house, so Jo took her mother to look at real estate in the old neighborhood where Charlie had gone missing.

Sure enough, Jo spotted a cat that looked exactly like Charlie walking down the street where Jo used to live. She scooped up the cat in her arms and knocked on the door of the nearest house. The man confirmed that the cat was a stray that he occasionally fed, but no one knew to whom the cat belonged.

After taking the cat to the vet, Charlie was scanned for his microchip and his identity was confirmed. It turns out that Charlie had intended to return home after all. He was just a few years late to dinner. Charlie is now strictly an indoor cat.

6Manuela The Tortoise

6-manuela-the-tortoise

Photo credit: The Telegraph

In 1982 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Almeida family could not find their pet tortoise, Manuela. While the house was being renovated, construction workers had left the front door wide open for long periods of time as they carried materials inside the house. Manuela’s owners decided that this must have been how she escaped.

Over 30 years later in 2013, the Almeida children were all grown up. The father, Leonel, had passed away. The children were cleaning out his house and opened a storeroom that their dad normally kept locked.

It was filled with his collection of record players, radios, televisions, and other electronics that he would find on the side of the road and claim that he would fix one day. Leonel contained his hoarding habit to this one storage room, only opening the door long enough to add more junk to the piles.

When the children brought the piles of trash out to the front of the house, they discovered that Manuela, the tortoise, was inside one of the cardboard boxes. They immediately brought her to the vet.

He confirmed that the red-footed tortoise can survive for two to three years without eating. The flooring in the house was infested with termites, so they theorize that Manuela had survived by eating the bugs whenever she got the chance.

 

5Fuzzy The Cat

5-michelle-wright-and-fuzzy

Photo credit: wmur.com

In 2010, Michelle Wright of Barrington, New Hampshire, had asked a friend to pet-sit her young cat, Fuzzy. When they began searching for the cat, one of the neighbors told Michelle that a black-and-white cat had been run over and killed nearby. Convinced that the cat must have been Fuzzy, Michelle gave up on the search.

Four years later, Michelle had moved on and gotten new pets. While she was shopping at a local pet store less than 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) from her home, she browsed the section of cats they had for sale. She was shocked to see a cat that was the spitting image of Fuzzy.

As Michelle stared at the cat, she recognized more similarities to Fuzzy. After asking the pet store owner where the cat had come from, he explained that the cat had been picked up on the side of the road. The veterinarian had estimated that the cat was about four years old—the same age that Fuzzy would have been.

Michelle brought in photographs of Fuzzy, including one that showed a unique birthmark on the pad of his paw. After paying the $85 adoption fee, which included all of Fuzzy’s shots and the implantation of a microchip, Michelle was able to bring him home at last.

4Opie The Horse

4-opie

Photo credit: today.com

In 2002 in San Antonio, Texas, a woman named Michelle Pool was admitted to the hospital to have surgery on her back. Rather than pay the expensive boarding fees for her horse, Opie, she asked her father to watch over her pet while she was recovering.

Her father did not have a stable, so Opie stayed enclosed by a wire fence in his pasture. Someone clipped the metal fence in the middle of the night, led Opie to a horse trailer, and drove away with the stolen horse.

Opie is a Saddlebred Pinto, which is a breed worth anywhere from $1,200 to as much as $15,000. Michelle submitted the case to an organization calledStolen Horse International. Ten long years later, she received a phone call that they had found Opie.

He was allegedly found by a pastor in Dayton, Texas, over 320 kilometers (200 mi) away from where Opie had been captured. According to the pastor’s story, he had seen the horse wandering on the side of the road and just happened to have an empty horse trailer available to bring her home.

Rather than contact the authorities, the pastor tried to sell the horse on Craigslist. A woman was shopping for a horse for her daughter and realized that the horse’s image had popped up on a list of stolen horses. The markings on Opie’s body were so unique that it was clearly the same horse.

The woman reported her suspicions to the authorities. The Dayton sheriff’s department hired a group of contract cowboys to raid the house of the pastor, and they recovered Opie around 2:00 AM the next day. There was not enough evidence to convict the pastor of theft, but Michelle was reunited with her long-lost pet.

3Suika The Cat

3-tamagishis-and-suika

Photo credit: BBC

On March 11, 2011, a tsunami hit the Iwate Prefecture in Japan. A black cat named Suika was swept up in the waves and carried away from her home. Owners Takeo and Kazuko Yamagishi had already evacuated to high ground to survive the tsunami. They did not have time to find their indoor-outdoor cat.

When they returned home, Suika was nowhere to be found. The couple searched for her for three months while their town was recovering from the tsunami. They eventually gave up hope of ever finding her.

Three years later, a couple was hiking in a forest not too far from the Yamagishis’ home. The hikers noticed a black cat curled up in the high branches of a tree. After rescuing the cat, they noticed that her collar had a charm with the name and phone number of the owners. After the Yamagishis received a phone call, they were reunited with little Suika.

