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NEW ZEALAND HERALD, TV ONE, RADIO NZ NEWS (New Zealand), THE AUSTRALIAN (Australia), ASSOCIATED PRESS (USA)

AUCKLAND - A mass of small volcanic rocks nearly the size of Belgium has been discovered floating off the coast of New Zealand, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The stretch of golf-ball-size pumice rocks was first spotted this week by a New Zealand air force plane about 1,000 miles off the coast of the North Island near Auckland.

The area of floating pumice was estimated to be 250 nautical miles in length and 30 nautical miles wide covering a 25,000 square kilometre area, explains TV One NZ. Its surface is larger than Israel’s or Jamaica’s.

This strange phenomenon, "the strangest in eighteen years" according to a New Zealand Navy officer, resembles polar ice shelf, reports the Australian.

Scientists do not believe that the eruption is connected to the onshore ash eruption this week of another volcano, Mount Tongariro, in the Central North Island region. The pumice rocks may come from an underwater volcano, Monowai, which has been active along the Kermadec Arc, reports Radio NZ News.

According to officials, the small rocks pose no danger to shipping.

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Society

Jehovah's Witnesses Translate The Bible In Indigenous Language — Is This Colonialism?

The Jehovah's Witnesses in Chile have launched a Bible version translated into the native Mapudungun language, evidently indifferent to the concerns of a nation striving to save its identity from the Western cultural juggernaut.

A Mapuche family awaits for Chilean President Gabriel Boric to arrive at the traditional Te Deum in the Cathedral of Santiago, on Chile's Independence Day.

Claudia Andrade

NEUQUÉN — The Bible can now be read in Mapuzugun, the language of the Mapuche, an ancestral nation living across Chile and Argentina. It took the Chilean branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a latter-day Protestant church often associated with door-to-door proselytizing and cold calling, three years to translate it into "21st-century Mapuzugun".

The church's Mapuche members in Chile welcomed the book when it was launched in Santiago last June, but some of their brethren see it rather as a cultural imposition. The Mapuche were historically a fighting nation, and fiercely resisted both the Spanish conquerors and subsequent waves of European settlers. They are still fighting for land rights in Chile.

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