Venezuela partner

Venezuela has imported food goods worth only $2.46 billion in 2018 compared to $11.2 billion in 2013. If food imports remain low and Venezuela is unable to hastily grow enough food, then — as ... Venezuela’s Socialists Embrace Business, Making Partner of a ‘Parasite’ Decades of socialist-style control devastated the economy. Now, capitalism is back, helping keep the country afloat ... The top product import tariffs by their MFN Ad Valorem value for Venezuela are Castor oil seeds (40%) and Cereals: grain sorghum, other than seed (40%). Click any of the products in the bar chart to see the specific Ad Valorem Duty Rates by partner country. Explore Tariff Data *The tariffs applied to imports for Venezuela are: PetroChina Co Ltd, which had been state-run Petroleos de Venezuela’s partner in the Singapore-based joint venture CV Shipping Pte Ltd, took control of the three tankers between January and ... Venezuela was once the wealthiest country in South America, but in recent years millions have fled the country amid mass starvation and violence after socialist policies were enacted and ... NEW YORK/MEXICO CITY/SINGAPORE (Aug 11): A shipping joint venture between Venezuela and China has fallen apart in the wake of US sanctions, resulting in the South American nation losing three supertankers at a time when foreign shippers are reluctant to carry its oil, court documents show.PetroChina Co Ltd, which had been state-run Petroleos de Venezuela's partner in the Singapore-based joint ... GIS: The Eastern Caribbean Joins Venezuela to Deliver Critical Assistance to Hurricane-Battered Member Countries. In the crucial days following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the OECS Commission joined forces with the Embassy of Venezuela and the Government of Saint Lucia to provide a steady stream of relief supplies to affected OECS member states. PetroChina Co Ltd, which had been state-run Petroleos de Venezuela’s partner in the Singapore-based joint venture CV Shipping Pte Ltd, took control of the three tankers between January and ... Partner Andrew Durkovic would tackle U.S. sanctions. The firm was motivated to take Venezuela on as a client specifically to address sanctions, which Amsterdam sees as exacerbating the ... Oracle has sent out letters to partners in Venezuela stating that they will no longer be able to work with them in order to comply with President Trump's Executive Order 13884.

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2008.06.04 20:02 Global News - Latest International News from Around the World

All news in one place, this is a world news hub of reddit. Latest International News from Around the World on Reddit. Stream of current news from all directions. Extreme political or ideological opinions are not allowed in this subreddit.

2020.09.25 04:28 Red-Heat After the End CK3 Dev Diary 1: Overall Vision and Scope and Final CK2 Update

After the End CK3 Dev Diary 1: Overall Vision and Scope and Final CK2 Update
Good tidings, all!
I'm still on hiatus at the moment, but I thought I would take this time to tell you all about the direction we're taking for the CK3 version of the mod and the final changes we plan to make for the Fan Fork. As of right now, our working title is After the End CK3, but this is subject to change, as is everything else shown here. I'd like to get one thing out of the way as well - we do not have any release date projections right now. This project could release six months from now or six years from now. I really cannot say. Now then, onto the dev diary.
The Vision
After the End CK3 is not going to be a 1:1 copy or "port" of the Fan Fork, because that would be impossible anyway. CK3's scripting engine and hardcoded mechanics are so radically different from anything in CK2 that it's less a question of what we will keep and more a question of what we can salvage. Instead, we want AtE CK3 to be more like a remake or sequel of the CK2 mod.
We plan to build on the foundation laid by the Fan Fork, but we also won't be afraid to completely rework, replace, or even delete elements that we aren't happy with or that won't work in CK3. This applies to political setup, in-game history, and entire cultures or religions. Nothing is sacred, and nothing is safe. (Except Americanism. That stays.)
Our team has two main focuses at the moment - creating religions and faiths and building the map.
The Map
Our dedicated team of map modders have decided to challenge themselves by vastly expanding the scope of the in-game map. Here's an image of the current Fan Fork map...
The Fan Fork's map as of v1.1.
And here's an image of the planned CK3 projection.
We're going all the way from the tip of Tierra Del Fuego to the northern shore of Alaska and everything in between. We even have Svalbard in the top right. (My mappers assure me that it makes sense, assuming a spherical Earth.)
As you might imagine, creating new cultures, religions, and histories for all of South America south of Venezuela is no small feat. That's why we've decided to partner with devs from the upcoming AtE South America spinoff, Sob o Anil. Their CK2 mod will still release as a standalone, but the content they have already developed will be used to shape AtE CK3's version of South America. This means, in effect, that Sob o Anil has become part of the Fan Fork's shared universe. (More on this later.)
Religions and Faiths
Let's move on to talking about religions and faiths. We are nowhere near done with this and probably won't be for at least another month, but we have laid a basic groundwork. Let's discuss the two top-level families that you are probably most anxious to hear about: the Antiquarian and Abrahamic families.
The Antiquarian family contains most of the religions that were part of the Old World Cultist religion group in the Fan Fork. This includes fan favorites like:
Foundrycraft (formerly Rust Cultist).
As you can see, each of these former CK2 religions have been spun off into faith groups under the Antiquarian family. This will let us more precisely control how these faiths view each other across groups and within groups. For example, Americanism and Libertarianism are generally okay with one another, while Atomicists and Aphites are... less okay with each other. You may have also noticed that each of these faiths have custom tenets - the new CK3 religious system will let us give each faith more depth than was possible in CK2 while also making it easier for different faiths to access similar features.
Now, let's talk about the Abrahamic family, starting with the Christian faiths. I won't be able to show them all off here, so I'll show you one of them with a list of other Christian faiths.
Wait, what?
When contact with Rome was lost, the Catholics of the Caribbean mostly retained their faith and did not recognize a new head. Instead, the various archdioceses began to administer the church according to their local authority an Insula, or island community, with their own rites. These rites, amounting to almost full canons, contain both functional law and local saints. Although they theoretically are pending approval by the Pope in Rome, they are treated as valid in his absence. Most lay practitioners trust that their bishops do their due diligence and consider their local traditions to be in line with mainstream Catholicism. Other Catholics would note that many Insular Christians venerate 'African saints' that are suspiciously similar to figures from other nearby religions.
Insular Christianity is a good example of the steps that we will take in CK3 to expand on the foundation laid in CK2. As mentioned above, CK3 lets us model interfaith relations with a level of subtlety and complexity that was not possible in CK2. We are taking advantage of this by, among other things, adding new forms of Christianity that "bridge the gap" between traditional Catholicism and faiths that are... less traditional.
On that note, I'd like to explain something about the faith assignments in CK3. The rigid nature of interfaith relationships in CK2 meant that we were sometimes forced to place certain religions outside of the "Christian" group, even though members of these religions would certainly identify as Christian. This is no longer an issue, and faiths will now be grouped (mostly) according to the self-identification of practitioners. For example, Mormons, who were assigned their own religion group in CK2, will now be part of the Christian faith group in CK3, with special doctrines controlling relations between Mormons and other Christians. The same applies to all former "Cult of Saints" religions and "Amero-Syncretic" religions - they will all be in the Christian faith group and will rely on special doctrines to govern interfaith relations.
However, certain Christian-adjacent faiths will still be placed in other groups and families for gameplay purposes and to better reflect self-identity. For example, Rastafari is assigned its own faith group, with each mansion now being a faith unto itself. This is because many Rastas identify themselves as either entirely separate from Christianity or as part of a group that is highly distinct from other Christians.
The Nyabinghi Order.
Similarly, many of the former Afro-Syncretic faiths have been placed in their own Afro-Syncretic family, with new faith groups being created to illustrate the differences between faiths in this family.
The Vodun faith group. Please don't make low-effort jokes about the tenet name.
Although many practitioners of these faiths would identify as Christian if asked, it is more accurate to say that they are both Christian and (for example) Candomble. They attend both Christian churches and Candomble houses, even though the Bible explicitly condemns many of the things that happen in Candomble houses. They respect both Christian bishops and Candomble maes-de-santo, even though the bishop may not accord any respect to a a mae-de-santo. They see each of their two beliefs systems as equally valid and may even believe that God and Olodumare are two terms for the same being, even though Christianity is officially antithetical to these ideas.
Unfortunately, CK3 does not let us assign two religions to the same person or the same county, so we had to draw a hard line between them. This line is mitigated by the existence of faiths like Insular Christianity, which is non-hostile to Afro-Syncretic faiths and is intended to be a middle ground between the two groups, but it still exists.
Of course, the Abrahamic group includes Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. Here's a look at one of the Jewish faiths.
Reform Judaism.
Now that we have thoroughly covered the particulars of the Christian faith group, let's move on to discussing the changes we plan to make in our final major Fan Fork update.
The Final Fan Fork Update
Well, we had a good run, but my interests have moved from CK2 to CK3. CK3 is just so much more flexible for modders - going back to CK2 feels like reinstalling Windows XP. As a result, I've decided that the next Fan Fork update will be the final major update to the project. We may still release updates to fix bugs, but we won't add any new religions or cultures or anything like that. So, what's going to be in this update? I'll be releasing regular dev diaries about it, but I'd like to get something out of the way first.
After a discussion with the dev team of After the End: Old World, we have decided that it would be best for both of us to officially part ways. The Old World project has been fully independent from the Fan Fork from its very inception. I have never had any real input on what their team does, and vice-versa. We communicate very rarely, and it is usually not related to creative decisions. However, many members of the AtE community and the Crusader Kings community at large do not understand this. They frequently assume that the projects have the same or similar team members, they use features in one mod as a basis to suggest changes in the other, and they even conflate the two by simply referring to both as "After the End".
To that end, the Old World team has agreed to stop using the AtE name for its upcoming CK2 update and for any future CK3 project. All further development on Old World CK2, as well as any development for an Old World CK3, will diverge greatly from the Fan Fork and AtE CK3. Hopefully, this should cement our projects as being completely independent from one another.
Now that I have explained this, I would like to get into the first major changes we will make to the Fan Fork in our final update. We plan to overhaul all content regarding Atlantic invasions and overseas contact, to better reflect our own creative desires and to add more depth and variety to gameplay.
Invaders from Great Britain will no longer have a single British culture, nor will they adhere to just one religion. This will be explained further in an upcoming Fan Fork dev diary.
Taking the Atlantic path for the Hajj to Mecca will involve a stop in Tangiers rather than Gibraltar. Here, you will meet a Muslim Moroccan and travel overland across North Africa to Mecca.
A new invading force from Africa will be added. This will be explained further in an upcoming Fan Fork dev diary.
We will integrate mods other than Sob o Anil into the Fan Fork's shared universe. This will be explained further in an upcoming Fan Fork dev diary.
Finally, al-Sayyid has asked me to make a few specific announcements:
  1. Seminoles will be added to the Everglades in Florida.
  2. The Mouse will get a ton of new content, including unique artifacts and a religion conversion event.
That concludes this first dev diary for After the End CK3. I hope you are all looking forward to both it and the final Fan Fork update.
submitted by Red-Heat to AfterTheEndFanFork [link] [comments]

2020.09.23 23:27 OneSpookySneakySquid [DIPLOMACY] Russian Strategic Military Partnership Initiative

Moscow, Russia

Russian Ministry of Defense

Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced the launch of the Eurasian Military Partnership Initiative, an initiatuve that aims to provide Russia's friends and strategic partners with extensive military and research related partnerships.
Nations not designated by the ESMPI will be eligible to apply for a three year trial period with the Russian Federation that will be negotiated on a case by case basis. The trial period will have some but not all the benefits of the program. We also would like to note that status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the Russian Federation, rather it confers a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-designated countries. Joining NATO results in a loss of the status.
The benefits of being a designated nation will be as follows:
The following nations will be designated strategic partners:
• Azerbaijan
• Belarus
• Cuba - To our longtime friend and ally, we would like to offer a donation of 6 MiG-29 jets and 5 Antonov An-26 transport aircraft. Additionally, we would like to offer the establishment of Russian air force technicians at a base in Cuba as well as free spare parts for the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces. If Cuba os interested, we would like to begin an extensive modernization program for Cuba's armed forces.
• Kazakhstan
• Kyrgyzstan
• Serbia
• Syria
• Turkmenistan
• Uzbekistan
• Venezuela - We would like to offer president Maduro what can best be described as a blank check. Whatever the Venezuelan government needs to stay in power, and be a Russian ally it can have at rock bottom prices, with Russia offering an initial donation of 30 T-80 tanks, 500 BMP-2, , 50 BTR-80, 20 Ural Typhoons, and the construction of 10 Mil Mi 28to be donated to Venezuela. Additionally, we offer riot shields and other crowd control equipment Venezuela may need.
submitted by OneSpookySneakySquid to GlobalPowers [link] [comments]

2020.09.23 03:41 Andy0132 CHG Mark 12 Colonization Part Three Event

So yeah, I just realized the "Part Zero" Event should have been labeled Part One, and Part One as Part Two.
New Florence
With the postponement of Brooklyn's much famed ice sales, Brooklyn has made for herself many enemies, with the New Spanish going as far as to publicly denounce the Brooklynites. However, things are hardly all doom and gloom, as the founding of Gabagool has given us a much needed ice port, while the conquest of Bridge broadens our horizons. Where shall we go from here?
  1. We should prepare to strike against the foul Iroquois, now that they are weak!
  2. We should make good on delivering ice to our angered customers!
  3. We should connect our lands! Death to the French menace!
  4. Doing nothing is always a valid solution to your problems.
New France
With the glorious and almost-totally-successful conquest of the Haudenosaunee, otherwise known as the Iroquois, New France has found herself on the ascendant. Of course, now that brave French soldiers have done much of the work, others come jump upon the falling corpse of the once-great Haudenosaunee confederacy. What shall New France do?
  1. Our aim is to finish off the foul Iroquois savages! They shall be destroyed utterly!
  2. Let us seize the settlement of Wounded Knee from the Sioux, before they attempt to wound our knees!
  3. Let us take advantage of our shared fight against the Iroquois, and forge alliances with the Cherokee!
  4. We've peaked, time to take a breather.
Thus far, it appears that our peace policies have paid off. A Taino assault upon our settlement of Harrisburg was foiled with peaceful diplomacy, while our defensive pact with the Cherokee people hold strong. Although our forces are few, our allies are plentiful, and our lands flourishing with peace gardens. How shall we continue?
  1. Let us discuss matters of faith with our native allies, to see how our views differ, and where they hold common truths.
  2. Let us work to protect Harrisburg from future attacks, by improving the defenses of the island.
  3. Let us continue our entreaties towards the Powhatan, that we may coexist in peace with them.
  4. Let us peacefully remain in peace, doing nothing.
New Spain
We have acquired chemistry! Thanks to the propagation of foundries in the New World capable of creating cannons, our military capabilities have substantially improved. Meanwhile, our armies are the greatest in the New World. However, compared to our far more rapidly expanding peers, we have slowed considerably. What shall we do?
  1. We have a vast army, and targets to strike against! Let us invade the Aztecs!
  2. We have a vast army! Let us make it vaster still, by bringing more horses over to the New World!
  3. We have a vast army! May Taiowan tremble!
  4. We have a vast army... We shall be safe without needing to make use of it.
We have ethanol! We have oil! We have secret immortal billionaires buying out the local governments! Indeed, with the guidance and direction of the Koch Brothers, Taiowan has expanded onto vast swathes of the New World, and has taken a controlling share in what one day will be the oil market. How will this be exploited?
  1. Let us sell oil futures! It may not be incredibly useful today, but oil futures down the line will be worth a great deal...
  2. Let us sell oil pasts! Everyone loves dinosaurs!
  3. Let us sell ethanol instead! Corn best crop!
  4. Why bother? Let the invisible hand of the free market decide.
Despite our unexpected settling location, our people have found themselves thriving and prospering in this new land of opportunity. Already, settlers sent by the corporation have begun a campaign of reserving choice land in the Caribbean, as well as down the coastline and into the Andes. Clearly, the unexpected prosperity can be capitalized upon. How shall we do so?
  1. Let us expand our economic power by destroying our competitors! Iowans get out of Venezuela!
  2. Let us expand our economic power by increasing our settling in South America!
  3. Let us expand our economic power by seizing control over the Panama Isthmus, so key to travel between our vast domains!
  4. Let us allow our settlers to do as they may - we need not direct them.
New Hansa
Confused and strange reports have reached foreign ears, of a strange religion our people are said to practice. Meanwhile, our control over this Alaskan land grows ever stronger. What shall we do, as our corner of the world grows?
  1. Let us take advantage of the rumours, and strengthen our people's devotion!
  2. Let us continue our expansion throughout Alaska!
  3. Let us focus harder on trade efforts!'
  4. Let us do nothing - a period of calm is what's needed.
The Assassins
We've been quite sleepy of late. What shall we do?
  1. We're assassins, let's go find people to kill!
  2. We're traders, let us find trading partners to influence!
  3. We're colonizers, let us expand!
  4. We're going to keep being sleepy.
The Taino
Although our valiant efforts towards securing Harrisburg tragically came to a damp squib, we have at least managed to secure peace and prosperity within our own lands. Our people are wealthy, our lands green and lush, and our neighbours a close approximation of friendly. Where shall we go from here?
  1. It is time to avenge our defeat at Harrisburg!
  2. Let us colonize beyond our islands, that our people may grow even greater!
  3. We shall seek to learn from our Spanish overlords!
  4. We attained prosperity on these islands, and on these islands we shall peacefully remain.
The Carib
We've been quiet of late. What shall we do?
  1. Let us expand our domains, and settle!
  2. Let us expand our horizons, and learn of foreign ways!
  3. Let us expand our food sources, and grow!
  4. Let us keep being silent, as we have been.
The Aztecs
Our faith grows further in fervour and strength! Truly, we are the holy keepers of the world, for our sacrifices of flesh and blood maintain its sanctity, preventing us all from falling into an abyss of utter destruction! Where to from here?
  1. We must have more sacrifices of human flesh! Time to invade the Mayans!
  2. We must have horses, that we may grow further in strength for fighting wars!
  3. We must destroy the New Spanish, before we are eclipsed in their shadow!
  4. We don't need to do anything. Let's remain as we are.
The Iroquois
Truly, the times of late have been nothing but disasters. Despite a valiant effort at growing our confederation's knowledge, and the seeds of hope sown with expansion westwards, our people have found themselves bludgeoned, beaten, shot, and defeated. Now, what feeble resistance remains west of the lakes we once called our home even still finds itself in danger, as the Cherokee cowardly invade us in our hour of peril. How shall we survive?
  1. We must surrender unto the [FrenchCherokee] (Pick One) yoke. Only then will we find life.
  2. We must flee, ever westwards!
  3. We must fight, even unto the bitter end!
  4. We don't have to do anything... Surely, we shall be delivered even by inaction.
submitted by Andy0132 to CivHybridGames [link] [comments]

