Slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has been bumped off the FBI’s most wanted list close to a year after his death. Now the world’s number one terrorist has been replaced by an alleged child pornographer.
Eric Justin Toth is the latest fugitive to be placed on the Fed’s Ten Most Wanted list and has been on the run since 2008.
Toth was indicted after authorities found pornographic images on a camera in his possession at the private school where he formally worked. He has also been accused of transporting video depicting child pornography across state lines.
Since the indictment is sealed, it is unknown just how many children might have been abused.
Although the FBI doesn’t view Toth and bin Laden as criminal peers, the desire to get him off the street remains the same.
The sequel to the mega-viral disaster that was Kony 2012 may only be 20 minutes long, but financier-turned-humanitarian Ben Keesey still manages to gravely insult the intelligence of an audience clearly more awake and aware than he and the corporate-financiers behind Invisible Children would like to admit. Surely though, they are more than aware of the real revolution they’ve scratched the surface of – a population no longer swayed by slick marketing campaigns and who are more than ready to confront such deception. That is why Invisible Children has not only disabled comments on their latest piece of propaganda, but have also disabled the rating system for their video.
Just like traditional corporate propaganda, Invisible Children has become a one-way marketing operation – while posing as an “activism 2.0″ exercise, it denies activists any opportunity to express their views, influence the debate, or sway the agenda in any shape form or way – much like Soros-funded infiltrators did to the Occupy Wall Street movement right before it petered out. You are given the illusion of being a part of something bigger than yourself when in reality you are simply being used by a monolithic unilateral predetermined agenda.
In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.
The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”
A new study by Clinical Epigenetics, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses largely on diseases, has found that the rise in autism in the United States could be linked to the industrial food system, specifically the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the American diet. The study, published yesterday online, explores how mineral deficiencies could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides. The report comes just after a different report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, documented a startling rise in autism in the United States.
“To better address the explosion of autism, it’s critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism.” said Dr. David Wallinga, a study co-author and physician at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
The report’s key findings:
- Autism and related disorders affect brain development. The current study sought to determine how environmental and dietary factors, like HFCS consumption, might combine to contribute to the disorder.
- Consumption of HFCS, for example, is linked to the dietary loss of zinc, which interferes with the elimination of heavy metals from the body. Many heavy metals like mercury, arsenic and cadmium are potent toxins with adverse effects on brain development in the young.
- HFCS consumption can also impact levels of other beneficial minerals, including calcium. Loss of calcium further exacerbates the detrimental effects of exposure to lead on brain development in fetuses and children.
- Inadequate levels of calcium in the body can also impair its ability to expel organophosphates, a class of pesticides long recognized by the EPA and independent scientists as especially toxic to the young developing brain.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has reported multiple arrests today related to a move against a “large and sophisticated Israeli terror and sabotage network.” The agency says the arrests were the result of months of operations and that parts of the network were planning fresh attacks.
Israeli officials termed the report “baseless,” and claimed they were a form of “psychological warfare.” They provided no additional details on the arrests, however, and gave no comments of the report that explosives and communications equipment were seized in the raids.
The lack of specific details makes it impossible to confirm that Iran actually did uncover an Israeli sabotage network, but the existence of such programs is not in serious doubt, as Israeli officials have regularly gloated over assassinations and bombings in Iran.
The depth of Israel’s covert operations is unknown. In January it was revealed that Israel had for years been funding the Jundallah terrorist organization, and had even managed to frame the CIA in the process by using US passports and cash to convince the faction that they were doing business with the American spy agency, and not Israel’s Mossad.
Mali’s coup leader Army Captain Amadou Sanogo on Monday met with Dioncounda Traoré, the man set to be sworn in as the country’s interim president to oversee the transition back to constitutional rule.
The two men discussed when Sanogo would hand over power to allow the return of democratic rule in the troubled west African nation, now half controlled by Islamists and rebels.
Traoré, currently Mali’s speaker of parliament, met Sanogo in the presence of international mediators for about an hour at a military camp near the capital Bamako.
