• Floods Force China to Blow Up Dam to Protect World’s Largest Hydroelectric Plant


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    Chinese state media announced on Sunday that it blasted holes in the Chuhe River dam in order to “alleviate the pressure of flood control” at the massive Three Gorges Dam, which is straining under the pressure from flooding of the mighty Yangtze River.

    While Chinese media strove to portray the controlled demolition of the lesser dam as routine and the situation at Three Gorges as completely under control, outside observers are worried the gigantic Three Gorges Dam – the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world – will be unable to contain the pressure from floods that have killed hundreds of people. If the Three Gorges Dam fails, an unprecedented humanitarian and economic catastrophe could result.


    Forbes on Sunday reported that Three Gorges is “buckling under the strain of massive flows of water” from a number of other dams on tributary rivers at higher elevations as higher-than-normal rainfall produces what some in China describe as the worst flooding in a century. Over 400 of the Yangtze River’s many tributaries are overflowing, the floods have killed almost 200 people, and projected economic damage stands at over $12 billion dollars.

    The Chinese regime reported another 14 dead in flooding upstream of the Three Gorges Dam over the weekend, while rising floodwaters and landslides forced the evacuation of over 20,000 more people and destruction of over a thousand homes. The total number of people the floods displaced during this monsoon season is approaching 2 million.

    All of those problems will grow exponentially worse if the Three Gorges Dam cracks. Chinese troops and disaster relief personnel have been racing to contain the smaller floods leading into the Yangtze, with fingers crossed that rainfall will begin abating this week. At least one more major surge of river water is expected to hit the dam in the next few days.

    Chinese media strove to portray the demolition of the lesser dam on the Chuhe River in Anhui province as a routine procedure, but Forbes cited some reports that the dam was “blown to bits with explosives” rather than being poked with a few holes to relieve some water pressure.

    Taiwan News noted that widespread demolition of dams and embankments is a flood control tactic the Chinese have not resorted to since 1998. Judging by Chinese state media accounts, the tactic appears to have worked, because the level of flood water hitting the Three Gorges Dam dropped by about 25 percent on Sunday, allowing the water to pass through the dam’s discharge system “smoothly.”

    China’s Global Times claimed the Three Gorges Dam “has largely eased flood prevention pressure in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River,” providing vital relief to areas that would otherwise experience “intensive” flooding.

    The Global Times disputed foreign observers who worried that Three Gorges is not up to the task of holding back such a massive amount of floodwater, accusing them of harboring anti-Chinese bias and nefarious political motivations:

    The Three Gorges project has come into the spotlight recently. A Tuesday report from Reuters quoted a geographer as saying that “the Three Gorges Dam reservoir does not have the capacity to significantly affect the most severe floods.”
    However, the Three Gorges project’s duty of flood prevention is mostly based in the Chenglingji region, which is located at the exit of Dongting Lake. With a reservoir capacity for floodwater at 22 billion cubic meters, it is designed to prevent huge floods in the upper stream of the Yangtze River with the Three Gorges Dam working significantly to prevent such a situation spiraling out of control, the Three Gorges Dam Corporation said in the statement.
    If flooding occurred via heavy rainfall in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the cities surrounding these reaches would have to mainly rely on their own flood drainage facilities. Under such circumstances, the Three Gorges Dam can still make a contribution by retaining and impounding water to ease the pressure on those cities.
    Exaggerating the Three Gorges Dam’s “distortion” has also been somewhat of a cliché for certain overseas media outlets. In response to this cliché, the statement from the company noted that currently, the Three Gorges Dam is running safely in a good condition. During the past few years, there has been no so-called distortion occurring, or any other noteworthy risks.

    Taiwan News noted that satellite photography showed Three Gorges discharging huge amounts of floodwater five days before the Chinese government officially admitted that emergency procedures were being implemented at the dam. Some residents of the area beneath the dam believe their government caused damaging floods by opening the floodgates of the dam, a step the authorities would not have taken unless they were seriously concerned about structural damage to the massive hydroelectric facility.

    The Chinese government has dismissed decades of concerns from foreign analysts about the structural integrity of the Three Gorges Dam and its environmental impact. Some outside analysts fear the government cut corners during the construction of the facility because a good deal of its $26 billion budget was siphoned away by corruption, while local residents brave enough to speak out against the dam believe the Chinese Communist Party sees it as an indispensable “show project” that cannot be allowed to fail, so officials will force the local populace to pay any price needed to conceal severe structural problems.

  • Chinese Ambassador Struggles To Explain Shocking Footage Of Handcuffed & Blindfolded Uighurs Loaded Onto Train


    During a Sunday morning BBC news program, China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming was in a rare segment asked point blank about viral footage which purports to show a terrifying scene from Xinjiang province of Muslim minority Uighurs being handcuffed and loaded onto train cars.