2020.09.22 01:27 onice_ Offering: Spanish Seeking: Brazilian Portuguese

E aí gente, tudo bem? My name's Johnny [24M] and I'm from Venezuela, I live 1hr from the capital Caracas, I'm looking for a Brazilian partner to practice with, I'm very advanced but I still wanna improve my Portuguese, I 'd like to live in Brazil some day. I like soccer, tennis, travel, talking about news, economics, anything interesting. I'm also into finance, coding and AI. I'm looking for somebody long-term to practice by call or video call Portuguese-Spanish once a week.
submitted by onice_ to language_exchange [link] [comments]

2020.09.21 21:21 dadoonan Green Party Message for International Day of Peace: Support UN Call for Global Ceasefire, Repeal Authorization for Use of Military Force Act
The Green Party observes the 39th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21 by affirming support for the UN General Assembly Resolution 36/37 to “commit to peace above all difference.” The 1981 Resolution established the International Day of Peace with unanimous support.
Green Party leaders condemn the perpetual state of war launched, with bitter irony, on the 19th anniversary of the Day of Peace Resolution with the passage of the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Green Leaders also emphasized the party’s demand for the repeal of the AUMF, which has even greater urgency with the global crises of COVID-19 and climate disruption.
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release: Monday, September 21, 2020
Contact: Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), 202-804-2758 Holly Hart, Co-chair, Media Committee, [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), 202-804-2758 Craig Seeman, Co-chair, Media Committee, [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), 202-804-2758
Howie Hawkins, Green Party Presidential Nominee:
“It is shameful that in May the US was the sole UN Security Council veto of the proposed global ceasefire in order to cooperate to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a far greater threat to Americans than any force the US is fighting in its endless wars. The US ruling class would rather make war than heal the sick. So the US leads the world in deaths from COVID-19 at home and deaths in its foreign wars abroad. Those are terrible facts to recognize on the UN’s International Day of Peace."
Angela Walker, Green Party Nominee for Vice-President:
"If the United States is to change its status in the world from one of aggression and domination to one of peace and cooperation, we must repeal the Authorization for Use of Force Act."
Madelyn Hoffman, Green Party Candidate for US Senate (NJ), and Co-Chair of the Green Party’s Peace Action Committee (GPAX):
“The ramifications of war and preparation for war echo in every corner of human society in our country and abroad with devastating effects. It is time to end the horrible atrocities and unacceptable costs inflicted on humanity by the perpetuation of endless war.”
Lisa Savage, Green Party Candidate US Senate (ME):
“Our nation has become a military empire exporting violence and weaponry around the world while imposing austerity at home to pay for it. I call for an immediate end to US wars of aggression, occupations, and military bases in other people's countries. Let's bring the war dollars home and take care of our own urgent needs during this pandemic: Medicare for All universal single-payer improved and expanded health care, and a demilitarized Green New Deal to address the climate emergency that is our biggest security threat. As global citizens, let's not fight each other for resources but instead cooperate with one another to develop a response to the immediate threat of the COVID-19 virus.”
This year’s Peace Day theme is “Shaping Peace Together,” with the emphasis on working together globally to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate global ceasefire, saying, “End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. . . That is what our human family needs . . .” His call for “solidarity across borders” is consistent with the Green Party’s belief that peace, environmental responsibility and health are intimately connected. Anyone who now denies we are one interdependent human species across borders on mother earth is not in tune to the unprecedented moment we share today.
According to the GPAX World Peace Action platform: “Despite the United Nations call for a global ceasefire during the Covid-19 world-wide pandemic, our government has instead deployed 20,000 troops to Europe to encircle Russia, and has sent warships to threaten Venezuela, Iran, and China. … Further, our country’s interventions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have left us mired in endless wars that have weakened our country’s economic vitality and decreased opportunities for our children.”
The Green Party’s Peace Action Committee has issued a Peace Pledge which they encourage all candidates for state and local office to sign.
“We have the opportunity while being forced to adapt to a pandemic to reflect on the very real opportunities to end our unsustainable way of life,” said Susan Lamont of the Green Party of California. “Let’s use this opportunity to rethink the ways in which we interact as people and as nations.” She added that the Green party of California platform “advocates a fundamental change in the way we socialize our citizens, structure our institutions, and relate to the planet and its people.” On this 2020 International Day of Peace, we remind people loudly and clearly that “peace is not just the absence of violence, it is a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner with a spirit of good will and respect.”

For more information
UN General Assembly Resolution 36/37, General Assembly - Thirty-sixth Session,, 1981
170 signatories endorse UN ceasefire appeal during COVID crisis UN News, UN News, June 24, 2020
Secretary-General’s Appeal for Global Ceasefire,, March 23, 2020
Secretary-General reiterates Appeal for Global Ceasefire, Warns ‘Worst Is Yet to Come’ as COVID-19 Threatens Conflict Zones,, April 3, 2020
H.R. 2829 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Clarification Act,, May 17, 2019
Green Party Platform: Foreign Policy - Peace and Disarmament
Green Party Peace Action Committee Peace Pledge
The Green Party’s World Peace Platform
Green Party of the United States 202-319-7191
Newsroom Twitter: @GreenPartyUS Green Party Platform Green New Deal Green candidate database and campaign information Facebook page YouTube Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States Green Papers
submitted by dadoonan to GreenParty [link] [comments]

2020.09.20 01:32 WilliamKallio [MILESTONE] Caritas Internationalis & Vatican Plan to Eliminate Malaria in the Amazon Basin


As a final "major" aid program, the Holy See has announced a plan to partner with the Catholic charitable confederation Caritas Internationalis to end Malaria in the Amazon Basin by 2032. Dubbed the "South American Anti-Malaria Campaign," the vast majority of malaria cases happen in the Amazon Basin, and ending it there will effectively eliminate Malaria in the Americas. Promising to work with NGOs, local governmental authorities, and the communities present, the campaign will focus on mosquito control, community health education and participation, funding local treatment of malaria cases, and, eventually, mass malaria vaccinations in the region.
The Anti-Malaria Campaign specifically will target areas in the nations of Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, the French overseas territory of French Guinea, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Working with local authorities and a plethora of health-focused NGOs, as well as with the organizations of Caritas Internationalis, it is believed that Malarial cases in South America can be reduced 50% by 2025, 75% by 2028, 90% by 2030, and completely by 2032. Along with the obvious impact of eliminating Malaria from the Americas, this will also massively reduce the strain on South America's healthcare systems, as hospitals in the interior can focus on other endemic diseases and issues.
The Catholic Church also hopes that this effort will also spur further healthcare investment in the Amazon Basin, and result in an overall better availability of healthcare in the Basin, but cannot currently afford to pursue the building of new hospitals to ensure this. Pope Francis has called on all faithful Catholics to assist their brethren in South America end the deadly threat of Malaria, especially those in Europe and North America, where the disease is virtually non-existent. The involved nations will be contacted to discuss cooperation and approval of Vatican operations to end Malaria in the Amazon Basin.
submitted by WilliamKallio to GlobalPowers [link] [comments]

2020.09.20 00:04 Bleset Offering: Spanish 🇪🇸(Mother Tongue), English 🇬🇧, Seeking: German 🇩🇪

Hello everyone, I am 25 years old guy from Venezuela. I am currently living in Vienna, Austria, and I am looking for a language partner to improve my german which is still basic (around A2). I can offer you Spanish (Mother Tongue) or English (Around B2/C1). We can meet in real life or we can chat/video call (WhatsApp, Skype, Discord, Skype, etc.) I am specially concentrate in Speaking since I don't speak german so much at a conversation level.
Some facts about me: I like Videogames, cooking, hiking and music (Rock, Pop, Jazz, clasical music, some latin music, movies/videogames soundtracks) , I love watching TV shows, Anime and movies, and traveling. I am Christian so I believe in God, I work as a Software Developer (Full Stack Developer, kind of...) Javascript, Java mostly and some DevOps as well. I love asian food, specially Chinese and Korean (but I love ramen too). I am located in Europe, so my timezone will be Central European (GMT+2).
I hope we can get along well and help each other in this long path for Fluency :D
Los geht's!
submitted by Bleset to language_exchange [link] [comments]

2020.09.19 12:42 lavta Domestic Leagues Broadcasting Information

Some of the domestic leagues in Europe start this weekend, some will start 2020-21 seasons later but I thought of having a self-post for broadcasting information of these leagues. There is a lot that I don't know about, please comment in the thread for any additional information whether that's broadcasting information of leagues I didn't include or just broadcasting information about a league that I don't have in a country or a region. Identifying the broadcasters within the league's domestic market is simple for everyone everywhere, so the goal of this thread is not to identify domestic broadcasters but whether it is possible to watch these leagues live abroad, if so where and how.
Liga ACB: ACB published an article a few months ago before its 2020 Final Phase tournament designed to complete the 2019-20 season, displaying the 125 countries that would go on to broadcast the tournament and the broadcasters in those countries. I searched for an updated version of that article before the 2020-21 season that will start today on its website but couldn't find it. Nevertheless, ACB usually signs broadcasting deals in 3 year cycles and the current cycle is from 2018 to 2021. So I imagine most, if not all, of the broadcasters of the 2020 Final Phase tournament, are also still the broadcasters of ACB for the 2020-21 season. This is the 2020 ACB broadcasters list:
If there are changes to that list that you know of, please comment below. If you intend to watch 2020-21 ACB broadcasts, it would be wise to see the 2020 broadcaster in your country and check to see if they still broadcast the league for this upcoming season via online search/phone/email whatever you fancy. If the country you're in is displayed in grey, then just searching for information on whether some broadcaster picked up ACB rights for the 2020-21 season is worth a try.
2020-21 season starts today:
edit2: I've learnt some broadcasting changes to that list from the 2020 Final Phase. In Iceland, ACB struck a deal with pay-tv broadcaster Stöð 2 Sport for league and Copa del Rey broadcasting rights for the 2020-21 season. In Argentina, ACB struck a deal with free-to-air broadcaster DeporTV for 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. In Venezuela, ACB struck a deal with telco Inter from 2020-21 until 2022-23.
United League: This is just complete ignorance of me but I very recently learnt through a Russian friend that UL has broadcasted matches live on their website. I haven't watched United League matches live for a couple years. Its 2020-21 season starts tomorrow with a Khimki vs Zenit opener and I'm looking forward to try that. Apparently public sports broadcaster Match TV also broadcasts the league as well as if I didn't get that wrong so I'm not sure whether United League website broadcasts all the matches but I'll see I guess. I might edit this part of the post with accurate information after the 1st round of the fixture this season trying them out. I don't know any Russian but might just be showing Match TV broadcast on their website rather than broadcasting matches separately. In any case, it seems if we want to watch a broadcast on Match TV through its website or, we need VPN access from Russia (or maybe Estonia, Poland or Belarus would suffice too since there are clubs from those countries in the league but I doubt it). I don't know how or from where one watches matches live on United League website yet, whether it's available on the English section of the website or not. But this is the league website:
Match TV website:
I'll edit this portion of the post when I try these out and hopefully find more accurate information. I've been told that the camera icon on match boxes on UL website should be the broadcasting page of the match, like this page for the upcoming Khimki vs Zenit opener: I'll see if that works. If you have further info, please comment below.
I don't know whether the league is broadcast abroad (including Estonia, Poland and Belarus which have clubs in the league) so please share information you know of regarding that as well.
edit1: I cannot believe I've been oblivious to this United League website actually has full match replays on match reports. You can check this by picking any 2019-20 match, clicking onto it, then selecting "video" from the top menu of the match report and voila at the bottom of the page they have the full match replay uploaded there:$f&season=110401:$t&0=1
BSL: Unfortunately Turkish BSL is broadcasted by Tivibu in Turkey and they have a dirt cheap streaming option (less than €1,5 per month) but the unfortunate part is they ask for Turkish ID number whether you are signing up for that online or via phone. So that's not an option unless you are a Turkish citizen. If you are one, you could purchase Tivibu Go here: or via their phone number.
Last season Sport Klub I think, was broadcasting the league. Its pay-tv channels operate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Poland. Not sure if BSL was broadcasted in all those countries but probably. I have no idea whether that broadcast contract continues into 2020-21 season, probably there are people who know. I don't know about any other country where BSL was broadcasted, add the info if you do.
2020-21 season starts a week from now, 26 September: (official website is garbage, not even an exclusive website)
Lega Basket Serie A: Ignore the previously written, now struckthrough parts about the eurosport player, read "edit3" for accurate information.
Last season eurosport was the domestic broadcaster and fortunately they were also broadcasting the league on eurosport player which costs €5 per month and €25 per year (obviously has more sports rights than LBA). Last month, Eurosport and LBA extended their agreement for two more seasons and 2020-21 schedule of the league showcases eurosport player as the broadcast partner on all matches:
So you can watch Serie A live and on demand via eurosport player. Next weekend's round 1 fixture is not seen scheduled on their basketball section yet, you may ask about that to their support team (they had live support last time I checked on the website) just to be sure. Even though they have some 2019-20 matches on demand on their basketball section at the moment. Just to be clear, eurosport is the domestic broadcaster but all matches are available to watch live and on demand on eurosport player nevertheless, this was the case last season and they just renewed their contract. I'm already subscribed to eurosport player due to tennis broadcasting so I don't need to ask but you could ask their support team if they'll stream LBA in your country this season before subscribing just to be sure:
I don't know anything about abroad television broadcasters.
2020-21 season starts on 26 September:
edit3: So apparently eurosport only bought the domestic rights again for the upcoming season but got outbid for international rights. That means if you're in Italy, you can watch all Serie A matches live and as full replays on eurosport player, however not if you are outside of Italy. A Munich-based consultancy firm, SN1, has bought the international rights for LBA instead. However they are waiting out the 45 day period to be officially awarded the rights upon Italian competition regulator confirmation, I don't know when this 45 day period has started. I'll try to contact SN1 to see what they plan to do with the rights, I somewhat doubt I'll get an answer to that during the waiting period to be officially awarded the rights. Anyway if I get any news on this, I'll update this section of the post with it.
ABA Liga: I don't know anything about this league's live broadcasting in general. But they've been uploading full match replays on league's youtube channel for years:
2020-21 season starts on 2 October:
Basketball Bundesliga: Very similar to BSL, BBL's domestic broadcast rights holder has a streaming platform but doesn't allow foreigners to subscribe. Although not by ID number this time (maybe that comes in next steps of registration though) but just asking for German address, German card number. If you have such things, reside in Germany, etc. you can subscribe at:
Nova Sport in Serbia, Sport Klub in Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Poland, Sport5 Plus in Israel have broadcasted the BBL Final Tournament to end the 2019-20 season post-pandemic. Flohoops in US/North America broadcasted the league in 2019-20 season but not the Final Tournament I think. Have no idea if those will be the broadcasters for the 2020-21 season.
2020-21 season starts on 6 November:
LNB Pro A: L'Equipe TV has become the domestic broadcaster just this month. It seems L'Equipe TV is not a pay-tv channel but a free-to-air. And when you search online, some options come up about watching L'Equipe TV live that may not be illegal due to channel not being a pay-tv one. May or may not need VPN access from France though, not sure. I also have no idea how many channels they have, how will all the Pro A live matches will be handled, etc. And I don't know about any abroad broadcasting options either. 2020-21 season starts on 23 September: https://www.lnb.ffpro-a/calendrier-proa-25.html
edit4: This season, they've started to live stream matches on their facebook page as well as having full replays:
Israeli Basketball Premier League: IBPL has an OTT service just for foreign viewers as it's not available for purchase in Israel. It's €5 per month:
However the league was also uploading full match replays on its youtube channel last season:
So if that's going to continue in the 2020-21 season, then the OTT service doesn't have exclusive on-demand feature but has exclusive live rights.
2020-21 season starts on 17 October:
LKL: It seems the league has struck a deal with a streaming platform to broadcast matches abroad for €10 per month subscription price:
2020-21 season started yesterday and continues this weekend:
Greek Basket League: Well, safe to say I don't know anything about GBL broadcasting. I've lost interest especially after Olympiacos relegation but I'd watch some fixtures if I easily could. I'm sure there are multiple Greek redditors here to fill me in with the broadcasting information so I could edit this portion of the post with such information. I only know ERT was the domestic free-to-air broadcaster of a few matches (still is?) which were available to watch through their website abroad (still is?) and Cosmote was the domestic pay-tv broadcaster (still is?).
2020-21 season seams to be starting on 10 October: http://www.esake.gen
Belgian PBL: PBL was broadcasting matches live and had full replays for free here last season:
Not sure if that's going to continue for 2020-21 or whether it's available in Belgium. 2020-21 season has been postponed until 7 November:
Bonus: Continental Competitions
Well, the post is really for domestic leagues but I fancy all known broadcasting information being gathered here so might as well include continental competitions. EuroLeague and EuroCup have ELTV as an OTT platform with live broadcasts and full replays available to subscribers: ELTV is not available in Spain because DAZN has the streaming rights there, it's not available in Italy and UK because eurosport player has streaming rights there, it's not available in Canada and US because flohoops has streaming rights there. EuroLeague and EuroCup have too many television broadcasters to count, you can find which one is the one in your country by searching online surely if you don't know. EuroLeague 2020-21 season starts on 1 October: EuroCup 2020-21 season starts on 29 September:
BCL has an OTT service at: However they were also uploading full match replays on youtube last season: Not sure if that continues that season, perhaps not as the competition got considerably stronger for the 2020-21 season.
I think the qualifying rounds for the 2020-21 season already have started but the group stage will start on 13 October: Also BCL will finish the pandemic struck 2019-20 season with a Final 8 tournament from 30 September until 4 October.
I don't know any broadcasting info about FIBA Europe Cup aside from the fact that FIBA's youtube channel posted some (or all even?) full match replays of the 2019-20 season: Oddly for me, the competition is not included in the live basketball OTT service that has BCL streaming rights. 2020-21 season has become 2021 season by being postponed until 6 January:
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2020.09.18 08:54 hansington1 [DIPLOMACY] South American Infrastructural Initiative

