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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thirty bodies found on migrant boat off the coast of Sicily, reports say

Asphyxiation blamed for deaths on board vessel carrying 600 people in the worst discovery of its kind by Italian authorities, AFP, Monday 30 June 2014

A boat filled with migrants receives aid from an Italian navy motor boat
off the coast of Sicily in June. Photograph: Italian Navy Press Office/AP

About 30 bodies have been found in a migrant boat which was stopped between Sicily and the North African coast, Italian news agencies reported on Monday, citing the navy and coastguard.

The rescuers made the gruesome discovery when they boarded a fishing boat carrying around 590 refugees and migrants, including two pregnant women.

The immigrants apparently died of asphyxiation, the news agencies said. It is not the first time Italian rescuers have found migrants dead on the overcrowded boats but never before were there such a large number.

The boat is being towed by the Italian navy and is expected to arrive in Pozzallo on the southeast coast of Sicily later onMonday.

Over the past weekend more than 1,600 migrants were rescued by Italian authorities, bringing the total number of migrants so far this year to above 60,000.

The number is expected to soar past the record 63,000 set in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings.

Italy has long borne the brunt of migrants making the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe, but EU border agency Frontex says there has been a significant rise in numbers in recent months.

The last few weeks have seen a series of tragedies, with ten people drowning and 39 having to be rescued after their boat sank off the Libyan coast earlier in June.

Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano has called for the rescue operation to become a European initiative amid reports of thousands of migrants waiting in Libya to make the trip during the next few weeks.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New shrimp and moth species discovered in Sichuan

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-06-28

The shrimps found in a cave near Longmen Mountain, June 19. (Photo/Xinhua)

The moth, pictured on June 19.
New species of moth and shrimp have been discovered by scientists of the Insect Museum of West China in Chengdu who explored uninhabited caves in the city, reports the state-run China News Service.

According to the museum's curator Zhao Li, a team explored the caves in the Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve and around Longmen Mountain in Pengzhou city. Many greater horseshoe bats live in the caves and the moths and shrimps live on the bats' feces.

The shrimps found in the caves in the mountain are around a centimeter long. Their bodies are almost transparent and they do not have a fan-shape tail or long feelers. They only move horizontally and swarm over bat feces when it drops into the water. The shrimps die after being exposed to the sun for over an hour or if the surrounding temperature fluctuates.

The moths have eyes but are not sensitive to light. They perch on the walls of the caves and can be easily caught with bare hands. Its larva crawl on the ground and seek out the bat feces for food.

The Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences said cave-living moths and shrimps were not discovered until recently in Sichuan but similar species have been seen in caves in neighboring Guizhou.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Obama Wants to Create World’s Largest Marine Sanctuary in the Pacific

EcoWatch, Brandon Baker, June 18, 2014

About two weeks after using executive authority to propose rules to protect the air, President Barack Obama announced similar action regarding a large stretch of the Pacific Ocean.

The president wants to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary, he said in a video produced specifically for the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean conference, which concluded Tuesday.

“Let’s make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world,” Obama said.

Obama’s plan would expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, created five years ago with waters previously set aside by President George W. Bush that, according to The Associated Press, encircle an array of remote islands in the south-central Pacific, between Hawaii and American Samoa. Obama will consult scientists, fishermen and conservation experts before establishing boundaries, but many expect him to double the amount of protected ocean.

If the president includes waters around other U.S. islands in the Pacific Ocean, he could protect nearly nine times the amount Bush set aside, totaling more than 780,000 square miles, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The president stressed the importance of ocean protection for the animals who live there, as well as for humans.  The expansion would mean five times more underwater mountains will be protected, Greenpeace estimates. It will end tuna fishing in the area, as well as providing safe harbor to whales, sea turtles, sharks and other marine mammals. He is also directing the creation of a national strategy to combat black-market fishing.

Graphic credit: Greenpeace
“We applaud President Obama’s proposal to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument,” Anna Aurilio, director of the Washington D.C. office for Environment America, said in a statement.  “It’s a great thing that more pristine ocean and Pacific ecosystems will be protected.”

