Saturday, April 29, 2006

The first “visual issue” of the Emir of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was issued April 25, 2006, by the Mujahideen Shura Council. A thirty-four minute video containing an approximately twenty minute oration by Zarqawi, footage of him leading mujahideen in training on the battlefield and in a war room, and seated amongst local leaders of al-Anbar province. His speech touches upon a variety of topics, including the purportedly victorious and successful state of the mujahideen in Iraq, waging jihad in Iraq while steadying eyes on Jerusalem, and Usama bin Laden’s proposed truce with the West. In fact, the video proper opens with an excerpt of a speech by bin Laden urging Muslim youth to jihad. On the refusal of the proposal, he warns U.S. President George W. Bush, his allies of the “Crusaders, Shi’ites and the converters” that they will never enjoy life as long as blood courses through the veins of the mujahideen.

Zarqawi also speaks of the alleged lies of the administration and the true state of the American soldier in Iraq. He states: “Why don’t you tell about the reality of your soldiers and their failure to fight…why don’t you tell your people about the soldiers who commit suicide, why don’t you tell your people that your soldiers can not have any sleep without taking drugs which makes them like animals… and they are driven by your generals, who are like the Crusaders and evangelists, to the slaughterhouse.” He also condemns the Iraqi political process, and those who speak falsely of being one of the mujahideen, trying to convince Muslims that the government is an attempt to apply Shari’a law.

Concerning the Mujahideen Shura Council, which appeared on the Iraqi land following the seeming disappearance of Zarqawi, he admits to “being one of them” and continues to hold title as the Emir of al-Qaeda in Iraq, part of the umbrella for the mujahideen in that state. “They all stretch their hands and stand on the same line,” Zarqawi argues. Other portions of the video show Zarqawi inspecting local areas, using a rocket with a range of 50 kilometers, and a final image of him firing an automatic weapon, and stating: “American will go out of Iraq, humiliated, defeated.”


A Full transcript of the video has been provided below:

In the name of Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful

Mujahedeen Shura Council of Iraq

Then fight in Allah’s cause thou are held responsible only for thyself and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the disbelievers; for Allah is the strongest in might and in punishment (Alnisa’a:84)

O’ Banner’s holders stand,Where are the lions of Anbar?Where are the lions of Salah Aldeen?Where are Baghdad’s men?Where are the knights of Ninawah and the champions of Dyalah?Where are the courageous of Kurdustan?Where are you the lions of Monotheism?

Be fully aware of the apostate media sources.

I swear by Allah, that they have nothing with us except the sharp swords, and between them and us will only be the frightened nights.

I swear by Allah that America will be defeated in Iraq.

(Field commander is talking):

As for the developing and manufacturing, the brothers, by the grace of Allah have developed and improved two missiles in Alanbar province in particular.

(When missile was fired):Against the make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. (Alanfal:60)

A message for Mankind

(Osama)I focus this call to the young men of Islam; gather together in fighting the crusades and the Jews, and remember Allah at all times repeatedly, by Allah, it’s either victory or martyrdom. No one will surpass his fate, and he who ever turns out to be a martyr, his sole will freely be flying around the paradise as it wishes, close to the throne of Allah; what a great difference between being near his family and/or near his lord.O’ young men of Islam every where, especially those near the battles, where the obligation is further; O’ young men in Aljazeera, Egypt, and Sham; O’ siblings of Salah Aldeen, O’ knights of Mohammad Alfateh, continue your support to your brothers in Iraq, whereby the gravest of the wars is continues, and its fire is on the rise, the crusades have invaded them, killed thousands of them, and abducted thousands, whishing to eliminate them. And they are instead, by the grace of Allah, fighting the crusades patiently, giving up all they’ve got for the sake of Allah and in order to defend themselves. May Allah be with them and those who support them.

(Abu Musaab)All praise be to Allah granting might to his religion with his victory, lowering the infidels with his supremacy. Sorting circumstances by his order; Plotting for the disbelievers with his arrangement; He who alternated the days with his divine justice.And peace be upon who Allah raised the minaret of Islam with his sword.

My treasured nation,I am conversing to you not with falsehoods, hoping to find with you open ears and prudent hearts, for the honest man does not deceive his family.

