The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart News & Commentary; From Olya ~ A Huge Grey City At Dusk ; New to Northstar: Meade Travels ~ Adventure Photography;; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health, Lifestyle;  Thought of the Week; Best Of The Net; All Creatures Great & Small; Northstar Endorses; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart
News & Commentary; From Olya ~ A Huge Grey City At Dusk ; New to Northstar: Meade Travels ~ Adventure Photography;; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health, Lifestyle; 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

100% Reader Supported.  Donations Accepted Here.

February 21, 2016  Vol. 9 No. 193  438th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Russian Patriarch Kirill in Antarctica.  Photo courtesy of the Moscow Times

Russian Patriarch Kirill in Antarctica. Photo courtesy of the Moscow Times


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  I have been ~ as most of you know ~ a journalist for about 37 years, total.  In that time, I have seen many strange and wonderful things.  I have also seen the darker side of the human condition, both as a crime reporter and as a warrior in a forgotten American conflict.

It takes, therefore, a great deal to impress me and this does, although I am not entirely certain why.

Russia’s Patriarch Kirill Meets Penguins, Holds Service in Antarctica

I have never met this Russian Patriarch person, but our European editor holds him in high regard, as I do Pope Francis.  Olya wrote last week of the monumental significance of these two religious leaders meeting.  I am impressed with the numbers.

According to an extremely well annotated Wikipedia source, the western Church has 1.1 billion adherents; the Eastern, 225 – 300 million.  As of this writing, the world’s human population stands at about 7.4 billion.  I am no rocket scientist but it looks like we are talking about a third of all the people on the planet.

These two men ~ elected by their peers ~ have larger “constituencies” than any leader in the history of humankind.   And Catholics are everywhere.   And everywhere they are, there are the powerful, the comfortable, the marginal and the poor.  Some are free.  Others are not.

But they are all Catholic and I find it very significant that both the Patriarch and the Pope are in the Latin American part of the Western Hemisphere.  They are addressing the human condition and “asking” for change, not just for their adherents but for all human beings.  And not just in the name of God but in a blunt and sometimes angry appeal to fundamental human decency.

I am not surprised they are making headlines.  I am glad.

Have a great week, gang.


To comment, email us at  To contribute to the next edition, please go here.


This is close to home and you’ll understand why we led with it this time.  Elwha: Roaring Back To Life

For a “lame duck” president, he is making a lot of wild creatures very happy these days.  With 3 New Monuments, Obama Creates World’s Second-Largest Desert Preserve

And some people wonder why I believe in a self-correcting universe.  Nature’s Victories Buck The Trend



Four Oil Producers Agree Output Freeze As Long As Others Agree.

Over Half The World’s Population Suffers From ‘Severe’ Water Scarcity, Scientists Say

More Than 5 Million People Will Die From A Frightening Cause: Breathing

The Blob Is Dead, Scientists Declare


Bangkok Blast Suspects Plead Not Guilty

Paracels Build-Up a Pointer to China’s Broader South China Sea Ambitions

Afghan Troops Retreat Under Pressure From Taliban

Russia Pulls Back From Cooperating With U.S. On Afghanistan

Hospital Raid By Afghan Forces Is Said To Kill At Least 3

Afghanistan: Red Cross Halts Work In Ghazni Province After Kidnappings

Afghanistan’s Crippled Power Grid Exposes Vulnerability Of Besieged Capital

Missiles Deployed On Disputed South China Sea Island, Officials Say

As Demographics In Cambodia Shift, Youth Seek Political Change

Chinese Missiles In South China Sea Underscore A Growing Conflict Risk


China Deploys Missiles On Contested Island In South China Sea ~ U.S. Official Confirms ‘Apparent Deployment’

Chinese Securities Regulator Is Out, But Little May Change

New Chinese Rules on Foreign Firms’ Online Content

China Labels Protesters ‘Radical Separatists,’ And They Agree

Speak Uighur? Have Good Vision? China’s Security Services Want You

Behind Chinese Leader’s Warm Visit, A Cold Reality

China’s New Wedding Vows: To Have, Hold And Not Violate National Interests

China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Dwindling Rapidly

China Telescope To Displace 9,000 Villagers In Hunt For Extraterrestrials


India to Change Its Decades-Old Reliance on Female Sterilization

Video: India School Attack Leopard Escapes

Fighting Truancy Among India’s Teachers, With A Pistol And A Stick

India: Protests Spread After An Arrest

Indian Army Deploys To Quell Protests, Water Cut To Delhi


Devastating Drought Threatens To Unravel Economic Growth In Africa

Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry Redefines African Life

Video: Mozambique Army ‘Raped My Neighbour’

