Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago

By Zach Dubinsky and Dave Seglins,

May 18, 2012

Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago, including five senior officers, one of them the commander who gave the notorious order to “kettle” protesters.

A copy of an investigative report carrying the logo of the provincial watchdog agency, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, was provided to CBC News late Thursday night by one of the 37 people who filed complaints about their treatment during the kettling incident. CBC News was unable to confirm its authenticity with the OIPRD.

The report says some of the responsibility for detaining several hundred people for four hours in the rain goes all the way to the top, to Toronto police Chief Bill Blair and Deputy Chief Tony Warr, though it falls short of mandating charges against them.

But the report says operational responsibility lies with Supt. Mark Fenton, one of two Toronto officers who served as “incident commanders” during the G20 and had control of officers in streets. He is expected to face two charges.

Fenton’s order to keep the group of protesters, bystanders and even some journalists boxed in at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue “in a severe rain storm that included thunder and lightning was unreasonable, unnecessary and unlawful,” according to the document. It violated the detainees’ constitutional right against arbitrary detention and was negligent, the 276-page report says.

The commander’s explanation to investigators for his decision was that he feared police riot squads weren’t mobile enough to react to “ongoing attacks” by what he saw as “terrorists” committing acts of vandalism in Toronto’s streets. “Therefore, the tactic of isolating, containing the movement of the terrorists/protesters was required to stop the ongoing attacks and prevent new attacks,” the report quotes Fenton saying.

The report indicates the OIPRD is directing Blair to charge Fenton with two counts of misconduct under the Police Services Act: unlawful exercise of authority and discreditable conduct.

The charges under the Police Services Act are not criminal and amount to internal discipline, which can result in docking of pay to outright dismissal. None of the out-of-town police officers brought in to help Toronto police was charged.

The watchdog agency investigated nine other officers’ conduct in relation to the June 27, 2010, kettling incident, but charges were not substantiated against any of them.

The OIPRD tabled a separate public report on the G20 released Wednesday that concluded a “turning point’ during the summit weekend came late Saturday, June 26, when Warr implored Fenton to “take back the streets.”

OIPRD director Gerry McNeilly says that following those instructions the Major Incident Command Centre (MICC) structure broke down, as the night incident commander (Fenton) launched an “autocratic” and “dysfunctional” crackdown ordering mass arrests of protesters.

Some front-line officers, according to McNeilly, ultimately disregarded Fenton’s orders at the kettling and let some people out of the ring of riot squad officers, including those with medical emergencies. He noted records of one officer stating of Fenton, “He’s maniacal this MICC, he’s maniacal.”

Fenton could not be reached for comment and did not respond to emails from CBC News on Thursday night. He has not had an opportunity to respond to the report or the expected disciplinary charges against him.

45 police expected to face charges

Three or four of Fenton’s fellow senior officers, and about 40 other Toronto police, are also expected to face charges by the time the oversight body wraps up its investigation of G20 policing.

CBC News has learned that to date the OIPRD has ordered Blair to charge 28 of those officers, but the agency is expected to direct him to lay more counts against another 17, including Fenton, bringing the total number of officers facing discipline hearings to 45.

The Toronto Star reported early Friday that two of those senior officers found to have committed misconduct are the pair who were in command of the mass detention centre on Eastern Avenue, where hundreds of arrested people were held during the G20 weekend.

Some details of the OIPRD proceedings surfaced this week at Ontario’s Divisional Court when Toronto’s police union attempted to have the cases dismissed due to delays. A panel of three judges rejected the application brought by the union on behalf of eight officers — two accused of using unnecessary force on prisoners and six accused of conducting illegal arrests. They are now expected to appear before tribunals on June 19 and July 24.

The news of the disciplinary charges comes on the heels of the release on Wednesday of the OIPRD’s scathing systemic review of overall policing of the G20 summit, during which the agency says some officers used “excessive force” to crack down on demonstrations as more than 1,100 people were rounded up in the streets.

When he released his review, McNeilly told reporters that his team of investigators was also probing allegations against specific officers. He said 350 individuals filed complaints relating to G20 policing, and his office substantiated 107 of them, determining 97 were “serious.”

