Icelandic volcano alert raised to second highest

The aviation industry is closely monitoring an Icelandic volcano which is at risk of eruption because of fears it may cause major disruption.

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GCSEs: Gender gap widens as girls lead A-C passes

The statistics show that the gender gap has widened at grade C and above this year, with 73.1% of girls' entries scoring A*-C compared with 64.3% of boys'. Credit: PA

Today's GCSE results show that girls once again lead pass rates at grade C and above, with 73.1% of girls' entries scoring A*-C compared with 64.3% of boys'.

However, official results showed that boys are beginning to close the gap at A*, with 5.2% of entries scoring the top grade compared with 8.1% of girls'. The difference of 2.9 percentage points is down from three percentage points last summer.

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UK 'confident' Icelandic volcano will not disrupt flights

UK aviation bosses said they are "confident" air travellers will not face a repeat of the severe ash cloud, which grounded flights in 2010, should Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano erupt.

Iceland's authorities have already evacuated the area after geologists said about 300 earthquakes had been detected there since Tuesday.

More than 100,000 flights were cancelled when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010. Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

When Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted European air space was shut down for six days causing travel chaos and losses of £2 million.

But UK air traffic control company Nats and the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the UK is much better prepared to deal with any ash cloud crisis than four years ago.

A Nats spokeswoman said: "We are monitoring the situation in Iceland and we don't know how serious it will get and just where any ash cloud will travel if the volcano erupts.

"Even in a worst-case scenario we are in a much better position to deal with this than we were in 2010."

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Area evacuated over fears Icelandic volcano could erupt

The area around the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland has been evacuated over fears it could erupt.

A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano. Credit: Reuters

Iceland's civil protection agency ordered the evacuation after "increased seismic activity" at the country's largest volcanic system.

A statement from the agency said: "This decision is a safety measure. It cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bardarbunga could lead to a volcanic eruption."

Ash from the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days.

Expert confirms Iceland volcanic ash could hit south

Airports across the South are keeping a close eye on the rumblings of an Icelandic volcano that is on 'orange alert'.

The authorities fear if the Bardarbunga erupts it could throw up vast clouds of volcanic ash - causing a repeat of the chaos at Gatwick and Heathrow four years ago.

We spoke to Doctor Nicolas Bellouin from Reading University and asked him how serious is the risk of a volcanic eruption?

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