Volcano

Britain Combats Ash Cloud with Warships

Britain is taking action against the Icelandic volcano that has shut down much of northern European airspace for five days by sending warships. Not to attack it, of course, but to help rescue Britons stranded across the English Channel. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is sending two aircraft carriers, with a potential third on the way, across the Channel and is in talks with Spanish authorities to see if Britons stranded overseas could be redirected to Spain first before grabbing a boat or bus home. Depending on whether skies clear up or not, up to 50 percent of flights could return to normal by Monday for smaller airports, but airspace over Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands would remain closed until early Tuesday at the earliest. While test flights across the continent have been completed, microscopic dust from the volcano ash keeps air space unstable, warn meteorologists, and could have catastrophic effects on plane engines.