We will never know what really happened. But with little else to save her from the rushing tides, there is a good chance that these tall trees probably saved the cat’s life during the tsunami. She most likely returned to them because it was where she felt safe.

2Reckless The Dog

In 2012, the devastating Hurricane Sandy destroyed many parts of the East Coast of the United States. Chuck and Elicia James lived in New Jersey during the storm. The fence in their backyard had become damaged. Their terrier-pitbull mix named Reckless was able to escape.

Chuck and Elicia were heartbroken. They searched for Reckless for several months and finally accepted that he must have died in the storm. After a year and a half, the couple was finally ready to move on and adopt a new dog. They visited a local animal shelter . . . only to see that Reckless was there, waiting for them all this time.

The shelter had renamed him Lucas. According to Chuck, Reckless “jumped three feet in the air” when he saw the couple. Reckless had a telltale scar on the top of his head, which was enough for them to confirm that this was the same dog.

1Willow The Cat

1-the-squires-and-willow

Photo credit: today.com

In Boulder, Colorado, a calico cat named Willow escaped from her home in 2006 when contractors left the door open during renovations. For five years, Jamie and Chris Squires assumed that Willow must have been eaten by a coyote or any of the other predators in the Rocky Mountains.

One can only imagine their surprise when they received a phone call that Willow had been found—in New York City. Over 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) away from her home, the calico cat was found walking the streets of Manhattan. Soon after, a veterinarian scanned her microchip.

The Today Show offered to pay for the Squires family’s flight to New York in exchange for an exclusive on the story. Willow became an overnight cat celebrity. No one knows exactly how Willow managed to find herself in The Big Apple, and her journey remains a mystery.

Michael Bloomberg, the then-mayor of New York City, was quoted saying, “Cats reputedly have nine lives, and he clearly wanted to spend at least one of them in New York City.”

Shannon Quinn is a writer and entrepreneur from the Philadelphia area. You can find her on Twitter.

Advertisements

Top 10 Reasons President Trump Will Be A Great Success


Post 8223

Top 10 Reasons President Trump Will Be A Great Success

JAMIE FRATER JANUARY 20, 2017

http://listverse.com/2017/01/20/top-10-reasons-president-trump-will-be-a-great-success/

Today is the big day! President Donald Trump has been inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America. It has been a long and troubling road to the White House for President Trump, and the citizens of America (in fact, the whole world) have seen one of the most divisive and highly charged election campaigns in history.

But now it is time to put that behind us and look to the future at what successes we are likely to see under President Donald J. Trump.

Featured image credit: truthuncensored.net

10Clean Up The Media

10-trump-and-the-media

Photo credit: slate.com

The 2016 election process exposed many problems in the US media. Thanks to the First Amendment, the United States has a long history of free press, and it is perfectly legal and fair for media organizations to pick sides and root for a particular candidate. But what happens when the entire media claims, on the one hand, to be unbiased and unpolitical, while on the other hand, they collude with and actively work (and in some cases, receive favors and money) to help one candidate win the election?

CNN was caught leaking debate questions to Hillary Clinton, while outlets likeThe New York Times published fallacious articles about Mr. Trump sexually abusing women which, not surprisingly, vanished the day that he was elected.

And WikiLeaks further exposed a very long list of media representatives who were directly working with the Clinton campaign or the Democratic Party to publish news they had either written or vetted. We won’t even mention the ridiculous lengths that some pop culture websites, such as Huffington Postand Buzzfeed, went to in order to influence the election.

Once Mr. Trump was elected president, those same news outlets began a campaign accusing anyone who opposes them of being “fake news,” a ruse which came back to bite them recently. President Trump, by taking to Twitter and vocally calling out the mainstream media in their errors and bias, will ultimately bring about a change for the better in terms of honest and fair reporting.

In fact, representatives of the failing media issued a press release just this week stating: “We credit you with highlighting serious and widespread distrust in the media across the political spectrum. Your campaign tapped into that, and it was a bracing wake-up call for us. We have to regain that trust.” This can only be a plus for everyone.

 

9Create New (Old) Jobs

9a-miners-477633515

Tariffs are not usually a part of the Republican platform. But when job creation becomes such a high-profile issue, it can’t be ignored. President Trump had the advantage of being an outsider, so he was able to step up and campaign for protectionist policies. This caused much ire among many of the Republican old guard like Senator John McCain who then took his vengeance by leaking false documents to the media.

In reality, tariffs already exist against non–Free Trade partners. As much as some wish to deny it, they are used against the US by many trading partners who are not charged tariffs on goods entering the US.

Mr. Trump’s plan involves what he calls “fair trade” as opposed to “free trade.” The idea is that tariffs will be imposed against nations that are either imposing tariffs against the US or using internal rules and regulations to undercut US competition from their own markets.

The country most likely to be effected financially is China, while the country most likely to benefit is the US. The imposition of these tariffs will compel companies that wish to trade in the US to open up shop there. This has the potential to create massive numbers of jobs.

