The war of words between the West and Moscow over Ukraine continues to raise the spectre of direct military confrontation.   The question perhaps isn’t whether Ukraine will succeed in winning back control of its territory but how long will Russia continue to exercise restraint from direct confrontation?  An interesting paper on the relationships between business and armed conflict can be found at http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/review/2012/irrc-887-slim.pdf

It’s a relief that the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland has settled down, but at the same time an irony that at least this time we would have been able to pronounce it.  The Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 caused us significant headaches, not just in travel disruption but also because nobody could say the word Eyjafjallajökull.  The difficulties of repatriating stranded travellers in the event of an eruption shouldn’t be underestimated.  It can literally take weeks to repatriate.  Is the crisis over?  Probably not, as long-haul commercial aircraft seem to be avoiding Iceland’s airspace at present.  Some really good practice developed following the Eyjafjallajökull eruption at http://www.clearview-continuity.com/pdf/media/Media-May2010.pdf

Is the US exaggerating when it warns that IS represents a greater threat than AQ?  Probably not.  IS has its sights on expansion into Lebanon and Jordan.  Historically the West has had little appetite for involvement in Lebanon, but an IS attack on Jordan would bring The West to its defence.  We can expect a military build-up in Jordan in the coming months.   And the following article casts a question mark over the extent to which Jordan is united against IS: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/anger-boils-over-fallujah-jordan-20147575130478577.html   And who is funding IS?  Qatar denies German allegations: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2014/August/middleeast_August212.xml&section=middleeast

How real is the domestic terrorist threat in Europe?  Sobering commentary at http://www.mei.edu/content/at/foreign-fighters-syria-and-threat-domestic-terrorism-europe If Norwegian studies are accurate and approximately 10% of returning fighters become a domestic terrorist threat, Europe could soon find itself with a battle-hardened IS network of 300 fighters intent on causing terror and martyrdom.  A little out of date but still a relevant read is the Europol 2014 terrorism report https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/te-sat-2014-european-union-terrorism-situation-and-trend-report-2014

Have your business travellers raised concerns about what might happen if they are on a flight with a suspected Ebola case?  Here’s some interesting information from CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/air/managing-sick-travelers/ebola-guidance-airlines.html  Whatever you do, don’t sneeze in the presence of cabin crew!

A wave higher than Nelson’s Column and travelling faster than a jet aircraft will devastate the eastern seaboard of America and inundate much of southern Britain.  Fiction?  Not really.  Scientists predict that the next eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands will cause this unimaginable-scale event.   Should you be worried if you live on the west coast of Africa or the east coast of US?  Let’s assume that the probability is 100% in the next 1000 years.  This means that the probability in your lifetime is about 6%, or 1 in 16.   That’s about the same risk probability as having a heart attack if you smoke, drink, eat lots of cakes and shun exercise!  No weblink necessary.  Just enter Cumbre Vieja into Google then dust off your tsunami business continuity plan.

 

And it’s an eerily quiet hurricane season in the US http://blogs.channel4.com/liam-dutton-on-weather/2014-atlantic-hurricane-season-quiet/7119

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