Sea of Thieves’ big Tall Tale adventures are finally getting checkpoints – PC Gamer

One of my favorite things about Sea of Thieves is doing Tall Tales, the complex, multi-part adventures that collectively make up the game's narrative backbone. One of my least-favorite things is that they can't be saved midpoint: If you quit before you're finished, all progress and rewards will be lost. That's not great for players who can't afford to sink hours at a time into a single session, especially when it comes to a few of the boss fights, which can be a massive hassle.

Thankfully, the new Lost Treasures update has finally done away with that aggravation by adding checkpoints, which will enable you to bail out midway through an adventure and then come back to it later. New Tall Tale tooltips on the map will also improve life on the high seas by making it easier to stay on top of where you're going and what you're doing.

Lost Treasures also adds daily bounties, with gold and doubloon rewards that will vary based on the difficulty of the task: Maybe you'll have to kill some skeletons, or maybe you'll just need to get drunk and vomit on the floor. (Developer Rare noted that the daily bounty reset time in the video is a bit off: It's actually 12 am UTC, which works out to 1 am BST/5 pm PDT the previous day.)

New regular events will also make it easier to earn money: Every day between 10 and 11 am PT, and 6 and 7 pm PT, players will earn extra gold for cashing in loot, and every Friday will feature Fort Nights (clever), with increased rewards for stronghold items found in forts.

New time-limited events are also on the way. Players can earn ancient coins by turning in Ruby Splashtails to Hunter's Call, while the Reaper's Bones is offering bonus rewards, including new emotes, for Reaper's Chests and Bounties. Beginning on June 10, a new Blighted ship set will also be available to players who can complete the multi-trading-company Blighted Bonus event, inspired by the zombie survival game State of Decay. All of the ongoing events can be followed on the new Sea of Thieves event hub.

The Sea of Thieves Lost Treasures update is live now, and full patch notes are available at seaofthieves.com. And in case you hadn't heard, Sea of Thieves will finally debut on Steam on June 3.

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Sea of Thieves' big Tall Tale adventures are finally getting checkpoints - PC Gamer

CCL Stock Price: Carnival Corp sailing the high seas after as analyst sinks rivals – FXStreet

As mentioned on Monday it is enough to run faster than the guy next to you, not quicker than the hungry bear. Carnival Corp's stocks have been benefiting from the cruise company's relative advantage over rivals rather more than any other reason.

CCL's is better-positioned than its peers when it comes to finances after raising some $2.5 billion. That has been known for a while. The latest boost has come fromBenjamin Chaiken, an analyst with with Credit Suisse. His team reached a conclusion that the whole sector may benefit as cruises may become more affordable than traditional vacations including a flight and staying at a hotel.

Shares of all top three firms Carnival, Royal Caribbean, andNorwegian Cruise Lines all advanced. The rise is especially impressive amid the fact that early on in the coronavirus crisis, cruise ships were the center of attention.

Moreover, the recent increase has come broader stock markets have tumbled down. The trigger was China's decision to tighten its grip on Hong Kong a significant escalation in its clash with the US. Sino-American tensions have finally come to haunt markets.

However, it does not seem to halt Carnival Corp. Luxurious holidays depend on developments in defeating the disease not geopolitics. Modern, Moderna, a Massachusets-based pharma firm, announced encouraging results early in the week, but scientists were quick to poke holes at the firm's claims, amid a lack of details.

Investors fear that amid falling income and cruise cancelations, NYSE:CCL Over the years, Carnival gradually increased its extra pay. Better prospects for the industry are set to push the stock price and dividends higher.

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CCL Stock Price: Carnival Corp sailing the high seas after as analyst sinks rivals - FXStreet

Russia Intercepts P-8, Sends MiG-29s and Su-24s to Libya – Aviation International News

For the third time in two months Russian fighters have intercepted a U.S. aircraft over the eastern Mediterranean in what the U.S. Navy described as an unsafe and unprofessional manner. The latest encounter occurred on May 26 and involvedtwo VKS (Russian aerospace forces) Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-Es flying from Hmeimim air base in Syria, which intercepted a Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flying in international airspace. The Su-35s shadowed the P-8A for 65 minutes, during which time they took up close station on either side of the P-8, restricting the P-8As ability to safely maneuver.

This encounter follows two similarly unsafe interactions in Apriland led the Navy to state: We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions.

These intercepts come at a time when attention in the Mediterranean theater is increasingly focused on Libya, where the Turkey- and Qatar-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli is fighting with the forces of the Benghazi-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which has the backing of Russia, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Led by General Khalifa Haftar, the LNA has been engaged in a civil war with the GNA since 2014.

On May 26, the U.S. Africa Command (Africom) issued a statement of its assessment that Russia is behind the recent deployment of Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum and Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer aircraft to support the LNA in Libya, a claim that is supported by a series of intelligence photos. Both Libyan factions have reported that six MiG-29s and two Su-24s have been deployed. Africom reports that the aircraft transited from Russia via Hmeimim, where they were repainted to camouflage their Russian origin. The aircraft were then flown to Libya, with escort provided by two Su-35s for at least part of their transit.

The MiGs have been deployed to Al Jufra air base, in a desert region south of Surt, where one was spotted along with a supporting Ilyushin Il-76 transport. Saqr al-Jaroushi, the chief of the LNAs air force, is reported by Bloomberg as saying that the aircraft would be used in the largest aerial campaign in Libyan history in the coming hours. Africoms assessment states that the aircraft have been sent to support Russian state-sponsored private military contractors that are fighting with the LNA, notably the Wagner Group.

Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya. Just like I saw them doing in Syria, they are expanding their military footprint in Africa using government-supported mercenary groups like Wagner, said U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, Africom commander. For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict. Well, there is no denying it now. We watched as Russia flew fourth-generation jet fighters to Libyaevery step of the way. Neither the LNA nor private military companies can arm, operate, and sustain these fighters without state supportsupport they are getting from Russia.

Imagery from U.S. airborne targeting/surveillance systems show a MiG-29 (above) and an Su-24 (below) during their deployment to Libya. (Photos: U.S. Department of Defense)

A satellite image shows a MiG-29 being towed at Al Jufra air base. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

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Russia Intercepts P-8, Sends MiG-29s and Su-24s to Libya - Aviation International News

Relief and fear – Authorities promise tight ship, but COVID-19 concern high in communities as joyous relatives welcome cruise workers – Jamaica…

Western Bureau:

After weeks of uncertainty on the high seas and sitting in docks around the world as the global tourism industry collapsed from the devastating coronavirus pandemic, 1,044 Jamaican cruise workers breathed a sigh of relief last week as the Adventure of the Seas docked at historic Falmouth in Trelawny. While their families are equally ecstatic that they have finally reached home shores, the return of the seafarers has sparked feelings of apprehension if not outright fear in some communities.

Tension grew high last weekend as the Royal Caribbean International-operated vessel neared Jamaican waters after weeks of talks without getting clearance to enter local maritime space as the island had closed its borders in March to restrict incoming passenger traffic and limit the spread of the deadly virus, leaving thousands of citizens high and dry.

When the green light was given to drop anchor last Monday, it was joy all around for anxious relatives waiting to be reunited with crew members who had been languishing at sea for weeks.

Tremaine James of Holland, one of many Trelawny communities with cruise ship workers aboard the vessel, could hardly wait to welcome home the mother of his four-year-old twin sons, Lebron and London, as the Government announced a controlled, phased plan for persons disembarking the vessel, including tests for the coronavirus and individual interviews.

I speak to her every day, and she has told me that they test her on the ship daily, and all her results are negative, said James, who has been caring for his sons on his own since she went off to work in December. While they (sons) get to video-call her every day, I know they want to see her in person . It has been five long months.

James excitement was shared by several persons who turned up at historic Falmouth the cruise port opened in the Trelawny capital in 2011 many of whom were from Trelawny and St Ann communities, anxiously awaiting word of when their loved ones would disembark the nearly 4,000-capacity vessel.

The enthusiasm was lost on others in the seaside town of Falmouth as they expressed concern that the parish which has recorded only a single case of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease could see a spike in cases of the dreaded virus. News that six positive coronavirus cases were identified among the more than 100 cruise workers who had returned to the island from the United Kingdom a week earlier did not help to calm fears.

Since the ship dock, you dont see a lot of the older people on the streets again. They are staying in out of fear because they link the ship to COVID-19, observed Falmouth resident Donald Brown as he spoke to The Sunday Gleaner.

The elderly are among persons at high risk for adverse outcomes should they contract the virus.

Brown said that while he is not too fearful, he plans to keep his distance from the returning ship workers.

Some people are even saying that they wish the ship had gone to another port instead of Falmouth because we dont know a lot about this virus, and this ship is creating more fear and anxiety on what was here already, he added.

A police officer on guard duty at the entrance to the pier confessed that she was not entirely comfortable being so close to the ship, especially since she did not know the health status of those onboard.

Of course, I am a little bit scared, but this is my job, so I have to do what I have to do, she told The Sunday Gleaner, requesting anonymity. I know people are going to be concerned when these people return to their communities because there are so many things we dont know about this virus. People can have it and show no symptoms at all.

COVID-19 data suggest that 80 per cent of infections are mild or asymptomatic (i.e. having the virus but showing no symptoms); 15 per cent are severe infection, requiring oxygen; and five per cent are critical infections, requiring ventilation. Current testing methods can detect asymptomatic cases, but researchers have urged caution, pointing out that asymptomatic persons can repeatedly revert between positive and negative results on throat specimens.

With an awareness of how stigma and fear could affect returning cruise-ship workers, Errol Greene, regional director of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), believes that a robust public-education campaign could defuse the apprehension.

As of right now, we dont know where these persons are from, but it (public-education campaign) is something we need to think about, and it is something we will do. As of right now, we dont know how many are from this region (western Jamaica) and what parishes they are from, Greene told The Sunday Gleaner on Thursday.

He said that health workers were in the field across the region doing general education, among other things.

We do have our community health aid workers and our contact-tracing persons, and we do have our parish and regional educational team doing general education on the matter of COVID-19, said Greene, but as it relates to these persons, these 1,044 persons who were recently repatriated, I could not speak to any specifics regarding these people because they are currently being processed, and they are from all over Jamaica. They are not specific to this western region.

The county of Cornwall which comprises Westmoreland, St Elizabeth, Hanover, St James, and Trelawny has recorded 16 of the nations more than 500 cases of COVID-19. St James has the single currently active case in the region. One person each has died in Westmoreland and St James. All other western patients have recovered.

