The Refugee Crisis: A Front Line Report

A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest  The Magazine With Heart

A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest
The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle,  Sara’s Fullbright Year: Taichung, Taiwan, Lifestyle, Northstar Comics, Thought Of The Week, Best Of The Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up, About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

September 20, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 1

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Procession of Dukes – Dresden, Germany  Photo by Olya Bereza

Procession of Dukes – Dresden, Germany          Photo by Olya Bereza

The Refugee Crisis:  A Front Line Report

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  This edition’s front page is dedicated to the refugee crisis and belongs to our European Associate Editor, Olya Bereza,  for her report.

Hello Rusty:

Only a few people stayed unconcerned after seeing media footage of long processions of refugees heading towards Central Europe. And those strong-willed people’s chanting “Germany, Germany” is obviously not coincidental. Trying to understand how the ordinary people in this country itself see the situation I asked my acquaintance in Wuppertal to share a few words:

“We here don’t see refugees. No special problems at the moment. Germany has successfully completed this year and is able to allocate 800 million to the refugees needs, without additional cutting and investments. There is another problem. Too many people rush to the country because they are given more money here then in others.

“Obviously, Germany is not ready to absorb such a huge number of refugees. They need to be properly accommodated as here authorities follow standards. The government is building apartments and hotels for them.

“Lots of people volunteer to help, buy food, toys and clothes, even make hairdressing for free etc …. But society is divided. As for me I would prefer targeted aid as I do enjoy the European way of life. I do not want to see it changed. Many Muslims who do not live according to the German Constitution come. And some fear that ISIS will come with the refugee flow. 

“Even the local Muslim community has warned. With the criminality increases a lot of measures are operatively undertaken. Additional 3,000 new policemen is planned to be involved and till that time the army helps. They also protect refugees from those who are very much against.

“The main reason of refugee wave to Germany is that social payments here are higher. EU Commissioner offered  to equalize social benefits in Europe.”

Germans are well-known by practicality and ability to count money so I am hoping this will serve them well.  I’m sure ~ despite all panic attitudes ~ (that) this situation will be managed with great thoughtfulness.

So here is wishing Deutschland special and personal good luck.  The destiny of this nation is a part of my own.  One of my ancestors, a German engineer named Baron von Beck, was hired by Catherine the Great to help her build Russia’s first railway in the 19th Century.  And he was a good man.

I believe constructive ways out of crisis will be found.

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

THE NEWS

Some population explosions are actually good for the planet.  Baby boom: 5th new orca calf spotted off B.C. coast

This, on the other hand, does not exactly thrill me.  We have friends in neighboring countries and a staff blogger in Taiwan.  N Korea Nuclear Reactor ‘In Operation’

I totally agree with this.  When firefighters speak out on climate change, we ought to listen up

GLOBAL

Global Health: Measles Outbreak In Democratic Republic Of Congo Kills 400

AFRICA

Heavy Shooting After Burkina Faso ‘Coup’

Memo From The United Nations: As Conflicts Multiply, Peacekeeping Confronts An Identity Crisis

Central African Republic: Civilian At U.N. Is Suspected Of Abuse

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Speech Turns Out To Be A Repeat

Algerian President Fires Intelligence Chief In A Shake-Up Of Security Forces

ASIA

Video: After Nepal Quakes, Worries In The Water

Abandoning Afghan War Zone in a Perilous Quest for Europe

Malaysia Blocks Critic of Prime Minister From Taking Case to U.S.

Japan’s Parliament Approves Overseas Combat Role for Military

CHINA

Partnership Boosts Users Over China’s Great Firewall

U.S. Repatriates Fugitive Businessman Long Sought by China

Xi Jinping, Chinese Leader, Has Weighty Agenda And Busy Schedule For U.S. Visit

INDIA

India’s Lesson In Letting Go

Leader Of Protests Against Caste Quotas In India Is Detained

Letter From India: Protecting The Internet, But Depriving India’s Poor

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. And Iran Both Conflict And Converge

Russian Moves in Syria Widen Role in Mideast

Russia Plans Syria Air Base, Says US

Putin Defends Russian Military In Syria, Saying It’s Impossible To Defeat ISIL Without Propping Up Assad

