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Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, US Memorial Day standings check: Teams to watch, worry about and more

Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, USBAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq offered to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers steadily unravels.


An Astros-Dodgers World Series? Will the hobbled Yanks hold up? Who's for real, and who's rotten? Buster Olney, Jeff Passan and Sam Miller make sense of the season so far.
Reuters World News Summary Pagenaud holds off Rossi to win 103rd Indy 500

Reuters World News SummaryFollowing is a summary of current world news briefs. Several Kurdish lawmakers and thousands of prison inmates in Turkey have ended their hunger strike after a call from jailed militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, one of the MPs said on Sunday, 200 days after the protest was launched. Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Leyla Guven began a hunger strike in November in a bid to end Ocalan's years of isolation by securing him regular access to his family and lawyers.


Simon Pagenaud has won his first Indianapolis 500, making an audacious pass of Alexander Rossi before taking the white flag and holding off the hard-charging driver from Andretti Autosport.
British climber who died in Everest 'death zone' had feared overcrowding on summit's slopes Pats' Watson says he faces 4-game suspension

British climber who died in Everest 'death zone' had feared overcrowding on summit's slopesA British climber, who became the latest person to die on Mount Everest this season, admitted before setting off that he feared the dangers of overcrowding in the "death zone". Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died on his descent after reaching the 8,850-metre (29,035 feet) summit of the world's highest mountain. He passed away in the "death zone", the area named for the low levels of oxygen on descent from the summit. Mr Fisher, who lived in Birmingham, is one of at least eight climbers to die on the treacherous slopes in the current climbing season that ends this month. Hiking officials attributed most of the deaths to weakness, exhaustion and delays on the crowded route to the summit. In his last social media post on Tuesday, Mr Fisher wrote how he had changed his climbing plans in order to avoid the crowds. View this post on Instagram Climbed up to camp 3, 7500m but the jet stream had returned closing the summit after only 2 days so I descended to basecamp. Around 100 climbers did summit in those 2 days with sadly 2 deaths, an Indian man found dead in his tent at camp 4 and an Irish climber lost, assumed fallen, on his descent. A go fund me page has been set up for a rescue bid for the Irish climber but it is a well meaning but futile gesture. Condolences to both their friends and families. Both deaths happened above 8000m in the so called death zone where the majority of deaths of foreign climbers happen. Around 700 more people will be looking to summit from Tuesday the 21st onwards. My revised plan, subject to weather that at the moment looks promising, is to return up the mountain leaving basecamp Tuesday the 21st 0230 and, all being well and a lot of luck, arriving on the summit the morning of Saturday the 25th. I will be climbing with my Sherpa, Jangbu who is third on the all time list with an incredible 19 summits. The other 4 members of our team decided to remain on the mountain and are looking to summit on the 21st. My cough had started to return at altitude so I couldn’t wait with them at altitude for the window to open without the risk of physically deteriorating too much. Furthermore as I had missed due to sickness the earlier camp 3 rotation best practice was for me to descend to allow my body to recover from the new altitude high so I could come back stronger. This was not an easy decision as the 13 hours climbing from basecamp to camp 2 in a day was the hardest physical and mental challenge I had ever done, now I have it all to do again. Finally I am hopeful to avoid the crowds on summit day and it seems like a number of teams are pushing to summit on the 21st. With a single route to the summit delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game. everest everest2019 lhotseface A post shared by Robin (@1c0n0clast22) on May 19, 2019 at 1:15am PDT "With a single route to the summit delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game," he added.  He also described how the altitude had already taken its toll on his health.  "My cough had started to return at altitude so I couldn’t wait with them at altitude for the window to open without the risk of physically deteriorating too much. "Furthermore as I had missed due to sickness the earlier camp 3 rotation best practice was for me to descend to allow my body to recover from the new altitude high so I could come back stronger.  Robin Haynes Fisher on his way to climb Mount Everest Credit: PA "This was not an easy decision as the 13 hours climbing from basecamp to camp 2 in a day was the hardest physical and mental challenge I had ever done, now I have it all to do again." Mr Fisher has been described by his family as an “aspirational adventurer”. Mr Fisher’s family said: “He achieved so much in his short life, climbing Mont Blanc, Aconcagua and Everest. "He was a 'tough guy', triathlete, and marathoner. A champion for vegetarianism, published author, and a cultured theatre-goer, lover of Shakespeare.” Now Nepal is facing scrutiny for issuing a record 381 permits — at £8,600 each — for this year’s spring season. View this post on Instagram Completed oxygen training which we will use in the so called death zone, above 8000m. I have 8 bottles, each weighing 4kg when full that the Sherpas have thankfully already shipped up the mountain to our advanced camps. Tomorrow we head up the mountain, leaving at 3am. We are going to bypass camp 1 and go all the way to camp 2. I can expect a 13 or 14 hour day of climbing. From camp 2 the plan is to go up to c3 for an acclimatisation climb and then return to c2. Depending on how the summit window looks, what the other teams are doing and how I feel I may then descend to basecamp to complete acclimatisation and return up the mountain later or may go for my summit push. A summit push will mean a return to c3, spending the night, proceeding to c4 and either spending the night or pushing for the summit that evening. It depends on how we feel, the weather and what the other 380 climbers are doing. As most expeditions average 1 to 1.5 Sherpas per climber we need to pick a day when there are not a few hundred other people heading for the summit. Due to their being one set of ropes their are a number of bottlenecks at tricky points. Standing around in a queue of a hundred people when with the windchill can be -40C is a recipe for frostbite or worse. When I was waiting to see the doctor in base camp yesterday to get the all clear to go up the patient before me had just come down the mountain. He had, at altitude, taken his summit mitts off to change the batteries in his headtorch. These 2.5 minutes had caused him stage 3 frostbite in his fingers and the prognosis was that he may lose the tips of his fingers. A timely reminder to keep my gloves on at all times. everest everest2019 A post shared by Robin (@1c0n0clast22) on May 14, 2019 at 12:34am PDT This week, a climber shared a photograph of the lengthy tailbacks on the mountain. Hundreds found themselves stuck for hours in the notoriously dangerous death zone, having used the window of good weather to push for the 8,848m (29,030ft) summit. Murari Sharma, of the Everest Parivar Treks company that arranged Mr Fisher’s logistics, told Reuters: “He died because of weakness after a long ascent and difficult descent. “He was descending with his sherpa guides from the summit when he suddenly fainted.” Fellow guides changed Mr Fisher’s oxygen bottle and offered him water, but could not save him. This handout photo taken on May 22, 2019 and released by climber Nirmal Purja's Project Possible expedition shows heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest Credit:  AFP At least four other deaths have been linked to the human traffic jam. A Nepali guide is also believed to have died. Irish climber Kevin Hynes, 56, died in his tent at 7,000 metres on the early hours of Friday morning, after turning back before reaching the summit. With each climber normally accompanied by at least one Sherpa, the mountain could see more than 750 people trekking to the summit this season. Garrett Madison of the U.S. based Madison Mountaineering company that sponsors climbers to Mount Everest said many were not well qualified or prepared climbers and lacked  the support necessary to ascend and descend safely. Mr Madison told Reuters: “If they were with a strong and experienced team they would have likely been fine, but with minimal support, once something goes wrong it’s tough to get back on course.”