Seafarers disembarking the Adventure of the Seas with negative results and who are allowed to go home are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. They will also be required to report their geolocation regularly sometimes at the request of the authorities to ensure that they remain in self-isolation.

Despite the assurances given by the Government and the WRHA, in several Trelawny communities, including Clarks Town, Duncans, Green Park, Bounty Hall, and Bunkers Hill, which are poised to have returning cruise-ship workers, there is still the fear of stigmatisation.

Based on what I have seen on TV, how some families and communities are treated because people link them with COVID-19, I am worried that we might get treated in much the same way, said Madge Dunbar, a resident of Duncans.

Anieka Bartley, the People National Partys caretaker councillor for the Wakefield division in the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, believes that personal responsibility is key in fighting the spread of the virus if there are any positive cases among the returning cruise workers.

While the family will be happy to welcome home their loved ones, I would encourage them to get those relatives to stay in the home quarantine for the required 14 days to prevent any possible exposure to those already at home, said Bartley, who had friends aboard the Adventure of the Seas.


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Relief and fear - Authorities promise tight ship, but COVID-19 concern high in communities as joyous relatives welcome cruise workers - Jamaica...

Opinion | A red line that Beijing shouldn’t try to cross – Livemint

In a world unsettled by the covid pandemic, it is clearly in the interests of both New Delhi and Beijing to avoid any confrontation along the 3,500-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) that India and China share as a de facto border. However, two hotspots along the LAC (in Ladakh and Sikkim) threaten to turn into military flashpoints, reviving memories of the 2017 Doklam stand-off. Indian armed forces are said to be on alert and diplomacy is expected to dial down tensions. Even US President Donald Trump has offered to mediate or arbitrate" the dispute. But Chinas troop build-up and incursive attemptsin Ladakhs Galwan area, particularlyseem ominous in the context of Chinese President Xi Jinpings asking his countrys army to raise its battle-readiness shortly after Beijing upped its defence budget by 6.6% this year to nearly $180 billion, as estimated. Posturing, this may well be. Yet, it reveals strategic myopia on the part of a regime that sees itself as a long-term participant in geopolitics and fancies itself as the creator of an Asian century.

Beijings self-image already seems bent toward hegemony. China has been flexing muscle not just along the LAC, but elsewhere too. On all available signs, its defence policy envisions a high-tech ground military force to go with an enhanced capacity to project maritime force across the high seas of the Indo- Pacific. Some analysts trace its aggressive shift in tone of recent weeks to domestic politics, where it may serve as a diversionary tactic to relieve Xi of pressure within over the regimes handling of the global response to its role in the covid outbreak. Directing some fury at India, which recently joined international calls for a probe into the origins of the virus, could be a convenient way for the regime to rally nationalistic support back home. It may also have found a pretext to accuse New Delhi of ulterior motives in our recent moves to close the asymmetry in terms of border-area road access. Last year, for example, India opened the countrys highest altitude all-weather bridge in eastern Ladakh, some 45km from Chinese territory. If China is being discussed around the world, though, it is for the current pandemic. Specifically, for its thinly-veiled efforts to leverage its relatively quick corona recovery to exercise greater sway over world affairs. While the US was already ranged against it, Beijings clumsy designs on Europe in the guise of an aid provider appear to have weakened Sino-European ties. Indeed, many of the diplomatic gains that China made now appear at risk of being frittered away by its actions. Till recently, its telecom prowess was winning admiration globally. Today, it attracts suspicion for strings attached to its foreign dealings. This trust deficit could be attributed to its misguided notions of global authority.

For one, any countrys so-called hard power, defined as an ability to bend another nation to its will by force, needs to be matched by its soft power, which is a function of the appeal of its professed values. For another, leadership is largely about being looked up to by the rest of the world for truly worthy innovations. This is especially so at this point in the arc of history, with everyone desperate for a covid cure. Economic and military heft matters, but only up to a point. Rich and muscular China might have become, but it should not delude itself about its strength in a post-covid world.

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Opinion | A red line that Beijing shouldn't try to cross - Livemint

Sea of Thieves sails onto Steam on June 3 – PC Gamer

More than two years after its debut on the Microsoft Store, the multiplayer high-seas hijinks game Sea of Thieves will arrive on Steam on June 3. Developer Rare said it's looking forward to opening the game to "a whole new community of PC players," and also confirmed that the Steam release will have full cross-play compatibility with the Windows Store and Xbox One versions.

New Sea of Thieves players on Steam will still need to create a free Xbox Live account, and unfortunately current players who want to make the new to the new storefront will have to spring for the game again. The good news is that if you do, all your progress will go with youall ranks, cosmetics, and currency will be available after you log into your account, and any Steam achievements you've already earned will unlock automatically too.

Sea of Thieves is a lot of fun as a big, silly, high-seas piracy sandbox, especially when you're teamed up with a good crew. (Although "good" in this context can be very subjective.) You can also pull off seriously greasy stunts like this, if that's how you like to roll. In April we ranked it among the most improved ongoing games currently available, and it recently got even better with the addition of catsin hats.

For the moment, the Sea of Thieves Steam page still lists it as "coming soon," but it will go for $40/35/40 when it's live.

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Sea of Thieves sails onto Steam on June 3 - PC Gamer

Exclusive: BP’s North Sea chief Ariel Flores promoted – News for the Oil and Gas Sector – Energy Voice

The boss of BPs North Sea business is being promoted as part of a management overhaul at the energy giant.

Ariel Flores will climb the ladder to become the firms senior vice-president, subsurface, based in Sunbury, near London, from July 1.

Mr Flores has served as North Sea regional president, in Aberdeen, since March 2018, when he replaced Mark Thomas.

His move coincides with a sweeping reorganisation of BPs corporate structure, spearheaded by new group chief executive Bernard Looney, himself a former North Sea boss at the company.

In February, Mr Looney said the London-headquartered firm would reinvent itself in an attempt to become a net-zero business by 2050.

The firms longstanding upstream and downstream structure is being dismantled and replaced with 11 teams.

According to news agency Reuters, BP is also cutting senior leadership positions to 120 from 250 in order to become more nimble.

Mr Flores promotion has not come as a huge shock, in light of his reputation as a high flyer.

He joined BP in 1999 as an operations engineer in the US, and went on to operational, subsurface, commercial and leadership roles in America, Russia, Azerbaijan and Angola.

Before arriving in the north-east, he was responsible for BPs interests in Iraq as general manager for the Rumaila field.

Mr Flores said: It has been a pleasure to have led the North Sea business over the past two years and a huge honour to have worked alongside such professional and committed people, both inside BP and across the wider north-east Scotland community.

I will be moving on from the North Sea at an unprecedented time, one which will test the resolve of every corner of our industry.

But if ever there was an oil and gas region equipped to adapt to the challenges of today and come out stronger in the future, it is this one.

In his new role, Mr Flores will report to Gordon Birrell, executive vice president, production and operations.

Ariel Flores stewardship of BPs North Sea business was punctuated by several key milestones for the oil major and some run-ins with environmental activists on the high seas.

Perhaps the biggest highlight was first oil from the 5 billion Clair Ridge project, in the harsh waters west of Shetland, in November 2018.

Mr Flores hailed the achievement as the culmination of decades of persistence and said it underlined BPs commitment to the UK North Sea.

He was also at the helm in April 2018 when BP confirmed plans to develop the Alligin and Vorlich fields.

Alligin, a tieback to the Glen Lyon production vessel, west of Shetland, came online in December 2019 and was quickly outstripping expectations, delivering 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, which was 3,000boe higher than initially forecast.

Vorlich, in the central North Sea, has had a more tumultuous development phase. A Transocean rig that was booked to drill wells on the field was boarded by Greenpeace activists and prevented from leaving the Cromarty Firth for several days in June 2019.

The vessel was then pursued across the North Sea by the green groups Arctic Sunrise ship, which eventually backed down.

Frustrating niggles with Vorlich have continued, with partner Ithaca Energy saying recently the project was hindered by Covid-19 restrictions. First oil is slated for later this year.

Mr Flores also emerged as a driving force of BPs shift to net-zero.

Last December, he said the firm was assessing whether its UK platforms could be powered by renewable sources.

An investment decision on a third development phase of the Clair field was delayed until 2022 to give BP more time to make sure its carbon footprint is as small as possible, although the project has since been put on hold in response to the coronavirus pandemic and oil price slump.

BP has picked a Glasgow-born engineer for the top job at its North Sea business.

Emeka Emembolu will take on the title of senior vice-president, North Sea region, when he replaces Ariel Flores on July 1.

Mr Emembolu is currently BPs Houston-based vice-president of reservoir development, Gulf of Mexico and Canada.

He joined BP in 1998 after graduating from Sheffield University, with a degree in biochemical engineering.

In his first role with the oil major, he worked in the UK North Sea as a production engineer during the start-up and commissioning phase for the Etap platform.

He has since worked in a range of technical and leadership roles in Angola, Alaska, Algeria and Egypt.

BP said Mr Emembolu, who has a wife and four children, was passionate about skills and a keen advocate of technology which can move the energy industry forward.


Exclusive: BP's North Sea chief Ariel Flores promoted - News for the Oil and Gas Sector - Energy Voice

The myriad consequences of trauma – Sydney Morning Herald

For many religious people, the act of believing in something that cannot be seen is itself a sign of faith. When birds start falling from the sky and crops suddenly appear in a town already suffering from poverty and where jobs are being laid off, people turn to faith and religion. Widowed Father John, who is seeing visions of his wife, says he will help people in their time of need; he hands out loaves and fishes, and asks townsfolk to come to church, where he performs baptisms.


Mary becomes a sign of hope and salvation as the town gradually becomes untethered. Sins against children happen when people in positions of authority are not made accountable, and in hindsight Hannah feels bad that she didnt do more for Mary.

Noske moves subtly through the difficulty of pinpointing where it started. Sustained throughout the narrative is the question of what level of responsibility we have to minors who are not in our direct care. The community has secrets; dubious behaviours go unreported, and the threat of violence is constant. A father refuses to sign scholarship forms that might allow his daughter entry into a city school. The air is full of mute masculinity that responds only to alcohol and fists.

In the end, Noske writes, they had no one but themselves to fill the hole theyd shaped in their own lives, nothing at the centre of it but fear and blame.

In this moody, gothic debut, Noske shows the way in which individuals can turn into a violent horde. The retelling of events includes dreams and protracted reminiscences to explain why things unfolded the way they did. The voice looking back adds distance so that we are at a remove from the drama, and throughout the choppy narrative the characters motives are muddy. As a result of this, despite the confident, authoritative storytelling, the novels impact is more intellectual than emotional.

