News in brief

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ObsessoMom
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Re: News in brief

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:15 pm UTC

I'm fascinated by the video footage of water from a rooftop pool cascading down a high-rise building damaged in the recent series of earthquakes in the Philippines.

(11 dead so far due to the earthquakes. I live in a neighborhood in San Diego with lots of first-generation immigrants from the Philippines, who still have family members in various towns on Luzon.)

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Re: News in brief

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:33 pm UTC

This story in the New York Times warmed my heart:

Running Out of Children, a South Korea School Enrolls Illiterate Grandmothers

As the birthrate plummets in South Korea, rural schools are emptying. To fill its classrooms, one school opened its doors to women who have for decades dreamed of learning to read.

Spoiler:
GANGJIN COUNTY, South Korea — Every morning on her way to school, Hwang Wol-geum, a first grader, rides the same yellow bus as three of her family members: One is a kindergartner, another a third grader and the other a fifth grader.

Ms. Hwang is 70 — and her schoolmates are her grandchildren.

Illiterate all her life, she remembers hiding behind a tree and weeping as she saw her friends trot off to school six decades ago. While other village children learned to read and write, she stayed home, tending pigs, collecting firewood and looking after younger siblings. She later raised six children of her own, sending all of them to high school or college.

Yet it always pained her that she couldn’t do what other mothers did.

“Writing letters to my children, that’s what I dreamed of the most,” Ms. Hwang said.

Help came unexpectedly this year from the local school that was running out of school-age children and was desperate to fill its classrooms with students.

[...]

“We went around villages looking for just one precious kid to enroll as a first grader,” said the principal, Lee Ju-young. “There was none.”

So Ms. Lee and local residents, desperate to save the 96-year-old school, came up with an idea: How about enrolling older villagers who wanted to learn to read and write?

Ms. Hwang and seven other women, aged 56 to 80, stepped forward, with at least four others asking to be enrolled next year.

For younger people who want to stay in the area, the future of their town depended on keeping the school alive.

“Who would start a family here if there were no school?” asked Noh Soon-ah, 40, whose husband — one of Ms. Hwang’s sons — quit his job in an auto parts factory in a big city and resettled his family here five years ago to take over his parents’ farming business. “Children are what brings laughter and vitality to a town.”

The local education office warmed to the idea, and Ms. Hwang started attending classes last month.

Like many first graders on their first day, Ms. Hwang cried. But these were tears of joy.

“I couldn’t believe this was actually happening to me,” she said. “Carrying a school bag has always been my dream.”

[...]

Ms. Hwang has already hatched an ambitious plan.

“I am going to run for president of the village women’s society,” she said. “People used to ask me to run, but I always declined. It’s a job for someone who can read and write.”


There's an adorable video in the article.

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Re: News in brief

Postby ijuin » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:04 pm UTC

That’s a story that really gives people hope.

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Re: News in brief

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed May 08, 2019 6:44 pm UTC

Passenger thrown off Air New Zealand plane for refusing to read safety instructions card
Police called after flight delayed following refusal of woman to watch safety video and read card in exit row seat

I can understand not wanting to pay attention anymore when you've flown a bunch of times, but if the flight attendant is specifically calling you on it, it's time to at least feign interest. Especially when a plane just skidded off a runway and had a non-standard exit for the passengers recently.

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Re: News in brief

Postby Zohar » Wed May 08, 2019 7:12 pm UTC

Specifically if you're at an exit row - either follow the instructions or get bumped somewhere else.
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Re: News in brief

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed May 08, 2019 8:24 pm UTC

Yeah. I've been on two flights in which people seated in exit rows didn't want to have "how to open this door and activate the exit slide" explained to them, so they said so. The flight attendant then worked out a simple seat swap for them with two people who didn't mind a half-minute instruction session in exchange for more legroom.

But the flight attendant can't work out a simple seat swap when the "unwilling or unable" people in the exit row stick their fingers in their ears.

(Then again, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want someone with that level of maturity operating my exit door in an emergency, so since reseating them wasn't a possibility, I'm glad they were thrown off the plane.)

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Re: News in brief

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue May 28, 2019 7:50 pm UTC


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Re: News in brief

Postby Link » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:41 pm UTC


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Re: News in brief

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:30 pm UTC

Republican Congressmember Duncan Hunter (about whom I previously ranted here) has been in the news a lot lately.

This just broke a few hours ago:

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Wife, Margaret, Pleads Guilty To Misusing Campaign Funds

A few weeks ago:

Rep. Duncan Hunter says his unit ‘killed probably hundreds of civilians’ in Iraq

Spoiler:
The Washington Post wrote:Rep. Duncan D. Hunter said his military unit “killed probably hundreds of civilians” in Iraq, the California Republican’s latest eyebrow-raising comments since being charged last year with spending campaign funds on personal expenses.

Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran, made the remark while renewing his call for clemency for Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL chief who is accused of killing an Islamic State prisoner under his care in 2017.

“I frankly don’t care if he was killed. I just don’t care,” Hunter said of the slain prisoner in an interview on “Zero Blog Thirty,” a military-themed podcast produced by Barstool Sports. He added, “Even if everything that the prosecutors say is true in this case, then, you know, Eddie Gallagher should still be given a break, I think.”

One of the podcast’s hosts, Kate Mannion, pushed back, arguing that “it’s such a slippery slope” and that Gallagher’s alleged killing of the prisoner “goes against our honor so egregiously.”

“Well, then, how do you judge me?” Hunter replied. “So, I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians — if not scores, if not hundreds of civilians. Probably killed women and children, if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So do I get judged, too?”

The interview was conducted last week but gained broader notice after CNN and USA Today reported on Hunter’s comments in recent days.

Prosecutors say Gallagher stabbed an injured Islamic State fighter and then posed with the teenage militant’s corpse. They also accuse Gallagher of shooting unarmed civilians. Gallagher, whose trial is scheduled to begin June 10, has pleaded not guilty.

Hunter has previously defended Gallagher. He penned a USA Today opinion piece last month arguing for clemency. He also told a town hall audience that he had taken a picture of himself with a dead combatant during his military service.

[...]

According to the Defense Department’s Law of War Manual, enemy military dead must be treated with “the same respect as would be afforded to, or expected for, friendly military dead.”
A few days before that:

Rep. Hunter on War-Crimes Suspect Gallagher: I’m Guilty of Same ‘Bad Thing’

Spoiler:
The Times of San Diego wrote:Rep. Duncan D. Hunter told a Ramona audience Saturday that he’s guilty of the same behavior that led to Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher being charged with war crimes — posing with a dead combatant.

“Eddie did one bad thing that I’m guilty of too — taking a picture of the body and saying something stupid,” Hunter said at a border-issues forum with his father, former Rep. Duncan L. Hunter.

The younger Hunter, a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, said he’s taken pictures “just like that when I was overseas” — although he didn’t text or post images to social media. “But a lot of my peers … have done the exact same thing.”


TL;DR: Bad stuff is okay to do if everybody's doing it. (Morality is graded on a curve, apparently.) Kinda awkward when your wife pleads guilty and cooperates in the case against you, though.


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