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, From Olya: Human Rights in Ukraine, 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 27, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 2

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Seattle’s Aurora Bridge, scene of the most tragic motor vehicle accident in Seattle history. Photo by Rusty Miller

Seattle’s Aurora Bridge, scene of the most tragic motor vehicle accident in Seattle history. Photo by Rusty Miller


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, yet another “interesting” week.  Pope Francis spoke to the American Congress on the same day the president of China was visiting Seattle and in that city, four were killed and many more injured in a collision between a Metro bus and an amphibious vehicle used commercially to give tours of our “Emerald City.”  In the midst of it all, summer slipped away and autumn said hello.

I was as impressed as most people with Pope Francis.  But then I’ve been a fan of the Vatican for some while now.  Here is a world leader with followers all over the world who would gladly follow him into Hell if he asked them, using his considerable influence not to consolidate his empire but to help a violent and at times inexcusably self-serving species save itself from extinction.

I am also very encouraged by the improved relations between America and China.  Even as Xi Jinping left Seattle for the nation’s capital, Boeing announced that it was building a new assembly plant in China.  Seems to me I read somewhere that it’s hard to rattle a saber with one hand and do business with the other, especially when the client likely holds the bigger sword.

Four Students Die In Seattle Bus Crash pretty well covers the worst motor vehicle in our region’s history.  According to one eye-witness, the city bus lost a front wheel and careened into the path of the oncoming DUCK packed with foreign students enrolling in a new school in Seattle and enjoying a tour of their new home.  It happened on the West Coast’s major north south highway and on one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, on a clear and breath-taking day.  We are an extraordinarily empathetic and caring community.  The pall of this tragedy will linger for some while here.

Let’s hope this next week is a bit more on the inspirational side and considerably less on the tragic one, not just for Seattle, but for the world.  Take care, stay well and God Bless.



We definitely do not want to miss this.   Total Eclipse of a Super Full Moon

This is absolutely appalling when you realize we are talking about 25 percent of American college coeds.  1 in 4 Women Experience Sex Assault on Campus

This little sweetheart needs a couple of her loose nuts tightened.  Defiant Clerk Kim Davis Confiscated And Altered All The Marriage Licenses Issued While She Was In Jail


The World’s Hidden Oil Stockpiles

Obama And Putin To Hold Talks At Un

U.N. Summit Meeting On Women’s Rights Highlights More Tension Between U.S. And China

U.N. Adopts Ambitious Global Goals After Years Of Negotiations

Breakdown Of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Top Contributors To UN Peacekeeping, By Troops And Money


Nigeria Revels In Removal From List Of Polio-Endemic Nations

In South Sudan A Fragile Peace Allows Food Deliveries

Suspect Arrested In Destruction Of Monuments In Mali

Burkina Faso’s Interim President Returns To Power, Week After Coup

African Leaders Call For Reinstatement Of President Of Burkina Faso

An Apology And A Vow To End Burkina Faso Coup

Deadly Car Bombing At Somalia’s Presidential Palace Is Claimed By Shabab

Malawi: U.N. Warns Of A Food Crisis

Burkina Faso: Coup Leaders To Be Tried

Nigeria: Polio Contained, W.H.O. Says

Nigeria: Vehicles, And Camels, Banned

More Than 100 Killed By Boko Haram Bombings In Nigeria

Mediators In Burkino Faso Issue Proposals To End Strife 

Burkina Faso Military Says Ousted Leaders Have Been Released

Interim Leader Challenges Burkina Faso Military Coup

U.N.: Boko Haram Mayhem Has Displaced 1.4 Million Children

After 22 Years Of Work, Mozambique Is Free Of Land Mine Peril

Dozens Killed In South Sudan Fuel Tanker Explosion

Guards Seize Interim Leaders Of Burkina Faso, And Gunfire Is Heard

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

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Speech Turns Out To Be A Repeat


ADB Lowers Asian Growth Forecast

Esmail Kiram II, Self-Proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Dies at 75