Sophie Hardcastle writes with the confidence of an experienced storyteller.Credit:Natasha Shoory

Trauma wends its way through both of these novels emotional, psychological, sexual and physical. Below Deck begins with 21-year-old Oli waking on a boat, and its unclear at first, to us and to Oli, whether shes had a crazy fun young-person time or if shes been kidnapped. This sets the scene for a book that features horror on the high seas as well as sweet, youthful joy.

Olis stroke of luck is meeting Mac and Maggie, a pair of old friends whose experiences of life have given them a deep love of the sea, and the wisdom and warmth that Olis life has been devoid of. When Maggie explains her synaesthesia, Oli, who experiences her grandfathers shout as a shock of lime green, realises its something they have in common. In Maggie particularly, she has met a kindred spirit.

Sophie Hardcastles clear, concise language evokes the feeling of meeting someone who feels already known, and the depths of truly meaningful friendship.

Maggies favourite book is A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebeca Solnit, who, in Men Explain Things to Me, writes, Some women get erased a little at a time, some all at once. For Oli, it was both a little at a time her father, her boyfriend Adam, that yoyo of abuse and, later in the book, all at once.

Some reappear, Solnit continues. Every woman who appears wrestles with the forces that would have her disappear. Oli finds a way to reappear, and the rest of the story is her wrestling with how to be.


Hardcastle has written a memoir and a YA novel but this is her first novel for adults. It is a singular tale, very reflective of the zeitgeist, with a lot to say about the nature of consent, robust friendship, the human relationship with the natural world, and what it takes to be woke in an unjust world. The novel is written with the confidence of an experienced storyteller, someone who understands pace, and the importance of leaving space in a text.

The small cruelty of flicking wet, recently-washed hands onto another person is symbolic of larger violence, and Oli is punished, repeatedly, for being female. Women are unlucky on boats too distracting. If boys will be boys then, it would appear, men will be men. Yet, all this heavy drama is presented with a light touch, the plot is exacting, and the characters are blazingly strong.

Oli is offered a cigarette and goes to take one, then reconsiders. Pretending to smoke would surely be worse than passing up the offer. This wrestling with the multitudes of momentous and tiny ways in which women are forced to adapt, act, pretend, mould, anticipate, rehearse and decode is something Hardcastle achieves throughout the book and she does so meticulously, with resounding success.

Sophie Hardcastle discusses her work in a Sydney Writers' Festival podcast: swf.org.au

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The myriad consequences of trauma - Sydney Morning Herald

Mutiny on the high seas saved trafficked Rohingya – Dhaka Tribune

File photo: Rohingya refugees who were rescued by Bangladesh Coast Guard in Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Survivor recounts how, with 58 already dead, they overpowered the traffickers and took control of the boat and their destiny

The boat carrying more than 400 Rohingyas, which landed in Bangladesh in the early hours of April 16, had experienced a dramatic mutiny 30 hours earlier.

In that mutiny, four of the 11 Rakhine traffickers were killed, five were rescued by another boat, and two traffickers, including the captain, were kept hostage to steer the trawler back to Bangladesh.

In exclusive testimony, a survivor of the ill-fated journey explained how the failure to land in Malaysia, despite three attempts, led a group of 17 Rohingya men to confront and overcome the traffickers.

The increasing death toll as well as the insufferable conditions on board were also key factors.

The magnificent 17

The 17 men had been "volunteers" until the moment of mutiny. They were needed by the traffickers to carry out menial tasks.

Five had been detailed to do the cooking. The others did an assortment of tasks, including helping people who had grown weak, and taking care of the disposal of Rohingya men and women who had died by throwing them overboard.

Hell on water

After the death of the 58th person eight women and fifty men the volunteers asked the traffickers to let them land anywhere they could.

They argued that they had been misled since the first week of departure about how long the journey would take, and it had already been over 50 days.

Food and water had been woefully insufficient, resulting in starvation. They also could not tolerate the daily beatings that were handed out. People were beaten with iron rods, sticks, and belts.

Rescued Rohingyas at Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar on April 15, 2020 | Dhaka TribuneThe Rohingya volunteers made one simple demand: "Drop us in Myanmar or take us back to Bangladesh."

The traffickers placated them by saying that another boat would be coming and they would soon be off the boat they were on.

Within a day or two it was clear that the traffickers had not changed their plan. When confronted, the traffickers insisted they would stay put until they found an opportunity to land.

They threatened the Rohingya making the demands: "You will do as we tell you. Otherwise, you can join your dead."

The survivor explained that the plan to take over the boat was hatched as they were drifting in Myanmar territorial waters for 10 days.

Praying for a miracle

On the night of Shab-e-Barat -- April 9-10 -- all the Rohingya men and women fervently prayed for their lives.

A day or two earlier, a Myanmar navy patrol boat had come to their trawler, and the officers were spotted receiving money from the traffickers.

The group of volunteers had hoped their prayers would be answered. They were anticipating that the navy patrol boat would come again and take them ashore and put them in jail in Myanmar.

Rohingya refugees rescued by Bangladesh Coast Guard in Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar on April 15, 2020 | Dhaka TribuneThey even thought that perhaps they would be sent back to Bangladesh, as they were all carrying UNHCR cards.

However, it soon dawned on them that the money handed over to the Myanmar navy was simply to pay them off, and that there was no hope of any disembarkation. Fearing that there would be further deaths, they started hiding various items that could be potentially used as weapons against the traffickers.

The final straw

For the survivor, one other incident made up his mind to take action. The 57th dead person was the mother of two young children.

The mother was sick throughout the journey and vomiting blood. The meagre amount of food she got, she gave to her two children.

After her death, the children would often cry and hug each other. For the survivor, this was distressing and brought back memories of his own young boy whom he had left behind in the camps.

Making their move

The mutiny took place one day and six hours before landing in Bangladesh.

The Rohingya volunteers waited until twilight to surprise the traffickers. They thought this would be the best moment, as during daylight hours the traffickers would be able to see what was happening and respond. Other trafficker boats could also possibly observe and come to the aid of the Rakhine men.

The volunteers were aware that the traffickers had two pistols, and they made sure those were not accessible. One trafficker was killed on the bow of the trawler.

Rescued Rohingyas at Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar on April 15, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

They lay in wait for the others by the latrine on the deck of the boat, and there, an hour later, three of the Rakhine men were apprehended and killed.

Women and children rushed to the hull when the traffickers started fighting back. This was the area in which men had been confined the entire journey, except for the 17 Rohingya volunteers.

There followed a protracted five-hour long stand-off. In that time the traffickers were desperately trying to contact other boats to rescue them. Finally, another trafficker boat came to their rescue five hours later.

Escape from the traffickers

As soon as the traffickers had leapt onto the other boat, the Rohingya volunteers used the "double machine" to speed away from it their trawler had two propellers. The boat that had come for the traffickers only had one.

Of the two Rakhine men taken hostage, the captain was arrested in Teknaf. The survivor is unsure about the whereabouts of the other, though he was brought to the Transfer Camp in Kutupalong for quarantine purposes.

The survivors assessment is that had they not taken action more people would undoubtedly have died.

A few dozens more would have died. You can see. Many of them are unable to even walk.

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Mutiny on the high seas saved trafficked Rohingya - Dhaka Tribune

UN rights office concerned over migrant boat pushbacks in the Mediterranean – UN News

The appeal follows reports of failure to assist, and even push back, vessels carrying desperate people in one of the worlds deadliest migration routes, amidst the fears and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

These developments are occurring as departures from Libya during the first quarter of the year rose four-fold over the same period in 2019.

Reports that Maltese authorities requested commercial ships to push boats with migrants and refugees in distress back to the high seas are of particular concern, said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN human rights High Commissioner.

We are also concerned that humanitarian search and rescue vessels, which usually patrol the central Mediterranean area, are being prevented from supporting migrants in distress, at a time when the numbers attempting to make the perilous journey from Libya to Europe has increased sharply, he added.

Currently, no humanitarian vessels are operating in the central Mediterranean after Italy this week impounded the rescue ships Alan Kurdi and Aita Mari following a two-week quarantine offshore.

Alan Kurdi, operated by a German non-governmental organization (NGO), is named after the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in September 2015. Aita Mari is run by a Spanish group.

It has also been alleged that administrative regulations and measures are being used to impede the work of humanitarian NGOs, said Mr. Colville.

We call for restrictions on the work of these rescuers to be lifted immediately. Such measures are clearly putting lives at risk.

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) is also calling for a moratorium on all interceptions and returns to Libya, in accordance with its recent guidelines on COVID-19 and migrants.

Despite the pandemic, search and rescue operations should be maintained and swift disembarkation ensured, in line with public health measures.

Mr. Colville recalled that while international law protects migrants from being returned to dangerous environments, both Italy and Malta have declared their ports are unsafe for disembarkation due to the virus.

Currently, at least three merchant vessels carrying migrants are affected.

While the Maltese authorities have allowed a small group ashore on humanitarian grounds, OHCHR said all migrants should disembark because the vessels are not suitable for long-term accommodation.

Last month, a vessel with 51 migrants onboard, three of them children, was returned to Libya on a private boat after being picked up in Maltese waters. They were subsequently sent to a detention facility.

Mr. Colville said the migrants had spent nearly a week at sea, during which five passengers died and seven others went missing, who are presumed drowned.

We are also aware of claims that distress calls to relevant Maritime Rescue Coordination centres have gone unanswered or been ignored, which, if true, seriously calls into question the commitments of the States concerned to saving lives and respecting human rights, he added.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Coast Guard is continuing to turn vessels back to its shores.

Intercepted migrants are placed in arbitrary detention facilities where they face human rights violations including torture, sexual violence and lack of health care, as well as risk of contracting COVID-19.

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UN rights office concerned over migrant boat pushbacks in the Mediterranean - UN News

How smaller neighbours of China are taking on the dragon – WION

As the world fights coronavirus pandemic, China is throwing its weight around. Beijing has deployed warships, asserted itself on the high seas and flexed its military muscle on the South China sea.

The developed world, barring a few, hasn't said much about the Chinese military aggression. But, that is not the case with smaller nations.

A report says that Vietnam is close to filing an international arbitration case and settle the South China Sea dispute with Beijing.

Leading countries are indecisive and divided over China. As the world scratches their heads over the right approach, Vietnam's decisiveness is like a breath of fresh air.

Also read: World leaders look for ways to hold China accountable for spread of coronavirus

Last year, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam had hosted a conference on the South China Sea. Vietnam's deputy foreign minister had raised the issue of an international case for the first time in nearly five years.

