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At spirited Ottobar show, Future Islands share victory lap with Baltimore – Baltimore Sun (blog)

Triumph embodies many forms.

Fittingly, for Future Islands, theirs took on a sweat-drenched, workmanlike quality at the Ottobar in Remington Friday night, the first of four sold-out album release shows in the synth-pop bands adopted hometown. The tested road warriors proved why theyre still one of the most consistent and rewarding live acts the city has seen since the trio moved from Greenville, N.C., to Baltimore nearly a decade ago.

A specific kind of joy emanated from the stage throughout the bands 25-song set the type earned after scoring an unlikely hit, touring the world, releasing a new album (The Far Field) and commemorating it at a smaller-than-expected venue in front of friends, family and fans.

Thank you for bringing your souls here tonight, a beaming Samuel Herring told the crowd. But then it was quickly back to business: We just wanna play, said the singer, taking a rare break from his seemingly perpetual motion.

The night a spirited homecoming that music website Pitchfork broadcast live online didnt require much banter. This was an intimate celebration of the bands fifth LP, released Friday via the label 4AD.

As usual, the band which features bassist William Cashion, keyboardist Gerrit Welmers and touring drummer Michael Lowry burst into the set with a fervor that has become their greatest asset and most recognizable trait. They leaned on new material early on, with six of the first eight songs coming from The Far Field, like highlights Cave and North Star, which inspired sensual body-rolls from Herring.

The new songs blended seamlessly with older material like 2010s Walking Through That Door and Grease, a 2011 album cut the group hadnt played live in a while, Herring said. Its not surprising: Nearly all Future Islands songs are built on the pillars of Cashions bass-heavy grooves, Welmers new wave-inspired landscapes and Herrings captivating presence as a vocalist. On Friday, it was all on display, and the hometown crowd giddily bounced and sang along in response.

Between occasional sips from a Tecate tallboy, Herring and the band continued to strike a balance between new (Ancient Water, Through the Roses) and older cuts (Vireos Eye during the encore, Balance).

The most powerful moment came toward the end, when the group vigorously delivered Long Flight and Tin Man, two songs from 2010s In Evening Air that still encapsulate what Future Islands do best. Though the themes are darkbetrayal and failed love, respectively they wholly embrace human vulnerability and emotional expression. Dance to keep from crying, basically. And it works.

Future Islands played their biggest hit to date, Seasons (Waiting on You), midway through, which inspired some of the audiences highest pogoing and loudest sing-alongs.

The song took on new meaning, too. Baltimore had pined for one of its favorite bands to return after conquering the international touring circuit. On Friday night, the crowds appreciation for this group its modesty, its hard work, its often-greatcatalog and for always representing Baltimore with pride (further evidenced by their choice in local opening acts Soul Cannon and Nerftoss) felt palpable in every full-throated cheer. The victory lap felt shared between artist and consumer. The wait was worth it.

For more photos from the concert, check out Baltimore City Paper’s gallery.

wesley.case@baltsun.com

twitter.com/midnightsunblog

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At spirited Ottobar show, Future Islands share victory lap with Baltimore – Baltimore Sun (blog)

China ‘concerned’ over Duterte’s order to occupy islands in South China Sea – ABS-CBN News

A Filipino soldier patrols the shore of Pagasa island (Thitu Island) in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, May 11, 2015. Ritchie B. Tongo, Reuters

MANILA- China has expressed concern over President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for the military to occupy islands in the South China Sea, urging Manila to “properly manage” the maritime dispute.

In a press briefing Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that Beijing hopes Manila would work to maintain bilateral ties between the two countries.

“Having noted the report, the Chinese side is concerned about it. We hope the Philippine side will continue to properly manage maritime disputes with China and work with us to maintain the sound and steady growth of China-Philippines relations,” Hua said in a presser.

Her remarks were posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website.

Duterte on Thursday said he has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to occupy all islands the country claims in the South China Sea.

“We have to maintain our jurisdiction over South China Sea,” Duterte told reporters in Palawan.

The President also instructed the military to build structures and raise the Philippine flag on islands within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

He said he intends to mark Independence Day at the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island in June.

AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ao on Friday said the military would have no problem carrying out the President’s orders, citing the United Nations arbitration ruling that was favorable to the Philippines.

Hua said Beijing remains firm to its commitment of defending its interests in the disputed waters.

“The Chinese side is committed to defending its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, and safeguarding peace and stability there,” she said.

Hua also noted that the overall situation in the South China Sea is “getting better” and that this development “has not come easily and deserves to be cherished and preserved by all parties.”

Beijing has rejected Manila’s arbitral victory, reiterating indisputable sovereignty over almost all of the waters and stepping up militarization and reclamation activities in the South China Sea.

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China ‘concerned’ over Duterte’s order to occupy islands in South China Sea – ABS-CBN News

Four Greek holiday islands protesting wind park plans – Kathimerini

Four holiday islands are reacting to plans to create wind parks with a capacity of 316.7 megawatts, which are seen providing power for the mainland, saying they would constitute an eyesore.

This is a huge project that will destroy our islands landscape and irreparably damage tourism, said Paros Mayor Markos Kovaios, adding that the island already produces enough power to cover its requirements. It transforms a tourist island into a power plant. Is this something we want?

Kovaios is planning to meet Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis to demand that plans be scrapped for two wind parks on Paros, consisting of 22 turbines in total.

The mayors of the four islands have also filed a complaint with the Council of State, the countrys highest administrative court.

The head of the Hellenic Wind Energy Association, Yiannis Tsipouridis, dismissed the reactions, saying they pointed to ignorance, but also to misinformation.

