Dispute Over Trafficking Sparks Security Crisis Along Opium Route Through Neighboring Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan—A dispute over the drug trade lies at the heart of a security crisis that has gripped this Central Asian nation, as Afghanistan’s opium industry sows instability across the region.
Senior Tajik law enforcement officials are involved in this trade, Western officials say, including a border commander targeted by government forces last week in the worst violence since the country’s civil war ended in 1997.
This narcotics business enjoys protection at the highest levels of the Tajik government, Western law-enforcement officials believe. “State security agencies and departments are still reluctant or unable to arrest and prosecute high-level drug smugglers—there is just too much drug flow through Tajikistan for any other view,” the U.S. State Department said this year in its annual narcotics report.
Tajik officials say the government is committed to the fight against narcotics trafficking.
Up to 80 tons of heroin and 20 tons of opium are smuggled through Tajikistan’s 835-mile frontier with Afghanistan every year, on the way to consumers in Russia and Europe, according to United Nations estimates.
A sizable portion of this drug flow comes through the narrow river that separates Afghanistan from Gorno-Badakhshan, the mountainous eastern province where Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon sent thousands of government forces to launch an assault last week.
On Wednesday, some security forces began pulling out from neighborhoods in the provincial capital city of Khorog. The government said that approximately 200 gunmen surrendered weapons. With the main local warlords still at large, the potential remained for fighting to resume.
Read more HERE.
The Bagel, Perfected by Science
Two hundred years ago, famed philosopher Hegel wrote “The Science of Logic.” Sixteen decades later, Hall of Famer Ted Williams penned “The Science of Hitting.”
Are we now ready for “The Science of Bagels”?
Encyclopedia.com “Encyclopedia.com has more than 100 trusted sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations.”
Crabs and lobsters are crustaceans, animals with hard shells. Crabs have broad, round shells. Lobster have long bodies with tails. Most live in the water, though some crabs can survive out of the water. The average life span of a lobster is 50-70 years, but only three years for a crab. The American lobster is often marketed alive. It is commonly blackish green or brownish green above and yellow orange, red, or blue underneath. The red color of lobsters is caused by immersion in hot water. – Provided by Reference.com
A Place At The Table
In vitro fertilization wasn’t for me. Until it was.
By: Amanda M. Faison
I can write this now, now that the sting has subsided and I hold the reward in my arms. The weight of our baby girl against my chest and the powdery smell of her skin has turned three turbulent years into whispers. My heart hums when I feel the grasp of her fingers. Her tiny head, capped with hair the color of shiny pennies, fits inside my cupped palm. She is a miracle, our miracle. We gave her a family name: Georgia.
We always knew we wanted to have two children—I just had no idea what it would take to arrive at a complete family. Our first child, Ella, was conceived easily. Although I didn’t enjoy the pregnancy—I never got used to having my swollen belly on display—I relished the reward. Ella grew quickly: It seemed like mere moments had passed as we transitioned from nighttime feedings to moving the baby swing and the ExerSaucer to the basement. We set up the high chair. We celebrated milestones: first words, the pincer grasp that delivered single peas to her mouth, the halting steps that foreshadowed walking. We pulled the high chair up to the dinner table and ate together. We were a family. Still, an empty chair seemed to wave at us from across the table. The equation was incomplete; there was room for one more child.
It was the second baby who gave us unexpected trouble and toppled our laissez-faire world. While we quietly struggled to overcome three miscarriages in one year, we had everyone—acquaintances, coworkers, grocery clerks—smile and ask us about number two, or, worse, recommend that we speed things along so that there wasn’t too much of an age gap. I choked down those well-meaning comments and my silent responses like bitter medicine.
Teachings From The Tap: Life Lessons From Our Year in Beer
The Berg: Germany’s Second-Largest Beer Festival
Excerpt from Teachings From The Tap: Life Lessons From Our Year in Beer
Chris first learned about the Bergkirchweih in our local newspaper a few years before. A surprising source for such information, the story piqued his interest as something different to do in Germany besides the expected Oktoberfest.
