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Arctic tragically losing ice, losing peace: Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, US all claim a piece of Arctic circle

North Pole ice extent and natural resource deposits

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Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States are all laying claim to a piece of the Arctic circle, hoping to be able to cash in on the vast natural energy resources believed to lie beneath. Each season the ice gets thinner, and the prospects of riches grows. Russia goes one step further - plans for dedicated Arctic military presence intensifies dispute with Canada.

contested borders

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Original Source: Globe and Mail

After 6 years' US-led invasion of Iraq, all 4100 British troops'll be out of violence-wracked Iraq by end of July

British military band performs during handover ceremony of Basra's international airport from British forces to U.S. forces

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A British military band performs during the handover ceremony of Basra's international airport from British forces to the U.S. forces, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad March 31, 2009. People in the Iraqi city of Basra fear the U.S. troops taking over from departing British forces, whose relatively light touch contrasts with the U.S. military's fearsome, and sometimes trigger-happy, reputation.

anti-war demonstrators on Hollywood Boulevard carry model coffins to mark the 6th anniversary of the Iraq War

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 21: Anti-war demonstrators carry model coffins in a protest march on Hollywood Boulevard to mark the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war ground invasion on March 21, 2009 in Hollywood, California. An estimated 91,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the invasion. The US has lost more than 4,200 military service members. While violence is reportedly at its lowest point since the US invasion, suicide bombers still terrorize the people of some regions of Iraq. President Barack Obama has ordered US combat troops home by September of 2010 and all US forces out by 2012.  read more »

Earth Hour: time zone by time zone, ~4000 cities & towns in 88 countries dim nonessential lights from 8:30-9:30pm

Malaysia's landmark, the Petronas Twin Towers along with other buildings before and after the lights were switched off to mark Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 March 2009

Window to the World, calling for Wind of Wisdom,
as common sense is a gift to each soul,
as common environment is the inseparable planet,
as common desire is to live in a better world.

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Earth Hour 2009 has garnered support from global corporations, nonprofit groups, schools, scientists and celebrities — including Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett and retired Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu. From an Antarctic research base to the Great Pyramids of Egypt and beyond, the world switched off the lights on Saturday for Earth Hour, dimming skyscrapers, city streets and some of the world's most recognizable monuments for 60 minutes to highlight the threat of climate change. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries joined the event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

night view of the site of the ancient Giza Pyramids before and after switching off the lights for the Earth Hour, in Cairo, Egypt Saturday March 28, 2009  read more »

Floating treasure, tempting sea. World's biggest ship hijacking by pirates off coast of Somalia for $3 mil ransom

the world's biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom, a Saudi supertanker

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A parachute dropped by a small aircraft is observed by the U.S. Navy as it drops over the MV Sirius Star during an apparent payment via a parachuted container to pirates holding the Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia, January 9, 2009. Somali pirates then freed the Saudi supertanker seized in the world's biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom - but five drowned when their boat capsized as they were making off with their share.

the crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina off the coast of Somalia

The crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck, under the watch of armed Somali pirates on November 9 after a US Navy request to check on their health and welfare, at sea off the coast of Somalia.

ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship February 4, 2009 off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo. Pirates did not leave the ship until February 5.  read more »

May 2, 2008 spectacular photo: eruption of Chaiten volcano in Chile which had been dormant for thousands of years

Carlos F Gutierrez won first prize of the Nature Singles category of the 2008 World Press Photo of the Year contest with this photo of Chaiten volcano eruption, Chile

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Carlos F. Gutierrez, a Patagonia Press for Diario La Tercera photographer based in Chile, has won the first prize of the Nature Singles category of the World Press Photo Contest with this photo of Chaiten volcano eruption, Chile, taken May 2, 2008. A cloud of debris soared as high as 20 miles (32 km) into the air and was kept aloft by the pressure of constant eruptions for weeks, covering towns in neighboring Argentina with volcanic ash.

It again spewed a vast cloud of ash in February in what appeared to be a partial collapse of its cone. Television footage showed a could of ash billowing into the sky over the town of Chaiten, which lies about six miles (10 km) from the crater. Authorities evacuated about 160 people from the area. Most of the town’s 4,500 residents were evacuated last year after the volcano, dormant for thousands of years, erupted.

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Photos courtesy of Reuters

Original Source: Vancouver Sun

Melting glaciers in Europe force Italy and Switzerland to officially redraw their borders

Italy and Switzerland will redraw boundaries, the zones affected include areas around the Matterhorn

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Italy and Switzerland have decided to redraw their border after global warming dissolved Alpine glaciers that marked out the frontier between the two countries, according to reports.

For the past 100 years, the surface area of the glaciers, which is crossed by the border, has been shrinking steadily. In the past five years the process speeded up. The neighbors have now agreed to meet to work out a new border, the Independent reports. Daniel Gutknecht, responsible for the co-ordination of national borders at Switzerland's Office of Topography, said "the border is moving because of the warmer climate", among other reasons.

the zone affected includes the Matterhorn mountain

The border has been fixed since 1861, when Italy became a unified state. The new frontier cannot be decided until Italian parliament approve a new law at the end of next month. The areas affected include the famous Matterhorn mountain and the surrounding towns, which are popular with skiers in winter. However, no towns or communities will be forced to change countries, because the border lies 4,000 meters above sea level, well above any human habitation.  read more »

Africa: a charismatic disc jockey, 34-year-old fresh-faced entrepreneur is sworn in as Africa's youngest president

Madagascar's army-backed Andry Rajoelina is installed as the country's new president in Antananarivo March 21, 2009

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In the ousting of Madagascar's twice-elected president, behind the boyish good looks lies a ruthless ambition that has surprised many. His supporters have taken to blaring out Malagasy pop music to get crowds in the mood. This may even be the first African coup with its own soundtrack.

Images of the man this week have appeared incongruous: a sharp suit and baby face amid the sharpshooters in army fatigues, an unlikely alliance between the soldiers who have seen it all before and the 34-year-old who has got it all to come.

He is the disc jockey politician, a charismatic, fresh-faced entrepreneur who swapped the turntables and nightclubs of Antananarivo for a movement that this week has culminated in the ousting of Madagascar's twice-elected president. So when Andry Rajoelina, 34, is inaugurated as Africa's youngest president today, expect a carnival of sound. His supporters have taken to blaring out Malagasy pop music to get crowds in the mood. This may even be the first African coup with its own soundtrack.

Madagascar President, Andry Rajoelina (C) addresses supporters after he was formally installed as leader of the Indian Ocean island during a ceremony in Antananarivo, Madagascar, 21 March 2009  read more »

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