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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vietnam Cargo Ship Sinks, 22 Dead: Shipping Firm

Jakarta Globe, December 30, 2011

This picture taken on May 10, 2011 shows the Vinaline Queen cargo ship
 anchored at Saigon port in Ho Chi Minh City. A Vietnamese cargo boat that
 vanished near the Philippines on Christmas Day has sunk, killing 22 of its 23
crew members, Vietnam state shipping firm Vinalines said on Friday. (AFP Photo)
Related articles

Hanoi. A Vietnamese cargo boat that vanished near the Philippines on Christmas Day has sunk, killing 22 of its 23 crew members, Vietnam state shipping firm Vinalines said on Friday.

“According to our initial information, only one sailor has been rescued and the vessel has not been found yet,” a Vinalines official based in Hanoi told AFP, asking not to be named.

The Vinalines Queen disappeared after passing Luzon island and apparently did not send out a distress signal.

Late on Friday online newspaper Dan Tri reported that the surviving sailor, Dau Ngoc Hung, was rescued by a British ship which was heading towards Singapore.

Vinalines said its ship was carrying more than 54,000 tonnes of nickel ore and was travelling from Indonesia to China when it lost contact.

Vietnam appealed to the Philippines, Taiwan and Japanese coastguards for help in finding the vessel, but had heard nothing from the ship until now.

“We are now focussing our efforts on searching for the Vinalines Queen,” the company official added.

Rescue experts quoted in the local press said emergency equipment in the vessel should have automatically sent SOS signals to satellites and coastal rescue stations. It is not yet clear why none was transmitted.

The Japanese-built 190 meter Vinalines Queen was one of the largest and most modern cargo ships in the Vietnamese fleet, with a capacity of more than 56,000 tonnes. It had been in service for Vinalines since 2005.

Vietnam National Shipping Lines, or Vinalines, is one of the communist country’s main state-owned enterprises.

Agence France-Presse

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Huge Waves Damage Anti-Whaling Boat

Jakarta Globe, December 29, 2011

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said the Brigitte Bardot's hull
split when it was struck by a "rogue wave." (Agency Photo)

Related articles

Sydney. Anti-whaling activists chasing the Japanese harpoon fleet suffered a major setback on Thursday when the hull of one of their ships cracked in massive seas, forcing a second to divert to its rescue.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said the Brigitte Bardot’s hull split when it was struck by a “rogue wave” as it tailed the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru in six meter swells some 2,400 kilometers southwest of Australia.

“The crack has been getting wider as the seas continue to pound the vessel,” the activist group said.

Sea Shepherd spokesman Paul Watson said lead vessel the Steve Irwin was en route to the troubled Brigitte Bardot, which has also suffered severe damage to one of its pontoons, but warned it would take 20 hours to get there.

The Bardot’s captain, South African-born Jonathan Miles Renecle, was “confident that the ship will stay afloat until the Steve Irwin arrives” he added.

“This is disappointing but these are hostile seas and we have always been prepared for situations like this,” Watson said.

“Right now the safety of my crew on the Brigitte Bardot is our priority and we intend to reach the crew and then do what we can to save our ship.”

The incident means just one Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker, is now tailing the Japanese fleet, which it intercepted on Sunday with the help of a military-style drone.

Watson said all the crew were safe and uninjured and the Bardot, Sea Shepherd’s scout vessel, was “repairable.”

“We’ll be bringing it back to Fremantle and then the Steve Irwin will return to support the Bob Barker,” he told Sky News via satellite phone from the Southern Ocean, estimating that it would be a five-day trip.

“It’s a setback, but you know, when you come down here you’re facing a number of dangers, not just the Japanese whaling fleet but also the very remote area, it’s a hostile area weather-wise with ice,” he added.

Watson said it was Sea Shepherd’s eighth season pursuing the whalers and it was “inevitable something (like this) is going to happen sometime, we’ll just deal with it and carry on.

“I’m still confident that we’ll be able to intervene against the Japanese whaling operations,” he said.

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority said it had been monitoring the situation but there was no active rescue afoot because Sea Shepherd was managing the situation.

