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December 17, 2017

Sailing-Malacca Strait hazards spell danger for Ocean Race fleet

ALICANTE, Spain, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Volvo Ocean Race’s six-strong fleet enters one of the most hazardous phases of the nine-month, round-the-world event in the next 24 hours when it will reach the Malacca Strait on the third leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China.

The 500-nautical mile (nm) stretch of water, which separates the Indonesian island of Sumatra and Malaysia, narrows to 1.5nm as it funnels past Singapore into the South China Sea and is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

It is notorious for the huge mountain of man-made debris that has been dumped there. The racing boats have had to dodge discarded washing machines and fridges in past editions of the 38,739nm, 41-year-old event, which is held every three years.

There are huge tankers to avoid plus dozens of slow moving or stationary fishing vessels to navigate around and their nets can easily become snagged in the boats’ keels.

“We’ve got to negotiate this really narrow passage with intense shipping and get out of that alive and in one piece,” Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Justin Slattery (Ireland) told Reuters on Saturday.

“There are loads of hazards,” added Britain’s Dee Caffari, of Team SCA, the only all-women crew in the fleet and the first to enter the male-dominated race for 12 years.

“Everyone always talks about the Malacca Strait. Tidal influences, land influences, fishing and shipping vessels. It’s going to be pretty full on,” she told reporters from the boat.

The 4,670nm leg is led by Chinese boat Dongfeng Race Team. At 0940 GMT on Saturday, they led by 65.7nm from Spanish boat MAPFRE.

Victory in Sanya around January 27-28, the likely arrival dates of the leaders, would take Dongfeng top of the overall standings in the race.

No Chinese boat has ever won a leg in the event, formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race, despite an entry in both the 2008-09 and 2011-12 editions. Dongfeng nearly broke that duck in the first two legs, but finished a narrow runner-up in both.

A seventh boat in the starting fleet, Team Vestas Wind, was grounded on a reef in leg two and is currently being shipped to Italy for a rebuild ahead of a planned return to the event in June for the final two legs from Lisbon.

The race, which started on Oct. 4 in Alicante, Spain, is scheduled to finish in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27. (Editing by Toby Davis)

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Sailing-Malacca Strait hazards spell danger for Ocean Race fleet

Chinese boat stretches lead in Volvo Ocean Race

ALICANTE, Spain (AP) — Dongfeng Race Team stretched its lead at the head of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the third leg to China on Sunday.

Charles Caudrelier’s crew are aiming to become the first Chinese boat to win a leg in offshore sailing’s leading round-the-world race, which was first held in 1973.

There would be no better place to do it than Sanya, their home port on the southern tip of China, which is the destination of the 4,670-nautical mile leg three that began in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 3 and is likely to be completed around Jan. 24.

On Sunday, after nine days of sailing, they had increased their lead of just under 12 miles over closest challengers, Team Brunel of the Netherlands.

The boats were locked at the top of the standings before the start of the leg on four points with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

The fleet still has just under 3,000 nautical miles to sail, including a hazardous stretch through the Malacca Strait, which is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and separates the Indonesian island of Sumatra from Malaysia.

The racing boats will need to dodge slow-moving fishing vessels and all kinds of debris in the much-polluted waters.

Meanwhile, Team Vestas Wind, the Danish boat that was grounded during leg two from Cape Town and Abu Dhabi on Nov. 29, was heading for Italy for a rebuild.

The target is to return the badly damaged vessel to the race for the final two legs from Lisbon in June.

The 38,739 nautical mile, nine-month race is held every three years and visits 11 ports around the world and every continent.

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Chinese boat stretches lead in Volvo Ocean Race

Blood, sweat and tears yield ultramarathon joy

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Running 135 miles through the searing summer heat of Death Valley in California before ending the route with a cumulative gain of 17,000 feet to reach the slopes of Mount Whitney?

Slogging across four desert courses, each 150 miles long, in Chile, China, Egypt and Antarctica in what is known as the Four Deserts Grand Slam?

Racing against the clock through 75 control points in the footsteps of ancient Athenian messenger Pheidippidis, with a cut-off of 36 hours to complete the 153-mile Spartathlon?

Risking dehydration, exhaustion, broken ankles, kidney failure or the need to throw in the towel and give up — all possible reasons for an athlete to abort the gruelling challenge of an ultramarathon?

