Al-Jazeera: the Qatar broadcaster at centre of diplomatic crisis

Arab worlds leading TELEVISION channel is utilized to debate today it fears for its future as Saudi Arabia desires it closed down

Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based broadcaster that has actually discovered itself at the centre of the Gulf diplomatic crisis , was released in 1996, and has actually considering that grown to end up being the most-watched TELEVISION channel in the Arab world.

It declares to relay to more than 310m homes in more than 100 nations. The business utilizes more than 3,000 individuals and has a London studio in the Shard. When it sent rough video messages from Osama bin Laden, #peeee

The broadcaster increased to international prominence after the 9/11 attacks in the United States. By this time it had actually currently developed millions of audiences in the Middle East by providing a vibrant rolling news service that audiences had actually not experienced prior to.

When al-Jazeera was released, the then emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani stated reporters would report the news as they see it. Al-Jazeera still declares to have actually been the very first independent news channel in the Arab world.

The launch of an English-language channel in 2006 was part of a significant international growth that has actually resulted in the facility of more than 70 bureaux all over the world.

Al-Jazeera introduced a United States cable television news channel in October 2013, however this showed to be the peak of its development, in the meantime a minimum of.

Al-Jazeera America was closed in 2015 in the middle of diminishing seeing figures and a collection of suits.

The business likewise revealed it was cutting 500 tasks all over the world, with the majority of the layoffs in Qatar. Like other media organisations, al-Jazeera has actually been required to fight versus falling marketing profits. This down pattern in marketing has actually likewise accompanied a fall in the rate of oil, which has actually reduced the worth of gas in Qatar , and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani prospering his dad as the emir.

These aspects appear to have actually made the judgment household more unwilling to continue pumping large resources into al-Jazeera, with Sheikh Tamim choosing a various method to diplomacy from his dads.

Al-Jazeera was applauded for its extensive protection of the Arab spring, which started in 2010, however ever since has actually been criticised by other nations in the area for supporting pro-Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Three al-Jazeera reporters were imprisoned in Egypt in 2015 for reporting on occasions in Cairo.

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5″ june: two weeks after donald trump visits the middle east and throws his weight behind the saudis, riyadh and its regional allies cut diplomatic, economic and transport ties with qatar, alleging links with terrorism

6 june: saudi arabia and the uae order qatar to break all links with the muslim brotherhood, hamas and iran, as the us president appears to take credit for the coordinated action on twitter

7 june: the uae says any person expressing sympathy for qatar could face up to 15 years in prison. trump and kuwait offer to mediate the crisis

8 june: qatar's foreign minister gives a series of defiant interviews, pledging never to 'surrender the independence of our foreign policy'. qatar-based al-jazeera comes under a sustained cyber-attack

9 june: saudi-led coalition imposes sanctions on groups and people accused of having islamist militancy ties many of them qataris or with links to qatar. the turkish president signs legislation that would offer qatar military assistance if necessary


The broadcaster has actually likewise been criticised for describing Islamic State as the state organisation, instead of the Arabic acronym Daesh, and suicide bombers as shaheed, which equates as martyr in English. Al-Jazeera has actually rejected this reveals it supports extremism and stated it is not partisan to any group, ideology or federal government.

Now Saudi Arabia has actually required Qatar shut down the broadcaster as part of a threatening 13-point demand as the cost for raising a two-week trade and diplomatic embargo .

Al-Jazeera has actually condemned the call for its closure as absolutely nothing however an effort to end flexibility of expression in the area, and reduce the right to details.

Journalist organisations around the globe have actually revealed their outrage at the risks to al-Jazeera. In Britain, the National Union of Journalists stated needs versus the broadcaster were outrageous acts to secure down on liberty of expression and the media and promised to raise the problem with the appropriate diplomatic agents in London.

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‘A useful punching bag’: why Hungary’s Viktor Orbn has turned on George Soros

There are worries that the far best might be pushed by a project versus the Hungarian-born American billionaire. Shaun Walker reports from Budapest

I n 1989 the American-Hungarian investor George Soros spent for Viktor Orbn to study in Britain. Twenty years later on, he contributed $1m to Orbns federal government to assist the clean-up after the red sludge ecological catastrophe.