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Four Greek holiday islands protesting wind park plans – Kathimerini

Everything You Need to Know About Dubai’s Man-made Islands – Travel+Leisure

Dubai may boast the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa at 2,717 feet), the worlds largest indoor theme park, and soon the worlds first rotating skyscraper, but most impressive are the citys man-made archipelagos, all in various stages of completion: Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, Palm Jebel Ali, The World, and Bluewaters Island.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates prime minister and Emir of Dubai, is the mastermind behind these massive projects, which are meant to pique tourism and expand Dubais coastline.

So just how were the islands made? A process called land reclamation, which involves dredging sand from the Persian and Arabian Gulfs floors. The sand was then sprayed and vibro-compacted into shape using GPS technology for precision and surrounded by millions of tons of rock for protection.

Perhaps the most recognized of the bunch, Palm Jumeirah is aptly shaped like a palm tree, consisting of a trunk and 17 fronds, and surrounded by an almost 7-mile-long crescent-shaped island which is home to Atlantis, The Palm (just one of many luxury hotels and resorts that dot the archipelago). The project was kicked off by Nakheel Properties in 2001, and ultimately added 40 miles of much-needed beaches.

Today, travelers can access Palm Jumeirah from mainland Dubai via a monorail, and an underwater tunnel connects the topmost frond to the crescent. Upcoming debuts for Palm Jumeirah include The Palm Tower, with floors occupied by St. Regis Dubai and Nakheel Mall, which are set to open in 2018 and late 2017, respectively. No need to settle for Google Earth views: admire the handiwork while free-falling over it at 120 mph via a skydiving excursion.

Work on a second Palm island, Palm Jebel Ali, began in 2002, but due to the 2008 financial crisis, construction halted. Nakheel has since reassured reporters that Jebel Ali is not canceled, but a long-term project.”

If and when the island is complete, it will be 50 percent larger than Palm Jumeirah and feature homes built on stilts, a water park, villas, six marinas, and sprawling boardwalks shaped into the words of a poem written by Sheikh Mohammed himself.

The idea of a third Palm Island, Palm Deira, set to dwarf the other two at eight times the size of Palm Jumeirah, was introduced in 2004. However, in 2013, Nakheel shifted gears, and renamed the project to Deira Islands, opting to create four smaller, man-made isles. Late 2018 will see the opening of Deiras first large-scale debut, its Night Souk, the worlds largest (of course) night market with over 5,000 shops and almost 100 restaurants and cafes.

If shopping indoors during a UAE summer is more your style, Deira Mall, with its retractable roof atrium and over 1,000 stores, might just be paradise. The mall will serve as the centerpiece of Deira Islands Boulevard, which will feature retail space and at least 16 residential towers. By 2020, two of the four islands will hopefully be developed and completed, with 250,000 people living on them, to boot.

The World (another Nakheel project) kicked off in 2003, and consists of 300 small islands constructed into a world map. Another victim of the 2008 financial crisis, the Worlds progress halted. By 2013, only Greenland and Lebanon had been developed, and unfortunately, NASA images suggested that the islands were sinking back into the ocean.

Despite this erosion issue, developer Kleindienst Group is hoping to revive The World in a big way, with the launch of The Heart of Europe by 2020. Six Kleindienst-owned islands round out the project, each providing visitors a slice of (very high-end) European life, complete with underwater villas (aka Floating Seahorses), five-star hotels, and even streets lined with manufactured snow. The St. Petersburg island, which is shaped like a heart, promises to be the worlds premiere honeymoon destination.

Giving Nakheel a run for its money is Meraas Holdings, with its Bluewaters project that began in 2013. Opening by late 2018 or early 2019 with an observation wheel, Ain Dubai, that will put the London Eye to shame youve guessed it, it will be the worlds largest Bluewaters is aiming to become Dubais family-friendly tourism hotspot. The island will be broken into zones, featuring over 200 retail and dining options, apartment complexes and townhouses, and hotels with prime beach access.

Did you know that one of Dubais most iconic structures sits on its very own man-made isle? The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, standing at 1,053 feet (just shy of the Empire State Building) is supported by 250 columns underwater, held together by sand. Completed in 1999, including two full years to reclaim its land, the Burj features a private beach for its guests, its own helipad, and a new outdoor terrace that juts out over the ocean, all perks of having an island all to itself.

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Everything You Need to Know About Dubai’s Man-made Islands – Travel+Leisure

Chef Leif Srensen brings culinary prestige to the Faroe Islands – The Splendid Table

Remote and rocky, The Faroe Islands are an archipelago located between Iceland and Norway, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic. With their many waterfalls, dreamy green grass landscapes, and snow-topped volcanic peaks, the islands are place of unique beauty. However, almost literally nothing resembling food grows on the islands, not even trees. The local diet was always a subsistence diet of fermented lamb and dried fish, until one chef opened a fine dining restaurant using native ingredients and traditions. By doing that, chef Leif Srensen ended up essentially inventing Faroese haute cuisine all by himself. Host Francis Lam shares his memories of a visit to the Faroe Islands and the food prepared by Srensen.

Hearing Sheldon Simeon talk about the richness of Hawaii, it seems like such an obvious place to have a vibrant cuisine. All the ingredients are there, you have this fantastic climate and rich soil, and all these different cultures that have come there. But it also made me think of the cuisine of the Faroe Islands, because the Faroes are pretty much the opposite of Hawaii. Smack dab between Iceland and Norway, its a country of just 50,000 people, almost all of them the descendants of Vikings who landed there 1,000 years ago, and theyre quick to tell you that there are more sheep than people.

Flag of the Faroes Islands (Illustration: Wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock)

Its one of the most beautiful places Ive ever been. Theres this vastness to the sky and sea, but theres also this intense feeling that anywhere you can lay your eyes on you can just get up and walk to. Its a magical feeling, almost like youre floating above the earth. It was summer when I was there a few years ago, which is to say it was 50 degrees, but brilliantly, just incredibly green. Glowing, neon green.

