1. stolenshamelessly:

    Areas served by London’s major railway stations [OS] [964x1391] http://ift.tt/1gflcbT





     

  2. postpone-mentor:

    Kurdish rebel.





     

  3. thelandofmaps:

    2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami [GIF] [405x503]
    CLICK HERE FOR MORE MAPS!
    thelandofmaps.tumblr.com





     

  4. mapsontheweb:

    Wolves - Then and Now

    (Source: mapsontheweb, via fuckyeahcartography)





     

  5. mapsontheweb:

    You probably noticed that green spot in the US on Global Legality of Prostitution map. So, here is a map of legality of prostitution in Nevada.

    (Source: mapsontheweb, via fuckyeahcartography)





     


  6. matthewaid:

    July 26, 2014

    Norway partially closes Bergen airspace over terror alert

    Agence France-Presse

    July 26, 2014

    Norway closed part of the airspace over its second city Bergen and tightened border checks on Saturday, police said, two days after the country upped security following a terror alert.

    Norway has been on high alert since Thursday, when its intelligence service (PST) said it had “recently received information that a group of extremists from Syria may be planning a terrorist attack” in the country.





     


  7. Officials in Sierra Leone have appealed for help to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola, whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after she tested positive for the deadly virus.

    Radio stations in Freetown, a city of about 1 million people, broadcast the appeal on Friday to locate a woman who tested positive for the disease, which has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak was first identified in February.

    "Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington," the announcement said. "She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her."

    Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely populated Wellington district, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, said Sidi Yahya Tunis, a health ministry spokesman. The results came back on Thursday.

    "The family of the patient stormed the hospital and forcefully removed her and took her away," Tunis said. "We are searching for her."

    Fighting one of the world’s deadliest diseases is straining the region’s fragile health systems, while a lack of information and suspicion of medical staff has led many to shun treatment.

    Earlier this year, a man in Freetown tested positive for Ebola, although he is believed to have caught it elsewhere.

    According to health ministry data and officials, dozens of people confirmed by laboratory tests to have Ebola are now unaccounted for in Sierra Leone, where the majority of cases have been recorded in the country’s east.

    While international medical organisations have deployed experts to the field in an attempt to contain the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said poor health infrastructure and a lack of personnel were hindering their efforts.

    "We’re seeing many of these facilities simply don’t have enough people to provide the constant level of care needed," Paul Garwood, a WHO spokesman, told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday.

    There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, which causes diarrhoea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding. It can kill up to 90% of those infected, although the mortality rate of the current outbreak is about 60%.

    The west African outbreak is the first time that Ebola, which was first discovered in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, has appeared in heavily populated urban areas and international travel hubs.

    Cases have already been confirmed in Conakry and Monrovia, the capital cities of Guinea and Liberia.

    On Thursday authorities in Nigeria announced that they were testing a Liberian man for Ebola after he collapsed on arrival at an airport in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital and a mega-city of 21 million people.





     


  8. The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighbouring Tunisia under US military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.

    "Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the US embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya," a spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said.

    The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the US mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remains fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident.

    "Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly," Harf said. "Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions."

    The evacuation was accompanied by the release of a new State Department travel warning for Libya urging Americans not to go to the country and recommending that those already there leave immediately. “The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security,” it said. “Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation.”

    American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and travelled by road to neighbouring Tunisia, according to Harf. As the evacuation was under way, residents of the city reported in real time on social media that US military aircraft flew overhead while US soldiers escorted a convoy of vehicles out of town. The State Department would not confirm the evacuation until all staffers were safely in Tunisia.

    The department said embassy operations will be suspended until a determination is made that the security situation has improved, it said. Tripoli has been embroiled for weeks in inter-militia violence that has killed and wounded dozens on all sides. The fighting has been particularly intense at the city’s airport.

    "We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves. In the interim, staff will operate from Washington and other posts in the region," Harf said. The evacuated staffers will continue to work on Libya issues in Tunis, elsewhere in North Africa and Washington.

    The move marks the second time in a little more than three years that Washington has closed its embassy in Libya. In February 2011, the embassy suspended operations amid the uprising that eventually toppled the longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. After the formation of a transitional government in July 2011, the embassy reopened in September. Gaddafi was killed in October 2011.

    The Obama administration has been particularly sensitive about security of US government employees in Libya since the 11 September 2012, attack on the US mission in the country’s second largest city of Benghazi that killed the ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans. The administration is still fending off criticism from Republicans and others that it did not either enhance security in Benghazi or evacuate the mission due to rising violence in that city in the months prior to the attack.

    The Benghazi mission was abandoned after that attack and never reopened. The embassy In Tripoli has been operating with reduced staff since but has remained open even as the violence intensified.

