According to a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in which it said that three Iraqi delegations visited Israel in 2018 ... The statement, which Baghdad did not reply yet added
On Sunday evening, that "three delegations from Iraq, including 15 people, visited Israel during the last year."
The ministry said in a statement, seen by Anatolia, that "the visit of the third Iraqi delegation to Israel took place several weeks ago."
"Delegations included Sunni and Shiite figures and local leaders with influence in Iraq," the statement said.
"These figures visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and met some Israeli academics and officials," he said.
"The Iraqi government sent it to negotiate with Israel over the Iranian withdrawal from southern Syria in exchange for an end to the Israeli bombing of Syrian territory,"
Israeli analyst and academic Eddie Cohen said on his official Twitter page.
"The delegations also negotiated on the dissolution of the Shiite parties in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Gulf states, and all declare normalization with Israel," Cohen said.
As of 21:30 GMT, Baghdad has not officially commented on what the Israeli Foreign Ministry reported, or what Cohen claimed.
Iraq does not establish or recognize diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Arab states, with the exception of Jordan and Egypt, have no public relations with Israel.
Reported by| Abeer Almadawy
As Egypt today is celebrating with the opening of 2 mega projects in the administrative capital city, the first the opening of the Mosque" Alftah Alalem" the largest in the world, and the second is the opening of the Cathedral birth of the Christ , the biggest in the middle east at all, U.S. president Donald Trump praised Egypt and the president Abdul fattah Alsisi for expand egypt to hold more inclusive future, as he said in his twitter.
"Excited to see our friends in Egypt opening the biggest Cathedral in the Middle East. President El-Sisi is moving his country to a more inclusive future!"
Most of his followers asked him where's the biggest mosque in the united states, other said why you forget the opening of mosque as it is other biggest project ?
However Egypt is happy with the declaration of trump and his praises ,considering as a good point for more understanding the Egyptian vision who respect all the religions and care with the 2 Egyptian partners.
In a country has more 100 millions , more than 88 million of them are muslims and 12 are christians , egypt paid a great role in this file to equal between both partners in building the churches and mosques ,Though the number of Muslims are seven double the christians and they need more mosques so the principle to do an equalviation is not right , but according to the stress fall on Egypt and how the outers used this paper to indulge egypt in troubles and terrorism, It worked hardly to equal between the Muslims and Christians...in a good model of understanding and saving this country with peace and respect.
Written by| Abeer Almadawy
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened today the cathedral " The birth of Christ" which is considering as the largest in the Middle East, and one of the greatest projects that is established in the new administrative capital.
In the inauguration,President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has accompanied with him t Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Sheikh of Azhar and Assistant to the President of Sudan as he was received by Pope Twadros II.
Cathedral of the "birth of Christ" is located in the new administrative capital, considered as the largest church in Egypt and even the Middle East in general, and it was established on using the latest technology methods, and the Cathedral is under the supervision and implementation of Orascom, in cooperation with the Engineering Corps of the Egyptian Armed Forces
Where President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the construction of the largest mosque and cathedral in the Middle East as a gift for all Egyptians in the new administrative capital, on the night of Christmas Day on 6 January 2017
Here is some information about the Cathedral in detail:
Cathedral " The birth of Christ"is The largest and most spacious cathedral in the Middle East.
The church has an area of 15 acres, or 63,000 square meters. It includes the cathedral building on an area of 7,500 square meters, the People's Church for about 1000 citizens. The People's Church also contains a main square, the palace building, a reception hall, a meeting room and administrative offices. The cathedral building has a capacity of 8,200 individuals, which is a "Padrum" and a plate and lighthouse 60 meters high.
First: the design idea
The architectural design of the Cathedral of the Birth of Christ, designed to accommodate the largest number of people and to become a symbol and a distinctive mark in the new administrative capital, reflects the depth of the historical value of the Coptic Church as well as the cultural importance of Egypt and its great role in the region in the past, present and future. Also there is an importance for the Harmony with the locators of the site as well as inspired by the composition of historical and contemporary architectural vocabulary, both at the level of public composition or at the level of definated details, and was careful to arrive at a design worthy of the importance and significance of the project taking into account the importance of To create a state of love and worshiping to Almighty God, reverence and spirituality for project users, the uniqueness of the cluster was therefore used as a monumental magnification in design.