“We were aware of it, but it was really a monitoring brief for us because it was a Sea Shepherd vessel to which another Sea Shepherd vessel was going to the aid,” a spokesman told AFP.

“We were in communication with them but they’ve got it under control themselves now.”

Japan’s Fisheries Agency, which commissions the annual whale hunt, routinely refuses to comment on the issue and declined to be drawn on the damaged boat Thursday.

“I cannot make any comment related to the (whaling) mission,” an agency official said.

Sea Shepherd purchased the Australian-flagged Brigitte Bardot, a high-speed 100-foot monohull racer, to replace the futuristic speedboat Ady Gil, which sank during a fierce clash with the harpooners in January 2010.

Watson said there were 10 crew on board the stricken Bardot — three Britons, three Americans, an Australian, a Canadian, a Belgian and its South African captain Renecle.

Commercial whaling is banned under an international treaty but Japan has since 1987 used a loophole to carry out “lethal research” in the name of science — a practice condemned by environmentalists and anti-whaling nations.

Confrontations between the whalers and increasingly sophisticated activists have escalated in recent years and the Japanese cut their hunt short last season due to Sea Shepherd harassment.

Japan’s coastguard has deployed an unspecified number of vessels to protect the whaling ships, using some tsunami reconstruction funds, and the whalers are also suing the activists in Washington seeking an injunction against what they say is a “life-threatening” campaign.

Agence France-Presse
Related Article:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dutch Unveil Latest Plan in War Against the Sea: a Massive Sandbar

Jakarta Globe, Nicolas Delaunay, December 26, 2011

The wind, waves and ocean currents, it is hoped, will drive the man-made
 peninsula of sand landward to replenish the coast of the Netherlands. 
(AFP Photo)
Kijkduin, Netherlands. In its age-old war to keep back the sea, low-lying Netherlands has dumped sand onto a surface larger than 200 football fields just off the coast — and will wait for nature to do the rest.

The wind, waves and ocean currents are the next “engineers” in this innovative project that will see the transferred sand — all 20 million cubic meters of it — driven landward to form a natural barrier against the North Sea’s relentless onslaught. The elements have started moving the tip of the bar, which already almost touches land at low tide.

Over a period of 15 to 20 years, the sand will wash toward the coast, reinforcing beaches and existing sand dunes that help protect the Netherlands, more than a quarter of which lies below sea level.

“Under natural circumstances, the Dutch coast would erode away slowly,” said Leo Linnartz, an ecology expert who advised the project’s developers on behalf of the World Wide Fund for Nature. Without reinforcing fragile shores, floods would eventually be inevitable, he said.

Over the decades, the Dutch have developed world-renowned expertise in the field of hydro-engineering, notably in constructing dams, dikes and bridges.

Around 17,500 kilometers of embankment have already been built along its coast and rivers.

The new project was conceived by a group of experts commissioned by the Dutch government to help solve the country’s ongoing headache. It used dredgers to suck up ocean-floor sand 10 kilometers off the coast then dump it closer to land. Some of the huge machines were able to carry as much as 10,000 cubic meters of sand at one time.

If the experiment works, the sandbar project, situated between the seaside suburbs of Kijkduin and Ter Heijde near The Hague, will be replicated elsewhere in the country. And the system could even be exported.

“We used to do it in such a way that we used a lot of stones and concrete and things like that,” said Linnartz. “But nowadays we prefer to work together with nature, to cooperate with natural forces.”

The idea of strengthening the coastline with sand is not new, Linnartz said. But placing it off the coast and allowing nature to take its course is not only a fresh approach to the problem but less harmful to the environment than simply dumping more sand on the dunes, he said.

While traditional shoring up happens around every five years, the new plan based on the sand’s natural movement will last 15 to 20 years.

Agence France-Presse  

Related Article:

Dike to house ‘blue energy’ plant

Afsluitdijk, The Netherlands

Sea Shepherd demands release of Dutch activist

RNW, 26 December 2011

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has launched a campaign to obtain the immediate release of one of its activists, a Dutchman, arrested in Japan ten days ago.

