A Brief History On June 17, 1940, the British passenger liner converted to wartime duty, the RMS Lancastria, was sunk off the coast of France by German Junkers Ju 88 bombers as she headed to England with military and civilian evacuees from mainland Europe.  The death toll was massive, with 3,000 to 7,000 dead.  Incredibly, 2,477 people survived the sinking, one of the largest number of survivors from any shipwreck ever. Digging Deeper Stories of ships sinking usually focus on the number of lives lost, but seldom are the number of survivors celebrated.  Some instances of huge numbers of people…

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A Brief History On June 16, 2019, over 2 million people in Hong Kong protested the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, an extradition law enacted by the Chinese communist government of Hong Kong as well as alleged police brutality.  The protests had started over a variety of reasons months earlier and continued until disrupted by the pandemic of 2020. Digging Deeper Ever since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control in 1997, protests have been a frequent event on that fabled island and its associated territory.  Some other massive protests vying for the “largest” in history include: The Baltic Way human chain across…

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A Brief History On June 15, 2022, Microsoft retired its iconic internet browser, Internet Explorer, in favor of its new system, Microsoft Edge.  Browsing the internet has become a fact of daily life for almost everyone old enough to read and write, providing entertainment, information, trivia, communications, news, and what that odd looking bird you saw in your yard is. Digging Deeper While Microsoft is a giant in the computer industry, the most widely used browser is Google Chrome.  Other innovations and features that make internet browsing rewarding include: Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia free to use and of incredible diversity…

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A Brief History On June 13, 2018, Volkswagen was fined a whopping billion Euros by the EU in conjunction with an emissions tricking scheme hatched by VW to beat clean air requirements in Europe and the US. Digging Deeper The VW scandal, using special computer programs to falsify emissions testing of their turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines, is not unique among car companies’ efforts to bamboozle governments and consumers.  Further investigation showed that other car companies had also cheated on diesel engine emissions, including Jeep, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat, Renault, and Fiat. Another extreme scandal, this time of a deadly…

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A Brief History On June 12, 2009, incumbent Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was announced the winner of the national election over three challengers, a result hotly disputed by millions of Iranians and protested in many countries around the world. Digging Deeper In the US, the presidential elections of 2000 and 2020 have been hotly debated, but apparently other countries experience the same or similar lack of confidence in election integrity.  In 2024, the Russian presidential election was a romp for incumbent Vladimir Putin, especially after stifling any opposition.  It seems few people in or out of Russia take their elections…

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