Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)


Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Migrant rescuers, island mayor win UNESCO peace prize

Yahoo – AFP, Ella IDE, April 19, 2017

Migrants are rescued off the coast of Libya by SOS Mediterranee's Aquarius
vessel in May 2016 (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS)

Rome (AFP) - UNESCO awarded its prestigious peace prize on Wednesday to migrant rescue association SOS Mediterranee and the mayor of Lampedusa, the tiny Italian island on the frontline of the refugee crisis.

The Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize goes to the European NGO and mayor Giuseppina Nicolini "for their work to save the lives of refugees and migrants and welcome them with dignity," the UN cultural body said in a statement.

The plight of migrants constitutes "one of the crucial issues of our day, notably in the Mediterranean where nearly 13,000 men, women and children have perished in shipwrecks since 2013," said acting jury head Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique.

Lampedusa, Italy's most southerly outpost, was the first port of arrival for thousands of migrants setting off from North Africa in the first years of the crisis, which began in 2011 and has developed into the worst since World War II.

SOS Mediterranee, founded in 2015, rescues hundreds of men, women and children each week from flimsy dinghies and boats in the Mediterranean, along with other NGOs.

Nicolini was recognised for "her boundless humanity and unwavering commitment to refugee crisis management and integration in response to the arrival of thousands of refugees on the shores of Lampedusa and elsewhere in Italy".

The mayor of Lampedusa, Giuseppina Nicolini, has been recognised for her
work at the frontline of the refugee crisis (AFP Photo/ANDREAS SOLARO)

'Watery grave'

"I dedicate this prize to all those who did not make it across the sea because they were swallowed up, and also to Gabriele Del Grande," said Nicolini, referring to an Italian journalist arrested in Turkey this month while researching the lives of Syrian refugees.

"He was the first to count the Mediterranean's dead on a website, back when nobody even knew people were dying in the Mediterranean. He is now a prisoner in Turkey," she said, calling on the government to "bring him home".

The jury said SOS Mediterranee's Aquarius vessel, co-run by Doctors Without Borders, had saved more than 11,000 lives since it began search and rescue missions off Lampedusa in early 2016.

"We're so happy to be given this award together with Nicolini. We visited her when we were starting up and she said 'you are crazy but I am with you, because this is what we need after the failures of the EU'," said Sophie Beau, SOS Mediterranee co-founder.

The jury appealed to the international community "to ensure that the Mediterranean sea becomes, once again, a place where solidarity and intercultural dialogue hold sway, and that it ceases to serve as a watery grave".

Private rescue vessels sounded the alarm this weekend over the "unprecedented mass rescues" of people fleeing horrors in conflict-torn Libya, recovering seven bodies including that of an eight-year-old, and warning more migrants risked drowning without EU action.

Close to 37,000 people have been brought to safety in Italy so far this year, a 45 percent increase on the same period in 2016.

Migrants waiting to disembark from the Aquarius which has saved more than
11,000 lives since early 2016, the jury said (AFP Photo/Giovanni ISOLINO)

Solidarity

The EU's border control agency Frontex has accused donor-funded vessels of doing more harm than good by acting "like taxis" off Libya and tempting human traffickers to put as many people as possible out to sea in flimsy vessels.

Italian prosecutors have suggested they may have links with traffickers and in March named SOS Mediterranee's activity as being of interest to investigators, along with other private rescue vessels.

Their charges have been fiercely rejected by the NGOs, with SOS Mediterranee saying Wednesday it had "never, not once" been put in contact with migrants via smugglers.

"European governments need to show more solidarity to the humanitarian organisations that are working on the front line of this humanitarian crisis. Border control is not the solution," said Regina Catrambone, the director of MOAS rescue service.

UNESCO's Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize, created in 1989 to honour those making a significant contribution to peace, has gone in the past to Nelson Mandela, Israel's Shimon Peres and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, King Juan Carlos of Spain and former US president Jimmy Carter.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

VOC ship sunk off the coast of England in 1740 to be investigated

DutchNews, April 18, 2017

Coins salvaged from the Rooswijk were sold on Ebay in 2007

A Dutch ship laden with chests of silver which sunk off the coast of England in 1740 is to be partly excavated and its cargo recovered, the education ministry said on Tuesday. 

