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December 16, 2018

Man Rescued Walking Across Frozen Lake To Canada

A man rescued from a frozen Great Lake told officials he had been walking for two to three days in an attempt to get from Detroit to Toronto.

The US Coast Guard crew were astonished to come across the lone individual as their vessel broke ice on Lake St Clair, which lies between the US state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario.

They said the unidentified 25-year-old man, dressed in ordinary clothing, was coming down with hypothermia.

US Coast Guard said they picked up the Michigan man just half a mile from Seaway Island on the Canadian shore.

Once there, it would have been another 220 miles (350km) by road to reach Toronto. Lake St Clair is 26 miles in length. 

The American citizen told the crew he slept in a lighthouse on Wednesday night.

US Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Scott Sjostrom spotted him walking on the freshwater lake at around 9:30am on Thursday.

He said he noticed the individual was not wearing proper winter gear used for snowmobiling or ice fishing.

“That raised flags right off the bat,” Officer Sjostrom told Mlive.

He added: “When we got to him, you could tell the cold was getting to him. He was very lethargic … He was shivering very bad.”

He said the man was uncommunicative and had a “1,000-yard stare”.

The man could have easily broken through the ice and drowned, added Officer Sjostrom.

He and another coast guardsman left their 140ft (42 metre) tug to walk across the ice towards him.

US Coast Guard Lt Josh Zike said the man had a backpack containing food, clothes and a sleeping bag, but no flotation or communication devices.

He was taken for medical treatment in Algonac, Michigan.

It was the first rescue in four years by one of the Great Lakes ice-cutter boats, which clear the waterway for commercial shipping.

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Man Rescued Walking Across Frozen Lake To Canada

Rossi aims to cement second MotoGP spot in Sepang

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is looking to take a major step towards securing second place in the world championship over teammate Jorge Lorenzo at the Malaysian MotoGP this weekend.

The Italian great is eight points clear of the Spaniard going into Sunday’s penultimate race in Sepang following his win at Phillip Island, Australia, just a few days ago.

With Spanish sensation Marc Marquez crowned the championship winner earlier this month, second place is the best Rossi, 35, and Lorenzo, 27, could hope for but are determined to secure it.

Rossi has won seven premier class titles in Malaysia but will be aware that the last of those was in 2010. The Italian was only able to finish fourth last year, one place behind Lorenzo.

He will also be conscious of the 5.5 kilometre (3.4 mile) track’s unique challenges, particularly the often difficult weather conditions with high temperatures and heavy tropical rain.

“Apart from the temperature being a bit too high for MotoGP racing, I really like the Malaysian track,” Rossi told MotoGP.com.

“I will do my best to win again. I got my second win of the season and now I want to fight for second place in the championship.”

Honda’s Spanish star Dani Pedrosa won last time round pipping teammate Marquez into second, with Lorenzo finishing third. Pedrosa also triumphed in 2012.

“I look forward to racing at Sepang, it’s a nice track,” said Lorenzo on MotoGP.com.

“I would like to be competitive again, especially because I want to fight for second place in the championship.”

For Marquez this year’s race is a chance to atone for that loss, free of pressure with the world championship title already in the bag.

The 21-year-old has added motivation and won’t be taking his foot off the pedal as he bids to equal Australian Mick Doohan’s record of 12 wins in a single season.

Marquez, who last year became MotoGP’s youngest world champion is also looking to bounce back after crashing out at Phillip Island on Sunday.

“The race in Australia didn’t end as how I would’ve liked and to crash 10 laps from the end is infuriating,” he said.

“I will be going for the win in Malaysia and give it everything I’ve got in one of my favourite circuits,” Marquez added on his Repsol Honda blog.

The Spaniard secured the championship in Japan this month but organisers insist that hasn’t dampened ticket sales, with 65,000 tickets already sold.

The spotlight will also be on driver safety, three years after Sepang witnessed one of its darkest moments when Italian rider Marco Simoncelli died after coming off his bike.

“We will ensure the safety of riders,” the circuit’s chief executive officer Razlan Razali said.

The last MotoGP race of the season will be in Valencia, Spain, next month.

Source – 

Rossi aims to cement second MotoGP spot in Sepang

Occupy Activist Who Was Jailed After Clearing of Zuccotti Park Now Works to Reform Prison

Menacing police dogs and correctional officers in bulletproof vests greeted activist Cecily McMillan when she returned to Rikers Island last week. Stacks of disposable zip-tie handcuffs, omnipresent during Occupy Wall Street, dangled from their belts at the ready. While the sight was familiar to the Occupy activist, recently released from 58 days in the jail following a highly controversial trial, the show of force surprised her—after all, she was just there to deliver a stack of paper.

The show of force that landed her behind bars came during the chaos of the 2012 clearing of Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street had made encampments to protest an alarming, broad trend of injustice in banking, housing and other matters. In a physical struggle, she says she was groped from behind by a police officer and reared back with an elbow as a reflex, but the courts decided that was assault on a police officer.