Venezuelan Representative to Mercosur

Venezuela-Mercosur Members
Buenos Dias,
With South America cooperative in terms of our Continent's economy, we must move forward with policies that capitalize on this interconnectedness to help further drive South America's economy. Unfortunately, as things currently are, South America's LPI rating, on the whole, is quite poor. As such, we feel that in conjunction with the Gran Gasoducto del Sur we should plan and put into action a series of projects that aim to permanently connect the continent's civilian economic infrastructure in order to capitalize on our economic strength. To implement this, we have come up with a series of proposals for Mercosur member review and discussion.

Twin Ocean Project

With the construction of the Gran Gasoducto del Sur large amounts of land clearing, infrastructure repair, and foundational planning is going into almost every area along its route. Ironically, most of this infrastructure being developed mirrors a 2015 proposal by the Chinese to build an interconnected rail network that would link not only the Pacific and Atlantic via rail but also connect the continent's interior with rapid and easy access to the ocean. As many of you may remember a similar project was attempted with the Interoceanic Highway but has seen a commercial flop due to poor planning, corruption, and natural obstacles.
By establishing such a rail network across the Continent, estimates at the time predicted a drop in shipping per tonnage normally through the canal to drop by $40 USD. Due to efficient rail freight capacity, the ever-increasing cost and time of shipping through the Panama Canal this would make utilizing such a rail network a much more preferred method of cargo transport and allow South America not only to bring more interior goods to market but siphon off revenues normally lost to use by the Panama Canal. Current estimates (after the construction of our own rail network) would normally be similar to that of the Gran Gasoducto del Sur, however, by mirroring the construction of this project with that of the GGdS and making use of equipment and development already in place we believe that such a feat could be accomplished within 8 years at a cost of $12 billion for a highspeed rail network.
These estimates do take into account that a large portion of the project would be upgrading/maintaining existing rail lines.

S. American Super-Grid

We've already floated the idea to Colombia pre-ascension to Mercosur, but we hoped that now that our inclusion into the economic block is more secured such a proposal might be seen as more beneficial. We would like to propose the creation of a South American Super Grid to further the continent's energy independence from foreign imports. Before Covid-19 struck in 2020, it was estimated that smart grid investments would reach around 18 billion across the continent but these failed to materialize due to the crisis. With a unified S. America, and plans already in motion to secure S. American energy independence we believe this would be a natural extension of these plans.

We would like our partner's input to these ideas before going ahead with any further planning.
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2020.09.17 01:04 ThrowRABiscotti_Such I was emotionally abused into a Long Distance Relationship and I'm fed up with it.

Me (19m) and my GF (19f) have been dating for around 3 years. We started dating in high school when we were both 16. I was her first BF and she was my first GF, in the first year of our relationship, everything was rose tinted perfection, I couldn't get mad at her if my life depended on it, and we used to have such a fun time together.
However, ever since graduation closed in upon us, things started to go downhill because I was about to go to college and begin a new stage in life, on the other hand she wasn’t really sure about what her plans were. We were still very much in love and not at all aware that we’d have to grow apart; we were closer than ever. Her father died and she had to move to another country (4329 miles away from me. Venezuela-Argentina) in order to be with the rest of her family.
I wasn’t ever keen on the idea of going through a Long Distance Relationship, but she kinda sold it to me by saying that she wasn’t quite sure yet that she’d even leave the country. Or that she’d only stay there for a few months in order to come back and study in college as well. So I accepted since starting college is a busy experience and months would fly by.
I was expecting our relationship to go back on track after a few months like she said, however, ever since we went full LDR all that she’s done is lie to me. She has gaslighted me so many times, which in hindsight is very obvious, who would want to leave their perfectly established lives with their families in order to live on your own in a different country and have to pay yourself for tuition.
Nevertheless I trusted every time she’d say to me: Oh I haven’t been able to decide a date for the flight back home… I fought with my mom today because she won’t allow me to return, but I do want to… There’s an issue with my documents that I have to get fixed, it’ll take a couple months… It’s only been 10 months, don’t give up on me… I haven't found a job to pay for my flight, maybe you could paypal me some money…
1+ year(s) of these kinds of lies went by, and I grew disillusioned with the idea of us being together again; so I confronted her. In all honesty, she confessed to me that she’d rather get her undergrad degree in her new home, which I get, it really does make sense.
This puts me in a really awkward spot, since I essentially got tricked into being in a LDR that I never expected to be longer than 3 or 4 months, and now after talking everything through with her, will be around 4 or 5 years + the time that has already passed.
I’ve honestly fallen out of love at this point: We barely talk like we used to, we never facetime or make calls, I feel like we’re just keeping up with each other on a daily basis under the premise that one day, if we get lucky, we’ll meet again. And I have no doubt in my mind that she feels this way too (to a lesser extent). However, here’s the kicker.
I’ve already tried to break up with her multiple times and I haven’t been able to bear the loneliness once one or two months pass by. Thinking that it might not be the right solution to break up, I’ve tried to give our relationship a meaningful direction, failing in the process as well since our life goals differ so much, she isn't the most honest partner and constantly hides her true intentions; making it impossible for us to coordinate a good plan and carry it out. Heck even traveling to see each other once every two years is not viable due to our current financial capabilities.
At this point everything to me seems doomed, and I have given up. I have convinced myself that I cannot live without her but at the same time I know that we’re stuck and that it won’t stop being this way. I know that I’m emotionally immature and I would greatly appreciate if the comments weren’t just “grow up and go through with the break up” or “be a man”, please consider that I ended up here because of emotional manipulation and her deception.
I need advice on how to be less dependent on this relationship and this person that no longer gives me anything that isn’t the illusion of company.
submitted by ThrowRABiscotti_Such to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2020.09.12 07:04 Cryptolexicon "Empirically, we know that Women and Men are Violent at Roughly Equal Rates."

Minor and Severe DV
This is a study by Murray Straus from 2007 on partner violence between male and female students from 32 nations. It included both the Western democracies (USA, UK, Germany, Canada,...) and the supposedly patriarchal misogynist countries such as Brazil, Iran, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, Tanzania ....
In total, there were 10 Asian, 2 African, 4 Latin American, and 12 European countries, plus Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
And, surprisingly enough, results are the same as in previous West-only studies. Most violence is bi-directional, "Patriarchy" is not the cause of violence, and female violence is slightly more common than male.
"Over 200 studies, mostly in Euro-American nations, found about the same percent of women as men physically assault marital and dating partners. Tabulation of 24 published studies in male-dominant (MD) nations and the results for university students in 32 nations found that, regardless of the level of MD, about the same percent of women as men assaulted a partner. Moreover, the more MD the nation, higher rate of assaulting a partner by women (r=.41). " (Murray Strauss, Assaults By Women On Male Partners In Male Dominant Nations: Preliminary Tests Of An Explanatory Theory)
"Feminists had, for the most part, been reluctant to discuss violent women, for the very real fear it would undermine the hard-won battles secured by the campaigning and activism resulting from women’s victimisation." (Emma Milne, Jackie Turton).
**"In many ways, we turned a blind eye to many women’s use of violence, their drug use and alcoholism, and their often harsh and violent treatment of their own children." (Ellen Pence, Duluth Model Creator)*\*
submitted by Cryptolexicon to ReportMaleHateSubs [link] [comments]

2020.09.10 08:20 dentacointeam 🇻🇪 Say hello to our newest partner - Dr. Wilson Cruzado, becoming the first dentist to accept Dentacoin in sunny Venezuela!

🇻🇪 Say hello to our newest partner - Dr. Wilson Cruzado, becoming the first dentist to accept Dentacoin in sunny Venezuela! submitted by dentacointeam to Dentacoin [link] [comments]

2020.09.08 05:36 hansington1 [DIPLOMACY] A Simple Proposal

Venezuelan Ministry of Forigen Affairs

Buenos Diaz,
To cut to the chase, we are looking to disarm. With the world climate the way it is, and Venezuela no where near able to fight a modern war. This is especially true in terms of a nuclear conflict. So, we wish to transition from a militarized state to one focused on technological development, economic growth, and further cooperation with our partners in Mercosur.
That is not to say that we do not underestimate the value of having a well armed nuclear ally and thus would like to strike a deal with Brazil. In exchange for a general disarmament of the Venezuelan Armed forces (retaining a coast guard and internal security forces of course) Brazil will take Venezuela under their nuclear umbrella and garuntee the independence of the Venezuelan State. During this transition phase Venezuela will surrender its arsenal to Brazil.
We realize that this is a rather odd ask of our ally, but Venezuelan Military strength in any armed conflict would leave nothing more than our soldiers killed and our equipment useless.
We hope to hear back soon on this matter,
Gerald Jalisco
submitted by hansington1 to worldpowers [link] [comments]

2020.09.08 02:59 500scnds [Table] My name is Paolo Cattaneo. 5 years ago I quit my job, sold everything I had and embarked in a trip around the world on a motorcycle. Rode for almost 185000 km. Still going! Here to answer question about self sustained living on the road and long distance solo travelling. AmA! (pt 2)