The crusade enemy, when invaded Iraq, meant to control this nation and reinforce the Zionist state, from the Nile to the Euphrates. However, Allah granted your sons the Mujahedeen by standing firm before the strongest crusaders attack to the Islamic land.They stood strong against this attack for over three years, disbursing their soles and their wealth. They stood against this massive military, media, and economical attack not for anything except to defend you, your religion, your sons, and your honor.Allah dispersed the enemies’ gathering and their defeat became clearer to who ever has eyesight and prudent heart.Here are your sons, by the grace of Allah, indulging into one battle after another, and attack after attack; they by the will of Allah hold the upper hand in the battle field now.

If it wasn’t for the continuous and ongoing media muting, you would’ve seen the astonishing. By Allah it’s the championships and the victories coming to us, and you my nation should thank Allah for this great bounty, that Allah prepared a group of your sons the Mujahedeen defending you and protecting your honor, otherwise the Sunnah in Iraq would’ve been in between a revulsion crusade and a betraying Shiite. And the women of the Sunnah would’ve been on the laps of the revulsion crusades and the betraying Shiites; Abu Ghraib and the interior ministry jails remain memorable.

My treasured nation,We are in Iraq a stone throw from the Masjed Alaqsa, we fight in Iraq and our eyes are on Alqsa which will never be freed except with a guiding Quraan and a prevailing sword; “but enough is thy Lord to guide and to help” (Alforqan:31)

The history and experience had showed that you have no one after Allah except your Mujahedeen sons; they are your protection, your strong shield, and your beating heart. They become happy to your happiness and sad to your sadness; they stay up all night for your protection and have jealousy for you. Their hearts burst in sorrow for your state, and their tongues never stop chanting: O’ Allah elevate the state of humiliation and defeat away from my nation, O’ Allah bring back victory to my nation.

As for the American administration, and to its chairman the cross banner’s holder Bush, we say to him and to whoever is swimming in his space from the Jews and the crusades and form the Shiites and others, we say that you will never be safe in the Islamic land, and by Allah you will never feel secured so long we still have a beating nerve and a moving eyelash.Previously, our leader Osama Bin Laden may Allah protect him, had offered you a long truce. It could’ve been better for you and those who are with you if you’d have accepted, but your arrogance pushed you to refuse. Here you are today, running from east to west trying to find solutions “will not stand except as stands one whom the evil one by his touch hath driven to madness” (Albaqarah:275). You turned to be a grave liar, betraying your own people that everything is under control, and then soon everyone finds out about your lies and so on. You became like the one who’s treating himself from alcohol by alcohol. You were never at any time truthful with yourself or your people, although it’s found some truth in your great grandparents you are fully detached from.Why don’t you show the truth about your soldiers and their inferior state of struggle?Why don’t you tell your people about the continuous suicides amongst your soldiers?Why don’t you tell your people that your soldiers can never go to sleep unless they take the hallucinating and drugging pills? So they become like cattle driven by your war generals, the Neozionists, to the killing fate.Why don’t you tell your people about the congregational escape and the defiance among your troops?

Listen you grave liar and insolent one; your dreams will never come true, our blood and bodies are between you and your imaginings. And what is coming your way is much greater than what passed by the will of Allah.

The game of rotten democracy that you brought to Iraq, after you gave hope to people about freedom, happiness, and the economical/personal security; all of these lies went with the winds and will never come back by the will of Allah.

There we see you today, trying with all what you got to bring together the clusters, the parties, the partners from your tails to bring about a handicapped government that it might pull you out from your crucial pitfall.

We believe that any government you place in Iraq, whether be it from the betrayal Shiites or Zionist Kurds, or your tails from the Sunnah; it will only be an apostate government that will aid the crusades, and it came only to be a poisoned dagger stabbed in the heart of the Islamic Nation.

America learned today that its planes, tanks, momentous troops, and its tails from the Shiites army will never be able to finalize the battle with Mujahedeen. Therefore, it’s trying to surround the Jehad by pushing its tails from those who are counted to Sunnah, those who accepted to play the role and be a rope that tightens around the Sunnah’s necks and pull the Americans from their defeat. They used those who use the Islamic slogans as a mask to spread their masters’ propaganda on the importance of organizing the military and the police, and confuse the Muslims with their mixed messages injecting poison in honey, forgetting intentionally or not that every occupier throughout history used a cover up face from the occupied to use them in order to establish a solid base and embezzle the wealth of the country and its people.Allah has said: “And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them” (5:51)That is by constituting for this life and the hereafter.And Allah has said: “for Pharaoh and Haman and (all) their hosts were Men of sin” (28:8)

