Monthly Archives: December 2016

South Tahoe Antique Wooden Boat Common

I went down to the Tahoe Keys Marina for the 5th yearly South Lake Tahoe vintage picket boat exhibit, and I obtained to see a bunch of wonderful antique boats and vintage boat reproductions and obtained to converse to the passionate men and women who restore and treatment for these remarkable boats.

I obtained to converse to John Walti, the vice-commodore of the vintage division of the California Speedboat Association, who showed me the FT Barron perpetual trophy with every race winner given that the club was launched in 1934. I also obtained to converse to the owners of the 1924 gold-cup racer the “Child Skipalong”, which was greatly considered to be the quickest boat on Lake Tahoe in the late twenties. I obtained to converse to the operator of a copy 1938 Ventnor Gold-cup boat that was initially built to carry a 500Lbs bomb in it is bow as properly as the builder of of a copy B-Racing Runabout from the early nineteen fifties.

By much the most well-known boat I noticed there was George Whittell Jr’s well-known 60ft picket Yacht “The Thunderbird”. Released in 1940, by a person so loaded he owned pretty a great deal the complete east shore of Lake Tahoe, the Thunderbird signifies the absolute hight of artwork deco picket boat design and style.


two-automobile trains start services on Punggol LRT East Loop

SINGAPORE: Peak hour vacation may perhaps become more nice for commuters in Punggol, with the start of two-automobile train expert services on the Punggol Gentle Rail Transit (LRT) East Loop all through early morning peak hrs involving six.45am and 8.45am and evening peak hrs involving six.15pm and 8.15pm.

The trains, which will vacation at a frequency of each a few to 4 minutes all through the peak hrs, proficiently double the potential of present products from about 102 to 204 travellers every single, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and general public transport operator SBS Transit (SBST) said in a joint press release on Thursday (Dec 29).

Two-automobile train expert services have kicked in on the Punggol LRT East Loop all through early morning and evening peak hrs. (Image: Kenneth Lim) 

Plans to increase train potential ended up very first mooted in 2012. There are now fifty seven train vehicles in the Sengkang-Punggol LRT fleet, subsequent the purchase of sixteen new vehicles in 2013, and about 119,000 commuters experience on the procedure each day, LTA said.

In the joint press release, LTA and SBST said the two-automobile procedure experienced been analyzed all through off-peak hrs given that Dec 5.

Above future couple months, SBST staff will be on the two-automobile trains to “attend to any technological issues instantly,” the rail operator said.

In January, eight two-automobile trains ended up also launched on the Sengkang Loop of the services. A whole of 32 vehicles of the fifty seven made use of on the procedure can now be modified to be coupled or sort two-automobile trains, LTA said. Channel NewsAsia understands more may perhaps be modified depending on commuter need.

Deputy Primary Minister Teo Chee Hean, 2nd Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng and other Pasir-Ris Punggol grassroots advisors frequented Punggol LRT station on Thursday to witness the start. They also frequented the Punggol Level LRT Station on the West Loop, which opened to commuters on Thursday.

Two stations on the West Loop are still be opened, with authorities saying that Samudera Station will open in March 2017 and Teck Lee at one more date to be confirmed.

Two-automobile trains will also be launched on the Punggol LRT West Loop at a later date, authorities said.  

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Man jailed eight months for smuggling 23 puppies into Singapore

SINGAPORE: A Malaysian person was on Wednesday (Dec 28) sentenced to 8 months’ jail for illegally importing 23 puppies, eleven of which afterwards succumbed to sickness and died. Yeun Jian Iun, 21, will serve a concurrent 4-month sentence for animal cruelty. 

Yeun and his Singaporean accomplice, Cheow Yon Siong, fifty one, experienced tried to smuggle stay puppies into Singapore on board Cheow’s yacht on Oct 28, the Agri-Meals & Veterinary Authority (AVA) stated in a statement.

At about 4.15pm, the Singapore-registered yacht was stopped by Law enforcement Coast Guard officers for a routine inspection off Changi General Functions Anchorage.

Officers uncovered the puppies – comprising 9 poodles, 5 shih tzus, 4 pomeranians, a few French bulldogs, and two golden retrievers – saved in cramped disorders in six pet carriers, which have been concealed under tub towels.

The gentlemen did not have AVA import permits or well being certificates for the puppies. 

AVA extra that its investigators uncovered that the puppies have been not presented any foods or h2o throughout their journey.

Some of the puppies confirmed signals of lethargy, absence of hunger and diarrhoea, stated AVA, introducing that the puppies’ ailment did not boost despite veterinary treatment.

eleven of the puppies succumbed to sickness and died.