The buildings adjacent to the cathedral are also designed, including the papal headquarters building, a 1000 people's church, a ground floor garage and a service building.
The cathedral building and the adjacent buildings within the site were to be integrated with the surrounding buildings and the surrounding area in a magnificent symphony of architectural harmony.
Second: The formation of the cathedral
It is about huge main hall is covered with two perpendicular vaults, each 40 meters in diameter, forming a cross. In the center of the courtyard, the dome of the cathedral is 40 meters high, 39 meters above ground, loaded with four main arches, Four spherical triangles and the western part are covered with a 40-meter Vault.
At the end of the main clans are semi-domes in the northern, tribal and western regions. On both sides there are two side passageways, each covered by two intersecting vaults, each 6 meters in diameter. As for the structure area, it is important to have the top structure of the dome with a diameter of 15 meters and the domes of the sides of the 10 meters.
- A number of 2 lighthouses were added to the cathedral building, and its location was chosen so that it can be seen from all sides and can be seen from the moment that the visitor enters the site from a distance. The lighthouse rises 60 meters.
- The lighthouse was designed to form elements of the Coptic architecture and it was considered to contain a number of bells at the top of the lighthouse. The cathedral was considered as a symbol of life in the sea.
Description of the Cathedral:
The cathedral building consists of two floors:
1 - the upper floor with a surface of about 8100 square meters. Consisting of a cathedral bowl and can accommodate more than 7500 individuals, and the deacons rises 7 degrees from the courtyard of the cathedral, and the structure area in the east, and it contains three altars with restrooms and service rooms occupying three floors next to the structures on the east.
There is a baptism in the north-west of the building and a children's room opposite the baptism. Four elevators serving the elderly and various slopes and stairs to serve the people within the cathedral were considered. There is a central adaptation of the entire cathedral.
The lower floor is about 8,500 square meters and contains a church with an area of 1800 square meters, which can accommodate more than 1,200 people, a multi-purpose hall with a surface area of 1500 square meters, a museum hall for the history of the Coptic Church and a meeting room. Service rooms and stores, and is now adding a north entrance to connect the church with the main square next door.
Source|Watani in arabic - Castle Journal
Editing: Tony wild
Egypt is preparing for renewing the constitution...A bill law will be discussing by the Egyptian assembly for changing the Egyptian constitution to extend the period of the president from 4 years to 6 or to open the terms of the president from 2 times to be 3 times or for ever...these news is spreaded in the social media recently with a big expectation that Establishing a protection council for the Egyptian constitution ...
From here the Egyptian Anwar al-Sadat, a former member of the People's Assembly, came out of his silence and announced his rejection of changing the constitution...
Mohamed Anwar El Sadat, Chairman of the Reform and Development Party warns against what is being currently shared on social media outlets under the label of 'the People's Campaign'.
It is used as a trial balloon and an appetizer to prepare the public opinion for the proposal of amending few articles including Article 140 of the Constitution.
This Article limits the president to stay in office for a maximum of two terms, totaling 8 years.
The proposal to extend the presidential office terms to three, totaling 12 years, is a clear assault on the people's will and the rotation of power principle.
This comes at a time where we are seeking to build a modern state based on the respect of law and constitution.
A shocking number hit the American society as about 700 mothers die each year in the U.S. due to pregnancy or delivery complications, and African-American women are four times more likely to be victims than white women.
After the death of his wife, Charles Johnson turned his grief into action by testifying on Capitol Hill and helping pass legislation aimed to save lives.
The report speaks about Black women are facing death during their pregnancy or delivery as they have more pain and difficulties in delivering as well complicated health issue, more than the white woman for unknown reasons .
The report doesn't mention the reason behind this phenomenon, But it needs more alerts for studying and researching.
Reported by/Simon Jackson -Abeer Almadawy
Old story,is a new line of journalism method that serves the most important issues which didn't end yet, as we aren't sure if the serious issue could have a true solution!
Our mission is definitely to repeat the story article as it was published before from its source and show by our investigation if the problem was ended or the dust threw over it to close the mouth.