The Rooswijk was a VOC ship and sunk close to the Goodwin Sands sandbank on its way to Asia in a heavy storm. The ship had a crew of some 350 and was laden with silver and coins to trade. 

The wreck is now threatened by shifts in the current and a project to extract sand from the area, the Telegraaf said on Tuesday. The Netherlands and England have therefore decided to carry out a proper survey of the ship and its spoils, which will take place from July 1 to October. 

Education minister Jet Bussemaker said there is increasing awareness of the importance of wrecks as part of the Dutch identity. Wrecks, she said, are ‘time capsules’ full of stories. 

‘The two century history of the VOC is part of our collective memory, including all we are proud of, but also what we are now ashamed of,’ she said. 

Divers first found and explored the wreck in 2004. In 2005, they recovered one thousand bars of silver, gold coins and a mustard jar which were given to the Dutch government. 

VOC

The Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC (Dutch East India Company) was established in 1602 when it was given a 21-year monopoly to trade with Asia. It went on to trade throughout Asia for two centuries before being dissolved in 1798. 

The VOC is often described as the world’s first multinational corporation and was also the first company to issue stocks.



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Superyacht seized in Den Helder port as part of corruption probe

DutchNews, April 14, 2017

A 75 meter long superyacht, worth €113m, has been placed in sequestration in Den Helder port after a judge in Zwolle ruled that the vessel be held while its owner is investigated under charges of corruption in Switzerland and France. 

The ‘Ebony Shine’ is owned by Teodoro Obiang, son of the long-serving president of the tiny West African state of Equitorial Guinea, the NRC said on Friday. 

Teodoro Obiang is being charged on a number of points including money laundering and stealing from the state treasury. The yacht was seized while it was in a Den Helder dockyard for regular maintenance. Obiang claims it is the property of the state of Equitorial Guinea. 

Obiang serves as vice president of the country and has an annual salary of €100,000. Equitorial Guinea has a population of 800,000 and is a former colony of Spain. 

The vessel, built by Feadship in Makkum, has two jaccuzis, a spa, a pool and gym, a helipad, several jetskis and a cinema seating 12. 

Equatorial Africa is one of the richest countries in Africa due to its oil income which amounts to about €3.7bn a year. Only 2% of of this goes for health care and 3% to education. Apart from a small elite, most of the country lives on less than €2 a day.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

'Zero recovery' for corals in back-to-back Australia bleaching

Yahoo – AFP, April 10, 2017

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is suffering a fourth round of coral bleaching
this year, after being hit in 1998, 2002 and 2016 (AFP Photo/Nette WILLIS)

Sydney (AFP) - Coral bleached for two consecutive years at Australia's Great Barrier Reef has "zero prospect" of recovery, scientists warned Monday, as they confirmed the site has again been hit by warming sea temperatures.

Researchers said last month they were detecting another round of mass bleaching this year after a severe event in 2016, and their fears were confirmed after aerial surveys of the entire 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) long bio-diverse reef.

Last year, the northern areas of the World Heritage-listed area were hardest hit, with the middle-third now experiencing the worst effects.

"Bleached corals are not necessarily dead corals, but in the severe central region we anticipate high levels of coral loss," said James Kerry, a marine biologist at James Cook University who led the aerial surveys.

"It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offer zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016."

It is the fourth time coral bleaching -- where stressed corals expel the algae that live in their tissue and provide them with food -- has hit the reef after previous events in 1998 and 2002.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is suffering a fourth round of coral bleaching 
this year, after being hit in 1998, 2002 and 2016 (AFP Photo/Nette WILLIS)

Record temperatures

"The combined impact of this back-to-back bleaching stretches for 1,500 kilometres, leaving only the southern third unscathed," said Terry Hughes, head of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, also at James Cook University.

"The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming.

"This year, 2017, we are seeing mass bleaching, even without the assistance of El Nino conditions," he added, referring to the natural climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean.