Therefore, we repeat our warning to whoever is trying to reorganize and spread the military and the police forces, which was established only to be a tool for the occupier in their bigger plan, and to implement laws other than the law of Allah.Be extremely aware, those who join these apostate forces have nothing with us except the sharp swords, and between them and us will be nothing except grave days and nights.Allah has said;” Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan” (4:76)

Having said the previous, and having mentioned the defeat of the enemy and his paraphernalia. The enemy is trying today to seduce two kinds of people to the alleged parliamentary game to harvest the fruits of the Mujahedeen whom only trying to make the word of Allah prevails.The first kind of which is the one trying to attach oneself with the Mujahedeen, although they never lived the Mujahedeen life nor they ever supported them at the occupation time. The second of which is those who had at the beginning the honor of fighting the crusades, however what counts is the end; their efforts won’t be accepted by the law of Islam unless they strive with action to make the word of Allah prevails, using what Allah lawfully guided us with, the clean means, not by using evil parliaments striving to have the word of Allah mixed with other man made constitutions and laws. The aim does not justify the means here.Although these two kinds, and whoever follows their footsteps, allege that they are trying with these parliaments to implement the law of Allah. However, the actions and the historical experiences oppose their myth. Anyone that is following the political map in Iraq knows that the majority of the parliaments’ members are from the Shiites and the atheists of Kurds and Sunnah, not to mention those of the mixed motion believes. Therefore, the heavy side in the balance of the parliaments will always be in the hand of evil.Allah has said: “beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee” (5:49)

And Allah has said: “Fast thou not turned thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? their (real) wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the evil one, though they were ordered to reject him but Satan’s wish is to lead them astray far away (from the right” (4:60)

As for you patient truthful Mujahedeen, may Allah accept from you and us the best of deeds, and may Allah bless your Jehad. You were able by the will of Allah and his support to stop this crusades’ attack and you’ve bounded him with injuries. Thus, continue your Jehad and operations, and elevate your hits, it’s only the sign of victory and it’s the last breath of the cross worshipers in the land of two rivers. The low fighting self-esteem of the crusades’ soldiers is an only obvious sign in Iraq. Therefore, renew your intentions, and correct yourselves, and carry on together against your enemy. Your enemy is uncovered, by the will of Allah, weakened, unprotected, and broken in pieces. Do not give him a chance to take its breath, continue your stabbings one after the other, O’ Banner’s holders stand,

Where’s are the lions of Anbar?Where are the lions of Salah Aldeen?Where are Baghdad’s men?Where are the knights of Ninawah and the champions of Dyalah?Where are the courageous of Kurdustan?Where are you the lions of Monotheism?O’ siblings of Khaled and Muthananh, Saad and Meqdad and Salah Aldeen.Where are the immigrants? Where are the supporters?Where are the people of Surat Altawbah and Alanfal?Where are the people of Alfath and Alqital?

O’ leaders of this nation; who is for the crying women, who is for the jailed dignified women, who is for the purified women in the jails of the Shiites.O’ Allah, there is no life except the life of the hereafter, O’ Allah grant victory to immigrants and their supporters.

Be very aware from the embezzlers, with their masters the crusades, trying to surround you. Be aware and extremely aware from putting down your weapons, and then you will harvest nothing but the defeat, beat and crush in this life and the hereafter.You were always supplicating to Allah day and night to ease the way for you to join the Jehad in Afghanistan and Chechnya or other places. After that, Allah chose you for the trade of Jehad at your own land, and opened for you the doors of paradise. Be extremely aware of closing these blessed doors, be aware “And be not like a woman who breaks into untwisted strands the yarn which she has spun, after it has become strong”(16:92)

Do not let the trade of Jehad depart your land; otherwise you will be disgraced and you’ll be only ruled by the scum; “they set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women folk live” (2:49)

“If ye turn back (from the Path), He will substitute in your stead another people; then they would not be like you” (47:38)

Finally, I glad tied the nation by establishing the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Iraq, which will be by the grace and will of Allah as the kernel for the establishment of an Islamic State, in which, the word of Allah prevails. All praise be to Allah, the efforts are being joined, and the hands are being extended and shaken for the obedience of Allah and his messenger and the Jehad in the cause of Allah. And this Council will be, by the will of Allah, an umbrella for every truthful Mujahed. I am honored to be one member of this blessed Council under its blessed leadership. At the same time remaining the Ameer (leader) of the Alqaeda Organization in the land of two rivers (Iraq).