Over the years, the billionaire has actually invested numerous countless dollars funding education and civil society jobs in Hungary , the nation of his birth, through his Open Society Foundations (OSF).

But now Soros has actually ended up being the Hungarian prime ministers No 1 political target.

On signboards throughout Budapest Soros stands implicated of being a political puppet master. Recently, in a relocation viewed as straight targeting Soros, Hungarys parliament passed legislation needing NGOs to state themselves as foreign representatives on their sites and documents if they get moneying from political sources abroad.

How did it get to this?

Soross credibility in Hungary took a specific hit throughout the 2015 migrant crisis, when his advocacy for the gentle treatment for refugees ran up versus Hungarys ultra-conservative federal government, led by Orbn, a rightwing nationalist.

In current months, the disagreement has actually magnified. The prime minister has actually explained the billionaire as somebody who had actually messed up the lives of 10s of countless individuals with currency speculation.

Soros countered with a speech in Brussels this month where he described the Hungarian federal government as a mafia state and stated: He [Orbn] looked for to frame his policies as an individual dispute in between the 2 people and has actually made me the target of his relentless propaganda project.

Orbns representative, Zoltn Kovcs, informed the Guardian that the Brussels speech was a statement of political war on Hungary. Soros-funded organisations, Kovcs stated, were taken part in political advocacy camouflaged as NGO work.

Goran Buldioski, director of the OSFs Budapest-based Europe workplace, stated Soross moneying for Hungary had actually been considerably downsized considering that the nation signed up with the EU in 2004. Much of the previous financing was for advancement and education, with Orbn the recipient of a Soros-funded scholarship to study at the University of Oxford in 1989. Soros likewise established the Central European University, based in Budapest, which has been targeted by Orbns federal government of late.

But Soross structures invested simply $3.6 m in Hungary in 2016, stated Buldioski, a small portion of exactly what the federal government invested in promoting a referendum last October focused on disallowing refugees from the nation.

On his desk at the OSF workplaces in Budapest, Buldioski keeps a copy of a current edition of a popular regional paper, which included a full-page photo of Soros on page 2, accompanied by the caption Outrageous.

A video just recently produced by Orbns judgment Fidesz alliance likewise grumbles and utilizes the outrageous motto that the EU wishes to alter Hungarys difficult migration policy, then states: An organisation moneyed by George Soros is releasing suits versus our homeland in assistance of Brussels.

The video describes the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, partly moneyed by OSF, which supplied totally free legal help to about 3,000 individuals in 2015, consisting of numerous asylum hunters, taking 70 cases to the European court of human rights.

The organisation stated it would not adhere to the brand-new needs to brand name itself a foreign representative, calling the law unconstitutional.

Some federal government critics stated the attacks on Soros were simply an exploitative technique of utilizing popular assistance in the run-up to elections next spring.

Hes a really helpful punching bag, since hes both the outsider and the expert, the meddling immigrant and the Hungarian Jew, stated Heather Grabbe, director of the Open Society European Policy Institute, which is the EU policy arm of the OSF. She included that there were clear antisemitic overtones to the project versus Soros by Fidesz.

Soros was born Gyrgy Schwartz to a household of Hungarian Jews in 1930, however his dad altered their surname to make it more Hungarian. As a young kid in the 1930s, Soros resided in an apartment or condo on Budapests Kossuth tr, the square neglecting the parliament structure, till his household was required to break up and live under presumed identities to leave the Holocaust. He left Hungary in 1947 to study in London, and later on emigrated to the United States, making billions as a financier and hedge fund supervisor.

Hungarys Jewish neighborhood is divided over the concern of whether antisemitism contributes in Orbns complaint with Soros. Adam Schonberger, director of a Jewish organisation that runs the Aurora neighborhood centre in Budapest, stated he thought the federal government project was not antisemitic, however had the prospective to empower others who were.

The Aurora centre was established in 2014 and serves as a type of union of the susceptible, real estate the workplaces of NGOs that deal with Jewish problems, Roma problems, LGBT rights, migrants, substance abuse and homelessness. The profits from an on-site bar and routine performances go to support the running of the area, and the centres preliminary financing came partly from Soros.