    On Friday, the US ambassador to Libya, Deborah Jones, appealed for fighting near the embassy to stop. “We have not been attacked but our neighborhood a bit 2 close to the action,” she tweeted. “Diplomatic missions 2 B avoided pls.” On Sunday, Jones tweeted about “heavy shelling and other exchanges” of fire in the vicinity of the embassy and speculation about the potential evacuation had been rife at the State Department for more than a week.

    Libya is now witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since the overthrow of Gaddafi. In Tripoli, the militias are fighting mostly for control of the airport. They are on the government’s payroll since authorities have depended on them to restore order.

    The US is just latest in a number of countries to have closed down their diplomatic operations in Libya. Turkey on Friday announced that it had closed down its embassy and militia clashes in Benghazi have prompted the United Nations, aid groups and foreign envoys to leave.

    In Tripoli, clashes near the international airport have forced residents to evacuate their homes nearby after they were hit by shells. On Friday, the official Libyan news agency LANA reported that explosions were heard early in the day near the airport area and continued into the afternoon.

    The battle in Tripoli began earlier this month when Islamist-led militias — mostly from the western city of Misrata — launched a surprise assault on the airport, under control of rival militias from the western mountain town of Zintan. On Monday, a $113m Airbus A330 passenger jet for Libya’s state-owned Afriqiyah Airways was destroyed in the fighting.

    The rival militias, made up largely of former anti-Gaddafi rebels, have forced a week-long closure of gas stations and government offices. In recent days, armed men have attacked vehicles carrying money from the Central Bank to local banks, forcing their closure.

    Libyan government officials and activists have increasingly been targeted in the violence. Gunmen kidnapped two lawmakers in the western suburbs of Tripoli a week ago and on Friday armed men abducted Abdel-Moaz Banoun, a well-known Libyan political activist in Tripoli, according to his father.

    An umbrella group for Islamist militias, called the Operation Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, said in a brief statement on its Facebook page on Friday that “troops arrested Abdel-Moaz over allegations that he served under Gaddafi” and “instigated rallies against” the Islamists.





     


  9. The US embassy in Tripoli staged a dramatic evacuation in the early hours of Saturday, with other embassies debating whether to follow suit as Libya hovers on the brink of full-scale war. Efforts by diplomats and prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni to engineer a last-minute ceasefire between warring militias have collapsed and the capital echoes to the sound of artillery and rockets.

    Fighting is also continuing in the eastern city of Benghazi, part of a nation-wide struggle between an Islamist-led alliance and fragmented opposition.

    In Tripoli, thousands are fleeing their homes under a rain of rocket, tank and mortar fire. “They phoned us to tell us to get out,” said Huda, a resident in the south-western Tripoli district of Seraj. “They told us: you have seen how the airport looks, this will be your district too.”

    There are no accurate casualty figures because different militias take their wounded to their own hospitals, but estimates claim that more than 100 have died in two weeks of fighting. The health ministry said it had lost contact with its hospitals.

    Tripoli’s airport is a smashed ruin after two weeks of attacks on it by a militia from Misrata against another from Zintan, which has held it since the 2011 Arab spring uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. In that uprising, Misrata, 120 miles west of Tripoli and Zintan, 90 miles south, were allies, forming the two most powerful militias which liberated the capital, backed by Nato bombing. Now they are at war.

    Misratan brigades are determined to capture the airport, a valuable strategic asset. But the bombardment has reduced much of it to rubble. The main building is wrecked, the control tower holed and on the scorched tarmac are the remains of 21 planes – much of Libya’s small commercial fleet. Three volunteer pilots flew surviving jets to Malta last week.

    They may not be back for a long time. International authorities have ordered Libyan airspace to be closed on Monday and there is a last-minute scramble by foreigners and Libyans to get out. Many are streaming towards the Tunisian border crossing, with Egypt having already closed its own frontier after 21 of its border guards were killed in an ambush.

    The US embassy found itself in the middle of the battle, its position close to the airport road marking the frontline between the two sides. For two weeks its staff hunkered down in concrete bunkers, protected by 90 heavily armed marines. Two rockets landed outside the walls, but the embassy compound itself took no hits. Each night drones and an Orion surveillance aircraft flew low over the city.

    Ambassador Deborah Jones tweeted that there were no armed drones. But armed jets linger off the coast, with an aircraft carrier stationedover the horizon and back-up Marines deployed in Sicily.

    On Friday, after consultations with Washington, the order was given to pull out. Through the early hours, the sky echoed with the sounds of planes leaving. Memories are still fresh of the fate of the last ambassador, Chris Stevens, who died along with three staff when the US consulate in Benghazi was stormed by a militia two years ago. London has said nonessential staff have been evacuated and a final decision is expected to be taken by EU embassies on whether to evacuate over the next few days.

    The Americans leave a city on edge. Petrol shortages have left the streets mostly empty, but on Friday night thousands gathered for a peace rally in the central Algiers Square. Amid elegant Italian-era buildings and palm trees, they chanted “Libya Hoara!” (Libya Free!) and called for all sides to stop fighting.