“We established a framework” of focus points, said Côte d’Ivoire’s African Integration Minister Adama Bictogo who, along with Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole, is acting as mediator. “No-one lost anything and no-one won anything,” he added.
Sanogo told reporters the encounter “went well”, adding that more information would be released soon.
A Burkina Faso official said it was hoped the first cabinet meeting could be held before Friday.
Traoré will be tasked with organising elections, if possible within 40 days.
The first of two key Syrian deadlines came and went this morning, and while the Syrian government has reported partial completion of its pledge to withdraw heavy forces from population centers the fighting continues.
Western officials are already spinning this as “defiance” of the ceasefire, even though technically the ceasefire isn’t scheduled to begin until Thursday morning. It is clear, however, that both sides continue to launch attacks, albeit at a somewhat reduced level, and the plan is in serious doubt.
UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan, however, spurned Western calls to declare his peace initiative dead, asking “if you want to take the plan off the table, what will you replace it with?” The answer of course is civil war, with Gulf nations looking even more aggressively at plans to smuggle weapons into the nation to prop up their own favored rebel factions.
The White House was mum on exactly what measures the US will look to take next, but seem keen on getting some sort of UN Security Council resolution to support intervention in the country. Both Russia and China are still opposed to this, however, and would almost certainly veto such a resolution.
Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey plans to announce as early as Wednesday afternoon that she is charging neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation.
It was not immediately clear what charge Zimmerman will face.
Martin, 17 and unarmed, was shot and killed Feb. 26 by Zimmerman, who said he was acting in self-defense. Police in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, did not charge Zimmerman, citing the state’s “stand your ground” law.
A new report has shed fresh light on life in North Korean labour camps.
It presents a detailed picture of torture, forced abortions and public executions in a vast network of secret political camps.
The research backs previous evidence that more than 150,000 political prisoners are being held in North Korea.
The authors are calling for an international commission of inquiry to investigate.
The report – by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea - uses detailed satellite photographs to identify barracks, work sites and execution grounds in forced labour camps hidden in remote mountain areas.
“An entire system of political repression in North Korea needs to be eliminated,” said the committee’s chairwoman, Roberta Cohen.
The researchers relied for their information on some 60 former prisoners and camp guards, who have escaped to South Korea.
They describe a complex web of prisons and work camps built to punish those seen as resistant to North Korea’s system of total state control, including those who try to escape to South Korea.
They say that many inmates die from malnutrition and harsh working conditions as they labour in mines, factories and on farms.
The Philippines and China agreed to resolve an ongoing naval standoff diplomatically, but neither side was ready to back down Wednesday in the most dangerous confrontation in the disputed South China Sea in years.
Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario said he warned Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing that the Philippines would defend itself if provoked. At their meeting, both insisted the Scarborough Shoal location was part of their own country’s territory.
Despite the impasse, “we resolved to seek a diplomatic solution to the issue,” Del Rosario told a news conference.
“Nobody will benefit if violence breaks out there,” President Benigno Aquino III said.
The Philippine government said its navy tried to detain Chinese boats fishing in its waters, but was stopped by two Chinese surveillance craft. The Chinese Embassy accused the Philippine warship of harassing the fishermen.
The South China Sea is home to a myriad of competing territorial claims, most notably the Spratly Islands south of the shoal, that are believed to be in rich in oil and gas. The region is also prime fishing ground and one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.
Both China and the Philippines flexed their muscles Wednesday. Del Rosario said that he warned China’s ambassador that “if the Philippines is challenged, we are prepared to secure our sovereignty.”
The six-month-old government of Tunisia cracked down with tear gas and batons Monday on thousands of protesters who filled a central artery of the capital in defiance of a new ban on demonstrations there.
The confrontation, at the site of the protests that ousted former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and kicked off the Arab Spring last year, was another manifestation of a role reversal now playing out across North Africa in the aftermath of the revolts in neighboring Egypt and Libya as well. In each, former exiles and political prisoners who spent careers under police state rule find themselves struggling to impose a new order on the bedlam left after the old regime’s collapse.