Last month, a group of reactionary activists ruined the beyond the structure, spray-painting Stop Operation Soros on the pavement and plastering pictures of his confront with a red cross struck through it on the entrance. Time allowing, we will state hey there once again, stated a short article about the attack published on a reactionary site. The centre attracted authorities, however authorities declared there was absolutely nothing they might do about it.

One of the factors theyre acting more brazenly now is that they have a sense that their time has actually come. Their objective to conserve Hungary has actually ended up being traditional political ideology, stated Schonberger, being in Auroras yard, which becomes a bar at nights.

Buldioski stated: In the past, Soros was criticised by the political fringe, rightwing nationalists and some extreme leftists. Now, the criticism is moving more traditional.

Not simply in Hungary. In Romania, the chairman of the judgment Social Democratic celebration, Liviu Dragnea, stated Soros and his organisations have actually fed evil in the nation; while a Polish MP from the judgment conservative federal government has actually described Soros as the most harmful male on the planet. The United States right has actually likewise participated: in a semi-coherent tirade , radio host and Donald Trump fan Alex Jones declared Soros heads a Jewish mafia.

But while Jones is on the edge of the argument, in Hungary, the anti-Soros discourse has actually ended up being mainstream, feeding into the populist anti-migrant discourse. Andrs Bencsik, editor of the rightwing month-to-month publication Demokrata, explained Soros as an unsafe guy who was destabilising Hungary, most importantly through his mindset to migration. We stated: Thank you quite however we wish to close our doors, and Soros stated: No, I desire you to open evictions.

Benscik, a Fidesz member whose workplace is embellished with swords, daggers and pictures of Hungarian statesmen, recommended darkly that Soros might have some secret strategy to ruin the nation, however had a hard time to describe exactly what this secret conspiracy may be.

Behind his mask there is another individual with an objective, we simply do not know exactly what it is. He has an unique program in his mind, however no one understands exactly what it is, he stated.

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Wanted in China: Beijing courts Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner for visit

Chinese interests of Donald Trumps child and son-in-law enter spotlight once again as Communist celebration looks for to fete prominent White House couple

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have actually been welcomed to China as Beijing works to construct closer ties with the prominent couple inside an irregular White House.

Trump, child of the United States president, and her hubby both have main functions in the White House and the journey is anticipated to happen this year, Bloomberg News reported . The 2 had supper with the inbound United States ambassador to China on Sunday at the Trump Hotel in Washington as he prepared to leave for Beijing.

Chinas President Xi Jinping verbally welcomed Donald Trump and Kushner to check out throughout his check out to the Mar-a-lago resort in April that Kushner assisted strategy. Kushner has actually been entrusted with handling relations with China, amongst a host of other responsibilities consisting of making peace in between Israel and Palestine.

Chinese authorities have actually been rushing to develop closer ties with crucial members of the United States administration after Donald Trumps election triumph shocked lots of in the management. The couples see is not likely to happen prior to October, as senior authorities get ready for a two times a years management reshuffle at a crucial Communist celebration conference.

Ivanka Trump is broadly popular in China where state media frequently lavishes her and her Mandarin-learning child with appreciation.

Earlier this year a video of the 2 going to the Chinese embassy in Washington for lunar brand-new year went viral. Ivanka Trump regularly posts clips of her child singing in Chinese . The Global Times, a state-run tabloid, has actually explained her as balancing [Donald] Trumps severe posture.

But the couple have actually been criticised for their company ties to China , shining a spotlight on possible disputes as the 2 prepare to engage diplomatically with the nation.

Trumps brand name was just recently involved in debate after 3 labor activists were detained for examining working conditions at factories that make her items. Trump has actually remained quiet on the matter, although the United States state department has actually required the detectives release.

In an effort to distance itself from the debate, Trumps brand name formerly stated shoes had actually not been made at one of the factories because March, although internal files seen by the Guardian program orders were slated to be filled through completion of May when the activists were apprehended.

Kushner has actually likewise come under fire for his ties to China. In March a Chinese monetary corporation, Anbang, ditched a $400m financial investment in a structure owned by Kushners property company. The offer broke down after extreme public analysis and criticism from principles and legislators specialists.

Kushners business has actually likewise been knocked for motivating Chinese financial investment in its tasks by utilizing a questionable United States visa program.

