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American History

#OTD 1889: Oahu Railway & Land Company (OR&L) began operating their Railroad on Hawai`i’s third largest island, Oahu.

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#AceHistoryDesk – Today in History – On November 16, 1889, the Oahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L) began operating on Hawai`i’s third largest island, Oahu.

Hawaiian Government Survey; W.D. Alexander, Surveyor General, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands;…. C. J. Lyons, 1881. Transportation and Communication.Geography & Map Division

The brainchild of Massachusetts native Benjamin Franklin Dillingham, the railroad made it possible to move agricultural products from inland to port, stimulating the local economy and providing a valuable transportation route for decades.

Dillingham arrived in Hawai`i in 1865 as first mate of the sailing ship Whistler. Prevented by a fractured leg from returning to sea, Dillingham made Oahu his home and began investing in its future. Within four years, he was a partner in a local hardware company supplying goods for the growing sugar industry. Dillingham also invested in a dairy business. He was interested in real estate, but failed to raise the money to purchase the land for speculation. In 1888, Dillingham obtained a concession from the Hawai`i legislature to build the OR&L and succeeded in raising the money to build this venture. He scheduled the opening of the short line-railway, which originally ran nine miles, to coincide with the birthday of Hawaiian King Kalakaua.

Early revenues for the OR&L were meager, but as Dillingham had foreseen, the railway’s presence stimulated land sales and new agricultural ventures, including pineapple and sugar plantations. By the early 1900s, the expanded 160-mile railway cut across the island, serving several sugar plantations, pineapple farms, and the popular Haleiwa Hotel. As Oahu’s pineapple, sugar, and tourism industries grew, profits for Dillingham’s railway followed suit.

The Port City of Honolulu. R.W. Perkins, c1913. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division.

An additional and significant source of revenue for the OR&L came from passenger fares to and from the U.S. Army’s Schofield Barracks near the island’s center.

From 1909 until the late 1930s, and again during World War II, the OR&L transported troops across Oahu, which had few cars and often shoddy roads. After World War II, the railway’s fortunes changed as passenger revenues plummeted and trucks began taking over the agricultural business. The OR&L abandoned service outside Honolulu and its harbor in 1947. In 1972, it closed its remaining service to the Iwilei canneries and docks. The OR&L right-of-way and terminal are on the state and National Register of Historic Places.

Learn more about the Oahu Railway and Land Company in Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers. Search on Oahu Railway to find items such as “Railway Systems of the Hawaiian Islands.” Evening bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu], Hawaii), November 30, 1901, Evening Bulletin Industrial Edition.

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Ace Breaking News

FEATURED IRAN WATCH: Issues First Death Sentence For Unnamed Protestor ‘ as Crackdown on Unrest Deepens

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#AceNewsDesk – Iran issues first death sentence over protests: Unnamed person faces execution for alleged arson as part of crackdown on unrest triggered by death of Mahsa Amini according to The Guardian – Martin Chulov, Middle East correspondent, and Jennifer Rankin in Brussels

https://www.tweet247.net/news/world/iran-didnt-sentence-15k-protesters-to-death–verifythiscom

Iran has issued a first death sentence over protests that have mounted a fierce challenge to four decades of hardline clerical rule, as rights groups warn that a wave of executions may follow as leaders try to end nearly two months of sustained nationwide dissent.

The execution was ordered for an unidentified person for allegedly setting fire to a government building. It followed 272 of Iran’s 290 lawmakers voting earlier this month to implement the death penalty for serious crimes against the state, and repeated demands by some officials to take a harder line against unrest that shows little sign of abating.

Iran is believed to execute more people annually than any other country except China, and the first known death sentence passed against a figure identified with the protest movement has alarmed NGOs. 

https://www.onenewspage.com/video/20221115/15118853/Iran-issues-first-death-penalty-over-recent-protests.htm

Upwards of 326 people have died in 57 days of demonstrations, which erupted after the death of a young woman who was detained for wearing her headdress “inappropriately”. Thousands more have been detained.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials behind the violent repression of protests across Iran have been hit with new European sanctions, as Emmanuel Macron declared the ongoing unrest to be a revolution and claimed nuclear talks with western powers had reached a prolonged standstill.

The EU on Monday flagged sanctions against 29 people and three organisations. The list included prominent members of the Revolutionary Guards who have spearheaded the crackdown.

Macron, who met Iranian dissidents in Paris at the weekend, told French Inter radio:

” Something unprecedented is happening. The grandchildren of the revolution are carrying out a revolution and are devouring it.”

Speaking about the nuclear deal, a yet-to-be-finalised pact to lift sanctions imposed by the EU and US on the Iranian economy in return for Iran agreeing to renewed suspension and monitoring of its nuclear programme, Macron said:

” This revolution changes many things … I don’t think there will be new proposals which can be made right now to save the nuclear deal.”

The remarks marked the first time a European leader had characterised the unrest as more than a protest movement and is sure to further anger Iranian officials, who had already described Macron’s weekend meetings as “regrettable and shameful”.

Sometimes largely symbolic, EU sanctions mean a travel ban and freeze on any assets held in the bloc. EU-based residents and organisations are also forbidden to send money to sanctioned individuals.

The list includes Iran’s interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who is in charge of the country’s security forces, which are widely seen as responsible for the deaths of at least 70 people and the serious injuries of hundreds more during the repression of protests.

Also targeted are four members of Iran’s morality police, two male and two female officers, who arrested 22-year old Mahsa Amini for apparently not wearing her hijab correctly. 

“According to reliable reports and witnesses, she was brutally beaten and mistreated in custody, which led to her hospitalisation and death,” states the EU listing for these individuals.