Major Ivory Trafficking Network Broken Up

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s President, Wins A Widely Criticized Election

Libya: America’s First, And Latest, Target

Serbian Hostages Killed In U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS In Libya

Former Prime Minister Wins Central African Republic’s Presidential Runoff

Middle East

Syria Air Strike Destroys MSF Hospital

Israel Ex-PM Olmert Begins Jail Term

Syrian Government Advances Near Aleppo, Helped By Russians

Agreement Clears The Way For Airdrops Of Humanitarian Aid In Syria 

U.S. Expands Restrictions On Visa-Waiver Program For Visitors

Aid Deliveries Begin To 5 Besieged Syrian Towns

3 Americans Kidnapped In Baghdad Are Released

U.S. Had Cyberattack Plan If Iran Nuclear Dispute Led To Conflict

Baghdad Journal: After 25 Years Of U.S. Role In Iraq, Scars Are Too Stubborn To Fade

Israeli Officers Briefly Detain Two Journalists

U.N. Says Aid Delivery Near In Syria For 5 Towns

Young Saudis See Cushy Jobs Vanish Along With Nation’s Oil Wealth

How A Reporter’s Quest For Online Bargains Led To A Network Of Syrian Contacts

Persian (Or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught In The Middle Of Regional Rivalries


Chelyabinsk Meteor Mystery 3 Years Later

Derbent Journal: Derbent As Russia’s Oldest City? Think Again, Moscow Says

6 Ways To Justify Online Gaming As ‘Learning About Russia’

Sochi Olympics Cost Russia $19 Billion, Not $3 Billion – Bank Chief

Moscow’s Telephone Terrorist Is Arkhangelsk Prisoner

Center For Refugee Children Evicted From Moscow Premises

Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport Not Affected By Owner’s Arrest

Russian Duma Introduces Amendment Defining ‘Political Activity’ To Ngo Law

6 Times Patriarch Kirill Entertained The Runet This Week

Russia And Poland Compromise On Truck Dispute


Ankara Bombing Underscores Border Fears As Turkey Pushes For Buffer Zone

Cameron Eu Talks Continue Through Night

Divided Britain To Decide On Whether To Leave The E.U.

After Paris Terror Attacks, France Struggles With Faith On The Job

Kosovo Opposition Releases Tear Gas In Parliament

European Union Struggling With How To Keep Britain In The Fold

Ukraine: UNICEF Warns Of Conflict’s Toll On Children

Ukraine: Governing Coalition Splinters

Ukraine: Unicef Warns Of Conflict’s Toll On Children

Ukraine: Governing Coalition Splinters

Video Found In Belgium Of Nuclear Official May Point To Bigger Plot

Spanish Unit Of China’s Icbc Raided In Money Laundering Case
Italian Senate Puts Off Vote On Civil Unions Bill

Muslims In France Say Emergency Powers Go Too Far

The Vatican

‘Intense’ John Paul II Letters Revealed

Video: Mexican Crowd Prompts Pope Rebuke

Francis Says Contraception Can Be Used To Slow Zika

Pope Francis Wades Into U.S. Immigration Morass With Border Trip

Pope’s Presence Crosses Border Into U.S., Even If He Doesn’t

Live Coverage: Pope Francis Visits U.S. – Mexico Border

United Kingdom

PM Visits Brussels For Crucial EU Talks

Divided Britain To Decide On Whether To Leave The E.U.

How To Speak Like A True Brit

In Britain, A Green Utility Company Sees Winds Of Change


Food Is The New Steel At Hamilton’s Lake Ontario Ports

UN High Commissioner Praises Ottawa’s Effort To Address Issues

Ottawa’s Record Snow Day: Three Ways Of Picturing White Tuesday’s Aftermath

Bombardier To Cut 7,000 Jobs; Wants Federal Aid Despite Air Canada Order

Farming Project Aims To Help Canadian Veterans Adjust To Civilian Life

United States

Lincoln Memorial to Get Major Renovation

For 45 Years in Prison, Louisiana Man Kept Calm and Held Fast to Hope

Storm Water, Long a Nuisance, May Be a Parched California’s Salvation

Latin America

Obama ‘To Make Historic Cuba Visit’

Video: Mudslides Destroy Homes In Peru

Price of Gas Skyrockets in Venezuela (to 38 Cents a Gallon)