The Barrier Reef is already under pressure from farming run-off, development and the crown-of-thorns starfish.

It was also recently hammered by category four Cyclone Debbie, which barrelled through the region last month, mostly affecting southern parts around the Whitsunday islands which largely escaped the bleaching.

The extent of the destruction wrought by Debbie is not yet known, although scientists have said damage could range from minor to severe.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority began a study last week to determine how extensive it might be and have already found extensive pulverised coral at popular snorkeling spots.

"The feedback that's coming back is the more sheltered areas have come out a bit better, but they all seem to have suffered some form of damage," Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators' Brendon Robinson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Whitsundays is one of the reef's tourist hotspots, attracting more than 40 percent of total visitors to the iconic marine ecosystem.

An aerial view of bleaching in the Cairns-Townsville region of Australia's 
Great Barrier Reef (AFP Photo/Ed ROBERTS)

Multiple impacts

Hughes warned rising temperatures could see more bleaching events.

"Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts. Without a doubt the most pressing of these is global warming," he said.

"As temperatures continue to rise the corals will experience more and more of these events. One degree Celsius of warming so far has already caused four events in the past 19 years.

"Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing."

The world's nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit average warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, by curbing fossil fuel burning.

Canberra in 2015 narrowly avoided UNESCO putting the reef on its endangered list, and has committed more than Aus$2.0 billion (US$1.5 billion) to protect it over the next decade.



Related Article:




"....The Prediction: The Renewal of the Life Cycle

When you change the temperature strata of the oceans of the earth, things start to change, for the life cycle of the food in the ocean depends upon that which is the smallest. The plankton of the planet survive in certain temperatures, and that's changing. Throw away what you think you know about how it's all supposed to work, and instead think "renewal" or "how did it begin." This will serve you to understand what is happening now. This cycle is built to replenish the ocean with life and not always by sustaining the kind that was there.

Let us just talk about the ocean for a moment. We won't even get to what's happening in the air and what mammals might experience. Let's just speak of the ocean. Have you heard about the salmon? What has your science warned you against? You're overfishing! The sea is dying. The coral is dying. The reefs are going away. You're not seeing the food chain that used to be there. You've overfished everything. Fishing quotas have been set up to help this. Oh, all those little people in the red room - they don't know about the purple. Red people only know about the red paradigm.

Did you hear about the salmon recently? There's too many of them! In the very place where quotas are in place so you won't overfish, they're jumping in the boats! Against all odds and any projections from environmentalists or biologists, they're overrunning the oceans in Alaska - way too many fish.

What does that tell you? Is it possible that Gaia takes care of itself? That's what it tells you! Perhaps this alignment is going to keep humanity fed. Did anybody think of this? What if Gaia is in alliance with you? What if the increase in consciousness that raised your DNA vibration has alerted Gaia to change the weather cycle and get ready to feed humanity? Are you looking at the ocean where the oil spill occurred? It's recovering in a way that was not predicted. What's happening?

The life cycle itself is being altered by the temperature change of the ocean and much of what you have believed is the paradigm of life in the sea is slowly changing. A new system of life is appearing, as it has before, and is upon you in your lifetime. It will compliment what you know and expose you to a new concept: Gaia regularly refreshes the life cycle on Earth.

Within this process, there will be the extinction of certain plants and animals, birds and fish. My advice to you, especially to those environmentalists, is to understand the cycle of life so that you may relax with what nature has always done. It puts life on the planet to serve the planet for a time. When certain life no longer serves the planet in the ways it used to, it takes it away. The extinction of life, especially through weather change, is normal for Gaia. It is honored, appropriate and normal, even if you don't think so. Don't try to save all the disappearing animals, fish and birds! Some are supposed to go away. And, dear ones, don't assign all this activity to something you did to cause it!

The red people are stressing. The purple is here, and they are trying to figure out what they did wrong. They don't know they are in the Rainbow Room. They think they are in the RED ROOM. This is what the Rainbow Room does; it changes colors. So as the room does what it has always done, the red people are sitting there in fear trying to figure out what it is that they did that possibly could have caused the purple to appear.