Most of those jobs will be new jobs, but most will be jobs in old industries that fled the US as a result of Bill Clinton’s NAFTA bill. Ultimately, companies will chase the profits and it will soon be cheaper to produce cars, iPhones, and other products in the US directly rather than produce them offshore and import them with high tariffs.

8End Political Correctness

Political correctness is an act of terrorism against communication. In the words of the great George Carlin: “Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance.” I strongly recommend you watch the video clip above before continuing to read.

In a nutshell, political correctness is the rebranding of things deemed “bad” with terms that claim to remove the negative connotations. Ultimately, however, it causes people to fear their own thoughts and words in case they say something that is now considered “wrong.”

Even worse, the newest “rules” of political correctness end up being used against people who lived before those rules existed or who made public statements using those words when society deemed them innocuous. This has given much ammunition to those of a certain political persuasion who can shut down any intelligent or logical debate by merely screaming “racism,” “homophobia,” or “Islamophobia”—the latter two words, of course, being nonsensical as “phobia” means fear, not hatred.

This was never more obvious than during the election when the mainstream media and those opposing Mr. Trump sought out any recordings or evidence of the political right or Trump supporters using such words as “nigger,” “cripple,” “retard,” etc. On many occasions, people on both sides of the political spectrum waited with bated breath for the leaking of audio showing their political opponent uttering “the N-word!”

The other knock-on effect of this bizarre linguistic destruction is the banning of such classic books as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird and the retitling of famous classic novels such as Ten Little Niggers by Agatha Christie. How quickly we forget the adage that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. If we ban books that discuss things we don’t like, how many generations will it take to forget they ever happened?

 

7Modernize Presidential Communication

7-trump-on-twitter

Photo credit: twitter.com

Not so long ago (1933–1944 to be exact), Franklin D. Roosevelt was lauded for his “fireside chats” in which he took to the radio to communicate directly to the American people. In much the same way, we now see President Trump using Twitter to the same end. This has caused a great deal of angst among members of the dying mass media who are clinging to any last vestige of influence they once had. And it is perhaps in part for this reason that they have so bitterly attacked Mr. Trump at every turn.

What sane person could possibly dislike the idea of the president of the United States talking directly (in more ways than one!) to the people? It wasn’t so long ago that claims of being “the most transparent administration” were met with praise and adulation in the same media now decrying President Trump. In an indirect way, Barrack Obama’s administration was also ultimately transparent, thanks to WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden.

A further arrow in President Trump’s communications bow is his recent declaration that he will be allowing members of the so-called alternative media (blogs, websites, amateur journalists) to join the legacy media in White House press briefings.

6Improve The Entertainment Industry

6a-unhappy-audience-member-at-empty-cinema-498855762

After a decade of politically correct, social-justice-promoting movies spewing from the bowels of a Hollywood in deep crisis, profits are dropping as eyeballs seek entertainment off the big screen.

Not a week goes by without entertainment workers releasing another YouTube hit piece on Mr. Trump and his supporters. Gone are the days of actors and actresses entertaining the people; now they seem to think their job is to educate and influence. These extremely wealthy individuals work in an industry once considered among the lowest of the low. We are now, effectively, being told whom to vote for and what to think by people who, until recently, were considered equal to prostitutes.

But we can’t lay all the blame at the feet of those on the bottom rung of the entertainment industry. The big money behind the movies as well as the directors, the producers, and the scriptwriters all have a part to play.

When these moguls wake up and realize that their audience is abandoning them, they will have to bite their lips and start thinking about their future.

The good news is that now a giant wrench has been thrown into the works of society, causing a great shock. Like the famed phoenix, some fresh and exciting ideas will likely be born. We will no longer have to endure the likes of a re-release of Ghostbusters, whose only claim to fame (aside from having the most disliked trailer in YouTube history) is a blatant misandristic bent.

5Space Exploration

5b-exploring-mars-108271546

John F. Kennedy sent man to the Moon, and all the thanks he got was to beshot by Ted Cruz’s father! President Trump has stated that he will reopen the National Space Council, a group tasked with sitting between all the various space-related agencies (including commercial organizations) to help determine policy. It was disbanded under Mr. Clinton, and while Mr. Obama promised to restore it, it has remained defunct ever since.

The President intends to reopen the council with Vice President Mike Pence at its head. All manner of talk has arisen over whether this could mean that NASA, in conjunction with the likes of SpaceX, will set their sights on a Mars landing or further deep space ventures. The next four or eight years could prove to be incredibly exciting for those of us with a love and fascination for the great unknown of outer space.

And let us not forget that President Trump will have access to the Roswell documents and Area 51. Who knows what may come of that!

By the way, I was just kidding about Ted Cruz’s dad . . . maybe . . .

 

4The Environment

4-flint-water

Photo credit: aol.com

Mr. Trump repeatedly stated during his campaign: “It used to be cars were made in Flint, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now cars are made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”

Much anxiety has been caused by the Trump administration’s reticence to embrace climate change extremism, but all is not lost for those who do adhere to environmentalism. While it is true that President Trump doesn’t wish to continue funding international environmental organizations, he does want to divert those funds back to the US to fix problems like Flint’s water.