The servant of Jehad and Mujahedeen, glorifying Allah, your brother Abu Musaab Alzarqawi.Friday, 23 Rabii Awal 1427,April 21, 2006.

All praise be to Allah.

(One of the commanders in Anbar speaking)

In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful, and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad his family and companions.

I welcome our beloved sheikh in the land of Anbar, the land of Jehad. And we ask Allah to keep it a thorn in the eyes of the disbelievers.

I would like to inform about the great victory in the battles of Ramadi, killing many of the disbelievers and taking over the center and headquarter of the infidels.Taking over the city for several days, preventing the crusades from even coming near it.And this operation was a clear message against the visit by the infidels’ ambassadors ( Rice and Straw).In general, the self esteem of the Mujahedeen is high, in opposite to the infidels whom are always in continuous deterioration.

As for the developing and manufacturing, the brothers, by the grace of Allah have developed and improved two missiles in Alanbar province in particular, that will be used soon, one has the ability to travel 40km with a 50kg warhead, here’s a picture of it…

Then fight in Allah’s cause thou are held responsible only for thyself and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the disbelievers; for Allah is the strongest in might and in punishment (Alnisa’a:84)

And the other is anti armored vehicles, is carried on the shoulder and has been internally modified to penetrate armored vehicles, and here’s a picture of it.

“It is part of the mercy of Allah that dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah\’s) forgiveness them in affairs (of moment). Then when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in him” (3:159)

If Allah helps you, non can overcome you: if he forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? in God, then, let believers put their trust (3:160)

Sheikh Ayman Alzahahre’s voice:O’ Islamic Nation, the turf of Iraq now is the most dangerous field of Jehad in this century. Therefore, the nation must support the courageous Mujahedeen that are fighting in the very forefront defending the honor of Islam and its dignity.

Sheikh Abu Musaab: by Allah, American will be defeated in Iraq, by the will of Allah, and it’ll leave Iraq humiliated, crushed, and defeated by the will of Allah.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Yesterday, the Royal Dutch Football Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond; KNVB) announced Ronald Koeman as the new manager of the men’s national team. The 54-year-old signed a four-and-half year contract, which is under “immediate effect up to and including the 2022 World Cup”((nl))Dutch language: onmiddellijke ingang tot en met het WK 2022 , KNVB’s official statement read.

Koeman has previously managed nine football clubs, and his most recent spell was in England, where he managed Southampton FC and Everton FC. In 2016–17, he guided Everton to a seventh place finish in the first season in-charge, but was sacked in October.

Featuring in 78 matches for the Dutch national team, Koeman won the Euro 1988. KNVB also appointed 49-year-old Nico-Jan Hoogma as the director. After signing the contract, Koeman tweeted, “I am proud to finally announce that I am the new manager of the Dutch national team. Happy to be here and serve the country in our road to UEFA Euro 2020”.

Netherlands had finished as the runners up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and third at the 2014 World Cup under management of Louis van Gaal. But The Oranje failed to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 under Danny Blind’s management, and last year, they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia. That was their second consecutive failure to qualify for a major tournament.

Koeman, who succeeds Dick Advocaat as the manager of the national team, is to face England in a friendly match to be played on March 23 in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

According to NATO, one of its service members has died from a bomb attack at an army base in southern Afghanistan. In addition, an Afghan soldier reportedly died and the blast left three others injured.

The International Security Assistance Force released a statement yesterday, saying that “[the soldier] died today following an explosion at an Afghan National Army facility in Kabul.” An anonymous official said that the blast occurred when a mortar fuse exploded while a training exercise was underway. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident, saying that an infiltrator had caused the explosion.

This latest death brings the total death toll of foreign soldiers in 2010 to 166 in Afghanistan.

The last deaths reported by NATO were of two Dutch soldiers killed Saturday by a roadside bomb in the Uruzgan province. The Netherlands’ Defense Ministry said a third Dutch soldier had been seriously wounded in that attack.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A European Union-United States summit held in Slovenia produced a draft declaration outlining the groups’ future cooperation on climate change, energy security and financial stability. Yesterday was the final day of the summit, the last EU-US summit that US President George W. Bush will attend in his current role.