Still, Aurilio implored the administration to keep other portions of the oceans safe by not opening them to drilling, as suggested by a plan announced last week by the U.S. Department of Interior.

Greenpeace also wasn’t completely bullish on the plan.

“You won’t hear the sound of champagne popping coming from the Greenpeace offices,” John Hocevar wrote in a blog post. “There’s a lot this expansion doesn’t do—and we’re going to keep on pressing. For starters, the Bering Sea canyons near Alaska support one of the most productive ecosystems in our oceans but are still completely unprotected.

“Sensitive coral and sponge habitats are being destroyed by the wanton practices of factory fishing. Protecting these cold water canyons would be a great complement to Obama’s plans in the tropical Pacific.”

Still, both organizations were more pleased with the announcement than not. Obama’s brief video discussed what would happen if he declined action.

“If we ignore these problems, if we drain our oceans of their resources, we won’t just be squandering one of humanity’s greatest treasures,” Obama said. “We’ll be cutting off one of the world’s major sources of food and economic growth, including for the United States.

Five Dead, 31 Missing After Boat Sinks Off Malaysian Coast

Jakarta Globe, Camelia Pasandaran, Jun 18, 2014

A Malaysia Maritime officer looks out into the sea during a search and rescue in
 Kuala Langat outside Kuala Lumpur, off Malaysia’s western coast on June 18, 2014.
Five undocumented Indonesians workers died, while 31 others remain missing after the
 boat they were traveling home on sank off Malaysia, an Indonesian official in Kuala
Lumpur told the Jakarta Globe. (Reuters/Samsul Said)

Jakarta. Five undocumented Indonesians workers died, while 31 others remain missing after the boat they were traveling home on sank off Malaysia.

“There were 97 illegal immigrants on the boat, 61 are safe, while five died and 31 are still missing,” Indonesian Deputy Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.

He said the five bodies have been taken to a hospital in Klang, which is on the coast of the Malacca Strait.

“We are still identifying them, and we’re trying to find their families to inform them of the accident,” Hermono said.

The boat, carrying some 100 passengers, capsized at the early hours of Wednesday, only one hour after departing from Carey island.

Hermono said the passengers were traveling back to Indonesia to observe the fasting month in their hometowns and celebrate Idul Fitri with their families.

“They are illegal immigrants who were heading to Indonesia from Carey island to Tanjung Balai Asahan in North Sumatra,” Hermono said. “They they feared being arrested, so instead of taking the official travel route home, they paid a higher amount of money to take the boat to Tanjung Balai Asahan, from which they planned to go back to their hometowns [by land].”

Hermono said the incident had been caused by a leakage, resulting in a rapid sinking of the overloaded boat

Thirty of the 61 undocumented workers rescued by the coast guard have reportedly been detained at a local police office in Malaysia, while the remaining 31 survivors reportedly swam back to the coast and were subsequently arrested by the local customs office.

“We will ask the Malaysian government to let us have the children and elderly to be taken to the Indonesian embassy,” Hermono said, adding that Malaysian authorities were still searching for the captain of the boat, as it was unclear whether he had survived the event.

“He might be running away or has probably drowned,” he said.

Hermono explained that the Indonesian and Malaysian governments have agreed on an official travel plan for undocumented migrant workers.

“Of course, they have to pay for the trip and fines, but it’s not higher than the amount they have to pay by using the illegal route. Some of them have to pay up to 1,600 ringgit [$500]. It’s too expensive and is not safe.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scientists warn of tourism threat to Antarctica

Yahoo – AFP, Martin Parry, 18 June 2014

File photo of a tourist taking pictures of penguins on the Antartic Peninsula 
(AFP Photo/Sarah Dawalibi)

Sydney (AFP) - Antarctic scientists warned Wednesday that a surge in tourists visiting the frozen continent and new roads and runways built to service research facilities were threatening its fragile environment.

Tourist numbers have exploded from less than 5,000 in 1990 to about 40,000 a year, according to industry figures, and most people go to the fragmented ice-free areas that make up less than one percent of Antarctica.

A growing number of research facilities are also being built, along with associated infrastructure such as fuel depots and runways, in the tiny ice-free zones.