Since then, Vietnam has got more firm with China. Recently, China had announced a fishing ban in the South China Sea until August. However, Vietnam has rejected that decision, calling China's order "unilateral".

Indonesia is standing up to China too. After three Indonesian sailors died in the Pacific, Indonesia summoned the Chinese ambassador. This came after the reports that they were mistreated and exploited, apparently by the Chinese.

Taiwan, considered as a breakaway province by China, has repeatedly called out Beijing over its botched up response to the pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the lack of leadership on the world stage. China is trying to coerce its way to the centre of the world order. When the G20 Summit happened, world leaders had a chance to call out China, but they didn't.

The world needs to closely look at Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan, they have decided not to bow to theeconomic pressures.


How smaller neighbours of China are taking on the dragon - WION

Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week? – The Guardian

Welcome to this weeks blogpost. Heres our roundup of your comments and photos from the last week.

First, Hilary Mantels The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher has provided welcome distraction for MaggieMaggieB:

I was finding it difficult to concentrate on a book as I was worrying about my son and daughter and missing my grandsons so I thought that I would try short stories. They were just what was needed. I found them easy to read and the title story turned out to be surprisingly cosy. The other tales were very varied and well observed, ranging from an account of two bored childrens antics during a hot summer to a vampire story!

Elmore Leonards 52 Pickup has been ideal lockdown reading for RickLondon:

This week I read an early Elmore Leonard, 52 Pickup; and if his absolute mastery of plotting was not totally refined by this point, his brilliant dialogue and characterisation was much in evidence. A perfect lockdown read. Its been a while Elmore, but Im not going to wait so long for the next fix.

Alice Munro has been keeping lonelybloomer going:

I have also taken to reading an Munro story every morning and I went through a couple of her collections this way. Very enjoyable (I love Munro!).

Peter Robinsons short story anthology Not Safe After Dark has provoked a powerful reaction from PatLux:

One of the stories, Memory Lane, had a strong effect on me. Its setting is a care home and it was ironic to read it as Brexitland went all nostalgic about VE day at the same time as allowing so many elderly people to needlessly die alone in care homes. In a 12-page story much to reflect on about our current times and about the lives and experiences of war heroes. Art and life, life and art.

Wild Women is a fine collection of tales by female travellers, put together by Mariella Frostrup, says laidbackviews:

She brings us selected highlights from 50 authors, taking us to all parts of the globe and using pretty much every means of transport. Theres some old favourites in there, and some new ones to discover. I find myself making lists, starting with a short one of writers that could have been there; and ending up with another of writers of whom Id like to read more. On the former Id have Elly Beinhorn and Annemarie Schwarzenbach from the golden age, and Anna Badkhen and Kate Harris from the here and now. But it is the deliciously named Aloha Wanderwell who heads the second list, having enticed me in and left me keen to see if she lived up to her destiny.

James Baldwins If Beale Street Could Talk has remained with booklooker for a long time:

What is the magic phrase again? You are too young for this book! from my (much older) sister who was fencing off my query what it was about. So this is how I came to read James Baldwins If Beale Street Could Talk at 12 (ish): stealing it from its place on the shelf at opportune moments. I suppose I was too young for the book, as with many others that were all the more attractive for being forbidden ... Please do tell me I am not the only one who sneaked reads from an early age! Both love story and police brutality impressed me very much at the time. I also remember very vivid descriptions of what racism feels like on the body - and how you can be forced to view yourself as others do, momentarily.

Ive finished The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume, says SydneyH:

A nineteenth century sensation novel, in which a man is murdered in the back of the titular vehicle. The text is justifiably best known for the astonishing number of copies sold, though it is also noted as an early work of detective fiction and Australian literature. I think it is also an inspiration for people considering self-publishing. Im particularly pleased to discover that a parody was written titled The Mystery of a Wheelbarrow.

I can really recommend English Monsters by James Scudamore, says bindithecat:

I picked it up knowing nothing about the book or its author and was immediately engrossed as soon as I had started. To begin with its about a 10 year old boy living on a ramshackle farm in the English countryside with his eccentric grandparents while his parents are expats in Mexico. At the age of 11 or 12 he is sent away to a local boarding school where the usual sadistic masters rule. He falls in with a group of friends and they more or less support each other and keep in touch into adulthood Although the subject matter may sound depressing, it is a surprisingly funny book, especially the bits about the boys grandfather.

Finally, tiojo compares two masterpieces, Graham Greenes The Heart Of The Matter and Joseph Conrads Lord Jim:

In both books the main character faces a moral dilemma and in both the author has chosen an exotic colonial location in which the dilemma plays out. Also in both, the authors have managed to gain the readers sympathy for their flawed heroes and their moral struggles. Both of them cloak their exploration of morals in a more expansive tale - Conrad with his adventures on the high seas, Greene a more subtle story of wartime colonial intrigue. And for both they draw on their own personal experience Conrad as a seaman, Greene from his time spent in west Africa as a young man. In some ways they might be seen as giving hope to the aspiring writer. The moral dilemmas they explore are ones that are faced by many people in their everyday experience. They are using their own life experience to put them into a setting in which the tale can be told. But both of them are master craftsmen. Both writers of high quality.

High quality, indeed.

If youre on Instagram, now you can share your reads with us: simply tag your posts with the hashtag #GuardianBooks, and well include a selection in this blog. Happy reading!


Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week? - The Guardian

Shore Lore: Tales of the night patrol – News – Wicked Local Brewster

The night patrols of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and Coast Guard were among the most dangerous jobs that a Cape Codder could have, but it also wasnt without its share of what longtime surfman Yngve Rongner referred to as surprising tales.

Fear not, I will not speak of some, he recalled for the Eastham Historical Society many years ago, but Rongner and his colleagues had their share of wild stories from the dark side of the shore.

The surf patrols often went three or four miles in one direction in darkness, so coming upon another living creature on the beach could be startling. One night, on Rongners return trip to the station, it was quite a surprise when two large paws landed on my shoulders!

Who was scared the worst I do not know, but I gave out of those scare yells while reaching for a my cap that seemed to go sky-high, he said. To my amazement, it was only a friendly great dane belonging to one of our neighbors.

On another occasion, Rongner fell into a dead whale carcass that had washed ashore. Boy, what an aroma! You could smell me for miles! I couldnt go indoors until I stripped down and took a bath.

Rongners friend, Henry Beston, author of the book, The Outermost House, told of a service story about a surfman walking the beach in a windstorm, when he heard behind him a strange and uncanny moan. The surfman turned, and saw coming toward him a great, dark, bounding thing which moaned as it ran. The surfman sprinted away, but the thing followed, gaining every instant and sounding its ghostly cry. The surfmen fell, and yelled out, If ye want me, come and get me! It turned out to be an enormous empty cask, which kept rolling down the beach. The strange and uncanny moan came from the barrels opening.

The weather could also be a source of adventure. One night while on patrol for the Cahoon Hollow station in Wellfleet during a heavy snowstorm, Rongner wasnt able to get on the beach due to high seas hitting the base of the cliff. This led him to take the overland route on his south patrol, but even with the wind at his back, it took two and a half hours, the usual time for a routine patrol, just to get to the halfway house and that was with the wind at his back.

The return trip was the heartbreaker, as I had to face the storm, wind, and sand, Rongner said. I covered more than nine miles that night, as I could not walk too close to the edge of the hills where sand blowing over the edge would cut me to pieces. I kept inland as much as possible, going to the edge every so often to observe what I could in the driving snow and sand. I spent about eight hours making that patrol.

The night patrol wasnt easy on some of the surfmen, such as Nausets Effin Chalke, who served for three years alongside Rongner during the 1920s. Chalkes widow, Helen, recalled in 2009 that it was probably the perils of those nocturnal jaunts that prompted him to seek employment elsewhere.

Others, though, made a career of facing the mysteries of the dark shoreline.

Yet the men make nothing of it and scarcely ever talk about it, Beston wrote. They simply take their black oilskins and rubber boots from a locker, get into them by lantern light, and go.

Don Wilding, a writer, tour guide, and public speaker on Cape Cod lore, can be reached via email at donwilding@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @WildingsCapeCod and on Facebook at @donwildingscapecod. Shore Lore appears weekly.

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Shore Lore: Tales of the night patrol - News - Wicked Local Brewster

Is Call Of The Sea Coming To PS5? – PlayStation Universe

Is Call of the Sea coming to PS5? Developed by indie studio Out of the Blue and published by Raw Fury, this sumptuous-looking Lovecraftian-inspired adventure game is coming to the Xbox Series X, as announced during Inside Xbox 2020.

Admittedly Im a little jealous, as it looks fantastic. But is a Call of The Sea PS5 release on the cards, too? Lets have a look!

As is the case with a few of the titles announced during Microsofts event, there hasnt been any confirmation of a Call of the Sea PS5 release yet. Officially, the game is coming to PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One in late 2020, with no word about a version for Sonys current or next-gen system.

We will update this article as soon as we hear more info.

Described as an otherworldly first-person adventure game, Call of the Sea takes place during the 1930s in the isolated reaches of the Pacific Ocean. Players control a woman named Norah, who has embarked on a journey across the high seas to search for her missing husband.

Read the blurb for more info:

Having landed on a nameless, strange island paradise that was his last known location, your search will lead you to the discovery of remnants of a lost civilisation as you try to unlock puzzles and secrets that will reveal clues to the fate of your husbands ill-fated expedition. But in the course of your search you soon come to realise that not everything on the island is as it seems

An otherworldly tale of mystery and self-discovery, Call of the Sea is a love letter to the adventure game genre that follows one womans desperate journey a journey driven by love and longing. What strange secrets of the past does the island hold, and what might she unearth in her quest for the truth?

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Is Call Of The Sea Coming To PS5? - PlayStation Universe

Stranded Deep: How to Build a Raft | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Stranded Deep gives players many things to help them survive and explore the world. This guide will show players how to build their own raft.

One of the most interesting aspects of Stranded Deep is navigating the ocean and exploring shipwrecks and other islands. In theory, players can do this with the basic inflatable raft that they are provided with at the beginning of the game. This raft is extremely slow when it comes to exploring though, and if players encounter some of the game's more terrifying sea creatures they will find themselves capsized and killed very quickly.

Related: Rust: How to Utilize Electricity in Your Base

The best way to explore the world in Stranded Deep is for the player to build their own raft out of the materials found around them. Raft building isn't something that is explained very well in-game, but will be integral to progressing through the world. This guide will help players understand the basics of building their own raft and what materials they should prioritize.