For the uninitiated, all of the above scenarios suggest a twinning of sadism with sheer lunacy. For the ultramarathoner, however, it is all about running for joy, setting personal goals and trying to overcome every obstacle faced.

“People are intrigued by the thought of someone wanting to run 100 miles, or more,” experienced ultramarathoner Shannon Farar-Griefer, who has five times raced the gruelling Badwater 135 across Death Valley, told Reuters.

“They might say, ‘What’s wrong with you that you want to run 100 miles? Were you abused or were you a drug addict?’ We just love to run. It’s all about passion in this sport.

“You know you’re going to hurt, you know you’re going to have a long day. That’s why people think that we are a little different from the rest because we keep pushing our bodies. Ultras are all about learning how to be able to accept pain.”

An ultramarathon involves a combination of running and walking further than the traditional marathon of 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometres). Though most ultras cover distances of either 50 or 100 miles, many are much longer.

For Connecticut-based running coach Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist and certified sports nutritionist who has competed in over 60 marathons and 21 ironman triathlons, ultras are all about achieving objectives.

“It’s the innate human desire to push our limits,” Holland told Reuters. “I believe many people find incredible personal satisfaction in achieving these challenging goals.

“They run a marathon or three and then have a need to push their bodies even further, both physically as well as mentally. Pushing through periods of incredible discomfort and coming out on the other side is extremely empowering.”

A METAPHOR FOR LIFE

Holland is a veteran of several ultras, including the Run to the Sun, a 36-mile journey to the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, and he regards the ultra challenge as a metaphor for life.

“You realize that no matter how bad you think things are at the time, you are strong enough to push through them and things will always get better,” he said.

Australian Samantha Gash, the first woman to complete the Four Deserts Grand Slam in a calendar year, believes that ultramarathoners share a burning desire to be the best they can be while often competing well outside their comfort zones.

“The people who finish are not the most physically fit but the ones that are mentally strong, those who don’t entertain the possibility of not finishing,” she said.

Gash, who is featured in the 2013 documentary “Desert Runners” which chronicles the Four Deserts Grand Slam, gained a massive jolt of self-belief after her pioneering accomplishments in Chile, China, Egypt and Antarctica.

“Being (previously) a nobody in the world of ultra running, if I could do something of this size and scale, it makes you feel that anything’s possible,” she said of her success in the Four Deserts Grand Slam.

“There were moments when I wondered what I was doing, when I was so dehydrated it hurt. I felt new depths of pain.

“But I really never let myself contemplate giving up,” said Gash, who had to contend with heat, cold, dehydration and extreme fatigue in some of the world’s most hostile environments while running with supplies strapped to her back.

Farar-Griefer, a 53-year-old mother of three who lives in Hidden Hills, California and took up long-distance running at the age of 39, has no doubt about her most brutal ultra experience.

“The 292-mile Death Valley Badwater double, by far,” she said, referring to her feat in becoming the first female to complete the ‘double’ by finishing the 135 ultra, then summiting Mount Whitney before returning to the race’s original start.

“All the other runners finished at the portals of Mount Whitney but I continued on and I summited Mount Whitney and then I ran back. It was 130 degrees on the way back.

“At mile 270, I got an edema really bad. I was swollen, I couldn’t pee. It was scary because you could go into total renal failure at that point. Thank God I had a very experienced crew.

“It’s a sport where you have to be able to endure pain and you have to be comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s a constant mind battle. I love it.”

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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Blood, sweat and tears yield ultramarathon joy

Top Asian News at 5:00 p.m. GMT

HONG KONG (AP) — Both victims in a double murder case that has shocked Hong Kong were Indonesian women, and one of the victims was frequenting a red light district on a lapsed domestic worker visa, an Indonesian consulate official said Tuesday. Consulate spokesman Sam Aryadi confirmed one of the women found dead in an upscale apartment over the weekend was 29-year-old Seneng Mujiasih, who had come as a domestic worker from the city of Muna on Sulawesi island.

BANGKOK (AP) — One of the founders of popular file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has been arrested under an Interpol warrant as he was crossing into Thailand from Laos, police said Tuesday. Hans Fredrik Lennart Neij, who uses the alias TiAMO, was detained Monday by Thai immigration police at a checkpoint in Thailand’s Nong Khai province, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday the U.S. and China must work together to stave off a global catastrophe from climate change, as he appealed for greater cooperation between the two world powers despite strains between them over cyber theft and maritime security. Kerry heads to Beijing this week, to set the stage for a visit by President Barack Obama for a regional summit and talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. That will be first leg of a three-nation swing through Asia, intended to underscore the president’s commitment to the region.