After her release from Rikers Island on July 2, McMillan immediately launched an ambitious campaign to improve conditions she witnessed in the Rose M. Singer Center, the women’s jail at Rikers. The petition she delivered on Aug. 15, which amassed more than 10,000 signatures, demanded adequate mental and physical healthcare for female inmates, access to an accountable grievance process, education and vocational programs, an end to a newly-enforced 9 p.m. lockdown procedure, and an end to solitary confinement.

Commissioner Joseph Ponte, to whom the petition was addressed, didn’t meet McMillan and her fellow demonstrators at Rikers that morning, sending the Department of Correction’s Director of Media Relations Robin Campbell in his place. McMillan refused to hand off the petition to Campbell until they negotiated a sit-down meeting with Commissioner Ponte to discuss the demands, set to take place Aug. 25.

“We asked for an inch and they gave us a mile,” said a pleased McMillan when we spoke the day after the successful demonstration at Rikers. “Going over the [Rikers] bridge is a drastic act, but that’s what we had to do. You have to literally stand in solidarity with the people you want to help.”

Activism is nothing new to McMillan, whose was union organizing in Madison, Wis., before her participation in Occupy Wall Street. But her time served in Rikers reinvigorated her interest in women-backed collective action and sparked a dedication to the cause of incarcerated women.

“I’ve never been in a position in society where 50 women of different cultures and different backgrounds, different languages, have had the time and the space and the conditions to come together as women,” McMillan said. “Rikers is the only place I’ve ever felt that against one unified problem, and it was an incredible feeling of female solidarity.”

In recent months, the spotlight has shone brightly on the problem that inspired that unity. A disturbing Department of Justice report following three years of investigation highlighted the plight of juvenile offenders at the jail, concluding that a “deep-seated culture of violence is pervasive throughout the adolescent facilities at Rikers,” and noting that “the systemic deficiencies identified in this report may exist in equal measure at the [adult] jails on Rikers” as well.

According to McMillan and others, there is no question that this violence extends well beyond the juvenile facilities. Of particular concern to McMillan is the “medical and mental health malpractice and negligence” suffered by women in the Rose M. Singer Center. To address the issue, McMillan explained the women are “organizing heavily on the inside,” and are “building towards having a woman in every single dorm to investigate every single infraction by medical and mental health personnel, as well as correctional officers.”

Outside the jail on Aug. 19, a coalition of city council members, activists, and criminal justice experts joined McMillan to call on the NYC Board of Corrections to fill two vacancies with permanent positions for a former inmate and a former correctional officer to add perspective to the Board’s work. ;

“People closest to the problem are closest to the solution,” said Glenn Martin, a formerly incarcerated criminal justice reform advocate and founder of JustLeadershipUSA who joined the roundtable discussion to advocate for the two new positions.

“I have three stab wounds on my body, and all of them come from time spent on Rikers Island,” added Martin. “I’m telling you, not much has changed.”

In the midst of such violence and darkness at Rikers, McMillan found an unexpected source of motivation to work harder than ever for change.

“There’s a certain equalizing factor in the humiliation, degradation, and abuse of prison,” she said. “It’s a parallel experience that takes away all of the alienation and competition, and leaves you with a sense of camaraderie and community.”

Camaraderie or not, the reason for the closeness that forms the community is the struggle.

“I’m not saying that it wasn’t horrific or abusive, but in that moment you had nothing to do but unite together in order to keep your humanity.” While McMillan and her team have their work cut out for them, she has her sights set ahead. “My activism has taken a direction I always hoped it would go. I just want to keep moving forward and getting closer to what it means to be human.”

Related stories on TakePart:

Thousands of Occupy Protesters Were Arrested. But Were They Guilty of Crimes?

Some European Prisons Are Shrinking and Closing—What Can America Learn?

At 24, He Got Life Without Parole for Mailing LSD—and He’s Not Alone

A Prisoner Had a Hand in the Chèvre You Bought at Whole Foods

The Real-Life Stories Behind ‘Orange Is the New Black’

Original article from TakePart

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Occupy Activist Who Was Jailed After Clearing of Zuccotti Park Now Works to Reform Prison

'Star Wars' Filming in Ireland Exposes Birds to the Dark Side

Conservationists fear the filming of the new Star Wars movie on a remote Irish island this week could create more than a phantom menace for thousands of nesting birds.

The island of Skellig Michael features stunning alien-like cliffs and landscapes, making it a great set for director J.J. Abrams’ ;Star Wars: Episode VII. Skellig Michaelis also home to six ground-nesting bird species that are currently in the height of their breeding season.

“Skellig Michael is internationally important for six seabird species,” said Stephen Newton, senior conservation officer at BirdWatch Ireland, one of the organizations that have criticized the plan to film on the island.

Three of those species—Atlantic puffins, Manx shearwaters, and European storm petrels—nest below the ground, where they can’t be seen. The shearwaters and petrels are also nocturnal, which makes them hard to observe and track.

“They nest in burrows, holes, and crevices and only visit their nests during the hours of darkness to feed their young,” Newton said.