There is something to be said for cleaning up your own backyard first, and that is the approach we should expect to see over the next few years. When countries like China can indiscriminately emit pollution with no regard for the rest of the world, why should it fall upon the shoulders of countries like the United Kingdom and the United States to compensate?

Furthermore, through the use of tariffs against foreign industry, manufacturing will return to the US, which has far stricter environmental guidelines than countries in the Orient. This will, in itself, bring about a significant reduction in global pollution.

Chicken Little can live to fight another day!

3Education

3-common-core

Photo credit: heartland.org

With a promise to end Common Core and bring about parental choice in schools, President Trump is threatening to end the system which has led to the US ranking 35th out of 64 nations for mathematics and producing college students who need crayons and puppy dogs to cope with the grief of discovering that there are no participation trophies for backing the loser in an election.

Common Core is a set of standards that aims to teach children the things they need to know to meet a common requirement for further education and employment. The system was first developed in 2009 under Mr. Obama and was finally implemented in 2010. Since then, three states have voluntarily dropped the standards and President Trump is vowing to abolish them entirely.

Whether or not the replacement for Common Core will correct the dismal record of the US education system over the last six years remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that in the end the blame for a child’s success will be laid at the feet of his parents because it will be their choice on how and where to educate their child.

2Tax Reform

2c-us-tax-retunr-144229773

Tax reform seems to come up in every election, but not since Mr. Reagan has such a grand range of tax cuts been proposed. Under the new scheme, which will reduce the total tax brackets from seven to three (12 percent, 25 percent, and 33 percent) and increase the standard deductions, the majority of Americans will save money. A small number of the lowest-income earners will see their tax rate rise by 2 percentage points from 10 percent to 12 percent.

The corporate tax rate will also drop to 15 percent, making it one of the most competitive in the world. The knock-on effect of this will be to promote the return of US companies operating abroad for tax gains.

This means more business bringing more jobs and more money in each worker’s pocket, which means more money being spent. In turn, this could help reverse the decline in the overall economy.

Changes to the tax system can take a while to notice, so this won’t be an immediate and obvious fix. But it could have great benefits in the longer term.

1Infrastructure

I must be honest and say that I am not at all a fan of President Trump’s very flamboyant home decor. But having recently stayed at a Trump Hotel while in New York on business, I am glad to say that it doesn’t extend past his marbled domicile.

A frequent issue that arose during the election was the deplorable state of US airports and infrastructure in general. I can certainly vouch for that! Over the next few years, both the Republicans and the Democrats have agreed that they will support any bills that pump funds into sorting this out once and for all. Here’s hoping that in a short amount of time, travel across the US will once again be a pleasant and appealing thing.

Let us end with the words of President Donald J. Trump, in what could well be his most historic speech:

“We will rebuild our roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, airports, schools and hospitals.

American cars will travel the roads, American planes will soar the skies, and American ships will patrol the seas.

American steel will send new skyscrapers into the clouds.

American hands will rebuild this nation—and American energy, harvested from American sources, will power this nation. American workers will be hired to do the job.

We will put new American metal into the spine of this country.

Jobs will return, incomes will rise, and new factories will come rushing back to our shores.

We will make America wealthy again.

We will make America strong again.

And we will make America great again.”

Good luck, Mr. President.

Winter Sucks for This Fox Frozen in a Solid Block of Ice


Post 8206

Winter Sucks for This Fox Frozen in a Solid Block of Ice

Friday 12:30pm

AP

Hurrying home after a pleasant evening of foraging and scrapbooking, this unlucky fox drowned in the Danube river in southern Germany. And that was only the beginning.

Franz Stehle, the hunter that discovered this poor bastard, told local news he found the fox frozen solid, then extracted it from the ice (as one does) and put him on display outside his family’s hotel to warn about the remarkable brutality of this year’s winter season.

More than 60 people across Europe have died in winter-related tragedies, and Romanian authorities have ceased shipping operations along the Danube, where the fox was found. Refugees, the elderly and the homeless (and obviously, these categories overlap for many people) were hit hardest, especially in rural areas.

UK authorities have used the term thundersnow to refer to the mix of heavy snow and gale force (70mph) winds blanketing the area. Even sunny vacations spots like Athens were hit with snow. So winter’s no bullshit this year, and this fox is a chilling reminder to stay safe.

[AP]

Of course I have pages. I had pages five years ago. How anyone can believe I don’t defies belief.

10 Terrifying Predictions For 2017


Post 8167

10 Terrifying Predictions For 2017

MORRIS M. DECEMBER 31, 2016

http://listverse.com/2016/12/31/10-terrifying-predictions-for-2017/

2016 was a bad year. Beloved celebrities died, terrorists massacred dozens, Aleppo was devastated, Yemen went to Hell, North Korea detonated two nukes, and the US was divided by the nastiest election in living memory.