(Picture: AVA)

Whilst the circumstance was staying investigated, the 12 surviving puppies have been cared for and quarantined at AVA’s Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS). They have been saved under observation for signals of infectious or contagious ailments, particularly rabies – a illness which is lethal to animals and human beings.

Pet carriers keeping puppies on deck. (Picture: AVA)

AVA famous that animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown well being standing, and that in the circumstance of puppies and cats, the foremost worry is rabies. It extra that Singapore has been free of charge from rabies for more than 60 several years, but warned from complacency as the illness is endemic in the region.

To import an animal into Singapore, the animal requires to meet AVA’s import disorders, including vaccination and well being certification specifications. Doing so without the need of an AVA allow carries a greatest penalty of S$10,000 and/or jail of up to a year.

Cheow was charged for the similar offence as Yeun, but intends to appeal. His circumstance will be talked about again on Jan 18 following year.

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Abe, Obama lay wreaths at Pearl Harbour memorial

PEARL HARBOUR: Japanese Primary Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama made a poignant joint pilgrimage to Pearl Harbour on Tuesday (Dec 27), laying wreaths for the victims of a stealth assault that activated America’s entry into Planet War II.

The two leaders paid homage to the extra than 2,400 People killed on Dec seven, 1941, providing a ring of peace lilies and standing in silence right before a shrine to individuals dropped on the USS Arizona.

President Barack Obama and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe journey in the stern of the CINCPACFLT (Commander in Main Pacific Fleet Barge) to the USS Arizona Memorial. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Abe’s pay a visit to is a superior-profile mark of regard for a chief for whom Japan’s wartime previous is generally a prickly domestic problem.

It was foreshadowed by Obama’s have solemn pilgrimage to Hiroshima, in which the United States efficiently finished the war by dropping the initially of two nuclear bombs on Japanese towns.

US President Barack Obama shakes arms with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in the course of a meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

The meeting concerning the two leaders arrives as Obama prepares to go away business and with Abe foremost Japan into uncharted waters, immediately after remarks by incoming US president Donald Trump clouded US-Japanese relations.

The US president-elect has declared his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, efficiently killing a significant trade deal that Obama championed and that Abe place at the coronary heart of his financial method.

And, at minimum on the campaign trail, Trump has also known as into problem the US protection guarantees that shielded Japan through the Chilly War and later on through the rise of an more and more self-confident China.

In a joint deal with to the media, Obama warned from the “urge to demonise individuals who are distinctive” as he hosted the chief of foe-turned-ally Japan for a solemn pay a visit to to Pearl Harbor.

Obama, who will go away business following month, also hailed the alliance concerning the two nations, expressing it experienced “hardly ever been more powerful.”

In remarks that echoed with background and America’s present hypercharged politics, Obama instructed Abe that “the character of nations is examined in war, but it is outlined in peace.”

“Even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we should resist the urge to flip inward. We should resist the urge to demonise individuals who are distinctive,” Obama claimed.

“I welcome you here in the spirit of friendship,” he instructed Abe. “I hope that, together, we ship a information to the earth that there is extra to be received in peace than in war, that reconciliation carries extra rewards than retribution.”

Abe expressed “sincere and everlasting condolences” to the family members of the extra than 2,400 People killed by Japanese fighters.

“We should hardly ever repeat the horrors of war,” he claimed, marking the seventy fifth anniversary of the notorious assault that activated America’s entry into Planet War II.

Standing following to Obama, Abe expressed many thanks for the “tolerance prolonged to Japan” as he hailed the ability of reconciliation.

Healing Outdated WOUNDS

In 8 yrs, Obama – America’s Hawaiian-born initially “Pacific president” – hardly ever made significantly headway in his vaunted “rebalance to Asia” diplomatic method.

But he and Abe have chosen a telling location to rejoice US-Japanese partnership, seventy five yrs immediately after the notorious “day of infamy,” Dec seven, 1941.

In 1956, then key minister Ichiro Hatoyama frequented the headquarters of the United States Pacific Command in Honolulu, which fronts on to Pearl Harbour. And Abe’s grandfather, key minister Nobusuke Kishi, also did so in 1957.

But Japan’s federal government says Abe’s pay a visit to is the initially by a sitting down key minister to the Arizona Memorial to console the spirits of the dead. It is also the initially time that a sitting down Japanese key minister has been joined at the memorial by a US president.

A reluctant The united states was drawn into the war currently raging in Europe and its colonies, a war that finished immediately after US atom bombs razed the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Post-war cooperation, even so, has healed lots of wounds.