All of the components of raft building will be found within the crafting menu. Players will need to select the Raft Base aspect first, which will enable their raft to float. There are actually multiple types of materials that can be used to craft a base. Players will be able to make a base out of sticks, buoy balls, tires, and even barrels that are found. Each of these items just needs to be lashed together in order to create a small floating section.

Currently, the most durable base that players can craft is the barrel base. Players will just need to track down three barrels and use one lashing to form them together. This base will hold up to a lot more damage from enemies than any other material in the game. Players will usually find barrels tied up in shipwrecks, they just need to be cut out and dragged back to the player's home island.

The next step to raft building is for players to construct a floor to stand on. Players will just need to select the floor component from the crafting menu before finding the materials necessary to craft it. Like the base, there are actually several types of floors that can be made, with some being better than others. Floors can be made out of sticks, planks, corrugated steel, or clay bricks. Once a floor is created players will just need to drag it to the base and attach it with a hammer.

Steel or bricks are by far the best options for creating a floor in Stranded Deep, but neither are particularly easy to acquire. Steel must be found washed up on shore or within shipwrecks and are not particularly common in the world. Bricks can be crafted, but it will take players a long time to get to that point. They will need to craft both a brick station and a furnace before finding clay to craft into bricks.

There are two different ways to propel the raft in Stranded Deep, and players can combine both of these methods for a highly efficient raft. The slower but easier option is to craft a sail. Sails can be easily crafted by two sticks, a cloth, and some lashing. From there players just need to attach the sail to their raft and use wind energy to propel their raft across the seas.

The other method of propulsion may be a little more difficult for players to acquire, especially if they haven't spent a lot of time exploring the world around them. Stranded Deep actually allows players to craft a boat motor that is much faster than the sail. Players will need duct tape, one engine part, a fuel part, a filter part, and an electrical part in order to craft the motor. Obviously these pieces aren't naturally occurring, so they must be found on shipwrecks. On top of this players will also have to find gasoline to power the motor as well.

Players may think that with everything they have done that their raft is perfectly capable of exploring the high seas, but they may ruin all of their hard work if they don't invest in an anchor and rudder. Both items are extremely important to piloting a raft, and there is no reason to not own them considering they are relatively easy to build.

The rudder will be used to steer the boat in different directions. It's fairly worthless to have a speeding raft that can't be controlled. The rudder can be constructed by using a lashing, a cloth, and two sticks. Once this is attached to the raft, players will have full control of where they go. Additionally, players will be in for a bad time if their raft floats away while they aren't paying attention. This is why it is integral to attach a boat anchor to the raft to ensure that their creation stays in one place. The anchor just needs six rocks, a stick, and four lashings.

1. Players will need at least one base, floor, and propulsion system if they want their raft to work effectively.

2. Players can actually construct larger rafts by hammering together several bases and floors together.

3. Beware the more aggressive sea creatures, as they will attempt to capsize or damage the player's raft. Even larger and more durable rafts can be destroyed or knocked over by great whites or sea monsters.

4. Portions of a raft can be removed by using the axe. That portion of the raft will be destroyed and players will not receive their materials back.

5. Players can add crater to their rafts in order to allow the storage of resources, food, and water for long journeys.

Next: Rust: Farming 2.0 Basics (New April 2020 Update)

Stranded Deep can be played on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Museum Entrances (Design Tips & Tricks)

Cody Peterson is an avid reader and writer. Graduated from Midwestern State University with a BA in English where he worked as an editor for the University literary journal. Currently a freelancer for Screenrant, where he writes about video games. When he isn't writing he usually spends his time playing video games or editing the podcast he runs with his best friend.

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Stranded Deep: How to Build a Raft | Screen Rant - Screen Rant

The Disgraced Offices of Joseph Muscat – The Shift News

Europe Day came and went with a quiet whimper this year as festivities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Schumann Declaration had to be held in the circumstances that are, for the time being, the new normal.

The border town where I live staged a masked protest complaining that the shut borders on the German side go against the very spirit of the European Union. As our Mayor said, this should not be a region of borders but a Greater Region of collaboration.

The 1950 Schumann declaration emphasised a Europe built on solidarity out of mutual interest: there could only be one way for Europeans to work together and that was for them to understand that working together was in the interest of each and every one of them. The reason for the Union is the betterment of the parts through the whole e pluribus unum.

The motto is officially that of the United States (and Benfica FC) yet it expresses the spirit that underlies much of the European construct. It is also the spirit that is being touted for life after the pandemic.

The lessons to be learnt from the problems gripping the continent right now include this increasingly important realisation of the interconnectivity in our daily lives and, consequently, of the benefits of coordinating our approaches.

This imperative of collaboration permeates every single member of the Union from the smallest to the largest. Take Germany, for example, the industrious heart of the European economy has come under fire from both within and outside its borders due to recent decisions it has taken on several issues both economic and social. Just like the rest of the Member States, the Federal Republic is still learning that you cannot run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds.

Angela Merkel is often expected to lead the EU by example. Critics of the EU and its actions often prefer to target Merkel in lieu of the Union as a whole. One such critic was a disgraced officer of our Republic, Maltas ambassador to Finland who, in a post inspired by the migrant saga, thought well of comparing Merkel to Adolf Hitler.

Zammit Tabona is one of the legions of appointed persons who disgrace the offices of our Republic. Was, I should say, because he was summarily dismissed from his position by our Foreign Minister.

Yet. Yet. The Foreign Minister is another of the disgraceful officers of our Republic. His daily rabble-rousing posts on Facebook are a testimony to yet another politician intent on undermining Maltas role in the EU.

The migrant saga remains intricately intertwined with the situation in Libya a situation where Malta seems to be prepared to take sides with Recep Tayyip Erdogans Turkey and against the EU and its programmes.

Bartolos daily pleas for help for tiny Malta occur in parallel to a cynical, ruthless policy undertaken by his own government. It includes withdrawing from the EUs Operation Irini, hiring pleasure boats from his disgraceful ambassadors Captain Morgan company (for reportedly 10,000 daily payable from EU funds), using these boats to keep migrants at the mercy of the high seas to use as barter, and using disgraced government non-official Gafa to perform illegal pushbacks.

Bartolo wants EU solidarity but the wheelings and dealings of the government of the nation from which one of the major arms dealers in Libya hails portray a vastly different picture.

Not all is dark and dreary in Malta. Health Minister Chris Fearnes department moves from accolade to accolade at least insofar as dealing with the pandemic. We still have the leftover from the previous disgraced Cabinets machinations to deal with though and this includes the shady deals in the health sector.

Abela inherited most of the disgraced officers from the previous administration and this week he welcomed back the chief disgraced officer of them all, who had the audacity to come up with post-COVID scenarios for Malta.

In normal countries, Muscat would still be in search of an appropriate place to hide his face but the only normality here is the one Abela wants to impose. It has long become apparent that normality means the return of the disgraced officers to their workplaces.

Why the nation should care what Muscat thinks should happen after the pandemic is over is beyond me. This is the Muscat under whose beat, the most disgraced and unfit officer of all, Konrad Mizzi, set up an international car boot sale selling off Maltas prime assets.

Not one week passes by without a dealing of Mizzis surfacing in the scandal section. The excuse for a man is hiding away behind a doctors certificate while the nation is still paying for the consequences of his actions, which were sanctioned by Muscat every step of the way.

That is why the Disgraced Office of Joseph Muscat should only be publishing one document: an apology to the nation.

It doesnt stop there. The disgraced ministers of the Republic have recently admitted to paying for their propaganda on social media using the peoples money. Meanwhile, appointees from the circle of close friends, do not cease to shock the nation with their actions.

If you thought Zammit Tabonas actions were vile then remember Yorgen Fenechs latest lawyer recruit, straight from the prosecutors office.

Abelas new normal is not new at all. It is the same disgraceful normal that Muscat and his disgraced team had prepared for Malta since being elected and promising the best of times.

Little wonder that distractions such as migrant issues are pounced upon with such urgency. We get to look at the jingoistic, cynical anti-EU tirades in the name of patriotism while our nation rots, led into oblivion by the disgraced officers of Josephs Republic.

Follow Jacques blog Jaccuse.

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The Disgraced Offices of Joseph Muscat - The Shift News

Botanical gardens, gym or commune among ideas for a refurbished Celandine Hall in Ramsgate – The Isle of Thanet News

Celandine Hall in Harbour Street (image google maps)

A botanical garden, florist and caf or virtual reality gaming, gym and restaurant are among the suggestions for uses of a refurbished Celandine Hall in Ramsgate.

The building, in Harbour Street, has been empty for a number of years and has suffered deterioration but owners, Moxie Management Ltd, have this month been granted [permission by Thanet council for refurbishment and alterations at the site.

Following renovations the aim is to lease the building.

In a planning document from TaylorHare Architects permission was sought for works including the installation of an awning on the front, replacement windows, internal alterations to include removal of ground floor flooring, installation of two new staircases following removal of existing stairs and the removal of walls for the creation of a plant room plus additional toilets and a shower room.

The document says: In addition to altering the building to make it fit for future occupation, the existing fabric also needs repairing and arresting to prevent rapid deterioration. Long term economic resilience and occupation is key to the upkeep, maintenance and survival of the historic fabric. The purpose of this application is to configure a building shell and core for fitout by future occupants.

The proposed shop front is to be redecorated (colour to be confirmed) along with two additions in the form of a new awning and sign. High street regeneration strategy research concluded that making a visual presence on the high street in combination with encouraging occupant use of the pavement was key, therefore the introduction of a new awning and sign are central to this.

The backlit sign is a reinstatement but instead of Cafe will read Open as a symbol of high street regeneration. New interventions within the building are for the most part new staircases

It is judged the proposed scheme seeks to be respectful to the existing building, whilst contributing to the regeneration of Harbour Street, Ramsgate. The proposed scheme delivers the following: Identifies and retains significant building fabric features as evidence of the buildings rich history Acknowledges the opportunities and constraints the site and listed building present

Proposes improvements to vertical circulation, WC provision and flexible services for future occupants.

The building, at 29-31 Harbour Street, is thought to have been a toy shop in the first half of the 1800s.

It then evolved into a drapers and gentlemans outfitters in the late 1800s before being annexed by the growth of the Hyland, Lewis and Linon department store.

During this era the building undertook significant alterations. The rear of the building was reconfigured and modern services installed. Sometime after 1929 the shop front was unified and remains as found today. The property is Grade II Listed.

Suggestions in a design document also include using the building as a gallery/museum, cafe and shop; an educational institute, theatre and bar; spa / pools, bar and therapist site or even as a commune, office space and shop.