Singapore: Air Pollution Closes Schools

Coalition Soldier in Afghanistan Dies as Insurgents Stage Rocket Attack

Ashraf Ghani, Afghan President, Vows to Crack Down on Abuse of Boys

American Is Extradited to South Korea for Trial in 1997 Murder

Two Activists Visiting U.S. Call for Rights in Hong Kong

4 Kidnapped From Resort in Southern Philippines

Letter From Asia: In Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Legacy of Soviet Rule Endures


China Factory Activity Weakens Further

Boeing To Open Assembly Plant In China

Enacting Cap-And-Trade Will Present Challenges Under China’s System

Cultural Revolution Shaped Xi Jinping, From Schoolboy To Survivor

Pentagon Says Chinese Pilot Flew Too Close To U.S. Spy Plane

China: Rights Advocate Describes Torture And Solitary Confinement

China Formally Arrests U.S. Citizen Accused Of Spying

China Pledges $2 Billion To Help Poor States Meet U.N. Goals


India Withdraws Encryption Policy

India: Deal on Training African Troops

India Retracts Proposal on Encryption for Social Media Data After Outcry


Hajj Stampede Near Mecca Leaves Over 700 Dead

Saudi King Orders Hajj Safety Review

Deadly Blasts Hit Yemen Mosque

Iran To Buy $21 Billion In Russian Space Equipment And Aircraft: Sputnik


Greece’s Tsipras ‘Vindicated’ By Victory

Video: The Warrior Cossacks Of Ukraine

European Court Adviser Calls Trans-Atlantic Data-Sharing Pact Insufficient

Ukraine To Ban Flights By Major Russian Airlines

Greek Lizards Change Their Digestive Tracts To Cope With Food Shortages


Russia Profile

Video: Why Have The Tsar’s Remains Been Exhumed?

On Syria, Putin Is Catering To An Audience At Home

Obama Set To See Putin, Though Both Deny Asking


Pope Canonises Controversial Friar


Study Suggests Tube Is ‘Too Fast’

A Novel Way Is Developed To Sniff Out How Many Harvest Mice Live In The UK

Poll: Do You Think The Government Were Right To Extend The Badger Cull Into Dorset? Cast Your Vote



Two Canadians Among Four Abducted In Philippines

Forecast For Economic Growth In 2016 Gets Gloomier
VW Canada Halts Sales Of Diesel Cars After U.S. Emissions Scandal
CN Rail Alleges Corporate Espionage In Suit Against Cp, Ex-Employee Says

Athabasca River Drought Patterns Hold Warning For Oil Producers: Study

Nine Fishing Vessel Crew Rescued From The Frigid Waters Off Baffin Island

Potty-Mouthed MP Pat Martin Apologizes For A Week Full Of ‘Intemperate’ Language

Troubled Teen Died In Care While Placed At Hotel Against B.C. Policy

TransCanada Slashing A Fifth Of Senior Staff Jobs; Warns Of More Cuts

Fahmy Enjoying Life Out Of Prison, ‘Excited’ For Life In Canada


Oregon’s Legal Sale Of Marijuana Comes With Reprieve

VW Apologizes For Emissions Blunder

The Changing Landscape Of The American West

Volkswagen C.E.O. Martin Winterkorn Resigns Amid Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen Set To Announce New Boss

Washington State Officers Are Cleared In Shooting

Police Program Aims To Pinpoint Those Most Likely To Commit Crimes  

John Boehner, House Speaker, Will Resign From Congress

Removing Wildlife From US Vegetable Crops Has Not Cut Down On Human Diseases


Even In Jail, I Will Fight For A Free Venezuela

São Paulo And Rio De Janeiro Are Expected To Ban Uber

Colombia’s President Says Peace Talks Overcame Late Surprise

Throwing The Book, Several Tons Of It, At Brazil’s Tax Code


Twelve People Rescued From Waters In The Torres Strait

UN Investigator Delays Australian Visit Over Immigration Laws



U.S. Will Accept More Refugees As Crisis Grows

Ottawa Fast-Tracks Refugee Resettlement Process

Balkan Odyssey: A Desperate Journey Through Central Europe

As Others Flee to West, Most Syrian Refugees Remain in Region

Video: Drone Footage Shows Migrants’ Arrival

Pope Urges ‘Humane’ US Migrant Response

No End In Sight To Tide Of Migrants Entering Europe, U.N. Says


Video: Who Is Xi Jinping?