U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria

EUROPE

Canadian Troops Arrive In Ukraine To Train Soldiers Fighting Separatists

Ukraine: U.S. Judge Tosses Tymoshenko Lawsuit

World Briefing: Romanian Prime Minister To Face Corruption Trial

Seljord Journal: Norway Again Embraces The Vikings, Minus The Violence

Opposition Journalists Under Assault In Turkey

RUSSIA

Russia Profile

Russian Authorities Rule Google Broke Antitrust Regulations

Putin Sees Path to Diplomacy Through Syria

THE VATICAN

A Gift To New York, In Time For The Pope

Pope Francis, On U.S. Visit, Will Reach Out To The Struggling

Pope Francis, Arriving In Cuba, Seeks To Revive Church

Feature: Life On The Papal Beat

UNITED KINGDOM

Historic Flypast For Battle Of Britain

In London, Diversity and a Great School System Go Hand in Hand (And Other News to Chew On)

Lidl To Pay Recommended Living Wage

Two Former British Foreign Ministers Are Cleared In Parliamentary Ethics Inquiry

NORTH AMERICA

CANADA

Harper Holds To Prediction Of Surplus For Current Fiscal Year

Alberta Mom Denied Marijuana Prescription For Daughter With Epilepsy Turns To Ontario Clinic

Remains Of Two-Year-Old Alberta Girl Found; Suspect In Custody

OECD Trims Canada’s Growth Outlook For This Year And Next

Canadian Leaders Debate Economy

UNITED STATES

Panel Studying Racial Divide In Missouri Presents A Blunt Picture Of Inequity

Kentucky Clerk Allows Same-Sex Licenses, But Questions Legality

US Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Immigrants Fight Texas’ Birth Certificate Rules

U.S. Said to Have Settled With G.M. Over Deadly Defect

LATIN AMERICA

Brazil Cuts Spending And Raises Taxes

Chile Quake Triggers Mass Evacuation

How Voodoo Is Rebuilding Haiti

OCEANA

Turnbull Sworn In As Australian PM

Turnbull Dumps Ministers To Make Way For Cabinet ‘Renewal’

Tiger Kills Woman At New Zealand Zoo

Man Dies, Eight In Hospital After Sydney Dance Festival Defqon.1

Woman Stabs Attacker In Face With Keys During Alleged Rape Attempt

TOPICAL

THE REFUGEE CRISIS

Germany Orders Curbs At Border In Migrant Crisis

More Border Controls As Europe Stalls On Migrant Quotas

Tough Hungary Migrant Laws Take Effect

Syrians Find Shelter In Impoverished Country On Edge Of Sahara

Croatia Closes Serbia Road Borders

UN ‘Shocked’ Over Hungary Migrant Clash

Thousands of Migrants Flood Into Austria

U.N. Funding Shortfalls And Cuts In Refugee Aid Fuel Exodus To Europe

Another Hazard For Migrants In Europe: Poisonous Mushrooms

A Belated Welcome In France Is Drawing Few Migrants

Lesbos Turns From Vacation Island To ‘Main Point Of Entry’ For Migrants

ESPIONAGE AND TERRORISM

Great Britain’s Mi5 Boss Warns Of Online Terror Risk

U.S. And China Seek Arms Deal For Cyberspace

WEATHER AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Next Two Years Hottest, Says Met Office

Flash Floods Roar Through Utah, Sweeping Up Cars And Hikers

Connected By The Climate Crisis

As Arctic Ice Melts, Orcas Move In

Study Predicts Antarctica Ice Melt If All Fossil Fuels Are Burned

FROM YOU GUYS

Hi.  This is Devon and Brenda from Fargo, North Dakota.  Somebody we know said The Northstar Journal is celebrating a birthday.  It looks like you’re eight years old now.  Seems like we’ve been reading you longer than that.  We put a dollar for every year in your sugar can.  We’d do more but you know how it is, right, Rusty? D&BM

Hi, guys and yep, I do indeed know how it is.  I’ve been so hungry in the winter that I ate one of my bootlaces and hopped through a blizzard on one foot.  I checked our mailing list and you have been with us longer than eight years.  We’re actually 11.  We started as a monthly in 1998, ran for three years, ceased publication after Shannon died, then started up again in our present reincarnation.  Thank you very much for the sentiments and the coin of the realm.  You guys take care.  Understand winter’s coming early this year to the Dakotas.  Rusty