But for all their intense green and beauty, the Faroes are one of the most barren places Ive ever been. In the 1600s, a Danish priest moved there and wrote home about it, writing: Countries are praised for their great wealth, several metals, minerals, precious stones, pearls, wine, and grain. But all this God denied the Faroes. Which is really cold coming from a priest!

Top Left: Salmon caught in large farm nets is often allocated for export. (Photo: Gitte13/Thinkstock) Bottom Left: Stockfish drying under a roof. (Photo: OPHfoto/Thinkstock) Right: Faroese sheep on a hill overlooking the ocean and salmon farm nets. This breed of sheep is native to the Faroe Islands. (Photo: Polhansen/Thinkstock)

Potatoes are about the only thing that people actually try to grow there. Most of the traditional food is basically a subsistence diet of fish or lamb, fresh or air-dried potatoes, birds if you can get them, and some medicinal herbs that grow in the warm months. There are hardly any vegetables, no fruit to speak of, not even salt, because it doesnt get enough sun to evaporate seawater into salt. And yet, when I was there, I met a man named Leif Srensen who was single-handedly inventing a fine dining cuisine of the Faroe Islands.

In his restaurant, I had an unreal tasting menu. He knew one man on the island who grew turnips in his dads yard, and for some magical reason, they tasted, I swear, like pears and cantaloupes. I had turnip juice that tasted like pears and cantaloupes to go with my dinner. I had an insanely fat mussel with seaweed smoke. And the sweetest langoustine ever, which hed seasoned with dried seaweed instead of salt. [Ed. Note: Srensen founded the restaurant Koks, which is where Francis dined during his trip. But Srensen has since left for other projects.]

Left: Chef Leif Srensen (Photo: Matthew Workman/The Faroe Islands Podcast) Right: Freshly caught langoustine, also known as Norway lobster. (Photo: Francis Lam)

Underneath each dish was a story of how hard Leif had to work to make this cuisine almost out of thin air. The Faroes have some of the best seafood in the world, but Leif couldnt get local fish in his restaurant because all the seafood vendors were geared for export, so he asked his dad to go out and fish for him. He could serve me that mussel because he happened to know a guy who was a construction worker on a bridge, who looked down while working one day, saw some shells in the water, and went diving for them it was a mussel! Leif was so excited he went to the prime ministers house to lobby to change the laws so he could serve local shellfish, and like that, he invented a Faroese shellfish industry.

He couldnt get enough people to work in the restaurant with him, so he was serving tables while running the kitchen. His sous chef was actually an old protg of his who was home for vacation from his real job, cooking in Copenhagen.

Chef Leif Srensen searches for edible plants in the village of Gjgv on the island of Eysturoy. The tracks on the incline you see are used to haul boats and goods up the hill. Boats do sail out of this small harbor, although mostly small rowing and fishing boats. There is a modern port in Runavik on the other side of the island. (Photos: Francis Lam)

Honestly, a lot of his neighbors didnt get it. They can get imported food now in a grocery store, so they didnt understand why Leif wanted to cook Faroese food. Or on the other end, people were like, Oh what, our food isnt good enough so you have to make it fancy? His cousin came in for dinner once and laughed at the portions. When the server delivered his dish, he said, Dont go anywhere, then ate the whole thing in one swipe of his fork and handed him the plate back.

But through all this, Leif kept working, kept inventing, kept finding new foods in his tiny home country. He eventually left the restaurant, with his protg deciding to move home to the Faroes and taking over. Just earlier this year, the Michelin Guide, Frances old-line arbiter of taste, came and gave the restaurant a star. It made the news all over Scandinavia: the Faroe Islands, where so little grows, has one of the most coveted awards in food.

Cuisines are always built on the happenstances of history, culture, environment, and climate. But sometimes, every once in a while, theyre built on the vision of just one person. Amazing.

The Splendid Table would like to thank Matthew Workman for providing us with a photo and additional information for this article. Workman is the producer of The Faroe Islands Podcast, a podcast that explores the news, culture, and politics of the Faroe Islands. In 2012, his show was named European Podcast of the Year. Food-related episodes include a lobster feast and an interview with Gutti Winther, who stars in a TV show where he travels to all 18 islands and cooks something caught or harvested from each island.

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Chef Leif Srensen brings culinary prestige to the Faroe Islands – The Splendid Table

Japan to Repopulate 148 Remote Islands, as Confrontation with China Looms – Breitbart News

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This mornings key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

The Senkaku Islands are thought to be in the midst of vast gas and oil resources (Reuters)

Japans government has announced plans to repopulate a cluster of 148 small, rocky islands in the hope of deterring China from unilaterally declaring that they are Chinas sovereign territory, as it has done illegally in the South China Sea.

Among these are the Senkaku Islands, which have been the focus military near-confrontations in the past few years. The population of the remote islands has declined by 51.3% since 1955, and restoring even small population on 71 of the outlying islands could deter China.

The announcement calls for the construction of civic facilities, the purchasing of land, the improvement of ports and stopping foreign vessels from illegally visiting the islands.

The greatest focus has been on the Senkaku Islands, a chain of five uninhabited islets and three barren rocks in the East China Sea were uninhabited until 1895 when Japan laid claim to them. In the ensuing decades, the Japanese populated the chain and even set up a fish-processing plant on one of the islands. The United States took control of the islands during the occupation of Japan following World War II, and handed them back in 1972. At that time, China claimed the islands, citing ancient texts and maps, and claiming that Japans actions in 1895 were illegal.

In early February, three Chinese warships sailed into the water near the Senkaku Islands, risking a military confrontation and stoking tensions between the two countries.

Even riskier is the increased intrusion into Japanese airspace of Chinese military aircraft, usually other fighter jets, sometimes a bomber or reconnaissance plane. The number of such intrusions is now averaging two per day since April of last year, nearly twice as many as in the prior 12 months. Japan responds to each such intrusion by scrambling up to four F-15 fighter jets to intercept the Chinese military aircraft.