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s military-installed government appointed a committee on Tuesday to draft the country’s new constitution amid speculation that it will seek to bar former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies from politics. The 36-member panel consists of law experts, academics, former senators and others with close ties to the military and traditional conservative establishment. The appointment came more than five months after the military, led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, toppled an elected government headed by Thaksin’s allies.

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday for posting a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country’s king. A Criminal Court judge found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand’s lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy.

NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Tuesday ordered that Delhi’s legislative assembly be dissolved for a new election after the three main political parties failed to form a government this year for a city of nearly 25 million people. Delhi has been run by the federal government since the city’s top elected official resigned in February.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand last month was one of five nations to win elections for coveted seats on the U.N. Security Council. It will serve a two-year term as a non-veto-wielding member beginning in January. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says it’s an opportunity to boost the South Pacific island nation’s profile and contribute to solving international problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and long-divided Cyprus. The Associated Press recently interviewed McCully about what the win means. The interview has been edited for clarity and length. ___

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A big victory by German stallion Protectionist in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday was overshadowed by the deaths of two horses after Australia’s richest horse race, including the favorite Admire Rakti. Red Cadeaux strode to the lead in the last straight of the 2-mile (3,200-meter) classic but was overhauled on the inside by five-year-old Protectionist, which went on to win by four lengths in only its 10th race.

BANGKOK (AP) — Revelers in northern Thailand have been asked not to launch lanterns into the sky near airports to avoid airborne accidents during a popular festival this week, airport officials said Tuesday. The air traffic control center in Chiang Mai province has declared a 5-kilometer (3-mile) zone around the airport where people are advised not to launch lanterns from Wednesday to Friday, when Loy Krathong festival celebrations will take place, said Kiattisak Rienvatana, the center’s director.

In this photo taken on a smartphone camera by Leesa Willmott, a fallstreak hole forms in the sky over Wonthaggi, Australia. The bizarre sight seen Monday in the town near Melbourne looked like a hole in the sky, or perhaps an alien spacecraft. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Conroy said fallstreak holes are circular gaps that appear in high clouds when a section of the cloud freezes. The ice crystals are heavy, so they fall out of the cloud, leaving a hole. It is a relatively rare phenomenon.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A day after saying a billboard advertisement highlighting climate change was too political for world leaders gathering in the Australian city of Brisbane for a major economic summit, local airport authorities said Tuesday that they had also rejected an ad highlighting corruption problems. Brisbane Airport Corp. confirmed Monday that a World Wildlife Fund ad asking leaders of wealthy and developing countries to put climate change on the agenda of their G20 summit next week had been banned because it had “political intent.”

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese engineers have successfully tested a laser weapon that can shoot down low-flying, slow-moving drones, state media reported Tuesday. The Low Altitude Sentinel system can detect a small aircraft within a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) radius and shoot it down within five seconds, the newspaper China Daily said, citing a statement from the China Academy of Engineering Physics.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The shooting of a Shiite religious leader outside a Sydney prayer hall appeared to have been influenced by the Islamic State movement, Australia’s prime minister said Tuesday. Rasoul Al Mousawi, 47, was blasted with a shotgun in the face and shoulder in a drive-by shooting outside the Husainiyah Nabi Akram Center in suburban Greenacre early Monday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cyberattack similar to previous hacker intrusions from China penetrated computer networks for months at USIS, the government’s leading security clearance contractor, before the company noticed, officials and others familiar with an FBI investigation and related official inquiries told The Associated Press. The breach, first revealed by the company and government agencies in August, compromised the private records of at least 25,000 employees at the Homeland Security Department and cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in lost government contracts.

WAGAH, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistanis mourned on Monday for the victims of a massive suicide bombing near the border with India as the death toll from the explosion the previous day rose to 60, police said. The attack, for which a Taliban splinter faction claimed responsibility, was the deadliest to hit the country in over a year. In September 2013, a suicide bombing killed at least 85 people in a church in Peshawar province.

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Top Asian News at 5:00 p.m. GMT

Top Asian News at 12:30 p.m. GMT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A big victory by German stallion Protectionist in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday was overshadowed by the deaths of two horses after Australia’s richest horse race, including the favorite Admire Rakti. Red Cadeaux strode to the lead in the last straight of the 2-mile (3,200-meter) classic but was overhauled on the inside by five-year-old Protectionist, which went on to win by four lengths in only its 10th race.