Today , we are going to open old story was published in December,8,2016 in weather.com who have all the copyright by the way.
The old story is
Toxic Lake: The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee
Our investigation and through private sources told us the problem didn't solve and it can't happen in 2 years only , authorities study and work but yet the crisis remains as it before and what happened according to the The residence beside the lake They lose a very important source of income by neglecting the issue...so our alarm here...this old story needs to open again .in the short video which was published in July 2018 it provided that information about the lake is true and nothing seems to change!
Let's jump to the main article that was published before 3 years :
Toxic Lake: The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee
CLEWISTON, Fla. – For months during 2016, plumes of toxic algae turned South Florida’s emerald waters the color of coffee and smothered its inlets under a fetid blanket of guacamole-green goop that killed off fish, suffocated oyster beds and triggered a ferocious outcry from coastal residents.
From NBC’s “Today Show” to The Daily Telegraph of London, news outlets chronicled the closing of beaches, the declaration of a state of emergency and the desperate, heart-breaking efforts of people using garden hoses to save manatees, affectionately known as sea cows, caked in toxic slime and struggling to breathe.
But the reports didn’t explain the most tragic part of the story – that this calamity is man-made. It’s the culmination of 135 years of engineering missteps, hubris and a determination to turn Everglades sawgrass into cash crops. Despite talk of spending $10.5 billion over the next two decades to fix the problem, a cloud of political uncertainty leaves it unclear when, how – or even if – the harmful algae blooms will be stopped.
Environmental degradation is only part of the price the public pays so private companies can turn sugar into money. These tropical wetlands have been drained and maintained for decades at great expense for the benefit of Florida’s sugar cane industry, which is dominated by two politically connected companies. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on a regional flood control system that keeps the cane fields from flooding during periods of heavy rain and irrigated during droughts.
Adding to the public cost, a national sugar program requires American consumers to pay twice the world price for sugar through a blend of import quotas, tariffs and loan guarantees. Congress has kept the program in place specifically for the sugar industry since 1934.
Critics of the U.S. sugar policy say the ubiquitous, addictive commodity can be imported at half the price and without environmental damage here. Supporters counter that America shouldn’t allow itself to become dependent on foreign sugar, which is cultivated cheaply throughout the Caribbean – and beyond.
Opponents from the left and right decry the sugar program with some of the harshest epithets in America’s political lexicon: corporate welfare, crony capitalism, pork barrel politics – the spoils of a political system rigged by campaign contributions and influence peddling. But supporters, too, come from both sides of the aisle, so well-oiled is the political machine that influences them.
The cane fields sit on 450,000 acres of reclaimed wetlands just below Lake Okeechobee in south-central Florida. The area is home to about 40,000 people and an economy based on farming. By contrast, some 6 million people live in the coastal zone affected by the algae – a region fueled by a great diversity of commercial activity, but especially tourism.
The economic boon of the smaller community has become the bane of the larger one. In future decades, rising temperatures and shifting rain patterns likely will worsen the plague of toxic algae.
This battle is seen by some as a test of the integrity of America’s political system, of just how freely the tools of political influence – campaign contributions, lobbying fees and the blandishments and acts of ingratiation that often come with them – can be leveraged to put the full benefit of nature’s bounty in a few hands while spreading the costs, including pollution and despoliation, across the rest of society. Because only a fraction of the sugar cane fields is being sought to solve the algae problem, some see it as a test of whether special interests can use these perfectly legal tools of modern American democracy to run roughshod over the broader public interest.
At the hub of the dispute is Lake Okeechobee – one of the nation’s largest lakes, the wellspring of the Everglades and the freshwater heart of South Florida.
For 6,000 years, excess groundwater has spilled over the southern rim of the lake, nourishing the Everglades before draining into the Florida Bay. To make way for the cane fields, engineers raised and fortified the lake’s southern shore, funneling all that excess groundwater through an array of canals, levees and pumping stations into two rivers that then dump it into the sea along Florida’s east and west coasts.
This cleared the way for the cane fields, but choked off water to the rest of the Everglades. It also infected the two rivers and South Florida’s coastlines with toxic algae.
Even more fearsome – it created a ticking time bomb in the form of a seeping dike that, should the right storm come along, could lay waste to everything and everybody in its path.