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No classrooms, lessons or homework: New Zealand school where children are free to roam

Pupils at Deep Green Bush school invest most of their day outdoors, checking out the countryside, discovering how to fish, trap and hunt possums

Deep amongst the streams and Kauri trees of rural south Auckland, New Zealands latest and most alternative school is in session. The weather condition is great so a bout of fishing remains in order, followed by lunch prepared on an open fire. Research and classes? Forever dismissed.

We are called a school however we look absolutely nothing like any school out there, states Joey Moncarz, co-founder and head instructor at Deep Green Bush School, which remains in term 2 of its inaugural year.

We do not do things like informing kids it is time to compose or find out mathematics. They do it when they are interested in doing it.

Moncarz is an ex-mainstream instructor. After 5, aggravating years in mainstream schools in New Zealand he stopped to discovered Deep Green Bush school, which has a roll of 8, and no class walls, time-out chairs or tests.

Concerned that mainstream schools were not preparing kids for the international issues of the future such as environment modification Moncarz pictured a drastically various sort of education, rooted in the primal abilities of searching, survival and event.

If the weather condition permits, students invest most of their day outdoors, checking out the New Zealand bush, learning how to fish and hunt, trapping possums (which are thought about a bug) and finding out about the plants and animals of their house.

The more conventional school abilities, such as reading, composing and math, are gotten at their own rate, after they start revealing an interest in them. Not, states Moncarz, when the instructor determines it is time to discover.

Joey Joey Moncarz and kids who participate in the Deep Green Bush School in New Zealand. Picture: Deep Green Bush School

We do not have exactly what youd generally think about issue kids, states Moncarz.

Our moms and dads saw their kids were stressed out and dissatisfied in mainstream education and they began questioning; is it regular or ideal for kids to come house stressed out and dissatisfied? Having actually taught in a traditional school, Id state most kids are dissatisfied and stressed out.

Bush school is signed up with the Ministry of Education as an independent school, and for that reason does not need to comply with the basic New Zealand curriculum, although it goes through ministerial oversight.

Loosely influenced by the Sudbury Valley School in the United States, which in turn was influenced by A.S Neills Summerhill school in the UK , considering that introducing in January Moncarz has actually been fielding demands from around New Zealand and abroad to open chapters of Bush School in locations as far afield as China and Europe.

Dr David Berg, a senior speaker in education at the University of Otago, states their is a growing precedent for alternative bush schools worldwide, particularly in Scandinavia, where some kindergarten kids go ice-fishing throughout the school day.

However he states teachers have to beware that kids are provided the full-range of abilities needed to obtain by and discover work in the contemporary world.

Lots of individuals feel there is a detach with nature and the individuals and outdoors worth that and are drawn to it, states Dr Berg.

In a modern-day society to be effective there are a series of abilities to be established and possibly just a few of those can be established outside.

Cathy Wylie Chief Researcher at theNew Zealand Council for Educational Research stated: Deep Green Bush school is an outlier in regards to NZ schools.

Weve definitely had some independent schools established by moms and dads and instructors that have actually drawn motivation from schools like Summerhill, however absolutely nothing that has actually created its program and pedagogy in such a concentrated method around searching and event.

Moncarz firmly insists that the school isn’t really an experiment in education, and is based upon 2 millions years of proof of how moms and dads have actually raised their kids, at one with nature.

We do not wish to be among a kind, we wish to change traditional schools, Moncarz.

We are utilizing the exact same knowledge moms and dads have actually utilized to teach their kids for countless years. Locking kids in a class and requiring them to find out simply triggers a great deal of issues.

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Muslim groups in Germany at odds over planned anti-terrorism march

The Nicht Mit Uns or Not With United States march has actually been prepared as opposition to violence in the name of Islam, however some groups state it stigmatises Muslims

A row has actually broken out amongst organisations representing Muslims in Germany over a peace march to object versus terrorism due to happen at the weekend.

Nicht Mit Uns or Not With United States has actually been arranged by Muslim activists in Cologne to make a stand versus acts of horror and violence performed in the name of Islam .

But a the nations greatest Islamic organisation has stated it would not participate in the presentation which it stated totaled up to a task of regret which remained in threat of splitting German society.