HONG KONG (AP) — Both victims in a double murder case that has shocked Hong Kong were Indonesian women, and one of the victims was frequenting a red light district on a lapsed domestic worker visa, an Indonesian consulate official said Tuesday. Consulate spokesman Sam Aryadi confirmed one of the women found dead in an upscale apartment over the weekend was 29-year-old Seneng Mujiasih, who had come as a domestic worker from the city of Muna on Sulawesi island.

BANGKOK (AP) — One of the founders of popular file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has been arrested under an Interpol warrant as he was crossing into Thailand from Laos, police said Tuesday. Hans Fredrik Lennart Neij, who uses the alias TiAMO, was detained Monday by Thai immigration police at a checkpoint in Thailand’s Nong Khai province, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand last month was one of five nations to win elections for coveted seats on the U.N. Security Council. It will serve a two-year term as a non-veto-wielding member beginning in January. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says it’s an opportunity to boost the South Pacific island nation’s profile and contribute to solving international problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and long-divided Cyprus. The Associated Press recently interviewed McCully about what the win means. The interview has been edited for clarity and length. ___

NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Tuesday ordered that Delhi’s legislative assembly be dissolved for a new election after the three main political parties failed to form a government this year for a city of nearly 25 million people. Delhi has been run by the federal government since the city’s top elected official resigned in February.

BANGKOK (AP) — Revelers in northern Thailand have been asked not to launch lanterns into the sky near airports to avoid airborne accidents during a popular festival this week, airport officials said Tuesday. The air traffic control center in Chiang Mai province has declared a 5-kilometer (3-mile) zone around the airport where people are advised not to launch lanterns from Wednesday to Friday, when Loy Krathong festival celebrations will take place, said Kiattisak Rienvatana, the center’s director.

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday for posting a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country’s king. A Criminal Court judge found 24-year-old Akkaradet Eiamsuwan guilty of violating Thailand’s lese majeste law, which punishes people who defame, insult or threaten the monarchy.

In this photo taken on a smartphone camera by Leesa Willmott, a fallstreak hole forms in the sky over Wonthaggi, Australia. The bizarre sight seen Monday in the town near Melbourne looked like a hole in the sky, or perhaps an alien spacecraft. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Conroy said fallstreak holes are circular gaps that appear in high clouds when a section of the cloud freezes. The ice crystals are heavy, so they fall out of the cloud, leaving a hole. It is a relatively rare phenomenon.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A day after saying a billboard advertisement highlighting climate change was too political for world leaders gathering in the Australian city of Brisbane for a major economic summit, local airport authorities said Tuesday that they had also rejected an ad highlighting corruption problems. Brisbane Airport Corp. confirmed Monday that a World Wildlife Fund ad asking leaders of wealthy and developing countries to put climate change on the agenda of their G20 summit next week had been banned because it had “political intent.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cyberattack similar to previous hacker intrusions from China penetrated computer networks for months at USIS, the government’s leading security clearance contractor, before the company noticed, officials and others familiar with an FBI investigation and related official inquiries told The Associated Press. The breach, first revealed by the company and government agencies in August, compromised the private records of at least 25,000 employees at the Homeland Security Department and cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in lost government contracts.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese engineers have successfully tested a laser weapon that can shoot down low-flying, slow-moving drones, state media reported Tuesday. The Low Altitude Sentinel system can detect a small aircraft within a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) radius and shoot it down within five seconds, the English-language newspaper China Daily said, citing a statement from the China Academy of Engineering Physics.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The shooting of a Shiite religious leader outside a Sydney prayer hall appeared to have been influenced by the Islamic State movement, Australia’s prime minister said Tuesday. Rasoul Al Mousawi, 47, was blasted with a shotgun in the face and shoulder in a drive-by shooting outside the Husainiyah Nabi Akram Center in suburban Greenacre early Monday.

WAGAH, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistanis mourned on Monday for the victims of a massive suicide bombing near the border with India as the death toll from the explosion the previous day rose to 60, police said. The attack, for which a Taliban splinter faction claimed responsibility, was the deadliest to hit the country in over a year. In September 2013, a suicide bombing killed at least 85 people in a church in Peshawar province.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Attacks across Afghanistan, including the fatal shooting of a provincial deputy governor, killed five people as the country marked a major Shiite holiday, authorities said Monday. In southern Kandahar province, a gunman attacked Deputy Gov. Abdul Qadeem Patyall, shooting at him Sunday through the window of a classroom at Kandahar University, said Samim Khpolwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Patyall, who was studying to become a teacher, was seriously wounded and later died, Khpolwak said.

