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California Camp Fire November 2018: survivor’s stories


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Survivors' story: Jeff Evans' Home Survived Camp Fire Nov 8 2018
"I inherited 11 dogs... my world changed pretty dramatically. I can't leave with 11 dogs. So I stayed here" in the Evacuation Zone.
59-year-old Jeff Evans and his parents, who live with him, told me his house survived unscathed, but his neighbors were not so lucky.
The Camp Fire in Northern California incinerated entire towns. More than 13,000 single-family homes were destroyed in the blaze.

California Camp Fire ravages town of Paradise, destroying more than 6,500 structures
Homes destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.
Trees survived.

Fierce winds picked up in the Sierra foothills that morning, fueling the most destructive fire in California history, which has burned nearly 10,000 homes, killed at least 71 people and left more than 1,000 unaccounted for.

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Photo courtesy NPR and Newsweek

Parking lesson turns into swimming lesson - for the car

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A lesson on how to park a car somehow turned into a swim at the community pool.
Maryland’s Montgomery County Fire and Rescue service says it found a car sitting in the middle of a city’s pool over the weekend following a "driver error" during parking practice session.
Photographs posted on Twitter showed the car halfway submerged in the pool at the North Creek Community Center - which had been closed for the season.

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Photo courtesy Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service

One of The Few: 99-year-old WWii ace pilot takes to the skies in a Spitfire ahead of 78th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day


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A hero Battle of Britain pilot has taken to the skies at the tender age of 99 for the last time - in a Spitfire.
World War II ace Archie McInnes is one of only six surviving RAF pilots who took part in the vital Battle of Britain - known as The Few.

The war hero took to the skies above Kent last week in a refurbished Second World War Spitfire - accompanied by the plane he flew during the war.

The flight was organised and photographed by pal Jonny Cracknell, working alongside the Battle of Britain Museum. Jonny said: 'There are only eight Battle of Britain airmen left, and out of them, Archie is the most active.

There are only six pilots and two aircrew left out of the thousands of heroes who risked everything to protect Britain from the Nazis.

Archie joined the RAF in 1938, the year before the war, and completed pilot training in August, 1940.

After the Battle of Britain ended, on Ocotber 31, 1940, Archie's illustrious career took him on board HMS Victorious - where he was part of the team that hunted the Bismarck.

Archie then took part in the North African campaign, where he was shot down and lost his arm.

Pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain are known as 'The Few' after an iconic speech by then-PM Winston Churchill: 'Never was so much owed by so many to so few.'

The flight was organised ahead of the 78th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day, on September 15.

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10000 mile chase of world most notorious poaching vessel "Thunder". Sea Shepherd's 110day " Ocean Warriors: Chasing the Thunder"


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Ocean Warriors: Chasing the Thunder is a Vulcan Productions high-seas documentary about the Sea Shepherd’s epic 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of the "Thunder," considered the world’s most notorious poaching vessel. Across two seas and three oceans, the marine activists hunted the fugitive fishing ship through massive ice floes, storms-tossed seas, a near collision and violent clashes until the Thunder dramatically sank, burying the evidence of its crimes on the bottom of the South Atlantic.

The chase of the Thunder started in the "Shadowlands", the ice fields of the Southern Ocean, and lasted 110 days. From beginning to end it was a harrowing journey. Captain Peter Hammarstedt and his team faced daunting odds but surged forward.

Captain Sid Chakravarty, Captain Hammarstedt and the rest of the crew have worked aboard the Sea Shepherd to fight illegal fishing and help save our ocean’s wildlife. "For the past 10 years, Sea Shepherd has been defending whales in the Southern Ocean," said Hammarstedt. "This year we’re defending Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish." Toothfish are coveted by poachers because they are known as Chilean Sea Bass in restaurants throughout the north. They are flaky, delicious and very expensive. "The fact that these fish live in the most remote waters in the world makes these poachers feel like they can get away with anything," said Chakravarty. Captain Chakravarty ultimately joined the mission with his additional Sea Shepherd vessel.  read more »

23 Jan 1368. Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to throne of China as Hongwu Emperor, founding Ming Dynasty that would last for 3 centuries

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23 January 1368 In a coronation ceremony, Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries.

