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Showing posts from September 2, 2015

Russia's Plans for Arctic Supremacy

January 16, 2015 | 10:30 GMT

Elements from the Russian Army's Guards Engineer Brigade and Engineer Camouflage Regiment train in Arctic conditions, Jan. 19, 2011. (RIA Novosti/Wikimedia)


Although the crisis in Ukraine continues to focus attention on Russia's western border, Moscow is seeking to exploit a more lucrative prize along its vast northern frontage: the Arctic Circle. 

Melting ice has opened up new transit routes and revealed previously inaccessible oil and mineral deposits. 

Facing a year of harsh economic constraints, securing exploitable energy reserves remains a top priority for Moscow.

 The planned militarization of the Arctic is already underway, and funding is secured through 2015 (the Ministry of Defense was the only Kremlin ministry not to be curtailed in the most recent budget.) With Russia aiming to consolidate its strength by the end of the year, surrounding countries are already reassessing their positions in the face of an overwhelming regional force. 


AUSTRALIA 2015 - 2016 : Mango tree manipulation trial starts to bear fruit near Darwin

ABC Rural
By Matt Brann

Posted about an hour ago

PHOTO: Mangoes from an induced flowering are almost ready to be picked near Darwin, NT. (Matt Brann)

RELATED STORY: Cambodian mango growers getting two crops a year

RELATED STORY: Australians helping Cambodia's mango industry

RELATED STORY: Split mango harvest may lead to staff reductions

RELATED STORY: Indonesian market reopens for Aussie mangoes

RELATED STORY: First mangoes of the season

RELATED STORY: Green mangoes enjoying strong demand

MAP: Darwin 0800

A research trial aiming to extend the harvest window for mangoes is showing some excellent results on a farm near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Mango trees across 10 hectares had their flowering "manipulated" and are now a few weeks away from harvest.

Farm manager Ross Maxwell said that without treatment the trees would have been producing fruit in November, like the majority of his orchard.

He said if the mango industry could start spreading out its harvest, there would be huge…






Click to Open Overlay GalleryBillowing ash from this week's eruptions of Cotopaxi in Ecuador, taken from near Chilcabamba Eco Lodge. LUCAS BUSTAMANTE / DESTINATION ECUADOR (USED BY PERMISSION)

Cotopaxi in Ecuador continues to rumble after its first eruption in 70 years earlier this month. Over the last week, the volcano has been emitting almost constant steam-and-ash plumes punctuated by small explosions—all signs that magma is rising into the volcano. 

The steam-and-ash plumes have mostly been 1-2 kilometers in height and rangers in the National Park surrounding the volcano have reported a few millimeters of fine ash fall. 

You can check out some pictures of how this ash is impacting the local communities, where farmers have said that their livestock is beginning feel the effects. Ash from Cotopaxi has reached as far as the Pacific…

AUSTRALIA : Woman joins mango tree protest in Cairns

September 2, 2015, 5:10 pm

A second north Queensland activist has climbed into a Cairns mango tree as the first protester descended to meet with council representatives.

Former Greens candidate Geoff Holland spent the night in a hammock in one of the trees at Munro Martin Park, which is set to be removed to build an entertainment precinct.

But he told AAP a woman known as "Del" took his place in a "completely spontaneous" move when he came down to meet council officers on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Holland said he'd asked council to consider tweaking the redevelopment plans to spare the tree.

"There were three of us that attended that meeting and they said they wouldn't cut it down until a decision had been made, which could be later today," he said.

If the eventual answer was unfavourable, he said it was "hard to say" what disgruntled activists might do.

"People are very angry,"  he said.

A council spokeswoman declined to comment on t…