MILAN (AP) — The body of an Indian waiter who was the last missing victim of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner has been found by crews dismantling the vessel, authorities said Monday. The body was discovered by workers clearing debris from the ship in a passenger’s cabin on the eighth deck, said Carabinieri commander Capt. Massimo Pittaluga. He said the victim was wearing a shirt that contained an identification card for missing crew member Russel Rebello.

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Top Asian News at 12:30 p.m. GMT

Typhoon hits China's Hainan after shutting down Hong Kong

A powerful typhoon slammed into southern China Tuesday, swamping ships, grounding flights and forcing thousands — many of them still recovering from a previous storm — to leave home.

Typhoon Kalmaegi made landfall on the east coast of Hainan island packing winds of 144 kilometres (89 miles) an hour, the China Meteorological Administration said.

More than 20,000 residents have been resettled in 24 camps in Hainan since Monday, state media said, following earlier reports which said 90,000 people were evacuated.

Kalmaegi follows Typhoon Rammasun in July, the strongest storm to hit China in four decades, which killed 62 and left swathes of devastation in the south of the country.

Survivors of Rammasun told state news agency Xinhua that while Kalmaegi appears weaker, they still feared for their livelihoods.

“Our new house has yet to be completed and we suffer again,” Xinhua quoted Gao Yuanfu, who has been living in a tent since Rammasun destroyed his house, as saying.

“It is only half a month away from the harvest,” he added.

Gao, from Hainan’s Wengtian Township, badly injured his leg in the previous typhoon, the report said.

Images of the havoc caused by Kalmaegi showed scores of downed trees, urban streets flooded in knee-deep water and torrential rain.

More than 170 flights on Hainan were cancelled as of 9am on Tuesday, while 4,300 fishing boats in one county were called back, Xinhua said, following reports late Monday that 30,000 vessels had returned to harbour.

Rescuers in a helicopter plucked 12 Chinese sailors from a sinking cargo vessel as the storm approached the Chinese coast, Xinhua said.

But no casualties had been reported from the typhoon as of noon, the news agency added.

Local governments in China were told to prepare for “disaster-relief operations”, while ferry services between Hainan and the mainland across the 30 kilometre (18 mile) Qiongzhou Strait were suspended, it said.

The China Meteorological Administration had an “orange” alert in place, the second-most severe in the nation’s four-tier weather warning system.

– Hong Kong buffeted –

An earlier statement, which carried the most severe “red” alert, said that up to 400 centimetres (157 inches) of rain was expected in some coastal areas.

Kalmaegi hit China after sweeping past Hong Kong, where it disrupted flights and forced the closure of the stock market and container port.

It buffeted the city with gusts of up to 159 kilometres (98 miles) per hour as it barrelled west, injuring some 29 people, felling scores of trees and causing floods and a landslide.

The Hong Kong Observatory hoisted a number-eight cyclone warning late Monday, triggering the closure of schools and businesses. It was lowered to a number-three strong wind signal late Tuesday morning, allowing the stock market to reopen.

The storm had crossed the southern tip of Guangdong province and was over the Beibu Gulf and heading for northern Vietnam, the Observatory’s website showed Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities in Hong Kong city were hauling away debris and clearing a backlog of hundreds of delayed or cancelled flights.

Television news footage showed uprooted trees, overturned bus stop signs and damaged bamboo construction scaffolding that had been torn down by the strong winds.

Typhoon Kalmaegi swept out of the Philippines on Monday after causing chest-deep floods in some rural areas but leaving the storm-prone country largely unscathed.

Six people were killed after a passenger ferry sank in the central Philippines on Saturday amid rough weather as the storm approached, the navy said.

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Typhoon hits China's Hainan after shutting down Hong Kong

This Wexford man walked 10,000 miles through China in 1914 to find his family

china chronicling america

DR GEORGE HADDEN was remarkable in many ways: a 7ft tall Wexford man who lived in China, a medical missionary of the Methodist faith… and a husband who apparently trekked 10,000 miles to find his lost family.