The Hongwu Emperor (21 October 1328 - 24 June 1398), personal name Zhu Yuanzhang, was the founder and first emperor of China's Ming dynasty.

In the middle of the 14th century, with famine, plagues, and peasant revolts sweeping across China, Chu Yuan chang rose to command the force that ended the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, forcing the Mongols to retreat to the Central Asian steppes.

Zhu was born into a desperately poor peasant tenant farmer family. He had seven older siblings, several of whom were "given away" by his parents, as they did not have enough food to support the family. When he was 16, severe drought ruined the harvest where his family lived. Subsequently, famine killed his entire family, except one of his brothers.

Destitute, Zhu accepted a suggestion to take up a pledge made by his brother and became a novice monk. He did not remain there for long, as the monastery ran short of funds, and he was forced to leave.

For the next few years, Zhu led the life of a wandering beggar and personally experienced and saw the hardships of the common people. After about three years, he returned to the monastery and stayed there until he was around 24 years old. He learned to read and write during the time he spent with the Buddhist monks.  read more »

Chivalry returns amidst Hurricane Harvey's record-breaking floods: 20+ trillion gallons of rain on Texas. "Sep 3, Day of Prayer"

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Hurricane Harvey wreaks historic devastation: By the numbers
The remnants of Hurricane Harvey continued to dump rain on several southern states nearly a week after making landfall in Texas as the most powerful storm to hit the mainland in over a decade.

Harvey's torrential rain, devastating winds and widespread flooding have so far cost at least 39 lives, driven over one million people to evacuate their homes in Texas and caused extensive destruction that will likely make it one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

Here is a look at the storm's historic devastation, by the numbers:

More than 20 trillion gallons: That's the total amount of rain that fell across Texas and Louisiana, a staggering deluge that represents enough water to supply New York City's needs for over five decades.

$125 billion: Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said his state will need federal relief money "far in excess" of that total. Moody’s Analytics has estimated $97 billion in destruction alone and some $108 billion in total damages counting lost output.

51.88 inches: The amount of rain recorded at Cedar Bayou on the outskirts of Houston in just under five days, marking a new record for the heaviest rainfall for a storm in the continental U.S., according to the National Weather Service.

3: The number of times Harvey made landfall– twice as a hurricane in Texas and once more as a tropical storm in southwestern Louisiana.

185,149: Homes estimated to be damaged or destroyed by Harvey, according to Friday’s data from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.  read more »

Lost £6.5million fortune, found paradise: 20yrs alone with his dog on island, calling himself'luckiest bloke in world'

Natural paradise: real-life Robinson Crusoe reveals 20 years alone on a desert island after losing his fortune has a surprising upside
David Glasheen, 73, lives happily on Restoration Island, off North East Australia, with his dog Polly. The former millionaire moved to the idyllic island in May 1997 after losing his fortune in the stock exchange crash of 1987.

The ex-gold mining tycoon and property magnate, who at his most successful was worth an estimated £22million, now lives in a wooden beach shack with only his loyal dog Polly for company.

But despite having limited electricity, fresh water and facing regular battles against deadly wildlife, the bearded exile insists he feels safe on the island.

Self-sufficient David, who was born in Sydney’s Northern Beaches to an Irish family, added there is nowhere he’d rather be than on his "heaven on earth" natural paradise.

He said: "I want to die here - where else would I? This is my heaven on earth.
When I came here I was sick of money - money is what makes people sick - and my marriage had broken apart."

The wilderness was named by famous seafarer Captain Bligh, who stopped at the island to restore his crew's health in 1789 after a mutiny on board the ill-fated Bounty.  read more »

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