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Sulawesi

On 18 April, some 11,000 people who live near the Ruang Volcano had to leave their homes as a result of volcanic eruptions. The first eruption occurred on Tuesday 16 April and it is possible that the eruptions may cause a tsunami.

Videos on social media show lava flows, purple lightning and large clouds of ash emerging from the volcano.

It is thought the eruption was triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that occurred there on Friday 12 April.

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Sulawesi

United Arab Emirates

Heavy rainfall on 18 April in the Gulf States has cause massive disruptions. Trains are not running and raods are blocked, while many airports are closed.

Meteorologists told that some 254 mm rain had fallen in 24 hours; something that had not happened since 1949.

Houses and shops are flooded and people were starting to clean up the aftermath on Thursday.

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United Arab Emirates

Copenhagen

On Tuesday 16 April a fire broke out that destroyed a former stock exchange in Denmark's capital. The building was more thasn 400 years old and was totally destroyed.

On Wednesday firefighters told that the fire was still burning and that it was extremely difficult to get under control.

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Copenhagen

Suriname

An extreme drought in Suriname is causing shortages of food. Most inland villages depend on boats for supplies, but water levers in the rivers have dropped dramatically.

The lack of rain has also caused failed harvests.

The drought is possibly caused by the weather phenomenon known as 'El Niño'. Meteorologists think that El Niño will weaken in the coming weeks and that the rains will return to the country.

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Suriname

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has attempted to stabilize its currency once again by introducing the ZiG. This gold-backed currency replaces the ZimDollar, which has lost much of its value.

With an infation of more than 50%, most Zimbabweans use US$, as it is a more stable currency and remain legal tender in the country as well. The population is given 3 weeks to exchange the old currency for the new ZiG.

Thprinting of too much currency caused the runaway inflation and the government pledged it won't make the same mistakes again.

On Wednesday 17 April it was reported that the new currency is already losing its value and on the black market its price is already about 40% lower than the official rate

Learn more about:
Zimbabwe

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Destination of the week

On these pages a different destination will be highlighted every week. Sometimes it's a tourist trap like one of the Spanish resorts; sometimes we will bring you detailed information on some more exotic places.

This week we will have a closer look at MongoliaMongolia

The name 'Mongolia' has always been a synonym for untamed and exotic desert wilderness. Many people will associate the country with Genghis Khan, camels in the desert and wild horses roaming the steppes. These visions are true in a way, because as soon as you leave the capital of Ulaan Baatar behind, you might think you have entered into another century. Mongolia is one of the last great adventure destinations in Asia.

The country sits between the giant states of Russia and China and it is a little wonder, it stayed independent. Mongolia is nowadays ruled by a democratic government, but it has numerous problems, such as a lack of infrastructure and support. Several harsh winters have decimated herds and brought the country to near starvation.

The best time to visit Mongolia is between May and October, but the capital can be visited any time of year if you are able to stand the bitter cold during the winter. At the beginning of July, the Naadam Festival is celebrated. During that time, accommodation is hard to find and Ulaan Baatar's transportation system is stretched to the breaking point. In June and September there are fewer visitors and the weather is pleasant.

If you want to visit the Gobi Desert, you should come to Mongolia in September, or October. Between mid-October and mid-May, sudden snowstorms and extreme cold often prevents any air traffic, while roads are often blocked, so be prepared for that.

Another problem is obtaining a visa. Entry and exit visas are required of all nationalities, but it must be accompanied by an invitation or sponsorship from a Mongolian company, a resident foreigner, or an organized tour company. Some consulates and embassies interpret the regulations more liberally than others.

Click on the images to learn more about this interesting destination. A map of Mongolia will open full-screen. Just click on towns and places you want to know more about.



Next week: Italy

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Global warming could doom hundreds of land plants and animals to extinction over the next 50 years by marooning them in harsh, changed surroundings, scientists warn.

A sweeping new analysis enlisting scientists from 14 laboratories around the globe found that more than one-third of 1103 native species they studied could vanish or plunge to near extinction by 2050 as climate change turns plains into deserts or alters forests.

Among the already threatened species that could go extinct are Australia's Boyd's forest dragon, Europe's azure-winged magpie and Mexico's Jico deer mouse.

The researchers concede there are many uncertainties in both climate forecasts and the computer models they used to forecast future extinctions. But they said their dire conclusions may well come to pass if industrial nations do not curtail emissions of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.