Tag Archives: Syria

Chillingly clueless: Svalbard’s 10 strangest stories of 2015

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Which is stranger: a year where parasitic wasps went on a killing spree or the year that actually happened? Yeah, we’re not sure either.

All we know is both versions of Svalbard will be back – and probably even stranger – next year.

Into blackness: Svalbard’s 12 biggest stories of 2015

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It was already a shell-shocked community beginning to say their farewells to possibly a quarter of the town’s residents, with those left behind worrying about the future of a town with a decimated economic foundation.

Then the avalanche struck.

Either alone ranks among the most significant events in Longyearbyen’s history. Together they may reshape the town more dramatically than at any time since it was almost entirely destroyed during World War II.

Host apocalyptic: Syria makes first withdrawal from Svalbard seed vault as war damages facility with key crops

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Its creators hate the term “Doomsday Vault,” but for Syria that day has arrived.

A historic first “withdrawal” from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on behalf of Syria occurred during a visit Sunday by Norwegian and European Union leaders. A seed bank in the city of Aleppo is still partially operational despite the civil war that has heavily damaged the city, but can no longer function as a hub for providing seeds to other countries in the region.

Green Party joins political opposites in proposing sending Syrian refugees to Svalbard despite numerous legal and practical issues

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Locals seem willing to accept them. Two totally opposite political parties are suggesting sending them here (although the motives of one are questionable). But despite much of Europe increasingly slamming the door on the deluge of refugees fleeing Syria, housing them in Svalbard would be a nearly unworkable logical, legal and social challenge.

Seeds of recovery: Syria may make first ‘withdrawal’ from Svalbard vault as crops, seed sites devastated by war

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In one small part of the world, doomsday has arrived.

The first “withdrawal” from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will likely be made by Syria, which has been engaged in a civil war since 2011. The country’s crops and a major gene research facility have been targeted by rebels, and the hope is to return the seeds to the facility after it is relocated.

Growing pains: Seed vault’s status as savior or saboteur gets new media, movie scrutiny

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The good: A “daring rescue” of seeds in worn-torn Syria that may ensure the country’s future food production. The bad: a rusted refrigerator part at the seeds’ new home in Svalbard that “for a few horrible moments (suggested) the future of human civilization was in jeopardy.” The mixed: the drama of our possible “mass extinction” of meals is getting big-screen exposure, but critics aren’t finding it all that palatable.

Progress Party leader: Send these refugees to Svalbard

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Svalbard is already a haven for Syria’s crops that are under threat in the war-torn country. Now it’s being suggested thousands of refugees fleeing the country be sent to the archipelago as well.