Bolivia To Vote On Term Limits Amid Growing Doubts About Its President

Argentina Battles Major Outbreak Of Dengue As Mosquito Population Swells

Colombia: Chief Of Police Steps Down

Bolivia: Demonstrators Set Deadly Fire

Pact On U.S.-Cuba Flights Reopens Battle For Seized Property

Oceana & Polynesia

Australian Police Find $1.24 Billion Of Meth Hidden In Push-Up Bra Inserts, Art Supplies

Australian Town Overtaken By Huge Clouds Of Tumbleweed Called ‘Hairy Panic’

Fiji Declares A State Of Natural Disaster After Fierce Cyclone


Climate Change & Weather

Wind Chill On New York Mountain Hits A Frigid Minus 114 Degrees

This Is Where The Earth Is Most Vulnerable To Big Swings In Climate

Scientists Are Floored By What’s Happening In The Arctic Right Now

Earth Sets 9th Straight Monthly Heat Record

In Zika Epidemic, a Warning on Climate Change

Espionage And Terrorism

Canadian Businessman Salim Alaradi On Trial In Abu Dhabi In Terror Case

US Hospital Held To Ransom By Hackers

ISIS ‘Increases Use Of Child Soldiers’

Refugee Crisis

Austria Daily Migrant Cap Begins


NIH Officials Accelerate Timeline For Human Trials Of Zika Vaccine, Saying They Will Now Begin In The Summer

U.S., Brazilian Officials Say No Scientific Basis For Theory That Chemicals — Rather Than The Zika Virus — Is To Blame For Birth Defects

In New Advisory, WHO Warns Pregnant Women Against Travel To Zika-Affected Countries

In Zika Epidemic, A Warning On Climate Change

W.H.O. Advises Caution, but Not a Halt, in Blood Collection in Zika-Affected Areas


A Cup of Turkish coffee, made by Olya

A Cup of Turkish coffee, made by Olya


Hi Расти:

Among other news, this one deserves attention:  Refugee Crisis: Joint Action With Turkey The Priority, Says Merkel, As Summit Called

I remember wintry Istanbul, having been there once. The flight landed and outside it was nasty wet weather. From the rainy window of a taxi, it was a huge grey city in the dusk.  The next day, snow fell. Being for the first time in an unknown city was an adventurous time, even for those who were sheltered from the weather itself.

According to the Guardian article cited above, “more than two million refugees are on Turkish soil, most of them from Syria”.

Besides Turkey’s refugee wave, the country is facing another dilemma, the tension with Turkish Kurds.  The Guardian analyzed this in an article headlined Erdogan Must Drop Personal Ambition And Ease Tensions With Turkey’s Kurds

Recently on an international networking party, in a talk with a man from Ankara, I was told tourists should be careful visiting country at the moment and try to stick to guarded areas during visit.

Even though lunch in a seaside restaurant on the shores of the magnificent Bosporus is a real treat for those who like new experiences, probably it can be postponed for safer times.

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

Olya Bereza, European Editor  To comment for publication, email her c/o 


Where has one of North America’s foremost kayaking photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting?  Yep, find out here.  This is a Northstar Journal Five Star Recommendation.


Stop feeding it and it may die.  U.S. Closing A Loophole On Products Tied To Slaves

We totally applaud this.  Helping Homeless Artists Turn Around Their Fortunes

This is absolutely inspiring.  How Ordinary Germans Defied Hitler

To comment, email us at 


This needs to be reversed and not tomorrow.  Canada experiencing alarming growth in child homelessness

So does this.  Sexual misconduct: The Canadian Forces’ toughest battle is culture change

Allah must certainly be weeping.  I am.  ISIS beheads 15-year-old Iraqi boy for listening to pop music

More Bad Examples

The ‘Lord Of The Flies’ Bullying Case That’s Sending Three Chinese ‘Parachute Kids’ To Calif. Prison

‘Slaps On The Wrist’ For White Men Who Watched Friend Throw Black Man Onto Train Tracks

S.F. ‘Tech Bro’ Writes Open Letter To Mayor: ‘I Shouldn’t Have To See The Pain, Struggle, And Despair Of Homeless People’, ‘Riff Raff’

To comment, email us at 


Help EarthSky Keep Going and Growing! — Hi, y’all.  We’re back with our yearly fund-raiser, hoping once again to convince you we need and deserve your support!