Last January, record rains fell across central Florida, threatening the fragile dike that lines Lake Okeechobee’s southern rim. If the dike had failed then, the lake’s torrent of unleashed water could have killed tens of thousands of people and washed out a vast swath of cropland. In 1928, the dike ruptured, killing at least 2,500 people – the second-deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
Today, because of Florida’s burgeoning population, the impact could be far worse.
So the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with an eye on the rising lake, reduced the risk by opening sluice gates and sending billions of gallons of lake water a day cascading east and west through the network of canals and rivers into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
The dike was spared, as were the sugar cane fields and people who work and live around them.
But along the Atlantic coast, the lake’s fertilizer-infused water spawned giant plumes of toxic algae, turning the ocean the color of coffee and coating the shore in slime. The fouling of the ocean was an ecological and economic calamity for South Florida’s Treasure Coast, coming as it did during the height of the winter tourist season.
The Corps, which manages the nation’s water resources, figured the costs to the coast paled in comparison to the potential loss of human life if the dike failed – a cataclysm that could be far deadlier than the 2005 failure of levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Adding to the concern, the 143-mile-long dike, named in the 1930s after former-president Herbert Hoover, had been built piecemeal over 135 years, beginning in the 19 century with sand, shells and muck. It leaks and is in constant need of inspection and repair.
The higher the level of the lake, the higher the risk of a failure. As the Corps sees it, the sea is its only safety valve when the lake becomes too full.
“We’re making choices between trying to protect the integrity of the dike – the safety of the people who live and work around the lake – or upsetting the balance of a delicate ecological system,” said Corps spokesman John Campbell.
The decision to release the lake water reignited a bitter political and legal battle pitting South Florida’s coastal residents, businesses and environmentalists against the state’s powerful sugar industry.
Coastal fishing guide Mike Connor said his business is off 50 percent this year because of the algae blooms. His losses “trickle up” through Florida’s tourism-driven coastal economy, he said.
“We put people in the water, they have to stay in a hotel,” Connor explained. “They go to restaurants. They go to the movies at night. They rent a car here. They buy gas here.… If they’re not here in my boat fishing, they aren’t here.”
Farmers south of Lake Okeechobee make a similar argument. Their economy would be hurt if tens of thousands of acres of cropland were taken out of service to restore the natural flow of water south through the Everglades.
“It would be a domino effect,” said sugar cane grower Keith Wedgworth. “If you lose one of the sugar mills, the hardware store, the parts store, the lumber store, it would be a domino effect around the Glades.”
Wedgworth, a fourth-generation Everglades farmer, cultivates 8,000 acres of sugar cane and 1,000 acres of rice on reclaimed land south of the dike.
“We’re the small population, so it’s easy to blame us.”
Connor, the fishing guide, said public officials in Tallahassee favor central Florida’s sparsely populated inland farming community at the expense of south Florida’s sprawling coastal metropolis because of the sugar industry’s out-sized political influence.
“Florida’s the sport fishing capital of the world… but our politicians from the governor on down aren’t treating it like the sport fishing capital,” Connor said. “They’re letting the water go to hell…. The Ag industry, the chief being sugar, has so much influence in Tallahassee and Washington. They’re at the top of the totem pole; we’re way down here.”
That point was underscored during a GOP presidential debate earlier this year when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took a swipe at one of his rivals for the nomination, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a champion of the sugar industry.
“Sugar farmers farm under roughly 0.2 percent of the farmland in America, and yet they give 40 percent of the lobbying money,” Cruz asserted to Rubio, a beneficiary of the sugar industry’s political largesse.
Rubio is hardly the only politician to benefit from the sugar industry’s generosity. So far in the 2016 election cycle, Florida’s two largest sugar companies – Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar – have given federal candidates almost $3 million in campaign contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which compiles federal campaign finance data.
During that same two-year period, the two companies paid out more than $3.6 million to federal lobbyists and the Florida Sugar Cane League added another $2 million.
These and other sugar interests also dispense political money in Tallahassee. They use contributions and lobbyists to gain influence with lawmakers of both parties, the better to hedge against electoral uncertainty, especially at the federal level.