That makes it hard to protect the birds’ nests because even locating them is a challenge. “How can the authorities safeguard these birds from disturbance when they do not know where they are?” Newton asked.

The Irish Naval Service is doing more to safeguard the film set from prying eyes than anyone appears to be doing to protect the birds. The navy has set up a two-mile exclusion zone around Skellig Michael, effectively sealing off the island from tourists and fans hoping to get a sneak peek of the movie. The Irish Examiner reported that even the ferrymen who were contracted to shuttle the film crew back and forth needed to get special security clearances.

The United Nations has also wondered about the production’s impact on the island. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a designation established nearly 20 years ago to protect the island’s seventh-century Christian monastery.

A UNESCO spokesperson told The Irish Times that the organization has requested information on how and why permission was granted to film on the island. The Irish National Monuments Service said it would provide a report to UNESCO “later this week.” Filming is only scheduled to take place for three days, and the crew will be on to its next location by the end of the week.

None of the six bird species nesting on the island are endangered, but all face declining populations, and Newton pointed out that the Skellig Michael is critical to their future.

“Skellig has at least 10,000 pairs of storm petrels and is one of the largest colonies in the world,” he said.

BirdWatch Ireland had requested information on how the production company would safeguard the birds, but it has not yet been provided.

For its part, the Irish Film Board, which approved the shoot, said the crew’s week on Skellig Michael “has been designed to specifically avoid disturbance of breeding birds on the island.”

All the same, conservationists are definitely feeling a disturbance in the Force, as the production’s long-term impact on the island remains to be seen.

Related stories on TakePart:

These Birds Are Dying So Rich, Powerful Men Can Improve Their Sex Lives

How Dogs Can Save Birds From Being Incinerated by a Solar Power Plant

Is the Emperor Penguin Marching Into Oblivion?

First the Bees, Then the Birds, and Now the Fish Are at Risk From a Particularly Toxic Pesticide

Original article from TakePart

Original post: 

'Star Wars' Filming in Ireland Exposes Birds to the Dark Side

'Star Wars' Filming in Ireland Exposes Birds to the Dark Side

Conservationists fear the filming of the new Star Wars movie on a remote Irish island this week could create more than a phantom menace for thousands of nesting birds.

The island of Skellig Michael features stunning alien-like cliffs and landscapes, making it a great set for director J.J. Abrams’ ;Star Wars: Episode VII. Skellig Michaelis also home to six ground-nesting bird species that are currently in the height of their breeding season.

“Skellig Michael is internationally important for six seabird species,” said Stephen Newton, senior conservation officer at BirdWatch Ireland, one of the organizations that have criticized the plan to film on the island.

Three of those species—Atlantic puffins, Manx shearwaters, and European storm petrels—nest below the ground, where they can’t be seen. The shearwaters and petrels are also nocturnal, which makes them hard to observe and track.

“They nest in burrows, holes, and crevices and only visit their nests during the hours of darkness to feed their young,” Newton said.

That makes it hard to protect the birds’ nests because even locating them is a challenge. “How can the authorities safeguard these birds from disturbance when they do not know where they are?” Newton asked.

The Irish Naval Service is doing more to safeguard the film set from prying eyes than anyone appears to be doing to protect the birds. The navy has set up a two-mile exclusion zone around Skellig Michael, effectively sealing off the island from tourists and fans hoping to get a sneak peek of the movie. The Irish Examiner reported that even the ferrymen who were contracted to shuttle the film crew back and forth needed to get special security clearances.

The United Nations has also wondered about the production’s impact on the island. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a designation established nearly 20 years ago to protect the island’s seventh-century Christian monastery.

A UNESCO spokesperson told The Irish Times that the organization has requested information on how and why permission was granted to film on the island. The Irish National Monuments Service said it would provide a report to UNESCO “later this week.” Filming is only scheduled to take place for three days, and the crew will be on to its next location by the end of the week.

None of the six bird species nesting on the island are endangered, but all face declining populations, and Newton pointed out that the Skellig Michael is critical to their future.

“Skellig has at least 10,000 pairs of storm petrels and is one of the largest colonies in the world,” he said.

BirdWatch Ireland had requested information on how the production company would safeguard the birds, but it has not yet been provided.

For its part, the Irish Film Board, which approved the shoot, said the crew’s week on Skellig Michael “has been designed to specifically avoid disturbance of breeding birds on the island.”

All the same, conservationists are definitely feeling a disturbance in the Force, as the production’s long-term impact on the island remains to be seen.

Related stories on TakePart:

These Birds Are Dying So Rich, Powerful Men Can Improve Their Sex Lives

How Dogs Can Save Birds From Being Incinerated by a Solar Power Plant

Is the Emperor Penguin Marching Into Oblivion?

First the Bees, Then the Birds, and Now the Fish Are at Risk From a Particularly Toxic Pesticide

Original article from TakePart

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'Star Wars' Filming in Ireland Exposes Birds to the Dark Side