Britain names Antarctica section Queen Elizabeth Land

Updated 18 December 2012
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Britain names Antarctica section Queen Elizabeth Land

LONDON: The southern portion of British Antarctic Territory has been named Queen Elizabeth Land in honor of the monarch’s 60 years on the throne, London announced yesterday. The announcement was made as Queen Elizabeth II attended her final diamond jubilee event with a visit to the Foreign Office, which handles Britain’s overseas territories.
The previously unnamed area now called Queen Elizabeth Land is around 437,000 square kilometers. It makes up just under a third of the British Antarctic Territory land mass and is an area almost twice the size of Britain.
“As a mark of this country’s gratitude to the Queen for her service, we are naming a part of the British Antarctic Territory in her honor as Queen Elizabeth Land,” Foreign Secretary William Hague said.
“This is a fitting tribute at the end of Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee year. “To be able to recognize the UK’s commitment to Antarctica with a permanent association with Her Majesty is a great honor.” The new name will be used on all British maps and other countries may follow suit.
The Foreign Office said the area’s boundaries were the Ronne and Filchner ice shelves to the north; Coats Land to the northeast; Dronning Maud Land to the east and to the west, a line between the South Pole and the Rutford Ice Stream, east of Constellation Inlet.
“From today, in your honor, it will be forever known as Queen Elizabeth Land,” Hague said.
British Antarctic Territory stretches from a longitude of 20 degrees to 80 degrees west. It was the first official claim in Antarctica, made in 1908. It was designated a separate overseas territory in 1962.
Argentina and Chile made later overlapping claims to the area in the 1940s, though all claims are held in abeyance under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. Britain operates three research stations there.
It is not the first time that a patch of the icy continent has been named after Queen Elizabeth, now 86.
A sector of Australian Antarctic Territory was named Princess Elizabeth Land upon its discovery in 1931, when her grandfather King George V was on the throne.


Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

Updated 40 min 23 sec ago
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Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.
  • Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
“Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently,” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.
Merkel said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
In Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shiite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying, especially for Israel’s security.”
Abdullah, who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Abdullah this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund.
Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people.”