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Local Residents Evacuated As Taal Volcano In Philippines Begins Erupting

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The Taal volcano in the Philippines appears to be in the midst of a very serious eruption. Giant plumes of ash began shooting from the Volcano on Sunday. Around the same time, tremors were felt in the areas near the volcano, which caused local officials to evacuate the region’s 8,000 people. Residents living or staying in areas within a 14-kilometer radius from the main crater have been ordered to leave immediately.

Taal volcano is located south of the capital city of Manila, on an island in the middle of Lake Taal. The volcano is not very large, and is, in fact, one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, stretching a little more than a half-mile into the sky.

Taal volcano in the Philippines

Photo Credit: BBC

Despite its small size, Taal is still the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with 34 eruptions being recorded at the site in the past 450 years.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology also warned nearby residents about the possibility of a “volcanic tsunami”.

Ongoing phreatic explosion at the Main Crater of Taal Volcano. Photos taken from installed IP camera monitoring the activity of Taal Volcano.

Posted by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) on Saturday, January 11, 2020

By Sunday night, the state seismology bureau raised the alert level to 4 in the areas closest to the Taal Volcano, as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), announced that eruptive activity at Taal Volcano was beginning to intensify at the site. According to Phivolcs, an alert level of 4 means that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

A report from the agency on Sunday night said that, “Eruptive activity at Taal Volcano Main Crater intensified as continuous eruption generated a tall 10-15 kilometer steam-laden tephra column with frequent volcanic lightning that rained wet ashfall on the general north as far as Quezon City. Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise aircraft to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft.

In addition to the evacuations, The Manila International Airport Authority was forced to put all flights on hold due to the amount of volcanic ash that was in the sky.

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The volcano has had several very serious eruptions in the past, causing loss of life on the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with the death toll estimated at around to 6,000. The Taal Volcano, along with all of the other volcanoes of the Philippines, is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Phivolcs has banned Permanent settlement on the island because the entire region was designated as a high-risk area and a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ). However, despite the warnings from authorities, poor families from the area have settled on the island, risking their lives to earn a living by fishing and farming crops from the rich volcanic soil.

Although the volcano had been quiet since 1977, it had begun to show signs of unrest around 1991.

Mark Timbal, spokesman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said that the municipalities of Balete, San Nicolas and Talisay in Batangas have undertaken precautionary evacuation.

Mark Horowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in political science. Horowitz could have had a job at one of the top media organizations in the United States, but when working as an intern, he found that the journalists in the newsroom were confined by the anxieties and sensibilities of their bosses. Horowitz loved journalism, but wanted more freedom to pursue more complex topics than you would find on the evening news. Around the same time, he began to notice that there was a growing number of independent journalists developing followings online by sharing their in-depth analysis of advanced or off-beat topics. It wasn't long before Horowitz quit his internship with a large New York network to begin publishing his own material online.

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Nancy Pelosi Reelected As House Speaker In Narrow Vote

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Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, after a narrow vote.

80-year-old Pelosi will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.

Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker and, until the inauguration of Kamala Harris as Vice President, is the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history.

As House speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.

During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many of the Obama administration’s landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act.

Pelosi lost the speakership in 2011 after the Republican Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.

She retained her role as leader of the House Democratic Caucus and returned to the role of House minority leader. In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats regained control of the House.

When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was again elected speaker, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.

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Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on December 18, 2019.

Despite supporting the $2000 checks for struggling Americans, Pelosi, along with everyone in congress have provoked anger from citizens who see them as being out of touch with the average people.

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) estimated in 2009 that Pelosi’s average net worth was $58 million which ranks her 13th among 25 wealthiest members of Congress.

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Roll Call said Pelosi’s earnings are connected to her husband’s heavy investments in stocks that include Apple, Disney, Comcast, and Facebook. Roll Call reported that the Pelosis have $13.46 million in liabilities including mortgages on seven properties.

According to Roll Call, Pelosi and her husband hold properties “worth at least $14.65 million, including a St. Helena vineyard in Napa Valley worth at least $5 million, and commercial real estate in San Francisco”.

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FAA Responds To Numerous Reports Of A UFO Over Hawaii

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The FAA was notified after multiple people reported seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in the sky over Leeward Oahu on Tuesday evening. Witnesses all over the region called into 911 at around 8:30 p.m.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that there were no aircraft incidents or accidents in this area at the time of the reports, but multiple witnesses reported seeing a large blue object fall out of the sky and into the ocean.

Some of the witnesses managed to get video or photos of the incident.

Witness Misitina Sape told Hawaii News Now she captured a photo of the object at 8:26 p.m. near Haleakala Avenue in Nanakuli.

Another witness named Moriah said she had never been a believer in UFOs until she saw the object fall from the sky.

“I started calling my husband and them because they were all in the garage. I was like hey. Come look up there. See if you see what I see. They all said yea!” Moriah said.

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They jumped in the car to follow the object and see what it was.

“I don’t know what it was,” she said. “This one was going so fast.”

About three miles down the road, they saw the object fall into the water.

She said that it was larger than a telephone pole but didn’t make any sound when it hit the ground.

“We called 911,” Moriah said, “For have like one cop or somebody for come out and come check em out.

She also says that they saw another light in the sky after the blue object fell into the water. She says that police saw the second light as well.

“My husband went look up and he seen the white one coming,” she said. “The white one was smaller. Was coming in the same direction as the blue one.”

FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said the agency received a report from police Tuesday night about a possible plane down in the area “but had no aircraft disappear off radars. And no reports of overdue or missing aircraft.”

Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced the formation of a new task force that will be studying UFOs or “Unidentified Flying Objects.”

The formation of this new task force was revealed last year when the Pentagon acknowledged that military pilots were encountering aircraft that might not have been made by humans.

The new task force was officially revealed to the public after the Pentagon released declassified videos that appeared to show government aircraft interacting with UFOs in the sky.

One of the videos, taken from US Navy aircraft, seems to show the pilots chasing a UFO off the east coast of the United States.

Navy pilots reported spotting the objects flying around 30,000 feet in the air at hypersonic speeds and showing no visible engines or exhaust plumes typical of any known aircraft currently on Earth.

The new agency has been called, The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).

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Mitch McConnell’s House Vandalized Over $2,000 Checks

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had his home vandalized this week, after blocking the vote to increase stimulus payments to $2,000.

Messages like ‘WERES MY MONEY’ and ‘MITCH K1LLS THE POOR.’ were spray-painted on the building.

Police said that they don’t have any suspects.

On Saturday, McConnell released a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal which read: “Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.”

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In 2015, Time listed McConnell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history.

During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. Among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who were recently confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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McConnell’s critics have called him by a variety of different nicknames, including “Moscow Mitch”, “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Grim Reaper”, “Darth Vader”, “Rich Mitch”, “Nuclear Mitch”, and “Midnight Mitch.” On some occasions, he has even embraced these nicknames, although he was apparently unhappy with the more recent “Moscow Mitch.”

McConnell has a net worth of $35 million dollars, and many Americans feel that he is out of touch. He isn’t the only US politician that was a target for vandalism this week.

 

According to a report from TMZ this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her house vandalized with a pig’s head and fake blood.

Spray painted in black on the white garage door were the messages “$2K,”  an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID stimulus checks that have been held up in the U.S. Senate, as well as “CANCEL RENT!” and “WE WANT EVERYTHING!”

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