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Huge Pumice Island Floats Off New Zealand Coast

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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Ideas

"Collateral Benefit": Could Putin's Launching A Failed War Make The World Better?

Consider the inverse of "collateral damage." Envision Russia's defeat and the triumph of a democratic coalition offers reflection on the most weighty sense of costs and benefits.

Photo of a doll representing Russian President Vladimir Putin

Demonstrators holding a doll with a picture of Russian President Putin

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — The concept of collateral damage has developed in the course of so-called "asymmetrical” wars, fought between opponents considered unequal.

The U.S. drone which targeted rebel fighters in Afghanistan, and annihilated an entire family gathered for a wedding, appears to be the perfect example of collateral damage: a doubtful military gain, and a certain political cost. One might also consider the American bombing of Normandy towns around June 6, 1944 as collateral damage.

But is it possible to reverse the expression, and speak of "collateral benefits"? When applied to an armed conflict, the expression may seem shocking.

No one benefits from a war, which leaves in its trace a trail of dead, wounded and displaced people, destroyed cities or children brutally torn from their parents.

And yet the notion of "collateral benefits" is particularly applicable to the war that has been raging in Ukraine for almost a year.

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