An OIPRD spokesman later explained that some of the complaints involved the same incidents and the same officers.

Criminal charges

The OIPRD proceedings against individual officers add to numerous disciplinary charges already laid by Blair on his own initiative against officers caught removing their name tags during G20 demonstrations.

In addition, criminal charges were laid against two Toronto constables by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which probes serious injuries or deaths involving police.

The SIU charged Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani with assault with a weapon in connection with an incident at Queen’s Park in which protester Adam Nobody suffered a broken cheekbone in a violent takedown captured on video. He faces a second count of assault with a weapon stemming from another incident at the same protest in which a woman was hit with a baton.

And Const. Glenn Weddell stands accused of assault causing bodily harm after 30-year-old Dorian Barton’s arm was broken while he was photographing police during a protest. Source

Kettling incident was caught on video:

G20 charges coming against Toronto police commanders

By Dave Seglins,

May 17, 2012

A handful of senior Toronto police commanders are expected to be charged in coming weeks for a variety of misconduct offences over their leadership at the G20 summit in June 2010, CBC News has learned.

The charges are in addition to 28 frontline officers slated to have disciplinary hearings for a range of misconduct offences, including unlawful arrests and use of excessive or unnecessary force against prisoners.

The details of charges come on the heels of a report released yesterday by Ontario’s top civilian complaints watchdog Gerry McNeilly, head of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

He concluded in a “systemic review” of the G20 in Toronto that police leaders were poorly prepared and launched a crackdown that led to illegal mass arrests, arbitrary searches and unlawful detentions of more than 1,000 largely peaceful protesters and bystanders.

“Mr. McNeilly is recommending charges to be laid against about a half dozen senior officers,” confirmed Toronto Police Services board chair Alok Mukherjee in an interview with CBC News on Thursday.

Mukherjee said those who face misconduct hearings include “people who were in decision-making roles … that go pretty high in the organization. He has identified some people who are at very senior ranks.”

Toronto’s police union this week was in an Ontario court attempting to have all G20 disciplinary charges against officers thrown out due to lengthy delays.

But a panel of Ontario Divisional Court judges ruled against the union, clearing the way for disciplinary hearings to proceed in the coming months against 28 officers that could result in exonerations or punishments ranging from docking of officers’ pay to outright dismissal.

Until now, no details of specific charges against the officers have been released, however court documents reveal specific allegations against eight officers who have already been served with “notices of hearing.”

Those officers have not had a chance to defend themselves, but the charges against them are as follows:

  • Const. Vincent Wong Unlawful arrest of “J.W.” (Sunday, June 27, 10 a.m. at Yonge Street and Gerrard Avenue).
  • Const. Blair Begbie Unlawful arrest of “J.W.” (June 27, 10 a.m. at Yonge Street and Gerrard Avenue).
  • Const. Alan Li Unlawful arrest of “A.S.” (June 27, 4 p.m., Bloor Street West and Huron Street).
  • Const. Donald Stratton Unlawful arrest of “A.S.” (June 27, Bloor Street West and Huron Street).
  • Const. Michael Kirpoff Unnecessary force on prisoner “J.M.” (June 27, Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue).
  • Const. Ryan Simpson Unlawful arrest of cyclist “N.W.” (June 27, Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue).
  • Const. Jason Crawford Unlawful arrest of “N.W.” (June 27).
  • Const. Michael Martinez Unnecessary force on prisoner “J.R.” (Saturday, June 26, Novotel Hotel).

As a result of the disciplinary hearing, the officers could face penalties ranging from docked pay to dismissal. The officers could also be exonerated.

Toronto police spokesman Kevin Masterman told CBC News all of the officers facing misconduct charges remain on the job and are not suspended.

Constables Begbie and Wong will appear before a hearing on July 24. The rest of the officers have a hearing scheduled for July 19. Source

Into The Fire – Press For Truth – G20 Toronto Full Movie

This is a must watch film if you are to understand what happened at the G20.

Caught In The Act – Ombudsman Report on the G20 Summit

News Conference. December 7, 2010

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The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland

Added updates for Sunday April 18 2010 at the bottom. Also there are  useful links for air travelers and train travelers.