It is these areas which contain most of the continent's wildlife and plants, yet they are among the planet's least-protected, said a study led by the Australian government-funded National Environmental Research Programme (NERP) and the Australian Antarctic Division.

"Many people think that Antarctica is well protected from threats to its biodiversity because it's isolated and no one lives there," said Justine Shaw from the NERP of the study published in the journal PLoS Biology.

"However, we show that there are threats to Antarctic biodiversity.

"Most of Antarctica is covered in ice, with less than one percent permanently ice-free," she added.

Antarctic scientists warn that a surge in tourists visiting the frozen continent
 was threatening its fragile environment and called for better protection (AFP
Photo/Sarah Dawalibi)

"Only 1.5 percent of this ice-free area belongs to Antarctic Specially Protected Areas under the Antarctic Treaty System, yet ice-free land is where the majority of biodiversity occurs."

Five of the distinct ice-free areas have no protection at all while all 55 of the continent's protected zones are close to sites of human activity.

Fragile ecosystems

Steven Chown of Monash University, another collaborator in the study, said the ice-free areas contain very simple ecosystems due to Antarctica's low species diversity.

This makes its native wildlife and plants extremely vulnerable to invasion by outside species, which can be introduced by human activity.

"Antarctica has been invaded by plants and animals, mostly grasses and insects, from other continents," he said.

"The very real current and future threats from invasions are typically located close to protected areas.

"Such threats to protected areas from invasive species have been demonstrated elsewhere in the world, and we find that Antarctica is, unfortunately, no exception."

The study said the current level of protection was "inadequate by any measure" with Shaw saying more was needed to guard against the threat posed by the booming tourism industry.

"(We need) to protect a diverse suite of native insects, plants and seabirds, many of which occur nowhere else in the world," she said.

 Tourist numbers have exploded from less than 5,000 in 1990 to about 40,000
 a year, according to industry figures, and most people go to the fragmented ice-free
areas that make up less than one percent of Antarctica (AFP Photo/Sarah Dawalibi)

"We also need to ensure that Antarctic protected areas are not going to be impacted by human activities, such as pollution, trampling or invasive species."

Antarctica is considered one of the last frontiers for adventurous travellers.

Most travel by sea, some paying in excess of US$20,000 for a luxury cabin in the peak period from November to March. There is also a healthy market for sightseeing flights.

Approximately 30 nations operate permanent research stations on the continent including the US, China, Russia, Australia, Britain, France and Argentina, and more are on the way.

China's state media said in December that the country was building its fourth base and a fifth was being planned.

Fellow study author Hugh Possingham, from NERP, said that without better protection "this unique and fragile ecosystem could be lost".

"Although we show that the risks to biodiversity from increasing human activity are high, they are even worse when considered together with climate change," he added.

"This combined effect provides even more incentive for a better system of area protection in Antarctica."

Related Articles:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Japan kills 30 minke whales in first hunt since UN court order

Whaling fleet completes coastal 'research' not covered in international court of justice ruling against Antarctic hunt

The Guardian – AFP, Tokyo,17 June 2014

Three dead minke whales on the deck of a Japanese whaling ship in the
 Southern Ocean, Antarctica, in 2013. Photograph: Tim Watters/Sea
Shepherd Australia/EPA

Japan has killed 30 minke whales off its north-east coast, in the first hunt since the UN's top court ordered Tokyo to stop killing the animals in the Antarctic, the government said.

The Japanese whaling fleet that left the north-eastern fishing town of Ayukawa in April completed its mission last week, the country's fisheries Agency said.

It was the first campaign since the international court of justice (ICJ) ruled in March that Japan's annual expedition to the Southern Ocean was a commercial activity masquerading as research.

The non-Antarctic hunt, which takes place in spring and autumn in coastal waters and in the north-western Pacific, is also classified as "research" by Japan, but was not at issue in the ICJ case, which only addressed whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Whalers killed 16 male and 14 female mammals, with an average length of about six metres (20ft), the agency said.

