an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No. 394

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor






Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, it has been another action-packed week for the world at large. One of our readers left to work in Israel just before the Gaza War escalated so now she’s having an interesting time in a land where bombs seldom burst just in the air anymore.



Olha, our friend in the eastern Ukraine, dropped off the scope as it were for a couple of days but we heard from her Saturday morning early.


Thank you Rusty. Nice to have you as a friend. Yes one day it will be something to remember all this uncertainty and sadness. But I don’t want anyone to be protected with gun. I don’t know how peace will return but believe that it will. Just hoping that humanity era and mercy come one day.


It is difficult to think about these two individuals, living in war zones where even in a satellite-sophisticated world, communications can be tentative. Ame’s daughter is in Israel by choice and she can come back to America if she chooses. Knowing this one, though, no matter how rough it gets, she will remain. The blood of the Masada and the Holocaust flow like fire in the veins of that one. Like the sabras, she is willing to die for a harsh land slightly smaller than New Jersey.


Olha’s home is slightly smaller than the state of Texas and demographically diverse. She lives in the eastern part, where Ukrainians who wish to be Russians are fighting for the annexation of that half of the country to Russia. It is also where Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, most probably because some one mistook it for an “enemy” transport.


Ohla is as passionately Ukrainian as I am Canadian and American. But my parents came to North America because peace meant more to them than patriotism. I have offered Olha and her family the resources at my disposal should she and her family make the same decision my parents did.


No nation on earth is perfect because every nation on earth is the home of human beings. But I know that in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, her dreams of peace, humanity and mercy can be realized.


It is the promise of a small candle in the darkness. Its flame burns much brighter in the hand of Lady Liberty and in the hearts and minds of all true Americans. Let’s raise a glass then, to Olha and Ame’s daughter. Their numbers are legion. May they all find their way safely home.


Thanks for the ear, gang. Have a great week, eh?




We join every freedom-loving human being on earth in marking the passing of anti-apartheid activist and author Nadine Gordimer. If she is unfamiliar to you, please go here for an outstanding tribute to her life.


The news about these folks keeps getting better and better all the time. But anyone who thinks this is just an American problem obviously does not drive a Toyota, do they? Documents Show General Motors Kept Silent on Fatal Crashes


Our hearts certainly go out to all those impacted by the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. For details, see under News – Topical below.






Anxious Moments For An Afghanistan On The Brink


Afghan Market Bomb Attack ‘Kills 89’


Struggling To Keep Afghan Girl Safe After A Mullah Is Accused Of Rape




Transit Cards To Replace Cash On Kenyan Minibuses A Hard Sell


Questions Of Justice In Tunisia As Ousted Leaders Are Freed


Tunisian Soldiers Killed In Attack


Boko Haram Kills More Than 100, Hoists Flag In Northeast Nigerian Town


East African Court Of Justice Rules Out Construction Of Serengeti Super Highway


Congo’s Wildlife Rangers Launch Offensive Against Armed Groups Trafficking Charcoal In Gorilla Zone Of Virunga




Built For Speed: The Japanese Bullet Train


Storm Leaves Trail Of Destruction In Philippines


China Halts Oil Drilling Operations In Seas Claimed By Vietnam




Australia Repeals ‘Useless’ Carbon Tax As PM Fulfills Election Promise — But Opposition Decries ‘An Appalling Day’


Shake-Up On Opium Island


Double Tragedy For Australian Family




In Inquiry In China, Police Detain Star Anchor


US Loses Trade Spat To China, India


Secret Path Revealed For China’s Billions Buying Foreign Real Estate


Inside A Beijing Interrogation Room



Egypt Sexual Assaults Draw Prison Terms


Egypt Cuts Tax Breaks For Fuel; Few Protest




European Union And US Trade Talks To Resume


Marilyn Monroe’s New Polish Home


Carmakers Are Central Voice In U.S.-Europe Trade Talks


Back From The Brink, Portugal Still Has A Long Way To Go


In 10 Years, No One In Helsinki Is Going To Own A Car


Needing Skilled Workers, A Booming Germany Woos Immigrants




Poor Sanitation In India May Afflict Well-Fed Children With Malnutrition


US Loses Trade Spat To China, India


India Six-Year-Old ‘Raped In School’


India Aims To Make Forlorn City A Model For Revival




‘Kite Fight’