Volcano Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull Iceland  April 14 2010:  Photo taken by a man named Ólafur Eggertsson from the farm Þorvaldseyri.

April 14, 2010 — The 2nd Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in south Iceland for year 2010. It started on 14.04.2010. GPS coordinates of the eruption: 63.629° N, 19.630° W. Video by Icelandic National TV stations RÚV and Stöð 2. Music by Jonn Serrie, The Legacy, Spirit Keepers. Date: 14.04.2010.

March 21, 2010 — Video made by the Icelandic coast guard of the volcano eruption near Eyjafjallajökull glacier, in South Iceland. The eruption started shortly before midnight on Saturday 20th of March 2010.

Ash from Iceland Volcano Will Spread Widely
April 15 2010

According to meteorologist Thorsteinn Jónsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the ash emitted from the volcano in Eyjafjallajökull in south Iceland will continue to drift across Europe and spread to many countries in the next 24 hours.

Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Benelux countries and even Poland will be subject to ash fall in the next 24 hours, Jónsson told ruv.is. He finds it likely that the eruption will continue at the same force and that ash can spread as widely as across the entire northern hemisphere.

In Iceland the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has caused extensive ash fall in the regions east of the glacier today. The situation was worst in the eastern Mýrdalssandur sand plain and in the Medalland and Álftaver districts in Skaftártungur. Ash fall was also reported in Kirkjubaejarklaustur and as far as Höfn.

Tomorrow wind is forecast to blow in from the north and then ash is expected to spread over the districts south of Eyjafjallajökull and to the Westman Islands. Forecasts also assume that ash will continue to drift with upper atmosphere winds in the coming days.

Airports have been closed in Scandinavia and the British Isles today and millions of travelers are stranded.

The British media has stated that never before in peace times has aviation been brought to such a standstill in the UK—after the 2001 terrorist attacks there were still flights to a few destinations while the current ash fall is causing an absolute flying ban.

Ash can prove extremely hazardous to airplane engines. Grains that are carried into the engines can destroy the motors in a matter of minutes. Source

Volcanic ash cloud causing fear among Icelandic farmers

There has not been as much volcanic ash falling in Iceland since the Katla eruption of 1918 and that eruption caused many farmers’ entire stock of animals to die.

April 15 2010

Vilhjalmur Eyjolfsson from the farm Hnausi to the east of Eyjafjallajokull told RUV the ash cloud is darkening the sky and the ash is still falling. He says he has never seen anything like it. If the situation lasts long, he fears there could be trouble with regard to putting his animals out to graze, as they must be protected from eating or drinking volcanic ash at all costs.

Eyjolfsson said his farm experienced ash falls from the Grimsvotn eruption in 1934, but today is much worse. All farm animals in the Medallandi area died when Katla erupted in 1918 and Eyjolfsson says people took many years to get over it.

In other news: work has begun to repair the deliberate damage done to the Route 1 highway yesterday. The digging up of the road appears to have helped the surging flood waters on their way, meaning that bridges have not been damaged. The flood of meltwater caused by the volcano has now subsided significantly. Source

Information on Ash Fall

April 15 2010

There is considerable ash fall resulting from the volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The ash that is falling is composed of both fine and course particles. The wind direction and other meteorological conditions have an impact on where the ash falls to earth.

An examination of the ash particles is in progress but it is known that the ash originated from the volcano and so it can contain the chemical Florine, which is a pollutant and can have harmful short term and long term effects for grazing animals.

Volcanic ash can also effect humans. The most common effects are:

Respiratory effects:
Common short-term symptoms include:
Nasal irritation and discharge (runny nose).
Throat irritation and sore throat, sometimes accompanied by dry coughing.
Breathing becomes uncomfortable.
People with pre-existing chest complaints may develop severe bronchitis symptoms which last some days beyond exposure to ash (for example, hacking cough, production of sputum, wheezing, or shortness of breath).
Airway irritation for people with asthma or bronchitis; common complaints of people with asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
Eye irritation is a common health effect as pieces of grit can cause painful scratches in the front of the eye and conjunctivitis. Contact lens wearers need to be especially ware of this problem.