Erwin Vermeulen
(Photo: Sea Shepherd)
The anti-whaling organisation urges visitors to its facebook account to make calls and write letters to the Japanese foreign ministry and other authorites.

According to Sea Shepherd, the Dutchman, a volunteer named Erwin Vermeulen, is still in Shingu City Police custody. He was arrested on 16 December when attempting to film the transfer of dolphins from the sea to holding pens at the Japanese resort of Tajii.

An employee claims that Erwin pushed him; there were no other witnesses to this allegation. The organisation says a decision to release him or continue to keep him in jail is expected on 27 December.

Every year, Tajii is the scene of a massive dolphin hunt, with the Japanese authorities issuing 23,000 licenses to coastal areas for dolphin slaughter. Some animals are sold to aquariums worldwide.

Vermeulen had travelled to Japan at his own expense to collect footage of the slaughter.

Related Articles:

An undated handout photograph released by Sea Shepherd Conservation
 showing Japanese fishermen slaughtering dolphins in blood-soaked water in
 Taiji, Japan. Though Dophins were herded into the cove made famous by an
 Oscar-winning documentary, none were killed this year. 
(EPA/Sea Shepherd Conservation)

Cove cover-up ... tarpaulins hide the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan

Cruel ... filming shows spike rammed into animal

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dike to house ‘blue energy’ plant

RNW, 23 December 2011

Afsluitdijk, The Netherlands

The cabinet has approved funding totalling 20 million euros for sustainable energy projects on the Afsluitdijk, the 32-kilometre barrier that closed off the Zuiderzee from the open sea to create what is now the freshwater IJsselmeer lake.

The dike will house an innovative osmotic power plant, or ‘blue energy’ plant, which exploits pressure created when salt water passes through a membrane to mix with fresh water. Solar panels will also be mounted on the dike.

The sustainable energy funding comes as part of a renovation package to increase the safety of the Afsluitdijk, which was completed in 1932. In its present state the barrier can no longer guarantee protection against high water, the Infrastructure Ministry says.

The surface of the dike is to be reinforced along its entire length, and the sluices that drain excess water from the IJsselmeer into the sea will be given a 200-million euro overhaul.

The regional authorities have also investigated opportunities to use the dike for recreational purposes. The renovation project may also include the construction of a marina. At present the dike serves as a road link between the west and north of the country.

  (Photo: RNW)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nigeria on alert as Shell announces worst oil spill in a decade

The oil company says up to 40,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled 75 miles off the coast of the Niger delta, John Vidal, Environment editor, Thursday 22 December 2011

An oil spill on the shores of the Niger Delta swamps. Shell has said the
 recent oil spill is likely to be worst in a decade. Photograph: Pius
Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Nigerian coastal and fishing communities were on Thursday put on alert after Shell admitted to an oil spill that is likely to be the worst in the area for a decade, according to government officials..

The company said up to 40,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled on Wednesday while it was transferred from a floating oil platform to a tanker 75 miles off the coast of the Niger delta.

All production from the Bonga field, which produces around 200,000 barrels a day, was last night suspended. "Early indications show that less than 40,000 barrels of oil have leaked in total. Spill response procedures have been initiated and emergency control and spill risk procedures are up and running," said Tony Okonedo, a Shell Nigeria spokesman.

Satellite pictures obtained by independent monitors Skytruth suggested that the spill was 70km-long and was spread over 923 square kilometers (356 sq miles).

But a leading Nigerian human rights group said Shell's figures about the quantity of oil spilled or the clean-up could not be relied on. "Shell says 40,000 barrels were spilled and production was shut but we do not trust them because past incidents show that the company consistently under-reports the amounts and impacts of its carelessness," said Nnimmo Bassey, head of Environmental Rights Action, based in Lagos.

"We are alerting fisher folks and coastal communities to be on the look out. It just adds to the list of Shell's environmental atrocities in the Niger delta."

The spill, one of the worst off the coast of Nigeria in 10 years, is particularly embarrassing for Shell, coming only four months after a major UN study said it could take Shell and other oil companies 30 years and $1bn to clean spills in Ogoniland, one small part of the oil-rich delta. The company also admitted responsibility in August for two major spills in the Bodo region of the delta that took place in 2008, but has yet to pay compensation.

