New Zealand Volcano Erupts After 100 Years Of Silence

A New Zealand volcano dormant for more than a century has erupted, sending up ash clouds, disrupting flights and closing roads. Mount Tongariro, one of three volcanoes in the centre of the North Island, became active just before midnight local time, with reports of loud explosions, spewing rocks and steam.

The 1,978m (6,490 ft) peak is in a national park popular with hikers. No casualties or damage have been reported after the eruption.

Mount Tongariro last erupted 115 years ago, and scientists said they did not yet know if this eruption was a single event or if it signaled the start of more activity. Experts said they were caught by surprise – they had recorded some seismic activity in recent weeks but were not expecting an eruption.

Eruption activity has currently subsided, New Zealand media said. Meteorologists said the ash was blowing east towards the Pacific Ocean. A number of domestic flights on the North Island had been affected by the volcanic activity, Air New Zealand said. Police said highways that had been closed because visibility was affected after the eruption are now open.

Some residents in the vicinity had temporarily left their homes. Officials have not ordered an evacuation, but advised those affected by the ash cloud to stay indoors and close their doors and windows.

Why do you think the long-dormant volcano suddenly erupted unexpectedly? Do you know of other similar instances somewhere else?

Source: BBC News

Image: The Christian Science Monitor

Leaked Honeymoon Photos Of Prince William And Kate Spark Controversy

Fourteen months after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s honeymoon, photos of their romantic vacation have been made public. But not everyone is enjoying the memories, least of all the royal couple.  Private moments from the couple’s jaunt in Seychelles’ luxurious North Island last May are splashed throughout the pages of Woman’s Day, an Australian tabloid, and spreading like wildfire on the internet.

For the palace, it’s a symbol of broken trust, and a media betrayal that resonates in the royal family’s tragic history. But for one anonymous photographer staked out during their May escape, it could have meant a major payday. Woman’s Day hasn’t confirmed any details on how they obtained the photos or for how much.

Painstaking efforts went into preserving the newlyweds’ privacy in the weeks after their internationally scrutinized wedding. Not even Kate knew their honeymoon destination until the last minute, according to Marie Claire. Despite all that, the location of their beachside retreat in Seychelles North Island was promptly discovered by international press. Out of respect for the couple, and Prince William’s late mother, the media largely promised to respect the couple’s wishes for privacy with a “blackout” during their 10-day jaunt.

The image on the magazine’s cover of the Aussie magazine shows a blissed-out couple, holding snorkeling gear, clueless to any member of the press hidden nearby. Fifteen additional images of Kate and Will swimming and relaxing fill the pages inside the issue.

Paparazzi hiding out in dunes with long lens-equipped cameras are commonplace for high-profile celebrities on vacation, but because of scrutiny over the media’s role in Lady Di’s tragic death, Kate and Will have been granted more privacy.

Does a media “blackout” every really work? How do you think will these leaked honeymoon photos affect the royal couple, the palace, and the international media? Tell us your opinions about this hot royal issue!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Daily Beast