Tales of Influence
Like most lobbying, sugar lobbying is conducted in the shadows as much as possible. But sometimes it finds its way into the spotlight.
Florida Crystals, which includes the Domino brand, is owned by a family that left behind its vast sugar holdings when it fled Cuba after Fidel Castro took power in 1959. The Fanjul family moved to Florida, bought reclaimed land here south of Lake Okeechobee and continued its sugar dynasty. Today, it owns 155,000 acres in what is known as the Everglades Agricultural Area and has powerful friends on both sides of the political aisle.
The Fanjul family gained some notoriety in 1998 when a commission set up to investigate then-President Bill Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky discovered and reported a vivid example of the family’s Oval Office reach.
The report, prepared by Kenneth Starr, disclosed that Alfonso “Alfy” Fanjul had kept Clinton on the phone for 22 minutes in 1996 while the president was trying to explain to Lewinsky that they needed to end their sexual relationship. Fanjul’s call came as Congress was considering a penny-a-pound tax on sugar companies to pay for cleaning up pollution in the Everglades. The Clinton administration withheld its support for the legislation, and it died in Congress.
Florida’s other giant sugar corporation, U.S. Sugar, has its own awkward lobbying tale, this one involving Republican officeholders in Tallahassee. The company built a hunting lodge on land it leased from the King Ranch in Texas, a prized destination for hunters. Company executives hosted Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott and GOP state lawmakers at the lodge on weekends. The fun came to an end in 2014 after the Tampa Bay Times disclosed the U.S. Sugar-financed junkets.
Another Fanjul brother, Pepe, has co-hosted fundraisers for Donald Trump, according to published reports.
During an Oct. 11 appearance in Panama City, Trump outlined his strategy for dealing with the Lake Okeechobee releases.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “You know, Lake Okeechobee, they’re always letting the water out. Do you ever notice we always have droughts? They’re always letting the water out. Keep it in! We won’t have any droughts.”
At a more recent campaign stop, Trump added a call for the dike to be fortified.
Sweet Deal for Sugar
Flooding, algae and pollution aren’t the only items on the sugar industry’s lobbying agenda.
A top industry priority is protecting the national sugar program, a blend of import quotas, tariffs and loan guarantees that Congress has kept in place since 1934. The American Sugar Alliance, one of several sugar trade groups, says the program is “the cheapest major commodity program because sugar farmers do not receive subsidy checks.”
But opponents say it costs American consumers billions of dollars every year – and jobs.
“Last year, on average sugar cost nearly twice as much in the United States as in the rest of the world,” said Bryan Riley, a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “That means higher prices when you buy your Halloween candy. It also means that your Halloween treats may well have been produced in another country, since many candy producers have had to relocate to escape high U.S. sugar prices.”
A 2015 analysis by Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute found the sugar program costs consumers and businesses more than $3 billion annually. A 2013 study by Iowa State University found the sugar program costs consumers up to $3.5 billion a year – and up to 20,000 jobs.
Defenders of the program, such as Rubio, argue that it’s needed so the United States doesn’t become dependent on other nations for sugar. But many of those same defenders have become dependent on sugar interests for campaign money. Florida Crystals gave a Rubio political group $250,000 in December 2015. Two months later, U.S. Sugar gave it $100,000.
Messing with Mother Nature
The roots of Florida’s toxic algae conflict lie in 19th century ambitions to transform vast swamps south of Lake Okeechobee, viewed as “worse than worthless,” into productive farmland. Remaking millions of acres, as explorer Buckingham Smith put it in 1848, would earn a settler “a high place in public favor, not only with his own generation, but with posterity. He will have created a State!”
To accomplish the feat, farm settlers and engineers set themselves to the task of redirecting the natural flow of an almost unimaginable volume of Florida’s ground water, which had been until then southerly through the Everglades to the peninsula’s tip and into the Florida Bay.
Initially, these early settlers fortified the southern shore of the lake with primitive muck levees that were easily overwhelmed by Florida’s rampaging storms. That led engineers to dig canals to carry excess water, when necessary, to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, which run east and west, respectively.
The St. Lucie drains into the Atlantic and the Caloosahatchee into the Gulf. There, the excess freshwater from the lake would be but a mere drop in the proverbial saltwater bucket.