Eye symptoms:
Common short-term symptoms include:
Eyes feeling as though there are foreign particles in them.
Eyes becoming painful, itchy or bloodshot. Sticky discharge or tearing
Corneal abrasions or scratches.
Acute conjunctivitis or inflammation due to the presence of ash, which leads to redness, burning of the eyes, and photosensitivity.

What to do to protect yourself against volcanic ash,
Use a mask when outside, and it is also recommended to wear protective clothing.
If a mask is not available the use a cloth over the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of larger particles.
Use protective goggles.
Children and adult with respiratory problems should remain indoors.

Source

More photo’s of Volcanic eruption posted on Flickr

Huge ash plume blanketing Europe may last 5 more days

The unprecedented closure of airspace across Britain and large parts of Northern Europe is set to continue into the weekend, after a volcanic eruption in Iceland sent a massive plume of ash into the atmosphere.

The giant plume also shut airspace in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, France and Ireland yesterday.

Dutch airspace closed due to volcanic ash from Iceland

Danish airspace shuts down

More Airports could be affected depending on how far the Fall of ash travels.

Norway, Sweden and Finland are also among European countries that have also been hit.

It is amazing how the ash can travel so far in just one day.  It goes with the wind.

As I was looking at this map it occurred to me Radiation from Nuclear Bombs and DU can travel even farther  as it is lighter, but invisible to the eye.

Something to think about.
Update  April 15 2010
(Reuters) – A volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has thrown up a 6-km (3.7 mile) high plume of ash and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, has grown more intense, an expert said on Thursday.

The eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier continued to spew large amounts of ash and smoke into the air and showed no signs of abating after 40 hours of activity, said Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland.

“The seismographs are showing that since this morning the intensity of the eruption seems to be growing,” he said.

Hot fumes had melted up to a third of the glacial ice covering the crater, causing a nearby river to burst its banks, and frequent explosions on the floor of the crater sounded like bombs going off, he said.

The floods were abating, however, and some of those living in the sparsely populated area near the volcano had returned to their homes.

Another scientist said the eruption was 10 times more powerful than one which occurred last month on the flank of the volcano, though the two were part of the same event.

To the east of the volcano, thousands of hectares of land are covered by a thick layer of ash while a cloud blotted out the sun in some areas along the southern coast of Iceland, local media reported.

The cloud of ash from the eruption has hit air travel all over northern Europe, with flights grounded or diverted due to the risk of engine damage from sucking in particles of ash from the volcanic cloud.

CLOSE WATCH

Scientists picked up the first signs of increased seismic activity at Eyjafjallajokull last summer and had been expecting an eruption at any moment, Einarsson said.

The eruption began in March but subsided earlier this week when a magma conduit became blocked, building up pressure which finally escaped through the volcano’s main crater.

Einarsson, who described the eruption as “reasonably powerful,” said it was the most significant volcanic event in Iceland since a huge eruption in 1996, when an eruption under the Grimsvotn lakes led to widespread flooding.

He said scientists were still concerned the ongoing eruption could trigger Mt Katla, a more powerful volcano nearby covered by a thicker ice sheet, but had not picked up any clear signs of brewing activity.

The volcano under the Ejfjallajokull glacier, Iceland’s fifth largest glacier, has erupted five times since Iceland was settled in the ninth century.

Iceland sits on a volcanic hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has relatively frequent eruptions, although most occur in sparsely populated areas and pose little danger to people or property. Before March, the last eruption took place in 2004.

(Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson; writing by Nicholas Vinocur; editing by Robert Woodward) Source

Warning. I was just checking for updates and noticed.

Some News articles are saying that the Falling Ash/particles or whatever you want to call it, will not affect your health. That is not true. It most certainly can harm your health. If the ash is falling stay indoors if possible or wear a mask, especially those with respiratory aliments like Asthma.

Point of interest

If the closures continue for up to three days, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) estimates some 6 million passengers will be affected – probably forfeiting their flights; as an Act of God, the volcano’s impact nullifies insurance claims for canceled flights. Source

My Advice become an Atheist real quick. Don’t let them rip you off. Act of God my foot. That is just a line they use to  rip people off. They can’t prove God did it. Nobody can.

