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Thousands in Hawaii Flock to Watch Lava Ooze from Volcano

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Thousands in Hawaii Flock to Watch Lava Ooze from Volcano

The world’s largest volcano in Hawaii erupted with rivers of glowing lava on Wednesday, attracting thousands of awestruck onlookers who clogged a highway that the flow could soon bury.

Mauna Loa awoke from its 38-year slumber on Sunday, sending volcanic ash and debris into the sky. A major highway connecting towns on the Big Island’s east and west coasts became an impromptu viewing point, with thousands of cars jamming the highway near Volcanoes National Park.

Anne Andersen left her overnight shift as a nurse on Wednesday to witness the spectacle, fearing that the road would soon be closed.

“It’s Mother Nature showing us her face,” she said as the horizon was filled with gas from the volcano. “It’s quite exciting.”

Gordon Brown, a visitor from Loomis, California, could see the bright orange lava from his rental house’s bedroom. So he went out with his wife to get a better look.

“We just wanted to get as close to this as possible.” “And it’s so bright that it blows my mind,” Brown explained.

Thousands in Hawaii Flock to Watch Lava Ooze from Volcano

The lava was tumbling down the slope slowly and was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the Saddle Road highway. It was unclear when or if the road, which runs through old lava flows, would be covered.

The road cuts the island in half and connects Hilo and Kailua-Kona. If Saddle Road becomes impassable, people traveling between them would have to take a longer coastal road, adding several hours to their drive time.

According to Ken Hon, chief scientist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, at the current flow rate, the lava could reach the road in two days, but it will most likely take longer.

“As the lava flow spreads out, it will most likely obstruct its progress,” Hon predicted.

Kathryn Tarananda, 66, of Waimea, set two alarms to ensure she didn’t oversleep and miss the sunrise against Mauna Loa’s eruptions.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “We’re in the middle of nowhere. Incredibly, we live in this place. “I consider myself extremely fortunate to be an islander.”

Mauna Loa erupted last in 1984. The current eruption is the 34th recorded since written records began in 1843. Because Kilauea, its smaller neighbor, has been erupting since September 2021, visitors to the national park were treated to the rare sight of two concurrent eruptive events: the glow from Kilauea’s lava lake and lava from a Mauna Loa fissure.

Thousands in Hawaii Flock to Watch Lava Ooze from Volcano

The natural forces on display impressed Abel Brown, a visitor from Las Vegas. Later in the day, he intended to take a close-up helicopter tour — but not too close.

“If you get close to it, there’s a lot of fear and trepidation,” Brown said. “The closer you get, the more powerful and frightening it becomes.”

Officials were initially concerned that lava flowing down Mauna Loa would threaten the South Kona community, but scientists later assured the public that the eruption had migrated to a rift zone on the volcano’s northeast flank and was no longer a threat.

Along Saddle Road, where people were watching the wide stream of lava creep closer, the smell of volcanic gases and sulfur was strong.

Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation to allow responders to arrive quickly and, if necessary, to limit access.

Thousands in Hawaii Flock to Watch Lava Ooze from Volcano

Ige, who has dealt with numerous volcano eruptions during his eight years as governor, believes it is impossible to divert Mauna Loa’s molten rock away from the highway.

“There is no physical or technological way to change the path of the lava,” Ige said at a press conference. He recalls wishing he could do that in 2018 when Kilauea erupted and poured lava across homes, farms, and roads.

“But, as we saw in that event, Mother Nature’s and Madam Pele’s power overwhelms anything we can do,” Ige said, referring to the Hawaiian deity of volcanoes and fire.

Ige stated that if lava does cross the highway, the Hawaii National Guard could assist in planning alternatives and attempting to establish bypass routes.

According to Hon, lava crossed the Mauna Loa Observatory access road Monday night and cut power to the facility. It is the world’s most advanced station for measuring heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The federal government is looking for a temporary alternate location on the Hawaiian island and is considering flying a generator to the observatory to restore power so that measurements can be taken again.

Meanwhile, scientists are attempting to quantify the gas emitted by the eruption.

VOR News

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THAILAND: Rescue Dig Saves Toddler Trapped In Well For One Night

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BANGKOK, Thailand — A 19-month-old girl fell into a dry artesian well shaft at a cassava farm in northern Thailand 18 hours before she was saved. It took rescuers all night to get her out.

Rescuers clapped and cheered as the toddler, the daughter of Myanmar migrant workers, was pulled from the 15-meter (49-foot)-deep well shaft and placed on a stretcher that carried her to an ambulance waiting nearby.

“You guys did an excellent job. “We did it!” exclaimed one rescuer as his colleagues wept and hugged each other in Tak province’s Phop Phra district.

While her parents were working at the plantation, the child fell into the hole late Monday afternoon.

thailand rescue

Rescuers In Thailand Were On The Scene Quickly

The deep pit, dug by the landowner to be an artesian well, was left uncovered after it failed to reach groundwater, according to Phop Phra district chief Sanya Phetset on Tuesday.

According to local media, the first rescuers on the scene shouted down the hole and heard the child cry back. After lowering a camera into the hole to assess the situation, a tube was snaked to provide oxygen.

Using backhoes and other excavation tools, rescuers dug a 30-centimeter-wide trench alongside the pit overnight.

thailand rescue

The Child Is Now Safe And Sound

“At first, it appeared to be a simple operation because it appeared to be loose dirt, but once we started digging, we discovered rock, which made it difficult because excavators cannot dig through it,” Sanya explained.

