Straight from the Headlines: Sakhalin and Kurils Secede from Russia


Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia (RFN) – The Russian Far East islands of the Kurils and Sakhalin voted to secede from Russia and rejoin Japan.

An overwhelming majority in the Russian Far East federal subject of Sakhalin Oblast, better known as the Kurils and Sakhalin, voted today in a controversial election to leave the Russian Federation and rejoin Japan. Exit polls indicated that 99 percent of voters favored secession from Russia and annexation by Japan, which had governed the islands from 1807 until the end of World War II. The referendum called “hasty” and “illegitimate” by critics was held ten days after former Sakhalin Oblast governor Alexander Khoroshavin and his top aides fled to Moscow following a period of political unrest in the islands’ capital, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Russia Red SquareThe Sakhalin Oblast government led by interim governor Shigeru Kayano defended the vote as free and fair. “The will of the people is to rejoin the Motherland, Japan. The Russians are constantly trying to drive us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it, and because we tell it like it is and don’t engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. Russia has crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and critics called the referendum a “sham” and a violation of international law. Election monitors banned from Sakhalin indicated that a large number of foreign workers in the local oil and gas industry were seen at polling stations. Some observers accused the interim Sakhalin government of preventing Russian voters from going to the polls and refusing to give voters the option to remain a part of the Russian Federation instead of independence or annexation by Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied his country’s involvement in Sakhalin’s move to return to Japan. The Japanese Diet is expected to approve the annexation, and Abe is scheduled to deliver a speech to the parliamentary body on the matter.

Putin decried the movement of ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet off the coast of Sakhalin as a “dangerous escalation” to enforce the handover. U.S. President Barack Obama denied the claim and stated that the American fleet had been coincidentally carrying out pre-planned military drills in the Sea of Okhotsk. Putin warned that the moves could draw sanctions or a stronger response from Russia.

Before the March 21 disappearance of Khoroshavin and his $2 million Horch 855 Spezial Roadster, the Sakhalin Oblast government had been under pressure from foreign workers and indigenous minorities to ease up on “anti-non-Russian” political restrictions. After thousands of Ainu, Oroks and Nivkhs and foreign workers in the Sakhalin oil and gas industry took to the streets of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in early March, violence erupted when pro-Russian forces tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the protesters occupying Lenin Square. Interim governor Kayano chided the Russian government for what he called “heavy-handed tactics” and stated that “Russia pressed the spring too hard, and it snapped back.”

Map picture

ACLU Seeks an End to April Fool’s Day

Los Angeles (RFN) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), citing possible civil rights violations on April Fool’s Day, set up a hotline to help end the practice of perpetrating practical jokes on unsuspecting fools the first day in April. The ACLU asks those who are potential victims of April Fool’s Day pranks to contact the April Fool’s hotline at their earliest convenience. The ACLU will prepare cases for eligible claims in an effort to combat this offensive practice. If you believe you have wrongly duped by an April Fool’s Day joke or prank and seek redress, contact the ACLU at 968-3665 (YOU-FOOL).

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Thoughts & Sayings (December 2012)


Here are some thoughts and sayings I posted on Twitter and/or Facebook in November. To my knowledge, I made these up (for better or for worse). Sit back, relax, and enjoy the write!

Encouraging Words

1. The same inputs can yield different results if you simply force them.

inputs

2. A fish needs a bicycle to get from one place to another faster than on foot.

fish bicycle

3. I can’t think of anything to say. I guess I’ll use hand gestures.

gestures

Twisted Words

4. My sayings are so corny that I know one day I will reap what I sow.

corny

Holidays & Events

5. Spotted at a protest following the 2004 U.S. Election.

kanada

6. I quit cold turkey for Thanksgiving.

coldturkey

7. This Thanksgiving, be thankful you’re not a turkey. Oh, never mind.

thankful

8. China announces its new leaders. Snow White is not among them.

9. Happy Election Day! If you’re not American, just tell a pollster how you’d vote if you could.

election

10. In a goofy, Mickey Mouse deal, Disney buys LucasFilm. Coming soon: “Star Wars – The Musical,” “Star Wars on Ice,” and “Star Wars Episodes VII – to Infinity and Beyond.”

Random Musings

11. Hasbro should make a Clue board game featuring blockbuster movies, people, places and things, where Harry Potter did it on Tatooine with a phaser or Spock did it at Hogwarts with a light saber.

12. Get hundreds of new Twitter followers every day. Tweet good content.

13. Omy – the symbol for methane on the Periodic Table.

methane

14. This morning my child went from tired to wired in 15 minutes.

15. Why is a car a lemon and not a carrot?

lemon

Click here to visit the Thoughts & Sayings page, or click here to read the previous batch of Thoughts & Sayings.

Images courtesy of Microsoft.

buythumb[3]M.G. Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the mystery, thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures. He is author of Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, a non-fiction account of his attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, a collection of short stories calledReal Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Storiesand Alexander the Salamander, a children’s story set in the Amazon. His books are available to purchase as an e-book and in print from Amazon.com and other booksellers. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife Jing and son Alex.

For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or his blog, World Adventurers. Contact him at me@mgedwards.com, on Facebook, on Google+, or @m_g_edwards on Twitter.

© 2012 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. All characters and events appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons or events is purely coincidental. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.

Thoughts & Sayings (September 2012)


Here are some thoughts and sayings I posted on Twitter and/or Facebook in August. To my knowledge, I made these up (for better or for worse). Sit back, relax, and enjoy the write!

Encouraging Words

1. diverIn the past, now is the future.

2. I’m not perfect, but I’m perfect for you.

3. It’s better to go off the deep end than the shallow end.

4. Can you hope that there’s hope when there’s no hope?

5. Reach for the sky, because if you shoot for the moon you might see stars.

6. I found myself at the Lost & Found.

Twisted Words

7. How many stories are you?

8. There’s no particular reason for this signal. It’s merely taking up space.

9. A dull scientist can be brilliant.

Holidays & Events

celebrate10. August has a dearth of official holidays. Go ahead, pick one from another country and celebrate it.

11. It’s ironic that the movie “Total Recall” forgot to include scenes from the planet Mars.

12. Happy Day 11 of the Olympics, Day 3 of the Curiosity Mars Landing, and 90 Days until the U.S. Election. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Random Musings

wheel13. The squeaky wheel can go find another repair shop.

14. Instead of multilevel marketing, can’t I just stay on the same level?

15. Please don’t forget who I am. Someday I may need to ask you to remind me.

16. Someone told me that I’m such a tweet. I’m not quite sure how to take that.

17. A picture is worth 1,000 words, but it only takes one word to describe a picture.

picture

Images courtesy of Microsoft.

Click here to read the previous batch of Thoughts & Sayings.

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