And again, our ongoing thanks to PJ, Miles, George and the others in the neighborhood too modest to accept acknowledgment but without whose contributions, The Northstar Journal would not now nor ever would have been possible.  Your belief in us, your appreciation of our style of journalism and your patience with our often obsessive focus on coming out every week make this not a job but an honour to serve.  Rusty

GOOD EXAMPLES

Way to go you guys!  Thailand Destroys Ivory Stockpile

This person is rapidly ascending to the stature of Hero of the First Order with me.  I am convinced that even if His Imminence was not a Man of the Cloth, he would still be out there doing good things for the world.  A Humble Pope, Challenging the World

We definitely stand behind these.  Land Trusts Offer Houses That People With Lower Incomes Can Afford—And a Stepping Stone to Lasting Wealth

BAD EXAMPLES

Sometimes words nearly desert me.  This time, all the nice ones have.  Egyptian forces kill Mexican tourists

Another icon bites the dust.  VW Is Said to Cheat on Diesel Emissions; U.S. Orders Big Recall

This sounds like a Mack Sennett silent film comedy where they sling mud and throw pies at one another.  How much did they charge for admission to this particular dog and pony show?  Candidates Use Second G.O.P. Debate to Taunt Donald Trump

OUR WORLD AND BEYOND

Do not read this one too close to bed time.  Is Another Human Living Inside You?

If this is true, I want to try them.  Udacity Says It Can Teach Tech Skills To Millions, And Fast

Two centuries might be a little too long but it’s nice to know how in case I change my mindThe Secrets Of Living To 200

HERE ON EARTH

Europe’s Surprising Dive Hotspot

The World’s Best Place To See Stars

Video Retrieved From Balloon That Soared To Nearly 100,000 Feet Above Grand Canyon

OUTER SPACE

More Evidence For Coming Black Hole Collision

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ Rocket Company, To Launch From Florida

NASA’s Next Horizon In Space

FROM JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE

These Public Libraries Are For Snowshoes And Ukuleles

Study Finds Snowpack In California’s Sierra Nevada To Be Lowest In 500 Years

Deadly Flood In Utah Blurs Town’s Religious Divisions, Even As Grief Highlights Them

OTHER TECHNOLOGY

Which Jobs Will Robots Steal First?

NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY IMAGES

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.

THE GREEN AGENDA

Boston Enlivens City Hall Plaza by Rolling Out Green Carpet

Deforestation Is Decreasing But More Needs To Be Done Say Conservationists

UW Researchers Build Wearable Sensor That Could Help People Shrink Their Carbon Footprint

How Obama’s New EPA Regs Can Bring More Local Control Over Energy—Even in Red States

Court Says Chevron Can Be Pursued In Canada Over Ecuadorean Damage

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

Is Sparkling Water Bad For You?

Antidepressant Paxil Is Unsafe for Teenagers, New Analysis Says

The Eight-Glass Myth: We Don’t Really Need To Be Drinking All That Water

The Good Life For Less Than $1,000

Surgeon General’s Prescription For Health: Walk More

Why Do You Get ‘Brain Freeze’?

SARA’S FULLBRIGHT YEAR:  TAICHUNG, TAIWAN by Sara Goldstein

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We are now 3 weeks into the school year! I have been so very welcomed by everyone at Chong Qing, and now that all of the students know me a little bit more, they call out “Teacher Sara!!” when they see me in the halls 🙂 Chong Qing is a wonderful school with a strong emphasis on and regard for English language learning. I teach all students in Grades 1-5 (the school has students up to Grade 6), two weekly storytelling periods for Grades 1-2, and a weekly “English Conversation” period for teachers and staff.

Half of the school building is currently under construction, so this semester we (the 5 of us English teachers) do not yet have our own classrooms and we go around to teach in the students’ homeroom classes.  This has its ups and downs; I love having a desk in the middle of a busy office where I can be a part of things, but I also look forward to settling into a classroom and being able to display student work. Overall it has been a wonderful first three weeks and I am very happy to have been placed at this school!

