Florida man sets record for living underwater – National & International News – MON 15May2023



Florida man sets record for living underwater.

Migrant arrivals drop after Title 42, but officials struggle to cope.

Turkey election: Erdogan likely facing run-off against rival



Florida man sets record for living underwater

Dituri greets a visiting scuba diver.

University of Southern Florida Prof. Joseph Dituri has broken the record for living underwater without depressurization at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, FL. Dituri, a retired U.S. Naval officer with a doctorate in biomedical engineering, has remained in his 100 square-foot abode for 74 days, breaking a 2014 record set at the same facility. The Lodge is located at the bottom of a 30-foot-deep lagoon and does not use technology to adjust for the increased underwater pressure the way a submarine does.

While small, the cabin has basic comforts including two bedrooms, a toilet, a microwave, and a large glass portal looking out into the water of the lagoon. Dituri also has a digital studio he uses to conduct interviews and online classes. When he’s not teaching, Dituri spends much of his day exercising and conducting physiological experiments to monitor his body’s response to long-term exposure to extreme pressure.

Though he’s pleased about setting a new record, Dituri intends to remain in the facility until June 9. That will complete a planned 100-day mission to gather scientific and medical data that will be useful in space travel. Dituri is also using his time in the habitat to raise awareness about undersea life among children. 

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Migrant arrivals drop after Title 42, but officials struggle to cope

Contrary to what many expected, the number of migrant apprehensions at the border have dropped sharply since the pandemic-era order Title 42 expired last week. From a surge of 10,000 per day before Title 42’s end Thursday night, there were only 6,300 apprehensions on Friday and 4,200 on Saturday.

Migrants have widely perceived the end of Title 42 as the beginning of a more restrictive regime. New rules encourage asylum seekers to apply from their home countries.  Qualifying for asylum through this process, requires a valid passport, a financial sponsor in the US and the means to buy an airline ticket. This puts asylum out of reach for poor applicants. Border arrivals are penalized for crossing illegally and can be deported if they haven’t applied for asylum in other countries they cross through.

Even though the arrival numbers have dropped, they’re likely to rise over the the next few weeks. Agencies are already having difficulty coping with the large number of recent arrivals. Court hearings for asylum are backed up for years and obtaining a court date takes several hours. To avoid overcrowding at facilities, the Justice Department wants to release migrants from custody without assigning them a court date. Instead they would receive instructions to report in for a court date at a later time. Last week, a federal judge in Florida blocked them from doing this for two weeks. 

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Turkey election: Erdogan likely facing run-off against rival

Yesterday, Turks went to the polls to decide who would be president for the next 5 years. The main contenders were incumbent and long-time leader of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his emerging challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a unity candidate backed by 6 politically disparate parties to unseat Erdogan. Many last week believed that Erdogan would likely fall to Kilicdaroglu in the first round of voting. But Erdogan, who has been in power for over 20 years, proved harder to unseat than some expected.

Votes are still being counted and results probably won’t be final until this evening. Preliminary results show a third candidate, right-wing politician Sinan Ogan, garnered 5% of the vote, and thus prevented either Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu from winning an outright majority. A runoff election is scheduled for May 28. In the meantime, both Kilicdaroglu and Erdogan will be courting Ogan’s voters and seeking Ogan’s endorsement. 

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