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The Spill: Trump’s New Outlet

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From the Desk of …

Facebook announced that it will keep its ban on Donald Trump. After the January 6 protest at Capitol Hill, the former president was removed by several social media websites, including Twitter and YouTube. Facebook had temporarily restricted Trump, but after a few months of review, a new decision by the site’s Oversight Board has determined that Trump will continue to be blocked from Facebook. However, the board told Facebook to review its rules and come up with a report within six months.

It seems Trump may have seen the result coming, as he recently launched a new website to communicate his message to supporters. The website, called From the Desk of Donald J. Trump, states:

“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump administration while at the same time advancing the America First agenda. Through civic engagement and public activism, the Office of Donald J. Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American Future.”

According to Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller, this is a way to allow Trump to communicate with people who have an “America First” ideology. There is no ability for other people to post messages, but the Trump staff have hinted that a social media platform may be in the works.

“My Bad” a Farmer Relocates French/Belgium Border

The removal of a fieldstone weighing in at 331 lbs. effectively ripped up the 200-year-old Treaty of Kortrijk – an international agreement on the border between France and Belgium. Historians walking the area noticed and determined that by moving the stone 7.5 feet, one town, the French village of Bousignies-sur-Roc, decreased while Belgium gained a bit of real estate.

In clearing his field for planting, a farmer was irritated that the stone was blocking his path. So, like any busy agriculture worker, he moved it. Officials of both countries plan on asking the farmer to put it back, so there are no hard feelings or perhaps international issues. Mayors of both border towns, Bousignies-sur-Roc and La Voix du Nord, parleyed back and forth in good nature. “He made Belgium bigger and France smaller; it’s not a good idea,” said David Lavaux, mayor of the Belgian village of Erquelinnes.

Aurélie Welonek, mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc bantered, they “should be able to avoid a new border war.”

The stone in question is plainly engraved with the date 1819. After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, the border was agreed upon between nations.

The Wave You Can’t See From the Beach

The Nanggala, an Indonesian submarine that disappeared and created an international search, might have been the victim of an internal wave, so says a senior Indonesian Navy official. If that is the case, it may be that the submarine could have been pushed significantly below its crush depth without much warning.

Internal waves, also called gravity waves, happen deep in the ocean. And circumstances must be just right to achieve the wave: A water body must have diverse layers of density with a difference in salinity or temperature. These waves can reach colossal heights and occur in regions worldwide – like the Strait of Gibraltar that links the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean and the South China Sea. They are also known to exist in Indonesia, where the Nanggala was lost.

Matthew Alford of the Marine Physical Laboratory and Scripps Institution of Oceanography said in a statement to the press: “Internal waves are very strong and are a hazard because they sweep ocean layers (and potentially anything in them including divers or subs) downwards hundreds of meters in just a few minutes.”

The loss of the Nanggala is currently under investigation, and additional research on internal waves continues.

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