The Rainbow Room is beautiful. The color purple is significant. Going from red to purple has metaphysical significance within this parable, but I'll let you figure it out. For those who are into colors, there's a reason why I gave those two. The earth is becoming more sacred than it's ever been before. Gaia is with you in this. It's cooperating in ways you never thought it could, in the way biologists said it would not. You think you're killing it? Instead, it's giving birth to an altered ecological system. ...."

Fossils of 12 million year old whales found off Dutch coast

DutchNews, April 10, 2017


Fossils of five previously unknown species of marine mammals have been discovered off the Dutch coast. 

The fossils date back 12 million years and include the remains of the oldest direct ancestor of the blue whale. 

Fisherman and amateur fossil expert Klaas Post discovered the site, in the Westerschelde estuary near Terneuzen, in 2014. The area is around 30 metres below the surface and a few hundred metres wide, but was inaccessible until now because of shipwrecks. 

Last autumn fossils dating back around 40 million years were found near Walcheren. They include a primitive species of whale with distinctive back legs.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Brexit 1.0: How Britain became an island

Yahoo – AFP, Richard INGHAM, April 4, 2017


Visitors walk on the cliff-top paths above the Fan Bay Deep Shelter,
overlooking Dover, England, on July 23, 2015 (AFP Photo/LEON NEAL)

Paris (AFP) - A giant waterfall tens of kilometres (miles) wide broke down a ridge which connected modern-day England to mainland Europe nearly half a million years ago, unleashing a mega-flood that gouged out the Channel and created the island of Britain, scientists said Tuesday.

In an intricate piece of detective work, an international team of geologists said they had answered a puzzle that has gripped their profession for more than a century.

Their sleuthing focuses on an ice age some 450,000 years ago, when much of the northern hemisphere was covered by a thick glacial slab and sea levels were far lower than they are today.

The hypothetical picture of that epoch is of a Channel that was dry, cold and tundra-like.

It rose to a ridge of chalky rock that joined Britain and mainland Europe at what is now the Strait of Dover.

The scientists, writing in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that a mighty lake, fed by continental rivers, built up in the southern North Sea between the edge of the ice cap and this escarpment.

The lake started to spill over the ridge, creating a waterfall some 32 kilometres (20 miles) wide and 100 metres (330 feet) high, and disgorging into a valley far below.

The cascade eroded the crest of the dam, and eventually the wall cracked and collapsed, resulting in a tsunami that gouged out what is now the Channel.

Geological Brexit

The event had a huge impact on history, shaping early human settlement in Britain and the wars, trade, society and culture that followed.

"The breaching of this land bridge between Dover and Calais was undeniably one of the most important events in British history, helping to shape our island nation's identity even today," said Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College London, who co-authored the paper.

"When the ice age ended and sea levels rose, flooding the valley floor for good, Britain lost its physical connection to the mainland," he said.

The geological Brexit (AFP Photo/Simon MALFATTO, Sabrina BLANCHARD)

"Without this dramatic breaching, Britain would still be part of Europe. This is Brexit 1.0 -- the Brexit nobody voted for."

The idea that a glacial lake made the Channel was first aired a century ago, but struggled to make headway.

The new study, though, finds fresh evidence to back the theory. In particular, it gives the nod to a marine geologist named Alec Smith, who in 1985 suggested the mega-flood was triggered by a waterfall -- an idea that was soon forgotten.

The big clue comes from gigantic holes discovered in the bedrock of the Channel -- strange indentations up to several kilometres across and 100 metres (yards) deep, and filled with gravel and soft sand sediment.

They were found by accident in the 1960s and 1970s, when engineers drilled test holes in the sea floor as part of exploratory work for the Channel Tunnel.

In fact, the sediment was so loose that the engineers deemed that these holes were too dangerous to tunnel, and as a result the route of the Channel Tunnel was changed.

'Plunge pools'

The scientists believe that these holes are so-called plunge pools -- chambers that are typically chiselled out in river beds beneath large waterfalls.

