Russian bomb squad clears mines on the front lines of eastern Ukraine

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DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine — They say they feel fear but you wouldn’t know it by watching them handle the explosives.

The members of this bomb squad — mostly Russian Cossacks — don’t use blast suits or special equipment. Instead they rely on steady hands, common household pliers and uncommon nerves of steel

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“Gazetta” holds an 82mm mortar round inside the First Strike Company van in Debaltseve, Ukraine.

Image: Evgeny Feldman, Mashable

One wrong move means the difference between living and dying, says Denis “Raven” Zaitsev, the 31-year-old leader of the 19-man bomb-disposal team in Debaltseve that calls itself First Strike Company. Read more…

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The Eastern Pacific Has Turned Into a Freak Hurricane-Producing Machine

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While the Atlantic Hurricane Season continues to be slow, with a struggling Tropical Storm Cristobal recurving away from the U.S. during the next several days, the Eastern Pacific has turned into an assembly line for giant storms. The latest, Hurricane Marie, attained the rare Category 5 status on Sunday when estimated maximum sustained surface winds clocked in at 160 miles per hour

Viewed from space, the storm has been downright mesmerizing (as the satellite animation from Monday shows), and without the guilt that comes from knowing it is causing death and destruction — it’s what meteorologists call a “fish storm,” since it’s spending its life out at sea west of Mexico without making landfall anywhere. It will, however, drive dangerously high waves toward the southern California and western Mexican coast. Read more…

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