Russia could target any foreign media under new law, says MP

In this Oct. 27, 2017, photo, Russian state-owned television station RT logo is seen at the window of the company's office in Moscow, Russia. (AP)
Updated 15 November 2017
0

Russia could target any foreign media under new law, says MP

MOSCOW: Russia would be able to list any foreign media outlet as a “foreign agent” under new measures expected to be approved Wednesday, a lawmaker said, as Moscow responds to US pressure on the Kremlin-backed RT channel.
The move comes as Washington fights what it calls a barrage of “fake news” from Russian media and online outlets aimed at interfering in US domestic politics.
Parliament is set to approve a number of amendments to an existing media bill Wednesday, meaning they could go into force as early as next week, said Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of Russia’s lower house of Parliament.
“(The law) gives the relevant government institution the opportunity to classify media outlets that receive money from abroad as foreign agents,” he told Rossiya 24 channel, when asked which outlets are likely to be put on the list first.


Indonesian agency downplays volcanic eruption

Lava streams down from Anak Krakatoa volcano during an eruption as seen from Rakata island in South Lampung. (AFP)
Updated 4 min 59 sec ago
0

Indonesian agency downplays volcanic eruption

  • No one lives on Krakatau, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, but the peak is a popular tourist spot
  • Indonesia is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a vast zone of geological instability

JAKARTA: The deadly 1883 eruption of Mount Krakatoa is unlikely to happen again despite the Anak Krakatoa volcanic island showing signs of increased activity, said Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
The agency has raised the alert status to the second of four levels since June 18 after the volcano rumbled back to life by spewing ash and lava, prompting officials to declare an exclusion zone within 1 km of the summit.
Anak Krakatoa caused hundreds of mild tremors on Thursday, according to seismographic data from the agency.
“It continues to rumble, and the eruptions are a normal phenomenon,” agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Arab News on Friday.
“Anak Krakatoa erupts as it continues to emerge higher, but the eruptions are never big since the energy of the magma it expels to the surface isn’t strong,” he said.
“Even though it erupts hundreds of times every day and the alert level has been increased, it’s not dangerous. It won’t cause a tsunami like in 1883.”
The eruption that year caused a 30-meter-high tsunami that killed more than 36 million people and lowered global temperatures by around 1.2 degrees Celcius for five years.
The eruption was so loud that it was audible as far away as Perth in western Australia, which is 3,100 km away, and in Mauritius, which is 4,800 km away.
The volcano erupted 479 times last weekend, gushing plumes of thick smoke up to 800 meters high, and lava was visible streaming down from its summit at night, Nugroho said. The eruptions have so far not affected flights or sea voyages, he added.
The Sunda Strait, where the island is located, is a busy shipping lane and accommodates the 30-km, frequently used ferry crossing between the islands of Java and Sumatra.
Anak Krakatoa is uninhabited, but its 300-meter-high summit is a popular tourist destination. It is one of the 127 active volcanoes — a third of the world’s total — that dot the Indonesian archipelago, and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and subduct, frequently triggering earthquakes and volcanic activity.