Obama And Xi Jinping Of China Agree To Steps On Cybertheft

State Dinner for Xi Jinping Has High-Tech Flavor

Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle Offers Cold Shoulder to Western Officials

Xi Jinping’s U.S. Visit

Xi Jinping Hears Tough Complaints of American Business


Inside The Islamic State Kidnap Machine

Pentagon Says High-Profile Guantánamo Detainee Will Be Sent To Britain

Videos: How ISIS Recruits Around The World

The Strategy Behind the Islamic State’s Destruction of Ancient Sites

Hackers Took Fingerprints of 5.6 Million U.S. Workers, Government Says

Xi Jinping Pledges to Work With U.S. to Stop Cybercrimes

Fading Coal Industry in China May Offer Chance to Aid Climate


Pope Francis to Find a Church in Upheaval

Pope Francis Careful in Navigating Cuban Politics

Video: Pope Francis Visits: Day 2 in Cuba

Pope Francis’ Arrival In The U.S. Is A Low-Key Prelude To Pageantry

Obama Welcomes Pope Francis To US

Pope Francis, In Washington, Addresses Poverty And Climate

Video: Pope Francis Visits: Day 5

Pope Francis, in Congress, Pleads for Unity on World’s Woes

Video: Pope Francis Visits: Day 6

Pope Francis, in New York, Takes On Extremism and Inequality

Pope Francis’ Remarks to United Nations Staff

The Root Of Pope Francis’s Appeal Among Secular Sustainability Seekers

A Day For An Ecology-Minded Pope And Sustainable Development Goals

Pope Francis Skirts Environmental Tussles In Address To Congress


Beijing Puts Ball Back In Washington’s Court On Climate Change

China to Announce Cap-and-Trade Program to Limit Emissions

Global Companies Joining Climate Change Efforts

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor

hot 2015-09-26 at 13.32.06

Hello Rusty:

And as for this week, I would like to impart to you my reflections of attending an interesting meeting of an organization hosting a project called “OSCE Cafe On The Road,” which takes place September- October in 10 regional centers of Ukraine, including Kyiv.

First, it was interesting to learn more about the founding of this organization.  It began 40 years ago when East and West blocs got together during the height of the Cold War in Helsinki to discuss economical, environmental, human rights and political security questions.  I think it is significant to note that that the (former) Soviet Union was one of the initiators of these talks.

The Helsinki Accords were a great example of the transition from confrontation to cooperation for common benefit.  And as I have shared with you before my rather low opinion of foreign politics of the Cold War era, the Accords also served as an example of the sophisticated and classy level the art of diplomacy can reach. The issues and questions addressed were fundamental to human society and remain as important today as they were then.

Back to our times, the main speaker at the meeting I attended was Ursula Froese, OSCE Secretariat, Vienna.  She mentioned the Ukrainian crisis within the frame of work of the organization’s Special Monitoring Mission, which began here on March 2014.  Its first monitors to Ukraine came from Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo.

According to Ursula, the main grounds for conflict in the Ukraine were the overwhelming level of corruption and difficult social situation in the country.  It was complicated and in many cases, exacerbated by our leaders in government and industry following their own geopolitical interests and those of other nations involved, rather than what was best for the majority of Ukrainians.

 Hlib Yasnytsky, Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine, told us that the OSCE has launched a social project called National Dialogue for Reforms, Justice and Development.

Among the goals are facilitation of social dialogue, human rights violations early response as well as mediation capacity between government and society.  Of course conflict sensitive reporting, ethics standards and avoidance of hate speech are still of importance.