Analysts are concerned that the situation in the East China Sea is becoming more and more volatile, more so than even in the South China Sea, where China has illegally built artificial islands nad military bases, and that a war in the East China Sea could break out at any time.

The populations of Japan and China have become highly nationalistic over their respective claims to these islands, in this generational Crisis era. The frequency of these intrusions by both warships and warplanes and the resulting intercepts raise the possibility of an accident or miscalculation that could spiral into something bigger. Japan Times and CNBC and Fox News and American Interest

Related Articles

Last week, a report from a nationalist Japanese media source accused Taiwan to sending a record high number of scientific research vessels to intrude into Japans Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near the Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by Taiwan as well as by China and Japan. The report suggested that Taiwans unauthorized activities included fishing in addition to illegal maritime research.

If this kind of dispute had arisen between China and Japan, there might have been a military confrontation by now. But Taiwan and Japan, who presumably want to cooperate because of their common enemy (China), have a history of settling these kinds of disputes peacefully in recent years.

In April 2013, Taiwan and Japan signed a fisheries agreement to address a decades-long dispute over fishing in contested waters in the East China Sea. On October 31 of last year, the two sides agreed to meet at least once a year and to establish two working groups one on fishery cooperation and another regarding cooperation in scientific research. China Post (Taiwan) and Japan Times and The Diplomat

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Japan, Senkaku, Senkaku Islands, Taiwan, East China Sea, South China Sea Permanent web link to this article Receive daily World View columns by e-mail

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Japan to Repopulate 148 Remote Islands, as Confrontation with China Looms – Breitbart News

Debbie Harry Duets With Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring On Shadows – MERRY JANE

Debbie Harry doesnt need to prove to anyone that shes cool. Her work in the 70s and 80s as Blondies iconic frontwoman, which among may other things involved sneaking unabashed pop music into CBGBs and befriending early hip hop and graffiti icons Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy, has her set for life. But in case you needed a reminder, Harrys spent the past year collaborating with some of her hip stylistic offspring.

The first instance of this came on Blood Oranges 2016 album Freetown Sound, in which Harry lent vocals to the track E.V.P. Then just a few weeks ago, she again collaborated with Blood Orange mastermind Dev Hynes, this time granting him a co-writing credit on new Blondie track Long Time. That song was produced by indie rock veteran John Congleton, who also manned the boards for Baltimore synthpop group Future Islands new album, on which Harry also guests. How many more degrees of separation do you think there are in this scenario until we get to Kevin Bacon?

Shadows is taken from The Far Field, Future Islands fifth album and their first since gaining unprecedented fame with 2014s Singles. In general, its a much more subdued and melancholic listen than its eclectic and often-joyous predecessor, and penultimate track Shadows is no exception. Frontman Samuel T. Herring trades vocals with Harry, the duo playing the part of a doomed couple comparing their waning romance to lengthening shadows in the corner of their room.

Although Shadows is more depressing than your average Blondie song, you can still hear definite strains of the seminal groups synth-streaked, dance beat-fueled sound in its stately sorrow.

The rest of The Far Field, just released today, is also very much worth your time– check it out on Spotify.

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Debbie Harry Duets With Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring On Shadows – MERRY JANE

Sighting of the World’s Rarest Snake at Maria Islands – St. Lucia Times Online News (press release)

Press Release:On an island which relaxes the mind, with birds chirping, anoles and whiptails scurrying over leaf litter; Maria Islands Nature Reserve is home to five endemic reptiles including the elusive Saint Lucia Racer.

Date: March 28, 2017, weather: a bit overcast and sunny with heavy showers in the wee hours of the morning. Task at hand- Biosecurity monitoring on Maria Major its absolutely critical we keep those non-native predators off the island!

A three person team set out to bait 12 stations and carry out surveillance for those predators by walking transect lines.

Transects lines are done by walking from station to station and keeping an eye out for predators and reptiles within a 5 feet radius; the findings are recorded on animal observation data sheets.

On-board today, Lanson Paul and Saphira Hunt of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) along with Mathurin James of the Department of Forestry (DOF). One man short, the teamsplit in two leaving me, dubbed (not by me!) Mademoiselle Snake-Whisperer, to work the tour trail and bait stations in the surroundingareas, while Mathurin and Lanson set out on a mission to bait the farther end of the island.

We use bait in stations (boxes that encourage rats to enter if rats are present which they arent, touch wood) as a way of detecting any invasions.

Maria Major had a quietness I couldnt place (maybe because I was alone in this tranquil place). There was something calming about being on the island at 9:00am working alone. I carried on with my task and walking transects.

Having done stations #6 and #3, I walked my next transect to station #1. Keeping my eyes peeled to the ground for any Saint Lucia Whiptail sightings, as I was in the area where they are most abundant on the tour trail.

With bait station #1 now in sight I did a final check before ending the transect, and there I spotted a greyish colored Saint Lucia Racer scurrying away from me. Down on my knees I crawled beneath the hedge along the trail with hope of capturing my elusive friend. They are gentle reptiles that dont bite and are not poisonous, so I wasnt worried.

True to its name the racer got away from me trops vit, speeding under the leaf litter and out of sight. Being the worlds rarest snake, its understandable theyre nervous. Having remained quiet for 10 minutes, I was hoping my friend would resurface. But, with no luck, I continued with servicing station #1.

Under the canopy, I went to access the remaining bait stations. Station #2 done and onwards to #4. On that transect I spotted five Saint Lucia Anoles; about to record them on the data sheet and Voila! Another Racer racing by- this one brownish in color and bigger than the first.

The kit I was carrying goes crashing to the ground as I gave chase through a jungle of vines, slippery leaf litter and small trees. The Racer again was victorious in this 100 meter dash. Still I am elated two Racers the Worlds rarest snake in a mere 10 minutes; talk about luck!

