Monday, October 6, 2008

Grenade L-ARRR-nchers: Russia gets serious about pirates

I was perusing the Russia Today website and I found this article about how a top arms manufacturer in Russia, Bazalt, planned to combat pirating on the high seas by attaching "multi-barrel grenade launching systems" to ships. This move naturally would involve passing strict regulations and laws; still, it sounds like a pretty intense solution. Apparently pirating is a major problem, especially off the African coastline. I wonder if the cannons are for sale to all ships, or only Russian merchants.

On a completely unrelated note, I also found a few articles profiling homelessness in Russia. There are over 4.5 million people living without a home in Russia, with 70,000 alone living on the streets of Moscow.

Moscow offers eight shelters for the homeless; residents can stay for up to a year receiving needed psychological support and basic amenities. However, since these shelters house only up to 170 people each, the need far exceeds the service. Charities such as Aid To the Homeless, an organization that distributes bandages and supplies, and Way Home, which offers more rehabilitative programs like work programs and football leagues, strive to fill that gap. They serve a very diverse population, too. Chronically homeless people in Moscow cover a wide range of ages and experiences--unemployment, free choice, family strife, etc--and battle addiction, psychological problems, and depression.

It was interesting to me to realize that a large city on the other side of the world was dealing with the same issues as we are in Deland. People are basically the same everywhere, and have the same basic needs, regardless of culture. It was heartening to read how they are working for equality. And with a little more finesse than grenade launchers :-)

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