Well, we’ve got some bad news: 2017 could be even worse. Here’s how:

10Italy’s Banking System Collapses

istock-504224466
In a list of “boring-sounding things you should be worried about,” an Italian banking crisis would be number one. For years, Italy’s lenders have been chucking money at people like 2008 never happened. Now, experts thinks those banks could finally fall.

Italy is the world’s eighth largest economy. It’s also a Eurozone country, so it could bring the whole EU crashing down. The Greek debt crisis nearly collapsed the Euro, and Greece barely edges into the top 50 global economies. Italy going down would be like sticking a block of Semtex under the Euro and pressing the button marked “Kaboom.”

As a single entity, the EU has an economy larger than China. If it goes, the effects on the world would be enormous. US consumers would be hurting faster than you can say “global depression.”

 

9The US And China Engage In A Trade War


US president-elect Trump has made no bones about his plans regarding China. He wants to slap tariffs on Chinese goods and square off against Beijing over trade. While Beijing may back down, things could go the other way. The US and China could wind up embroiled in a painful trade war.

This would be . . . interesting, to say the least. China and the US trade nearly $600 billion worth of goods. While China imports more from the US than vise-versa, the goods the US imports are harder to source elsewhere. So China would face bigger immediate problems, but US consumers would find themselves paying an enormous “tax” on consumer electronics, a worrying proposition in the digital age.

Then there’s the fact that China imports, assembles, and then reexports goods all over Asia. A damaging trade war would spill over onto Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan and mess things up for millions.

8The Taliban Take Over Afghanistan (Again)

taliban

Photo credit: AFP via BBC News

Remember the Taliban? Like an unwanted Marvel sequel, the fanatical Islamist group has returned with an even bigger budget. Only instead of targeting the summer schedules, they’re on the verge of overrunning all of Afghanistan.

Nearly 150 of Afghanistan’s 400 districts are already totally or partially under Taliban control. There’s fighting in 50 more. These are the highest numbers since 2001 and are being fueled by soaring Afghan military and police defections. In a manner eerily reminiscent of ISIS’s 2014 rampage across Iraq and Syria, the Taliban are recruiting their own disaffected “enemies” en masse, gaining piles of new equipment in the process.

Currently, the US has 10,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan, but they’re making very little difference. Unless the tide turns, it’s almost certain that 2017 will be the year the Taliban retake Afghanistan, as though that whole War on Terror thing never even happened.

 

7Marine Le Pen Is Elected President Of France

marine-le-pen

Photo credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol via Salon

Marine Le Pen’s Front National party is currently leading in polls for France’s 2017 elections. That’s not good. Front National is a party so far right that they make General Franco look like a social justice warrior.

The party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has repeatedly denied the Holocaust. His earliest members were French collaborators from World War II. He used to publish Nazi songs. As for the charge that his party is “fascist,” in 2012, his daughter, Marine, sued a socialist politician who described Front National that way. A French court ruled that “fascist” was a literal description of their politics.

If Le Pen becomes leader of France, it would be like Brexit on steroids. Not only would a major European country be ruled by a neo-Nazi, but Le Pen has promised to yank France out of the European Union. The result—a total collapse of the EU and economic shock waves that will rock the world.

6North Korea Goes Full Nuclear

istock-470309868
North Korea is the gag nation. While Iranian nukes worry us, North Korea acts as a punchline in Seth Rogen movies. In truth, we may be underestimating the DPRK. 2017 could see their nuclear capability go from “scary background noise” to “terrifying threat.”

In 2016, Pyongyang carried out two nuclear tests, bringing its grand total to five. No other nation in history has made it to five tests without perfecting a device it can attach to a missile. Kim has made ramping up rocket research a priority. Crazy as it sounds, North Korea might be closer to a working, ready-to-deploy nuclear missile than we realize.

Conservative estimates put mid-2018 as the point that North Korea reaches full nuclear capability, but there’s a chance it could be earlier. Kim already has 20 nukes, a fleet of missiles, and a fragile ego. For the pudgy tyrant, entering the nuclear club early would be worth any number of his people starving.

5ISIS Unleashes Carnage In Europe

istock-497573194
In the 13 months since November 2015, ISIS and IS-inspired terrorists have killed over 260 innocent people in Europe and more if you include attacks in Turkey. (Turkey sits in both Europe and Asia.) Horrific as this is, it could merely be a taster of what is to come.

With ISIS’s Iraq and Syria strongholds collapsing, Western jihadists are being sent back home by the thousands, all with only one goal: to cause maximum casualties to civilians.

According to Europol, these returning fighters have been briefed to try to launch attacks in European countries, with France, Germany, and Britain the top targets. Scarily, it’s thought that these attacks may well involve weapons of mass destruction like sarin and anthrax. Although many will be foiled, it would just take one successful attack to cause untold casualties.