Update Friday April 16 2010

Ryanair halts flights till Monday

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary tonight announced blanket weekend flight cancellations over safety fears for planes flying in northern Europe.

The budget carrier’s chief said all services to and from the UK and Ireland and about a dozen other regions have been grounded until 1pm on Monday.

Mr O’Leary apologised to customers but said he was acting on advice that stable weather was continuing to push potentially dangerous volcanic ash over the region.

Spectacular pictures taken from a helicopter at sunset on April 14, 2010 show how ash from an Icelandic volcano is severely disrupting travel plans for British air passengers. Photo MARCO FULLE / BARCROFT MEDIA LTD

For the Entire Story and more photo’s go HERE

Some 17,000 flights in European airspace are likely to be cancelled Friday due to the dangers posed by a volcanic ash cloud spreading from Iceland, with experts warning that the disruption could continue into the weekend.

Although some Scottish and Scandinavian airports are likely to resume limited flights Friday, a ban on flights still covers most UK airspace and much of Northern Europe.

Eurostar has also confirmed that it has no availability for trains on Friday, April 16.

More information:

Useful  Links Compliments of the UK Independent

Flightstats
Flightstats tracks aviation delays worldwide, showing the current status of individual airports and flights.
http://www.flightstats.com

Updates on British air space
NATS controls all air traffic over the British Isles and the eastern North Atlantic and has provided regular updates on its website.
http://www.nats.co.uk/

Updates on mainland European air space
Eurocontrol is responsible for air traffic across mainland European airspace and has provided regular updates on its website and on Twitter.
http://www.eurocontrol.int
http://twitter.com/eurocontrol

Updates from main airport operators

BAA (responsible for London Heathrow airport) http://www.baa.com/

Aeroports de Paris (responsible for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport) http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr

Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt/Main airport) http://www.frankfurt-airport.com

Berliner Flughafen (responsible for Berlin’s Tegel airport) http://www.berlin-airport.de

Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport) http://www.schiphol.nl/

Crowd sourced updates

The Twitter “ashtag” is being used by major airlines and airport operators to provide micro blogging updates:

http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23ashtag

Train updates

Eurostar operates trains between the UK and mainland Europe http://www.eurostar.com/

General update on the volcanic eruption

By IceNews

April 16 2010

Passengers flying to or from Iceland are advised to follow updated travel information on http://www.kefairport.is/English/

The volcanic eruption in the glacier Eyjafjallajokull in South Iceland is continuing but Icelandic civil protection authorities have the situation as regards public response fully under control. The affected areas have been evacuated and damage has been limited to roads, bridges and other infrastructure that has been destroyed by flooding. Further damage to agricultural land is evident.

Day to day business in Iceland apart from the directly affected areas in the south has not been affected. The ash hurled into the atmosphere by the eruption has however caused serious disruption of air traffic. Icelandic scientists and public authorities, the Meterological Institution (http://en.vedur.is/) and the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration (http://www.isavia.is/), remain in close contact with their counterparts in Europe in order to monitor the eruption, the weather conditions and the projected path of the volcanic ash cloud.

Travelling in Iceland – safety first

Foreign visitors in Iceland that have had their flights cancelled are advised to contact their travel agents. Visitors coming to Iceland are encouraged to monitor the news and learn about their rights if the flight is cancelled.

Travelers are also urged to take all necessary general precautions while travelling in Iceland and seek the advise of local authorities.

Air traffic

Ash fall from the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull has affected air traffic in North Europe the last few days and therefore traveling to and from Iceland. People are encouraged to monitor the news and learn about their rights if the flight is canceled.

Source

April 16 2010 Update

All of Europe’s three biggest airports – London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt – were closed by the ash, which is a threat to jet engines and pilot visibility.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control group, said only 11,000 of the daily 28,000 flights in the affected zone would take off Friday. It said at least half of the 600 daily flights between Europe and North America would be cancelled.

About 6,000 flights to and within Europe were canceled Thursday.

Poland, Britain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium and the Netherlands shut down all or most of their airspace.