Eventually, the holes can become so big that they cause the waterfall cliff to become unstable and collapse.

Using new sonar scanning of the sea floor and a technique called seismic reflection, which uses pulses of energy to discern different rock formations, the team found that seven of these giant holes form a remarkable straight line, running from the ports of Calais to Dover -- the edge of the theorised ridge.

They also saw evidence of an ancient giant valley on the Channel floor, the signs of a massive outpouring.

The initial breach of the dam was followed by a second big event, possibly caused by a spillover of other, smaller lakes, the study suggests.

But the timeline of the two events remains unclear, and they possibly occurred hundreds of thousands of years apart.

Without this stroke of geological fate, Britain would have remained attached to the continent, rather like Denmark juts out into the sea from the European mainland, the scientists say.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Himalayan glaciers granted status of 'living entities'

Yahoo – AFP, April 1, 2017

The status of "living entity" was given to two glaciers as well as swathes of
the Himalayan environment, including waterfalls, meadows, lakes and forests

An Indian court has recognised Himalayan glaciers, lakes and forests as "legal persons" in an effort to curb environmental destruction, weeks after it granted similar status to the country's two most sacred rivers.

In a decision that aims to widen environmental protections in the mountainous region, the court granted the legal standing to glaciers Gangotri and Yamunotri that feed India's venerated Ganga and Yamuna rivers, which won the status in a landmark judgement in March.

"The rights of these entities shall be equivalent to the rights of human beings and any injury or harm caused to these bodies shall be treated as injury or harm caused to human beings," the highest court in Himalayan state of Uttarakhand said in its ruling on Friday.

It said Yamunotri glacier, which is the source for Yamuna river was shrinking at an alarming rate.

Gangotri, which feeds the river Ganga and is one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas, is also "receding fast", the court said.

"In over 25 years, it has retreated more than 850 meters (2,800 feet)," a two-judge bench of justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh said.

The court also extended the status of "living entity" to swathes of the Himalayan environment, including waterfalls, meadows, lakes and forests.

On March 20, the same court ordered that both Ganges and Yamuna rivers should be given "living entity" status to conserve them, in a decision cautiously welcomed by activists who expressed hope that it would signify more than just a symbolic gesture.

Both rivers are considered holy by millions of Hindus, who ritualistically bathe, drink and scatter the ashes of their dead in the water.

The rivers which criss-cross most of the country before flowing into the sea have witnessed massive pollution near human habitations mainly due to dumping of untreated sewage and industrial waste.

The court argued the unusual step was necessary because the hallowed rivers upon which Hindu rites are conducted were "losing their very existence".

New Zealand earlier last month recognised its third-largest river, ancestral and spiritual waters for its Maori people, as a living entity.

Successive governments in India have attempted with limited success to clean up the Ganges, which snakes 2,500 kilometres (1,553-mile) across northern India from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

South Korea raises sunken ferry: Yonhap

Yahoo – AFP, Hwang Sunghee, March 22, 2017

Barges during a salvage project to bring the sunken Sewol ferry back to
surface in the sea off the southwestern island of Jindo (AFP Photo/Handout)

Salvage operators raised part of South Korea's sunken Sewol ferry early Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported, nearly three years after the disaster killed more than 300 people and dealt a crippling blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye.

Emotional parents of victims -- the vast majority of the dead in the country's worst-ever maritime tragedy were schoolchildren -- had earlier urged people to pray for a successful recovery.

"As of 3:45 am (1845 GMT Wednesday), part of the Sewol's structure, which is believed to be its stabilizer, can be seen above the water with the naked eye," an official from the Oceans and Fisheries Ministry was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

It is expected to take around eight days to fully raise the ship and move it to the port of Mokpo, and another four days to move it onto a dry dock, he added.

The vessel was lying more than 40 metres (130 feet) below the waves off southwestern South Korea and the operation, originally scheduled for last year, had been pushed back several times because of adverse weather.

It is thought that nine bodies still unaccounted for may be trapped inside the sunken ship, and raising the ferry intact has been a key demand of the victims' families.