The organisers of the demonstration have actually called Saturdays occasion a Ramadan March of Peace , which they state thousands are anticipated to participate in.

They state they have actually particularly selected Ramadan , the Muslim holy month, due to the fact that of the a great deal of attacks that have actually been performed throughout the world by Islamist terrorists throughout this duration.

Listing a string of attacks from Paris and Brussels to Kabul, Baghdad and Istanbul, organisers Lamya Kaddor, an Islamic scholar and Tarek Mohamad, a Muslim peace activist, have actually contacted demonstrators to send out an effective signal versus violence and horror.

In a perverse way, terrorists have actually consistently picked this time in specific to perform a particularly a great deal of their godawful deeds, they stated.

But DITIB, Germanys greatest umbrella organisation for Muslims, has actually contacted its members to remain at house, cautioning that the march will just cause their more stigmatisation.

Demands for Muslim anti-terrorism presentations fail, a representative stated. They stigmatise Muslims and provide the impression that global terrorism leads back to their mosques and neighborhoods.

The declaration went on to state that Muslims had currently, many times, distanced themselves from acts of violent through typical public declarations, public prayer events and other efforts.

It likewise criticised the organisers for arranging the presentation on the 22nd day of Ramadan, when those observing the spiritual act are prohibited from drinking and consuming in between 3.47 am and 9.55 pm.

Fasting Muslims can not be anticipated to show for hours in the midday sun, DITIB stated.

Saturdays presentation is happening in the city where stress in between Muslim immigrants and non-Muslims increased substantially after mass sex attacks performed throughout 2015/16 New Year events which saw numerous ladies reporting occurrences of molestation and rape by guys who police recognized as being of Arab and North African origin.

Critics of chancellor Angela Merkels open door policy to refugees in the summertime and fall of 2015 have actually blamed the federal government for fear attacks such as on targeting a Christmas market in Berlin last December where 12 individuals were eliminated.

Meanwhile Muslim leaders have actually consistently dealt with claims they have actually cannot effectively deal with the occurrences.

Nicht Mit Uns has the broad assistance of Germanys political mainstream and Muslim interest groups, consisting of the Central Council of Muslims, in addition to Christian groups. Agents of political leaders from the judgment union of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, in addition to from a lot of opposition celebrations, together with authors, stars and tv characters are because of participate.

Kaddor, a book author and chair of the Liberal-Islamic Association who showed up in Germany from Syria with her moms and dads in 1978, stated the timing of the demonstration was intentional after weeks of severe violence that had actually occurred throughout the world.

Manchester was the final stroke, she informed the Klner Stadt-Anzeiger paper , describing the Manchester Arena bomb attack where 23 were eliminated and much more were hurt.

She included: We Muslims wish to come together and form a broad union versus everybody who utilizes violence, especially when they speak in our name.

DITIB stated it would be holding its own efforts of prayers for peace and versus terrorism in its mosques this weekend.

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Growing awareness of colonial past fuels radicalisation, says Czech minister

Lubomr Zaorlek, most likely Social Democrat prospect for prime minister, states in dark speech that the west has 20 years to reach a settlement with Muslim world

An awakening in the Muslim world about the atrocities devoted in the wests colonial past is feeding modern radicalisation of neighborhoods, stated the Czech foreign minister on Wednesday.

In a dark speech that he referred to as hard and harsh, Lubomr Zaorlek, the most likely Social Democrat prospect for prime minister in the October elections, cautioned that the west had about 20 years to reach a settlement with the Muslim world.

Zaorlek was speaking at a Future of Europe Summit in Prague on the exact same day as his celebration fulfilled to choose who must lead it into the elections. It was anticipated to come with an intricate offer where Bohuslav Sobotka , the undesirable prime minister, would not stand, leaving Zaorlek and interior minister Milan Chovanec in joint charge.

Facing a growing electoral difficulty from populist forces, the Social Democrat-led union federal governments action to the migrant concern is most likely to include highly in the project, specifically in the wake of an EU commission judgment today that the Czechs, in addition to Poland and Hungary, are breaching an EU arrangement to take a repaired quota of refugees. Zaorlek stated he would decline the EU choice.

In his speech, Zaorlek stated countries consisting of Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, the Russian empire and its Soviet follower had actually been accountable for the deaths of millions.