“There is a difference between a revolution and chaos,” said Said Ferjani, a torture victim and former exile who is now a spokesman for the moderate Islamist party that leads Tunisia’s constituent assembly.
In both Egypt and Tunisia, the Islamist parties leading the new legislatures — outlawed as radicals under their former governments — take a conservative, business-friendly approach to matters of law and order that is at odds with more left-leaning forces in the revolts.
While U.S. officials won’t say it explicitly, mindful of the delicate diplomatic process, the agreement will be largely ignored. “If there’s a threat to the homeland, the United States always reserves the ability to act unilaterally,” said Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The rhetoric may not line up with that, however, because we have the need for an agreement with the Afghan government beyond 2014,” when U.S. combat forces are scheduled to leave.
Of course, what qualifies as a “threat to the homeland” is up to the administration, Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA, who typically have carried out the night raids. Night raids are one of the most hated aspects of the U.S. occupation in Afghanistan, infamously fueling resentment and often ending with the killing or arrest of innocents.
With night raids, the Obama administration has attempted to ease the pain, at least the public relations aspect of it, by training loyal Afghan forces to participate in them with U.S. forces in the hopes that it will help reduce civilian casualties. That this sort of reform was needed, speaks for itself.
The U.S. plan to completely ignore a binding agreement with the government of Afghanistan is characteristic of this administration’s approach to issues in foreign policy: rule of law be damned.
Despite the rhetoric there are grounds for cautious optimism. Both sides have floated trial balloons jockeying for position.
Iran signalled this week it could be prepared to compromise over its stockpile of 20 per cent enriched uranium, a key issue for the West because that level of purification is a simple step away from producing 90 per cent bomb grade fissile material.
The US, meanwhile, hinted it could accept Iran’s enrichment of uranium to less than five per cent for use in a civil nuclear programme in return for verifiable guarantees that no material is diverted to military use.
Recent remarks by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have piqued Washington’s interest. The hardline cleric offered rare praise of the US last month, commending President Barack Obama for denouncing “loose talk of war” by Israel and his Republican rivals over the nuclear standoff.
Ayatollah Khamenei also pledged his country will never seek nuclear weapons, describing them as a “grave sin”.
Intrigued, Mr Obama reportedly sent him a message via Turkey’s prime minister,Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that if he could back up that claim, the US would accept an Iranian civil nuclear programme.
Hansen and Schmidt of NASA GISS under fire: Engineers, scientists, astronauts ask NASA administration to look at emprical evidence rather than climate models
49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.
The group, which includes seven Apollo astronauts and two former directors of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, are dismayed over the failure of NASA, and specifically the Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS), to make an objective assessment of all available scientific data on climate change. They charge that NASA is relying too heavily on complex climate models that have proven scientifically inadequate in predicting climate only one or two decades in advance.
H. Leighton Steward, chairman of the non-profit Plants Need CO2, noted that many of the former NASA scientists harbored doubts about the significance of the C02-climate change theory and have concerns over NASA’s advocacy on the issue. While making presentations in late 2011 to many of the signatories of the letter, Steward realized that the NASA scientists should make their concerns known to NASA and the GISS.
“These American heroes – the astronauts that took to space and the scientists and engineers that put them there – are simply stating their concern over NASA’s extreme advocacy for an unproven theory,” said Leighton Steward. “There’s a concern that if it turns out that CO2 is not a major cause of climate change, NASA will have put the reputation of NASA, NASA’s current and former employees, and even the very reputation of science itself at risk of public ridicule and distrust.”
Select excerpts from the letter:
- “The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.”
- “We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated.”
- “We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”
A U.S. State Department cable composed in Dec. 2009 sheds yet more light on the murky relationship between the Obama administration and the Ugandan government, pointing to an information sharing agreement that prohibits the Ugandan regime from engaging in certain combat operations against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) without U.S. permission.
