(Regnum, 8 October 2012) -- As of 5 October, 3,546 educational institutions of a total of 5,440 are connected to district heating (65%). These figures were reported on 8 October by the press service of the Far Eastern envoy after a meeting chaired by the Minister for Development of the Far East - the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Viktor Ishayev. At a meeting called to discuss preparations for winter, it was announced that 1,308 health facilities of 2,452 were connected to district heating (53%). Health care facilities in the Sakhalin (22) and Khabarovsk (278) regions have yet to be connected. 67% of Far East homes are connected to district heating. The envoy called on the authorities to fully provide heat to institutions of education and health care. He also instructed officials to undertake appropriate checks across the districts to identify connection problems and to get them fixed. [this is an edited version of the original]
Posted 14 October 2012; 5:18:29 PM. Permalink
(BakuToday, 11 October 2012) -- Government scientists from the region of Khabarovsk have developed new asphalt mixtures designed specifically for the Kamchatka climate. Acting Minister of Road Construction in the region, Vladimir Kayumov told BakuToday that the new process could double the lifespan of the province's roads. According to Kayumov, the new asphalt mixture that is being introduced is prepared with "ash soil," which is very plastic. Current formulations do not withstand annual freeze-thaw cycle very long. The new formulation will be more resistant to heaving, which makes the road more durable. Indeed, said the minister, the new formulation could well add three to six years to the current six-year road life span. Some modification of the region's asphalt plants will be needed, said the Deputy of the City Council Sergey Mecetin. [this item is an edited version of the original]
Posted 14 October 2012; 4:44:13 PM. Permalink
(Trude Pettersen/Barents Observer, 11 October 2012) -- The wreck of the Soviet cruiser Murmansk will be completely gone by November. 14,000 tons of scrap metal have been removed in the unique operation on the coast of Finnmark. AF Decom, the company that won the NOK 328 million (€44.5 million) tender to remove the wreck, reports that the removal is going very smoothly after managing to resolve earlier problems with leakages in the jetties that have been built around the wreck. “There are still some parts left in the ground, but everything will be removed by the middle of November, before the winter storms set in,” AF Decom Director Eirik Wraal says to NRK. The sea bottom around the wreck has been drained using jetties and the vessel has been cut into pieces and removed. The whole operation is being filmed for a future documentary and you can watch the removal operation on-line here. The 211-meters-long cruiser ended its days in Sørøya in the rocks outside Sørvær on the coast of Finnmark in December 1994. The cruiser was being tugged southwards for scrapping when it tore away during a storm and has since been to a lot of nuisance to the local population. A decision to remove the wreck was made in August 2008, after debris from the cruiser delivered for recycling revealed that there were traces of a radioactive source, PCB and brominated flame retardants in the vessel.
Posted 14 October 2012; 4:31:12 PM. Permalink
(IceNews, 8 October 2012) -- Iceland’s film leaders have chosen The Deep to represent the country at the upcoming Academy Awards in Hollywood. The Baltasar Kormakur production, which depicts a fishing boat accident in the icy waters off the Iceland’s coastline, has been selected as the island nation’s contender for the category of best foreign-language film, the Icelandic Film and Television Academy announced on Thursday. The Deep, based on a true story from 1984, stars Olafur Darri Olafsson, whose character manages to make his way to shore as the only survivor after his vessel sinks. The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and received high praise from critics for its gripping underwater scenes. The filmmakers are hoping the picture will become the second-only Icelandic production ever nominated for an Oscar. The first came in 1992 via Children of Nature, directed by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. Five films will be selected as nominees for this year’s award; they will be revealed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on 10 January, whilst the Oscar ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on 24 February.
Posted 14 October 2012; 4:29:23 PM. Permalink
(IceNews, 11 October 2012) -- Greenland’s Oscar Committee has nominated Inuk as the Danish territory’s contender at this year’s Academy Awards in California. The film, which depicts the life of troubled 16-year-old Nuuk resident, will compete with films from around the world for the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th edition of the Academy Awards, officials said on Monday. The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will select five final nominees for the category’s Oscar; their selections will be revealed on 10 January while the award ceremony will take place in Hollywood on 24 February. Inuk has already gathered substantial critical acclaim and has taken home more than 20 awards at various international film festivals. Filmmakers said the production was shot on location amid Greenland’s typical frigid conditions and casting agents commissioned local teenagers from an area children's home as well as area hunters as actors. As reported by Nuntasiaq Online, Inuk co-producer and co-writer Jean-Michel Huctin describes the film: “Created as an original road-movie on the sea ice, Inuk is both an authentic story of Greenland today and a universal story about the quest for identity, transmission and rebirth after the deepest of wounds.” Inuk’s producers are currently amid negotiations for the film’s general release in the US, Canada and Australia, and the full-length feature is already scheduled for an early 2013 release in Germany, South Korea, Switzerland and Austria.
Posted 14 October 2012; 4:06:27 PM. Permalink
(Iceland Review, 13 October 2012) -- Chinese investor Huang Nubo’s company Zhongkun Grímsstaðir ehf. has reportedly offered to pay USD 5 million (ISK 615 million, EUR 3.86 million) for a 60-year lease of the piece of land Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum in Northeast Iceland, according to a draft agreement. This is USD 3 million less than originally estimated. According to an unreleased agreement between Zhongkun Grímsstaðir ehf. and Gáf, a private limited company owned by the Norðurþing municipality in North Iceland, the use of water and other natural resources such as geothermal heat are limited to the operation of tourist services with the exemption of Gáf, visir.is reports. Bergur Elías Ágústsson, chair of Gáf and director of the Norðurþing district council, said that they do not want to waive their rights to the use of the local resources. Bergur says that any decisions would need to be made in agreement with not only Gáf but with the zoning authority in the area, which in this case is the municipality of Norðurþing. The agreement states that the rental price will be paid for “in ISK with the best available rate.” Bergur Elías declined to comment on the amount offered.
Posted 14 October 2012; 4:00:23 PM. Permalink
(Radio Sweden, 8 October 2012) -- Arctic Sweden's northernmost city is moving east. The mining that has been the lifeblood of Kiruna town for over a hundred years has also undermined its buildings some are already sinking into the ground. Architects, from Sweden and abroad, have been competing to be the ones to create New Kiruna. To get the latest on the plans we talked to Katerina Nilsson, secretary of the jury deciding which plan to go with. [radio]
Posted 14 October 2012; 3:55:11 PM. Permalink