 

4A Crippling Cyber Attack

istock-477674937
On December 23, 2015, a group of hackers infiltrated and disabled three major power stations in Western Ukraine, leaving 230,000 homes without power in the middle of a freezing winter. It was the first major cyber attack on a power grid in history. Scarily, far from being soft targets, those Ukrainian power stations had better cyber protection than most US ones.

Foreign policy experts have been warning about a crippling cyber attack on vital US infrastructure for years, but after the Ukrainian attack, those warnings have become deadly serious. In Ukraine, power was restored after six hours by using manual backups—which US substations lack. If a similar attack hit the US, the power could stay out for months on end.

Such attacks are increasing in number. In mid-2015, France’s TV5 was almost destroyed by Russian hackers. In winter 2016, Ukraine’s power grid was hit again. It may only be a matter of time before the US is targeted.

3Genocide In Africa And Asia

rohingya

Right now, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria are vast killing zones. Parts of Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are engulfed in violence, and people are still dying in Ukraine, Mexico, and Somalia. To this dispiriting list, 2017 may add two more countries: Myanmar (aka Burma) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The CAR is an ethnically divided, failing state with armed gangs roaming its countryside and has been at boiling point for the last two years. Observers are worried it will spill over into ethnic violence, if not outright genocide, any day.

Myanmar, on the other hand, was meant to be a success story. After the country transitioned to democracy after 60 years of dictatorship, it was supposed to become a beacon of the free world. Instead, security forces began destroying villages belonging to the Rohingya minority and ethnically cleansing their populations. Frighteningly, all the indicators for a potential genocide to unfold in 2017 are already in place.

2A Major War

soldiers-in-europe

Photo credit: Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA via The Guardian

Is 2016 the new 1913? There are signs out there that major powers could be sucked into horrifying collisions if things don’t immediately change course. Depending on those involved, this war could be anywhere on the scale from “locally devastating” to “World War III.”

China is one potential worry. In recent weeks, China and the US have been squaring off over both the South China Sea and Taiwan. While China would be insane to directly engage the US in a war, there’s nothing to stop them from attacking minor US allies. This could then suck in the US and NATO, much as the assassination of one middle-aged dude in 1913 wound up sending the entire world to war.

Then there’s Russia. One former NATO deputy commander has already predicted that Moscow will annex the Baltic states in 2017, leaving the US and EU treaty-bound to protect them. Or maybe the recent assassination of a Russian diplomat in Turkey will bring Ankara and Moscow toe-to-toe, a conflict that, once again, the US would be treaty-bound to get involved in.

1A US Insurgency

istock-93233746
It sounds ridiculous. The idea that a group in the United States would arm itself and begin a violent insurgency sounds like something from a dystopian sci-fi story. But it’s scarily plausible.

US politics are more polarized than ever. Pew Research shows that Americans no longer trust their countrymen from the other side of the political spectrum. Extreme left and right groups are stirring their followers into a violent frenzy on social media, everyone thinks the system is rigged against their group, and both sides are arming themselves. Throw in a super-divisive election and a president many are convinced is illegitimate, and you’ve got the stage set for another civil war.

We’re not saying this will definitely happen in 2017 or even at all. Most likely, none of this will come to pass, and we’ll look extremely foolish. But the US right now is a divided, angry, and worried place. And unless someone works to break this cycle, it could lead down a very dark path indeed.

This Deep Sea Fisherman Posts His Discoveries on Twitter and OH MY GOD KILL IT WITH FIRE


Post 8153

This Deep Sea Fisherman Posts His Discoveries on Twitter and OH MY GOD KILL IT WITH FIRE

A strange deep sea creature captured by fisherman Roman Fedorstov (Twitter)

Roman Fedortsov is a deep sea fisherman in Russia. And he’s been taking photos of OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT?

Seriously, I just took a quick three-minute scroll through Fedortsov’s Twitter page, and he has photos of ocean creatures that look like they’re from the most twisted Jim Henson movie ever produced. (If Jim Henson did a ton of fucking acid.)

The English-language site Moscow Times posted a handful of the photos, but I’ve found even more on Fedortsov’s Twitter. The fisherman is reportedly based in Murmansk, which is a real place in Russia, and not another planet where Hell has opened up and set demons free to roam the land and the seas.

 

 

 

 

 

The bank lent me $2m so I spent it on strippers and cars


Post 8142

The bank lent me $2m so I spent it on strippers and cars

  • 14 December 2016
  • From the sectionMagazine
Luke Brett Moore and best friend Shanyn GloverImage copyrightLUKE BRETT MOORE
Image captionLuke Brett Moore at the beach with best friend Shanyn Glover

Luke Brett Moore, a young Australian, had just lost his job when he discovered his bank was mistakenly allowing him unlimited credit. It was too good an opportunity to miss. As he explains here, in his own words, he started spending and didn’t stop – until one day there was a knock on the door.

It seems unbelievable but my intention was never to take all the money from the St George Bank and not pay it back.

I was essentially waiting for the bank to contact me and say: “Hey you, I want this amount of money” and I would have gone from there.