But for 135 years, Mother Nature has confounded these engineers in what has become an epic chess match.
Faced with adverse unintended consequences of earlier moves, succeeding generations of engineers built higher and wider levees, more canals and even reservoirs in a vain effort to defy 6,000 years of natural order and keep the shallow, 730-square-mile lake in its bed during the kind of heavy rains and stiff winds Florida is famous for, the kind that can whip up an angry, powerful, southerly surge in the lake bed that, if it were to rupture the dike, would unleash the force and fury of a great tsunami plunging downhill through a naked basin of farm fields and small towns.
Mother Nature let it be known from the start that tampering with her wouldn’t be easy. Shortly after the first canal was put into service in 1881, water released from the lake flooded property along the Caloosahatchee River, drawing protests from land owners.
In 1926, a hurricane ruptured the dike, killing 300 people.
Two years later, another hurricane burst the dike, this time killing at least 2,500. Many bodies were washed into the Everglades never to be found, some likely devoured by alligators or picked at by turkey vultures – or perhaps worked on by other scavengers and decomposers of the glades. In any case, they were absorbed one way or the other into the muck of the swamp itself. Some recovered bodies were interred anonymously in mass graves.
In her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” novelist, folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston drew on her full pallet of skills to conjure the horror endured by migrant workers washed away by the hurricane of 1928, many of them, like herself, the children of slaves, but all of them without warning or means of escape – offering a hint of what might yet lie in store for residents of modern-day towns like Clewiston, Belle Glade and Pahokee.
“A huge barrier of the makings of the dike to which the cabins had been added was rolling and tumbling forward,” she wrote. “Ten feet higher and as far as they could see the muttering wall advanced before the braced-up waters like a road crusher on a cosmic scale. The monstropolous beast had left its bed…. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.”
In 1947, a hurricane-driven surge topped the dike, causing extensive damage to agriculture and widespread loss of livestock and wildlife, but no human deaths.
The current state of the effort to keep the “monstropolous beast” confined to its bed is a sprawling, jerry-rigged plumbing system consisting of 2,100 miles of canals, 2,000 miles of levees and 71 major pumping stations.
Operating at an annual cost of three-quarters of a billion dollars, it provides flood control for the region. It also keeps the reclaimed farmland south of the lake from flooding during periods of heavy rain and irrigated during drought.
To the outrage of many coastal residents, fertilizer-infused water from the cane fields is even “back pumped” into the lake during periods of heavy rain to keep the fields and towns from flooding. There, it adds to the risk of a dike failure and increases the amount of phosphorus-filled water that must be discharged into the sea, where it nourishes the plumes of toxic algae that drive off fish, kill off oyster beds, endanger the health of children and undermine the local economy.
If the Herbert Hoover Dike is the strategy’s terrifying Achilles Heel waiting to rupture, fertilizer is the steady drip, drip, drip of poison spreading certain death throughout South Florida’s ecosystem.
It starts with runoff from suburbs, golf courses and farms well north of the lake. It drains into the Kissimmee River. From there, it flows into Lake Okeechobee. During periods of heavy rain, the lake water, laced with phosphorus, is discharged into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and eventually the sea.
Along its journey, the phosphorus nourishes plant life, causing algae blooms, which decreases the amount of oxygen available for aquatic animals. This, plus the fact that the excess fresh water pouring into the ocean reduces the salinity of coastal estuaries, is killing oyster beds and driving off fish.
It’s a dark and downward spiral.
The most recent hope for a reversal came in 2008 when then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican at the time, announced the state and U.S. Sugar had reached an agreement under which Florida would buy out the company, including it’s land, about 180,000 acres, and send the water south again. Toxins would be laundered naturally as the water made its long journey through grassy swampland to the Florida Bay. The natural order would be restored.
“I can envision no better gift to the Everglades, the people of Florida and the people of America — as well as our planet — than to place in public ownership this missing link that represents the key to true restoration,” Crist said when he announced the deal with great fanfare.