He explained that the operation was risky because the digging could collapse the well’s sides onto the child.

After being carried to safety, the toddler was immediately taken to Phop Phra Hospital in Thailand.

“She is now safe. “She’s a little tired, but nothing serious,” Sanya explained.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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Pope Francis Clarifies his Remarks on Homosexuality and Sin

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Pope Francis Clarifies his Remarks on Homosexuality and Sin

Pope Francis has clarified his recent remarks about homosexuality and sin, stating that he was referring to official Catholic moral teaching, which states that any sexual act other than marriage is a sin.

In a Friday note, Francis emphasized that even black-and-white teaching is subject to circumstances that may eliminate the sin.

Francis made the remarks in an interview with The Associated Press on January 24, stating that laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unjust” and that “being homosexual is not a crime.”

As he often does, Francis then imagined a conversation with someone who brought up the issue of the church’s official teaching, which states that homosexual acts are sinful or “intrinsically disordered.”

“All right, but first, let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” Francis said in the fictitious conversation. “It is also a sin not to be charitable to one another.”

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Pope asked for Clarification.

LGBTQ advocates hailed his comments calling for decriminalizing homosexuality as a watershed moment that would help end harassment and violence against LGBTQ people. However, his use of the word “sin” raised questions about whether he believed that simply being gay was a sin in and of itself.

The Reverand James Martin, an American priest who runs the Outreach ministry for LGBTQ Catholics in the United States, asked Francis for clarification and published the pope’s handwritten response late Friday on the Outreach website.

In his note, Francis reiterated that homosexuality “is not a crime” and that he was trying “to emphasize that criminalization is neither good nor just.”

“When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which states that every sexual act other than marriage is a sin,” Francis wrote in Spanish, emphasizing the final phrase.

However, in a nod to his case-by-case approach to pastoral ministry, Francis noted that even teaching is subject to the circumstances, “which may decrease or eliminate the fault.”

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Sex is a Sin, as is Any Sexual Act

He admitted he could have been more specific in his comments to the AP. However, he stated that he was using “natural and conversational language” in the interview, which did not necessitate precise definitions.

“As you can see, I was generally repeating something. ‘Sex is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of the bonds of holy marriage,’ I should have said. This is to speak of ‘the matter’ of sexual sin, but we all know that Catholic morality considers not only the matter but also freedom and intention, and this for all types of sin,” he said.

According to Human Dignity Trust, which works to end such laws, 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which can or do impose the death penalty. According to experts, even when laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigma, and violence against LGBTQ people.

According to Catholic teaching, marriage is a lifelong bond between a man and a woman. It restricts intercourse with married couples and prohibits artificial contraception.

During his decade-long pontificate, Francis has upheld that teaching while prioritizing outreach to LGBTQ people.

Pope Francis has emphasized a more merciful approach to applying church doctrine, preferring to accompany rather than judge people.

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US General Tells His Officers to Prepare for War with China in 2025

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US General Tells His Officers to Prepare for War with China in 2025

In an internal memo, a four-star general in the United States Air Force stated that the US and China risk going to war in two years and advised officers under his command to prepare, including with target practice.

According to NBC, General Mike Minihan, head of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, believes the fight will take place in 2025 but hopes he is wrong. He claimed that presidential elections in the United States and Taiwan in 2024 would allow China to take action against Taiwan.

According to NBC, a Defense Department official stated that the remarks do not represent the Pentagon’s position on China. According to an Air Mobility Command spokesperson, the memo is part of the command’s effort to prepare for conflict if deterrence fails.

The administration of President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed concern about China’s military buildup and what the US perceives to be a more aggressive Chinese stance toward Taiwan.

According to the administration’s national security strategy, China is the only US competitor “with the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so.”

China has slammed the latest US defense spending bill, which allows up to $10 billion in weapons sales to Taiwan, for exaggerating the China threat and meddling in its internal affairs.

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Blinken Conerned Over Taiwan and China

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern about Beijing’s intentions regarding Taiwan as he prepares for a rare visit to Beijing, China.

When asked if the temperature had cooled with China during a visit to the University of Chicago, Blinken replied, “I think so because when you’re talking and engaging, it tends to have that effect.”

“The rest of the world anticipates that we will manage this relationship responsibly. “They understand that how we manage it will also impact them,” he said.

According to Taipei Times, Blinken will visit Beijing from February 5 to 6, marking the first US secretary of state visit to the rising Asian power since October 2018.

The trip was decided after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping () met in November in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss wide-ranging disagreements between the world’s two largest economies.

Blinken, on the other hand, expressed concern about Taiwan, citing Beijing’s growing efforts to isolate the country and major military exercises conducted near it in August.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years is, I believe, China deciding that it was no longer comfortable with the status quo, a status quo that had prevailed for decades and had been successful in terms of our countries’ relationship and managing what a difficult situation is,” he said.

“What we say to China is that — they say this is a sovereign issue for us; we respond that this is an interest to the United States and countries all over the world,” Blinken said, referring to Taiwan’s dominance in semiconductors, which is critical to the global economy.

Any disruption of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait would be disastrous for the global economy, he said, adding that 50 percent of container ships operating around the world pass through the Taiwan Strait and that Taiwan manufactures 70 percent of higher-end computer chips.

Blinken was in Chicago for a trip that included a stop at the city’s historic Ukrainian community to discuss the response to Russia’s invasion.

By: Geoff Thomas

China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

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