Source Previous part
Note: I'm not sure whether a trigger warning for mentioning depression is appropriate here, but better to be safe than to be sorry.
Questions Answers
Did you have any sort of health insurance during this time? (I'm thinking mainly in the United States where an unexpected visit can cost thousands) yes. There are specific TRAVEL INSURANCE which cover medical and unforeseen expenses like the one you mentioned. I use Worldnomads, which costs me around $800 a year and cover the whole world.
the below is a reply to the above
The hell?! Can you get that even if you stay in only one country? I live in the U.S. and it costs $500 a month for insurance. I believe it depends from your country of residence. Ouch
This is such an incredible story! This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard or read. I just recently finished reading “The Motorcyle Diaries”. I gave you a follow on ig too. What’s the next country you plan on traveling through? Thanks a lot!! :) I am planning to ride back to Australia via Asia. Not quite sure yet about the itinerary...since covid stopped me for now. Thanks again for the nice words!
Sorry to ask yet another money question, but I think this is the biggest block to doing something like this for most people! 1. When you went to LA initially (when you were 24), you say you pretty much only had enough money for the plane ticket. How did you sustain yourself when you arrived and how long did it take for you to 'get on your feet'? 2. How do/did you deal with 'scarcity' mentality of perhaps one day not being able to find a job (even an odd job, or a temporary position) and running out of money, and facing a more unstable housing/financial situation? Thanks! Thanks for the question mate. Again, absolutely plausible. When I flew to LA, I had saved some money for the plane ticket and arranged a couch for the first 2 weeks with a friend of a cousin of a distant uncle (the only real connection I had a the time). Meanwhile I was trying to sell my motorcycle at home in Italy. I sold it 2 days after I left and my family helped me completing the sale and sent me the money overseas. I think I sold the bike for 1200 euros. That lasted me quite a while. I did back and forth from Italy to USA few times and I was getting some occasional jobs in Milan to pay for my trips. I made just enough to pay for flights and accommodation. But I remember that a lot of food was offered to me. I was sleeping on people's couches and at times I was eating one Starbucks Frappuccino a day. I know...not the best diet...but I think It was around $2.5 and full of sugar and coffee so It kept me going. Generally I survived thanks to people I met along the way and their generosity. I had a wonderful time in USA. Most people are really willing to help. Some other instead want to take advantage of you. Learned both lessons the hard way, I guess.
Eventually, after thousands of closed doors, I managed to find an IT company that was willing to sponsor me for my visa stuff. It was a complicated time for me, mostly because I wasn't prepared mentally for such cultural gap and such challenges. When you are alone, without your family and friends around, and you have to take care of yourself and your life, you start to know who you really are.
Somehow It is an experience that I would recommend to everybody. Those are some of the most intense yet rewarding experiences I had in my life.
the below is a reply to the above
Thanks for answering! I was curious to know the reality of upping and moving somewhere without a job waiting for you or much money in your pocket and a frappuccino for your daily meal is certainly a peak behind the curtain!! But I agree with you that most people are kind and willing to help. I believe in that in general. I admire your resilience. I've certainly dealt with a lot of closed doors and isolation from family and friends too, but often get scared to "do what I really want" because I'm so afraid of being stuck somewhere without money. Wishing you continued success and safe travels! I wish you good luck too! I am sure you can endure much you can think. Go for it!
Can I join you ?! Lmao This is my Dream .. good for you man . Good for fuckin youuuu !!! Share the love & grow strong . Thanks for the support mate!! Go for it! You can do it!
How come you’re happy and I’m depressed as fuck? I don't want to open a can of worms, but I was super depressed too. Depression is a state of mind in which you tell yourself that "something is wrong". Whether the wrong comes from inside or outside of you, your mind is telling you that there's something that needs to be fixed. It's a good indicator that you are on the path of healing yourself if you want.
Sincerely, if one is not depressed a bit, these days, it would be completely unaware of your surroundings and even your own existence.
Before leaving for Australia, I spent 2 and a half years in deep sadness (you can call it depression if you will), caused by several factors. I had a meaningless job (for me), I HAD TO live with my parents and I was even going through break up with my ex, which ripped my heart apart. I basically didn't get out of my room for 2 years, while I was helping my grandma on her deathbed and my dad was sick with Alzheimer. Fun, uh?
I am not saying that it's good to be depressed, but you can choose to use it as a propeller to wish for something better. You can change your reality. It's entirely up to you, how you see the world and the opportunities you have in life to grow.
the below is a reply to the above
I understand what you are trying to say but I have to disagree. It's a bit like telling a person with a broken back that if they wished hard enough to walk, they will walk just fine. Depression doesn't work like that. You may have made it out of it but to somebody that is currently in a deeply depressive state, the only thing they will hear is: "You aren't trying hard enough, you could do it but you just aren't even trying. You are a useless piece of shit because you are too lazy to change. It's entirely up to you! You useless fuck." I agree with you. But I believe that there is somehow a bottom line...and when reached somebody will try to react to it and fight back. It's a self preservation mechanism.
the below is a reply to the above
Nah, believe me, there is no bottom. If there were, there wouldn't be people killing themselves. I don't have any self-preservation left, for example. I'm so dead inside that I don't even bother to kill myself because I even lack that energy. It's just chugging along, time flies, and I'm not really there. Seems like you are inside "the spiral" mate. You ll get out of it, trust me. Sounds silly but enjoying a bit of sun, seemed to have helped me at that time when I felt like that. In any case, just give it time and don't give up. Try to get outside and stay in nature if you can. It doesn't change much but It helps. Stay strong, mate. Give it time.
the below is a reply to the above
I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world (county Galway in Ireland), right at the sea. I can see it from my window and the beach is 5 minutes away. It doesn't help. I don't even have the energy to go outside, even on a nice day. You've been lucky to get out, all I ask is you not blaming people that can't. It's not a thing of willpower or sunshine. It's a thing of lacking any kind of willpower. I've been like this for over 20 years, sometimes better, sometimes worse. That's not a spiral anymore. It's a chute. I'm sorry mate. I hope you ll get better anyway.
I was just looking at your Instagram photos... Wow! You take gorgeous photos and have such an interesting story to share. Have you ever thought about writing a book? It seems to me that travel and adventure magazines would also pay you to write stories for them. Just something to think about. Good luck! Thank you, but I think that I'm not doing anything that hasn't been done before. I do like to share and help people see the world for the beautiful place it is...but that's about it. Thanks for the compliment, though!
Do you avoid public attractions where you have to pay a fee like castles, palaces or other famous tourist attractions. If you avoid them, are you curious about them and want to visit them but you don’t have enough money or don’t you care about tourist attractions? Good question! I recently posted the story on my instagram about Machu Picchu in Peru, which I refused to visit because of the exorbitant entry fee. $70 USD to enter the site is an unreasonable amount...regardless the fact that it is undoubtedly a beautiful site to visit. I usually avoid big tourist traps, but sometimes you gotta pay. The most I've paid was $35 to enter Iguazu Falls and $35 to enter Perito moreno Glacier. Both worth it sincerely, even if overpriced. I left the others aside and went for the cheap ones instead.
I am from Greece.Where in Greece have you been?And how did you make money during these years to "pay the bills"? Oh mate!! what a beautiful country! I had a great time there! I spent most of my quarantine and lockdown in Crete, but I entered Greece from Albania, then rode down to the Peloponnese and rode to Athens, Evia and even Santorini!! Check my insta for all the amazing places I've seen! I am still stoked for the great hospitality I received from the greeks and the amazing places I've seen!! For the economical part of your question, please see previous answers, where I explained in details the money factor.
How do you plan what route you will take? Do you navigate primarily with map+compass? GPS on your phone? Both? If M+C, what sort of compass do you use, and where do you obtain your maps for each country or locality? Hello! I mostly use Google maps for my navigation and planning. Most of the info i get from the places I want to visit, are obtainable from the app itself. It's a brief guide but works for me. If in remote areas I use, which works offline and has trails too.
the below is a reply to the above
Have you tried getting a sponsorship from google for using their maps I actually thought about it...but never really went through with it. Maybe they let me mount a gigantic 360 camera on top of my helmet and then I'll be stuck with it. Haha
How do you deal with dirty toilets in some areas where you cannot find any usable ones if that has ever happened? Also what do you do when there are none around, like on a desert road or something? This and my trust issues with getting help from strangers is what keeps me from even thinking about doing something like what you're doing. Very pertinent question as I find myself sometimes with no toilets around. There's a basic system, which I wasn't really accustomed to...that is "squatting"...that help with the mentioned activity. When in the wild, you need to have the curtesy at least of (some privacy, obviously) digging a hole in the ground with a stick or something...and then covering it up when you are done with your business. Toilet paper and wet wipes have to be bagged and disposed in the first available garbage bag. This concerned N2, clearly. For N1, being a guy, it is quite practical. But there are a lot of girls travellers which simply "hide behind something". It is quite unorthodox but I guess you get used to it eventually. It's just a matter of doing it the first few times. Then It becomes ok.
What was the moment you thought, ''It was all worth it''? It was when I arrived back in Sydney, after riding all around Australia... After the first few days of riding I remember I had still some doubts on my mind about resigning and selling everything, etc. When I returned in my own beloved town, it was like i saw myself in the mirror. I saw myself as the person I was before...and the one I had become. And I didn't like the person I was I understood that my life had changed forever. I realized that giving everything up was worth the realization of who I was at that time. I also realized that I couldn't stop there...
Wah! Thanks for the AmA! I've always wanted to have a chat with people who like to travel the world. Your answers are very straightforward, I love that! Did you ever get into trouble with local people like pickpockets and tourist scam? Did you ever have any emergency medical troubles? Do you try to enjoy local street food? (If so, did you ever had any stomache because your body isn't used to that type of food?). Err I think I've made too many questions at once. Have fun & enjoy your life adventure, whatever you decide to do in your future! No problems! It's a pleasure!! So, I never really had problems with pickpocketers. But I also always look around while walking in big cities. As I mentioned before, the only bad occurrence I had was in Canada, where somebody stole my rusty tools bag from my bike, while parked in Vancouver. I never had medical issue...hurray!!! I do LOVE to try all food. The "weirdest" the better! I think I have a fetish for local street food. So yeah, I eventually had a bit of stomachache but it was mostly my fault. I had a raw shrimp from a market in Mexico. Not wise! haha I built my immune system I think, just drinking tap water from everywhere. If locals don't die...I shouldn't either, right!? ;)
Is your ass now made of steel? I had to draw a line in the middle of my bum to see where my cheeks were... ;)
Have you been to Bulgaria yet? How much did you see if you have? No, I haven't. But It's definitely on my list.
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Are you taking reccomendations for places to visit in countries? Because i have a few reccomendations for bulgaria. Of course!! 😊 maybe send those to me as DM so those don't get lost in the post. Cheers!! 🙏
Have you ever worried about not being able to get a job later on once you stop travelling, due to the big gap between jobs in your CV? I am not an HR guy...but If I was... I would hire a guy that travelled the world on a motorcycle to have on my team, instead of somebody with straight AA, tons of certificates and no life experience. but maybe I'm wrong. ;)
100k+ on a KTM and no major problems? INCONCEIVABLE! Do you have an ADV th'd? ahha I know right!??! It's actually almost 200000 km mate and still going strong with no mechanical issues!! Crazy!! I am in awe too! I am on ADVRIDER, yes. But don't have a thread about this.
When did you find out about COVID and how has it affected your travels? Thanks and warmest regards! Oh man, that was such a bummer! I left italy on the 15th of Feb, 10 days before the first case in Lombardy. One week later it was already mayhem. As soon as the Italian disaster exploded, people started to look at me as carrier of they were doing with asians in general, no matter if they were from indonesia or mongolia or china. I entered Albania and there were rumors of borders starting to close. So I headed to Greece, since it is still EU and I could get sent back to Italy easily. After spending 4 months in Greece, I took the first available ferry back to Italy, where I am waiting for the pandemic to settle a bit. Then I'll leave again.
Hey Paolo, I recently rode a motorcycle across Vietnam and it got me inspired to ride from Alaska to Argentina, hopefully leaving next summer, virus permitting. I’ll most likely be riding my Honda CRF250L, not quite a KTM haha. Do you have any advice for a young man looking for more adventure? Yes. Great bike first of all!! You ll love it! South america is kind of paradise for motorcycling so...yeah. I would recommend you to pick the right seasons to ride alaska and patagonia. Crucial for the outcome of your expedition.
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I appreciate it! I’ll definitely keep the seasons in mind for Patagonia and have already made sure to head to Alaska in the summer. I mean, I went to Alaska in september and weather was amazing...and rode through patagonia in autumn which was chilly but absolutely fantastic! Less people and beautiful colours!
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Less people would definitely be a plus! What are the average speeds in South America or are certain country’s faster than others? I’m worried my CRF might not be fast enough in places. Your bike is absolutely fine. Do not worry about that
Ciao! I am a italian too, precisely sicilian. Next summer I will probably travel all sicily, how much money do you think i need to bring, and how can I save as much as possible? I want to stay a bunch of days while traveling through cities. Like 3 days at Agrigento, for example. Any suggestions are welcomed! Sto scrivendo in inglese pure per far vedere ad altri i tuoi suggerimenti Ciao! well, I cannot tell you how much you'll need to travel...even just Sicily. It depends where you are willing to sleep, what are you willing to sacrifice in terms of food and what time of the year you are planning to travel. Just know that food and accommodation are the most expensive elements of your trip.
Did you get any inspiration from Emilio Scotto’s ride around the world? Any plans (or desire) to try and break his record? I do not know him. I also never read the Motorcycle diaries or Zen and the art of motorcycle. Also never seen long way around or tried to grow a beard like Che guevara.
Just doing my thing, my own way. But there have been many before me for sure.
Did you ride in Nepal as well? If so, how did you find the roads and the journey through Nepal? Also what was your most adventurous experience here? I am a Nepalese so I am asking these to learn what people think when visiting my country. I haven't been that part of the world yet. But It's on my list!!!
Did you ever get down and dirty with anyone? Yes. Mostly with my motorcycle. :)
Why did you choose such a big bike? Is all the driving on roads? What modifications did you make before heading out? I chose my dream bike. I had no Idea where I would have taken my motorcycle in the future. At the time of purchase, I was in love with it. I still am!
I just added a lighter muffler, skid plate and rear rack. The bike itself is a marvel of technology.
I go on and offroad. see my youtube videos... ;)
Hey man, back when you were trekking across south america, did you visit Venezuela? When I was In brazil, It didn't occur to me to enter Venezuela. Then when I reached Colombia, the border with it was closed for vehicle due to the unstable situation. I really want to go. It's the pebble in my south american shoe. ;)
I have enjoyed watching your travels on IG. What is the scariest situation you have ever gotten yourself into while traveling? Thanks for tagging along! I had few close calls with my bike...but I guess, If you ride a motorcycle, it is quite common. I almost fell into a canyon... Ouch
Hi Paolo. Where would you say the best roads were? I mean, good condition, few potholes. Where would you say the best views were? What kind of spare parts did you bring along to make sure you could always keep going? Mmm best roads...i think ecuador had pretty spectacular new roads. At the time I think most roads were 5-10 years old and conditions were optimal.
Best views probably Peru. Nothing can beat the view from a 6000 m mountain...
You can't possibly carry all spare parts. You never know what could happen...but I did bring a spare front tube in case of a flat and some spare screws. Duct tape and cable ties are also a must for any traveller
[deleted] I do not have a single moment which I consider my favorite. Generally speaking, I could say that the "feeling of freedom" that riding with no schedule and limitation gives, Is the happy memory that I will bring with me even when this experience will be over. The scariest is certainly the moment when I almost fell into a canyon, while riding in Peru. Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world and I lost control of the bike, riding down on a tiny dirt road. Fortunately I managed to stop right at the edge of it...but It took me a good 10 minutes to recover from that close call.
Have you ever feared for your life? As in, did it ever cross your mind that you might get mugged or something? Have you ever been mugged while traveling or been in that situation? Do you carry some sort of knife or gun? Never feared for my life. No. Maybe it's a bit naive of me but I've never felt in need to carry a weapon to protect myself. I don't think there are people out there willing to kill me to take my stuff. But i did cross countries where this kind of stuff happens. In any case, the probability that this would have happened was in my opinion way smaller than the contrary. In fact if you ever have the chance to talk to some of the other thousands of travellers that have been around for a while, none had the need to carry weapons or any sort of defense aid to protect their personage or belongings. Not even girls.
Have you had any accidents or near misses in your travels? If more than one, are there any that stand out? Tons!! Unfortunately riding a motorcycle doesn't leave any choice. I almost fell into a canyon in Peru. That wasn't good. Also, close calls with maaaany trucks in Bolivia. There are no driving rules there much... I crashed at 100km/h in Argentina and crashed against a wall, in San Francisco, distracted by my GPS. Normal day at the office! 😅
What was your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far? I have one favourite place, which I always mention because I support the underdogs... I also love nature and food, so...
Ecuador is my favourite country.
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Any specifics or highlights about Ecuador you can share? Looking for my next trip with a friend! Galapagos is like Jurassic Park. But with no fancy shopping center. Would recommend Baños and Cuenca area too.
What was it like going through the Middle East? I've always wanted to explore that part of the world. Haven't quite reached the middle east yet. Stopped by the covid. booo
Any issues or denials to get your bike through customs anywhere? Nope. Just showing my paperwork and off i went! So far I haven't been in countries that required Carnet de Passage.
I see you have good amount of followers on insta and You tube. Have you thought about using it as a source of income like travel bloggers do or have you already done that? If not have you thought about doing it? Also might be rude but how much did you save in those years that can last so long. I mean if i were to do it like is there any bracket amount you'd like to give us? Also what about your fam? Not enough to generate income on both i think. But yeah, maybe I ll give it a go in the future. Not sure though...because you need to constantly being absorbed by the platform and create content to generate a good income...which I saw with other people became a burden, in the long run. I saved up 40k in 5 years of work. Best advice I can give is to spend your money wisely. Do not spend it in booze or clothes or any other unnecessary commodity that is not relevant in the long run. Being constantly focused on the preparation of the trip is 80% of what it actually takes to go fo it.
My family has been generally supportive about my trip. They sometimes worry but they do because they care. They don't fully understand my life choices but they respect those because they realized I am the only one responsible for my own future.
What is the worst weather you have had to ride through, and how did you deal with it? Oh man!! 2 days. One was when I rode 750km under frozen rain in canada, against 60km/h headwind, along lake superior. After i reached my destination, i watched the news and saw that they closed the road I just rode on because it collapsed, devoured by the amount of water that fell from the sky. Average temp was 2 degrees Celsius.
The other day was when I arrived in Vancouver 2 years ago in march. 30 cm of snow. -5°C and worst snow storm in the last decade. If i didn't die that day...
Great AMA. Just watched a few of your YouTube videos. Do you have music playing constantly while riding? How has your music likes changed and is there any songs you still play today from the Australia trip? Thanks I never listen to music while riding. I actually put some earplugs and try to enjoy the ride and let my thoughts flow. It's my meditation moment. Music I listen to change constantly...depending on mood and situation. I probably still have some ACDC tunes laying around in my playlists somewhere. ;)
How did you cross the Darian Gap? There were 4 options: - shipping container (Not so cheap, time consuming and risky in terms of getting the bike out from the port) $750 - air freight (fast. 4 hours and you are from one side to the other. not cheap, quick and headaches free) $1000 - fishermen boat (slow. Unsafe? Bike gets covered in salt for 5 days) $600 - sailing boat (5 days cruise to the san blas islands. Expensive. But fun holiday overall) $1200
I went with the plane.
Where you ever afraid or unsafe? I’ve wanted to backpack through South America, but as a single woman I’m afraid of putting myself in a dangerous situation. It's completely understandable to be worried in that sense. What I can tell you is that there is nothing to worry about. There are women travelling solo in many ways (backpacking, cycling, motorcycle, etc) through south america and they are FINE! No problems. I can list you the "do and don't" about travelling, but I believe that having a bit of commons sense is crucial. If you look for female solo travellers on insta, you will find tons of them. I am sure that they can give you a better and more specific understanding of what entails to travel solo as a woman in third world countries. But again, DO NOT WORRY. It is SAFE.
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I did it in Europe and Iceland, but South America makes me more weary. What about bringing children? Did it feel safe for kids? Also, when it came to your hostel stays, did you ever see any families? Kids will have a blast in SA! I met plenty of families travelling with kids. It is challenging because of the school thing but it is possible!! The internet and online classes nowadays...
People in SA are very family oriented and have special care for kids. It is an incredible experience for kids to see a reality like the one over there.
Hostels are not quite the best for kids, I admit it. You can find plenty of bnb alternatives and family rooms all over the continent. The same options are available all over the world (hostels, bnb, hotel, motel, apartments, etc).
I'm thinking of purchasing the same bike, is it the R model?. What made you choose this bike as opposed to something that is shaft driven? how did you find the chain maintenance aspect over so many miles? It's amazing there were no mechanical problems at all. Is there a specific brand tyre you use and how many miles would you get from a set? were there many puncturers or blowouts? Knowing what you know now, would you have changed anything with the bike or added something before beginning the journey? I ride the 1190 adventure NON R model. I prefer chain because it's sincerely I wouldn't want to find myself with broken shaft in the middle of Bolivia. Chain can last up to 40-50k km if well maintained and lubricated. It doesn't take much of your time and it helps reminding yourself that you have to take care of your bike too. I really loved Shinko 705 as tyres. Cheap and super grippy in all surfaces. I didn't have many punctures at all. Maybe 4 in the whole trip! Lucky!
Sincerely, this bike has been beyond perfect and I am still in awe by the reliability and performances of this machine. Kudos to KTM for making such a monstruos bike! If you are not into fast corners and putting your knee down in turns, the R model is actually better because of the customizable shocks. Mine comes with WP electronic suspensions which can't be replaced with others.
Hi Paolo, been a long time follower on Instagram (since South America). Great to see you on here! Initially when you went to work in Australia, did you receive a job offer before moving there, or did you find it once already settled? How come you still have residency in Australia when you've travelled the world for years? Have you ever received any sponsorships along your travels (E.g. from companies or Instagram itself)? If not, have you considered going down that route in order to support your continuous journey? Best of luck, and I look forward to see where the road takes you. Hey! Thanks for tagging along since such a long time!!
When I moved to Australia I didn't have a job. I spent the first months just looking for some temp gigs, while settling in that new country, at the time. It was crazy because in 2010 people here in Italy thought I went mad for leaving my safe job here, and moving to Australia with no job and as an immigrant. Turned out to be a good choice after all!
I have residency there because I am also a citizen there. Got my Australian passport in 2014.
I haven't received any sponsorship or any monetary endorsement from any companies through Instagram. I don't have enough followers I believe to be considered an "influencer".
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It's always a pleasure tagging along. That's fantastic. I want to work in a different country but all of those I've looked at only allow a work permit if you have been offered work or have experience in specialised manager positions. And as far as I know, one cannot apply for jobs while on a tourist/visitor visa. How did you work around that? Amazing achievement to receive your Australian citizenship in just 4 years! Ah, I see. What a funny world we live in. I moved to Australia with a working holiday visa, which allowed me to work only for 6 months at the time for each employer. I started working for a recruitment agency and then got bought and hired by my other company, that eventually sponsored me for my residency.
How has your sex life been on the trip? Haha sorry, it does say ask me 'anything'. I guess what I'm saying more specifically is a lot of guys have a fantasy of doing exactly what you're doing and doing plenty of "socializing" in different countries no strings attached. Just wondering if your trip has been fun in that regard or if it's too difficult when staying in hostels etc I did answer this question already but I'll go into few details again. Travelling in hostels is good and bad. You meet a lot of people but there's no privacy. I tend to respect other people generally so I avoid having sex on bunk beds, bathrooms and stuff like that (which happened to me instead). Not the best to have your bed rattling and having to wear headphones with loud music, trying to get some sleep. Haha
Anyway, the main "issue" in travelling and socializing is that you always have to leave. So unless you go partying and go for the wild night...every's not simple to get close to somebody, even in that sense.
Anyway, my sex life was definitely complicated, compared to the one I had when living in one fixed place in Australia.
Amazing. A question: were you an experienced bike rider before you set off on your trip, or did you decide to use a bike on a whim, and learned as you went? How much biking experience would you recommend to someone before they try a trip like this? Also, what are your thoughts about using a bike vs a car? With a car, you can sleep in the back, making accommodations cheaper, and maybe a bit more luxurious than a tent, but they're also larger, more unwieldy things that cost more to fuel and repair. Hey! I've been riding motorcycles since I was 14yo (even earlier). So I guess I was kind of an experienced rider, but I wasn't an experience long distance rider so... Not sure if it makes sense to you.
I met different people who recently learned how to ride, doing the same thing I was doing with small learner bikes. I mean, there are literally no limits on what can you do if you want to do it and it, without thinking too much about it.
You know what they say... 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul.
Have you been to the Philippines? If so what was your experience and opinion about the place? Nooo! but definitely want to go there!!! I have a lot of Filipino friends in Australia and they told me about some incredible places to visit!
Just out of curiosity, when you go across continents. Do you start saving up weeks beforehand since the tickets will cost more than your usual expenditure and not to mention shipping your bike as well? Hopefully I can meet you in real life someday! I'm from Hong Kong but just started learning Italian during the pandemic! Grazie mille! Kudos to you, my friend!! Learning Italian is quite the challenge! just know that even most italians can't speak proper italian, so you'll be fine once visiting the country! ;)
I've been living off my savings so I've been just crossing countries like that. no much planning. Just hop on the bike and go. Shipping of motorcycle only occurred from Australia to South America and from Canada to Ireland. First one was by shipping boat and second one was with Air Canada Cargo. Incredibly, flying was cheaper.
Did you ever wish you had a smaller bike? I‘ve wanted to ask this question for years, ever since I saw a Ewan McGregor travel show, “Long Way Around.” In Ewan’s journey, he used a large BMW 1150/1200, and he was always joking about how jealous he was of the little bike (Ural 500cc?) his friend eventually rode. Thanks in advance! Yes. I was wishing I had a smaller and lighter bike when I was riding on sand in Brasil or Australia. But then I was quite happy to have a 1200cc engine under my seat when I was going up on some 5000m mountains or during long 800km day rides.
I mean, there is no perfect bike... And there are pro and cons with any kind of bike.
You just have to pick yours and go with it!
Have you heard of the bike dog? The_bike_dog on insta Yes!! I follow him on Insta!! Amazing feed!
Where are you now and what are your next 5 countries on your list? Italy now! The next 5 up will depend on how covid behaves in the next few months.
Did you ever make it to New Zealand? If so what was you favourite place in NZ? If not, do you plan to in the future? I've been to new zealand but not with my motorcycle. It is one of my dreams to ride there though. After what I've seen...
Amazing! Are you going to cross Austria? We have Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel 😉 Ahah Austria is next on my list of countries to visit. I PROMISE! ...i mean, i ride a KTM!
Have you ever been attacked by locals? If so, what was the reason? The only locals that really attacked me were stray dogs in Chile. Hundreds of those in the streets. They get pretty hostile when in groups...and they aim at the wheels mostly. They chase you and bark at your ankles. Haha 50 meters of pure adrenaline
How do you arrange money for food and fuel? How do you see yourself living your old age given that you likely don't have enough savings for retirement.... to survive in your 50+ or retirement age? I already addressed the money factor, but I will answer to the second question. I see myself as an old in a 4x4 campervan, parked on some remote beach in Australia, alone, maybe with a dog... Probably with an empty bank account and no big house, but a life full of memories and hopefully a better understanding of myself as a human being. You are only afraid to die if you haven't fully lived, mate!
What do you enjoy about this lifestyle? And what’s a typical day like for you? The best thing about this lifestyle is the freedom that comes with it. No alarms in the morning, nobody that tells you what to do, no schedules. Free.
I wake up, have coffee and a small bite while checking my social media. Then I look at the map to see where and which routes could be feasible for the day. Then i pack and ride off. Half way in i look for accommodations in the potential destination. When I get there i check around and see if i like it or not. If yes I stay, otherwise i move on to the next location. This is something that only travelling on a motorcycle can give you. Fast change of location, no traffic, easy stop and go, low visibility. Then i find my spot for the night, unpack and enjoy my daily meal. Usually fresh veggies or some local products. At night i rest or sometimes exercise a bit.
Great AMA! 1. Do you ever wish you were with someone, to not be alone in your experiences? Or maybe for people to tag along for a while? (A 2nd person all the time might be a bit much if you like being by yourself). I’ve travelled a little bit by myself and really enjoyed being alone, but sometimes afterwards you might want to talk about an experience with someone who was there with you. I found the freedom of being alone more important, but I’ve never travelled as long as you. 2. Do you ever think of a future where you want to settle down? Maybe wife, kids, and all that? Did your wishes about that change while on the road? Good luck to you! I have travelled with another rider and even a couple. Not for me. It is hard to find another person you get along with 100%, especially when you are used to have it your way for so long! Said this if you are a solo rider, travelling with a couple 2up, is complicated because they usually have different speed and needs. I prefer to not have a partner with me. It would change the overall experience and I wouldn't be able to be by myself in silence and have moments of absolute peace. You can't be in touch with yourself and embrace the change with another person constantly reminding you who you are and who you have to be. Unfortunately the downsides are sometimes the moments of loneliness...but again, I got used to it. And now i prefer it this way.
As far as family and settling down goes...i am 40 years old and most of my friends are married, with stable jobs and kids. So yeah, it's a constant reminder of my choice in life. But so far, i am happy with what I have done. It's a choice and I am aware of the consequences.
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2020.09.07 12:59 Migueealejandro Is a Bachelor's Degree worth it in my current situation?