Japan has used a loophole in a 1986 global moratorium that allows lethal research on the mammals, but has made no secret of the fact that their meat ends up in restaurants and fish markets.

Tokyo called off the 2014-15 Antarctic hunt, and said it would redesign the controversial whaling mission in an effort to make it more scientific.

The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, angered anti-whaling groups and nations this month when he told parliament he would boost his efforts towards restarting commercial whaling.

Anti-whaling activists and countries, including Australia and New Zealand, had hoped Tokyo would use the cover afforded by the ICJ ruling to extricate itself from a hardened position that hunting whales is an integral part of Japanese culture and must be defended.

Critics point out that while whale meat was once an important source of protein, few Japanese people now eat it, despite government subsidies.

But a recent poll by a leading national newspaper found a majority of those questioned supported Japan's right to hunt the mammals.

Observers say the tactics of anti-hunt groups such as Sea Shepherd, whose boats have harassed whalers in the Southern Ocean, have galvanised support among the Japanese public. Demands for an end to whaling are sometimes painted as cultural imperialism in Japan.

Asylum-Seekers Sue Australia Over Boat Tragedy Off Christmas Island

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Jun 17, 2014

Asylum-seekers arrive in 2013 at the Christmas Island settlement area, where
 they will be detained for an indefinite period until their refugee status can be
determined. Families of asylum-seekers killed in a shipwreck off Australia’s
Christmas Island in 2010 are suing the government, AFP reported. (Photo
courtesy of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship)

Sydney. Families of asylum-seekers killed in a shipwreck off Australia’s Christmas Island in 2010 are suing the government, arguing it breached its duty of care in a move Canberra on Tuesday blasted as “shameful”.

Fifty people died when a rickety fishing boat crowded with nearly 100 Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian asylum-seekers was dashed against jagged rocks in dangerous seas at the remote Indian Ocean outpost.

Human rights lawyer George Newhouse has launched legal action in the New South Wales state Supreme Court on behalf of eight families, claiming the government failed to maintain a proper lookout.

“We believe that the evidence will show that the Commonwealth knew, or should have known, that there were vulnerable men, women and children that were on the high seas in a storm and took insufficient steps to look out for them,” he said in a statement.

He also claimed that when authorities found out the boat was foundering, the systems in place and operational life-saving vessels to rescue them were not adequate.

At the time authorities said they were not aware the boat was approaching Christmas Island due to the predawn darkness and “extreme” weather conditions.

Woken near dawn by the screams of victims, locals gathered life jackets and rushed to the sheer limestone cliffs to offer help, but strong winds blew the flotation devices back onshore.

The terrified group on board drifted for about an hour after losing engine power and only one man managed to leap to safety before the surging waves smashed the vessel apart on the rocks.

Fifty people died and 42 were rescued by the Navy and customs and border protection officials.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison defended the government’s actions.

“Frankly, I think this is a shameful and offensive claim to be making,” he told reporters. “Sure, people have the right to bring cases to court — we are a free country — but they have to be accountable for the claims.

“This is like someone who has been saved from a fire suing the firemen,” he added.

After an eight-month hearing coroner Alastair Hope laid the blame for the tragedy firmly on the people-smugglers who organized the trip.

But he also criticized Australian authorities for the lack of adequate rescue vessels on the island.

Hundreds of people have died making the perilous sea journey to Australia, although no boat has arrived in nearly six months under the government’s harsh new policies.

Boats are now turned back at sea, mostly to Indonesia, while anyone arriving is sent to camps in Nauru or Papua New Guinea for processing and permanent resettlement.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fishermen Call on Government to Address Illegal Fishing

Jakarta Globe, Jun 15, 2014

Fishermen unload a catch on the shore of Banyuwangi, East Java. (AFP Photo)

Padang. An Indonesian Traditional Fishermen’s Union (KNTI) official on Saturday called on the government to improve efforts to secure Indonesian waters from illegal fishing by foreign boats.

The incursions cost the state trillions of Rupiah each year, the union said.

“According to KTNI data, fish theft happens in 18 places across Indonesian waters,” KNTI board of advisers head Riza Damanik said on Saturday, as quoted by state-run Antara news agency. “This practice clearly has negative implications for the country’s efforts to preserve its marine ecosystems and the sustainability of the fisheries as a food source.”