The document adds: Due to there being a great deal of vacant shop space in Ramsgate, maximising the quantity of space is not a first priority. Instead, the quality of space is important naturally well lit, historically referential and inspiring.

The document suggests historical references should centre around The High Seas, Neoclassical Grandeur and Faux Natural History to align with Ramsgates heritage.

The application was approved on May 5.

1849 29 Harbour Street: Registered to Misses Lyon as a Toy shop

1885 29 Harbour Street: Parcel of land to rear subleased between Edward King Kennard, tailor and outfitter of Ramsgate, John Orrick Kennard and William Kennard, draper of Croydon from Alfred Davis Hodgman, carrier of Ramsgate

1895 29-31 Harbour Street: Registered to E K Kennard, tailor, outfitter and agent to Dr Jaeger

1911 29-31 Harbour Street: Electric lighting and hot water heating system installed. Commissioned by Lewis, Hyland & Linon occupying the full address

1914/15 29-37 Harbour Street: Lewis, Hyland & Linom family drapers & outfitters now registered to full address. Lewis joins the company name.

1929 29-31 Harbour Street: Lewis & Hyland, drapers, fashion specialists & gents outfitters registered to address. Loss of Linon from company name. Shopfront rebranded afterwards, likely to be when the existing single shop front replaced separate 29 & 31 entrances

1950s 29-39 Harbour Street unified. 29-31 yard space no longer shown in map.

Late C20 29-31 Harbour St. separated from 33. Registered Celandine Hall, Indoor Market until its closure in 2014.

Currently empty


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Botanical gardens, gym or commune among ideas for a refurbished Celandine Hall in Ramsgate - The Isle of Thanet News

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Worst Thing About Each Main Character, Ranked – Screen Rant

In Disney'sPirates of the Caribbeanfranchise, the colorful characters made an era of nautical adventure spring to life with their sword fights, sweeping romances, and bitter rivalries.Over the course of five films about maritime outlaws, the worst sort of behavior was brought out in everyone from posh aristocrats to humble blacksmiths and stuffy redcoats.

RELATED:Pirates Of The Caribbean: 5 Best Rivalries (& 5 That Make No Sense)

The infamous Captain Jack Sparrow managed to double cross just about every person he encountered, friend or foe, while the proper Elizabeth Swann went from detesting pirates to pulling off some pretty big schemes of her own.Every character wanted a piece of that pirate life, but not all of them reaped the spoils. Here is the worst thing about each main character, ranked.

Will Turner was by all accounts a sheltered lad - since making the crossing from England to Port Royal as a small boy, he'd spent his days perfecting his work in the town smithy. He had technical talent with a blade, but as Jack Sparrow demonstrated to him in their first encounter, he lacked spontaneity.

His sheltered life made him gullible; in The Curse of the Black Pearl,he believed Jack would honestly help him find Elizabeth with no ulterior motive.InPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,he thought he'd help him save his father,and inAt World's End,he believed that Lord Cutler Beckett would actually honor their agreement to do the same.

Bootstrap Bill Turner was never cut out to live an ordinary life. As soon as he could he became a pirate aboard theBlack Pearl,abandoning his young son Will in the process and becoming cursed by Aztec Gold for his troubles.

When he later served aboard theFlying Dutchman, his commitment to piracywas still as strong as ever, pledging 100 years before the mast under Davy Jones. This commitment to a scalawag's life eventually drove him to insanity, and in a fugue state he killed James Norrington.

In Dead Man's Chest,fans learned the Obeah enchantress was the goddess Calypso, imprisoned in human form by the Pirate Lords. She fell in love with Davy Jones and charged him with ferrying the souls of those lost at sea to the netherworld, but she was as capricious as the sea, and not keen to settling down.

RELATED:10 Best Quotes From The Pirates Of The Caribbean Movies

When the fateful day came for the lovers to reunite on land she never appeared, causing him to abandon his post and curse shipwrecked men to serve aboard theFlying Dutchman.InAt World's End,she went back on her word to aid the Pirate Brethren in fighting him, and decided to punish them both instead.

Elizabeth Swann came of age with a life of privilege in Port Royal, but her aristocratic manners didn't preclude her from being two-faced, as fans learned inPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Not only did she openly pursue flirtations with Jack Sparrow in front of her fiance Will Turner, she used Jack as bait for the Kraken. InAt World's End,she didn't even respect Will enough to tell him her motivations, allowing him to fester with jealousy and resentment.

James Norringtonwas a Commodore in the Royal Navy with a promising career, but he lost his commission and reputation when he failed to bring Jack Sparrow to justice. Looking to regain some of his former glory, he allied himself with Lord Beckett inDead Man's Chest.

His continuous enslavement to duty and putting status above all else cost him his alliance and friendship with Jack Sparrow and Will Turner when he robbed them of Davy Jones' chest, while his dedication to the East India Trading Company made him culpable in the death of Governor Swann, terminating any chance he had with Elizabeth.

The Crown's emissary and head of the East India Trading Company, Lord Cutler Beckett had a dream of monopolizing all trade in the Caribbean andending piracy forever. This was thwartedby Jack Sparrow and the other Pirate Lords who engaged him in an all out war.

RELATED:10 Things That Make No Sense About The Pirates of the Caribbean Movies

His dogged pursuit of Jack not only jeopardized the infamous pirate,but nearly cost the lives of Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and thousands of their pirate allies. He started the War Against Piracy and had Elizabeth's father killed all in the name of "good business".

Once a human man in love with a sea goddess, her betrayal of his love caused Davy Jones to abandon his duties ferrying souls to the other side and instead plunder shipwrecks for new crewmen.

RELATED:Pirates of the Caribbean: 5 Couples Fans Loved (& 5 They Hated)

His obsession with revenge against Calypso cause him to not only carve out his own heart, but condemn dozens of sailors either to the watery depths, or to serve aboard his ship. When he was feeling particularly angst-ridden, he'd unleash the Kraken to devour ships whole.

One ofthe most famous real pirates who ever sailed the High Seas, Blackbeard commanded theQueen Anne's Revengeand plundered port towns all along the Caribbean in On Stranger Tides. His greed could not be satiated, even when it came to his daughter.

After learning of his impending death by a one-legged man, Blackbeard sought the Fountain of Youth to stall the prophecy. Even though his daughter lay dying beside him, he tried to drink from the cup and steal the young years of the life she had left.

Hector Barbossa was the mutinous first mate of Jack Sparrow aboard the Black Pearl,who left Jack marooned on an island and sailed away with his precious ship. Even after Jack recovered it, at the conclusion ofAt World's End,he managed to make off with it again.

InOn Stranger Tides,he stabbed Jack in the back for a third time, trying to outmaneuver him for the Fountain of Youth, and inDead Men Tell No Tales,he did the same thing again for the Trident of Poseidon.

Though he was arguably one of the best pirates to sail the Seven Seas due to his enigmatic combination of dumb luck and quick-thinking, Jack Sparrow was also one of the most selfish. InThe Curse of the Black Pearlhe used Will Turner's love for Elizabeth to try to get theBlack Pearlfrom his mutinous mate Hector Barbossa.

InDead Man's Chest,he used Will again to try to settle his debt with Davy Jones aboard theFlying Dutchman.InAt World's Endhe again tried to use Will, Elizabeth, the Pirate Brethren, and just about anyone who would believe him to lead Lord Cutler Beckett to Shipwreck Cove and escape the noose.

NEXT:Pirates of the Caribbean: 10 Characters Elizabeth Should Have Been With (Other Than Will)

NextWhich Ozark Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Kayleena has been raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones from the crib. A film buff, she has a Western collection of 250+ titles and counting that she's particularly proud of. When she isn't writing for ScreenRant, CBR, or The Gamer, she's working on her fiction novel, lifting weights, going to synthwave concerts, or cosplaying. With degrees in anthropology and archaeology, she plans to continue pretending to be Lara Croft as long as she can.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Worst Thing About Each Main Character, Ranked - Screen Rant

Legislative leaders and the S-word Floridians stayed home before they were told to Mar-a-Lago mess Live sports returns – Politico

Hello and welcome to Monday.

The daily rundown Between Saturday and Sunday, the number of Florida coronavirus cases increased by 595 (nearly 1.5 percent), to 40,596; hospitalizations went up 78 (nearly 1.1 percent), to 7,171; and deaths rose by 6 (0.3 percent), to 1,721.


Inching closer We are now about seven weeks away from a new fiscal year and a new state budget and yet its almost out of sight, out of mind for Floridas legislative leaders. Any time it comes up it, those leaders say they may need to do something about the budget, but otherwise they deflect.

Damaged Yet there are signs that Floridas fiscal situation has deteriorated significantly as the coronavirus pandemic eviscerates the states economy. Late last week, it became known that the Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees Medicaid in Florida, has projected that as much as $1 billion more in state money may be needed in the coming fiscal year a scenario that usually triggers budget cuts.

Draining away Previously, top Republicans would point to Floridas $4 billion reserve. Its important to note that number itself was a projection of how things would look July 1, barring no changes. Between increased spending due to respond to the pandemic and collapsing tax collections that projection is now no longer tethered to reality.

The agenda We get it. There are a lot of reasons to push off talk of a special session. (Numbers are still preliminary, its unknown how long this will last.) Republicans so far have trusted the way for the most part Gov. Ron DeSantis has handled the crisis. But then theres the behind-the-scenes speculation that lawmakers dont want to come back for many reasons, including that they will be confronted with the unemployment mess the administration is still trying to clean up.

All powerful executive? And its true the federal government provided billions of dollars in relief funding that could help plug some gaps. But that requires the Legislature to accept the premise that during an emergency,DeSantis has full authority to appropriate large amounts of money and move it around. Some parts much discussed aid to local election offices, for example require setting aside a matching amount in state money. Will the Legislature also accept that the governor can make large budget cuts without their input? Can he veto spending in the new budget and then reallocate the money elsewhere? This is an emergency and a once-in-a-lifetime situation. No doubt about it. But maybe its time to get a handle on the extent of executive power during a crisis and whether separation of powers is something legislators remain guarded about.

WHERE'S RON? Nothing official announced for Gov. DeSantis.

VOX POPULI How Florida slowed coronavirus: Everyone stayed home before they were told to, by Tampa Bay Times Adam Playford, Kathleen McGrory, Steve Contorno, Caitlin Johnston and Zachary T. Sampson: The analysis indicates that while Floridas politicians debated beach closings and stay-at-home orders, residents took matters into their own hands. By the time each county shut down, there had been large reductions in activity, the cell phone data shows. People in the worst-hit counties were overwhelmingly staying home weeks before DeSantis order went out and even before the much-earlier orders issued by local governments.