Happy Monday, people.
Hope you're doing well.
I'm having this dilemma, now magnified by big decisions being taken lately.
Years ago I graduated from Customs Administration in Venezuela. Due to the circumstances there, I fled and lost my degree in the process (very long story). I didn't worry too much because, first, I came to Spain and here they don't recognize my degree, and second, I was already working in digital marketing.
I achieved to make a living in digital marketing. Took some courses, read, and took a lot of action. I survived and kind of thrived. I have around 8 years of experience now, half of that working as a freelance and the other half between agencies and in-house marketing teams in small companies.
Now, here is the new challenge and my current dilemma: next year I will move to the US with my partner. I'm trying to figuring out if I'll be competitive enough to get a job in the field, even an entry-level one at an agency, without a degree. The job postings I see online mention a Bachelor's Degree as a basic requirement.
I have a solid work ethic, something that has always allowed me to survive and solve the challenges at hand. But I want this new stage in life to be different. I want to stop only surviving and find myself in an advantageous position to grow personally and professionally.
Going to college and get a Bachelor's Degree in the US may be impossible. But if *absolutely* necessary, I would look for a way to do it. Or maybe some reputable courses and may replace a degree in the eyes of the sector?
The worst thing is that I KNOW that a Bachelor's Degree in marketing isn't that good, in terms of the skills you will end up acquiring during those 4 years. However, the industry seems to be pretty fixed on that requirement.
May you have some advice for me? I greatly appreciate in advance any thoughts you may have.
TLDR: Have been working in digital marketing for 8 years now with no degree, both freelancing and for agencies/companies. Soon I'll be moving to the US. Would I be competitive enough to get a job in the industry? Or no degree means no regular job for me?
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2020.09.06 18:41 TonZoGunZ2121 Web Cam Studio Build Advice (novice)

So I have an interesting project I am working on and after doing basic research on YouTube etc... it occurred to me that there is probably a Reddit forum I could go to for advice. I think this is the place.
I know my story will seem crazy but as my title states: I need advice (probably a lot of advice) on building a PC for a webcam studio. Yes, the kind of studio where people do things for money that I won’t mention.
Long story short, I flew to Colombia last year and met a couple of cam models. Additionally, I met my current business partner (not a model). I became great friends with Ana who was a lawyer in her home country of Venezuela and who is also bilingual. Most importantly, she is a bad ass and someone who has my complete trust.
At the beginning of August, Ana and I rented a seven bedroom house in Bogota Colombia with the intentions of making it a cam studio. One important thing that I should note, I am currently in the US. Ana is the person operating the studio.
Now, I am no baller... really, I am the furthest thing from it. But the idea of cam studios has intrigued me for a couple of years and for a couple of reasons. Reason 1, I thought it was so strange that in some countries men and women go on websites and give someone half of their earnings just so they can broadcast. Reason 2, if the broadcasters don’t earn any money then the studio doesn’t give them any pay.
Apart from the moral aspects, starting a cam studio seemed like a low risk high reward thing. But, my Spanish is basic and I don’t live in Colombia so it was more of fantasy than anything else. Until I met Ana.
So here is the deal. Most studios fail. I am prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. At the moment, we are only broadcasting with four phones. It is really kind of embarrassing to admit... but hey, I already admitted I am not a baller.
The exciting thing is, we only have six couples working for us and already they are earning enough to cover our monthly costs of operation. With seven rooms and 24 hours in a day... there is potential.
So I am here needing advice. Electronics have a high mark up in Colombia. Additionally, buying online and shipping to Colombia comes with ridiculous costs. So here is my plan:
I want to buy the parts and accessories to make what are essentially dedicated streaming PCs. Seven of them. Here in the US. Then, when international flights resume, take the parts to the studio and assemble them there. Extra checked baggage on international flights is expensive but even then it seems to be my best route.
The only thing I would not travel with is cases. They take up too much space.
So I would like to open up the floor for discussion. My budget will be about $10,000. But that includes cameras and lighting etc. My goal is to have the highest quality streams or what.. 1080 P? I don’t think 4K is necessary but really I do not know. I am 40 now and there was a time when I knew about this shit but I don’t know anything these days. So let’s talk, I am completely in the dark but not completely stupid when it comes to the subject of pc parts.
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2020.09.04 19:28 Fyrma Utopic Emblem In The Morning! Episode 1 - Utopic Emblem Reunion (Woody)