Finland, France, Germany, Russia and Spain experienced major disruption, although Sweden began gradually reopening airspace and Norway temporarily opened up some of its.

“Forecasts suggest that the cloud of volcanic ash is continuing to move east and southeast and that the impact will continue for at least the next 24 hours,” Eurocontrol said in a statement.

Most aviation authorities promised a review on Friday, but the Dutch transport inspectorate set the uncertain tone: no flights “until further notice”.

The cloud now extends from the Atlantic to the Russian capital and from the Arctic Circle to Austria. Thousands of people were stranded in airports around the world as a global flight backlog built up. Source

The prevailing winds, however, allowed Icelandic airports to remain open.

This impressive picture was taken with a special camera on board the Icelandic coastguard’s TF-SIF research plane. The picture shows three craters in the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. The craters are each 200 to 300 metres wide.  IceNews

This is from the Volcano that erupted in March 20 2010. There are three people walking at the bottom of the picture. This give us an idea of just how huge the volcano is.

The eruption on Fimmvörduháls, which has now come to an end. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Both eruptions are extremely close to each other.

More information at Iceland Review

For more information Volcanic eruption, flooding etc. try this Link it is a google translated version to english.

If that doesn’t work try this  One it is the original and use your own translator. The videos below are under the world “Upptökur” Just in case the translated version  below for the videos  does not wok for you.

Some Videos

The videos below  come up in Windows media player. If you do not have High speed let it run through once, then hit the play again and they usually come up second time around a bit slow but better. If it happens that they don’t come up in English just click on “Horfa” = Watch

Myndir af gjóskufalli Pictures of ash falls
Loftmyndir af gosinu í Eyjafjallajökli Photographs of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull
Magnús Tumi ræðir eldgosið í Eyjafjallajökli Magnús Tumi question eruption of Eyjafjallajökull
Nýtt myndband af öskufalli New video of ash fall
Nýjar myndir af flóðinu New pictures of the flood

Myndir af eldgosinu og flóðinu Photos of the eruption and flood

Update April 10 2010

Videos: Driving Into the Ash Cloud in South Iceland

Watch these videos shot from a car driving into the volcanic ash cloud in south Iceland from Drangshlíd by Skógafoss waterfall towards Skógar. There were 18 kilometers of absolute darkness but on both sides of the ash cloud the sun was shining brightly.

2 Videos below  Shot by by Páll Stefánsson at 1:30 pm on April 17. Copyright: icelandreview.com

Iceland volcano coming to an end?

From IceNews April 17 2010

A University of Iceland geophysicist says there are now clear signs that the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which began erupting on Wednesday, is slowing down. Attention is now turning to the more violent Katla volcano which many fear will erupt next. However, there are no indications that Katla is reawakening at the moment.

AFP reports Sigrun Hreinsdottir, a geophysicist with the University of Iceland, as saying that the lava flow has slowed and that the whole eruption could now slow dramatically as a result.

Hreinsdottir says it appears the lava is flowing from a lava chamber one kilometre deep. She likens the lava chamber to a bursting balloon, adding that nobody knows how much lava is inside in order to accurately predict when the eruption will stop fully.

The pressurised lava always tries to find the easiest way out, she says. That was at Fimmvorduhals in March and is now at the top of Eyjafjallajokull. The build-up of pressure when this eruption finishes will lead eventually to another volcano erupting. History teaches that Katla may well be next, but whether that will be tomorrow, in one year, or never, is impossible to say today. Katla last erupted in 1918.

Click here to see a series of eruption photos, including night time shots where lightning can clearly be seen in the ash cloud. Source

140 mn cubic metres ash spewed from Iceland volcano
April 19 2010

The Iceland’s volcano has spewed about 140 million cubic metres of ash over the past three days, Icelandic scientists have said.

The Institute of Earth Sciences of the University of Iceland estimated that about 100 million cubic meters of ash rose into the air from Eyjafjallajokull volcano and was blown across northern Europe, cancelling thousands of flights. Source

Many flights are still canceled. Some until Tuesday..