He said that that lack of monitoring left doors wide open for abuse.

“Cases of theft… cost an estimated Rp 30 trillion [$2.54 billion] worth of state losses,” he said.

He said the government should spread 1,000 local boats across broader swathes of the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEEI) to pevent foreign incursions.

He also urged the government to support Indonesian fishing infrastructure in expanding East.

“The fact is that 80 percent of fishing ports in Indonesia are still located in the western part of the country,” he said. “The fish processing industry is focused in Central Java, while actually there are plenty of resources in the eastern part of Indonesia.”

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beijing reclaiming 5 Spratly reefs: Philippine report

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-06-15

A Chinese worker installs a nagivational lamp post near the Paracel
Islands in the disputed South China Sea, May 23. (Photo/CNS)

China is carrying out land reclamation operations and output construction projects on five reefs in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, according to a report from the Philippine Star.

The June 13 article, citing a confidential Philippine government report, says China is carrying out the works on the five resource-rich islands — Johnson South, Cuarteron, Hughes, Gaven and Eldad — all as part of its aggressive campaign to claim sovereignty over most parts of the South China Sea.

The report said China was focusing its land reclamation projects in areas farther from the Philippine mainland and could begin further reclamation activities in three other areas, namely Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef, where China has already built military garrisons and communications facilities, once the first operation on the five reefs are complete.

Senior Philippine government officials have confirmed the Chinese reclamation activities, saying that recent surveillance flights over the Spratlys discovered the presence of dredging and material displacement ships.

Last month, Manila released surveillance photos of Chinese land reclamation operations on the Johnson South Reef and noted that a building an airstrip on the reef was a possibility.

In March, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs also released photos of China's reclamation activities on the Mabini Reef, which is part of the Kalayaan Island Group in the Spratlys, while also suggesting that an airstrip could be built there so Beijing can enforce its controversial air defense identification zone in the region.

The report goes on to say that despite the recent developments in the ongoing territorial dispute over the Spratlys between the two countries, Philippine president Benigno Aquino III and Chinese ambassador Zhao Jianhua exchanged conciliatory statements on Tuesday before the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry as part of Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day.

Zhao reportedly described the dispute as "temporary" and would paled in comparison to the "thousand-year-old friendship and extensive cooperation" between the two countries, and said he was "fully confident about the future of China-Philippines relations."

Related Articles:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Earth may have underground 'ocean' three times that on surface

Scientists say rock layer hundreds of miles down holds vast amount of water, opening up new theories on how planet formed, Melissa Davey, Friday 13 June 2014

Three-quarters of the Earth's water may be locked deep underground in a
layer of rock, scientists say. Photograph: Blue Line Pictures/Getty Images

After decades of searching scientists have discovered that a vast reservoir of water, enough to fill the Earth’s oceans three times over, may be trapped hundreds of miles beneath the surface, potentially transforming our understanding of how the planet was formed.

The water is locked up in a mineral called ringwoodite about 660km (400 miles) beneath the crust of the Earth, researchers say. Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen from Northwestern University in the US co-authored the study published in the journal Science and said the discovery suggested Earth’s water may have come from within, driven to the surface by geological activity, rather than being deposited by icy comets hitting the forming planet as held by the prevailing theories.

“Geological processes on the Earth’s surface, such as earthquakes or erupting volcanoes, are an expression of what is going on inside the Earth, out of our sight,” Jacobsen said.

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.”

Jacobsen and his colleagues are the first to provide direct evidence that there may be water in an area of the Earth’s mantle known as the transition zone. They based their findings on a study of a vast underground region extending across most of the interior of the US.

Ringwoodite acts like a sponge due to a crystal structure that makes it attract hydrogen and trap water.

If just 1% of the weight of mantle rock located in the transition zone was water it would be equivalent to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans, Jacobsen said.

The study used data from the USArray, a network of seismometers across the US that measure the vibrations of earthquakes, combined with Jacobsen’s lab experiments on rocks simulating the high pressures found more than 600km underground.