Raising the Sewol sunken ferry (AFP Photo/Laurence CHU , Gal ROMA)

"I am a mother who just really misses her daughter. Please pray for us so we can go home with Eun-Hwa," said Lee Keum-Hui, one of a handful of relatives who have been living in makeshift homes at Paengmok, the closest port to the wreck, since the accident.

"We will be grateful if you pray with us so that the last remaining victims can return to their families," she said, breaking down.

Other bereaved family members have been maintaining a vigil at a camp on a hilltop on Donggeochado, the nearest island to the site, just 1.5 kilometres away.

Yellow ribbons -- a symbol for the victims of the disaster -- hang on nearby trees, their colour faded by the course of time.

"My heart is pounding," said father Jung Seong-Wook of the decision to go ahead with the lift. "I have mixed feelings that I cannot put into words. I'm also a little scared."

In a tense atmosphere during the day, another father nervously watched through binoculars, trying to get a glimpse of the operation. Some 50 bereaved family members went out to sea by boat to watch the proceedings, he added.

Two enormous barges were positioned on either side of the 6,825-tonne ship and air bags inserted for the salvage effort, which is being led by a Chinese consortium.

Beams were installed by digging through the seabed underneath the wreck, which was lying on its side, and cables attached to bring it painstakingly towards the surface.

Once two-thirds of it is exposed, a semi-submersible will be positioned underneath to raise it out of the water and transport it Mokpo to carry out investigations and search for the missing.

A monk bowed in prayer before a memorial to victims of the Sewol ferry 
disaster, at Paengmok harbour on the southern island of Jindo (AFP 
Photo/Ed Jones)

Wilful negligence

A senior official from the maritime ministry said it took three hours to raise the wreck one metre off the seabed in what was initially a feasibility test.

The ministry then decided to go ahead with the full lifting, it said in a statement. The operation is expected to take three days.

The disaster and its aftermath gripped South Korea and overshadowed the presidency of Park, who stayed at her residence for seven hours in the crucial initial phase of the sinking.

She has never specified what she was doing, sparking wild rumours including a tryst and cosmetic surgery.

A permanent Sewol protest site targeting her was subsequently set up in the centre of Seoul, with effigies of the head of state on display alongside pictures of the dead schoolchildren.

Negligence over the sinking was one of the grounds for which parliament impeached Park in December, although the constitutional court ruled that it was not an impeachable offence when it upheld her dismissal on other charges earlier this month.

Donggeochado island has a population of only around 300, but the once-a-day ferry to it was packed with reporters Wednesday and at least one broadcast truck.

Investigations into the disaster, in which 304 people died, concluded it was largely man-made -- the cumulative result of an illegal redesign, an overloaded cargo bay, inexperienced crew and a questionable relationship between the ship operators and state regulators.

Even though the vessel took around three hours to sink, those on board were never ordered to evacuate, while the crew escaped to safety.

Captain Lee Jun-Seok was sentenced to life in prison for "murder through wilful negligence" and 14 other crew members given terms ranging from two to 12 years.


Related Article:


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dutch grid operator moves forward with North Sea wind plan

DutchNews, March 8, 2017

Illustration: Tennet website

Dutch grid operator Tennet and Denmark’s Energinet have reached agreement on further developing a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea. 

The plan, first unveiled in June 2016, will play an important part in meeting the 2050 climate goals formulated in the Paris Agreement (COP21), the partners said in a statement on Wednesday. Discussions with other potential partners are ongoing. 

The plan centres on the construction of one or more islands with interconnections to surrounding countries in the middle of the North Sea area of Dogger Bank. 

These hubs would be connection points for wind farms, allowing electricity to be distributed and transmitted over direct current lines to the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Belgium. 

The Dogger Bank area also has excellent wind conditions and the area is relatively shallow, making it cheaper to build the wind farms and the island, the consortium said. 

‘This project can significantly contribute to a completely renewable supply of electricity in northwest Europe,’ said Tennet CEO Mel Kroon.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tight container market hits exports to Asia

DutchNews, March 3, 2017

Loading container ships in Rotterdam. Photo: Depositphotos.com

 Dutch exporters to the Middle East and Asia are being hit hard by the lack of container space on ships from Europe, the FinancieeleDagblad said on Friday. 

