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True stories: dolphin answers whales' SOS call; pod of dolphins save severely-injured surfer from becoming shark bait

dolphin with locator; inset: dolphins nap with one eye open

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Dolphins save surfer from becoming shark’s bait - a pod of bottlenose dolphins helped protect the severely injured boarder

Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark - a monster great white that came out of nowhere - had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone. That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life. “Truly a miracle,” Endris told TODAY’s Natalie Morales on Thursday.

dolphin watching in Goa: dolphin leap in the open sea

Dolphin answers whales' SOS call  read more »

First shot of WWII Sept 1st: trumpet call in Poland; Sept 3, 1939, torpedo sank British ship: passenger survivor's ordeal

a Polish veteran looks at navy soldiers and honor guards during ceremonies marking the anniversary of the first day of World War II at Westerplatte Monument in Gdansk

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This article was originally published on September 2 2009, at the time of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War
Free City of Danzig

70 years on, wartime rifts still run deep

Trumpet call in Poland: Around dawn, as the morning light pushed the darkness away from the city of Gdansk, a company of Polish sailors stood at attention as a trumpet call rang out. At 4:45am, 70 years to the minute after the first shots of WWII were fired, Poland's prime minister & president bowed their heads in remembrance. In a day of high emotion for Poland &, heads of state & dignitaries from around the world gathered at Westerplatte, the tiny peninsula overlooking Gdansk's harbor where battle first commenced, to remember the start of a conflict that would engulf the world & claim 60 million lives. At 4:45am on 1 Sept. 1939, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein – on a "friendly visit" to Danzig – trained its sights on the vulnerable outpost & opened fire.  read more »

World's tallest animal: Rarest endangered Rothschild giraffes join family breakfast; unlikely bond with short goat at 1st sight

tall order: A rare Rothschild giraffe joins the breakfast table at the Carr-Hartley family's manor house in Kenya

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Eight endangered Rothschild giraffes, the rarest (only a few hundred left in the wild) on earth second only to the Niger Giraffe, are free to roam their 140-acre estate and are regular visitors at their English-style manor built in the colonial era. Back in 1794, the grandson of a Scottish earl, Jock Leslie Melville, and his American wife Betty bought the stately home. Later that year they moved two highly endangered Rothschild giraffe into the estate. The ones at the site grow up to more than 16ft tall, weigh two tons & have a life expectancy of up to 30 years. Every day shortly before 9am, the mammoth beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats. Now, married owners Tanya & Mikey Carr-Hartley literally share their dining table with them.

affectionate: the unlikely friends bonded instantly and share bedding, play together, and even cuddle  read more »

Charm of Diplomacy. Remembers trio who ended Afghan war: Joanne Herring, Charlie Wilson, Avrakotos ("Charlie Wilson's War")

Joanne Herring in Afghanistan with the mujahideen

History won’t forget each one who deploys diplomacy rather than weaponry to end war which inevitably imposes tremendous suffering on humanity. History remembers that a team of three once did the impossible, ending the Afghan war, ending misery of refugees due to war. The trio also won "Charlie Wilson's War" (a movie based on the true story stars Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson), Julia Roberts (Joanne Herring) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Gust Avrakotos).

Charlie Wilson's War (2007) starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on George Crile's book Charlie Wilson's War

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Charles Wilson  read more »

Miracle: in diapers, no lifejacket, toddler on 3rd bday navigates toy truck for 2 hrs, 12km downriver till rescued

a three-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after taking a 12 kilometer wild ride down B.C.'s Peace River in a battery-powered toy car

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Before being saved on Sunday morning (July 12), a missing baby boy was "navigating" his battery-powered toy truck in a wild ride down B.C.'s Peace River for 12 kilometers over 2 hours on his 3rd birthday. When spotted, the toddler was kneeling on all fours on top of the overturned car, sitting in about three meters of water, according to Fort St. John RCMP. "He was wet from his knees down, and his hands were wet, but this torso was okay". Rescued from the swirling 10ft deep water, the boy was insisting that he wanted to get back on his “boat”, and he “had made his truck into a boat and rode down the river.” The baby navigator was in good shape except for needing a diaper change.

the three-year-old floated 12 kilometres down B.C.'s Peace River before being rescued

The boy was not wearing a lifejacket, just a diaper and T-shirt at the time. He went missing from his family's campsite in the Peace Island Park just after 7 a.m. Sunday. Campers joined Fort St. John RCMP in a full-scale search of the park to find him. Don Loewen spotted the boy more than two hours after he went missing while searching the river with four other men in his boat.  read more »

Remembering history for future: 65th D-Day tribute to heroes who fought for world's justice & humanity's survival

Normandy Veteran Fredrick William Norris, who was awarded the Military Medal, passes the graves of friends from his regiment, the 5th Assualt Regiment of the Armoured Engineers

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D-Day veterans: 'we wear medals in tribute to men who never lived to receive theirs'

World leaders and veterans gathered along the beach Saturday in Normandy, France, to commemorate D-Day. For the veterans of the Normandy Landings, almost all now in their mid eighties, this was not a moment to acknowledge their own ailments. Instead, they stood proudly in the blazing sunshine to honor the comrades who lost their lives amid the shelling and the terror and the bloodshed that were the D Day landings. To pay tribute to the men with whom they will forever have an unbreakable bond: the servicemen who gave their lives in the battle that marked the beginning of the end of the War.

on the beaches of Arromanches-les-Bains, different generations came together to remember the D-Day landings, and the sacrifices made - 65 years ago  read more »

Disturbing: War thirsts for blood. Soldiers in demand. Pressure on recruiters: 17 died by their own hand since '01

Forced to work long hours at a task he didn't want, Henderson hanged himself in a shed behind his house in September, 2008

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Amanda Henderson's husband Patrick worked as a recruiter at the army's recruitment station in Longview, Texas. A veteran of the Iraq war, Sgt. 1st Class Henderson struggled with the pressures placed on recruiters, who until recently were ordered to enlist at least two new soldiers each month. Forced to work long hours at a task he didn't want, Henderson hanged himself in a shed behind his house in September, 2008.

Sgt. Henderson's situation was not atypical. The Hendersons met at recruiting school and were married in January 2008. She worked at a recruiting station in Nagadoches, Texas, 70 miles away from the station in Longview where Patrick was assigned. Henderson was forced into a second recruiting assignment he didn't want after he returned from a combat tour in Iraq.

Nils Aron Andersson served two tours in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne. Awarded the Bronze Star for helping some buddies pinned down in a firefight, Andersson, photographed here with his mother Charlotte Porter, also worked in the Houston area as a recruiter  read more »

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