Originally, in 2010, I just had a normal everyday banking account. My home loan, my health insurance and bills were coming out of it.

I had had a pretty bad car accident and my pay started going into another bank. I can’t remember the exact circumstances of why that happened.

The first week I was worried as there was no money to pay the mortgage. What was I going to do? But then the payment went through from my St George account and I thought, “Oh, OK.”

And then the next fortnight the next $500 (£296) payment of my mortgage went through. It went on and on like that for 12 months without the bank saying anything, but my account was becoming overdrawn464 gray line

Luke MooreImage copyrightLUKE BRETT MOORE
464 gray line

About that time I rang my home loan company and said, “Hey, can you direct-debit $5,000 (£3,000) from my St George account?” And then a couple of days later I said $50,000. They were both approved.

I was shocked. I had found myself with access to an extraordinary large line of credit.

I bought my first car not long afterwards – an Alfa Romeo 156. It was the dodgiest car: the gearbox, motor and fuel injectors all went in it.

Then I got a Hyundai Veloster. It was one of those crazy three-door things with a glass roof. I bought that so I could drive to Sydney to buy a Maserati. It was only a $36,000 car. I mean it was a lovely car but it wasn’t a supercar by today’s standards.

Moore's MaseratiImage copyrightNEW SOUTH WALES POLICE
Image captionThe $36,000 Maserati

It was a crazy time for me. I was a young and foolish 22-year-old and I wasn’t thinking particularly clearly.

I had just recovered from the accident and found myself unemployed for the first time since I was 14. I had broken up with my high school sweetheart after four years and I was looking to sort of start my life fresh somewhere else.

So I moved to Gold Coast. I flew up to Surfer’s Paradise one weekend for a holiday. And I got comfortable there and ending up staying.

Luke Brett MooreImage copyrightLUKE BRETT MOORE

It was pretty awesome. I had a good time up there that’s for sure. I was just doing what most young guys do when they’re that age and they’ve got a bucket load of cash – just having fun and partying.

I went to strip clubs and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on girls, alcohol, cocaine and whatever else.

I also got a fishing boat. I loved that. I got a £10 note by street artist Banksy. That was one of my treasured possessions, along with a drum skin signed by Amy Winehouse.

Banksy £10 noteImage copyrightNEW SOUTH WALES POLICE
Image captionThe Banksy of England £10 note…
White line 10 pixels
Michael Jordan basketball shirtImage copyrightNEW SOUTH WALES POLICE
Image caption… and a Michael Jordan basketball shirt

Every time I requested St George to lend me more money I wasn’t particularly expecting them to, but they did.

I think at first maybe my mother thought I was dealing drugs but then I think it become quite clear that that’s not what I was doing. People learned fairly quickly around me, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

I had a business up in Surfer’s Paradise. I was running a shop selling goods. The media said my bedroom was an Aladdin’s cave of treasures, but a lot of that stuff I was selling in my shop. There was to some extent a business idea behind everything that I was doing.

464 gray line

The fall and rise of Luke Brett Moore

Luke MooreImage copyrightLUKE BRETT MOORE
  • March 2010: Opens an account with St George Bank
  • July 2010 to August 2012: Makes more than 50 withdrawals, apparently totalling $1,988,535.25
  • December 2012: Police raid Moore’s family home in Goulburn, New South Wales, but he is released on bail
  • February 2015: Found guilty of obtaining financial benefit by deception and dealing with the proceeds of crime in Sydney District Court
  • April 2015: Sentenced to between two years and three months and four years and six months in jail
  • August 2015: Bail is granted after Moore represents himself in court
  • December 2016: New South Wales Criminal Court of Appeal quashes his conviction
464 gray line

Then [in 2012] I was sitting in my bedroom back at home with my mum in Goulburn when I hear banging on the window. By the time I got to the front door the police were inside. They pretty much had my mother pushed up against a wall and were shoving a video camera in my face. They were all armed like they thought I might be a mad gangster.

They were yelling and telling me I was under arrest and they went through the house and took everything that I’d ever owned.

They arrested me and took me to the police station. The police originally refused me bail so I spent the night in the Goulburn cells. The next day I got granted bail by a magistrate in court.

Luke Brett Moore with kittenImage copyrightLUKE BRETT MOORE

A couple of years later I was found guilty of obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime. I was sentenced for a maximum of four-and-a-half years.

I was never expecting to go to jail and thought I’d be found innocent. But I had to get lawyers through legal aid, which is grossly underfunded in Australia. They weren’t interested in the case, didn’t want to defend the case and clearly didn’t do a very good job of it at trial.

It was horrible in jail. You’re away from your family and locked in a cell for 17 hours a day. The food is pretty dodgy and you’re associating with some pretty rough people.

In some ways I was blessed because the type of crime I was in there for was not something that anyone in prison is going to hold against you.

I spent six months there, and it was the toughest time in my life. From the first day I was there I was trying to get out.