He stated the west was dealing with a revolt from within about inequality brought on by globalisation and from without by recently informed masses progressively upset about their fate and their colonial past.

We are dealing with an awakening now. We need to be concentrated on the non-western world, and the freshly excited political masses, Zaorlek stated. Long-suppressed political memories are sustaining a big unexpected and explosive awakening energised by Islamist extremists in the Middle East. He stated the exact same phenomenon might infect Africa and Asia.

His remarks are most likely to anger those who think any recommendation to the wests past can wind up as part reason for extremist violence.

Zaorlek, confessing he was raising hard concerns, indicated a postponed outrage sustained by education and brand-new horizons over massacres equivalent in scale to the Nazi war criminal offenses.

There is a huge propensity to forget numerous things of our history, Zaorlek stated. In India, from the 2nd half of the 19th century , the British are believed of eliminating approximately 1 million civilians in reprisals originating from the Indian uprising of 1857. The British East India Companys usage of Indian farming to grow opium then basically impose it on China led to the sudden deaths of millions.

He continued: In the Congo, 10 or 15 million were eliminated from completion of the 19th and start of the 20th century. In Vietnam, current quotes recommend that in between 1 to 3 million civilians were eliminated in between 1952 and 1975.

In the Muslim world, in the Russian Caucasus from 1864-67, 90% of the regional population were by force turned and in between 300,000 and 1.5 million [individuals] either starved to death, or were eliminated. In Indonesia in the 19th century, the Dutch occupiers eliminated an approximated 300,000 civilians.

He stated that through the Algerian war of the 1950s, France had actually brutalised 1.5 million individuals, almost half of the population. In neighbouring Libya, he stated, an approximated half a million passed away in between 1927 and 1935, partially due to Italian detention camps.

He included a million civilians had actually passed away in Afghanistan throughout the Soviet intrusion. An additional 160,00 civilians had actually been eliminated in the Iraq civil war at the hands of the United States and its allies in the previous 13 years.

Zaorlek stated that simply as stunning as the scale of these atrocities is how rapidly the west ignores them, including it was needed to remember these figures when the west wishes to discuss radicalisation and how is it possible we are dealing with a lot hatred and violence.

The only response lay in consistent efforts to co-operate with Muslim nations, he stated, including the next 20 years represents the last possibility for the more standard positionings with which we have actually grown comfy.

In the remainder of the century, he stated, the west will deal with a fight for survival mainly due to the difficulty of environment modification.

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Satellite Eye on Earth: May 2017 in pictures

Vesuvius in Italy and volcanoes in northern Tanzania, lights going out in Syria, and flooding in Sri Lanka are among images captured by Nasa and the ESA this month

A vertical view of Vesuvius in southern Italy, taken by the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the International Space Station. The Proxima mission is named after the closest star to the sun, continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations. The mission is part of the ESAs plan to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work while preparing for future voyages of exploration further into the solar system.

Photograph: OLI/Landsat 8/Nasa

The next time you are out at sea, keep an eye out for long filaments of foam and debris floating on the surface. This common phenomenon usually the product of natural decomposition processes and wind is seen on Garabogazkl, a shallow, salty lagoon near the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. In most cases, foam is the product of decaying aquatic plants, algae, phytoplankton, or other microorganisms. The decomposition process releases oils and other substances called surfactants that rise up and reduce the surface tension of the water, making it easier for bubbles to form in windy conditions. (In addition to these natural sources, detergents and other manmade pollutants can act as surfactants.) In the case of Garabogazkl, the white lines are likely the intersections of warmer and cooler waters. When two surface currents bump into each other, they dive.

Photograph: ISS/Nasa/ESA

Mount Silla also referred to as Cerro de la Silla or Saddle Hill is an iconic landscape feature of the Monterrey, the capital of the Mexican state of Nuevo Len. When viewed from the west, the ridges and peaks resemble a saddle. Mount Silla has been declared a natural monument under the guidelines of the World Commission on Protected Areas. The Monterrey metropolitan area sits 1,300 meters (4,200 feet) below the steep, forested flanks of the mountain. Monterrey straddles several large rivers flowing out of the mountains. The Santa Catarina river cuts through the older parts of the city (such as Monterrey Antiguo). Major highways follow the river to the nearby cities of Guadalupe, San Pedro Garza, and Santa Catarina. Rio La Silla (Saddle river) flows from the northern Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range and joins the Santa Catarina just outside the top left corner of the image. The semi-arid climate keeps these rivers dry for much of the year. Nuevo Len state is home to the third largest economy in Mexico thanks to Monterreys extensive manufacturing facilities and infrastructure.