American newspapers from 100 years ago tell the fantastical tale of what happened to Dr Hadden when he became separated from his wife during riots in China, and spent years before seeing her again.

Where it all began

A look at American newspaper archives fills us in on the story the couple told when they finally met again, three years after they last saw each other.

Dr Hadden had been living in Yungchowfu for seven years with his wife when they became separated during the Shangsha riots on the Yang river.

Mrs Hadden was pregnant, and gave birth to a boy on St Patrick’s Day, who she named Patrick. This was March 1910 and little Patrick wouldn’t see his father until he was three years old.

Understandably, Dr Hadden had little idea of where his wife Helen was, and went “wandering” as the Day Book reports, for three years trying to find them.

Here’s how their story was depicted at the time:

china hadden 1

It was also covered in the Ogden Standard of Utah and in the Kennewick Courier in Washington:

china hadden 3

The Day Book reported that it was only when Dr Hadden returned to his old post at YungChowfu that he learned that his wife was in Hongkong.

However, the Rock Island Argus said that Helen Hadden (for some reason she remains unnamed in all articles) was sent with her husband’s knowledge to a different town, where she gave birth at a missionary settlement.

The Argus also said that after a year apart, Dr Hadden got in touch with his wife, and found out he had become a father.

He didn’t leave his post, however, but trekked through the country by foot until he was reunited with his spouse and child at Canton.

Fact and fiction

While Day Book reported that Dr Hadden was 7ft 4, the Argus said he was “nearly 7ft”.

While on his 10,000 mile trek, Dr Hadden must have had some incredible adventures.

In the colourful and not particularly racially-sensitive parlance of the time, the Day Book said that while walking across the fields in Kuei Yang Chow, the “natives” “looked upon him as a devil in the flesh and blood, and followed him 2,000 strong”.

Dr Hadden reported that he “walked a little faster” than usual as he was “pelted with clods of earth”.

Did the experience change the family? Perhaps these sentences tell it all:

final par

We do know that eventually, Hadden returned to Wexford – where his family were in the drapery and outfitting business – at the age of 60, where he remained until his death at the age of 91. Helen Hadden lived to the age of over 100.

No doubt their son Patrick had plenty of tales to tell his own children.

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This Wexford man walked 10,000 miles through China in 1914 to find his family

Climate concerns aired as Pacific summit opens

A summit of Pacific leaders opened in Palau on Tuesday with a call for developed nations to take action on climate change and stop overfishing the world’s largest ocean.

The host of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Palau President Tommy Remengesau, said small island nations had effectively become “the conscience of the world” on environmental matters.

“The ocean is our way of life,” he said at an elaborate sunset opening ceremony featuring club-wielding warriors dressed in loin cloths and palm fronds.

“It sustains and nurtures us, provides us with the basics of our Pacific island cultures, out very identities.”

Remengesau said the Pacific Ocean was “under siege” from pollution and overfishing, leaving members of the 15-nation PIF vulnerable as many of them lie barely one metre (three feet) above sea level.

“We must recognise that the long-term solution to ocean warming, rising seas and ocean acidification is a big global cut in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions,” he said.

This week’s meeting seeks to maintain momentum from the 2013 summit in the Marshall Islands, where Forum nations signed the Majuro Declaration, committing them to ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adopting renewable energy.

Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak said it was an opportunity to drive the message home once again ahead of a special UN summit on climate change in New York on September 23.

“Climate change must be front and centre of the regional agenda,” he said.

While the small island nations that make up the majority of Forum members have no control over the industrialised world’s greenhouse gas emissions , they can influence the direction of Pacific fisheries.

Remengesau said it was time to take a stand against industrialised fishing in the Pacific, much of which is conducted by so-called “distant water” fleets from as far afield as Europe.

The Pacific tuna industry is worth about $4.0 billion a year annually but relatively little of the money trickles back to Forum countries.

Scientists say tuna stocks are dwindling quickly, with the southern bluefin variety down an estimated 96 percent after decades of overfishing.

Remengesau has launched a proposal to completely ban commercial fishing in Palau’s 630,000 square kilometre (240,000 square mile) exclusive economic zone — an area the size of France — by 2018.

He said the drastic step was needed to allow fish populations to replenish and let the ocean heal.

The PIF summit will continue until Friday, when member nations will hold discussions with so-called “dialogue partners” including the United States, China and the European Union.

From – 

Climate concerns aired as Pacific summit opens