Ms. Froese said that the intention of OSCE is to become open to innovative ideas and to welcome to this new platform, to share thoughts and provide new vision.

At the moment among OSCE participants are 57 States and 11 Partner countries committed to dialogue

That’s it for this week.  Stay warm, Mishka.



This is truly one of those “if he can do it…” moments.  100 Years Old. 5 World Records.

Right on and “high five” LA.  Los Angeles Puts $100 Million Into Helping Homeless

I totally loved this.  The People Who Make Last Wishes Come True


There’s a room in Hell waiting for anyone who even tries to justify this.  I’ve got a feeling the Underworld is probably a little bigger than I thought.  Sigh.  US Drug Company Defends Huge Price Rise

Volkswagen US boss says ‘we screwed up’  Jeez, ya think?

US peanut boss jailed over salmonella  And feed him something made with peanuts for every meal.  But no jelly to go with.  If, after 20 years of that, he pulls this Genocide in the Second Degree horse manure again, you know for sure he’s unredeemable.


Oh oh. The Minibus That Ditches The Driver

I found this one particularly reaffirming.  The Land Of Made-Up Facts

Since I do not believe that there is a cap on technological evolution, I am skeptical of this.  Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future of Computer Chips


As Fires Grow, A New Landscape Appears In The West

The Connection Between Cleaner Air and Longer Lives

Investors Are Mining for Water, the Next Hot Commodity


Super Blood Moon To Make Last Appearance Until 2033

More Evidence For Coming Black Hole Collision

Earth Blamed For Cracks In Moon


The Prisoners Fighting Wildfires In California

Cashing In On The Robot Revolution

Aquarium Fish Health Monitor To Go On Trial »


Apple Confirms Discovery of Malicious Code in Some App Store Products

A Truly Robot-Proof Job?

Iphone 6s’s Hands-Free Siri Is An Omen Of The Future


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.


China to Announce Cap-and-Trade Program to Limit Emissions

On Sunday, Paris Goes Car-Free

California Board Backs New Limits on Carbon From Gas and Diesel


Video: Paraplegic Man Walks After Spine ‘Bypass’

A Route Of Life-Changing Moments

Paying For Two Kids At University

The Scene That Changed TV Forever

School Children Dig For Science In October



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.


Norman Rockwell, artist

Norman Rockwell, artist

Building a compassionate society benefits not only those who are newly tolerated, but also those who are newly tolerating.

Andrew Solomon

To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at


Video: Pope Francis Lands To Cheers In US

Video: A Lush Spot on the Los Angeles River

The Wild Spirit Of Oregon’s Coast


Small Testament Cover


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

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. 


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.  International clients encouraged.  If you need it done quickly, simply and for a price tailored to your budget, shoot me a brief project description at  I’ll get back to you one way or another within 24 hours. For a list of specific services provided, please go to  My name is Merritt Scott Miller and my friends and clients call me “Rusty”.  I look forward to hearing from you.


I didn’t know this.  Did you?  A Quarter of the Country’s Green Sea Turtles Call Florida Refuge Home

Good!  Costa Rica to Shield Sea Turtles

This probably comes as real good news to our readers Down Under.  New Species Of Deadly Adder Discovered In Australia


Half Of World’s Turtles Have Digested Plastic

Marine Life Numbers Fall By 50% In Just Four Decades »

Last Attempt To Save Wild Sumatran Rhinoceros From Extinction

Whalesharks: Swimming With The World’s Biggest Fish »


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 

 Helping Orphan Elephants »

How To Help Amphibians Through The Winter »

How To Help The Hedgehog

Identifying Birds And Mammals In The Field

Insider’s Guide To Treating An Injured Baboon

Koala Facts

Looking After An Orphaned Hippo

Field Guide To Lions

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


Amnesty International


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


Kayaker Gets Up Close And Personal With Killer Whales

Video: The World’s Most Instagrammed Place?

Video: Journalist Hears About Al Jazeera Pardons On Quiz Show


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



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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