Mount Silla, Mexico

Flooding along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers. At the time, the Mississippi was transitioning from moderate to minor flood stage. For comparison, the first image shows the three rivers a year earlier.

Photograph: OLI/Landsat 8/Nasa

Not many people venture near the shores of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania. The lake is mostly inhospitable, except for a few species adapted to its warm, salty, and alkaline water. The lake is seen here very early in the rainy season that runs from March to May. The climate here is arid. In a non-El Nio year, the lake receives less than 500mm (20in) of rain. Evaporation usually exceeds that amount, so the lake relies on other sources such as the Ewaso Ngiro river at the north end to maintain a supply of water through the dry season.

But it is the regions volcanism that leads to the lakes unusual chemistry. Volcanoes, such as Ol Doinyo Lengai (about 20km to the south), produce molten mixtures of sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate salts. The mixture moves through the ground via a system of faults and wells up in more than 20 hot springs that ultimately empty into the lake. While the environment is too harsh for most common types of life, there are some species that take advantage of it. Small, salty pools of water can fill with blooms of haloarchaea salt-loving microorganisms that impart the pink and red colours to the shallow water. And when the waters recede during the dry season, flamingos favour the area as a nesting site as it is mostly protected from predators by the perennial moat-like channels and pools of water.

Photograph: ISS/Nasa/ESA

Drainage patterns are visible on the south-western end of the Gobi desert in Chinas Gansu province. The desert landscape part of the Hexi corridor along the historical Silk Road is low in elevation, generally flat, and surrounded by mountains and rolling hills. The foothills of the Tien Shan mountains lie to the north. As temperatures warm in the spring, snow melt from the higher elevations flows down into streams, forming narrow alluvial fans. The water carries sand, silt, and clay that accumulate at the mouths of the streams. These sediments are then available for further transport by larger valley rivers such as the Shule. The grid pattern superimposed on the basin is part of the Gansu wind farm project. Narrow roads mark the paths between dozens of wind turbines. Currently China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the wind farms are part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions and to harness cleaner energy. Several small towns skirt the Shule river, diverting water for cultivation of wool, tobacco, and a variety of grain and fruit crops.

Photograph: VIIRS/Suomi NPP/Nasa

Phytoplankton blooms in the waters around Britain and France. Increasing sunlight in the spring provides the energy for the floating, microscopic plant-like organisms to bloom in vast numbers.

night-time lighting between 2012 and 2016 in Syria and Iraq

These images show differences in night-time lighting between 2012 and 2016 in Syria and Iraq, among several Middle Eastern countries. Such images can indicate economic development or the lack of it. Some changes reflect increases or decreases in electric power generation or in the steadiness of the supply.

Night light images also have value for international relief and humanitarian organisations, which can use this data to pinpoint areas in need. Nasa makes its Earth observations openly available to those seeking solutions to important global issues.

In the above images, the changes are most dramatic around Aleppo, but also extend through western Syria to Damascus. Over the four years, lighting increased in areas north of the Syrian border in Turkey and to the west in Lebanon. According to a 2015 report from the Voice of America, as much as 80 percent of the lights have gone out in Syria over the past few years.

In Iraq, some northern sections near Mosul saw a decrease in light, while areas around Baghdad, Irbil, and Kirkuk saw increases. Note, too, the change in electric light patterns along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins.

Photograph: Modis/Terra/Nasa

By late autumn the temperatures in southern South America begin to turn chilly and grasses develop the first traces of the brown colouration of senescence as they start to wilt and dry. It is also the time when precipitation increases as the season heads into winter. A broad bank of open-celled marine cumulus clouds covers the South Pacific. Thick clouds also hang over the Andes, obscuring all of Chile (along the west coast) and much of western Argentina. Smaller clumps of cloud are scattered across the semi-desert of Argentina some reaching over the Argentine Sea.

