18 EarthPhotos from the Air

Enjoy these EarthPhotos from above the earth. Click these to enlarge them.

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First two from the Cappadocia region of Turkey. A balloon…

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 …and some of the crazy cave houses. Arrange your ride with Lars Erik More’s Kapadokya Balloons. There are lots more aerial shots of Cappadocia in the Turkey Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.

 

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 These are some of the world’s tallest sand dunes, in Namibia, and it’s a gorgeous place.

There are lots more like this in the Namibia Gallery.

 

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Took a little spin up and around Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands

 

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 This is mining in western Australia

 

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There’s News Beyond Scotland Today

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It’s the first court date for Eston Kohver, the Estonian officer kidnapped by Russia, who has been held at Lefortovo prison since his arrest. His attorney, who was hired by the Estonian government, is Mark Feygin, who is also representing Ukrainian air force pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who has been held without bail by the Russians since at least early July. The way the Russian judicial system works, it’s hard to tell if hiring Feygin to represent Kohver helps or hurts.

Scotland: Urgent First Decisions If Yes Prevails

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Interesting column today from the Centre for Government and Leadership at Queen Mary University of London about decisions that will not wait for eighteen months of painstaking negotiations but must be made immediately, like Friday morning. Two excerpts:

After a “yes” vote, they (civil servants) will be working with the Bank of England to craft the precise wording of assurances given to the markets, in the hope of stemming both an outflow of funds from banks and bank accounts registered in Scotland and a run on sterling combined with a great sell-off of British government bonds. How far should they advise ministers and the governor of the Bank to go? In the interests of Scotland, of course, it would be best for the UK to give an open-ended guarantee of the value of deposits in Scottish banks. But the markets might test such a commitment very quickly. Is that really in the interests of English, Welsh and Northern Irish UK citizens that what will, after a “yes” vote, by five o’clock on Friday morning already be more their Bank of England than it will be Scottish citizens’ Bank?

And even more Machiavellian:

But, after a yes vote, a key minister in the UK government would be in a more serious plight. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Danny Alexander, will be impaled on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, Mr Alexander is a minister in the UK government. He must decide what announcements to make to reassure the markets on Friday after a “yes” vote, bearing in mind the interests of the citizens of the rump UK. In the ordinary course of events the Chief Secretary would expect to be a key negotiator for the UK with his counterparts in Scotland. But Mr Alexander is also an MP for a Scottish constituency. Can he therefore uphold cabinet collective responsibility for decisions taken after a “yes” vote about how the UK pursues its negotiations with the Scottish government?

Read the whole article here.

Sixteen Photos from Meads Bay, Anguilla

Just a few photos from a quiet long weekend in Anguilla, near St. Martin in the Caribbean. Click any photo to enlarge and as always, these (and a few more) are on EarthPhotos.com. Find these in the Anguilla Gallery, and there are some 20,000 more photos from over 100 countries around the world on EarthPhotos. And a happy weekend to all!

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The sea from Meads Bay, Anguilla.

 

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Boats, Anguilla.

 

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The Straw Hat Restaurant, Meads Bay, Anguilla.

 

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A really hot road, Meads Bay, Anguilla.

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Real Time Vexillology Doesn’t Happen Every Day

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Vexillology is “the scientific and scholarly study of flag history and symbolism.”

A web site called Ukrainian Policy says, “most will likely see the [Novorossiyan] flag (right) for what it most ostensibly is: a near recreation of the American Confederate battle flag (left), a symbol which remains highly controversial in the United States and often associated with racism.

Yep.

Whatever it is, you don’t get new flags everyday so cheers to vexillologists and may you enjoy your eastern Ukrainian field day.