It produced evidence that melting and movement of rock in the transition zone – hundreds of kilometres down, between the upper and lower mantles – led to a process where water could become fused and trapped in the rock.

The discovery is remarkable because most melting in the mantle was previously thought to occur at a much shallower distance, about 80km below the Earth’s surface.

Jacobsen told the New Scientist that the hidden water might also act as a buffer for the oceans on the surface, explaining why they have stayed the same size for millions of years. "If [the stored water] wasn't there, it would be on the surface of the Earth, and mountaintops would be the only land poking out," he said.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Singapore casino stops serving shark fin

Yahoo – AFP, 12 June 2014

The US-owned Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore, shown here in 2013, 
has is to stop serving shark fin at its restaurants, the latest boycott of the 
contentious delicacy welcomed by animal rights activists. (Photo: Roslan Rahman)

The US-owned Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore has announced it will stop serving shark fin at its restaurants, the latest boycott of the contentious delicacy welcomed Thursday by animal rights activists.

The casino, part of Las Vegas gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson's portfolio, said the removal of shark fin dishes from its menus is a "bold testament to our commitment to reducing our environmental impact".

Its huge expo and convention centre, which held over 70 trade shows last year, will also cease serving the dish.

The casino is the latest among a string of Singapore-based companies to boycott shark fin consumption following years of lobbying by animal rights activists.

Singapore is the world's second largest shark fin trading territory after Hong Kong, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Shark fin is seen by many east Asians as a delicacy and is often served as soup at expensive Chinese banquets.

More than 70 million sharks are killed worldwide every year, with a majority of fins consumed in Chinese markets, according to environmental group WWF.

Jennifer Lee, founder of Project Fin, a local group campaigning against shark fin consumption, said the casino's decision is another milestone for animal rights activists.

"Hopefully this will put pressure on other companies to jump on the bandwagon as well to do their part to save our marine ecosystem," she told AFP.

Elaine Tan, chief executive of WWF Singapore, commended the casino for its "foresight and leadership in corporate sustainability".

"Sharks are a crucial part of marine ecosystems and their populations have a direct impact on fish stocks, which in turn affects many things, including our food security in the future," she said.

Singapore's largest supermarket chains stopped sales of shark fin products in 2012, while major hotels, including Shangri-La and Swissotel the Stamford, have also stopped serving them.

Singapore's other casino operated by Malaysia's Genting Group does not serve shark fin, according to its website.

Slavery in prawn trade: shoppers urged to boycott seafood sourced unethically

Marine Stewardship Council, Greenpeace and Marine Conservation Society say retailers must be called to account

The Guardian, Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent, 11 June 2014

The Marine Conservation Society warns that current labelling may not help
consumers identify sustainable and ethical sources of seafood. Photograph: CHT

Environmental campaigners and human rights groups have said the revelations of slavery in the prawn supply chain are a wake-up call for consumers. They are urging shoppers to boycott cheap Thai prawns and other imported seafood if supermarkets can not guarantee the goods have been sourced ethically.

The Marine Stewardship Council, which backs a labelling scheme to help shoppers buy fish ethically, said the other option was to buy cold-water prawns fished from the north Atlantic – which accounts for about a third of all prawns eaten in the UK – or Dublin Bay prawns from the Irish Sea.

An MSC spokesman said: "This is undoubtedly an extremely serious and important issue. We condemn the practices described in the Guardian investigation."

The Marine Conservation Society which advises consumers on fish to eat and fish to avoid on ethical grounds, urged consumers to try to find out, before buying, whether supermarkets were engaged with improvement projects in Thailand or the rest of south-east Asia. It said, however, that labelling was limited in its scope and might not help.

Willie Mackenzie, Greenpeace's oceans campaigner, said: "Cheap seafood trashes oceans and ruins lives. The Guardian's investigation exposing slavery in the seafood industry should be a worldwide wake-up call to retailers and consumers.

"Forced labour and human rights abuses are not just issues in tropical prawn farming, they are unseen factors in other fishing too. UK retailers are in many ways the best in the world on sourcing seafood responsibly, but there is clearly a lot more to do."