ON THE GROUND Coronavirus strains Floridas Gulf Coast counties supply chains for protective gear, by Naples Daily News Ryan Mills: As Floridas COVID-19 cases grow by the hundreds every day, some emergency management departments in the Gulf Coast region are scraping by with just a few days supply of personal protective equipment for front-line workers fighting the deadly virus.

DOES IT START WITH A D? The movement to reopen Florida has been somewhat subdued. Why is that? by Tampa Bay Times Kirby Wilson: But Floridas reopen movement has been a more modest affair compared to those that have disrupted other states. An analysis by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a non-profit watchdog of far-right extremists, found that Facebook groups dedicated to reopening Florida have just a fraction of the following of other states groups.

TRACKING DOWN THE VIRUS Undetected: Lack of access to testing among minorities keeps virus alive, by Sun Sentinels Cindy Krischer Goodman and Mario Ariza: Doctors, public health workers, activists, and leaders in South Floridas black and brown minority communities warn of a gap in surveillance in these groups. And as coronavirus spreads from house cleaner to landscaper to grocery clerk, its undetected chains of transmission are like the embers of a forest fire, keeping the outbreak going, and potentially sparking the next wave of infections.

UM, WHAT? Florida oncology network that bilked cancer patients gets $67 million in COVID-19 aid, by Miami Heralds Alex Daugherty and Ben Wieder: A Fort Myers-based oncology network that was Floridas largest recipient of federal coronavirus relief dollars for healthcare facilities admitted last week to participating in a criminal conspiracy that limited treatment options available to cancer patients in order to maximize profits. Florida Cancer Specialists, which employs 250 doctors in 100 facilities across Florida, admitted in federal court on April 30 that it worked with unnamed co-conspirators to limit cancer treatment options for patients, agreeing to pay a $100 million federal fine the largest amount allowed by law along with a $20 million state fine.

THE TOLL "Found unresponsive at home: Grim records recount lonely deaths, by New York Times Patricia Mazzei, Rebecca Halleck and Richard A. Oppel Jr.: A 71-year-old woman with nausea who was sent home from the emergency room, even though a doctor wanted to admit her. A 63-year-old nurse who was self-isolating while she waited for results from her coronavirus test. A 77-year-old man who was prescribed antibiotics by a doctor in another state for his fever and dry cough. All were found unresponsive at home the nurse on the sofa, where she was found by her husband their lives claimed by Covid-19 before they ever had a chance to check into the hospital. The agony of how the coronavirus has killed at least 1,669 Floridians, many of them older, is brief and matter-of-fact in the unadorned language of medical examiners, who summarize death in sometimes less than 200 words.

CLOSED AGAIN Facebook readers react to city of Naples public beach closures, lack of social distancing, by Naples Daily News Michael Braun: Naples City Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting at 1 p.m. Monday to discuss access to public city beaches and boat ramps and to evaluate its emergency beach closure order. After the city of Naples shutdown access its public beaches because it determined crowds were not maintaining acceptable social distance, people took to Facebook to weigh in on the decision.

GAETZ V. 60 MINUTES Trump administration cuts funding for coronavirus researcher, jeopardizing possible COVID-19 cure, by 60 Minutes Scott Pelley: Matt Gaetz on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight': 'The NIH gives this $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, they then advertise that they need coronavirus researchers. Following that, coronavirus erupts in Wuhan.' There never was a $3.7 million U.S. grant to the Wuhan lab. But, the falsehood spread like a virus, in the White House, and without verification, in the briefing room.That grant was to Peter Daszak's U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance for disease prevention it does throughout the world. His work was considered so important that, last year, the grant was reauthorized and increased by the Trump administration. Daszak had been spending about $100,000 a year collaborating with the Wuhan lab.

Gaetz's Twitter response: The Wuhan Institute of Virology takes 10 days to notify the world of the sequence of coronavirus and American taxpayers are supposed to keep funding them? After the State Dept said they werent being safe? Looks like @CBSNews is going all China First.

TO COURT South Florida lawsuit accuses China of coronavirus cover-up, fueling loss of lives and jobs, by Miami Heralds Jay Weaver: Worried about her future, Merritt recently decided to join a growing South Florida class-action lawsuit that accuses the Peoples Republic of China of knowing about the danger of the coronavirus in December, covering up its rapid spread by Chinese traveling to other countries through January, and ultimately causing the loss of tens of millions of jobs and the deaths of at least 78,000 Americans a number likely to continue growing for months.

RULES Here are the barbershop, salon rules for reopening in Florida on Monday, by Orlando Sentinels Mark Skoneki: "Barbershops and salons must operate by appointment only and allow 15 minutes between appointments to sanitize their work stations, according to rules released by state officials. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday added salons and barbershops to those that could reopen under his plan to restart the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic."

ON THE JOB Panama City manufacture keeps workers on job despite COVID-19, by Panama City News Heralds Nathan Cobb: "In the face of layoffs throughout the economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a local pipe manufacturer has kept roughly 350 people at work. For Andrew Hicks, vice president of operations for Berg Pipe, its important that his employees continue to provide for their families despite tough economic times."

NEW RULES State issues testing orders for long-term care facilities, by News Service of Floridas Jim Saunders: With more than 700 COVID-19 deaths linked to long-term care facilities, the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Sunday it has issued emergency orders to bolster testing of staff members at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

HARDEST HIT Life-or-death cases fall heaviest on Duval County black residents, by Florida Times-Unions David Bauerlein: "As a doctor for more than 30 years running a family medical practice in a predominantly African-American part of the city, Rogers Cain had a deepening sense of unease when the global coronavirus pandemic rolled toward Florida. 'It was a gut feeling that became a fear as that gut feeling was fulfilled,' Cain said. 'One of the old adages we have in our community is when white America gets the cold, black America gets pneumonia.'"

COME SAIL AWAY Cruise lines plan restart, but CDC has not lifted no-sail order, by Palm Beach Daily News Wendy Rhodes: Despite a no-sail order effective through July 24 issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the three largest cruise lines Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have each announced plans to return to the high seas this summer. Carnival announced plans to set sail on August 1. However, Norwegian said it plans to return July 1, and Royal Caribbean even earlier on June 12 before the no sail order expires.

CHOW TIME Theres plenty of meat, but COVID-19 is beefing up prices, by USA Today Network-Floridas Lindsey Leake: "Chris Prevatt knew something was amiss before most Americans. The volume of beef being exported from the U.S. to East Asia began dwindling in January, the Florida agricultural economist noted. 'Thats when we started seeing damages,' said Prevatt, who works at the Range Cattle Research & Education Center in Ona. 'When South Korea closed restaurants, it dramatically reduced how much product we were able to get into Asia.'"

NOT ON SAME PAGE Plan to reopen Broward could come in a day or two, but theres no consensus on extent or timing, by Sun Sentinels Anthony Man: Its time to start reopening Broward, County Commissioner Michael Udine and state Rep. Chip LaMarca said Sunday, citing progress tamping down the new coronavirus and a need to reignite the economy. Not so fast, said County Commissioners Steve Geller and Nan Rich, who warn that reopening too quickly poses significant public health risks because coronavirus is still prevalent and there arent enough tools to deal with an outbreak.

Miami-Dade emergency order amendment makes it official: the Heat can resume practice, by Miami Heralds David J. Neal and Douglas Hanks

Ron DeSantis to submit plan to Donald Trump for screening South American travelers, by Florida Politics Renzo Downey

Sarasota city and county differ widely on approach to lifting restrictions, by Herald-Tribunes Timothy Fanning

Restaurants, stores and salons prepare to reopen Monday in Palm Beach County, by Sun Sentinels David Fleshler

South Bay prison surge fuels rise in Palm Beach County cases, by Palm Beach Posts Joe Capozzi and Joel Engelhardt

Peak of daily COVID-19 deaths still in Floridas future, model now shows, by Florida Politics Renzo Downey

FALLOUT While revenue falls, Medicaid could cost Florida an extra $1b, health agency warns, by News Service of Floridas Christine Sexton: Floridas economic collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause ballooning Medicaid enrollment that might blow a $1 billion hole in the state budget, according to new projections by the agency that oversees the healthcare safety net program.

HISTORY LESSON Audits spotted flaws in jobless aid system that went unfixed, by Palm Beach Posts Christine Stapleton: Officials at DEO have known about them for years. The agencys critics now point to four audits by the states Auditor General dating back to 2013 as evidence systemic bureaucratic ineptitude and disregard for the needy. What troubled me is you are seeing the same things, said state Sen. Lori Berman, Democrat representing Boynton Beach. Berman was a member of the state House when CONNECT went online in 2013.

When the dust settles: Governor cant say how long unemployment probe will take, by Florida Politics A.G. Gancarski

VP Val Demings husband Mayor Jerry Demings on possibility shes Bidens VP: Shes my pick, by Orlando Sentinels Stephen Hudak: "If Congresswoman Val Demings is chosen as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Bidens running mate, spouse Jerry Demings said he would not give up his elected post. 'I definitely will stay on as Orange County mayor and would just leverage my relationship on behalf of the residents and taxpayers of Orange County,' he said"

HOME SWEET HOME? Trump made Florida his official residence. He may have also made a legal mess, by Washington Posts Manuel Roig-Franzia: Digging into the catacombs of local records to build an argument against the dock, a small group of loosely aligned preservationists, disgruntled neighbors and attorneys have unearthed documents that they assert call into question the legality of Trumps much-publicized decision late last year to change his official domicile from Manhattan to Mar-a-Lago and to register to vote in Florida using the clubs address.

COUNTER POINT Slow down on reopening Florida, legislators tell governor, by Sun Sentinels Anthony Man: All seven Democratic members of Congress from South Florida, the region of the state thats been by far the most affected by the new coronavirus, are warning Gov. Ron DeSantis that they have grave concerns about the way hes trying to reopen the state.

BY THE NUMBERS The U.S. Treasury Department and IRS reported Friday that 9.16 million Floridians have received economic impact payments that were included in the CARES Act approved by Congress. The payments to Floridians total $15.1 billion so far. Meanwhile, since mid-March the state of Florida has paid 531,702 people a total of $1.21 billion in unemployment benefits. The Department of Economic Opportunity reports that 1.28 million people have filed claims.

WHO GOT THE MONEY Flailing corporations took millions in stimulus funding aimed at small businesses, by Palm Beach Daily News Wendy Rhodes: For example, a Tampa corporation specializing in the treatment of sleep apnea, Advanzeon Solutions, Inc., on April 27 received a $1.2 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program as part of the federal CARES Act. But financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the company was losing money long before the coronavirus pandemic.