This is the school’s website: http://www.cges.tc.edu.tw/

Here is the website in English: http://www.cges.tc.edu.tw/english/index.html

For more of this exceptional narrative please go here

NORTHSTAR COMICS

We’ve collected what we consider the most wholesome, family-oriented and genuinely humorous comic strips we could find on the Net.  They include:  Adam@Home, Calvin & Hobbes, Emmylou, For Better or For Worse, Foxtrot Classics, Garfield, Get Fuzzy, and Peanuts.  Either click the banner or this link.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

Shana Tova~apple

I have striven not to laugh at human actions,  not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them.

Baruch Spinoza

To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at SpringggRain@aol.com

BEST OF THE NET

On Patrol With the Black Mambas –Portraits of a majority-female South African anti-poaching squad.

12 Photos That Capture The Beauty Of Cheshire In Autumn

The Globe In Croatia: Mark Mackinnon Walks With Refugees

We highly recommend this.  Take a journey with the young people in your life. Go all over the world and meet endangered animals through this interactive storybook app for your tablet.  World Wildlife Foundation Explore!

FROM NORTHSTAR

Small Testament Cover

WRATH OF THE USS TESTAMENT

A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall.  The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust.  Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose.  A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  Now available in both paperback and Kindle at amazon.com

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THE BACK COUNTRY GALLERY’S new free monthly nature wallpaper is available here.  Lens jockey Steve Perry also has a newsletter offering a great deal of cool stuff for wildlife photographers, amateur and professional, alike. 

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NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES  — Whatever your editing, writing, tutoring or consulting needs, chances are, I can handle them.  Negotiable rates, flexible payment plan, Paypal and from your email to me and back.  Simple, friendly, professional.  I also accept barter and trade. and international clients are encouraged.  If you need it done quickly, simply and for a price tailored to your budget, shoot me a brief project description at minstrel312@aol.com  I’ll get back to you one way or another within 24 hours. For a list of specific services provided, please go to http://nstarmed.wordpress.com My name is Merritt Scott Miller and my friends and clients call me “Rusty”.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

This is reassuring, especially probably to baby cowbirds.  Female Cowbirds Found To Be Better Mothers Than Previously Thought

Why is this not surprising?  I’m betting the same is true of humans.  Elephant Offspring Of Stressed Mothers Age Faster And Produce Fewer Young

This is good news.  Celebrating Three Javan Rhino Calves

SHORTS

Red Squirrels To Benefit From A £1.2m National Lottery Grant

Three Critically Endangered Javan Rhinoceros Calves Spotted In Indonesia

Elephant Offspring Of Stressed Mothers Age Faster And Produce Fewer Young

NORTHSTAR ALL CREATURES LIBRARY

Aging A Whale Or Dolphin

Animal Daily News – National Geographic

Attracting Wildlife To Your Garden

Chameleons In Madagascar Facts

Creating A Wood

Discover Kielder: A Guide To This Magical Forest

Dive Sites In The World – 50 Best

Diving With Marine Wildlife

How To Help The Hedgehog

How To Help Amphibians Through The Winter 

Identifying Birds And Mammals In The Field

Insider’s Guide To Treating An Injured Baboon

Koala Facts

Looking After An Orphaned Hippo

A Spotter’s Guide To Mustelids

Red Panda Facts

Rehabilitating An Ex-Circus Lion

Relocating Giraffes

Responsible Tiger Watching

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Whale Sharks – A Field Guide

White Rhino Facts

Wildlife Finder – BBC

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL ENDORSES:

Amnesty International

Ecofinder-Kenya

Grittv With Laura Flaunders

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

Mother Nature Network

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Outside Magazine

SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living

Sierra Club

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Video: Two Years To Find ‘Missing’ Space Balloon

Handcuffed for Making Clock, Ahmed Mohamed, 14, Wins Time With Obama

VIDEO: Kayak Couple Survives Whale Encounter


2013 Face shot with glassesABOUT US

The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceana.  We also have a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  While we occasionally accept classified advertising, we are otherwise entirely reader-supported. If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here  For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us at minstrel312@aol.com

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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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