Specifically, the cable states that Ugandan forces may not utilize U.S. intelligence to engage enemies without first consulting U.S. officials. That goes double if their engagement might happen outside “the law of armed conflict” — which is to say, Uganda must seek U.S. permission before committing to operations that could result in war crimes, or face the possibility of being cut off from U.S. support.
“The Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) uses this intelligence in planning and conducting offensive operations, including both capture and lethal operations, against the LRA in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Southern Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR),” the cable explains. “Furthermore, Uganda understands the need to consult with the U.S. in advance if the UPDF intends to use U.S.-supplied intelligence to engage in operations not governed by the law of armed conflict. Uganda understands and acknowledges that misuse of this intelligence could cause the U.S. to end this intelligence sharing relationship.” [Emphasis added.]
How valuable are bees? In the UK, about £1.8bn a year, according to new research on the cost of hand-pollinating the many crops bees service for free. If that sounds a far-fetched scenario, consider two facts.
First, bees are in severe decline. Half the UK’s honey bees kept in managed hives have gone, wild honey bees are close to extinction and solitary bees are declining in more than half the place they have been studied.
Second, hand-pollination is already necessary in some places, such as pear orchards in China, and bees are routinely trucked around the US to compensate for the loss of their wild cousins.
The new figure comes from scientists at the Reading University and was released by Friends of the Earth to launch their new campaign, Bee Cause. Paul de Zylva, FoE nature campaigner, said: “Unless we halt the decline in British bees our farmers will have to rely on hand-pollination, sending food prices rocketing.”
So what’s the problem? The losses of flowery meadows that feed wild bees is a factor, as are the parasites and diseases that can kills hives. But a third factor has now moved to the centre of the debate: pesticides calledneonicotinoids. The insect nerve-agents are used as seed dressings, which means they end up in every part of the crop they protect, including pollen and nectar.
Two landmark studies, conducted in field conditions, published in Science in March clearly implicated sub-lethal doses of the pesticides with increases in disappeared bees and crashes in the number of queens produced by colonies. Then on 5 April, another study was released, showing the pesticides can cause colony collapse disorder (CCD), the name given to the ghostly hives from which bees have vanished.
The Federal Reserve is propping up the entire U.S. economy by buying 61 percent of the government debt issued by the Treasury Department, a trend that cannot last, Lawrence Goodman, a former Treasury official and current president of the Center for Financial Stability, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion article published Wednesday.
“Last year the Fed purchased a stunning 61 percent of the total net Treasury issuance, up from negligible amounts prior to the 2008 financial crisis,” Goodman writes.
Goodman also warns that U.S. economy and markets are “at risk for a sharp correction” if conditions aren’t “normalized.”
“This not only creates the false appearance of limitless demand for U.S. debt but also blunts any sense of urgency to reduce supersized budget deficits.”
The U.S. government is growing increasingly more dependent on borrowing to finance itself, with net issuance of Treasury securities hitting 8.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on average per annum, more than double levels before the crisis.
Fed intervention in the government debt market makes demand for Treasury bonds appear higher than it really is, as foreign creditors and other investors have fled U.S. government debt instruments and are looking elsewhere until the government makes serious attempts to curb spending and narrow its gaping deficits.
Goodman notes that foreign investors like Japan and China that once scooped up U.S. debt are shunning it. In 2009, such foreign purchases of U.S. debt amounted to 6 percent of GDP and has since falled by over eighty percent to a paltry 0.9 percent.
Without foreign buyers and a shrinking base of U.S. corporate and bank buyers, the Treasury has had to resort to the Federal Reserve itself to make the purchases. The Fed purchasing not only makes up the shortfall, but can keep long term interest rates artificially low.