Photograph: Proba-V/Vito/ESA

Mokpo is a city of 250,000 inhabitants in the south-west of South Korea. It is a main gate to the countrys largest granary at the Honam plain and was a naval base during the Joseon dynasty (13921910). The port city is surrounded outside the coast by more than 1,400 islands, which provide fishing grounds and also protect the area from large typhoon and tsunami impacts. Mokpo lies in the bottom right of the image, a blue-grey area located at the Yeonsang river estuary. Scattered smaller and larger islands lie off the coast, while an extensive area with large sediment concentrations extends further into the Yellow Sea in a bow shape.

Arctic Nares strait

The Arctic is largely hemmed in by the northern edges of Eurasia and North America. As a result, pieces of drifting pack ice have few outlets for escape when sea ice is thinning and breaking up in the spring and summer.

The primary passageway out of the Arctic is the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard. However, a narrower waterway to the west the Nares Strait, which separates Greenland and Ellesmere Island is also important. The amount of ice flowing through the Nares Strait in 2017 will likely be higher than usual. A key arch of pack ice that blocks other pieces of ice from entering the strait has broken apart earlier than usual. Typically, ice arches form between Ellesmere Island and Greenland in January and break down in early July. In 2017, sensors on Nasa satellites observed a key arch breaking down in mid-May. By May 12, large pieces of sea ice had begun to break into slivers and move into the strait. By May 17, even more pack ice north of the arch had broken up.

That is not good news because an unusually warm winter means that the overall extent of Arctic sea ice between January and May 2017 had already shrunk well below the 1981-2010 median.

Early breaks of ice arches have happened in this area before. In 2007, unusually warm winter weather prevented this ice arch from forming at all. That doubled the amount of ice that flowed through the strait that year compared to the average, according to an analysis of satellite data led by Ronald Kwok of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While that doubling was significant, the total flow of ice through the Nares Strait that year was still just 10% of what regularly passes through the larger Fram Strait.

Photograph: ISS/Nasa/ESA

The straight line in the centre of the image is the Corinth canal as it crosses a narrow isthmus between mainland Greece (right) and the Peloponnese peninsula. The towns of Corinth and Isthmia stand near the west and east ends. A highway crosses the canal and connects Athens to the Peloponnese. Twenty-six hundred years ago, the ruler of Corinth Periander proposed digging a canal to connect the Mediterranean (via the Gulf of Corinth) to the Aegean (via the Saronic Gulf). The goal was to save ships from the dangerous 700km voyage around the ragged coastline of the peninsula. But the canal was still too ambitious a digging project and construction was not started.

Not Julius Caesar, nor the Roman emperors Caligula or Nero, were able to complete their plans for this ambitious project. The Venetians laid plans to dig the canal in the late 1600s but they never started it. In lieu of a water passage, boats have been hauled overland for centuries on a portage created by Periander. It runs roughly along the line of the modern canal. Construction of the modern Corinth canal which is 6.4km long (4 miles) was started in 1882 and completed by 1893. The canal is narrow (only 21.3 metres), making many ships too wide for it. Landslides from the steep walls have occasionally blocked the canal, while channeled winds and tides can also make navigation difficult.

Photograph: Modis/Aqua/Nasa

With the onset of spring and warmer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, sea ice is thinning and breaking up along Canadas Labrador coast. On 13 May 2017, a combination of winds and currents steered the ice into the interlocking swirls.

Flooding in Sri lanka May 2017

Torrential rains caused severe flooding in Sri Lanka in late May 2017. After more than 48 hours of non-stop rain, water levels rose rapidly in the countrys south, spurring emergency evacuations in multiple districts. An earlier image taken in January 2017, shows the same area before the waters rose.

Matara was among the hardest hit towns. Low-lying areas around the Nilwala Ganga river (in blue) have also been submerged. In many areas, flooding has contaminated wells and tainted water supplies. Sri Lankas disaster management centre reported that more than half a million people have been affected by the flooding.

Photograph: Copernicus Sentinel-2A/ESA

A seasonal salt marsh known as the Rann of Kutch in western India is one of the largest salt deserts in the world. During the summer monsoon season the area fills with water and in the drier winter, the vast whi

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