Volcano Lava Flow Halts but Many Confined Over Toxic Gas Fears

A Canary Islands volcano that has been erupting for over a week fell silent Monday as coastal residents were confined over toxic gas fears when the lava hits the sea.

La Cumbre Vieja, which straddles a southern ridge in La Palma in the Atlantic archipelago, erupted on September 19, spewing out rivers of lava which have slowly crept towards the sea.

But on Monday morning, there was no lava and ash emerging, with the week-long rumble of the eruption fading to silence, an AFP correspondent at the scene said. 

It was not immediately clear whether the eruption had stopped completely or merely paused, as smoke was still emerging from the top. 

“Volcanic activity in La Palma has reduced significantly in the last few hours. We must be very vigilant about how it evolves because the scenario can change quickly,” Madrid’s Institute of Geosciences tweeted. 

“It seems the volcano has entered a phase of decreased activity. We will see how it evolves in the coming hours.”

And the Involcan volcanology institute gave a similar assessment.

“In the last hours, the volcanic tremor has almost disappeared, as well as the… explosive activity,” it tweeted.

Contacted by AFP, Involcan was unable to say whether the eruption had finished or just paused, with a spokesman saying its experts were “evaluating the different scenarios”. 

Overnight, the inhabitants of several coastal areas were ordered to stay at home to avoid harm from the release of toxic gases when the lava finally reaches the sea, a process which has been much slower than initially expected. 

When the molten lava enters the ocean, experts warn it will send clouds of toxic gas into the air, as well as explosions and a fragmentation of the lava, which shoots outwards like bullets. 

The authorities have set up a no-go zone to head off curious onlookers.

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Білоруська опозиціонерка Колеснікова здобула премію ПАРЄ за права людини

Через неможливість особистої присутності Марії Колеснікової на церемонії нагородження 27 вересня в Страсбурзі премію отримала її сестра Тетяна Хомич

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Panic Buying Leaves Fuel Pumps Dry in Major British Cities 

Up to 90% of British fuel stations ran dry across major English cities on Monday after panic buying deepened a supply chain crisis triggered by a shortage of truckers that retailers are warning could batter the world’s fifth-largest economy. 

A dire post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers emerging after the COVID-19 pandemic has sown chaos through British supply chains in everything from food to fuel, raising the specter of disruptions and price rises in the run up to Christmas. 

Just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government spent millions of pounds to avert a food shortage due to a spike in prices for natural gas, the biggest cost in fertilizer production, ministers asked people to refrain from panic buying. 

But lines of dozens of cars snaked back from gasoline stations across the country on Sunday, swallowing up supplies and forcing many gas stations to simply close. Pumps across British cities were either closed or had signs saying fuel was unavailable on Monday, Reuters reporters said. 

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent fuel retailers which now account for 65% of all UK forecourts, said members had reported that 50% to 90% of pumps were dry in some areas. 

“We are unfortunately seeing panic buying of fuel in many areas of the country,” Gordon Balmer, executive director of the PRA, who worked for BP for 30 years, told Reuters. 

“We need some calm,” Balmer said. “Please don’t panic buy: if people drain the network then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.” 

Britain is considering calling in the army to ensure fuel supplies reach consumers, according to The Times and Financial Times. 

Environment Secretary George Eustice said there was no shortage of fuel and urged people to refrain from panic buying. 

Haulers, gas stations and retailers warned that there were no quick fixes, however, as the shortfall of truck drivers – estimated to be around 100,000 – was so acute, and because transporting fuel demands additional training and licensing. 

Supply chain crunch 

Britain’s retail industry warned the government on Friday that unless it moves to alleviate an acute shortage of truckers in the next 10 days significant disruption was inevitable in the run-up to Christmas.

For months, supermarkets, processors and farmers have warned that a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers was straining supply chains to breaking point – making it harder to get goods onto shelves.

Aldi UK CEO Giles Hurley said that while his discount supermarket chain was in a good position, nobody could guarantee there would not be inflation in the market around Christmas. 

BP said on Sunday that nearly a third of its British petrol stations had run out of the two main grades of fuel as panic buying forced the government to suspend competition laws and allow firms to work together to ease shortages. 

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the suspension would allow firms to share information and coordinate their response. 

“This step will allow government to work constructively with fuel producers, suppliers, haulers and retailers to ensure that disruption is minimized as far as possible,” the business department said in a statement. 