Added to these two sightings this year, another racer was caught on March 16, 2017. Lanson Paul, playing the role of Tour Guide for a two-person tour to the island, returned to Maria Majors beach after the hike. On the beach they found Richie Robert, the boatman, resting in one of the small caves by the shore. A plump rock gecko suddenly races past Richie sporting the stub of a freshly missing tail, and a juvenile Racer hot in pursuit.

Three Racer sightings in two weeks; what a treat! They say a black cat crossing your path is good luck; but give me a Racer any day.

More news from Saint Lucias offshore islands next time

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Sighting of the World’s Rarest Snake at Maria Islands – St. Lucia Times Online News (press release)

Japan’s cat islands aren’t the paradise they seem because they’re … – Metro

(Picture: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Every cat lovers heard of Japans amazing cat islands.

Theyre whole pieces of land completely overrun with kittens and cats where even the buildings are cat shaped.

And people have been flocking over to these feline paradises for years, in order to be surrounded by the blessed creatures.

Cats were originally brought to the 11 islands by fishermen as a way of controllingthe rodent populations, and today, dogs are strictly forbidden.

But it turns out that life on the islands isnt all catnip and light.

The reality is that many of the cats are suffering from health problems that could be easily treated if the resources were readily available.

Cat photographer Andrew Marttila went out there with his partnerHannah Shaw, who founded cat rescue group, Kitten Lady, to find out what was going on.

For us cat lovers, theres something pretty special about an area littered with dozens of cats, Marttila told The Huffington Post.

What youre not seeing, however, are all the cats and kittens suffering from very treatable illnesses.

So whats the problem?

Basically, there are just too many cats.

As the islands populations grow without any vets on hand,the animals are stuck in a cycle of giving birth and dying early.

Roughly one-third of the cats were young kittens struggling with untreated upper respiratory infections, said Hannah.

Eyes and noses crusted, the kittens huddled together on the warm pavement.

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People on the islands (there are very few) are apparently resistant to intervene because they believe that nature should just run its course despite the fact that the cats are there because of human intervention in the first place.

Not only are the cats suffering from health problems but tourists also bring a lot of food to feed them and thats resulted in brutal turf warfare between males.

But some of the islands are finally stepping in and doing something about the problem.

Tokonoshima Island is home to around 3,000 felines and the government has implemented a trap-neuter-return programme.

Cats are trapped, neutered or sprayed andgiven the necessary veterinary treatment before being returned to the wild.

By doing that, officials are not only dealing with the overpopulation issue but also helping curb stressful behaviour. Cats are less likely to scrap if theyre neutered.

Lets hope the other islands follow suit.

MORE: Why does this Japanese cat love to eat so much?

MORE: Single men are adopting cats to try to get more dates

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Japan’s cat islands aren’t the paradise they seem because they’re … – Metro

Thousand Islands goes cold in second half, loses 56-32 to Watkins Glen in Class C regional – Syracuse.com

By Pat Spadafore | pspadafore@syracuse.com on March 11, 2017 9:36 PM, updated March 11, 2017 9:53 PM

The Thousand Islands girls basketball team was able to figure out the Watkins Glen first half press, but had trouble scoring in the second half, losing 56-32 in the girls Class C basketball regional on Saturday at Tompkins Cortland Community College.

The Vikings (21-2) overcame three first quarter 10 second back court violations and trailed just by two points, 12-10 when the first quarter ended. Courtney Evans-Eppolito scored seven of her team-high 22 points in the second quarter as Thousand Islands trailed 28-19.

But the shots failed to fall in the second half for the Vikings, who didn’t make a basket until there were four minutes left in the game. Thousand Islands finished with just three buckets in the second half, all from Evans-Eppolito.

Watkins Glen (20-2) was led by Amanda Pike with a game-high 30 points. The Senecas leading scorer converted on 13 of 15 free throws in the game.

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Thousand Islands goes cold in second half, loses 56-32 to Watkins Glen in Class C regional – Syracuse.com

Indonesia declares more outermost islands – Jakarta Post

In an effort to protect the country’s border areas against foreign territorial claims, the government has declared 111 outerislands, which include some previously not stated as border areas.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti welcomed Presidential Decree No. 6/2017 on outermost islands, the new regulation signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo,which revises a 2005 decree that only named 92 islands.

The newly mentioned islands include Bintan and Berakit in the province of Riau Islands and Nusa Penida in Bali.

The enactment of these [111] islands is to prevent issues of occupation or claims of possession by other nations, said Susion Saturday, as quoted bytribunnews.com.

(Read also:Indonesia to secure ownership of 111 islets)

The latest government move comes after several disputes over peripheral islands with neighboring countries Malaysia and Singapore.

Last year, Indonesia was also involved in a spat with China over fishing activities in waters near Natuna Island.

(Read also:Jokowi inaugurates new airport terminal in Natuna)

The government, according to Susi, will keep close watch over the 111 islands to prevent activities like drug smuggling, human trafficking andillegal fishing.

The minister also expressed her hope that natural resources in the outermost and remote islands could be utilized in the interest of the local people and the government. (mrc/wit)

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Indonesia declares more outermost islands – Jakarta Post

Chick magnets save Gulf Islands National Seashore birds – Pensacola News Journal

Melissa Nelson Gabriel , mnelsongab@pnj.com Published 6:03 a.m. CT March 12, 2017 | Updated 3 hours ago

National park ranger Renee Jones hands out chick magnets at the entrance to Fort Pickens on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.(Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/gregg@pnj.com)Buy Photo

Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown wanted to make park visitors aware of the dangers speeding cars pose to baby shorebirds when he dreamed up the idea of chick magnets back in 2014.

Brown had no idea how popular the car magnets, which featurebaby birds encouraging drivers to slow down, would become.

“I can drive 100 miles away from here and see cars with those magnets,” he said. “I think people like the name;it’s a fun thing that catches their attention.”

