Tag archive: Sphinx

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Lost at Sea: The OceanGate Disaster

On Sunday, 18 June 2023, the Titan submersible, some 13,000 feet under the waters of the North Atlantic, lost contact with its support vessel on the surface.  The craft was carrying a crew of five, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and four others who had paid $250,000 apiece for a chance to view the wreckage of the Titanic, part of OceanGate’s underwater tourism service.  Last contact came at 9:45 AM local time (11:45 AM UT), and a multi-nation search was instituted after the sub failed to return to the surface at about 3 PM as expected.  With an estimated 96 hours of reserve oxygen, by Thursday the 22nd, the operation became one of recovery rather than rescue, as little hope was offered for survivors.

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AAA Profile: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics for almost a quarter century.  A former KGB officer, Putin entered politics after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, an event he describes as the greatest tragedy of the Twentieth Century.  In 1996 he joined Boris Yeltsin’s administration; appointed as prime minister in 1999, he filled the role of acting president when Yeltsin resigned later that year, being elected to the office in 2000.  At the time, Russia had a prohibition on an individual serving more than two consecutive terms as president, so after being reelected in 2004, in 2008 Putin swapped jobs with then prime minister Dmitry Medvedev for a term, only to assume the top spot again in the following election, four years later.  That would have entitled him to two more terms, but Putin changed the law to allow himself to run for an additional two terms uninterrupted, potentially continuing his occupancy of the presidency indefinitely.

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Crisis at the Border: Biden & Immigration

The deteriorating situation at the US/Mexico border began to gain traction in the Press in mid-March, as waves of unaccompanied minors flocked to seek asylum.  Mostly from violent, corrupt, climate-devastated regions in Central America, some of the overwhelming numbers of migrants were released from holding camps established on the Mexican side of the border during the Trump administration.  Others were new arrivals, emboldened by Biden’s election victory and the hope that his administration would deal more humanely with them than the previous one had.

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Aster-Obit: Alex Trebek

On Sunday, 8 November 2020, gameshow fans the world over were saddened to hear of the death of Alex Trebek, host of “Jeopardy!”, after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.  Described as “the thinking man’s game show”, “Jeopardy!” inverted the traditional format by providing the answers to trivia questions, requiring contestants to phrase their replies in the form of a question.

The third longest-running gameshow on TV (after “The Price Is Right” and “Wheel of Fortune”), “Jeopardy!” has had several daytime and evening incarnations, but Alex Trebek has helmed the show for 37 years, since its latest version premiered in 1984.  Its iconic final round theme is one of the most-recognized musical selections in the world, and the series has spawned several foreign-language versions in 32 countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Japan, Spain, Australia, Turkey and Israel.  Trebek continued working throughout his cancer treatment, until the bitter end, appearing in the studio to film episodes just 11 days before his passing. 

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Ditch Mitch

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is perhaps one of the most disliked, and most effective, politicians in the country. First elected in 1984 in a squeaker election which he won by less than one percent, McConnell has won reelection five times, and faces another race in 2020. He was tapped to replace outgoing Senate Minority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) in 2006, and became Majority Leader when Republicans took over the Senate in 2015.

 

The self-styled “Grim Reaper” of the Senate, Mitch McConnell is where legislation goes to die. Through a combination of stonewalling, pigheadedness, and obscure parliamentary tactics, McConnell has done his level best to frustrate Democratic administrations and agendas for decades.

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Michael Jackson: Ten Years Later

AAA honors the tenth anniversary of the passing of the “King of Pop” with this reprint of his biography, originally published in the August 2009 Daykeeper Journal. Minor additions and corrections have been made, including an analysis of the recent release of “Leaving Neverland“, a documentary chronicling Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of children.

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