Putin And Argentine Leader Agree On Nuclear Power Project


‘Twelve Dead’ In Moscow Metro Crash


A Tiny Wire, And A Big Train Wreck


Russian Reliance On Chinese Loans May Blunt The Impact Of U.S. Sanctions




Britain Plans To Cap Charges On Payday Loans


The Invasion Of Britain




US And EU Trade Talks To Resume


Second Investigation Details Additional Lapses At CDC Lab After Anthrax Incident


Carmakers Are Central Voice In U.S.-Europe Trade Talks


Atlantic City Strives To Rise As Casinos Fall


US Loses Trade Spat To China, India


America’s Largest Reservoir Is Hitting New Record Lows Every Day


Calls For Resignation Mount For Minnesota Archbishop In Scandals


California Death Penalty Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Says


New Rule Permits Early Release For Thousands Of Drug Offenders


Appeals Court Overturns Oklahoma’s Ban On Gay Marriage


Influx Of South Americans Drives Miami’s Reinvention




Pope Francis Says About 8,000 Pedophiles Are Members Of Catholic Clergy, Including Bishops And Cardinals






Climate Change Is Flooding Out American Coastlines


White House Unveils Climate Change Initiatives


Climate Change In Action: Forest Fires In Northwest Canada




Jetliner Explodes Over Ukraine; Struck By Missile, Officials Say


Fallen Bodies, Jet Parts And A Child’s Pink Book


Separatists Claim To Have Found Flight MH17’s Black Boxes


Ukraine Rebels ‘Allow Crash Access’


BBC Malaysian Plane Crashes In Ukraine – Updates


Obama Points To Pro-Russia Separatists In Downing Of Malaysia Airlines Plane


World Leaders Match Anger With Calls For Inquiry Into Ukraine Plane Crash


World Leaders Match Anger With Calls For Inquiry Into Ukraine Plane Crash


Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines


U.S. President Barack Obama Demands Ceasefire In Ukraine; Blames Russia For Airliner Crash




Some 17,000 Palestinians Flee Homes After Israel Warns Of Plan To Bomb Gaza


Israeli Military Invades Gaza, With Sights Set On Hamas Operations


From Gaza, An Array Of Makeshift Rockets Packs A Counterpunch


Netanyahu Warns Of Wider Israel Operation In Gaza


This Young Man Lost 3 Family Members In Gaza. Here’s Why Their Stories Matter.


Despite Israeli Push In Gaza, Hamas Fighters Slip Through Tunnels


Palestinians Find Show Of Support Lacking From Arab Leaders Amid Offensive


Who’s Right And Wrong In The Middle East?




Iran Outlines Nuclear Deal; Accepts Limit




Ukrainian Forces Pound Rebel Stronghold


More Canadian Troops Head To Europe In Show Support For Ukraine


Ukrainian Fighter Jet Shot Down By Air-To-Air Missile From Russian Plane


Shelling Cuts Power To Ukraine City


Rebels In Ukraine Crowed Of Past Attacks, But Deny This One


U.S. President Barack Obama Demands Ceasefire In Ukraine; Blames Russia For Airliner Crash


Ukraine Says It Can Prove Russia Supplied Arms System That Felled Jet


With Jet Strike, War In Ukraine Is Felt Globally


Rebels Find Malaysian Plane’s Black Boxes, Promise To Hand Them Over To World Aviation Body




When I read something like this, I’m tempted to get MADE IN CANADA tattooed on a place most people will never see. Federal government cracking down on abuse of domestic workers by foreign embassies


Most North Americans consume more sugar than is good for them but it is not always because of the desire for it. Sugar is all pervasive in our culinary culture and it flourishes in places we might not suspect. So I think this is a totally good idea. How much sugar is really in that? Ottawa proposes food label changes


I have a feeling this is NOT going to go over big in some circles. Upgrades to Aurora aircraft puts Royal Canadian Air Force on cutting edge of anti-submarine warfare




More Canadian Troops Head To Europe In Show Support For Ukraine


Navy Ship Ordered Back To B.C. After Misconduct By Sailors


‘Suspicious Death’ Probed At Pemberton Music Festival




From a citizen of Ukraine condolences to all relatives of passengers of the plane crushed. Nothing can stand that grief and that silence. We have to restore peace here.


С уважением, Ольга Береза (Olya Bereza),



Cougars Corner

Sam:        Gentle readers, our household is wearing black as our way of acknowledging the passing of those poor humans killed in the crash of that Malaysian airliner over southern Ukraine last week.

Felina:     It is a tragedy of epic proportion and we can find not one gram ~ nay even one drop ~ of humour in any of this. Normally we enjoy entertaining you. Your emails tell us you appreciate that and we are gratified.

Sam:        We ask now, however, that you not desire to be entertained but that instead, you will join us in five minutes of silent prayer not only for the loved ones of those who died in the crash directly, but for all the others, Ukrainian and Russian alike, whose lives have been immeasurably complicated by what appears to be most certainly, an accident of war.