New chick magnets are available at park entrance gates and the Fort Pickens visitors center.

Related content:Shorebird nesting season begins

The 2017 chick magnets feature a snowy plover chick with the message “Save a chick #drive 25.”

Superintendent Dan Brown discusses how he came up with the idea for the chick magnets at the Fort Pickens National Park. Wednesday, March 8, 2017.(Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/gregg@pnj.com)

Renee Jones, a park service employee who was workingat the Fort Pickens entrance gate last week, said she already had gotten requests from people wanting the new magnets.

“People love them,” said Jones, who has had the magnets stolen from her car in past years.

The release of the new magnets marks the start of shorebird nesting season, which stretches through September.

Related content:Pensacola Beach sand dunes getting new walkovers

Park biologist Kelly Irick said the park’s birds often nest near the road and the flightless chicks are attracted to the pavement during the heat of the day when bugs swarm the hot asphalt. The chicks can also be hit by cars when people walk into nesting areas, causing the birds to flush.

Less than 10 percent of snowy plover eggs hatched in the park make it to becomefledgling birds, Iricksaid. In 2016, park officials documented about 100 shorebird deaths from cars.

In past years, the chick magnets have encouraged motorists to drive 20 miles per hour. The park upped the suggested speed limit for 2017 to 25 miles per hourto make it consistent with the speed limits throughout Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Despite the high mortality rate of newly hatched shorebirds, Brown said the chick magnet program appears to be making a difference.

“We have noticed more and more people obeying the speed limit signs and paying attention,” he said.

Related content:Fort Pickens asphalt removal project complete

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Chick magnets save Gulf Islands National Seashore birds – Pensacola News Journal

Meet Diego, the Centenarian Whose Sex Drive Saved His Species – New York Times


New York Times
Meet Diego, the Centenarian Whose Sex Drive Saved His Species
New York Times
CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, Galpagos Of all the giant tortoises on these islands, where the theory of evolution was born, only a few have received names that stuck. There was Popeye, adopted by sailors at an Ecuadorean naval base.

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Meet Diego, the Centenarian Whose Sex Drive Saved His Species – New York Times

RCSAA plans Oct. 1-7 trip to Cape Cod and the Islands – Asheboro Courier Tribune

ASHEBORO Randolph County Senior Adults Association and Premier World Discovery have planned a trip to Cape Cod and the Islands on Sunday-Saturday, Oct. 1-7.

The highlights of this trip are visits to Cape Cod, Boston, Nantucket Island, Marthas Vineyard, Newport, Rhode Island, Plymoth Rock, a New England lobster dinner and more.

Trip cost is $2,145 per person for double occupancy and $2,795 per person for single occupancy.

Included in the price is roundtrip airfare from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, six nights in one hotel, nine meals (six breakfasts and three dinners), daily sightseeing, professional tour director, deluxe motorcoach, baggage handling and hotel transfers.

Amanda Speer with Premier World Discovery will be at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Adult Resource and Education Center, 347 W. Salisbury St., Asheboro, on Thursday, April 13, at 5 p.m. to make a presentation on this trip.

If interested or for more information, contact Bill Craig at 336-625-3389 or 1-800-252-2899, ext. 232.

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RCSAA plans Oct. 1-7 trip to Cape Cod and the Islands – Asheboro Courier Tribune

Cook Islands justice ministry strike averted – Radio New Zealand

Cook Islands Ministry of Justice Photo: RNZI / Mary Baines

Strike action by staff at the Cook Islands Ministry of Justice appears to have been avoided, for now, after discussions with Justice Minister Nandi Glassie.

This week, the Office of the Public Service Commissioner recommended that salary bands across the board at the ministry be reduced by as much as US$9,000.

Angered by the prospect of their pay being cut by between US$1,300 and $4,000, the ministry’s 68 staff had threatened to take strike action, which would have caused widespread disruption.

The secretary of justice, Tingika Elikana, said he could understand the frustration, as many staff were struggling to make ends meet and, in many cases, had to work second jobs.

However, government heavyweights have rejected any notion of paycuts.

Mr Glassie, Prime Minister Henry Puna, and the head of the commission, Russell Thomas, have all said that salary reductions will not be made for current staff.

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Cook Islands justice ministry strike averted – Radio New Zealand

Scattered sheep, horn honking and a backyard burn | Sheriff’s Log – Islands’ Sounder

The San Juan County Sheriffs Office responded to the following calls.

March 1

A vehicle was stopped for having their registration expire in March 2016. The driver had no license or proof of insurance.

A Lopez Island man was stopped at cited for speeding on Hummel Lake Road.

A Lopez Island deputy was sent to check on sheep in the roadway. The sheep were out in a pasture when the deputy arrived. Nearby residents were contacted to help determine the owner.

At 5:05 p.m. Peace Island Medical Center staff contacted the sheriffs office in reference to a dog bite. A deputy responded and took a report of the incident.

A deputy was dispatched to the Port of Friday Harbor Spring Street Landing regarding the report of a trespass violation. The reporting party observed that the alleged trespasser drove a silver van which was parked in the lower parking lot. Upon the deputys arrival, the deputy observed the same silver colored van leaving.

March 3

Deputies were dispatched to a domestic dispute in Friday Harbor. After further investigation, it was found to be verbal only and parties separated with no further incident.

San Juan County deputies recognized a subject that had warrants in Eastsound. The subject was arrested. A controlled substance was found on the person. The subject was booked into jail due to the warrant and felony possession of drugs.

A victim contacted the sheriffs office in Friday Harbor in reference to fraud. The victim was part of a data breach at a local business. Personal information about the victim and a child were accessed. An informational report was taken for documentation.

March 4

A San Juan Island deputy responded to the report of an intoxicated male who was found in a familys driveway, in their van, drunk and honking the horn. The male was contacted and arrested and booked into jail, pending court.