Shell, which works in partnership with the Nigerian government in the delta, claims that 98% of all its oil spills are caused by vandalism, theft or sabotage by militants and only a minimal amount by deteriorating infrastructure. But this is disputed by communities.

Yesterday Shell said it had also closed a Gulf of Mexico deep drilling operation after spilling 319 barrels of contaminated fluids.

2 women share 1st kiss at US Navy ship's return

Associated Press, by Brock Vergakis, Dec 21, 2011

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, 
Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek 
in Virginia Beach, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2011 after Gaeta's ship returned
 from 80 days at sea. It ís a time-honored tradition at Navy homecomings - one 
lucky sailor is chosen to be first off the ship for the long-awaited kiss with a loved
 one. On Wednesday, for the first time, the happily reunited couple was gay.
(AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Brian J. Clark)

Latest News

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- A Navy tradition caught up with the repeal of the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" rule on Wednesday when two women sailors became the first to share the coveted "first kiss" on the pier after one of them returned from 80 days at sea.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, Calif., descended from the USS Oak Hill amphibious landing ship and shared a quick kiss in the rain with her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles. Gaeta, 23, wore her Navy dress uniform while Snell, 22, wore a black leather jacket, scarf and blue jeans. The crowd screamed and waved flags around them.

"It's something new, that's for sure," Gaeta told reporters after the kiss.

"It's nice to be able to be myself. It's been a long time coming."

For the historical significance of the kiss, there was little to differentiate it from countless others when a Navy ship pulls into its home port following a deployment. Neither the Navy nor the couple tried to draw attention to what was happening and many onlookers waiting for their loved ones to come off the ship were busy talking among themselves.

David Bauer, the commanding officer of the USS Oak Hill, said that Gaeta and Snell's kiss would largely be a non-event and the crew's reaction upon learning who was selected to have the first kiss was positive.

"It's going to happen and the crew's going to enjoy it. We're going to move on and it won't overshadow the great things that this crew has accomplished over the past three months," Bauer said.

The ship returned to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story following an 80-day deployment to Central America. The crew of more than 300 participated in exercises involving the militaries of Honduras, Guatemala Colombia and Panama as part of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station 2012.

Both women are Navy fire controlmen, who maintain and operate weapons systems on ships. They met at training school where they were roommates and have been dating for two years, which they said was difficult under "don't ask, don't tell."

"We did have to hide it a lot in the beginning," Snell said. "A lot of people were not always supportive of it in the beginning, but we can finally be honest about who we are in our relationship, so I'm happy."

Navy officials said it was the first time on record that a same-sex couple was chosen to kiss first upon a ship's return. Sailors and their loved ones bought $1 raffle tickets for the opportunity. Gaeta said she bought $50 of tickets, a figure that she said pales in comparison to amounts that some other sailors and their loved ones had bought. The money was used to host a Christmas party for the children of sailors.

Snell said she believes their experience won't be the last one for gays and lesbians in the military.

"I think that it's something that is going to open a lot of doors, for not just our relationship, but all the other gay and lesbian relationships that are in the military now," she said.

Snell is based on the USS Bainbridge, the guided missile destroyer that helped rescue cargo captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009.

Online: Brock Vergakis can be reached at

President Barack Obama gestures as he talks about cutting the U.S. deficit
 by raising taxes, from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington
September 19, 2011. (
Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing)

About the Challenges of Being a Gay Man – Oct 23, 2010 (Saint Germain channelled by Alexandra Mahlimay and Dan Bennack) - “You see, your Soul and Creator are not concerned with any perspective you have that contradicts the reality of your Divinity – whether this be your gender, your sexual preference, your nationality – or your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or anything else.”