Utopic Emblem In The Morning: Episode 1
The Utopic Emblem logo appears on screen, as the theme song begins playing, a rendition by rappers Fyrm G & Hadi Yung Blund on poor mics. Hadi is first seen on screen, a bunch of girls looking for an autograph as he turns to face the camera, holding a thumbs up to the camera while smiling.
Fyrm G: “When you need… a news station of positivity…”
Yoshas is seen in a suburban area, playing a Game Boy Advance before 3 burly thugs in Utopic Emblem merch then beat him down, as he holds a thumbs up in the air just barely seen by the camera.
Hadi Yung Blund: “All I need… is Hadi & Yoshas sharing news with me…”
Alexa Bliss Cutout stands motionless in a room, the shadow of Hadi & Yoshas in the room thanks to the sole lamp in the room.
Fyrm G: “With various news, podcasts and interviews coming to you…”
Yoshas’s side friends, Daniel & Derek, are seen seated on a couch as they both look to the camera and smile towards the camera, then going back to playing their game. Yoshas’s “girlfriend” Lola pops in from behind the couch, with a sheet of cookies that she bought from the store to give off the impression that she is the mom friend. Utopic Bot can be spotted in the background with an iPhone charger plugged into his back.
Hadi Yung Blund: “With that information, just what do you need to do?”
Footage of Woody, the guest star of this episode, then pops up on the camera. It shows a video of him, then a couple key moves in his moveset.
Fyrm G: “You need to watch…”
Yoshas & Hadi stand in the newsroom with cheap suits on, turning around and waving to the camera. The Utopic Emblem In The Morning logo then appears. The camera cuts to going to a dim newsroom with silhouettes seen in the darkness, forming the images of Yoshas Orion & Hadi Younes. The lights are then turned on, the camera focused on Yoshas & Hadi. The ‘newsroom’ comprises easily-noticeable green screen footage of clouds and other things, and 3 stools with a table in front of the 2. 2 mics stand in front of them, with a bluetooth mic in the hands of the guest. Alexa Bliss Cutout stands in the middle of the newsroom.
Yoshas & Hadi: “Utopic Emblem In The Morning!”
Yoshas: “Welcome to the first ever episode of Utopic Emblem In The Morning! I’m Yoshas, he’s Hadi--”
Hadi: “Hello!”
Yoshas: “--We’ve got a great show lined up for you. You see, this is the first episode featuring 2 people of the stable Utopic Emblem, which is a whole can of worms that we won’t go into… but it’s fine! After Hadi pinned me in the 3-way at Mania, it’s all good between us two. Just… not between me and Mark.”
The camera pans down to a photo of Mark in the middle of the 2 on the desk, then back up to the 2.
Yoshas: “A-Anyways, let’s get into the show! So, we decided for a good first episode, we’d get the 3rd guy that we can still contact that was in Utopic Emblem. Introducing our guest… Woody--”
Hadi: “Yoshas… he looks sad.”
The camera pans over to Woody, who sits with a depressed look on his face as he looks at the floor. The camera pans out to see all 3, as Yoshas & Hadi look at the broken man, clearly in his mind after the events that happened days ago between his We Bleed Green partners. The 2 look at each other, each looking for the other to do something. Hadi signals to Yoshas to do something, as Yoshas sighs.
Yoshas: “Alright Hadi, I got this… Woody! Wooooody! Wooooooody!”
Woody comes back to reality, looking towards the 2 as he shakes his head.
Woody: “I’m fine. Sorry.”
Hadi: “All good. Anyways, we got a show to do. Yoshas?”
Yoshas: “Right. Also, to the fans at home, yes. This is a Utopic Emblem Reunion. Also known as the best 4 months of my LLR career. I made a mistake leaving that group…”
Hadi: “You went to go join Cassius-Gun, and left us behind. Don’t think I’m not still pissed at you for that.”
Yoshas: “Look, I made a terrible decision, alright? I’ll admit it. I left the group because I was tired of Mark being the best out of us, but I just got lost in the shuffle of Cassius-Gun. I made a mistake.”
Hadi: “You’re just lucky I’m willing to forgive. 2 Trios title reigns and yet you still wanted to leave us. Selfish bastard… You’re lucky that the match you, me and Mark were in was a 3-way, because if it wasn’t, I would’ve done much worse to you--”
Yoshas: “Hadi.”
Hadi: “What-- Oh.”
Yoshas & Hadi look over to find Woody once again in a depressed state, staring back at his feet and back into the mind. Yoshas nudges Hadi to do something, but Hadi looks back at him in protest, the 2 having a silent argument on who should do it before Yoshas gets the upper hand in the argument, forcing Hadi to help him out.
Hadi: “Hey Woody… what’s wrong?”
Woody: “It’s just… I’ve been having a rough past couple days. The brotherhood I had called We Bleed Green--”
Yoshas: “we did it first, by the way.”
Woody: “--It’s crumbling. This is the 2nd time I’ve lost a brotherhood… the first time was because of my ignorance, the next time was because of my stupidity… I’m just in a bad place right now. I wanted to do this podcast, but what happened at Raw still lingers in my mind. Bahamas is gone, Zero’s fed up with me… the whole group’s collapsing. We’re supposed to be bleeding green, not supposed to be slowly cracking to bits. I just… I don't know what to do. Not even our motive of protecting the X-Division can keep us united.”
Clear tears start to form in the edges of Woody’s eye as he wipes them away, sighing as he continues to speak with a cracking voice while trying to hold back the emotions.
Hadi: “Woody, if you need, go take a step outside. You clearly need a few. Me and Yoshas can hold up until you get back. We have plenty of other segments that we have planned on the show.”
Woody nods, getting out of his seat and walking out of the room to take a moment, slight sobbing can be heard through the wall as it’s clearly gotten to Woody what events transpired. Yoshas & Hadi listen for a few moments, their cheerful demeanors going to ones of empathy.
Yoshas: “Let’s get back to the show.”
Hadi nods.
Hadi: “Anyways, back to the broadcast! We will now go to Utopic Bot with the weather. Utopic Bot?”
Utopic Bot stands in a room clearly right next to the main newsroom thanks to Yoshas & Hadi talking in the background, with a monitor on a table with loaded up on it showing the emblem of a sun with a temperature of 70 degrees. The bot is relatively small compared to the monitor.
Utopic Bot: “It’s sunny. 70 degrees fahrenheit. I don’t feel like translating it to celsius. I am Utopic Bot, and that has been the weather.”
The camera pans back to Yoshas & Hadi, who look at each other.
Yoshas: “Was that segment that short?”
Hadi: “Yeah… you should know Utopic Bot doesn’t do long segments. “
Yoshas: “Shit. Well, at least Derek & Daniel have their Twitch livestream going where they review games. Now we will go to the Twitch stream of Derek & Daniel playing E.T. on the Atari 2600.”
The camera is taken off the tripod as a man walks it over to a laptop, his finger hitting the spacebar as crappy footage of Derek & Daniel playing E.T. on the Atari 2600, the 2 seated on the couch playing the game and looking very frustrated. Derek dies, and flips his shit.
Daniel: “Let me have a go at it.”
Daniel begins playing, but immediately dies.
Daniel gets out of his seat and punches the monitor that they’re playing on, throwing it to the floor as both Derek & Daniel begin to stomp on the broken monitor. Lola walks into frame, an angry expression on her face.
Lola: “Did you… just break your 9th monitor…”
Derek: “Lola, it’s not what it looks like--”
Lola begins to beat down on Derek as the camera guy instantly closes the window, turning and quickly moving back to the tripod in the newsroom, Yoshas playing the PS Vita while Hadi brushes his hair while using his phone camera as a mirror. Woody walks back into the room, his eyes swollen like he had just cried. He sits back in the chair, takes a deep breath, and looks back at the 2 as Yoshas puts away his PS Vita and Hadi puts away his hairbrush and phone.
Yoshas: “Welcome back. Now, let’s get back to the broadcast. Now, Wood--”
Hadi: “THIS JUST IN! In the parking lot, 2 Alexa Bliss Cutouts are brawling! Cut to that footage, I wanna see it!”
The camera cuts to surveillance footage of 2 Alexa Bliss Cutouts being rubbed against each other to emulate a fight by 2 people in hoodies. One of the cutouts falls over as the guy picks it back up, and continues the ‘brawling.’ Eventually, the 2 get tired of doing it, and come to a mutual agreement to go get fast food. They leave the 2 cutouts standing there as they get on the same bicycle, and leave. The camera then cuts back to the normal newsroom, the 3 sitting in the room.
Yoshas: “Entertaining. Anyways, Woody. Last time me and you really spoke, it was days before I turned on Utopic Emblem, in the worst mistake of my career. How has your life been since?”
Woody: “Well, I won the X-Division title. I didn’t bring it today though, I left it at the hotel. I got somebody watching it to make sure it doesn’t get stolen.”
Yoshas: “Ah, I see. I remember you turning on Mark on that Smackdown 2 nights later when I turned on the Emblem at Extreme Rules 2019.”
Hadi: “I still hate both of you for it.”
Yoshas & Woody: “Understandable.”
Yoshas: “If I could, I’d go in the past and tell past me not to turn on Utopic Emblem. It wasn’t worth it in the end. I got poached by Cassius-Gun and got stuffed into the shuffle and couldn’t escape from it.”
Hadi: “I mean, we still have that time machine. The whole Utopic Emblem HQ got cleaned out before Cassius-Gun blew it up. Nothing got damaged.”
Yoshas: “That’s a relief… you wanna go to the past later and change that?”
Hadi: “There’s like, 100 things I’d do with the time machine that wouldn’t involve changing that.”
Yoshas: “Fair enough.”
Woody: “I miss those days of the Utopic Emblem. Partying at night while playing party games, Yoshas staying up until 9 AM playing games and the hassle of trying to wake him up for our matches.”
Yoshas: “Hey, it’s not my fault Ori & The Blind Forest is so damn compelling.”
Woody: “It isn’t, but it took you 40 minutes to get up. Once we had to just drag you to the airport and act like you were awake. It looked sketchy when we put you in the trunk.”
Yoshas: “You guys put me in the trunk?”
Hadi: “Our luggage took up all the space, so we threw you in the trunk.”
Yoshas: “You could’ve just put me in the back…”
Hadi & Woody: “...Good point.”
Woody: “You guys remember that one night where we all got black out drunk and we woke up to find Yoshas & Hadi making out--”
Yoshas: “We weren’t drunk.”
Hadi: “Yeah.”
Woody: “...oh. I must’ve been drunk then.”
Yoshas: “Yeah, you got into Mark’s supply of wine coolers and drank them all. To be fair, they were cherry flavored, so I can’t blame you there.”
Woody: “Yeah, from what I remember, they were banging.”
Hadi: “Mark was pissed at you the next day, though.”
Yoshas: “It’s not hard to piss off Mark. I mean, he was mad at me when we took that wrong turn and ended up trapped in Venezuela.”
Hadi: “Venezuela’s a cool place. Would definitely go there again.”
Yoshas: “Same. Hadi, if we ever come out of retirement, we’re going to Venezuela and hosting a live event there.”
Hadi: “Deal. You wanna main event, too?”
Yoshas: “Well duh! We gotta stroke our egos somehow.”
Hadi: “Good point.”
Woody: “I mean, I’d always be up for one last Utopic Emblem reunion.”
Yoshas: “Issue is, both me and Hadi are retired now. So it would take a pretty huge match to get us out of retire--”
Hadi: “Yes. Yes. We’re gonna be on Raw facing Steve & Bong? Sick. Yoshas, we got a gig!”
Yoshas: “Seriously?”
Hadi: “Yeah. Steve & Bong dare test our friendship, so we’re fighting them in a battle of best friends. We’re gonna win because we’ve made out.”
Yoshas: “Countless times, yes. But it was homie kisses. Much different.”
Woody: “So is that why I always heard gorilla noises from the room?”
Yoshas: “No, that’s just my daily Harambe memorial.”
Woody: “I see.”
Yoshas: “Yeah. Anyways, Hadi, how much time do we have left on the broadcast?”
Hadi: “Like, 4 minutes.”
Yoshas: “Shit, we gotta wrap this up. We have that big performance from some local band since we wanted to feel professional.”
Woody: “So you got a local band?”
Yoshas: “No, we got Soundcloud rappers because they’re cheaper.”
Woody: “...Seriously?”
Yoshas: “Speaking of, here they come right now--”
Fyrm G & Hadi Yung Blund fall into view, taking down the green screen as they are seen fighting. Woody sighs and walks out of the room as Yoshas & Hadi try to separate the fight, the Alexa Bliss Cutout trapped under the 2 as Fyrm G & Hadi Yung Blund are seen slap fighting. The background of the room is seen, looking a lot like the tower from the Gorillaz song, Feel Good Inc. as the graphic they had blends into the green screen that is now on the floor.
Hadi: “We’re in that building?”
Yoshas: “Yeah! I had to give my body to Murdoc so he doesn’t kill us and so that we had a proper area to record.”
Hadi: “Wait, does this mean we exist in the Gorillaz universe?”
Yoshas: “Yes! I thought I told you that when you accidentally hit the timeline jump button on the time machine.”
Hadi: “Oh yeah. I did do that.”
Yoshas: “Oh yeah, shouldn’t we be stopping them?”
Fyrm G & Hadi Yung Blund continue slap fighting, the 2 calling each other playground-level insults as Yoshas & Hadi look down at the 2 and then back up at each other.
Yoshas: “Is this how we’re gonna be like in the future?”
Hadi: “Hope not. Alexa Bliss Cutout is a good marriage counselor, I’m sure we can set aside our differences.”
Yoshas: “Yeah, wonderful. Should we get Alexa Bliss Cutout from under them?”
Hadi: “Yeah.”
Hadi walks over and pushes the 2 off Alexa Bliss Cutout as Yoshas & Hadi pick the cutout up and stand it up in the room. Yoshas & Hadi continue to push them out of the frame with their foot as they roll out like a ball. Hadi & Yoshas then walk into frame as the camera zooms in on them.
Hadi: “Anyways, that’s our show!”
Yoshas: “We’ll see you next time, on…”
Both: “Utopic Emblem In The Morning!”
The 2 wave to the camera as the camera pans out, showing the whole newsroom as the Utopic Emblem In The Morning logo appears, before the episode ends, a trademark for the LLR Network popping up, the programming continuing on the platform continuing on as normal.
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2020.09.03 20:04 -en- @AFP: "We, and our democratic partners in Venezuela and the international community, will not contribute to legitimizing yet another electoral fraud carried out by the Maduro regime," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said

@AFP: submitted by -en- to newsbotbot [link] [comments]

2020.09.03 02:02 Zithero Book 1: Chapter 26: A Brave New World

I headed down the hallway after Zepherina forbade me to visit with Evangeline.
Zepherina was, clearly, better at hurling emotional jabs that she was at physical ones.
It still shocked me how easy it was for her to wound me in that department.
So it was time to spread the love as I reached Xyphiel’s restorative chamber.
Something I had cooked up on the off chance one of us was near death. A large glass cylinder filled with saline which, at least, could stave off the death of the body’s organs and brain matter.
That’s where I found Xyphiel, floating with his upper and lower body connected with little more than thin tubes and wires keeping enough blood flow to stave off necrosis.
“My, Xyphiel,” I grinned to him, “you need to lay off the spicy food.”
Xyphiel’s eyes narrowed on me, his brow furrowed. He was intubated and wore a tightly fit air mask, tubes leading to the top of the chamber handled both feeding him and supplying him with air. Not the same tube, of course, that would be messy.
“I am curious what got you in this state,” I tapped on the glass with my finger, “oh wait,” I grinned, “I shouldn’t pester you like that,” I mocked.
Xyphiel’s voice rang out in my mind, “enough of your prattling.”
“Prattling?” I lifted an eyebrow, “one button, and I can dump you into the nearest waste collection center…”
Do not irritate me further,” Xyphiel threatened.
“I wouldn’t dream of it. We have suffered enough losses at the hands of Major F and Captain Vasquez,” I reminded him.
F is Timothy,” Xyphiel confirmed.
“What did just you say….Timothy is alive?!” I shouted, my excitement drowning out the connection, “Where is he?!”
Likely,” Xyphiel began, “Recharging the device that tore me asunder.”
The gravity of everything struck me. I was utterly shocked by the news: not only was Timothy alive but he was Major F? He was the one who took down Rage?
I looked around the room, concern etched on my face, “Why would he…” I recalled what Major F said, and glared at Xyphiel, “Oh, I know why, now!”
Xyphiel turned from me.
“How could you allow him to see what you did!” I chastised.
Clearly he outsmarted me there,” Xyphiel confessed.
My shock and confusion soon gave way to a devilish grin as my plans reformed in my mind, “Well that is good to know. Has Timothy returned home yet?”
Sadly, no,” Xyphiel lamented.
“He will be soon now, don’t worry,” I walked around the glass cylinder, “in the meantime, I hope you don’t mind if I run my solo act. Not that I needed you to conquer the world before just… well now that you have even less agency over what I do.”
Xyphiel growled and struggled in the tank.
“Besides,” I grinned to Xyphiel as I turned to leave the room, “this will give you some time to pull yourself together!”
“You snide bitch! Come back here!” Xyphiel shouted, “don’t you walk away from me!”
I ignored Xyphiel and continued to head down the hallway. I soon spotted Bella, sauntering down the corridors in a salacious dress and ridiculously high heels. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the sight of her.
“Just because you cannot look elegant,” Bella said as she passed me, “doesn’t mean I can’t.”
I cornered her against a wall, glaring down at her, “Xyphiel is currently in no position to protect you, demon,” I sneered, “so be careful what you say to me, understand? Or I’ll have Esmerelda put you right back in that hole you crawled out of.”
“As if Esmerelda could hold a candle to me,” Bella smiled, “but, fair enough, I didn’t mean to insult you… too much.”
I took a step back from her.
She tossed her long locks back and smiled wide, “Come now, Empress. You would never want to look so feminine.” She stepped towards me, her hand moving to my chest and down my abdomen, “you’re so much more butch,” she glanced up at me, “built powerful, strong and you revel in it. Me?” Bella smiled, taking a step back and spinning, her dress revealing long, supple legs ending in the high heels which, I couldn’t deny, were sexy. “I prefer to be feminine.”
“Until you transform to your true self,” I pointed out, “then it’s difficult to even discern what gender you are.”
Bella smiled wide at me, her normal teeth shifting to those triangular and interlocking jaws, “You should be thankful that that's not the form you’re witnessing now.”
“Begone, you little monster,” I scoffed at her idle threat, “go visit my brother, he could use your moral support.”
Bella smiled at me, her teeth returning to normal, “I was on my way there.”
“I had ventured a guess,” I grinned as I turned from her, “Don’t expect to lay with him though,” I couldn’t help but laugh, “He is half the man he used to be!”
After some time, I made my way to a small communications room, “Rage,” I ordered
“Yes, Mistress?” Rage boomed.
“I wish to make a video recording,” I sat down in front of a camera and microphone.
“Confirmed,” Rage announced as the console before me lit up.
I looked up at the camera, pouring my heart out to the lens. I spoke as if Timothy was right there before me.
“I am so proud of you Timothy, my son. I cannot express how much I have missed you while you embarked on this mission to infiltrate the Terren world. Finding the orbital nuclear satellite was a stroke of genius, as always. I pray that soon, we can meet, in the meantime, I thank you for returning Evangeline and Zepherina to me safely. Both of your sisters are perfectly safe in my care. I love you, my darling son, Timothy,” I leaned back in my chair, smiling wide, “I will be in touch.”
Rage remarked, “These statements are false.”
I grinned, “no, they’re just lacking information. I am proud of him, don’t get me wrong. I missed him, certainly, and his mission to infiltrate Terra? Well, that was his, and it is what he had to have done to make all of this possible. Including finding the orbital satellite that managed to fire into your chamber. I still don’t grasp how you did not notice the satellite, Rage.”
“I am unable to confirm what happened, a system error caused the rear object detection system to fail for exactly six seconds,” Rage informed.
“Exactly enough time to launch the missile,” I frowned, “why is it that I feel that is not a coincidence?”
“Because the odds of it happening are exactly ten trillion, five hundred seventy-eight billion, eight hundred sixty-five million, four hundred ninety-six thousand and eight to one,” Rage elaborated.
“Rage, you can just say ‘impossible’ next time,” I rolled my eyes.
“But that is inaccurate: it clearly was possible, as it happened,” Rage stated.
“Yes, but not by chance,” I sighed, “What is the highest encryption that the United States military is capable of decoding?” I queried.
“One moment,” Rage announced, “currently the military is capable of breaking down a 128-bit encryption algorithm, though it takes them some time to do so.”
I leaned back in my chair, and grinned, “Rage, use your encryption, but do me a favor and do not encrypt the flag… we’ll get Xei’s attention. She should be able to crack the encryption, yes?”
“If she had access to my systems, yes,” Rage stated, “but she does not.”
I thought for a moment, “let's see if we cannot test her mettle then. We will broadcast the proper encryption and, if Xei can crack the code then we know she has access to something similar to you, Rage.”
“There are no systems similar to myself,” Rage reminded.
“No,” I frowned, “there is one.”
“Pardon?” Rage asked.
But does she have access to that ‘one’?” I said, getting to my feet and heading out of the room. “I think I need to visit The Vault.”
My mind whirled as I considered the ramifications of my hunch being correct. If I was right, then Timothy and Captain Vasquez were not my real enemies. I was facing a much more familiar foe.
When I reached Xyphiel’s vault, I opened it up and found Sync where she always was, sitting on her little pedestal under glass, like a gnat.
“Oh, it’s you,” Sync narrowed her eyes on me, “What do you want?”
I approached the glass, glaring down at her, “Where are you right now?”
“Right in front of you,” Sync informed me.
“I don’t believe you,” I leaned down to the glass, forcing the small hologram to take a step back, “I have a better question: where is the real Synchronous?”

