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For almost half the world’s population, water-related dreams and fears intersect in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan plateau. Other regions have their share of conflicting claims over water issues: Turkey, Syria and Iraq over the headwaters of the Tigris; Israel and its neighbours around the Jordan basin; the U.S. and Mexico over the Colorado River; the riparian states of the Paraguay, the Parana or the Nile. But none combine the same scale of population, scarcity of rainfall, dependence on agriculture, scope for mega-dam projects and vulnerability to climate change as those at stake within the greater Himalayan region. Here, glaciers and annual snowmelts feed rivers serving just under half of the world’s population, while the unequalled heights from which their waters descend could provide vast amounts of hydro-power. At the same time, both India and China face the grim reality that their economic and social achievements since the late 1940s—both ‘planned’ and ‘market-based’—have depended on unsustainable rates of groundwater extraction; hundreds of millions of people now face devastating shortages. –“The Great Himalayan Watershed,” Kenneth Pomeranz, New Left Review
The Moose Dropping festival is an annual benefit for the Talkeetna Historical Society. This year’s was the 37th celebration and residents say it drew record numbers who overwhelmed the tiny town, population 850… Things got bad at night, troopers said… Lauri Stec, a 15-year-resident of Talkeetna and the manager of Nagley’s General Store, said the weekend was not a good time. “There was a lot of drunken, high, stupid people doing stupid things.” Stec’s bicycle, always parked unlocked outside the store, was stolen. The thief “was one of those ‘groovy people,’ who pretends to be all groovy, kind and good. Well, if he was so good, why did he steal my bike?” –“Talkeetna Festival Turns to Mayhem,” Megan Holland, Anchorage Daily News
In the speech delivered to the San Juan chapter of NOW, Sotomayor said, “I want to be perfectly clear about this next comment so that there is no mistaking my words to mean something other than what they plainly say: the time has come to end white male oppression by castrating every white male until they are no longer dominant in Western culture. That means forcible removal of their testicles. I realize the brutality of my comment, and I don’t know how to say it more clearly.” –“Sonia Sotomayor,” Snopes.com
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Amount traders on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange can be fined for fighting, per punch:
Philadelphian teenagers who want to lose weight also tend to drink too much soda, whereas Bostonian teenagers who drink too much soda are likelier to carry guns.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”