At approximately 6:35 p.m, a San Juan Island deputy arrived at the intersection of Beaverton Valley Road and Scheffer Drive in reference to a non-injury two vehicle collision. One driver was issued a criminal citation for driving with a suspended license in the third degree. A police traffic collision report was completed.

March 5

A Bellingham man reported a suspicious looking man on the south end of Lopez Island. The subject was gone when the deputy arrived. No further action was necessary.

At approximately 1 p.m a brown bifold wallet was turned into dispatch at the San Juan County Sheriffs Office in Friday Harbor. The wallet contained a Washington State Enhanced Drivers License, an insurance card, a Costco Card, and a Mastercard Debit Card.

Deputies were dispatched to a domestic incident in Eastsound. One of the parties was removed and a report was taken.

At 6:37 p.m a deputy in Friday Harbor received a report of an assault. The victim was punched several times causing injury to his face. The suspect was arrested for assault in the fourth degree and was booked into the jail.

March 6

A Lopez Island deputy contacted a resident about a noncompliant backyard burn. Information was provided to the resident on what materials are appropriate to burn and others that should be disposed of by other means. The resident promised to be in compliance with the rules in the future. No further action necessary.

A Lopez Island woman reported an abandoned vehicle near her workplace. A deputy identified the owner of the vehicle, who agreed to remove the vehicle later in the day. No further action necessary.

A San Juan County Deputy and Orcas Fire and EMS crews responded to a rollover collision near Eastsound. Field tests were performed and the driver was not believed to be impaired. He was cited for driving with a suspended license and for violating his ignition interlock requirement. An ignition interlock is a device that is often required by the state if someone is charged with a DUI. It works like a breathalyzer and prohibits the car from starting if alcohol is detected.

A Lopez Island resident requested information on how to have an abandoned vehicle removed from private property. A deputy inspected the vehicle in question and provided suggestions for removal.

A Lopez deputy was dispatched for sheep-at-large in a residents yard. A likely owner was identified and attempts were made to contact him.

March 7

A Decatur Island resident reported feral sheep being killed. A report was taken.

A deputy initiated a traffic stop in Friday Harbor and the driver was issued an infraction for speeding.

Lopez deputies responded to a rollover crash on Lopez Sound Road. The driver had minor injuries and was transported to the clinic by EMS responders.

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Scattered sheep, horn honking and a backyard burn | Sheriff’s Log – Islands’ Sounder

Ties with islands important, says Amhaouch of CDA – The Daily Herald (press release)

By Suzanne Koelega

THE HAGUE–Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Mustafa Amhaouch of the Christian Democratic Party CDA is relatively new to the Kingdom Relations portfolio, but he is committed to the Kingdom, as is his party. The connection with the islands is important.

Amhaouch (46) was installed as a Member of the Second Chamber in January 2016. He runs as number 15 on the CDA slate for the elections coming Wednesday. Amhaouch, born in the Netherlands of Moroccan descent, filled the void in the Second Chambers Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations left by Madeleine van Toorenburg (CDA) due to other commitments in Parliament.

A visit to the Dutch Caribbean in January this year as part of the Dutch delegation for the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation for the Kingdom IPKO, Amhaouch was able to obtain first-hand experience on the islands, in this case Curaao and Bonaire, and to get a more in-depth view on the issues affecting the Kingdom.

He noticed the challenges in the relations between the Dutch Caribbean part and the Netherlands part of the Kingdom. He took note of the struggles of the islands, such as poverty and the lack of economic development, but he also saw opportunities; room for improvement.

The islands can function as a hub between Europe and Latin-America, which creates a win-win situation for all countries of the Kingdom. According to Amhaouch, the Dutch Government often perceives the relations with the islands too much in abstracts. More interaction and open-mindedness would positively contribute to these relations.

As for the frequent tensions in the relations within the Kingdom, Amhaouch said there are two sides to the medal. The Dutch Caribbean countries claim their autonomous position, while at the same time they lean on the Kingdom.

Amhaouch made reference to CDAs election programme, which dedicates ample attention to the islands. The Netherlands has been tied to the Kingdom parts in the Caribbean through many centuries of shared history. He said these were no hollow words for his party. We have a responsibility to make something of this together.

Aruba, Curaao and St. Maarten carry their own weight as autonomous countries, but for the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba the situation is different. We have a special responsibility for these islands, said Amhaouch.

Aside from stimulating the infrastructural and economic development, there is a task for the Netherlands to assist with the eradication of poverty on the three smaller islands. Amhaouch, who studied measurement science and control engineering at Fontys Hogeschool in Venlo, and worked 20 years in a management function at the highly successful Dutch technical company ASML, sees possibilities for (more) agriculture.

Stimulating agriculture on the islands would reduce the need to import expensive food items and would at the same time make the islands more self-reliant. He recently submitted written questions to the Dutch Government to get more attention for this matter.

Amhaouch also sees a responsibility and a role for the public entities to take initiative and come up with their own plans and wishes for The Hague. The Second Chamber is also your Parliament. The municipality in Limburg, where I live, drafts its own plans if it wants to get something done. The islands should do the same. In that way we as Parliament can address and support these plans.

Democracy and the level of government are vital issues and they are related. Democracy starts with an agile, integer government. The stronger that basis is, the better it is for the trust between the countries within the Kingdom. Unfortunately, these factors have been lacking in Curaao, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, said Amhaouch. Aruba, Bonaire and Saba were doing a lot better.

Integrity is the basis of the public administration, and an issue that is highly important to the CDA party. The criminal undermining teams that have been active on the islands, with the support of the Netherlands, are bearing fruit and should be maintained. This remains necessary for the future, said Amhaouch.

Integrity is specifically mentioned in CDAs election programme: As part of the Kingdom, the countries have a serious responsibility to guarantee integrity in government and for an effective law enforcement and border control.