"Heave, Ho!" I shouted as several of the men and I pushed the wall of what would be the new church into place.
As we pushed it fully upright, everyone cheered as men in rigging at the top of the scaffolding secured the large wall to the front of the building.
I beamed at the progress and I looked around to see many other buildings being put up all throughout the area.
Zithero was entertaining some of the children too and I couldn’t help but gush at their reactions to his classic magic tricks.
Zithero took a hat from one child, “oh dear!” he exclaimed, “why have you not washed this hat at all, little boy?”
The boy shrugged.
“Well, look what’s in here!” Zithero reached in, pulling out a bouquet of flowers, mock ‘tsk-tsking’ the boy, and handing them to an audience member. “What is this?!” he then went on to pull out a football, a ball, and string and a number of other toys that obviously were not inside the boy’s hat.
My smile literally hurt as I got an overdose of adorableness from watching the happy children enjoy Zithero’s magic act.
The honking from a humvee drew my attention, followed by shouting, “What the hell, bitch?!”
I turned and shouted in excitement as I watched my best friend Theo climb out of a humvee wearing her Stewardship robes and chains. “Oh my God!” I rushed to her, and we hugged tightly, thumping our fists against each other’s backs.
“You finally get back into town and you don’t even visit me?!” Theo shouted.
I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, “sorry! I was so busy with the refugees,” I motioned.
“Yeah, Mom’s pissed by the way,” Theo chuckled.
“Her default position,” I rolled my eyes, “was I supposed to clear the decision with the senate first?”
Theo laughed, “She’s been all beside herself ever since Empress Ragna declared you the official heir to the throne.”
My smile finally wanned, “when was this?” I asked.
“Like an hour after the Empress showed up,” Theo frowned, “She didn’t tell you?”
“We don’t talk much,” I grumbled, turning from Theo.
“She’s your mom though,” Theo reminded me.
My fist clenched and I took a sharp breath through my nostrils, “so 'ya wanna know what I’ve been up to?”
Theo took the hint and changed gears, “I sure as shit do!”
I grinned, turning to her, smiling smugly, “I fought a Demon Lord!”
“No shit?!” Theo punched my shoulder.
“Not lying!” I shouted, grinning ear to ear, “Asmodai, Lord of Wrath!”
“How did it go down?!” Theo shouted.
Ghostbusters, that's how it went down,” I winked at Theo.
“Ghostbusters?” Theo lifted an eyebrow.
I rolled my eyes, “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!”
Theo busted out laughing and I soon joined her. “Goddesses you’re a dork!”
I snickered, “come on, lend me a hand out here!”
Theo looked around, giving me the side-eye, “isn’t this the sort of thing for the help, Dear?” she said sarcastically.
“Get off your ‘high horse’ and come get your hands dirty,” I smiled, “might want to take those ceremonial robes off, ‘Theodora’,” I mocked.
Theo rolled her eyes, tossing the robes into the humvee, revealing a tank-top and a pair of yoga pants underneath. She was at least wearing boots. “Mom makes me wear those stupid robes every time I step outside of the palace.”
“Well, today you’re a Steward of the people!” I grinned, taking her hand and heading into the now busy construction site.
“Is this a preview of what life will be like when Empress Zepherina rules all of the Penthesilean Confederation?” Theo chuckled.
“The what?” I asked, turning to her, confused.
Theo frowned, “wow you and your mom really do not talk at all, huh?”
I shook my head.
“Well we can’t call everything we own just ‘Penthesil’, so the Empress decided to create a confederation of all our conquered lands and call it the Penthesilean Confederation,” Theo informed me.
My smile vanished once more, “all of our conquered lands? Like where?”
Theo stared at me blankly, “are you kidding me?”
I shook my head.
“Where have you been Zeph? Another planet?” Theo said, now crossing her arms over her chest and furrowing her brow. “You do realize that over the past few months the Empress-”
“You don’t have to lick her boots,” I snapped, “Stop calling her that.”
“Why?” Theo frowned, “She is the Empress.”
I turned from her, “for now.”
Theo now rushed in front of me and pulled me close, “Zepherina, I will support any coup your want to run but right now is not the fucking time,” she hissed at me.
“What do you-” I tried to say but Theo’s hand went to my mouth.
“Empress Ragna is popular right now and I mean insanely popular, even more so than you,” Theo spoke in a hushed tone.
I pulled her hand away, “how?” I glared, “what’s been going on since I left?”
“You don’t know about anything that’s happened since you were gone?!” Theo whispered.
“No!” I shouted, “because I was gone!”
Theo took a deep breath, “When the Empress came, she attacked with a show of force, fought Cassara, and then Rachel ended the fight and surrendered to her immediately.”
I frowned, “Is Cass okay?”
“Focus,” Theo chastised.
“Just tell me if Cassara is okay!” I glared, “I know you didn’t like her but she was a great sparring partner!”
“She never trained you, just used you as a punching bag,” Theo glared, “she should have been training you as Rachel did.”
“Not the time, Theo!” I shouted.
“Fine!” Theo rolled her eyes, “Cassara is fine, as far as I know, but she skipped town after Empress Ragna took control.”
“I don’t get it, no one tried to stop Ragna?” I growled.
“Oh, someone did,” Theo looked away.
“Who?” I asked.
“My mother,” Theo explained.
I gasped, “Oh my God!” I hugged Theo tightly, “I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah,” Theo hugged back for a moment, but pushed me away, “luckily, Ragna’s not a monster like Rachel was.”
The sentence took me a moment to process and it was clear Theo noticed.
“My mom is still alive, Zeph,” Theo informed me.
“But a challenge to the throne is a challenge to the death!” I reminded Theo.
Theo nodded, “Ragna tossed my mother around like a rag doll and forced her to withdraw her challenge,” Theo beamed, “She saved my mother’s life.”
“By not killing her?” I grumbled.
“Rachel would have killed my mother and, in fact, was on the sidelines calling for her head!” Theo growled.
“What?!” I gasped.
“Empress Ragna showed my mother mercy, and I pledged eternal fealty to her,” Theo admitted sheepishly.
“Don’t you see Theo! It was a trick!” I pointed out, “she just wanted to get you and the people on her side! She doesn’t care about human life!”
“Is that why she’s improved medical technology in all of our territories?” Theo said, defending Ragna.
“Ragna is a warmonger!” I shouted.
Theo pulled me away from anyone in earshot, “so?”
“What do you mean ‘so’?!” I argued.
“Zepherina,” Theo said, using my full name for emphasis, “Rachel was sending us off to aid in allied wars for decades and for what? We never saw shit from it. The people were pissed because soldiers were dying for causes that, many times, we didn’t agree with.”
“So fighting the Patriarchs in the Middle East was something we disagreed with?” I pointed out.
Theo rolled her eyes, “that wasn’t the only war we fought in! And none were our own.”
“So, what, we get a ‘big war’ for what purpose?” I asked, “to sow more death to satisfy Ragna’s bloodlust?”
Theo shook her head, “holy shit Zeph they really have you drinking the Kool-Aid over there, huh?”
My brow furrowed, “What do you mean?”
“Every nation we’ve conquered has saved human lives, thousands of them!” Theo exclaimed, “we ended crime in the Favelas of Brazil, freed the people of Venezuela from their greedy leaders, not to mention ended their government-run famine and we’ve been kicking vicious dictators and governments out of power left and right.”
“She’s just doing that so she can look good for the media,” I argued.
“So?!” Theo shouted, “She literally cured Cancer!”
“What?!” I gasped.
“Yeah, ‘what’, she cured Cancer and AIDs and she’s even saved countless lives from being aborted,” Theo pointed out.
I frowned, “I know abortion isn’t a Penthesilean thing since every pregnancy is planned by the state but other nations don’t function like us.”
“Yeah, well, the nations we bring into our confederation do,” Theo grinned, “Now people can have their ‘abortion’ but the fetus can mature and live its own life! There is an entire military force in the Confederation who calls themselves ‘the Reclaimed’ and they’re all badasses.”
I frowned, “Wait what? How is that possible?”
“Time dilation or something? I don’t know Zeph, the Empress is a genius! At this point, I just accept that when she says she can do something, she can do it,” Theo confessed.
“So she acts like a God or something?” I asked.
“No, she doesn’t, far from it,” Theo elaborated, “She’s got this whole ‘Impart our technology, not our culture’ movement going. Something about preserving the culture of the countries we conquer? I think that’s why she’s calling us a Confederation and not like, a union.”
“How many countries has she conquered?” I asked.
We,” Theo corrected, “have conquered the entire South American continent and most, if not all, of Central America.”
I fell to my knees in shock.
“Zeph?” Theo sank down to the ground with me, “hey, Zeph, you okay?”
I felt dizzy and found it difficult to breathe. Ragna had brainwashed my entire country, and was on her way to conquering the world!
Twigs snapped near me as I saw something rushing towards us.
Theo blocked them from me, “Who dares to approach the Princess and Stewardess of Penthesil without announcing themselves,” she paused, “boy.”
I looked up to see Zithero, looking worried as he approached, “Zeph? Are you okay?” he said, ignoring Theo.
I shook my head.
“Let me through! She is my friend!” Zithero announced.
“Like hades, I will!” Theo growled.
“Theo, please, that’s my friend Zithero,” I placed my hand on the ground to steady myself.
Theo turned to me, giving me a questionable look as Zith rushed past her and to my side. “You made friends with a man?”
Zith ignored her, “What is wrong, Zeph?”
“I… Zith, Ragna’s taken everything,” I heaved a sigh and felt faint.
“Hold on, hold on!” Zith shouted.
“Zeph!” Theo rushed to my side.
Zith’s hands were on my shoulder and soon I felt a wave of calm come over me.
It was as if my whole body had been soaking in a hot tub for hours.
“Does that feel better?” Zith asked.
I nodded, “Yeah… what is that?”
“A soothing spell,” Zith smiled to me, “just something to keep you from freaking out.”
“Your services are appreciated, boy,” Theo spat, “now off with you! The Princess and I were in the middle of a very important discussion.”
“I think that I will go if Zepherina wants me to go, thank you, miss…?” Zith asked.
“Theodora Rigas,” Theo hissed, “I’m her best friend.”
Zith turned to me, “well, I am also her best friend.”
Theo grabbed Zith by the collar of his shirt and pulled him up to her face, “Listen here, you little shit-”
“Theo!” I shouted, getting to my feet, “Drop him,” I narrowed my eyes, “gently.”
Theo turned to me and slowly lowered Zith to the ground.
“Why are you two fighting?” I glared at both of them, “I’m friends with both of you! I can have more than one, you know!”
Theo frowned, “But, Zeph it’s just… you know I…” she trailed off.
I felt the awkwardness of the situation loom. Theo had asked me out a long time ago and I pushed her away because I told her I “Wasn’t ready.” Which Theo sadly took to mean as ‘Someday’, now she was likely looking at Zith as a romantic rival.
Oh God - I was stuck in a love triangle!
“I’m not doing this!” I shouted, “Listen, you two, get along, that’s it, okay? If you care about me then you’re going to put aside your differences and be friends too!”
Theo and Zith looked to each other and Zith offered his hand up to Theo first.
“Sorry for the misunderstanding, I just wanted to help,” Zith apologized.
Theo did the same, “Fine, I guess. Thanks for helping and nice to meet you.”
“Yay!” I tried to force a happy smile, “Friends!” Oh God, this was going to drive me crazy!
Theo turned to me, “Zeph if you’re okay, there’s something really important I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Anything you can talk to me about,” I pulled Zith over to my side, “you can talk about with Zithero here. He’s awesome.”
Theo shook her head, “this is about state matters, Zeph, I mean it.”
I frowned, looking to Zithero and back to Theodora, “he can keep a secret, I promise. If he doesn’t, I’ll beat him up!” I mock punched his shoulder.
Zith chuckled.
Theo frowned, addressing me, “Listen to me: the Empress is moving to make a treaty with Mexico and it’s looking like President Vuple is going to go for it.”
“Meaning what?” my eyes went wide.
“Meaning that it’s a violation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” Theo informed me, “Ragna always makes a provision that any Penthesilean Confederation countries cannot trade with non-Penthesilean countries. If Mexico exits the U.S.M.C.A.? The US is going to want to go to war, in a heart-beat.”
“And they aren’t usually honorable about their wartime strategy,” I grimaced.
“Drone strikes on civilian areas, bombings, assassinations, all the dirty little tricks will come out and I don’t think Ragna is ready for it,” Theo frowned.
Zith sighed, “I can just say I’ve seen far too many refugees who joined my caravan before I left,” Zith turned to us, “they always looked to the sky in fear when a plane flew over their heads. Afraid of another bombing.”
I frowned, “I won’t have that for our people, old and new, we have to stop it!” I looked to Theo, “but from the sounds of it, you seem to have a plan?”
Theo gave a cocky smile, “you know me so well.”
I smiled back at her, “okay, so what is it?”
“I think this is something for two heads of state to handle together,” Zith bowed to Theo and smiled to me, “I will go back to making sure the children stay out of trouble.”
“Okay Zith,” I leaned down and hugged him, and he hugged back and when I did I couldn’t help but blush.
As Zith walked off, Theo gave me a quizzical look, “so, what’s with the vampire boyfriend?”
“Vampire?” I asked, confused.
“He sounds like Dracula,” Theo mocked, “seriously, what is with you two?”
I pursed my lips, “Theo, please, don’t make my life any more complicated than it is, please?”
“So my feelings don’t matter?” Theo said as her face fell.
I hugged her, “Stop! Please!”
“It’s just that,” Theo hugged me back, sighing, “I always imagined us fighting on the battlefield, and then one day, after a great victory, you would grab me and kiss me.”
I let go of her, turning from her, “Battle doesn’t do that for me,” I had to remind her.
“I know,” Theo said flatly, “it’s just… what does?”
“Nothing,” I explained.
“Everyone has something that turns them on Zeph! I’m your best friend, will you just tell me?” Theo pleaded.
“Am I everyone?” I asked Theo.
Theo smiled wide, “no, no you’re not.”
“Enough of that. Tell me about this plan of yours?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you while we ride to Penthesil,” Theo smiled, walking towards the Humvee.
I sighed and climbed in after her.
As Theo pulled the truck back and turned us around, she grinned to me, “you realize that everyone is going to freak out when you get back home, right?”
“Then hide me,” I pleaded.
Theo turned to me, confused, “Why? You’re the heir to the-”
“Eva is heir to the throne,” I corrected.
“Not anymore,” Theo argued, “she’s just Queen Rachel’s daughter, you are Empress Ragna and Queen Rachel’s daughter. Making you the de facto heir.”
“That’s just because everyone hated Eva for no good reason,” I pointed out.
“They hated Eva because she didn’t look like a warrior,” Theo added.
“Because she’s short,” I said, lifting my eyebrow at her.
Theo took a deep breath, “Penthesil isn’t going to be run by a Hestie, Zeph, I’m not going to sugar coat that pill for you any longer. The only ones who supported Eva were, well, Hesties.”
“Quiet support at best I suppose,” I heaved a sigh.
“Plus, everyone now thinks you’re the prophecy fulfilled,” Theo grinned.
“What?!” My stomach dropped, “no, no, that’s just some old…” I trailed off as I realized the prophecy talked about a woman with two biological mothers, “shit!”
I turned from Theo, tears welling up in my eyes as I realized I was going to get even more special treatment that I didn’t want, nor had I earned.
“You're seriously one lucky…” Theo said before she turned and noticed I was upset, “...bitch. Zeph? You okay?”
“No,” I sighed, slumping myself in the seat, “I’m not okay.”
“Maybe we will take the back entrance, just to be safe,” Theo said, changing to another road as we drove through the jungle.
It wasn’t long before I spotted the walls of Penthesil and I couldn’t help but smile. Home would always be home and I did miss it, to be completely honest.
As we got to the gate, Theo held out a small card and a beep occurred, followed by something that popped up out of the ground and scanned the outside of the car.
“What the hell is that?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah they just put these in! Scans the car for any men, saves on having to post guards at every gate,” Theo grinned, “it can even detect if someone has converted to female.”
My heart leaped in my chest, “Wait! They changed the law?!”
Theo nodded, “Yep. The Order of Hera was super pissed at first! But Empress Ragna sided with the Order of Dionysus: any man who transitions is allowed to walk on Penthesil’s soil,” Theo chuckled, “as long as they go through the procedure, of course.”
I frowned, “Wait, it was Ragna who changed the law?”
Theo nodded, “yeah, the Order of Dionysus brought it to her and Ragna chastised the entire order of Hera for ever barring the trans-women in the first place.”
The car bumped along as the gate opened and the city that was there was very different from the home I had left.
The clothing looked different, with Hesties having a brighter variety of clothing, more colors, more dresses. There were also more people! They looked like tourists, even? Women and their daughters who were certainly not from Penthesil were taking pictures of some of the statues. I saw tour guides and buses, to my shock.
“What is this?” I frowned.
“Penthesil is the Nation’s Capital, so of course folks visit all the time,” Theo sighed, “it’s probably the only thing I hate. I want the Empress to move the official capital to Rio but mother won’t listen to me.”
I frowned as we got to a crosswalk, all manner of folks crossing. I saw a few soldiers walk by in really strange looking armor. It looked like stone, almost porcelain, and every soldier was wearing a new symbol on their armor.
An omega symbol, in silver, with three arrows piercing it. “What’s with the symbol?”
“The new Penthesilean seal,” Theo explained.
“Ragna’s hubris,” I narrowed my eyes, “I saw that ‘omega’ symbol on her armor.”
“Yeah… you do realize you’re the center arrow, right?” Theo explained.
“What?” I turned to her, confused.
“The arrows are the royal family of Penthesil, Ragna’s the Omega and you, Eva, and Queen Rachel are the arrows,” Theo continued.
I sighed heavily, “so much has changed.”
“Yeah, but it’s mostly been for the better,” Theo said.
I was shocked and I gave her a stern look, “you’re kidding.”
“When have I ever lied, Zeph?” Theo turned to me. “I’m being honest: your mom-”
“Don’t call her that,” I snapped.
Theo frowned, looking forward, “I don’t know why you’re so combative about that. Is it because she didn’t raise you?”
“That’s the one right thing she has ever done,” I grumbled.
“Okay, touchy subject, I got it,” Theo backed off. “Well, the Empress has really made things better here and everywhere she goes.”
We drove down into a parking garage under the palace, Theo waving a card again to get past a much more heavy-duty gate. We drove through the parking lot and eventually Theo found a spot.
“Thanks for taking me through the basement,” I smiled to Theo.
“Whatever makes you happy,” Theo grinned, “you loon.”
I smiled at Theo, she was the same, at least. Everything has changed but my best friend was still here, still herself. Loyal to Ragna, sadly, but she was herself.
“So here’s the deal,” Theo explained, “Mexico leaving would violate the trade agreement with the US, but,” Theo grinned, “if the US was expecting it, say via a treaty or modification to the trade agreement, then they wouldn’t be so in such a: ‘bomb-the-shit-outta-em’ mood.”
“I don’t understand,” I frowned, “Ragna’s not an idiot. The army can’t be happy with this constant workload either. They need a break.”
Theo nodded, “you’re not wrong. The Reclaimed will do whatever Ragna wants, sure, but even they have their limits and need rotation. Our primary armed forces are beleaguered,” Theo sighed, “they’re not going to have the morale to push into the United States.”
“Unless someone comes up with some pretty convincing rallying cry,” I offered.
Theo sneezed.
“God Bless you,” I leaned back, “so, why wouldn’t Ragna consider a treaty?”
“I don’t know, they won’t even let me in the room. Mother is dead-set on making sure I’m ‘Ready for politics’ and not so much for war,” Theo rolled her eyes. “But you? You’ve got that long-lost daughter energy.”
I frowned, “What? No, you’re not…”
“Please?” Theo said as she gave me her best puppy dog eyes, “Please, suck it up and play nice with your estranged mother? So that thousands of innocent civilians don’t get the drone striked?”
I inhaled sharply through my nose, gritting my teeth, “when you twist my arm like that, Theo, how could I not do everything you say?”
Theo grinned, hugging me tight, “this is going to be awesome!”