Some companies must wait weeks for space on a container ship. ‘It’s dramatic,’ said one Dutch company with orders from Thailand and South Korea. ‘I have containers ready for shipment now but have to wait until mid-April for space on a ship,’ he said. 

The largest container shipping line in the world, Maersk of Denmark, said it was searching for solutions to the problem. Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd said it was operating ‘near to the limit’ of its capacity. And Marc Beerlandt, head of the Belgian office of container shipper MSC said: ‘This is huge. The phone is ringing off the hook from exporters who cannot ship their goods.’ 

The development is surprising because there has been structural overcapacity in the market for the past two years. 

Joost Sitskoorn of shippers organisation EVO/Fenedex is presently in Jakarta for the annual meeting of the global shippers group GSA. He said there  were many complaints there about lack of capacity and high tariffs. He added there was also under-capacity on the Asia-North America services. 

Shippers appear to be willing to pay a premium to get their goods to Asia. Some tariffs between Rotterdam and Shanghai, normally $200 per container, have shot up to between $1,500 and $2,000, the FD said.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pollution even in Earth's farthest reaches: ocean study

Yahoo – AFP, Mariëtte Le Roux, February 13, 2017

A Nature picture of a Hirondellea gigas, known to consume almost any organic
material that descends from the surface waters, including any pollutants (AFP
Photo/Dr. Alan JAMIESON)

Paris (AFP) - Banned chemicals are tainting tiny crustaceans that inhabit the deepest ocean, a study said Monday -- the first evidence that humans are polluting even the farthest reaches of our planet.

Even at depths of nearly 11 kilometres (seven miles) these scavengers could not escape "extraordinary" levels of contamination with chemicals used in coolants and insulating fluids, researchers said.

The pollutants likely came from plastic waste and dead animals sinking to the ocean floor, they wrote in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

"We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth," said study co-author Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University.

Jamieson and a team used specially-built underwater craft to collect bottom-dwellers called amphipods from the Pacific Ocean's Mariana and Kermadec trenches.

These are some of the deepest, darkest places on Earth, less well-known to mankind than the surface of the Moon.

Amphipods are among the few creatures that can survive in this inhospitable zone of extreme pressure.

The researchers used mackerel-baited traps to catch the shrimp-like carrion-feeders, then analysed them for traces of chemicals.

The tests revealed high levels of pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) banned almost 40 years ago for causing cancer and wreaking havoc with hormones.

"The fact that we found such extraordinary levels of these pollutants in one of the most remote and inaccessible habitats on Earth really brings home the long-term, devastating impact that mankind is having on the planet," said Jamieson.

Hirondellea gigas inhabit depths of 6000 to nearly 11,000m below sea level (AFP Photo/
Dr. Alan JAMIESON)

Last frontier

The research was carried out in the ocean's hadal zone, between six and 11 km deep, and comprised of deep trenches in the sea floor caused by tectonic plate activity.

It is the least-explored ecosystem on Earth, "and the last major marine ecological frontier," the team wrote.

The Mariana trench is deeper than Mount Everest is high.

It is believed that some 1.3 million tonnes of PCBs -- which can persist in the environment for decades -- were produced from the 1930s to 1970s.

About 65 percent of the total is thought to be in landfills or still in electrical equipment today, and the other 35 percent in coastal sediment and the open ocean.

The scientists also found traces in the amphipods of another long-lived pollutant -- polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used in flame retardants.

"PCBs and PBDEs were present in all samples across all species at all depths in both trenches," the researchers wrote.

In the Mariana trench, the world's deepest, the highest PCB levels in samples were 50 times higher than in crabs from paddy fields fed by the Liaohe River, one of China's most polluted.

The team inferred that pollutants must be pervasive "across the world's oceans and to full ocean depth."

"What we don't yet know is what this means for the wider ecosystem", the animals that feed on amphipods and the food chain higher up, Jamieson said in a statement.