Watson said he took a banned substance when he thought he was retiring.
Democrats continue to call for President Trump's impeachment Cavs' Gilbert hospitalized with stroke symptoms

Democrats continue to call for President Trump's impeachmentThe calls in the Democratic Party appear to be growing even larger ahead of the 2020 election.


Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was hospitalized Sunday after experiencing stroke-like symptoms, according to a statement released by Quicken Loans, the company Gilbert founded and chairs.
Pope Francis likens abortion in any scenario to ‘hiring a hitman’ Cambage expects to make Aces debut on Friday

Pope Francis likens abortion in any scenario to ‘hiring a hitman’Pope Francis has compared having an abortion to hiring a hitman and said the procedure can never be condoned, even when the foetus is gravely sick.Speaking at a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, he urged doctors and priests to support families to carry all pregnancies to full term.“Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?” he asked his audience. “Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?”The pontiff said that the matter was not a religious issue but a human one.And he denounced decisions to abort pregnancies based on prenatal testing, saying a human being is “never incompatible with life”.It is not the first time the Pope has spoken out strongly against abortion but his new comments come little more than a week after the issue was pushed into the global spotlight when the US state of Alabama passed highly restrictive laws banning abortion in almost all cases, including where pregnancies have been caused by rape.The bill’s architects expect that it will be defeated in the lower courts, but hope that it will therefore come before the country’s newly conservative Supreme Court.If judges there uphold the bill, it will give the green light for other states across the US to impose similarly draconian measures.Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio are among others which have also passed new abortion restrictions in recent months with the same goal in mind.


Center Liz Cambage, who has been dealing with a flare-up of Achilles tendinitis, expects to make her season debut for the Aces on Friday at Phoenix.


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Johnstown Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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