I made my way up to my room, turning to Theo, “listen, you get your treaty ready, I’ll get dressed in my royal armor, okay?”
“Okay!” Theo and I gave each other a fist bump before she walked off. I heaved a sigh and headed to my room. The place was exactly as I had left it.
I walked around seeing my familiar posters of Guts from Berserk, my badass ‘Kale and Caulifa’ poster from Dragon Ball Super, and of course, all of my little Funko Pop figures on the table. I sighed as I picked up the Vegeta one, poking it, “Paragon Till Death, right?” I heaved a sigh. “Man I didn’t think I’d pull a ‘you’ in real life…” I placed the figurine back on the table and headed to my closet, finding my royal armor. “Okay, time to put on a good façade.”
After getting dressed, I checked everything in the mirror, making sure it was perfect. My bulky cloth robes were on, pinned down by my polished metal breastplate and covered by silver and gold gauntlets. I had my heavy cloth pants tied at my waist with a traditional belt that had the old Penthesil seal on it, as well as my polished metal greaves.
“Okay,” I said in the mirror, “time to go suck up to the tyrant so another nation doesn’t go attack-mode on us.” I heaved a sigh, “I hate politics.”
As I opened the door, I was shocked to see Syria. She turned to me, looking me up and down, “looking very good, young mistress.”
“What do you want?” I narrowed my eyes on her.
“To report that, with you gone, Zithero has returned to Rage,” Syria said.
As she mentioned that Zithero was returned, I couldn’t help but narrow my eyes on her.
“He is safe,” Syria explained, “we are not planning on doing anything without you or your mother’s consent.”
My eyes remained narrowed on her, “Well I guess I’ll have to see my,” I hesitated, “mother about that, won’t I? Where is she?”
“This way,” Syria led the way, but as she did, I noticed she seemed nervous.
“I’m not going to kill you,” I said, confused by her strange behavior.
“I know,” Syria said flatly. We stopped at a hallway and she looked me up and down, “when you were growing up, did you have any abnormalities? Pains, aches? That sort of thing?” Syria’s face was twisted in confusion and worry.
“Uhm, no,” I lifted an eyebrow, “why?”
Syria closed her eyes and exhaled, “I did as my Mistress advised, not ordered, mind you, and sired a child with my fiance, Fatima.”
I smiled, getting what she said, but feeling relief. Maybe, just maybe, if there were more people like me, folks could drop this whole ‘prophetic child’ bullshit. “And I’m guessing it worked?”
Syria’s cheeks reddened and she nodded, looking down.
“Why aren’t you happy?” I asked.
Syria looked up to me, “I am! Truly, I am so, so very happy…” she trailed off, pursing her lips, “but, so very nervous!”
“Why?” I asked.
“This is all so experimental, you’re the only one ever born using the process before and I am so worried something will be wrong with the child. If there is, how can I meet the child’s special needs if my master and mistress won’t allow me to? Will Fatima be able to handle it? Will it strain our relationship? What if she leaves me?! What if-” I stopped her voicing her concern.
“Wow, okay stop!” I shouted.
Syria did so, her hands wringing and her eyes pleading.
“You seriously need to relax,” I pointed out.
Syria was still tense as she spoke, “I keep hearing everyone tell me that but it is impossible. The more someone says ‘Syria relax,’ the more high strung I become.”
“Have you talked to Fatima about all of this?” I asked.
“She keeps saying ‘it’s in God’s hands’,” Syria’s eyes welled up with tears.
“Shouldn’t that be comforting?” I gave her a quizzical look.
“Not for me!” She grabbed at my robes, “I have done terrible, terrible things for my Master and Mistress! What if God takes holy retribution against me and curses my child as Xyphiel’s children were cursed?! What if He robs my child from me?!”
“Hold on,” I pried her hands off of me, “okay… listen I get it: you’re evil.”
Syria narrowed her eyes on me.
“But God’s not going to punish your kid just because you’re a bitch,” I pointed out.
Syria relaxed, just a tiny bit, and rubbed her arm, “...and what if my child grows to hate me as you have grown to hate Ragna?”
This was a gut-punch of a question and I wasn’t sure how to answer. “What would Lady Tasha say?” I thought.
Syria tensed up once more, “It’s not something you could answer. I’m sorry, I’m distraught and nervous-”
I cut her off before she could get back to rambling, “be someone who your daughter won’t hate.”
Syria stopped a look of shock on her face. “I…”
“That’s all I can say. I don’t hate Ragna because she’s my mother. It’s what she’s done that makes me hate her,” I explained.
Syria gave me a nod, then motioned to the hallway, “The Empress… your mother is down the hall, in the war room, with Steward Dimitria.”
“Thanks,” I said as I walked down the hall, “Oh, and maybe you should ask Zithero about casting that relaxing spell on you! You need it!” I shouted back to Syria.
“I will,” Syria called back to me.
I faced forward and spotted Theodora waiting by the door to the war-room. “Ready?” I asked.
Theo laughed, “oh yeah, you brought out the big guns, huh? Ceremonial armor?”
I smiled, “Gotta sell it, right?”
Theo nodded and with that, we entered.
Ragna and Dimitria were having a discussion over a large map of Mexico when we walked in. Both looked up to us.
Ragna spoke first, “Zepherina?” she looked over my armor, “well, this is a surprise.”
Dimitria glared at us, “Both of you, what are you doing in here? This is the war room, I understand that each of you are our daughters, but this is a very delicate situation! I have told you time and time again, Theodora! I will not tolerate your interference.”
Theo glared, “Mom I have support from Princess Zepherina! She thinks it’s our best chance at long term victory!”
“Ah, yes, win by not fighting,” Dimitria shook her head, “both of you, leave!”
“No,” Ragna said, looking at us, “stay. Explain it to me.”
The entire room was now silent and Dimitria was bowing her head to Ragna.
I approached Ragna, narrowing my eyes on her, “if you break the existing trade agreement with Mexico, the United States will attack.”
“I’m well aware,” Ragna interjected, “continue.”
“But if we come to them with an olive branch, they may be less likely to do so,” I explained.
Ragna’s brow rose as she listened to me.
“A treaty that allows for old trade provisions to still move forward, while removing conflicts with our trade programs as violations, along with a promise of a five year cease fire between the Penthesilean Confederation and the United States of America,” I blurted out.
“And who wrote up this document?” Ragna asked.
Theo stepped up next to me, “I did, my Empress.”
Ragna turned to me, “the issue at hand is trust. The United States isn’t one to be terribly trusting, especially with a rogue nation whose leader they have no control over.”
“I’ve worked with the US Military recently, I’ve made inroads with their military leadership,” I explained, “I did missions for them and they were successful ones. I’ve met with Generals Scott Drake and Valdimir Underhill.”
Ragna’s interest appeared piqued as she moved her head back in a sort of half nod, a partial smile crossing her face.
I gritted my teeth. “If you promise to leave Zithero alone, I will go as heir to the throne.” My voice hitched, “As your daughter.”
Ragna’s eyes went wide and a look of shock came over her face as I said the last three words.
I did my best not to puke.
Dimitria shook her head, “The Americans will never-”
“Yes,” Ragna said, “Yes, I believe this is an excellent course of action.”
“My Empress!” Dimitria objected, “the Americans will never accept it, even if we send our daughters!”
“Whether they accept it or not, it doesn’t matter,” Ragna grinned wickedly, “If we extend the olive branch, do you know how they’ll look if they slap it away?”
Dimitria thought for a moment, “fine then, but Theodora will go as well. After all, this was her idea to begin with.”
“Yes!” Theodora grinned, “We did it!”
I smiled, “Yeah, we did.”
“I’ll arrange a meeting at the US Embassy in Mexico, neutral ground for the time being,” Dimitria informed, “then you’ll be on your way.”
“And you have my word, my dearest daughter,” Ragna smiled to me, “Zithero will be untouched when you return.”
It was a few days later when the transport was ready to take us away.
I remember hugging Zithero tightly before I left, “Did you ever give Syria that relaxation spell?”
Zithero laughed, “Yes, it worked wonders.”
“Ragna promised me you’d still be, well, you when I got back,” I smiled.
“You be you too!” Zithero grinned.
“I will!” I smiled as I climbed into the transport. I was going to make peace, while Ragna tried to make war. It was a small victory, but it was one I was happy to take.
submitted by Zithero to The_Guardian_Temple [link] [comments]

2020.09.02 00:42 hansington1 [TECH] If the Internet is a Series of Tubes then Space Shall be a Series of Cubes

A space startup, Space3 has recently organized with the express purpose of bringing the miniaturized satellite market to Venezuela for use in both Civilian and Military applications. Miniaturized satellites have been in use for more than three decades now and have grown to a market size of over 10 billion globally. Looking to tap that market Space3 has acquired private funding to design, manufacture, and eventually market a series of micro/nanosatellites for Venezuelan Businesses. Their primary funding partners include CANTV, Oxica C.A., several investors in the farming industry, and the Venezuelan Army.
These Nanosattelies are designed with three key principles in mind. Being economically viable to even smaller business, being rapidly developed and deployed to fill any hardware gaps and make use of the latest technology withing months rather than the typical years it takes to design and build a single satbus, and being small enough to be either launched en-mass on conventional launch platforms or make use of the growing trend of micro-launch sites. By taking these principles to heart the company hopes to be able to provide Venezuelans with unprecedented access to space.
The company plans to develop a modular "plug and play" nanosat platform that can be outfitted to provide practically all the services of their average-sized counterparts. While one such nanosat normally would be able to provide decent levels of service, they really begin to shine when it comes to utilizing them as constellations. The benefits of this are that such a constellation is rather robust to service interruption due to issues with one satellite in the constellation that can be easily compensated by other satellites in the network.
One big flaw, turned benefit, is that due to the size of these satellites make them rather vulnerable to deterioration over a period of five to six years. This requires that to prevent service interruption, they be replaced after around four years. While costly to the maintenance cycle, this does allow for one thing that their average-sized cousins cannot compete with. Technological obsolescence. Most Average sized satellites take an average of five to fifteen years to be developed with the original purpose or function that satellite was originally designed for potentially no longer being deemed an issue as priorities change. This is also true with the ever-present march of technology with telecommunications being particularly vulnerable to becoming obsolete day by day. This allows constellations of these satellites to be put into orbit whilst retaining the most up to date technological practices without this risk.
The company has issued that, to build such a "plug and play" system would require primarily off the shelf materials and could have a system ready to deploy within around a year's time at an investment cost of $135 million with each individual nanosat costing around $500k per satellite.
submitted by hansington1 to worldpowers [link] [comments]

2020.09.01 21:55 curious_nekomimi A surprisingly coherent history of the (fictional) XXVIII (28th) Amendment to the United States Constitution

The XXVIII (28th) Amendment to the United States Constitution, also known as the "Sexual Freedom Amendment", legalizes all, sexual acts between consenting adults. The amendmentas introduced by Senator John Neely Bryan III and passed in the Senate on December 17, 1995 with a vote of 98-0. It then went to the House where it passed unanimously on January 7, 1996.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
  1. The government of the United States and of the several States shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of sexual activity between consenting adults, provided that no laws concerning public safety are broken and no grievous bodily injury occurs.
  2. The government of the United States and of the several States shall make no law restricting sexual acts, positions or partners, whether gay, lesbian, heterosexual or otherwise.
  3. The government of the United States and of the several States shall make no law prohibiting any sexually explicit display of, description of, or conversation about human sexuality, sexual activity or anything related to it, provided that all parties depicted, or involved, are consenting adults.
  4. The government of the United States and of the several states shall make no law restricting access to information related to human sexuality, sexual activity or anything related to it, provided that all parties depicted, or involved, are consenting adults.
  5. All laws prohibiting public nudity are repealed.
This amendment was viciously criticized by a minority of religious leaders, most notably the Christian Evangelicals Coalition, and the Catholic Church. On March 27, 1996, two weeks after the law's passing, a group of Catholic radicals bombed the United Church of Satan in Salem, Oregon. At the time nobody was hurt and the bombers were identified and arrested.
In the decades that followed, the newfound sexual liberty led to a sharp increase in STDs and divorce. However, despite the fears of many social conservatives none of these trends managed to destabilize society. If anything, growing acceptance of sexual freedom led to a decrease in teenage pregnancies and an increase in financial prosperity for all genders and sexual orientations.
The "Sexual Freedom" amendment set a precedent that would be followed by other democracies in the coming decades.
In 2011, the Iranian parliament legalized same-gender marriage; a law which was signed by then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The law was passed despite the fierce and sometimes violent protests of the country's religious leadership.
In 2018 the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution to legalize all forms of sexual activity between consenting adults. In addition, the resolution stated that any attempt to restrict the sexual liberty of consenting human beings was a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The resolution passed with a 28-1-19 vote, with the United Kingdom being the only "no" voter, and Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela and Russia abstaining.
Ultimately, and unexpectedly, the XXVIII (28th) Amendment led to a new era of global acceptance and love and is widely hailed as one of the most important amendments in United States history.
submitted by curious_nekomimi to AIDungeon [link] [comments]

2020.09.01 02:03 autotldr Top envoy says US preparing tighter oil sanctions on Venezuela

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 55%. (I'm a bot)
The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top United States envoy for the country told Reuters news agency on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.
US President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to remove the left-leaning Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after a 2018 re-election considered a sham by most Western nations.
The sanctions have already deprived PDVSA of most of its long-term oil customers, reducing oil exports to below 400,000 barrels per day, their lowest level in almost 80 years.
With November's presidential election approaching, Washington is preparing to toughen its stance on Venezuela, especially the sanctions on its oil and gold industries.
A handful of European and Asian customers have continued taking Venezuelan oil under specific authorisations granted since last year by the US Treasury for transactions that do not involve cash payments to Maduro's administration, but rather exchanges of Venezuela oil for diesel.
PDVSA regularly exports Venezuela crude oil to Cuba and reships to the island a portion of the refined products it imports through swaps.
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