Iceland’s farmers try to save herds from toxic ash

April 18 2010

AP Photo – Wearing a mask and glasses against the smoke, dairy farmer Berglind Hilmarsdottir from Nupur, Iceland, looks for cattle lost in ash clouds, Saturday, April 17, 2010. The volcano in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier continued to send ash into the air Sunday.

Berglind Hilmarsdottir, a dairy farmer, teamed up with neighbors Saturday to round up her cattle, some 120 in all, and get them to shelter. In the panic, some of the animals got lost in the fog of ash, and the farmers had to drive around searching for them.

“The risk is of fluoride poisoning if they breathe or eat too much,” Hilmarsdottir said through a white protective mask.

The fluoride in the ash creates acid in the animals’ stomachs, corroding the intestines and causing hemorrhages. It also binds with calcium in the blood stream, and after heavy exposure over a period of days makes bones frail, even causing teeth to crumble.

AP Photo – Farmers team up to rescue cattle from exposure to the toxic volcanic ash at a farm in Nupur, Iceland, as the volcano in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17, 2010.

“The best we can do is put them in the barn, block all the windows and bring them clean food and water as long as the earth is contaminated,” said Hilmarsdottir. For entire story go HERE

Airlines challenge restrictions as 6.8 million passengers affected April 19 2010

The enormous shroud of fine mineral dust particles now stretches from the Arctic Circle in the north to the French Mediterranean coast in the south, and from Spain into Russia.

The cloud is now heading toward Greece and into Russia, weather experts said. For entire story go HERE

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April 4 2010

Military investigator testifies that head of IDF Southern Command instructed bulldozer operator not to cooperate with investigation

Monday, March 22 and Wednesday March 24, 2010 the Haifa District Court saw the fifth and sixth days of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel Corrie, an American human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles.

An Israeli military police investigator, who was part of the team that investigated Rachel’s killing, completed his testimony on March 22. In his testimony he stated that:

  • One commander of the unit involved in the incident interrupted the testimony of the operator of the bulldozer that killed Rachel, telling him that the head of the Southern Command of the Israeli military ordered him to stop talking, not to sign anything and not to cooperate with the investigation. When asked if he considered this an intervention into the interrogation, the investigator testified that he did.
  • The investigator stated not only that he did not visit the site of the killing, but also that the bulldozer involved in the killing was removed from the scene directly after the incident. He testified that the only tool he used in conducting the investigation was taking testimonies of eye-witnesses and soldiers.
  • In his investigation, he did not refer to or read the Israeli military manuals that provided instructions and safety standards for operation of D9 bulldozers. He also failed to question the bulldozer driver about these regulations.
  • Though the camera posted on the border was taping 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the investigator testified that he did not see footage from the camera, nor did he ask to, stating that it was someone else’s responsibility.

Asher Asban, who conducts professional investigations involving safety regulations related to both commercial and military incidents, provided expert testimony for the Corries. He testified that:

  • According to the military’s rules, it was forbidden to operate the D9 bulldozer if there were civilians within a 20 meter radius around it.
  • The driver would have been able to see bright colors such as that of the jacket Rachel was wearing when she was killed.
  • The Israeli military had the ability to purchase cameras from Caterpillar to mount on the bulldozers. Such cameras would provide 360 degrees visibility.

On Wednesday, March 24, Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father, was the final witness to testify. Rather than concentrating on the failure to uphold a court order regarding two conditions under which to perform an autopsy, the State instead focused its line of questioning on passages from emails that Rachel wrote and on the family’s correspondence with the US Embassy and State Department regarding the issue of the autopsy and investigation. Mr. Corrie was also questioned as to whether Rachel was given the status of “shaheedah” (martyr) by the Palestinian Authority, and whether there were any streets named after her in Gaza or Ramallah. He answered that on the March 16th anniversary of Rachel’s death, a street was named for her in Ramallah and that according to his understanding of the word “shaheed,” it is used to describe anyone killed as a result of the occupation.

This portion of the trial with witnesses for the plaintiffs, the Corrie family, ended on March 24. The State has been granted 30 days to submit a list of witnesses and their affidavits. Judge Oded Gershon stated that proceedings will continue in September at the earliest with the next trial date currently set for September 5, 2010.

Source

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