If the talking heads on television don’t tell us about something that happens, does it make that event any less real? Of course the answer to that question is quite obvious, but unfortunately way too many Americans allow their realities to be defined by what they hear from the mainstream media. Way too many people use phrases such as “if that was true I would have heard about it on television” to deflect conversations that are starting to become uncomfortable. Critical thinking is a skill that is in short supply in America today, and most Americans seem content to let their televisions do their thinking for them. Sadly, the pretty people on television do not spend a lot of time talking about the things that are truly important. Instead, they love to talk about the latest celebrity scandal and they love to divide people into groups and get them fighting with one another. In this day and age, it is absolutely critical that we all learn to think for ourselves. The talking heads on television are concerned with keeping their bosses happy and with keeping the ratings up. Most of them are not really concerned about what happens to you. They just want you to keep watching them so that they can continue to earn their inflated salaries.
Unfortunately, most Americans seem perfectly content with the “infotainment” that they are getting from the major news networks, so major changes to the mainstream media are not likely to happen any time soon.
For those wanting something different, you will have to seek out alternative sources of news (such as this website) that are willing to discuss the truly earth shattering events that are continually taking place all over the globe.
So what are some of the things that the mainstream media has been ignoring?
The following are 19 things that the talking heads on television have been strangely silent about….
A cancer diagnosis may be the most traumatic thing that can befall a patient within the contemporary medical system; that is, beyond the conventional cancer treatments themselves, many of which have life-threatening and even lethal side effects.
New research now indicates that a cancer diagnosis may be as fatal as the cancer itself, dramatically increasing the risk of suicide and heart-related death in the week following diagnosis.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine this month, researchers looked at data on more than 6 million Swedes aged 30 and older between 1991-2006 using the country’s health registries in order to determine how the psychological toll of cancer diagnosis impacts the risk for death. After analyzing over 500,000 people who were diagnosed with cancer during that period, the risk of suicide was found to be 12 times higher and the risk of heart-related death 6 times higher during the first week following diagnosis versus those who were cancer free.
Sometimes called the nocebo effect (In contradistinction to the placebo effect), a doctor’s negative attitudes and beliefs surrounding a diagnosis may infect the patient with despair and hopelessness, two psychospiritual states at the very root of dis-ease. A more ancient example of this is known as “bone-pointing,” which involved a shaman pointing a bone at someone whose death was said to be imminent from supernatural causes, resulting in that person dying through the power of suggestion (i.e. emotionally-induced trauma).
Once upon a time there was a bill called SOPA. Some evil trolls who worked and conducted meetings in a big domed building in Washington DC tried to make a wicked law to allow them to close people’s internet-based businesses and websites whenever they wanted, for the silliest of reasons, much to the delight of the head ogre who lived in a big White House. The people of the land all stood up angrily and complained to fight against the law, and through their efforts, defeated the trolls and the head ogre. The laws of the internet remained fair, the trolls were duly chastened, the ogre pretended benevolence and the people lived happily ever after, internet freedoms intact…..
Well…..until the dragon CISPA reared it’s ugly head.
As we predicted here, the government has been busily creating a law to “protect” us from cyber-attacks like the one recently threatened by Anonymous.
The stated purpose of CISPA is “To provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities, and for other purposes.”
(Personally, my favorite line in that statement is “and for other purposes.” It sets the ambiguous tone for the rest of the bill.)
The outrages that are blatantly laid out in CISPA (The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) are bad enough, but the vagueness of the language takes the intrusion to a level previously unheard of in a country born of the blood of Patriots and allegedly protected by the Constitution.
How often does your dentist insist on giving you a dental X-ray just to make sure all is well? While a dental x-ray may be justifiable if there is some serious risk, research is pointing out that too many of these X-rays may result in a twofold risk increase in a brain cancer known as meningioma.
For the research, Elizabeth B. Claus, MD, PhD, of Yale University, and colleagues examined the records of 1,433 patients who were diagnosed with meningioma between May 2006 and April 2011. The researchers made a control group matched for sex, age, and geography. Researchers found that bitewing X-rays (showing upper and lower back teeth) performed less than once per year was associated with patients being 1.1 to 1.6 times more likely to experience meningioma across age groups. They also found that annual or more frequent panorex dental X-ray (an X-ray showing all teeth and surrounding bones) exposure increased odds by 2.7 to 3.0 in 3 of the oldest age groups, while x-rays performed “before age 10 was associated with a meningioma odds ratio of 4.9.”