But state officials, citing the severe financial impact of the Great Recession, purchased only one-seventh of the land. Eight years later, the state shows no interest in exercising its option to buy the rest, an option that’s good through 2020. This, despite an economic recovery and an overwhelming vote by Floridians in 2014 to accept a tax specifically to buy the land. The tax, a documentation fee on real estate transactions, is being collected but the legislature isn’t using the revenue to buy the land. This helped stoke the fury of coastal residents protesting the algae blooms with chants of “Buy the land” and “Send the water south.”
U.S. Sugar, which is widely portrayed as wanting to keep its land, wouldn’t speak publicly for this article. However, critics of the land purchase within the sugar industry have argued that the better solution is to build water treatment plants to remove the phosphorus before it flows into the lake. Sending the water south, they say, is no longer viable because of engineering costs and uncertainties. The Cape Sable seaside sparrow could be endangered and gains in cleaning up Everglades National Park could be imperiled, they argue.
A Lack of Consensus
Wedgworth, the farmer who grows sugar cane on reclaimed land south of Lake Okeechobee, says the real pollution culprit is 30 years of development north of the lake, beginning in the Orlando area and spreading south. It’s the inevitable result of proliferating septic tanks, golf courses and subdivisions, he said.
A 2011 state government report traced 29 percent of the phosphorus in the lake to urban runoff; agriculture, especially cattle ranches north of the lake, accounted for much of the rest. Sugar cane cultivation, which is concentrated south of the lake, accounted for less than 10 percent of the lake’s phosphorus, according to the March 2011 update of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan.
However, the creation of the Everglades Agricultural Area, where the sugar cane is grown, is the entire reason the water was diverted from its natural course in the first place and the main source of opposition to redirecting its flow today.
“If you think the problem is north of the lake and the problem is what’s ending up in Lake Okeechobee then wouldn’t you want to solve the problem where the problem is taking place?” Wedgworth asked. “There’s something like 40 different projects on the books right now and they say that once all these projects come on line and they fix the dike around the lake it will solve more or less all the problems.”
Indeed, water storage and treatment facilities north of the lake are part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which has a price tag of $10.5 billion and a 35-year timetable. Despite its bold ambitions, plenty of dissension continues over details, and its funding is uncertain. Opponents question whether the plan is viable without sending more water south to the Everglades, where it’s needed.
Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers recently came up with a blueprint for completing the first major overhaul of the Herbert Hoover Dike in 75 years. All that’s needed is for taxpayers to come up with $830 million to finish what would be a $1.7 billion rehab.
Given the vagaries of politics and government funding, promises to bolster the dike and build out the water treatment system aren’t guarantees the pollution will stop flowing into Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades will stop dying, toxic algae will stop blooming or the “monstropolous beast” will stay in its bed.
With the freshwater heart of South Florida pumping deadly toxins into the sea for the foreseeable future, the long, costly effort to turn swampland into cropland must find a way to overcome its own haunted history of hubris — a legacy whose dark underside includes death, destruction and despoliation.
If William Shakespeare was right when he wrote in his epic play “The Tempest” that what’s past is prologue, Florida’s political leaders might want to weigh carefully the needs of their campaign war chests against the spiraling cost of sugar cane to the Sunshine State.
A sense of urgency might be in order. Nature’s unforgiving forces are on the rise.
This story does not necessarily represent the view of Castle Journal...all copyright for weather.com
Editing: Hue Ji
The US Congress to study the possibility of using the remains of dead bodies in the manufacture of organic fertilizer,US state television channel NBC said on Thursday.
The bill, backed by US Congressman Jimmy Pedersen, according to the NBC news report, allows the US to "reshape" human remains through a process that accelerates the degradation to turn it into nutrient-saturated soil that can be returned to relatives of the deceased.
Pedersen said the method would be "useful to people who can not afford normal funerals or do not consider cremation a convenient and convenient way."
Similar to the process of converting the body of the deceased to a large composting process is the traditional compost, where the remains can be placed in a non-compound fertilizer chamber, and leaves to decompose organic such as wood chips or straw material extent.
The air is sometimes drawn into the chamber to help microbes speed up the decomposition, and within a month, only fertilizer remains.
It is also expected that the process will be cheaper than the funeral if approved, as it is expected to cost about $ 5,500, compared with 7 thousand according to the Society in Washington, the organization of funerals managers.
If the US bill is passed, it will take effect in May 2020.
Source: Novosti-RUSSIA today RT