Moore's boat and one of his carsImage copyrightNEW SOUTH WALES POLICE
Image captionMoore’s boat and his Hyundai

I read as many law books as I could and about as many cases as I could. I read the Bail Act and the Crimes Act and pieced together my case.

My first objective, though, was to get bail. This was very difficult at the time [2015] following too many cases of guys on bail committing really bad crimes.

You needed to first establish special and exceptional circumstances and then you needed to establish that you weren’t a risk to the community and that you weren’t a flight risk.

I had to represent myself because legal aid wouldn’t fund my bail application. But I managed to get it.

By the time it all went to court I was so prepared with all my arguments and everything all I basically did was give the barrister that represented me my paperwork and said: “Look, here it is. Here’s the argument. It’s black and white.”

In the end the legal argument as far as the criminal charges were concerned was quite simple.

Luke Brett Moore with law bookImage copyrightLUKE BRETT MOORE
Image captionMoore studied criminal procedure in New South Wales

I was acquitted a few weeks ago. As far as the law is concerned in Australia at the moment I had no legal obligation to inform the Bank of what was going on.

The judge said I was dishonest, but we don’t live in a society where moral wrongs result in people being locked up behind bars and their liberty taken away from them.

I was just unlucky I guess that it happened to me.

From all the comments on social media it seems that many other young and foolish people would’ve done the exact same thing. However, given the opportunity, I wouldn’t do it again. It devastated my life and family and it wasn’t worth a couple of good months with the strippers and some cocaine.

My whole life was nearly ruined. It’s only now that I’ve been able to turn my experience in to a positive. I’m currently studying law at university and will be a criminal lawyer in two years’ time.

My six months behind bars gave me a unique perspective on jail. A lot of the people in there need help not incarceration.

So my idea is to essentially assist these people and sort of try to get more funding directed towards drug rehabilitation, counselling and education as opposed to more money to build more jails.

Man weds fiancee hours before succumbing to cancer


Post 8141

Man weds fiancee hours before succumbing to cancer

KPLR 11 St. Louis Tue, Dec 13 10:14 PM PST

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/743af59b-0781-3936-a8a8-5757e1c3163c/man-weds-fiancee-hours-before.html

On Friday, when the hospital chaplain asked Raul Hinojosa for his final wish, the cancer-wracked patient just said, “I want to marry her.”

His longtime fiancee, Yvonne Lamas, told CNN, “I looked around the room, and said ‘Who?’ That was just the way we played.”

Let’s do it, the chaplain said, and she left to get people to help make a dying wish into reality.

Family and hospital staff hurried to put a wedding together. One of the hospital’s chaplains took Lamas to the courthouse to acquire a marriage license. When they arrived, the judge waived the typical 72-hour waiting period, Lamas said.

The director of the critical care unit — who never wears a coat and tie to work, but had that morning after going to see his daughter’s Christmas program at school — shed his suit and gave it to Raul to wear for the ceremony, she said.

Cooks in the hospital’s cafeteria baked a wedding cake, and relatives ran out to get a dress for Lamas.

“It was a perfect fit,” said Angie Paiz, Raul’s aunt.

After Hinojosa was admitted to a critical care unit in Amarillo, Texas, in late October, Lamas had spent every day at his side, balancing his needs with the needs of their children at home.

Hinojosa and Lamas had been together for 11 years. “He was very respectful, very romantic and always wanted to give me the world,” Lamas said. “He knew how to put a smile on my face no matter the situation.”

They have a son who is 9, and Lamas has three daughters from a previous marriage, but Hinojosa took them in as if they were his own.

“As a father figure he was very loving, very caring to my kids,” Lamas said. “He gave them the world and was there for them when times were tough.”

“He was a good person. He was a giving person,” Paiz told CNN. He worked hard to provide for his family, picking up odd jobs even after he got sick because he couldn’t keep a steady one.

Hinojosa proposed in 2007, but he and Lamas had been waiting to marry.

“He was determined to give me the best fairytale wedding,” Lamas said. “He tried saving up, but within that time he ended up getting diagnosed with the leukemia.”

Hospital bills stacked up, and it started to look as if their dreams would never be realized.

But within a couple of hours, thanks to the collective effort of family and the hospital staff, the wedding was ready.

Nursing staff lined up outside the hospital room, and Lamas was escorted down the makeshift aisle by her father.

“When I walked down the aisle and saw him in the suit, he just took my breath away,” Lamas said. “He was so handsome. It was priceless.”

Her father delicately placed Lamas’ hand in Hinojosa’s, and the chaplain choked back tears as she recounted their story. “When this illness was diagnosed,” she said, “Yvonne promised she would never leave him. She would be with him. They would do this together.”

With his wife-to-be on his left and his son on his right, Hinojosa recited his vows.

With their children, family and friends gathered around them, Hinojosa and Lamas were finally married.

Hinojosa, 33, died of leukemia on Saturday, just 36 hours later.

When she signed her husband’s death certificate, it was the first time Lamas had signed her married name.

By Dakin Andone