Another organisation targeted is ArvanCloud, an IT company believed to have helped the Iranian government in its attempts to close down the internet in response to protests.

The EU list also includes state-controlled broadcaster Press TV, which the EU says is “responsible for producing and broadcasting the forced confessions of detainees, including journalists, political activists and persons belonging to Kurdish and Arab minorities”.

“The EU strongly condemns the unacceptable violent crackdown of protesters,” the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said in a statement that urged Tehran to end the repression, shed light on the number of people killed or injured, and provide due process to detainees. 

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Global Warming & Climate Change

FEATURED EGYPT #COP27 Climate Summit: Oil Pollution in Host Country is Reported to Threaten World’s Thriving Coral Reef’s

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#GlobalWarming & #ClimateChange News Desk – #COP27: Oil pollution in Egypt threatens one of world’s few thriving coral reefs By Ziad Al-Qattan: BBC News Arabic

As Egypt hosts world leaders to discuss action over climate change, an oil terminal is dumping toxic wastewater on the country’s Red Sea coast, an investigation by BBC News Arabic has found. A rare form of coral, that offers hope for preserving ocean life as the planet warms, could be a casualty.

Red Sea coral reef
Red Sea coral have proved resilient against rising sea temperatures – but are threatened by oil industry pollution

Leaked documents obtained by the BBC and non-profit journalism group SourceMaterial reveal that “produced water” from Egypt’s Ras Shukeir oil terminal is being dumped into the Red Sea every day.

The barely treated wastewater – which is brought to the surface during oil and gas drilling – contains high levels of toxins, oil and grease.

The documents, which were issued by the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (Gupco) in 2019 to try to hire a company to treat the water, say the pollution levels “do not comply” with Egyptian environmental laws and regulations.

Every day, 40,000 cubic metres of this toxic water – the equivalent of 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools – is going into the Red Sea, the documents say.

Dr Greg Asner, an ecologist at Arizona State University, says the information is “very alarming”, showing pollution from lead, cadmium, copper, nickel and other heavy metals. “You don’t have to be an expert to know that something is not right here,” he says:

The leaked documents indicate Egypt’s government has known about the wastewater problem since at least 2019, after British oil company BP sold its 50% stake in the plant to United Arab Emirates’ firm, Dragon Oil. The other 50% is owned by Egypt’s state oil company.

The sale by BP was part of a decision to dispose of company assets worth $10bn (£8bn at the time), seen by many commentators as a plan to help it meet climate targets.

Caroline Lucas, a UK MP for the Green Party, says: “It comes as no surprise that BP and others would rather sell on their dirtiest, most environmentally destructive assets, than clean them up themselves.”

BP told the BBC the sale of its share of Gupco was for financial reasons, not as part of any plan to meet climate targets. It referred questions about the wastewater to Gupco.

Gupco and Egypt’s environment ministry did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

Access to the facilities at Ras Shukeir is restricted to oil workers and government inspectors. However, the BBC was able to use satellite images to examine the extent of the water pollution.

People taking photos by a giant COP27 logo at Sharm El-Sheikh
Egypt is hosting the COP27 climate summit at its Sharm El-Sheikh resort, where tourists dive among the reefs

Analysis of high-resolution satellite images shows a wide plume of green effluent flowing into the sea, travelling up to 20 km (12 miles) south into areas harbouring marine life.

Satellite analysis company Soar.Earth used remote water quality monitoring techniques to examine the plume. The company’s remote sensing expert, Sergio Volkmer, says it is “not made of some algal bloom” but from something beneath the surface, such as sediments or liquid emitted locally.

That same green plume is visible in the earliest satellite image the BBC could find, from 1985, indicating that the oil terminal may have been dumping “produced water” into the Red Sea for decades. It still appears in the most recent image of the plant, from September 2022.

Google Earth view of the green plume of pollution off the Ras Shukeir oil terminal on the Red Sea

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Ace Breaking News

BREAKING AUSTRALIA: Tesla RECALLS over 1,000 – vehicles over FAULT that increasing’ the risk of an accident/injury or death

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#AceBreakingNews – More than 1,000 Tesla electric cars have been recalled in Australia over a steering fault that could increase “the risk of an accident causing serious injury or death”.

a red Tesla Model 3 sedan is charged at a Tesla dealership with the Tesla logo shown on the dealership building in the back
The recall is the second for Australian Tesla owners in a fortnight.(AP: David Zalubowski, File)none

Probe launched into Tesla’s self-driving claims in the USTesla is under criminal investigation in the United States over claims that the company’s electric vehicles can drive themselves.

The Australian Department of Transport issued the recall early on Wednesday over a power steering issue affecting Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles sold between 2017 and 2020.

The recall is the second to affect the car manufacturer in Australia in a fortnight, and comes just days after a high-speed crash involving a Tesla in China that killed two bystanders.

The latest Australian Tesla recall was issued for 1,012 cars over a risk their electronic power-assist steering systems may lose power and “require a greater steering effort from the driver,” particularly at low speeds.

If the fault does occur, the car will play an audio alert and show a visual warning.

Affected owners have been advised to download new software to fix the issue, or visit an authorised dealer.

The recall follows an announcement two weeks ago involving 326 Model 3 vehicles with a seatbelt issue.

Earlier this week, video emerged of a high-speed crash in Guangdong, China, which saw a Tesla Model Y vehicle driving erratically after seemingly slowing down to park.

The accident, which is being investigated by Chinese police, killed two pedestrians, including a high-school student, and left three people, including the driver, with serious injuries.

Tesla said it would “actively provide any necessary assistance” to police investigating the crash.Tesla driverless car crashes into a tree, killing two

AAP/TESLA RECALL/

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