Felina:     Despite your protestations to the contrary, your species is far more a global family than ours at Cougars Corner. If you do not find a better way of resolving your issues, you will continue to delight the gods of folly and misery. Your skies will not be safe and your children will know terror in the night. If this is your choice, then so be it. We suspect it is not.

Sam:        And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, until next week, then, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.


I totally love when something like this happens. With all due respect to my Asian cousins, it looks like the dragon does indeed have a heart, eh? China halts oil drilling operations in seas claimed by Vietnam

And here’s another victory for gay rights.Appeals Court Overturns Oklahoma’s Ban on Gay Marriage

To me, this is an example of Americans at their best. These Young People Are Pioneering Appalachia’s Post-Coal Economy


Welcome To The Spanish Town Where People Come Before Profit

Obama To Issue Order Barring Anti-Gay Bias By Contractors

Frack Quietly, Please: Sage Grouse Is Nesting


This is not going to make the Pope’s day. Calls For Resignation Mount For Minnesota Archbishop In Scandals

I hate running stories like this about a nation whose history, culture and people I otherwise hold in so high regard. But whether you’re a Sikh, a Punjab, high caste or Untouchable, this has clearly got to stop. In Remote Corners of India, Immunity for Soldiers Who Kill and Rape Civilians

Being victimized the first time was not enough for her? Reporting Rape, And Wishing She Hadn’t


We thought this was very interesting and encouraging both. Ten Inventions That Allow The Blind To ‘See’

This is so cool. A Robot With a Little Humanity

Here’s one solution to saving the planet. Scientist: Save Earth by shrinking humans — and making them hate hamburgers


Flying Spies Of The 21st Century

In 10 Years, No One In Helsinki Is Going To Own A Car

Could A Child Sex Robot Treat Pedophilia?


Lost And Found In Space

Boom In Satellite Ship Tracking

NASA To Celebrate 45th Anniversary Of First Moonwalk


Easier Ways To Protect Email From Unwanted Prying Eyes

Night Vision Fighter Helmet Unveiled

Some Universities Crack Code In Drawing Women To Computer Science



The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.


This Texas Solar Farm Uses Sheep For Its Landscaping Needs

In Iowa, Solar Is Fighting Back Against Utilities And Winning

Wasting Water In California Will Now Cost You $500

Another Reason Kelp Will Win Over Hipsters’ Hearts: Craft Beer

This Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds Of Baltimore’s Trash Per Day


I do not do well with the sin of gluttony so this is encouraging. 5 Healthy Foods You Can Easily Overeat

This is something we could probably all do better. How To Talk About Pain

Sometimes life can be a little too intense and we take on things that really don’t belong to us in the first place. This article really helped me personally. 6 Ways To Lighten The Weight Of Guilt


Doctors Use Immune Therapy Against Cervical Cancer

How Much Sugar Is Really In That? Ottawa Proposes Food Label Changes

The Little-Known Side Effect Of Sleeping Pills Women Should Be Aware Of


Stay Safe At The Pool And The Beach

Swimming: The Workout With Splash

Home, Safe Home

Summertime And Your Health


Keeping Safe And Preventing Tragedy In The Water This Summer

A Tesla For The Rest Of Us? Elon Musk Dishes On The New, Cheaper Model

Next Gold Rush: Legal Marijuana Feeds Entrepreneurs’ Dreams

Love People, Not Pleasure


BBC Photo Journeys – Top Travel Images 

Rare Whale Double-Jump Filmed In Newfoundland

Most Stunning Science Images Of The Week

BBC’s Week In Pictures


 Testament Ad Graphic


It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders. A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.

This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew. Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.

Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient. Deliver the survivors to the BellinghamRe-EducationCenter.

A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament

For a preview: Go Here

For the kindle book: ($3.99) at


Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy



If you love these big dudes (and dudettes), this will totally make your day. Rare Whale Double-Jump Filmed In Newfoundland

Here’s a chance to do something cool. This Cute Solar Puppy Needs A Name. Won’t You Help?

Now that marijuana is legal where I live, I found this especially interesting. I’m glad these pups are not out of work. Weed-Sniffing Dogs Join The Fight Against Invasive Species


Researcher Finds That Fish Are Intelligent And Feel Pain Like Humans

It’s A Boy! New European Bison Calf Thriving In The Southern Carpathians

Eighteen Baby Mountain Gorilla Given Names At 2014 Rwanda Ceremony


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Giant Rubber Duck Lost In China Flood


Amnesty International

Black Sea Agro: Agriculture In The Black Sea Region

Cream Magazine & Millennium Art Gallery

Grittv With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Outside Magazine

The SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Sierra Club

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


The Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership. If you would like to contribute, please go here

Thank you very much. Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed. Rusty


About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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