Hopes of a major breakthrough on the topic of climate change were low going into the summit. The foreign minister of Slovenia, Dimitrij Rupel, commented last week that, “on climate change, the positions are split.” Members of the 27-nation EU have regularly expressed their dissatisfaction with the US for not having ratified the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement with binding greenhouse gas emissions targets. Doubts about the summit’s efficacy were not misplaced, as no firm targets were set for actions on climate change.

The EU and US agreed to cooperate increasingly in science and technology research for energy and climate change purposes, including carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen fuel cells. The EU reaffirmed its commitments as per the Kyoto Protocol, but the US restated that developing countries such as China and India must be made to sign up to such global agreements before it will sign on.

Steps to secure energy sources for the future were also discussed. Promoting the creation of multiple pipelines to supply more natural gas to Europe was determined a priority, despite the fact that this would encourage an increase in emissions from gas use.

Bush commented in a follow-up news conference: “I think we can get a global agreement on climate change during my presidency – just so you know.”

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The combined efforts of agents from the Afghan Commandos and Coalition forces have led to the discovery and destruction of two-and-a-half tonnes of marijuana in an abandoned school in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Friday.

Kandah?r province or Qandahar (??????,{??????) is one of the largest of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in southern Afghanistan, between Helamand, Oruzgan and Zabul provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandah?r, also spelled Qandah?r, (?????? or ??????), the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of 450,300 (2006 estimate). Kandahar City is located on the Arghandab River. The province has a population of nearly 890,000, with more than 300,000 living in its capital city. The main inhabitants of Kandahar province are the Pashtun people.

An improvised explosive device and an unexploded mortar round, both 100-meters away from the school, also were destroyed.Foot patrol by the combined forces yielded tips which led to the drug discovery. A Commando also discovered a large room filled with marijuana seeds. The marijuana was placed in two-foot-tall (0.6-meter) stacks that filled multiple 12ft-by-12ft rooms. Rust on the furniture suggests the Afghan schoolhouse may not have been used as such for a long period of time. No students or faculty were around at the time of the drug bust.

U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesperson, Col. Jerry O’Hara said that “using drugs to fund insurgent activity is bad enough; using a school as a drug warehouse is an attack on the future of all Afghanistan.”

Xinhua has reported that “according to a recent U.N. report, Afghanistan produces over 90 percent of the world’s opium as Taliban militants will benefit nearly 500 million U.S. dollars from opium trade in 2008.”

Meanwhile, coalition troops have killed four militants in Zabul Province. They also detained five suspects on Saturday. Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the United States would send between 20,000 and 30,000 more forces to Afghanistan by summer.” “Those forces will primarily move into the country’s south, where the insurgency is the most entrenched,” he added.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Almost 600 desperate family members and others remained camped outside the Pasta de Conchos coal mine near San Juan de Sabinas, in the northern Mexico state of Coahuila where 65 Mexican miners were trapped by a gas explosion around 2:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) Sunday. Some are threatening to storm the mine while soldiers are trying to keep them calm and rescuers continue to pick through the rock and debris with hand tools, fearing that any power equipment might set off another explosion.

The local newspaper’s headline caused panic by quoting one of over a dozen surviving miners who were close enough to the exits to escape: “They are surely dead,” (La Prensa de Monclova). However, Arturo Vilchis, Civil Protection Director, refused to speculate on the condition of the miners, while Javier de la Fuente, an engineering contractor with mine owner Grupo México S.A. de C.V. also tried to hold out some hope.

The men were each supposed to be carrying oxygen tanks, each with a six hour supply, and there’s some hope that they could reach other oxygen supply tanks, or that some air might be reaching them through the ventilation shafts into which rescuers have been pumping more oxygen since shortly after the explosion.

Juan Rebolledo, vice president of international affairs for Grupo México, assured onlookers that U.S. mining experts were on the way, and officials at the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration have confirmed that they’ve sent a specialized equipment truck and several mining experts which should arrive at the mine site on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile Consuelo Aguilar, a spokeswoman for the National Miners’ Union, called for an investigation into Grupo México’s responsibility for the disaster. Pedro Camarillo, a federal labor official, said nothing unusual was found during a routine evaluation in early February.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jack A. Weil, founder and CEO of Rockmount Ranch Wear died on August 13 at the age of 107 in Denver, Colorado. He was the oldest working CEO in the United States. He was also known as “Papa Jack”.

He was born on March 28, 1901 in Evansville, Indiana. In 1946, Weil rented a space at 1626 Wazee Street in Denver and set about trying to create a fashionable yet practical identity for the western ranchers of the region.

