Friday, April 16, 2010

FP morning post 4/16

Volcanic cloud shuts down European airspace

Top news: Ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland is causing the largest disruption of international air travel since the 9/11 attacks. More than 17,000 flights are expected to be canceled today with major airports closed in Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, the north of the Czech Republic, northern France including all Paris airports, and at airports in northern Germany, Austria and parts of Poland.

Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano began erupting on Wednesday for the second time in a month, shooting a cloud of ash 20,000 to 30,000 feet in the air. Despite the disruptions, the cloud remains invisible from the ground in most of continental Europe.

Eyjafjallajokull doesn't seem to be letting up and the disruptions are expected to continue for at least 24 hours. British authorities say the country's airspace won't open until Saturday morning at the earliest. Interestingly, Reykjavik airport remains open as it is located West of the volcano and winds are blowing the ash to the south and east.

With much of Polish airspace, including Warsaw airport, closed, it's not yet clear whether the ash will disrupt the travel of world leaders planning to attend the funeral on Sunday of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who died in an unrelated plane crash last weekend. U.S. President Barack Obama is currently scheduled to leave Washington for Poland on Saturday evening.

Investigation: A new U.N. report on the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto strongly criticizes the Pakistani government for not adequately protecting her.

  • A suicide bombing killed a TV reporter, senior police officials, and others in an attack on Shiite Muslims in Southwest Pakistan.
  • South Korea has determined that an external explosion sank a navy ship in March, raising suspicion of North Korean involvement .
  • Ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has left Kyrgyzstan.
  • Pope Benedict made his most direct reference yet to the Catholic Church's ongoing abuse scandal, calling for Christians to "repent."
  • More than 10 million Britons watched the country's first ever televised election debate, which Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg is widely thought to have won.
  • Greece's prime minister says the country is making preperations to take advantage of Europe's multibillion dollar rescue package.
Middle East
  • Yemen's Houthi rebels opened fire on a military plane, breaching a truce with the government.
  • Hamas executed two men accused of collaborating with Israel.
  • Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami has been barred from traveling abroad to attend a nuclear disarmament conference.
  • Speaking in Bogota, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for the ratification of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement.
  • Haiti has dropped kidnapping charges against the U.S. missionaries arrested while trying to take children out of the country after the earthquake in January.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama kept the focus on youth issues in her first solo international trip in Mexico.
-By Joshua Keating


No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think it symbolizes?