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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/04/2022 in Posts

  1. Hi everyone I was a new person so glad we're here
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  2. As of today we’ve added three more themes to choose from. Two Dark themes and one Light theme.
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  3. I do love a ham joint at Christmas Here's one from last year
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  4. I feel guilty thinking it's cold in my house. We try not to use the electricity or gas to heat the house above 68°f because of the costs but at least we have the option for now. We've lived through Ice Storms and Blizzards that knocked out power for a few days or week at the most. We had a fireplace. kerosene stove and lamps and a supply of firewood and kerosene (and candles) so we could still have light in the dark, hot coffee, dried beans and rice and pancakes or fried corn bread so we didn't really suffer as these poor people will be suffering this winter. Many will die from the cold or from trying to keep warm with fire. The threat of war could seem trite in comparison the hardships nature can deal out and life without basic necessities. The brave face this woman wears with the reality she and the others are facing is an example to us all.
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  5. Hi BuddyBlock I think I'm the only lady greeter here, everyone else is a male. But that's OK, we are all the same here. I just have an adventurous spirit. But, welcome here, I hope you enjoy it
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  6. Hello BuddyBlock. Nice to meet you. Welcome! Hope you enjoy your time here.
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  7. We’ve upgraded to the latest version software. Some things like the styles and other apps were not compatible with the new version. I’m still doing some remodeling, touch ups and decorating. It will be a work in progress for a while. There will be new Dark and Light themes to choose from soon. I’m working on it. Im glad you “saw the Light” about the Dark themes
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  8. Do NOT Click Here It says.. Just can't resist
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  9. I have a ham in my fridge right now. I cooked it to make pea and ham soup, I use the other half of the ham to make sandwiches. I shared about 3 portions of that soup with my elderly neighbours, I ate one myself and froze 3 more portions for me later. I make a fabulous pea and ham soup. Oh gosh, my freezer is full again, I have to reduce my grocery order until I can work my way through it, cheese and onion pies will have to wait till next week when there's more room in there.
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  10. like the 'look' of the revamped site, runs snappier too!!
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  11. Yum Meatloaf Ingredients Makes 8 to 10 servings ( 500 gram ground pork Pack of 8 Cumberland pork sausage, removed from casings and broken up 14 rashes of streaky bacon 1 1/2medium white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 medium garlic cloves, minced 1 large carrot finely chopped 1 medium parsnip finely chopped t 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 rounds of bread (white, brown your choice) Pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Mix all together then cover with the bacon. Cook covered for 1 HR 180 °C Uncover Cook for 45 min at 180 °C Until bacon is crispy Drain off any juices through out Enjoy.
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  12. Just having the one glass tonight
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  13. Hi BuddyBlock , Welcome To Merlin Warez
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  14. Hello all, I'm glad to be here.
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  15. I hope I never see another turkey in my life! I ate too much today. It was delicious but now I'm the one who's stuffed.
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  16. Photos: The emotional scenes as the 1st train from Kyiv arrives in liberated Kherson Oksana Shevliuha, 51, wears a Ukrainian flag as she greets her daughter, Anastasia, who arrived on the first train to reach liberated Kherson on Saturday. They had not seen each other for six months. The first Ukrainian Railways train arrived in Kherson following a Russian occupation that lasted more than eight months. Carol Guzy for NPR As Ukraine's nine-month war grinds on, the arrival of Ukrzaliznytsia, the national railway, has become synonymous with liberation in previously Russian-occupied cities and towns. When Ukrainian forces recapture areas from Russia, residents have come to expect a few immediate things: seeing the Ukrainian flag raised over administration buildings or other landmarks, the arrival of badly needed medicine, food and generators, perhaps the installation of a temporary cell tower. But the most powerful sign of liberation is when a Ukrainian Railways train pulls into town. So when Kherson, liberated nearly two weeks ago from eight months of brutal Russian occupation, greeted its first passenger train from Kyiv on Saturday, it was a moment to celebrate. Family members who'd been separated for months poured out onto the platform and embraced their loved ones in tearful, joyful reunions. Passengers gawked as they took in the destruction left in the wake of Russia's occupation. Here are some scenes from that day. A Ukrainian Railways train operator in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, prepares the train for the first