“The findings presented here are important, because dental x-rays remain the most common artificial source of exposure to ionizing radiation for individuals living in the U.S. The primary environmental (and generally modifiable) risk factor consistently identified for meningioma is exposure to ionizing radiation,” Claus and co-authors wrote.
While there are many studies examining the effects of ionizing radiation in high doses, less than 200 are available which focus on low-dose ionizing radiation. What’s more, many of the produced studies honing in on dental X-rays were performed during a time when the X-rays were at higher doses. The recent research draws the association between dental X-rays and increased meningioma risk using up-to-date dental procedures. Sometimes the X-rays are performed routinely, while other times it may be done to keep watch on cavity-prone teeth. The cavity-driven lends an even greater reason to learn how to prevent cavities naturally, ultimately preventing any exposure to routine X-rays or other dental procedures.
In any situation, radiation-inducing procedures should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. It seems that the medical establishment is administering these procedures at alarming rates in many areas, as exemplified with many cancers such as breast cancer in regards to excessive breast cancer screening. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your doctor or dentist when they push any safety measure or treatment on you which involves radiation.
Kelp off California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s coastline, according to a new scientific study.
Scientists from CSU Long Beach tested giant kelp collected off Orange County, Santa Cruz and other locations after the March 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine, which was released from the damaged nuclear reactor.
The largest concentration was about 250 times higher than levels found in kelp before the accident.
Those hoping for a quick and painless resolution to the Iranian question may have just seen their hopes dashed, following the breaking news from Iranian Press TV, according to which not only is Iran not seeking to appease its Western counterparts, but is, in fact escalating.
From Press TV: “Tehran has cut oil supply to Spain after stopping crude export to Greece as part of its countersanctions, unnamed sources confirmed on Tuesday.
Tehran also mulls cutting oil supply to Germany and Italy.” “Countersactions” – lovely: another Swiss watch plan by the insolvent developed world.
Said otherwise, one can hardly threaten to do something to a country, which is already doing so voluntarily, in the process hurting Europe’s already crippled economies even more by removing the cheapest source of energy for both. Which however begs the question: just how much more Iranian crude are China and India importing despite promises to the contrary, and open warnings from the US not to do so
On the second anniversary of the ash cloud that grounded Europe’s flights, Iceland is facing further volcanic havoc, warns Andy Hooper .
This month marks the second anniversary of the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull that left millions stranded across Europe, and cost airlines an estimated €150 million a day for six days. But alarmingly, there are signs of high activity beneath the much larger, neighbouring Katla caldera in Iceland – a possible sign of an impending eruption. This should prompt extensive high-level contingency planning across Europe, as Katla has the potential to be much more damaging than Eyjafjallajökull.
Since Iceland was settled in the ninth century, Katla has erupted on average every 60 years, but has not had a significant eruption since 1918. Ominously, eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in 1821-23 and 1612 were followed within months by eruptions of Katla. Judged by the historical calendar, an eruption is overdue.
Last July, a flood of water burst from beneath the ice cap on top of Katla, washing away a bridge. This indicates that an extra pulse of heat reached the base of the ice. Since then, there have been erratic movements of the surface of the volcano, measured by precise GPS instruments, and bursts of high earthquake activity beneath Katla’s caldera. These observations imply that magma has risen to shallower depths.
Asian airlines said they will divert planes from the intended flight path of North Korea’s rocket as shipping in the area was warned on Tuesday to beware of falling debris.
Japan’s two largest carriers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they will alter the route of flights between Tokyo and Southeast Asian cities including Manila, Jakarta and Singapore during the planned rocket launch window.
Philippine Airlines said it “plans to reroute some of its flights in view of the possible effects on a portion of Philippine territory of the satellite launch of North Korea within the month.”
The moves came as Philippine air control authorities declared a no fly zone in airspace where North Korea’s rocket was projected to pass, a Japanese transport ministry official told AFP.