Good governance is also part of that programme. There is a joint responsibility for good governance. The islands where this is going well can execute more tasks, closer to the citizens. Where this is not going well, the Netherlands will take its responsibility seriously in the interest of the citizens.

Amhaouch will very likely remain in the Second Chamber after the March 15 elections, as his party is expected to secure around 20 seats. Though this is a decision of his party, Amhaouch said he would like to stay on as spokesperson for Kingdom Relations. Continuity is important.

The Member of Parliament (MP) urged people to go out and vote on March 15. The Second Chamber is there for the entire Netherlands, and that includes the public entities. The votes from the islands are important, as they very well could be game changers for some parties.

Amhaouch said it is important for voters to give their mandate to a party that is involved with the islands, and which has local participation. The CDA has its own candidate in electoral district number 20, the Caribbean Netherlands, in the person of Koos Sneek of St. Eustatius.

As a former Member of the Municipal Council of Helden (Limburg) from 1997 to 2006, and as Chairman of the CDA department Peel and Maas for six years until 2016, Amhaouch knows how important it is to allow people to participate and to listen to them. We should not talk about the people, but with the people.

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Ties with islands important, says Amhaouch of CDA – The Daily Herald (press release)

Channel Islands bald eagle lays egg – Ventura County Star

This is a photo from 2014 showing a bald eagle landing on a nest.(Photo: PETER SHARPE/IWS)

Let the hours of nest watching begin.

After a long fall and winter, a pair of bald eagles is back in the Sauces Canyon nest on Santa Cruz Island.

The National Park Service posted on social media that an egg had beenlaid Thursday, and a day later, the egg seemed to be doing well.

Even though Santa Cruz is about 20 miles offVentura, thepublic can get a bird’s-eye view of the nestthrough a live webcam.

Last year, people watched in their kitchens and their classrooms asbald eagle chicks hatched, grew and fledged on Santa Cruz, part of the Channel Islands National Park.

Some even posted online when they felt a baby chick got too close to the edge of a nest or when it seemed to take too long for a parent to come back with food.

Officials have said it’s just one of the ways that they can bring the five-island park to people who might not get a chance to visit in person.The webcam reach has grown through a partnership between the park and explore.org.

DDT contamination took a steep toll on the Channel Islands bald eagle and peregrine falcon populations, along with many other birds.

Contamination led to egg shells being so thin that they would break in the nests. While the pesticide was banned in the 1970s, its effects off Southern California lasted for decades.

Recovery efforts that ranged from releasing young birds on the islands to artificially incubating eggs outside of the nests have helped both birds make comebacks.

In 2006, a pair of bald eagles successfully bred naturally on Santa Cruz Island. It was the first time in 50 years that had happened on one of the islands.

As of last year,officials said 124 bald eagle chicks hatched naturally and fledged from nests on the Channel Islands since then.

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Channel Islands bald eagle lays egg – Ventura County Star

Policy Summit Focuses On Agenda For Cape And Islands – CapeNews.net

More than 200 Cape and islands residents participated in a policy summit at Cape Cod Community College’s Tilden Arts Center on Saturday, March 4. State Senator Julian A. Cyr (D-Truro), who represents the Cape and Islands District that includes Mashpee, hosted the event.

“Communities on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket face unique challenges,” Sen. Cyr said in a release Monday, March 7. “To move forward on housing affordability, wastewater, the opioid epidemic and so much more, we need innovative policy solutions, outside-of-the-box thinking and public participation.”

The policy summit featured six working sessions centered around living, working, raising a family, aging, serving and preserving natural resources on the Cape and islands. Each session, facilitated by a local leader, featured a panel of industry experts, activists, elected officials and nonprofit directors.

The nonpartisan gathering highlighted panelists across the political spectrum, including Sen. Cyr’s general election opponent, retired Air Force Brigadier General Anthony E. Schiavi.

Sen. Cyr spoke about how the challenges facing residents of the Cape and islands require inventive solutions and strong partnerships between local communities and elected officials.

“My hope is that participants are introduced to people and work they didn’t know about,” Sen. Cyr said. “I want every person here today to commit to one tangible action they can do to become more involved in their local community and in the policy-making process.”

Sen. Cyr encouraged attendees to commit to helping a community organization, attend pending town meetings and run for public office.

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Policy Summit Focuses On Agenda For Cape And Islands – CapeNews.net

Forecast: Light Snow Around Boston, More On South Shore And Islands – WBUR

wbur

March 10, 2017Updated 03/10/2017 11:59 AM

By David Goldbaum

A fast moving storm will move off the Mid-Atlantic coast today. The Boston metro area will be on the northern edge of the system, and a period of light snow can be expected, with an inch or 2 of accumulation. Higher amounts will be confined to parts of Cape Codand the Islands, where up to 7inches of snow could fall.

This storm will intensify well to our east Saturday with gusty northwesterly winds and a reinforcement of arctic air in its wake. Sunshine will prevail Sunday with temperatures moderating slightly as winds diminish.

Next week looks interesting, as another storm develops to our southwest and makes its way to the coast. Indications are that it blossoms into a major noreaster Tuesday into Wednesday. Its still too early to determine the exact strength or track, but it has the potential to bring significant snow accumulations to much of the Northeast.

Meteorologist Dave Goldbaum is in for WBUR’s David Epstein.

Today: Morninglight snow, tapering to flurries this afternoon. High: 35.

Tonight: Few evening snow showers andsqualls. Clearing andwindy overnight. Lows: 10-15. Wind chills around 0.

Saturday: Partly sunny, breezy. High: 23.

Saturday Night: Clear, very Cold. Lows 5-10.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, cold. High: 26.

Monday:Mostly sunny. High: 30.

Tuesday:Cloudy with snow possibly changing to rain. Highs in the 30s.

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Forecast: Light Snow Around Boston, More On South Shore And Islands – WBUR


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