Thursday, April 15, 2010

ashes for a new dawn?

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Smoke and steam above the volcano under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier in Iceland: Fine rock particles were ejected up to 11 kilometers (7 miles) into the atmosphere and drifted toward Scandinavia and Britain.picture: Spiegel.

"An enormous plume of volcanic ash, invisible from the ground, has traveled from Iceland to northern Europe and grounded commercial air travel from Scandinavia and Britain to Belgium". Link In Spain, up to 466 flights have been canceled due to the impossibility of flying.The Spanish Defense Ministry on Thursday annulled an international workshop on the EU and NATO called for tomorrow at the inability of most of the attendees to arrive in Spain with the cancellation of flights throughout Europe because of the ashes. The seminar, which was to be held at the headquarters of the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Madrid, was to be inaugurated by the Spanish defense minister, Carme Chacon, and expected the intervention of former Secretary General of NATO and former head of the European Security and Defence Policy, Javier Solana, among other experts." LINK, LINK

"The funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski is still planned for Sunday despite the closing of airspace over most of Poland due to a cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano across Europe, a presidential official told reporters Friday.

"The funeral is still planned for Sunday," Jacek Sasin said. "We would consider a delay only as a last resort. At present, this is not even a scenario that's being considered."

Sasin said earlier in the day that if some participants were unable to arrive, a delay could be considered.

More than 70 delegations of world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, are due in Warsaw and Krakow Saturday and Sunday to pay their last respects to Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash in Russia." Link

on a sidenote:
President Barack Obama predicted Thursday his new space exploration plans would lead American astronauts to Mars and back in his lifetime, a bold forecast relying on rockets and propulsion still to be imagined and built. Link
UK: "The sequel to the "Life on Mars", "Ashes to Ashes" started its third and final series this week. One last thought – since David Cameron and the Conservative party have been running with Labour's comparison of Cameron to Manchester Policeman Gene Hunt from the cop shows "Life on Mars" and "Ashes to Ashes" – which leader will make the first joke about the volcanic ashes which could drift from the sky here in a few hours time?" Link
Two weeks ago, on April 3, there had been news that David Cameron had been accused of hijacking the message of Christ for his own political ends, after he made an Easter statement talking of the hope of a "new dawn".
"With the announcement of a 6 May general election expected early next week, the Conservative leader took the unusual step of issuing an Easter message that seized on Christ's resurrection to suggest it was time for a fresh start.Mr Cameron's words were criticised by leading Church figures, who claimed he had taken the Easter story – the most important of the liturgical year – out of context in order to call subliminally for a change of government.
In his message, the Tory leader sent out his "very warmest wishes" to the people of the world, spoke of the inspiration of Jesus Christ and paid tribute to the "great contribution" made to Britain by Christianity.But it was an extract that referred to Christ coming back from the dead, and which also had echoes of the Conservatives' "Time for a Change" slogan, that prompted the criticism. "No matter what faiths we follow, we can all draw strength from Christ's message of hope, of a new beginning and a promise of a new dawn," Mr Cameron said..."Link

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