I never wanted to be the richest man in the cemetery

Weil was well-known for coining the phrase “The West is not a place, it is a state of mind.” He was the first person to put snaps on Western shirts, patented the saw-tooth pocket design seen on many Western shirts, and was credited with inventing the bolo tie.

In 2001, he told Associated Press, “I learned fast you can’t sell to cowboys; they have no money. You have to appeal to the cowboy in everyone and sell to them.”

Among his customers were Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Nicholas Cage. More recently, Rockmount shirts were worn by the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2005 Academy Award-nominated movie, Brokeback Mountain.

Weil’s wife, Beatrice Baum, died in 1990, followed by his son Jack B. in January 2008.

“I never wanted to be the richest man in the cemetery,” he told his grandson and current president of the family business.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 25). Three candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Blair, Robertson Boyle, Tony Dickins, Cliff Jenkins (incumbent), and Peter Kapsalis.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

As they have done for the last four years, United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists were measuring an approximate 100 square mile bulge in central Oregon near the South Sister this past August. The bulge is located 25 miles outside of the city of Bend, Ore. and three miles from the South Sister.

The results of this years survey won’t be available for some weeks, but geologists have come to some conclusions based on the past four years of monitoring. The intial discovery was made by using information from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Interferometric Satellite Aperture Radar satellite. Scientists believe the bulge is rising at a rate of 1.4 inches per year and is due to a large lake of fluid (likely magma) that is 4.5 miles below the surface. They also think the fluid covers an area about one mile across and extends to a depth of 65 feet. The pooling fluid could be shifting magma or the creation of a new volcano.

Ground swells aren’t an extraodinary occurrence in geology. Geologists suspect that these ground swellings occur in the Cascade Range and at other volcanoes, and the majority of them do not lead to eruptions. Using the same ESA satellite technology, geologists have seen lots of bulges in the Aleutian Islands that have not lead to eruptions.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

In the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, two councillors from the Scottish National Party (SNP) began a petition Friday, the day after Comhairle nan Eilean Siar — the local government council for the Western Isles — said it would discontinue flight services between the islands of Benbecula and Barra as part of its 2013 / 2014 budget.

The petition — entitled “To petition the Scottish Parliament that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar maintains its support for the lifeline air services between Stornoway, Benbecula and Barra” — has also been launched in response to another council decision to restrict flight services between the islands of Benbecula and Lewis to three days a week, although the move has been temporarily suspended for two weeks to allow for NHS Western Isles to provide funding for said services. Otherwise, the changes come into effect late next month. Gordon Murray and Rae MacKenzie, the two councillors who launched the petition, are both from the town of Stornoway in the isle of Lewis. At the council’s meeting, Councillor MacKenzie suggested an alternative budget retaining flight service financing. The petition says the council’s decisions “risk the future of all internal flights within the Outer Hebrides and would severely undermine the transport connections which have been built up between the islands over the last forty years, with serious implications for the local economy and community.”

The council’s decision to remove the £148,000 (about US$230,000 or €172,000) subsidy means Benbecula – Barra flights are to cease operation within the next few weeks. When the decision comes into effect, travelling between the islands will only be available through the use of ferry services. The council, which was trying to achieve about £5 million (US$7.75 million or €5.8 million) in spending reductions, said some 75% of seats on these flights were vacant.

Angus MacNeil, MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar in the British Government, and Alasdair Allan, MSP for the same constituency in the Scottish Government, both of whom are SNP members, have criticised the council’s decision. MacNeil said he was “disappointed” about the move and claimed Comhairle nan Eilean Siar was “axing these services while pocketing the cash” provided to them by the Scottish Government. Meanwhile, Allan said the council’s action was “a significant blow to the community”. He said, from Benbecula: “As someone who used the Barra to Benbecula flight today, it is clear to me what importance this service has in keeping the Western Isles connected.”

Council leader Angus Campbell subsequently criticised MacNeil for his remarks, saying he was “extremely disappointed” by them. “The use of the term ‘pocketing the money’ shows a disrespect for the democratic process of local Government”, he said. He also requested that MacNeil and Allan “stand shoulder to shoulder with the Comhairle to campaign for increased funding for the Western Isles to help deal with these issues rather than turning on their democratically elected local council over individual issues they don’t particularly like.”

Campbell described the council’s 2013 / 2014 budget as “the most difficult we have faced during my time as a councillor.”