    While the footage, which appears to have been secretly caught via drone, appears to be a year old or more, it resurfaced in recent weeks, gaining millions of views and reigniting allegations of Uighur people being mass shipped to communist 'reeducation' camps and sprawling detention centers.


    (There is more at the link)

  • UAE’s Amal spacecraft rockets toward Mars in Arab world 1st


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    TOKYO (AP) — A United Arab Emirates spacecraft rocketed into blue skies from a Japanese launch center Monday at the start of a seven-month journey to Mars on the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.

    The liftoff of the Mars orbiter named Amal, or Hope, starts a rush to fly to Earth’s neighbor that is scheduled to be followed in the next few days by China and the United States.

    At the space center in Dubai, people watching were transfixed by the liftoff, then cheered and clapped, with one woman with offering a celebratory cry common for weddings.

    Amal blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center aboard a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA rocket on time at 6:58 a.m. (2158 GMT Sunday) after being delayed five days by bad weather.


    Mitsubishi later said the probe successfully separated from the rocket and was now on its solo journey to Mars.

    The probe was sending signals that would be analyzed later but everything appeared good for now, Omran Sharaf, the UAE Mars mission director told journalists in Dubai about an hour and a half after liftoff.

    Amal is set to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since the country’s formation. In September that year, Amal will start transmitting Martian atmospheric data, which will be made available to the international scientific community, Sharaf said.

    “The UAE is now a member of the club and we will learn more and we will engage more and we’ll continue developing our space exploration program,” UAE Space Agency chief Mohammed Al Ahbabi told a joint online news conference from Tanegashima.

    At Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, Emirati men in their traditional white kandora robes and women in their black abayas watched the liftoff. As its stages separated, a cheer went out from men seated on the floor. They began clapping, one using his face mask, worn due to the coronavirus pandemic, to wipe away a tear.

    “It was great to see everything going according to schedule today. It looks like things are all on track. It’s a huge step in terms of space exploration to have a nation like the UAE taking that giant leap to send a spacecraft to Mars,” said Fred Watson, Australia’s astronomer-at-large. “Being on route to a planet like Mars is an exceptional achievement.”

    A newcomer in space development, the UAE has successfully put three Earth observation satellites into orbit. Two were developed by South Korea and launched by Russia, and a third — its own — was launched by Japan.

    A successful mission to Mars would be a major step for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space, coming less than a year after the launch of the first UAE astronaut, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori. He spent over a week at the International Space Station last fall.

    The UAE has set a goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117.


    “It sends a very strong message to the Arab youth that if the UAE is able to reach Mars in less than 50 years, they could do much more,” Sharaf told The Associated Press on Sunday as his colleagues prepared for the launch.

    The Emiratis also acknowledged it represented a step forward for the Arab world, the home of mathematicians and scientists for centuries before the wars and chaos that have gripped wide swathes of it in recent times.

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    “So the region has been going through tough times in the past decades, if not centuries,” Sharaf said. “Now we have the case of the UAE, a country that’s moving forward with its plans, looking at the future and the future of region also.”

    For its first Mars mission, the UAE chose partners instead of doing it all on its own.

    “Developing a spacecraft is not easy even if there is ample funding,” said Junya Terazono, an astronomer at Aizu University.

    Emirati scientists worked with researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California, Berkeley, and Arizona State University. The spacecraft was assembled at Boulder and transported to Japan as the two countries looked to expand their ties with the rich and politically stable Middle Eastern nation.

    The Amal spacecraft, along with its launch, cost $200 million, according to Sharaf. Operation costs at Mars have yet to be divulged.

    Amal, about the size of a small car, carries three instruments to study the upper atmosphere and monitor climate change while circling the red planet for at least two years. It is set to follow up on NASA’s Maven orbiter sent to Mars in 2014 to study how the planet went from a warm, wet world that may have harbored microbial life during its first billion years, to the cold, barren place of today. Hope also plans to send back images of weather changes.

    Japan has long collaborated with the U.S. and other partners in defense and space technology, and the resource-poor country has traditionally kept friendly ties with Middle Eastern countries. Japan’s launch services are known for accuracy and an on-time record, but the providers are working to cut costs to be more internationally competitive.

    Two other Mars missions are planned in coming days. China aims to explore the Martian surface with an orbiter and rover and to search for water and ice with a launch expected around Thursday. The U.S. plans to send a rover named Perseverance to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for return to Earth. Liftoff is targeted for July 30.

    Japan has its own Mars mission planned in 2024. It plans to send spacecraft to the Martian moon Phobos to collect samples to bring back to Earth in 2029.

    ___

    Milko reported from Jakarta, Indonesia. Associated Press writers Malak Harb and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

    ___

    The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


    (More pictures at the link}

  • They want to chop Mars' head off.