trip to recently liberated Kherson on Saturday. Pete Kiehart for NPR People greet each other on the platform as a train bound for Kherson makes a stop in Mykolaiv on Saturday. Pete Kiehart for NPR Ukrainian Railways staff prepare for departure from Mykolaiv on the train headed to Kherson. The train was fitted with improvised armor and pushed empty cars ahead of it as precautionary measures. Pete Kiehart for NPR Passengers ride the first Ukrainian Railways train to recently liberated Kherson on Saturday. Pete Kiehart for NPR Ukrainian Railways employee Halyna Rospodnyuk eats a breakfast of traditional Ukrainian salo (cured pork fat) sandwiches on the train. Pete Kiehart for NPR Passengers film ammunition boxes and other evidence of war from the train. Pete Kiehart for NPR People play with their cat on the train. Pete Kiehart for NPR A woman waves to the train. Pete Kiehart for NPR Left: Mykola Desyatnikov, 56, holds a rose as he waits for his wife Lyudmila, whom he has not seen for four months, as she arrives on the first train to reach Kherson after the end of Russian occupation. Right: Desyatnikov runs alongside the train as it arrives. Left: Carol Guzy, Right: Pete Kiehart for NPR A man photographs the train and people line the bridge above as the train arrives in Kherson on Saturday. Some of the train cars had been decorated by Ukrainian artists. Carol Guzy for NPR Liudmyla, center, wipes her eyes and welcomes her granddaughter, Ania, who arrived Saturday on the first Ukrainian Railways train to reach liberated Kherson. Carol Guzy for NPR People pose for photos with Ukrainian singer Kolya Serga (right) on the train platform. Carol Guzy for NPR Oleksandr Kamyshin, CEO of Ukrainian Railways, walks through the Kherson railway station after the first passenger train in nine months arrived on Saturday. For now, basic services including water, heat and connectivity remain essentially nonexistent in the city. Pete Kiehart for NPR People use one of the train station halls in Kherson as a charging station for their phones and other devices. Basic services including water, heat and internet connectivity are essentially nonexistent in the city. Pete Kiehart for NPR Soldiers sign a child's Ukrainian flag at the train station in Kherson. Carol Guzy for NPR Elena weeps as she listens to Ukrainian musical performers after the first train arrives in Kherson on Saturday. Carol Guzy for NPR The first train launched by Ukrainian Railways from Kyiv to Kherson after its arrival in the recently liberated city on Saturday. Carol Guzy for NPR
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  17. Cold and dark: Kyiv readies for 'worst winter of our lives' The lack of electricity turned Anastasia Pyrozhenko’s apartment into a deathtrap ByYURAS KARMANAU and JOHN LEICESTER Associated Press November 21, 2022, 4:37 AM Anastasia Pyrozhenko, 25, climbs the stairs in her multi-storey apartment building in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The lack of electricity turned Anastasia Pyrozhenko’s apartment into a deathtrap. Without electricity, there’s no water and no way to cook food, and the woman and her husband won’t even have time to run to the shelter from their 21st floor in the event of missile strikes, because the elevator isn’t working. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko) The Associated Press KYIV, Ukraine -- When the power is out, as it so often is, the high-rise apartment overlooking Ukraine’s war-torn capital feels like a deathtrap. No lights, no water, no way to cook food. And no elevator by which to escape from the 21st floor should a Russian missile strike. Even when electricity comes back, it’s never on for long. “Russian strikes are plunging Ukraine into the Stone Age,” says Anastasia Pyrozhenko. In a recent 24-hour spell, her 26-story high-rise only had power for half an hour. She says the “military living conditions” have driven her and husband from their apartment. “Our building is the highest in the area and is a great target for Russian missiles, so we left our apartment for our parents’ place and are preparing for the worst winter of our lives,” said the 25-year-old. The situation in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and other major cities has deteriorated drastically following the largest missile attack on the country’s power grid on Tuesday. Ukrainian state-owned grid operator Ukrenergo reported that 40% of Ukrainians were experiencing difficulties, due to damage to at least 15 major energy hubs across the country. Warning that electricity outages could last anywhere from several hours to several days, the network said that “resilience and courage are what we need this winter.” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, too, stressed the need to be ready and resilient in the face of a potential blackout: “Worst case scenario. Actually, I don’t like to talk about that, but I have to be prepared if we (do not) have electricity, blackout, no water, no heating, no services and no communication,” Klitschko told the AP on Friday. Ukrenergo said in a statement that “thousands of kilometers of key high-voltage lines are not working,” affecting the entire country. It published a picture of a transformer station that was destroyed by a Russian missile, leaving around 400,000 people without power. According to the report, “there are dozens of such transformers in the power system now. This equipment cannot be replaced quickly.” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after last week’s strikes that more than 10 million Ukrainians were left without electricity; by Sunday, he said some areas had seen improvements. “The restoration of networks and technical supply capabilities, the de-mining of power transmission lines, repairs — everything goes on round the clock,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. Blackouts were scheduled Sunday night in 15 regions and the city of Kyiv, he said. Ukrenergo said there would be scheduled outages in every region on Monday. A sharp cold snap and the first snow have significantly complicated the situation in Kyiv, where temperatures are often below freezing in winter months. The cold forces people to turn on their heaters, which drastically increases the load on the grid and makes power outages longer. In light of the dropping temperatures, the Kyiv authorities announced they were setting up communal heating points. In the city of 3 million people, 528 emergency points have been identified. Here, residents will be able to keep warm, drink tea, recharge their phones and get any necessary help. The heating points will be equipped with autonomous power sources, as well as special boiler rooms. Mayor Klitschko, too, spoke of measures taken to prepare for energy outages with the onset of colder temperatures: “We prepared and we (asked for) electric generators (from) our partners, which they send to us. For this case, we have a reserve of diesel, (of) oil. We have a lot of warm stuff. We have medication.” Many residents in Kyiv have begun to leave boxes of food, flashlights and power banks in elevators, in case anyone gets stuck in one for a long time. Due to the lack of electricity, public transport is disrupted, many small shops cannot operate, and some medical institutions can only work to a limited capacity. Dentist Viktor Turakevich said that he was forced to postpone his patients’ appointments “for an indefinite time” because without electricity his central Kyiv clinic cannot function even during the day, and the generator will only arrive in a few weeks. “We cannot accept patients even with acute toothache, people have to suffer and wait a long time, but the light comes on only for a few hours a day,” Turakevich said. “Generator prices have skyrocketed, but even with money, they are not easy to come by.” Most hospitals in Kyiv have already received generators and there are no power outages there yet. The Oleksandrivska hospital, the largest and oldest one in the center of Kyiv, reported that it had not canceled elective surgeries because the hospital had received electric generators from France. Generators have also been supplied to educational institutions and social services. “Such facilities are a priority for us, and most of them are equipped with autonomous energy sources,” Ukrenergo head Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said on Friday. However, many schools in Kyiv have endured significant disruption to the learning process, with a lack of electricity meaning internet outages that make remote learning near impossible. Yaroslav, age 8, stopped attending his school in the Vynohradar district of Kyiv after a rocket attack blew out all the windows of the school and damaged a shelter there. “Most of the children studied remotely, but now it is no longer possible to do this,” said Yaroslav’s mother, Olena, who asked for her last name to be withheld for safety reasons, in a phone interview. “We are trying to protect children from the horrors of war, but the cold and the lack of power greatly hinder this.” Analysts say that Russian rocket attacks on the energy industry do not affect the successful advance of the Ukrainian army in the south and the situation on the battlefield in general. “The Russians cannot win on the battlefield, and therefore they use cold and darkness as a weapon against the civilian population, trying to sow panic, depression and demoralize Ukrainians,” Volodymyr Fesenko, an analyst at the Penta Center think tank in Kyiv, told the AP. Russian President Vladimir Putin "is suffering military defeats and is in dire need of a military pause, which is why he is forcing Zelenskyy into negotiations in such a wild way,” he said. The analyst believes the Kremlin is also trying to put pressure on Western support for Ukraine, as the EU and the U.S. will be forced to expand aid packages to a freezing Kyiv amid growing domestic troubles. “Putin is trying to make the price of supporting Ukraine too high — this applies both to money and to a possible new flow of refugees to Europe from a freezing country,” Fesenko said. Pyrozhenko, having left her high-rise, moved in with her mother in a small apartment in Kyiv, now home to five people. The family has a wooden house in a village near Kyiv and has already prepared firewood in case of a forced evacuation. “We understand that winter can be long, cold and dark, but we are ready to endure,” Pyrozhenko said. “We are ready to live without light, but not with the Russians.” https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cold-dark-kyiv-readies-worst-winter-lives-93704304
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  18. Welcome to Merlin Warez BuddyBlock Enjoy your stay
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  19. Hello BuddyBlock and welcome to the forum. Thank you for posting an Introduction. Enjoy
