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News Round Up [July 10, 2017]

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Goats on a Boat!

Alaska’s Salmon Harvest Nears 23 Million Fish

Alaska Native News

Preliminary harvest data shows the catch in Alaska’s wild salmon fisheries rose to over 22.7 million fish through July 4, including a record 1.2 million salmon caught on July 3 in Bristol Bay’s Nushagak District. It was the second time this year, and in the history of the Nushagak District, that the daily sockeye salmon harvest exceeded one million reds, noted Tim Sands, an area biologist at Dillingham for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, who described the sockeye fishery as “gangbusters.”

The surge of reds aside, four vessels harvesting in the Nushagak were partially submerged after taking on water, but good Samaritan boats assisted everyone on board and no injuries were reported. “More than one boat out there was deck loaded with lots of fish on board and you throw weather into that mix and it can go fast,” Sands said. One of the vessels involved was reported to have about 14,000 pounds of fish on board, far exceeding its capacity.

The preliminary Bristol Bay harvest, totaling 10.5 million salmon, including 9.6 million reds, also includes 3.5 million sockeyes harvested in the Egegik District, 720,000 in the Naknek-Kvichak, 140,000 in the Ugashik and 40,000 at Togiak.

Processors in Prince William Sound have received nearly 14 million fish, including 445,000 Copper River reds and another 331,000 sockeyes from the Eshamy District. Cook Inlet harvesters have brought in some 270,000 fish, including 253,000 reds. [Read the rest]

Ketchikan Uncovered: the elusive history of the First City’s name

KRBD by Emma Atkinson

I’m Emma Atkinson. You might have heard my voice on KRBD’s Morning Edition or during other local news hours – I’m the summer news intern here.

I’ve been in Ketchikan for about a month, and I’ve learned that it’s a place full of stories and secrets. I’ve heard rumors, not-so-urban legends and tales that seem just too weird to be true.

So, I’m going to do a little investigating.

First up? Let’s look at how Ketchikan became…Ketchikan.

It’s no secret that there are multiple theories about the origin of the city’s name. But which one is right? Is it even possible to narrow it down to just one explanation?

To find out, I first talked to David Kiffer, a bona fide Ketchikan historian who knows more about the town’s history than I probably know about anything.

I asked Kiffer, a freelance writer, how he came to be such a Ketchikan history buff.

“My great-grandfather came here in 1894,” he said. “He was a miner. So my mother’s family has been here all that time. My father’s family came here shortly after World War I to be fishermen, and ‘til the end of her life, my [maternal] grandmother referred to them as ‘those blow-ins.’” [Read/Listen to the rest]



Forget Dinos: Horseshoe Crabs Are Stranger, More Ancient—And Still Alive Today


Each summer, guided by the light of the moon, some of the world’s strangest inhabitants ascend the East Coast’s beaches to spawn the next generation. These hard-shelled, many-eyed anomalies remind some of armored aliens or living spaceships. They're actually horseshoe crabs, and they date back 450 million years, having outlived the dinosaurs and survived five mass extinctions—including one that nearly wiped out life on Earth.

Horseshoe crabs—in actuality, marine arthropods that aren’t even distantly related to crabs—aren’t just a curiosity to ogle on the shore. Their bluish, copper-tinged blood is used to test for toxic bacterial contamination, meaning you have them to thank if you’ve ever used contact lenses, had a flu shot or ingested medicinal drugs. Humans bleed 500,000 of the creatures a year to procure this medically valuable substance, before returning the crabs to the waters. [Source]

Czech Republic set to approve Europe’s first constitutionally protected right to bear arms


On Thursday, the Czech Republic’s lower house of parliament approved a constitutional amendment that would enshrine the right to bear arms. One hundred and thirty-nine out of 200 MPs approved the change after it was suggested by interior minister Milan Chovanec who asked the houses of parliament to “show [him] a single terrorist attack in Europe perpetrated using a legally owned weapon.” The move is a reply to the violent and numerous terror attacks that have been sweeping Europe since 2015.

According to the proposal: “This constitutional bill is in reaction to the recent increase of security threats, especially the danger of violent acts such as isolated terrorist attacks…active attackers or other violent hybrid threats.”


The pretense of the Czech Republic’s measure cannot entirely be compared with that of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While the American founding fathers included the right to bear arms in order to protect citizens from their own government, the Czechs want their population to carry firearms in order to “help with the security of the country.” [Source]

I wonder why they are so worried....

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Umbrella-sharing firm in China loses most of its 300,000 umbrellas just weeks after launch

SHENZHEN - An umbrella-sharing company in China has lost most of its 300,000 umbrellas, just weeks after launching the rental scheme.

While their umbrella numbers have fallen like the rain, Sharing E Umbrella founder Zhao Shuping said the business was not over, according to local reports. It is unclear just how many umbrellas have gone missing.

Launched in April with a 10 million yuan (S$2.03 million) investment, according to local reports, the scheme had been rolled out to 11 Chinese cities by the end of June, including Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Under the scheme, people can borrow umbrellas for a 19 yuan deposit, with a fee of 0.50 yuan per half an hour usage, from subway and bus stations.

However, there were no clear instructions on how to return the items.

"Umbrellas are different from bicycles," local media reported Mr Zhao as saying. "Bikes can be parked anywhere, but with an umbrella you need railings or a fence to hang it on."

He added that taking the umbrellas home was probably "best", as at least they would be "safe".

While it costs 60 yuan per lost umbrella, he still plans to roll out 30 million nationwide by the end of the year. [Source]

Erdogan says U.S. stance stalls Turkish ratification of Paris climate deal

The U.S. decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement means Turkey is less inclined to ratify the deal because the U.S. move jeopardizes compensation promised to developing countries, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

Erdogan was speaking at the G20 summit in Germany where leaders from the world's leading economies broke with U.S. President Donald Trump over climate policy, following his announcement last month that he was withdrawing from the accord.

Erdogan said that when Turkey signed the accord France had promised that Turkey would be eligible for compensation for some of the financial costs of compliance.

"So we said if this would happen, the agreement would pass through parliament. But otherwise it won't pass," Erdogan told a news conference, adding that parliament had not yet approved it.

"Therefore, after this step taken by the United States, our position steers a course towards not passing this from the parliament," he said. [Source]

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