    "This is not what I fought the revolution for," said Mohammed, a student who joined the rebels during the 2011 uprising. "We fought for peace, and instead we get this."

    In truth, the fighting never went away. The former general national congress, instead of disarming the revolutionary militias funded them and gave them official status. In June a new parliament, the House of Representatives, was elected and is due to start work next month in Benghazi, triggering a jostling for position among the militias that threatens all-out war.

    "I have been saying it all along: it has to get worse before it gets better," said Sami Zaptia, editor of the Libya Herald newspaper. The question all Libyans are asking is how much worse it will get.





     


  10. In 2009, Tatyana Novikova bought a wooden house near the border between Belarus and Lithuania. She chose the area carefully, she says. It’s next to a lake, untouched by industry and – crucially for the mathematician who worked on contamination models in the aftermath of Chernobyl – unaffected by the fallout from the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

    But six months after she bought her dream home, Belarus announced that a new nuclear power station, financed by Russia, would be built nearby in Ostrovets.

    “I’m completely devastated,” says Novikova, who says the government bypassed official planning regulations, ignored safety concerns and failed to carry out an adequate environmental impact assessment for the plant.

    Her experience with Chernobyl, when radioactive contamination forced around 350,000 people to leave their homes and led to an unknown number of deaths, have left her cautious about nuclear power and distrustful of government safety promises.

    “Another Chernobyl cannot happen,” she says.

    Novikova has appealed to international environmental authorities to try to stop the NPP project, without any success. In the meantime authorities have already started work on construction.

    "The problem is that [Belarusian president Alexander] Lukashenko does not give his citizens a voice," she says.

    In a country which does not tolerate activism or public protest – the annual Chernobyl anniversary marches she organises often end in arrests – Novikova has taken her opposition abroad.

    Tatiana Novikova at the Belarus Free Theatre, June 2014
    Tatiana Novikova at the Belarus Free Theatre, June 2014. Photograph: NS
    She is in London to raise awareness about the issue and hopes to spur the EU to put pressure on Belarus, as the plant would be 60km from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

    A group of Belarusian activists, including the theatre company Belarus Free Theatre, have launched a petition against the power station – and have won support from some high-profile figures:


    The petition cites several problems with the plant:

    Construction was started before design plans were in place, and before a license had been issued
    The design is experimental and has not been properly tested
    An assessment by more that 50 independent experts found gaping holes in the government’s environmental impact assessment
    Novikova says the plans flaunt international regulations; Belarus is a signatory of the Espoo and Aarhus conventions, which specify environmental protections and monitor requirements such as public consultations over construction projects.

    She approached the Aarhus committee in Maastricht in June, asking them to prevent the power plant because Belarus had violated the convention by not obtaining official planning permission. The committee came back to her with bad news; they would only issue what she calls a “caution of a caution” to Belarus, believing the government wouldn’t listen anyway.

    "Lukashenko says [the plant] is important for energy security," she says. "But if technology is so advanced, why not solve [the problem of] nuclear waste? We could improve our energy system by modernising gas plants, or using bioenergy from agriculture."

    Presidential elections next year won’t change anything, she says, although she is hopeful that the conflict in Ukraine might change the politics of the region and ultimately loosen Lukashenko’s power: “We and Ukraine have the same problem – [the Russian president, Vladimir] Putin.”

    The proposed new plant in Belarus will be funded by Russia. Belarus’s official cost estimate is 9.4 billion US dollars, with one third of this to be spent by 2015. Its reactors would be constructed by the Russian company AtomEnergoMash.

    Novikova is critical of the EU for not clamping down on nuclear power in the wake of the Fukishima nuclear disaster of 2011, and points out that some countries are steering away from nuclear energy. “Germany is phasing out of nuclear power; it produced 50% of all electricity generation from more renewable sources last year. The Italians said no in their nuclear referendum.”

    Like many Belarusian activists, Novikova has faced severe harassment. She was detained in her own home in Minsk during anti-nuclear protests. Her elderly mother has received prank calls which the police confirmed came from the KGB. In Russia, she was arrested and jailed for five days for trying to hand in an environmental petition to the Russian embassy.

    She was also was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011, and can’t tell if she was contaminated from radiation exposure from Chernobyl. The WHO says the disaster will cause 50,000 new cases of the cancer among young people living in the worst-affected region. Increased rates of thyroid cancer are also being reported in Japan, post-Fukushima.

    But she refuses to dwell on her own problems: “I’m still alive. Mine is not the worst case of persecution of people.”

    "What should I do? Stop my fight? I lost my health, now I have lost my house," she says. "Why should I run from this problem? I could go to the US or Europe, but it won’t change if I run – maybe I will, if my life will be in danger. Nobody knows. Right now, I have an opportunity to do something."