Only 5 of the Arizona’s crewmen are nonetheless alive and, although the memorial continues to be a vacationer attract, in Hawaii the divisions of war have offered way to a shared current.

“Hawaii has a quite multi-ethnic inhabitants with a quite big Japanese inhabitants,” Stanley Chang, a 34-year-old Democratic member of the Hawaii point out senate, instructed AFP. “I will not think there is any experience of antipathy to the Japanese, seventy five yrs immediately after the assault.”

Right now, Obama’s house point out has a status as just one of the most multi-ethnic and multi-cultural in the place.


December is peak vacationer time in balmy Hawaii, and the US First Loved ones is midway through its yearly Christmas split on the islands.

But the scene was grim in 1941 when Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto manoeuvred six aircraft carriers to within just 385 kilometres of Oahu and unleashed two waves of dive bombers.

The US Pacific fleet, previously Japan’s principal rival in the location, dropped 21 warships and 328 planes.

Hundreds of sailors drowned when the USS Oklahoma, nonetheless lashed to the quay, pitched on to its facet and trapped them.

Right before the assault, the US isolationist campaign’s cry of “The united states initially!” – now revived as Trump’s slogan – uncovered a all set ear among voters wary of embroilment in Europe.

But immediately after Pearl Harbour, the US Congress declared war on Japan. 3 times later on, Japan’s European ally Nazi Germany declared war on the United States in flip.

The “The united states initially!” slogan was swiftly replaced on posters, in political speeches and in tune by recruiters’ chorus: “Don’t forget Pearl Harbour.”

3-quarters of a century later on, Abe wishes to imbue the wartime rallying cry with a new resonance.

“The peoples of Japan and the United States have been place in place to dislike each individual other,” he claimed.

“I hope the image of President Obama and I together traveling to Pearl Harbour will provide to make the phrase ‘Remember Pearl Harbour’ symbolise the ability of reconciliation.”

The very same force of reconciliation was on present in May well, when Obama surveyed ruins in Hiroshima and revived his Nobel Peace Prize-profitable connect with for a earth without the need of nuclear weapons.

Trump, who takes business on Jan 20, was pressured to backtrack in the course of his campaign immediately after he appeared to propose Japan split a taboo and establish its have nuclear weapons.

Past week, he yet again triggered consternation when he blithely threatened to revive the global nuclear arms race.

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&#039There&#039s no way to dream&#039: A glimpse of life in Mongolia&#039s ger shantytowns

ULAANBAATAR: Narandelger and her family were herders who lived in Arkhangai Province about 500km away from Mongolia’s cash.

But in 2010, they moved to Ulaanbaatar immediately after a critical winter. Today, they stay in a ger district on the outskirts of the metropolis.

Gers (moveable round tents) were initially created for the broad steppes of Mongolia, but today, hundreds and countless numbers of gers can be uncovered in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar. 

Quite a few who stay in ger districts are previous herders drawn to the metropolis by the promise of a new life, or pushed off their land by excessive climate.

As it is an casual settlement, the ger which properties Narandelger, 48, and her 8 relatives members has no entry to managing h2o or bathroom amenities.

“I never truly care about the dwelling and disorders listed here. My dream is to see my relatives living happily like human beings,” she explained. 

Narandelger, 48, hopes to a person day stay in an condominium. (Photograph: Jeremy Koh)

Narandelger and her relatives survive on just about US$122 a thirty day period as a result of government handouts and odd employment.

“In Mongolia, migration from rural to city regions is extremely intense, particularly to Ulaanbaatar metropolis,” explained Prof Enkhtsetseg Byambaa, who is from the Countrywide University of Mongolia’s Inhabitants teaching and investigation centre. 

She included that herders generally go to the Mongolian cash thanks to the local climate. This is particularly so in the very last ten years, when there have been two to three harsh winters. 

It is approximated that about 40,000 persons go to Ulaanbaatar’s ger districts each and every 12 months, but infrastructure is weak and underdeveloped.

Unemployment is also an challenge. The unemployment level in the ger district is approximated to be much more than 60 for each cent, triple that of other regions.

Prof Enkhtsetseg explained: “Unemployment is a massive difficulty – they came to Ulaanbaatar to uncover some employment, to get much more entry, to get much better chances. But particularly in the very last two, three a long time, there is been a massive difficulty finding employment, even non permanent employment … For instance, alcoholism is a person of the concerns not only in Ulaanbaatar’s ger area, (but also) particularly in the countryside. Alcoholism is a massive difficulty since the gentlemen never have employment.”