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  20. We asked our readers to send in their best pictures on the theme of "empty spaces". Here is a selection of the photographs we received from around the world. Image source, Lia Mageira Lia Mageira: "A fisherman at the lagoon of Messolonghi, Greece." Image source, Jason Shrubb Jason Shrubb: "The empty spaces within a concrete shell." Image source, Ivon Sataumer Ivon Sataumer: "Sometimes the clouds in the sky are mistaken. They didn't come to block the sunlight. They came to embrace it." Image source, Kobus Peché Kobus Peché: "Sleeping heron in Royal Natal National Park, South Africa." Image source, Susan Cook Susan Cook: "It was a magic moment on an early morning walk. Two friendly horses leaned in from behind me and our shadows together reached far out into the empty field." Image source, An-Son Vu Wurdemann An-Son Vu Wurdemann: "Exploring an abandoned bunker in Kent." Image source, Andrew D Jackson Andrew D Jackson: "Greenland has plenty of empty space. The view from our hotel in Ilulissat revealed a few fishing boats dwarfed by one massive iceberg." Image source, Sue Norton Sue Norton: "Empty space in the seedcase of a fallen conker." Image source, Rachael Blakey Rachael Blakey: "An empty classroom in a school located in New Brunswick, Canada." Image source, Salar de Uyuni Salar de Uyuni: "Crossroads, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia." Image source, Mike Harrison Mike Harrison: "Mesmerising endless beauty." Image source, Ruth Atkins Ruth Atkins: "A child walks down a pink stairwell in Peckham." Image source, Glyn Moffitt Glyn Moffitt: "Empty sunset seats on Southend-on-Sea pier." Image source, Raj Padia Raj Padia took this picture of the Bandra Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, India. Image source, Alan Milnes Alan Milnes: "An empty space that never should be."
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  21. There is a dark skin that you can select by going to the bottom of the page and look for the word Theme then click it and a drop down will appear with 2 skin choices...one is light skin and is the default skin and the other is called Gradient select Gradient if you want a dark skin.
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  22. Well the weekend has come around again, I wish time would go a bit slower.
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  23. A selection of the week's best photos from across the continent and beyond: Image source, Winston Duke/Getty Images Stars Lupita Nyong'o, Tenoch Huerta, Danai Gurira and Winston Duke share a moment at the Wakanda Forever film premiere in Nigeria on Sunday... Image source, AFP Fans have their faces painted with patterns inspired by the film beforehand. Image source, AFP Algerian actress Sofia Boutella takes to the red carpet at an event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Saturday. Image source, Reuters On the same day in South Africa, a marching band parades ahead of the Red Bull Box Cart Race... Image source, Reuters The competition in Cape Town sees contestants ride homemade vehicles, not all of which make it to the finish line. Image source, AFP Counsellor "Gogo" Shery Ziwakayi, right, gives a free counselling session on the Friendship Bench. The idea came from psychiatry Professor Dixon Chibanda, and the World Health Organization is now taking it to Qatar for the football World Cup. Image source, AFP On Friday, a ballerina training at the Grande Theatre of Dakar in Senegal stands near a portrait of Russian ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova. Image source, Getty Images This man crafts a bird figurine from ebony in the Gabe Bazaar in Khartoum, Sudan, on Saturday. Image source, Getty Images A day earlier, the capital plays host to a shooting championship... Image source, Getty Images These markswomen are taking part in the shotgun category. Image source, Getty Images Esperance Sportive Tunis fans wave flares at the Tunisia championship match against Union Sportive Tataouine on Saturday. Image source, Getty Images "Politicians, when you stand up to talk, my generation requests that you speak like there is an emergency," Uganda's Leah Namugerwa says in her keynote speech at COP27... Image source, Getty Images Campaigners are in Egypt to lobby governments and policymakers to act on the climate crisis, which is disproportionately affecting the world's poorest countries. Image source, Getty Images Away from the conference centres and hotels, life goes on in Egypt. This woman is growing a variety of plants on her balcony using recycled plastic bottles. Image source, Getty Images "You might as well kill me" is the slogan of Ghanaian protesters rallying against the country's cost-of-living crisis. Image source, Getty Images Seun Kuti, son of Nigerian great Fela, peforms at the Villanos Del Jazz music festival in Spain on Monday. Image source, EPA A boy in the Nigerian city of Lagos gets a new prosthetic leg, at the Irede Prosthetic Centre on Monday. Image source, AFP Also on Monday, hundreds of volunteers enlist in the Democratic Republic of Congo army, after the country's president called on "vigilance groups" to protect against neighbouring Rwanda. Image source, AFP The day before, memorabilia marking Paul Biya's four decades in power is on sale in Cameroon. The 89-year-old, who is Africa's oldest president, did not attend the anniversary celebrations. Image source, AFP People take part in an anti-blasphemy protest in Bamako, Mali, on Friday after a video of a man insulting the Koran is widely circulated online. Image source, Reuters Kenya's Sharon Lokedi celebrates after winning the elite women's race at the New York marathon on Saturday. Image source, Reuters Kenyan activist Elizabeth Wathuti visits the Nairobi Arboretum on Tuesday. Image source, EPA On Wednesday a farmer prepares the land as maize-planting season begins in Zimbabwe. Image source, Reuters As Kenya battles worsening drought, these elephants drink at a solar-powered water point in Taita Taveta county. Image source, Reuters And on Wednesday, King Charles greets Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at Buckingham Palace in London. Images subject to copyright.
