Volcano forces Europe to halt 500 flights

volcano forces europe to halt 500 flights

Airlines canceled about 500 European flights Tuesday as the ash cloud from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland drifted into northern Britain and Ireland, but a senior European official predicted that the disruption would not reach the scale of a year ago, when millions of travelers were inconvenienced. "We are still looking at a very challenging week for passengers and for the airlines," Siim Kallas, the European Union transportation commissioner, said in a statement. Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency that coordinates air traffic management across the region, said about 500 of about 29,000 scheduled across Europe were canceled.

NASA to abandon one rover on Mars

NASA said Tuesday that it was abandoning efforts to get back in touch with Spirit, one of the two rovers on Mars. Spirit, which has been stuck in a sand trap for two years, fell silent last year as winter arrived and its solar panels could no longer generate enough electricity. The last set of commands to Spirit will be sent this morning. The other rover, Opportunity, continues to send back scientific data.

Elsewhere

Phoenix: Three employees of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have been arrested in a drug and human trafficking case, authorities said Tuesday.

Sudan: Luka Biong Deng, the Sudanese minister of cabinet affairs, quit in protest Tuesday over the northern Sudanese military assault on the border town of Abyei as fears of chaos in the area mounted.

Norfolk, Va.: Two more Somali men pleaded guilty Tuesday to piracy charges for roles in the February hijacking of a yacht off Africa that left four Americans dead. Seven Somalis have pleaded guilty this week.

Afghanistan: At least 10 Afghan laborers on their way to work in southern Afghanistan were killed by a roadside bomb on Tuesday, a local official said.

Pakistan: A suicide car bomber struck a police facility in Peshawar today, killing two people and wounding at least 22, officials said.

Times wires

Volcano forces Europe to halt 500 flights

05/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:20am]

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