The ger district is also not connected to the city’s piped central heating program. In winter, when temperatures can fall to -40 degrees Celsius, lots of burn uncooked coal, rubber and wooden in coal stoves to heat their homes. As a final result, Ulaanbaatar is a person of the world’s most air-polluted cities.

In the course of very last week’s bout of smog, concentrations of particulate make a difference in the air rose to nearly 80 moments the advisable security amount set by the Environment Wellness Corporation, and 5 moments worse than Beijing.

A Ulaanbaatar resident explained: “I’m extremely worried about the air top quality. Mongolian air is truly polluted appropriate now, and there’s a great deal of smog which handles the sky.”

But whilst that may be a problem for metropolis dwellers, ger dwellers like Narandelger have much more urgent considerations – finding by.

Support teams have warned that Mongolia is dealing with one more unusually harsh winter – known as a dzud – which will cause common livestock deaths. (Photograph: Jeremy Koh)

“There is no way to dream. Of program I want to stay in an condominium but it can be a massive dream for me,” she explained. 

But this is a dream that seems to be much more distant than ever now, amid Mongolia’s deepening financial disaster

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Afghan girl pilot&#039s asylum bid sparks fervent debate

KABUL: The shock announcement of Afghanistan’s to start with girl fastened-wing pilot to find asylum in the US has touched off a spirited countrywide debate on the country’s most vexing challenges: insecurity, women’s legal rights and mass exodus of younger persons.

Niloofar Rahmani, a twenty five-calendar year-aged pilot lionised greatly as the “Afghan Top rated Gun” just after the 1986 Tom Cruise movie on flying aces, was scheduled to return to Afghanistan final week just after a fifteen-thirty day period education program with the US air drive.

But on the eve of her departure, she declared she will not be returning citing fears for her safety, triggering a storm of criticism in Afghanistan for “betraying” her nation but also garnering help from activists.

“What she claimed in the US was irresponsible and surprising. She was meant to be a role model for other younger Afghans,” defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh explained to AFP Monday. “She has betrayed her place. It is a disgrace.”

Rahmani grew to become a symbol of hope for tens of millions of Afghan girls when she surfaced in the push in 2013 just after turning out to be Afghanistan’s to start with girl pilot given that the Taliban period, dressed in tan beat boots, khaki overalls and aviator glasses.

The at the time-unimaginable feat final calendar year gained her the US Point out Department’s “Women of Braveness Award”.

Afghanistan’s to start with feminine pilot given that the ouster of the Taliban final calendar year gained the US Point out Department’s “Women of Braveness Award”. (AFP/Shah Marai)

But with fame arrived death threats from insurgents and she routinely confronted contempt from her male colleagues in a conservative nation wherever several continue to imagine that a girl does not belong exterior the house.

In an interview with AFP in Kabul final calendar year, Rahmani claimed she usually carried a pistol for her security and while she has developed accustomed to the ogling eyes of adult males, she hardly ever still left her airbase in uniform, lest it make her a concentrate on.


Rahmani’s attorney Kimberly Motley claimed her choice to find asylum in the US had been a “heartbreakingly hard choice”.

“Niloofar and her household have gained vicious threats which have regrettably verified that her safety is at substantial risk if she have been to occur again to Afghanistan,” Motley explained to AFP.

“The real betrayal to Afghanistan is against individuals who threaten her lifestyle, her family’s lifestyle, and also to individuals who continue to oppress girls.”

But some of the most virulent criticism above her choice has occur from girls.

“Pricey Niloofar, do you assume your challenges are bigger than that of tens of millions of other Afghan girls?” photojournalist Maryam Khamosh wrote on Fb.

“I from time to time desire I have been Niloofar and could soar in the sky and bomb the enemies of my persons. But you, Niloofar, who touched the skies from the ashes of our land have shamed our flag.”

NATO forces also took umbrage at her media comment that the security circumstance in Afghanistan is “acquiring even worse and even worse”.

“Afghan security forces have witnessed definitive progress … and their efficiency in 2016 was improved than 2015, and we assume 2017 to be improved than 2016,” the navy coalition claimed.

But that sentiment rarely resonates with the Afghan youth, who have ongoing to flee the country’s escalating conflict in report numbers.

On Monday, several Afghans decried a different symbol of violence and impunity – social media photographs of dreaded warlord Faryadi Sarwar Zardad enjoyable in a public bathhouse.

Notorious for at the time holding a “human canine” that savaged victims on his command, Zardad was unexpectedly deported from Britain this thirty day period following his early launch from jail.

“When anyone like Zardad can roam freely in Kabul then Niloofar has the appropriate to not occur again,” claimed an Afghan guy on Fb.

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