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  24. Hi Golem , Welcome To Merlin Warez
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  25. Although the name Golem bears some lexical similarity to the name Gollum, (the evil character of The Lord of the Rings), Golem and Gollum are profoundly different characters. A golem is an animated, anthropomorphic being in Jewish folklore, which is entirely created from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud). In the Psalms and medieval writings, the word golem was used as a term for an amorphous, unformed material.
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  26. Hello Golem. I remember reading this as Gollum in LOTR, but your nick is quite different, I looked it up. Glad you're here, you are very welcome.
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  27. Hello golem. Welcome to the site.
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  28. Hello golem. Welcome to the site. Enjoy!
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  29. Welcome to Merlin Warez golem Enjoy
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  30. Hello golem. Welcome to Merlin Warez. Thank you for posting an Introduction. Enjoy
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  31. The Royal Palace of Venaria Reale, Turin, Italy
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  33. Local people react to a volunteer from Odesa distributing aid on the main square in front of the Regional Administration Building in Kherson on Wednesday. Pete Kiehart for NPR ODESA, Ukraine — The Ukrainian city of Kherson is rapidly coming back to life after more than 8 1/2 months under Russian occupation. Despite still being without water or electricity, residents are returning to the streets for joyous celebrations. Work crews are hastily setting up cellphone, Wi-Fi and electrical connections. Demining teams are attempting to clear areas around critical infrastructure including the main roads, rail lines and power plants. Liberty Square in the center of Kherson has turned into a makeshift carnival and humanitarian aid distribution hub. People draped in Ukrainian flags sing patriotic songs. Ukrainian soldiers are feted as heroes: Residents hug them, young boys beg for autographs and military patches. Kids race around a monument wrapped in new yellow-and-blue bunting. "On the first day, when everyone knew [the Russian occupation] was over, everyone kissed and hugged," says Mariya Kryvoruchko. "We are so happy!" But despite the current joy, residents describe a terrifying occupation in which speaking Ukrainian could get you detained and people disappeared without a trace. "Honestly I was afraid," Kryvoruchko says. "At different moments I believed we would be liberated. Other times I didn't believe." Every night she heard screams from prisoners being held at the local police station less than a block from her house, she says. "Deep in my soul, I'm still afraid. I don't believe Putin and I'm afraid of him." Top: A woman touches Maksym, a soldier from the 140th separate reconnaissance brigade, in gratitude. Bottom left: A soldier signs Ukrainian flags in Kherson's central square. Bottom right: Maksym hugs children in Kherson's central square. Pete Kiehart for NPR A damaged portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin outside a police station that Kherson residents say was used by Russians as a detention and torture center. Pete Kiehart for NPR A burned cot in a police station that Kherson residents say Russians used to detain and torture violators of curfew and people suspected of collaborating with Ukrainian authorities. Pete Kiehart for NPR People crowd around a truck distributing medical aid in Kherson on Wednesday. Pete Kiehart for NPR A crew from the Ukrainian State Emergency Service searches for mines and unexploded ordnance next to a highway in Posad-Pokrovske, a village halfway between Mykolaiv and Kherson city, on Wednesday. Pete Kiehart for NPR A billboard in Kherson city urges residents to vote yes in the widely denounced September referendum that was held under Russian occupation to decide whether the region should join the Russian Federation. The purported results of the referendums led to Russia's formal annexation of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Pete Kiehart for NPR Mariya Kryvoruchko, 70, with her son-in-law's dog, Sana, in Kherson on Wednesday. Kryvoruchko describes the city under occupation as like living in a "vacuum," and says she could hear screaming from a makeshift detention center less than a block from her house. Pete Kiehart for NPR Left: Men in uniforms from an internet provider work on elevated wires. Kherson's infrastructure for basic services has been destroyed, leaving the city largely without electricity, water, heat and internet. Right: A woman becomes emotional after laying flowers at a makeshift memorial in Buzkovy Park, on the spot where Ukrainian territorial defense volunteers were killed by Russian forces March 1. Pete Kiehart for NPR A destroyed bridge near recently liberated Klapaya, about 12 miles outside Kherson city, on Wednesday. Pete Kiehart for NPR Graffiti depicts Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces, in Kherson's central square. The inscription reads, "God and the chief Zaluzhnyi are with us." Pete Kiehart for NPR Local youth drape themselves in Ukrainian flags in recently liberated Kherson on Wednesday. Pete Kiehart for NPR People visit a makeshift monument on the central square of recently liberated Kherson on Wednesday. Pete Kiehart for NPR
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  34. Ludwig van Beethoven ( 1770 – 1827) German composer and pianist, remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music.