"The Akashic System" – Jul 17, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Religion, God, Benevolent Design, DNA, Akashic Circle, (Old) Souls, Gaia, Indigenous People, Talents, Reincarnation, Genders, Gender Switches, In “between” Gender Change, Gender Confusion, Shift of Human Consciousness, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Russia oil rig capsizes off Sakhalin, dozens missing

BBC News, 18 December 2011

Related Stories

The Kolskaya was built in 1985
At least four people have died and about 50 are missing after an oil drilling rig sank in freezing seas in the Russian far east.

The Kolskaya rig was being towed some 200km (125 miles) off Sakhalin island when it capsized in a fierce storm.

Fourteen people have been rescued alive but it is feared the rig overturned before the rest of the 67 people on board could escape on to life rafts.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by poor weather conditions.

Helicopters and a plane helped scour the area amid high winds and waves of up to 12ft (4m) but the search was halted as night fell.

Empty life rafts

"According to reports from the scene of the rescue operation, the Kolskaya platform has sunk completely," the regional head of the emergencies ministry, Taimuraz Kasayev, told a news briefing. 

The accident in temperatures of -17C at around 14:00 local time (0200 GMT) in the Sea of Okhotsk happened as the rig was being towed from the eastern peninsula of Kamchatka to Sakhalin by an icebreaker and a tug.

An unnamed regional emergencies ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency that the rig's portholes had been "damaged by ice and waves, and water began going into the vessel".

The crew had been waiting to be evacuated by helicopter but the platform capsized and sank before they could get to their rescue rafts, he said.

Two out of the four life rafts were reportedly found with nobody on board.

An investigation has been launched to decide whether any safety regulations were violated transporting the Kolskaya in bad weather.

Related Article:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stricken Russian boat in 'precarious position'

Google/AFP, 18 December 2011 

The Russian fishing boat Sparta, near the Antarctic ice shelf (AFP/USAF/File)

WELLINGTON — A stricken Russian fishing vessel stranded in icy Antarctic waters was in a "precarious position" Sunday, New Zealand rescuers said two days after the vessel was holed by an iceberg.

The crew of the Sparta had a scare overnight when temporary patches placed over the damaged section of hull failed and the boat began taking on water again.

But several hours later they reported they again had the situation under control.

The Russian-flagged Sparta, with a crew of 32, sent out a distress call early Friday from near the Antarctic ice shelf when it was holed 1.5 metres below the water line and started to list.

It will be several days before rescue ships can make their way through heavy sea ice to reach the vessel about 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 kilometres) southeast of New Zealand.

However, a New Zealand Air Force Hercules was able to fly over the Sparta late Saturday and drop off extra pumping equipment and fuel.

"Sparta remained in a precarious position," New Zealand search and rescue coordinator Dave Wilson said.

"This highlights the importance of the mission in delivering the pumping equipment yesterday. 

This equipment has enabled them to get on top of the water ingress again, and they will now be working to fix the patches more securely."

Wilson said with rescue still days away, the stabilisation work was vital for the vessel and its crew.

"They have life rafts but with the conditions down there, it?s much safer for them if they can wait for rescue on board their vessel."

Two vessels, the Sel Jevaer and Chiyo Maru No 3 were struggling to navigate a circuitous route through the ice and would take several days to reach Sparta?s position.

A South Korean icebreaker, Araon, which was docked in New Zealand, has been commissioned by the Sparta's owners to assist. It set sail early Sunday and will take eight days to reach the area.

A New Zealand fishing boat, San Aspiring, was pulled from the rescue operation on Saturday after advising conditions were too difficult for it to proceed.

"San Aspiring was 470 nautical miles away from Sparta but would have had to travel much further than that to reach the vessel, because there was no direct line through the ice," Wilson said.

"They confirmed the journey would take too long and would potentially put their own crew in danger."

South Korean icebreaker Araon, left, approaches the Russian ship Sparta
which  has been trapped due to an accident, in the Antarctic on Sunday.
(EPA Photo)

Related Articles:

Boat with illegal migrants sinks off Indonesia, 300 missing

Reuters, Jakarta, Sat Dec 17, 2011

(Reuters) - A boat carrying illegal immigrants heading for Australia sank off the coast of east Java in Indonesia and over 300 people were missing with many feared dead, a senior emergency official said.