PREPARING FOR THE WORST South Florida prepares for unique hurricane season, by Sun Sentinels David Fleshler: If Florida experiences the misfortune of a hurricane on top of an epidemic this year, the encounter will be unlike any previous confrontation with the powerful storms. If you lose power, it may take longer to get it back. If your house is damaged, the in-person insurance adjuster could be replaced by a phone app that will allow you to send your insurance company photos of the damage. At shelters, workers will conduct health screenings and temperature checks.

GETTER BETTER Five Mile Swamp Fire: 2,200 acre blaze quiets down over the weekend, structure response pulls out, by Pensacola News Journals Annie Blanks: Firefighters got a better handle on the massive Five Mile Swamp Fire over the weekend, keeping the 2,200-plus acre blaze at 65% contained and residential neighborhoods out of its path.

Human-caused fire in Big Cypress National Preserve nears 30,000 acres, closes U.S. 41, by Naples Daily News Michael Braun

BACK IN THE ARENA President Trump praises return of UFC: We want our sports back, by Associated Press: The mixed martial arts behemoth is holding three shows in eight days in Jacksonville, where state officials deemed professional sports with a national audience exempt from a stay-at-home order as long as the location is closed to the general public. The UFC came up with a 25-page document to address health and safety protocols, procedures that led to Jacar Souza testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday. His middleweight bout against Uriah Hall was canceled late Friday. Souzas two cornermen also tested positive, the UFC said in a statement.

FCCI Insurance CEO arrested for alleged battery on officer, other charges, by Sarasota Observers Mark Gordon: Craig Johnson, chairman, CEO and president of FCCI Insurance Group, one of the Sarasota-Manatee regions largest employers, has been arrested for allegedly resisting arrest and battery on a police officer. Johnson, authorities say, was both physically and verbally abusive to officers after a disagreement at a restaurant, and said officers would pay because of his friendship with the Sarasota sheriff. Johnson, in a May 8 statement emailed to the Business Observer, sister publication of the Sarasota Observer, denies the allegations.Johnson continued to rant, the Sarasota Police affidavit states, and stated to officers, Im going to knock you out and that officers were responding like they were going to a black neighborhood.

BIRTHDAYS: (Was Sunday) Former U.S. Ambassador Mel Sembler Stephen M. Ross, principal owner of the Miami Dolphins Ryan Wiggins, owner and chief strategist for Full Contact Strategies Herald-Tribunes Zac Anderson Associated Press Bobby Caina Calvan (Was Saturday) Bill Herrle, NFIB executive director in Florida.

Want to make an impact? POLITICO Florida has a variety of solutions available for partners looking to reach and activate the most influential people in the Sunshine State. Have a petition you want signed? A cause youre promoting? Seeking to increase brand awareness amongst this key audience? Share your message with our influential readers to foster engagement and drive action. Contact Jesse Shapiro to find out how: [emailprotected].

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Legislative leaders and the S-word Floridians stayed home before they were told to Mar-a-Lago mess Live sports returns - Politico

Modis goal of making India Vishwaguru wont transform lives of Indians: Shivshankar Menon – ThePrint

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India finds itself in an increasingly dangerous world, one that is fragmenting and slowing down economically. It is a world in transition, one in which Indias adversaries state or non-state, or both as in Pakistans case are becoming increasingly powerful. If the external world is becoming more unpredictable and uncertain, so are internal politics and security in most of the powers. These are challenges that traditional institutions and state structures are not well-equipped to handle, mitigate, or solve.

In this changing world, what are some of the basic and long-term drivers of Indias foreign policy which determine the overarching goal? What is Indias strategy to achieve those goals? What should India be doing?

Also read: Modi reviving NAM wont be enough in post-Covid world. India must reconsider joining RCEP

The task of Indias foreign policy is to protect and secure Indias integrity, citizens, values and assets, and to enable the development and transformation of India into a modern nation in which every Indian can achieve his or her full potential. The task of foreign policy professionals is to enable the transformation of India and to create an environment for that transformation.

Some in India think that this is too defensive a goal, that it should make it clear that it wishes to be a great power or a superpower. Frankly, being a great power will follow, not precede, Indias success in building a strong, prosperous, and modern India. And there is not much point being a great power with miserable people. India has a long way to go, despite all that it has achieved since independence.

This task does not limit Indias calculus to its own territory but also demands that it has an active engagement with the world. It determines what sort of engagement India seeks. It excludes ideas such as exporting democracy, protecting the ideological frontiers of India, creating global public goods, seeking status, seeking revenge, undoing Partition, and other such pursuits, except if they contribute to the security of Indias citizens and assets and to Indias development and transformation.

Indias goal therefore is sufficient security, not absolute security. Why? Because absolute security for any one state in the system would mean absolute insecurity for all the other states. By this criterion, with a few exceptions, Indias leadership has successfully managed to provide their country with sufficient security to enable it to change and grow faster after independence than ever before in its long history.

Also read: Covid-19 different from Tiananmen, China wont be able to tide over crisis: Ex-NSA Menon

All rising powers in history have chosen to keep their head down while building their own strength, rather than inviting resistance to their rise to great power status by proclaiming their power and its uses. Those that followed the path of flaunting their ambition and their growing power too early, like Wilhelmine Germany and Japan in the 1930s, were frustrated in their rise and paid a heavy price.

No matter how powerful, a rising power needs to set up a hierarchy of tasks and work with others. No state can handle or achieve everything that it wishes to simultaneously and alone. Indias tasks should be prioritised on the basis of how situations and actions affect Indias ability to transform. Those that most affect the transformation of India are the most important.

We are living in a time when there is a deep sense of strategic confusion, not just in India but in some of the most powerful states in the world. In Indias case, that confusion extends not just as to the ultimate goal Indias foreign policy should pursue, but also to the best means to achieve them. Indians seem to mistake controlling the narrative with creating outcomes, which is the real task of foreign and security policy. Prime Minister Modi has declared a goal of India to be a Vishwaguru, or world teacher, which is still a long way away when it is an importer of knowledge and technology. Nor is it clear that this status will actually contribute to transforming the lives of Indias citizens, though it might satisfy the ego. Besides, this is also a time of fundamental phase transformation in the international system due to the effects of technology.

While the world around India has changed in fundamental ways, it is still doing what was good some years ago. It may be frittering its energies away on status and prestige goals rather than Indias hard interests. In other words, India has not adjusted its policies to the new realities.

Also read: Global outreach, internal motivation: The crux of PM Modis Buddha Purnima speech

It is important for India to remain optimistic. It has a moment of double opportunity if it changes its ways and stops wasting time on peripheral issues. Tactically, China-US contention which is structural and therefore likely to continue for some time with a paradigm shift away from cooperation to increasing contention, despite temporary deals and victories declared by one or both opens up opportunities and space for other powers. Both China and the United States will look to put other conflicts and tensions on the back burner while they deal with their primary concern, the other. This effect is already perceptible in the Wuhan meeting between Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi in early 2018, and the apparent truce and dialing back of rhetoric by both India and China, even though this does not extend to a new strategic framework or understanding or to a settlement of outstanding issues.

Strategically speaking, there is again an opportunity for Indias transformation. Despite dim prospects for the global economy as a whole, the United Nations forecasts that if China grows at 3%, India at 4% and the US at 1.5%, by 2050 Chinas per capita GDP would be 42% of U.S. levels, and Indias at 26%, where China is now. China would be the worlds largest economy (in PPP terms), India the second, and the U.S. the third. By that time, both China and India will be overwhelmingly urban societies.

Also read: Modi slams Pakistan at NAM meet, says some countries busy spreading other deadly viruses

Of course, history, like life, is not a linear extrapolation from the past. But given the recent record of India growing at near 7% for over 30 years and China at around 10% for the same period, the lower estimates suggested by the U.N. appear a reasonable guess. Both India and China have much the same ratio of trade to GDP, show a hesitation in wholeheartedly embracing the private sector, display widening income inequality and distribution failures, and show limited state capacity, particularly in health and education. But rapid growth has given them the means and access to technologies to deal with these problems, if they can manage rising geopolitical risk and avoid costly entanglements abroad.

Indias expectations of the state and of the world are much higher than they ever were. And this is so at a time when the world itself is much more uncertain than it ever has been since World War II politically, economically, and in terms of the pace of change in technology and lifestyles.

As a result of seventy years of development, by most metrics of power, India has improved her relative position vis--vis every other country except China. This is particularly true since reforms began in 1991. And yet, today India is more dependent on the outside world than ever before. It relies on the world for energy, technology, essential goods like fertiliser and coal, commodities, access to markets, and capital.

Consequently, India cannot think of securing itself without considering energy security, food security, and other issues that can derail Indias quest to transform India, such as climate change and cyber security. It also cannot think of securing India without trying to shape the external environment along with its partners. When you add the new security agenda and the contested global commons in outer and cyber space and the high seas, to Indias traditional state-centred security concerns such as claims on Indias territory, nuclear proliferation, state-sponsored cross-border terrorism, etc., you can see why there is greater worry or a sense of insecurity.

Also read: Modi gained popularity in Covid, but real test comes later. Dont judge a leader in crisis

India risks missing the bus to becoming a developed country if it continues business and politics as usual, or tries to imitate Chinas experience in the last forty years, does not adapt, and does not manage its internal social and political churn better. Avoiding war and attaining ones goals is the highest form of strategy by any tradition or book whether Kautilya, Sun Tzu or Machiavelli. And if Indias record over seventy years of independence is to be examined, it has not done badly in moving towards its main goal of transforming India.

That requires the national security calculus to consider broader questions from technology issues, like atomic energy and cyber security, to resource issues like energy security, while building the strength to deal with traditional hard security issues. India has weathered several storms and performed its basic functions in the past. But it is certain that what it will face now will not be more of the same. The last and most important improvement that India needs to make concerns its national security structures and their work introducing flexibility into Indias thinking and Indias structures. For change is the only certainty in life.

Ultimately what should guide India is the quest to make itself a great power with a difference, namely, in a way which enables it to achieve Mahatma Gandhis dream of wiping the tear from the eye of every Indian. That would be in keeping with Indias core values and national interest. That is the right objective for a great country like India.

Shivshankar Menon is a Distinguished Fellow at Brookings India. Menon served as the National Security Advisor to the Indian Prime Minister from January 2010 to May 2014. Views are personal.

The article has been extracted from a report titled Indias Foreign Affairs Strategy, first published on the Brookings India website.

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Modis goal of making India Vishwaguru wont transform lives of Indians: Shivshankar Menon - ThePrint