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  35. Australian Pink Floyd
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  36. The Edge of Earth - Bunda Cliffs of Australia
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  37. Crimean bridge: Explosion is 'the beginning', says Zelensky adviser A large fire on the only crossing between the occupied Crimean peninsula and Russia was caused by a lorry explosion, Russian officials say. A blast on the road section led to oil tankers on the rail section catching fire, before the road collapsed. Crimea was annexed in 2014 by Russia, which now uses the bridge to move military equipment into Ukraine. The official Twitter account of the Ukraine government responded to the fire by tweeting: "Sick burn." An adviser to Ukraine's President Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, called the damage a "beginning" - but did not directly claim Ukrainian responsibility. "Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled," he tweeted. Meanwhile, the Ukraine defence ministry compared the bridge explosion to the sinking of Russia's Moskva missile cruiser in April. "Two notorious symbols of Russian power in Ukrainian Crimea have gone down," it tweeted. "What's next in line?" It is hard to exaggerate the significance, and symbolism, of seeing the bridge on fire. Opened by President Putin in 2018, it was meant to symbolise that Crimea was Russian. Russia has used the bridge to move military equipment, ammunition, and personnel from Russia to battlefields in southern Ukraine. As such, Ukrainian authorities said it was a legitimate target, as they vow to retake the peninsula. Any attack on Crimea, where the Russian army has a massive presence, will be seen as another massive humiliation for the Kremlin. The bridge is particularly hated by Ukrainians. Social media in Ukraine erupted in celebration on seeing the fire - one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 70. Road and rail traffic across the bridge has been suspended. Local authorities in Crimea say they will organise a ferry service between the Russian mainland and the peninsula. Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said: "At 06:07 Moscow time today [03:07 GMT], an explosion was set off at a cargo vehicle on the motorway part of the Crimean bridge on the side of the Taman peninsula, which set fire to seven fuel tanks of a train that was en route to the Crimean peninsula. "Two motorway sections of the bridge partially collapsed." Crimean parliamentary speaker Vladimir Konstantinov blamed the explosion on "Ukrainian vandals, who have finally managed to reach their bloody hands to the Crimean bridge". He added the damage to the bridge would be "promptly restored, since it is not of a serious nature". President Putin has been briefed about the "emergency" on the bridge and has ordered a government inquiry, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, in comments quoted by Interfax news agency. A criminal investigation is also under way. The 19km (12-mile) bridge across the Kerch Strait, which cost £2.7bn to build, was opened by President Putin four years after Moscow illegally annexed Crimea. It is the longest bridge in Europe, and was hailed by Russian media as "the construction of the century". Russian officials previously claimed it was well protected from threats from air, land or water. The crossing is more than 100 miles from Ukrainian-held territory. One explosives expert told the BBC the fire was probably not caused by a missile. "The lack of obvious blast / fragmentation damage on the road surface suggests that an air-delivered weapon was not used," he said. He said it was possible that "a well-planned attack from below may have been the cause". "I suspect explosives on the road bridge and train deck were initiated near simultaneously using coded radio command," he added. Ukraine claimed responsibility last month for a series of air strikes on Crimea over the summer, including an attack on Russia's Saky military base. Kyiv has the momentum in this conflict. The army has reclaimed large swathes of territory, forcing Russian troops to abandon long-held positions. Amid the losses, Moscow has begun a chaotic military mobilisation - which led to rare anti-war protests in Russia, and a huge exodus of military-age men. On Russian TV talk shows, presenters and studio guests have been expressing increasing doom and gloom about the situation. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63183404?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA
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