Stronger Laws To Protect Chimpanzees

Tell Congress: Support The Paris Climate Agreement


This does not, I suspect, bode well.  After Computer Hack, L.A. Hospital Pays $17,000 In Bitcoin Ransom To Get Back Medical Records

This is fascinating.  Protecting The World’s Largest Wetland

Congratulations!  This Montreal Astrophysicist Is The First Woman To Win Canada’s Top Science Prize


Do We Know What Dinosaurs Looked Like?

Meet The Giant, Flightless Bird That Once Roamed Arctic Swamps

Ancient, Unknown Species Of Flower Found Locked Away In Amber

Is This A Mayan Bugs Bunny?

How Much Warmer Was Your City In 2015?


Video: Timelapse Shows Virgin Galactic Space Ship

Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory

So You Wanna Be A NASA Astronaut? Pretty Unlikely

Ninth Planet May Exist Beyond Pluto, Scientists Report


In A Spin: Tim Peake Demos Gyroscope

Full Article Why The Brain Is A Marvel Of Evolution

Lasers To Detect Car Pollution Culprits


Organic Meat and Milk Higher in Healthful Fatty Acids

Alaska’s ‘Microgrids’ Offer A Prototype For Powering The World

Why The U.S. Is Cutting Carbon Emissions No Matter What Happens With The Supreme Court

Simple Changes To Save Energy And Prosper Economically

Learning To Recycle In Switzerland, And Paying For It


11 Cancer-Causing Household Items to Remove From Your Home

How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body

Which Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?

Early Behavior Therapy Found to Aid Children With A.D.H.D.

The Hidden Health Consequences Of How We Design Our Homes


How The Cow Who Got Away Steers Our Understanding

The Quest For Cleaner Fire: Why It’s Time To Rethink Our Favourite Way To Get Warm

The World’s Coolest Jobs?

What Is A ‘Normal’ Sex Life?

Joining A Book Club, Church Or Sports Group Linked To Longer Life After Retirement


Important things

Recommended by my younger ever-intriguing international development and social change/ community development and planning daughter:  This is really interesting. It’s a set of thought-provoking pictures and comments, just a couple of minutes to see the whole thing:

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


The World’s Best News Photographs, Picked From 82,951 Submissions By 5,775 Photographers

A Carnivore Researcher, A Wildlife Photographer, And The Amazing Camera Trap Images From Their Teamwork In Namibia

12,000-Year-Old Village Discovered Near The Sea Of Galilee Reveals Humanity’s Shift To Agriculture



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


Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display

Editing ~ General and International

Online English Tutoring

“Americanization” of International Websites

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Special Projects

Negotiable rates, flexible financing, payment via Paypal for international clients, Paypal, email or direct deposit for US.  Email me at and I will reply within 24 hours. For my background and other 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.


This will move you to tears, trust me.  Homeless woman wants her dog to have better life

This, to me, is awesome.  In the heart of southern Africa, five countries have united to secure a vast landscape for wildlife and improve people’s lives

This is amazing.  Feasting In The Floods


How A Black-Footed Ferret Release At Fort Belknap Reservation Helps The Endangered Mammals Gain New Ground

The World’s Last Wild Population Of Javan Rhinos—And World Wildlife Foundation’s Two-Pronged Plan To Save Them

Rare Salamander Lays Eggs In Slovenia Cave

Fat Cats On A Diet: Will They Still Love You?

First Twins Born To Habituated Gorillas

Lifeform Of The Week: Armadillos


Amnesty International



GritTV With Laura Flaunders

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

Mother Nature Network

National Wildlife Federation

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Ocean Conservancy

Outside Magazine

The Rainforest Site

SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living

Sierra Club

Sightline Institute

The Sun Magazine

Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Extra Magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

YES magazine


Are These Weird Clouds ‘Sonic Booms’?

Knife-wielding monkey terrorizes Brazilian bar after guzzling some rum

The Man Who Could Stop Planes


Okay, before you go, I want to tell you about a weekly magazine and ask you a question.  This is a well-crafted publication draws its news and information from over two dozen different sources world-wide.  It also includes:

  1. News analysis and commentary with heart and humor
  2. Practical Living Information on Health & Lifestyle
  3. Educational Information on Science and Environmentalism
  4. Entertainment via Best of the Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Thought of the Week and You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up
  5. It is a magazine which can be read together as a family
  6. It is a total interactive experience you can put down for awhile and then return to for more.
  7. All it costs is what you think it is worth.

My question to you then is, how much would you pay to read a magazine like this?

Yep, I just described the Northstar Journal.  If you’d like to SHOW how much you’d pay to read a publication like this, here’s your chance.  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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