The six-month Guardian investigation established a trail between prawn products sold by US, British and European retailers and violent slave labour. The investigation found that the world's largest prawn farmer, the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, buys fishmeal, which it feeds to its farmed prawns, from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned by slaves.

Supermarkets which have sourced cheap Thai "king" prawns supplied by CP Foods include the world's top four retailers – Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco – along with big UK supermarket chains Morrisons, the Co-op, Aldi UK, and Iceland.

Retailers refrained on Wednesday from adding to their earlier statements condemning slavery and human trafficking.

A spokeswoman for the charity Compassion in World Farming said: "Consumers should take the advice of the Environmental Justice Foundation; ask retailers about their supply chain, and when buying fish look for the Marine Stewardship Council logo to ensure wild-caught fish is sustainable.

"Consumers should also be aware that there are no animal welfare standards for prawns, while there are also questions of the long-term sustainabiliy of feeding fish meal to prawns, which takes away from the global food basket, rather than adding to it."

Owen Espley, economic justice campaigner at the anti-poverty charity War on Want, said: "This investigation shows how UK retailers are profiting from appalling labour rights violations within their supply chains. British [firms] need to come clean about their sourcing and ensure action is taken to protect all workers from such abuses. The time is long overdue for British ministers to step in where retailers' voluntary initiatives have failed and ensure that all companies take action to address the exploitation throughout their supply chains."

The chef and Guardian writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who investigated Thai prawns for his Fish Fight series for Channel 4, said that CP Foods and UK retailers had "to use their buying power and political influence to clean up Thailand's fisheries, and fast".

Related Article:

EU and Faroe Islands end 'herring war'

Yahoo – AFP, 11 June 2014

The Faroe Islands increased its quotas for herring fishing in 2010 (AFP)

The European Union said Wednesday it had reached agreement with the Faroe Islands to settle a dispute over herring fishing and would drop punitive measures against the tiny island chain.

The Faroe Islands, located between Norway, Iceland and Britain in the North Atlantic, took the issue to the World Trade Organisation last year, arguing that Brussels had no right to bloc herring imports from the autonomous Danish province.

The EU had accused the Faroe Islands of massive overfishing after it set its own quotas for herring in defiance of the 28-member bloc.

EU Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki said the Faroe Islands agreed to end "their unsustainable fishery" for herring in the northeast Atlantic and halt their WTO complaint against Brussels.

In return, the EU would lift its import ban and other punitive measures, Damanaki said in a statement.

"I am satisfied that we can soon consider the herring dispute as something of the past," she added.

In March, the EU reached agreement in a similar dispute over mackerel with Norway and the Faroe Islands after four years of sharp exchanges on what was the best way to sustainably manage the fishery.

The issue of quotas has become more heated as fish species have started migrating further north in response to rising sea temperatures.

When the Faroe Islands unilaterally increased its quotas in 2010, Brussels responded with sanctions for its overfishing of herring, banning imports of both mackerel and herring from the archipelago and forbidding some of its fishing boats from docking in EU ports.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes, chengyang, 2014-06-10

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)

UNITED NATIONS, June 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved.

Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks at a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The ambassador said that China attaches high importance to the development of maritime endeavors. "We actively participate in international maritime affairs and call for the building and maintenance of a harmonious maritime order."

"In building and maintaining a harmonious maritime order, all countries should uphold the principles of the convention, exercise their rights accordingly, fulfill their obligations and responsibilities with good will and ensure equal and uniform application of the convention," he said.

Wang noted that China is a staunch defender and promoter of international maritime rule of law and peaceful settlement of maritime disputes.

"The Chinese government believes that the most effective way to peacefully settle maritime disputes is negotiation and consultations between the parties directly involved in the dispute on the basis of respect for historical facts and international law," he stressed.

The Chinese envoy on Monday sent a note to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, presenting documents making clear Vietnam's provocation and China's stance regarding the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

Wang asked Ban to circulate the Chinese dossier among all UN member states as UN General Assembly documents.

"China sent the note to tell the international community the truth and set straight their understanding on the issue," Wang said.

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)