  • Afghan Girl Grabs AK-47, Guns Down Taliban Jihadists Who Killed Her Parents


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    A teenage Afghan girl gunned down three Taliban jihadists with an AK-47 after they killed her parents over their support for the government, local officials confirmed on Tuesday.

    The incident took place last week, on July 17, when a group of 40 insurgents stormed Geriveh village in central Ghor province, where 15-year-old Qamar Gul resided with her family. According to local officials, the terrorists knocked on the door at around 1 a.m. looking for her father.


    “The insurgents came to their doorstep and her mother went to see who was knocking,” said Mohamed Aref Aber, a spokesman for the provincial governor. “When she saw that they were armed, she refused to open the door.”

    After refusing to open the door, the attackers shot Gul’s mother dead, then entered and gunned down her father. Having witnessed the horrifying incident, Gul grabbed her father’s AK-47 and killed the two men responsible and injured some others.

    “Qamar Gul, who was inside the house, took an AK-47 gun the family had and first shot dead the two Taliban fighters who killed her parents, and then injured a few others,” Aber said.

    Gul was then forced into a one-hour long standoff against the Taliban with her 12-year-old brother. Eventually, villagers and pro-government militiamen expelled the insurgents from the area. Local officials have since taken the pair to a safe place for shelter where they are recovering.

    “They were in shock in the first two days and could not talk too much, but are in a good condition now,” Aber explained. “They are saying: ‘This was our right, because we did not need to live without our parents.’ They don’t have many relatives other than a half-brother who lives in the same village.”

    Since the incident, Gul has become a sensation across social media with people hailing her initiative and bravery. A photograph of her wearing a headscarf and an AK47 across her lap has also been in wide circulation.

    Having once been the Middle East’s most powerful Islamic fundamentalist terror group, the Taliban is now a far weaker force than it was at the turn of the century before the U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq. However, the group has experienced a resurgence in recent years, accepting survivor Islamic State fighters into the caliphate and generating record profits from opium cultivation.

    The latest round of attacks come despite the organization agreeing to a peace deal with the United States in February to put down its arms. Many terrorists continue to fight for the overthrow of the current Afghan government and its accompanying constitution.

  • NO JUSTICE NO PEACE


    You go girl !

  • WATCH: Portland Mayor Joins Violent ‘Protest’; Booed by Protesters, Tear Gassed by Feds


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    Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler joined a violent demonstration in his city Wednesday night at which “protesters” threw flaming bags of garbage at a federal courthouse — and where he was jeered by the crowd before being tear gassed by federal officers.

    The Oregonian reported that the mayor’s appearance on the 56th night of violent “protest” in downtown Portland “attracted attention and jeers from the crowd of more than 2,000 people” at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.


    USA Today reported: “The mayor was caught in a chaotic display of violence and mayhem that began around 11:15 p.m., after some protesters threw flaming bags of garbage over a fence protecting the local federal courthouse, prompting the federal officers to fire tear gas at the crowd.”

    Video shot on the scene captured Wheeler at the fence around the courthouse, with flames burning in the background:

    Nonetheless, the Oregonian noted, the mayor, who is also the local police commissioner, had been determined to stand in solidarity with the crowd against federal law enforcement. ““The reason I am here tonight is to stand with you,” he told the crowd, the paper reported. “If they’re launching the tear gas against you, they’re launching the tear gas against me.”

    That solidarity did not win the hearts and minds of the crowd, apparently: “Protesters greeted Wheeler’s arrival at the start of the night by chanting his name preceded by an expletive. The crowd often shouted to drown out what he was saying.”

    Wheeler attempted to acknowledge “systematic racism” and his own “privilege,” to no avail, as one video demonstrated:

    Later, fireworks were fired at the courthouse before the federal law enforcement officers deployed tear gas to dispel the crowd.

    Wheeler condemned what he called an “egregious overreaction” and blamed President Donald Trump for “urban warfare” before he was escorted to safety by his security team.

    As he left, “protesters” jeered and attempted to attack him:

    Earlier, USA Today noted, Wheeler had been accused of racism: “One white mother pointed out that Wheeler only showed up to the protests after other white mothers attending the demonstrations over the weekend were tear-gassed.”

    The mayor has opposed the presence of federal officers to protect federal property that the city has failed to protect. A federal judge heard a state motion Wednesday to remove the feds; ironically, the judge works out of that same courthouse.

    Wheeler has a long history of tolerating violent left-wing “protest” in the city. In 2018, he ordered police not to protect a besieged Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in the city where “protesters” had trapped employees.

    Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

    CrimePoliticsAntifaBlack Lives MatterOregonPortlandRiotsTed Wheeler

    (funny videos at the source)