The Bergkirchweih starts on the Thursday before Pentecostin Erlangen, a town northeast of Nurnberg. Over one million people—approximately 10 times the town’s population—attend over twelve days, making it Germany’s second largest beer festival. Most beer geeks dream about a trip to Oktoberfest, but how many know about “the Berg?” After reading that article, Chris vowed to one day attend.
The Bergkirchweih, which roughly translates to “Church Festival on the Hill,” is located at the north end of town on a street alongside a hill. It includes a fair, complete with carnival rides, game booths, and food stalls.
American life expectancy: Graphic reveals alarming differences in death rates between states
An incredible chart shows the likelihood of dying depending on the state in which you live, with the residents of Mississippi facing the worst outlook while those in Hawaii face the best.The diagram has been compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from data gathered from 98 per cent of the medical files for all deaths across the U.S. in 2010.It reveals how different states experience different risks of mortality, listing the number of people who passed away in the state for every 100,000 people in the country.
Michael Phelps, Winningest Olympian of All Time
American swimmer Michael Phelps awed the world when he won eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and while his performance in London has not matched that, he has set some impressive new records at this year’s games. He failed to medal in his first event but earned two silvers and two golds in his next four, becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time as well as the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics. He now holds the record for most Olympic gold medals, 16, as well as total Olympic medals, 20, and he still has two more events to complete.
Drilling discovers ancient Antarctic rainforest
SYDNEY — Drilling of the seabed off Antarctica has revealed that rainforest grew on the frozen continent 52 million years ago, scientists said Thursday, warning it could be ice-free again within decades.
The study of sediment cores drilled from the ocean floor off Antarctica’s east coast revealed fossil pollens that had come from a “near-tropical” forest covering the continent in the Eocene period, 34-56 million years ago.
Kevin Welsh, an Australian scientist who travelled on the 2010 expedition, said analysis of temperature-sensitive molecules in the cores had showed it was “very warm” 52 million years ago, measuring about 20 degrees Celsius (68 F).
“There were forests existing on the land, there wouldn’t have been any ice, it would have been very warm,” Welsh told AFP of the study, published in the journal Nature.
“It’s quite surprising, because obviously our image of Antarctica is that it’s very cold and full of ice.”
How to Boost Your Medal Count in Seven Easy Steps
“The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries.”
— International Olympic Committee
“USA, USA, USA”
— American sports fans
We are again in the midst of the quadrennial spectacle of naked nationalism and amazing athletics that are the Summer Olympics, and the question on everyone’s mind is who will win the most medals. Not which person — which country.
Economists have taken time out of their busy schedules of destroying the world to provide insights into which factors help make countries successful in their bids for Olympic glory.1
The National Basketball Association Is Founded (This day in 1949)
Prior to 1949, there were two main rival basketball organizations in the US—the National Basketball League, which had been founded in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America, which had been founded nearly a decade later. They merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949 and racially integrated the following year. In 1995, the NBA expanded to include two Canadian teams, and in 1996, a women’s league was founded. What rule, instituted in 1954, encouraged more shooting?
GOODSTUFF DOES MARILYN MONROE
As the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death nears, (05 Aug), I have built a huge Marilyn Monroe timeline with photos, flicks and great links.
Snoop Dog is now Snoop Lion
Diplodocus: How the giant dinosaur ate its dinner by stripping entire branches of their leaves
With its 170-feet-long, 12-tonne body, the giant Diplodocus was a dinosaur with a big appetite.
And now scientists believe they have finally worked out how the huge sauropod satisfied its hunger – by clamping its giant jaws onto trees and stripping entire branches of leaves.
The eating habits of the Diplodocus – the longest creature to ever walk the earth – has never been properly understood since its discovery 130 years ago.