Indonesia: the world’s volcanic hotspot


Indonesia, where more than 40,000 people have been evacuated over fears of an imminent volcanic eruption at Mount Agung on Bali, is the world’s most volcanic area.

The Southeast Asian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and islets — and nearly 130 active volcanoes — is situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

Here are some of the country’s most deadly eruptions:

  • Tambora

In 1815, Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa explodes in one of the most violent eruptions in recorded history. An estimated 12,000 people die, while a resulting famine kills another 80,000.

  • Krakatoa

The island of Krakatoa is practically wiped off the map in 1883 by a volcanic explosion so powerful that it is heard some 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) away.

Around 36,000 people are killed in the eruption and the resulting tsunami. A new volcano emerges in 1928 on the same site.

  • Kelud

Mount Kelud, a Java island volcano, erupts in 1568, killing 10,000 people.

It takes another 5,000 lives in 1919.

In February 2014, 75,000 people are evacuated due to a forecast Kelud eruption.

  • Merapi

In 1930 an eruption in Java of Mount Merapi — considered one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes — kills more than 1,300 people.

It erupts again in 2010, forcing 280,000 people to flee and killing more than 300 in what is considered its most powerful eruption since 1930.

Merapi is also one of the most densely populated volcanic sites: 12,000 people live on its slopes and a million people live under its threat.

  • Sinabung

In 2014, 16 people are killed after an eruption of Mount Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra.

Another eruption in 2016 kills seven.

  • Agung

In 1963, several successive eruptions of Mount Agung, a spiritual centre on the island of Bali, leave nearly 1,600 dead.


New Zealand rugby sweeps world awards

New Zealand's captain Kieran Read (L) leads the team in the

It hasn’t been a vintage year by the All Blacks’ lofty standards but they‚ and New Zealand rugby‚ swept the World Rugby awards in Monte Carlo on Sunday night.

The Black Ferns‚ the New Zealand women’s team‚ made history by becoming the first female team to win the overall ‘Team of the Year’ gong as a reward for winning the 2017 Women’s World Cup in Ireland.

They beat out England men and the All Blacks for the award.

The All Blacks lost two matches in 2017 – once to the British & Irish Lions and one to Australia‚ while they also drew the third Test against the Lions.

It was the first time since 2011 that the All Blacks lost more than one game in a calendar year.

All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett though was named 2017 World Player of the Year‚ retaining the crown he won last year.

Barrett became only the second player to win the prestigious award two years in a row‚ matching the achievement of his former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in 2009-10.

He received the award ahead of four other nominees in All Blacks teammate Rieko Ioane‚ England and British Lions duo Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje and Australia fullback Israel Folau.

Barrett said: “I’m very proud and surprised.

“I wanted to be better than last year and I still think I have plenty more to go.

“The Lions series put us under the most pressure I have probably felt in a black jersey and that’s a credit to the Lions.

“We learnt a lot from that series‚ particularly taking that into the World Cup.

“When I hang the boots up‚ that’s when I can look back and be really proud of this.

“I’ve got to thank my team. I am just one player amongst a great team.”

Blitzbok playmaker Rosko Specman lost out on the World Sevens Player of the Year award to the USA’s Perry Baker.

The American speedster was the Series’ leading try and points-scorer in 2016/17 with 57 tries and 285 points.

England mentor Eddie Jones was named World Coach of the Year after guiding England to nine wins in 10 Tests‚ their only blemish coming against Ireland in the Six Nations.

New Zealand winger Portia Woodman was named the World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year 2017 after helping the Black Ferns win a fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup title in Ireland in August.

She received the award ahead of four other nominees in Black Ferns teammate Kelly Brazier‚ England winger Lydia Thompson and France back-row duo Romane Menager and Safi N’Diaye.

All Black wing Ioane was named World Breakthrough Player of the Year after scoring 10 tries in 11 starts this season.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “It has been an outstanding 2017 for rugby on and off the field and tonight we have recognised and celebrated those who have made it so special.

“From the players‚ teams and coaches who have inspired millions of fans to the unsung volunteers and projects who at community level are the foundation of our great game‚ we salute them all.

“Congratulations to all our nominees and award winners who have not just displayed excellence‚ but who embody rugby’s character-building values.”


End of the world: What is Nibiru? The mysterious planet ‘that will DESTROY Earth’


What is Nibiru?
Christians claim that the arrival of the planet will mark the apocalypse and could herald Jesus’ return, while other conspiracy theorists believe that it is a rogue planet which has yet to be detected by space officials – or has but they are covering it up to prevent widespread panic.

The mysterious object, otherwise known as Planet X, is allegedly due to enter the solar system in September 23 and will wreak havoc on our galactic neighbourhood.

Paranormal researchers believe Planet X is so large it would be able to counter the sun’s gravitational pull.

It is believed that it is difficult to spot due to the angle in which the huge mass is approaching Earth – towards the South Pole.

planet x

Planet X is supposedly heading to Earth
As the planet approaches it is expected to interfere with Earth, pulling it slightly off its axis, which would result in severe earthquakes and storms.

Christians such as David Meade have been analysing biblical texts and astronomical signs, and believe that Planet X will arrive on September 23, and herald the end of days.

Revelation 12:1 says: “A great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head.