The government on Sunday announced a plan to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers. Around 25,000 truckers returned to Europe before Brexit and Britain was unable to test 40,000 drivers during COVID-19 lockdowns.

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Social Democrats Win Most Votes in German Election

Preliminary results Monday showed Germany’s center-left Social Democrats winning the largest share of the vote in national parliamentary elections as parties battle to see who will succeed outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

The Social Democrats received 25.7% of the vote Sunday, followed by 24.1% for Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union. 

State Governor Armin Laschet of the conservative CDU bloc and outgoing Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats are vying to become the leader of Europe’s biggest national economy as Merkel steps down after 16 years as chancellor.


Each said they would be reaching out to smaller parties to try to form a governing coalition with a goal of having a new government in place before the end of the year. 

The top targets for support will be the environmentalist Green party, which finished third with 14.8%, and the pro-business Free Democrats who finished fourth with 11.5%. 

Merkel will remain in office on a caretaker basis until her successor is chosen.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Agence France Presse. 


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«Талібан» відправив тисячі смертників у прикордонну з Таджикистаном провінцію – Радіо Азаттик

Армія Мансурі Ісламського Емірату переважно складається зі смертників. Минулого тижня таліби оголосили про введення цих військ до провінції Бадахшан

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У YouTube пояснили причину блокування опозиційного відео перед виборами в Росії

Відповідаючи на запитання про блокування записів, генеральна директорка відеосервісу Сьюзан Воджицкі сказала, що YouTube вважає свободу слова «ключовою цінністю»

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Recount Finds Iceland Just Misses Female-majority Parliament

Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament Sunday, before a recount produced a result just short of that landmark for gender parity in the North Atlantic island nation.

The initial vote count had female candidates winning 33 seats in Iceland’s 63-seat parliament, the Althing, in an election that saw centrist parties make the biggest gains.

Hours later, a recount in western Iceland changed the outcome, leaving female candidates with 30 seats, a tally previously reached at Iceland’s second most recent election, in 2016. Still, at almost 48% of the total, that is the highest percentage for women lawmakers in Europe.

Only a handful of countries, none of them in Europe, have a majority of female lawmakers. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rwanda leads the world with women making up 61% of its Chamber of Deputies, with Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico at or just over the 50% mark. Worldwide, the organization says just over a quarter of legislators are women.

“The female victory remains the big story of these elections,” politics professor Olafur Hardarson told broadcaster RUV after the recount.

Iceland’s voting system is divided into six regions and the recount in western Iceland was held after questions about the number of ballots cast. The mistakes have not been entirely explained but are thought to be the result of human error.

The three parties in the outgoing coalition government led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir won a total of 37 seats in Saturday’s vote, two more than in the last election, and appeared likely to continue in power.

Opinion polls had suggested a victory for left-leaning parties in the unpredictable election, which saw 10 parties competing for seats. But the center-right Independence Party took the largest share of votes, winning 16 seats, seven of them held by women. The centrist Progressive Party celebrated the biggest gain, winning 13 seats, five more than last time.

Before the election, the two parties formed Iceland’s three-party coalition government, together with Jakobsdottir’s Left Green Party. Her party lost several seats, but kept eight, outscoring poll predictions.  

The three ruling parties haven’t announced whether they will work together for another term but given the strong support from voters it appears likely. It will take days, if not weeks, for a new government to be formed and announced.  

Climate change had ranked high on the election agenda in Iceland, a glacier-studded volcanic island nation of about 350,000 people in the North Atlantic. An exceptionally warm summer by Icelandic standards — with 59 days of temperatures above 20 C (68 F) — and shrinking glaciers have helped drive global warming up the political agenda.

But that didn’t appear to have translated into increased support for any of the four left-leaning parties that campaigned to cut carbon emissions by more than Iceland is committed to under the Paris Climate Agreement.

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В Ісландії обрали перший в Європі парламент, де переважають жінки

У 63-місний Альтинг – однопалатний парламент – були обрані 33 жінки, тобто 52% від загального числа законодавців

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У Єревані опозиція провела смолоскипову ходу, вшановуючи пам’ять жертв війни у Карабасі

Ходу очолив лідер «Айастану», другий президент Вірменії Роберт Кочарян. Політичних виступів на заході не було

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