Only 76 people of 380 people on board had been rescued, said Sahrul Arifin, the head of emergency and logistics at the East Java Disaster Mitigation Center.

He said strong waves wrecked the wooden boat about 90 km (56 miles) out to sea late Saturday night. "Our search and rescue team have begun sweeping the water around where the accident took place but we are now sending body bags to that area," Arifin said.

He said the passengers were mainly believed to be illegal migrants from countries including Iran and Afghanistan. Many boat people from the Middle East and Asia use Indonesia as a transit point en route to Australia.

Local TV showed images of more than a dozen shocked-looking survivors huddled in a clinic in Trenggalek, a town on Java island's southern coast.

Many economic migrants from the Middle East attempt to cross the Indian Ocean in boats in search of a better life in Australia.

Australia-based refugee advocate Jack Smit told Reuters first reports indicated the boat was overloaded. He suggested it might involve a new and inexperienced people-smuggling operator trying to make money quickly, as the boat reportedly left from the same port in Java as another that sank recently.

"It all points to new operators, and also the population of the boats is changing," Smit, of Project SafeCom Inc, told Reuters. "It seems to me it's a new operator that took a risk that was too big."

Smit said there appeared to be an increasing number of Iranians taking to the boats and fewer Afghans than previously. He estimated that 2 to 5 percent of thousands of asylum-seekers taking to boats in this way each year died en route, with many deaths not reported.

Asylum-seekers often pay thousands of dollars to board the boats, whose journeys are organized by people-smuggling networks based in Indonesia using ramshackle vessels often poorly equipped for the perilous journey to Australian waters. This sinking is the latest of several such disasters in recent years.

(Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu, Additional reporting by Chris McCall in Sydney; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chevron faces $10.6bn Brazil legal suit over oil spill

BBC News, 15 December 2011

Related Stories 

Chevron says it got the leak
under control on 13 November
Prosecutors in Brazil are demanding $10.6bn (£6.8bn) from US oil company Chevron for environmental damage caused when one of its oil wells leaked off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The prosecutors also asked the court to immediately suspend the operations of Chevron and its drilling contractor, Transocean, in Brazil.

Brazil has already fined Chevron $28m for the spill on 8 November.

A Chevron official said the company had not yet been notified of the suit.

The prosecutors who brought the case argued that "Chevron and Transocean weren't capable of controlling the damages from a spill of 3,000 barrels of oil, which proves a lack of environmental planning and management".

They also accused Chevron of keeping information from Brazil's oil regulator, known by its initials ANP.

Chevron has been banned from drilling any new wells for at least three months, while the ANP investigates the spill.

Chevron has accepted full responsibility for the leak.

The company said it had underestimated the pressure of underwater oil deposits while drilling, causing oil to rush up the bore hole and seep into the surrounding seabed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fears for lives of whales trapped in icy Russian waters

BBC News, 15 December 2011

Beluga or white whales live in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters

Related Stories 

More than 100 Beluga whales are trapped in ice floes in Russia's far north-east Chukotka region.

Local authorities have urged Moscow to send an icebreaker to free them.

The whales are unable to swim to clear water because of huge volumes of ice in a channel in the Bering Sea, a Chukotka region statement on its website said.

A lack of food in the small area where they are trapped, plus the advancing ice, means the animals are threatened with exhaustion and death, it said.

Local hunters reported the plight of the animals trapped in the Sinyavinsky channel, near the village of Yanrakynot, to the authorities.

Chukotka Governor Roman Kopin has written to Russia's transport and emergencies ministers asking them to send an icebreaker to the channel to release the trapped whales.

The region says it is trying to do a survey to find the distance from the whales' location to open water, but is being hampered by poor visibility.

Beluga whales are also known as white whales and live in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.

They are listed as "near-threatened" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is a fan of the Beluga whale, and heads Russia's programme to protect the mammal. In 2009 on a visit to the Sea of Okhotsk he donned a wetsuit to attach a transmitter to a Beluga named Dasha.

Related Article:

Russian diver Natalia Avseenko, 36, stripped naked to swim with two
beluga whales in sub-zero water in the Arctic.