“And being with child, she cried out in her travail and was in anguish of delivery.”

planet xGETTY

Planet X is ‘at the edge of the solar system’

The ‘sign in the sky’ supposedly refers to the eclipse which took place on August 21.

Mr Meade explains: “The great sign of The Woman as described in revelation 12:1-2 forms and lasts for only a few hours. According to computer generated astronomical models, this sign has never before occurred in human history.

Bizarre moment ‘Planet X Nibiru is spotted from Earth

“It will occur once on September 23, 2017. It will never occur again. When it occurs, it places the Earth immediately before the time of the Sixth Seal of Revelation.

“During this time frame on September 23, 2017, the moon appears under the feet of the Constellation Virgo. The Sun appears to precisely clothe Virgo.”


Global executive picks L.A. as world center for urban mobility

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - SEPTEMBER 07, 2017: John Rossant, who heads LA Commotion, a multi day transpor

John Rossant is founder and chairman of the nonprofit NewCities foundation and creator of LA CoMotion, a big urban mobility conference and festival that’s attracting an international crowd to the Arts District Nov. 15-19.

A former journalist who has organized and produced conferences around the world, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Rossant, 62, intends to make LA CoMotion a world-scale annual event. He recently moved with his family from New York to Los Angeles.

Family influence

I grew up in Manhattan. My father was a journalist at the New York Times. We would religiously read the New York Times at the breakfast table. It was a very bookish household. My outlook on life was formed by early reading.

When I was 17, I applied to the University of Wisconsin, where my girlfriend was going. I fell in with students from completely different backgrounds than my own. I think people who grow up in New York often forget how insular New York is to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

After my freshman year, my dad ended financial support following a big disagreement — and I probably deserved the punishment. I had to drop out for a year, lived in a cold water flat in New York. I worked as a messenger on Wall Street and cleaned mouse cages at a lab. I was on my own financially. Not fun, but it taught me how to survive on my own.

The Cairo spark

When I returned to college, I saw signs for an Arabic course. The calligraphy was beguiling and I said, why not. When I graduated, I won a U.S. State Department fellowship for intensive training in classical Arabic in Cairo. I found myself in this huge, very foreign, exotic, wonderful city. This was clearly the spark that ignited my fascination with cities and how cities are organized.

If the ultimate iconic car culture city could change, any city in the world could change.

— John Rossant on Los Angeles

My first job was in Saudi Arabia, at the English-language Arab News. It was a truly alien place for a journalist back then: an absolute monarchy, a tribal system. Nobody quite understood what a Western journalist did, and I think most people thought I was a CIA operative.

Copines Françaises

Back in New York after a year and a half in the Arabian desert, BusinessWeek called me up one day and said they were opening a Paris office. Would I be interested? I said, “ummm … yes …”

The editor asked me if I spoke French. I told him yes, of course. He said OK, you’re heading to Paris next week. Let’s just say my French was pretty basic so I had to learn on the fly. I had French girlfriends and I forced myself to go to lots of French movies. That worked.

Later BusinessWeek moved me to Rome to cover Italy and the Middle East. I had to learn Italian, of course, and that’s where I was lucky enough to meet my wife. In 1991, I covered the first Gulf War.

After that I was back in Paris as Europe editor. I was at a working lunch in Paris with Maurice Levy, the legendary CEO of Publicis, the big French advertising and public relations firm. He invited me to his office. We had a long discussion of French history and American relations.

Levy was clearly looking for someone who could speak French, who knew about communicating with the Anglophone world. The digital onslaught was just beginning and I didn’t see a bright future for print so I made the decision to leave BusinessWeek. I was made head of communications and public affairs at Publicis.

Digital tsunami

The very week I joined Publicis, Rupert Murdoch made a prescient speech in Washington where he told assembled newspaper and magazine editors: “You’re all going to be out of a job. There’s a digital tsunami coming.”

I immediately recommended that Publicis launch a high-level conference on the future of media. I cut a deal with Prince Albert of Monaco to create the Monaco Media Forum. I developed a real passion for bringing smart people around a table to talk about issues.

For several years I was in charge of producing the famous World Economic Forum in Davos — and I started to gain a reputation as someone who could put together these kind of events.

At the same time, I was more and more fascinated and preoccupied by cities, the development of cities. A majority of the human population was moving to cities. At the same time, the digital revolution and the Internet held out the promise of radically reorganizing cities. For the better.

L.A.: Where it’s at

I created a nonprofit foundation, the NewCities Foundation. Our big annual meeting has now been held in Paris, Sao Paulo, Dallas, Jakarta, Montreal and Songdo, a very successful new city near Seoul, [South] Korea.

More and more, though, I saw that the huge disruption sweeping over the mobility and transportation sector would impact cities everywhere, and I saw a need for a global gathering on urban transportation.

I read Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Mobility 2035 transportation plan and was impressed. If the ultimate iconic car culture city could change, any city in the world could change. So why not anchor a global mobility conference in Los Angeles? L.A. in particular and California in general are emerging as the center of smart thinking about mobility.

Take a leap

When I look back, it’s important to trust your instincts and leap into the unknown. You have to kind of just take risks with things. It’s a lesson that’s hard to impart to your children, because risks sometimes don’t turn out so well.