Connect to share and comment

Arctic shipping remains a distant dream for now, transport minister says

WASHINGTON - The centuries-old dream of shipping through the Northwest Passage will remain mostly illusory for the foreseeable future, Canada's transport minister indicated Tuesday in a blunt assessment of the challenges ahead. During an appearance in Washington, Lisa Raitt played down expectations that the Arctic is on the cusp of becoming an international shipping hub because of climate change.

Strong quake strikes off Chile

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's northwestern coast on Sunday, the latest of at least seven quakes to hit the region in recent days. About 25,000 homes south of the city of Iquique, on Chile's Pacific coast, suffered a 30-minute blackout, the national emergency office said, but there was no significant damage and no tsunami. The undersea quake hit at 1820 GMT and had a depth of 35 kilometers (20 miles). Its epicenter was about 87 kilometers from Iquique, seismologists at the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Braving perilous Drake Passage to Brazil's Antarctic base

Furious ten-meter waves and icy, tempestuous gales await those intrepid enough to navigate Drake Passage, the crossing from the tip of South America to Antarctica seen by seafarers as one of the world's most dangerous voyages. After an interminable 43-hours trip negotiating waters that leave even experienced sailors queasy, the crew and a gaggle of reporters aboard the Brazilian icebreaker and oceanographic research vessel Ary Rongel finally spot land.

MH370 search covers one of world's harshest places

The search for flight MH370 is taking place over one of the most harsh and isolated points on the planet, in a patch of southern Indian Ocean from where Antarctica beckons. Australian-led efforts to find the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, are concentrated on a stretch of water 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth. It is little traversed by maritime traffic, and when alerts went out to merchant shipping in the area on Tuesday, the nearest vessel was two day's journey away.

World Bank approves $73 mn for DR Congo hydro project

The World Bank approved Thursday $73.1 million in financing to the Democratic Republic of Congo to support development of the massive Inga 3 hydropower project in the energy-hungry country. In mid-February the IMF executive board delayed an official review of the proposed technical assistance package for the project that faces opposition from Congolese social and environmental groups.

World Bank approves funds to study Congo's Inga dam

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank's board on Thursday approved a $73 million grant to help the Democratic Republic of Congo develop an expansion of the Inga hydroelectric dam, potentially the largest hydropower site in the world. The money, combined with another $33 million from the African Development Bank, will fund technical studies to analyze the dam's environmental and social impact and ensure it is sustainable, the World Bank said in a statement.

Prize-winning African poet seeks to reclaim the Sahara

Headlines portray the Sahara as a barren desert that claims the lives of many African migrants but Nigerian poet Tade Ipadeola had a different story to tell -- and it was worth $100,000. Ipadeola's "The Sahara Testaments" won the most lucrative writing award in Africa, the Nigeria Prize for Literature, for his account of the history and culture of the world's largest desert. He said the Sahara's true richness has been distorted by horrific tragedies involving migrants who have been found dead in north Africa after a failed attempt to start a new life in Europe.

"The 33" say their last goodbye to Chile

Santiago, Mar 17 (EFE).- The cast and crew of "The 33," a film about the dramatic 2010 rescue of 33 men from a mine in northern Chile, said goodbye to the Andean nation as the phase of postproduction in Canada begins. "It's been a great experience and we think we have a great film," producer Edward McGurn said in a statement to the press.

Antarctic moss returns to life after 1,500 years frozen

Moss that was frozen for 1,500 years beneath an ice sheet in Antarctica has been brought back to life, marking the longest life span for any known plant, researchers said Monday. The study in Current Biology describes the first time moss has been shown to survive for such an extended period of time. Previously, moss was known to be revivable after 20 years. And bacteria is the only other life form that is known to survive after thousands, even millions of years.

Nepal may install ladders on Everest's Hillary Step

Nepal may install ladders on Mount Everest's Hillary Step, the final rock wall which climbers have to scale to reach the summit, in a bid to ease congestion, the government said Monday. Expedition organisers announced last week that extra ropes would be fixed on congested ice walls like the Hillary Step, where mountaineers have faced frustrating delays in the past. Now Nepal's tourism ministry says it is considering going one step further in a move that it says would improve safety and end logjams.
Syndicate content