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Saturday, May 29, 2010

'Top kill' fails, BP moves on 'to next option' -

'Top kill' fails, BP moves on 'to next option' -

Effort to Plug Well Faces Another Setback -

Effort to Plug Well Faces Another Setback -

BBC News - BP uncertain about success of latest oil operation

BBC News - BP uncertain about success of latest oil operation

Oil giant BP says it is unsure whether its latest attempt to plug a gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has succeeded.

Chief operating officer Doug Suttles said the "top kill" operation had not yet stopped the flow and it was preparing its next plan.

Millions of gallons of oil have leaked since a rig exploded and sank last month, killing 11 employees.

US President Barack Obama has ordered a tripling of manpower in coastal areas.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Little Headway Made as BP Struggles to Halt Oil Leak -

Little Headway Made as BP Struggles to Halt Oil Leak -

HOUSTON — BP engineers struggled Friday to plug a gushing oilwell a mile under the sea, but as of late in the day they had made little headway in stemming the flow.

BBC News - Jamaican forces defend deadly drug raids in Kingston

BBC News - Jamaican forces defend deadly drug raids in Kingston

Jamaican security forces have defended their actions following a four-day anti-drugs offensive in the capital, Kingston, which left 73 dead.

Oil Flow Is Stemmed, but Could Resume, Official Says -

Oil Flow Is Stemmed, but Could Resume, Official Says -

In Perspective: Visualizing the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

In Perspective: Visualizing the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Check out this map and you will be able to visualize the size of the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill in relationship to where you live.

John H. Armwood

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Busy Hurricane Season Spells Trouble For Oil In Gulf

Busy Hurricane Season Spells Trouble For Oil In Gulf: "

Warm temperatures in the Atlantic could mean a historically high hurricane season this year. Forecasters are predicting 8 to 14 hurricanes, well above the average of 6. Weather conditions will help storms strengthen, increasing the likelihood that a hurricane will hit the oil spill in the Gulf.

(Via NPR Programs: All Things Considered.)

Jamaican army accused of murder

Jamaican army accused of murder: "Jamaican army accused of murder"

Residents of flashpoint neighbourhood speak out against fact that official death toll is 73, but only four weapons seized

(Via The Guardian World News.)

Setback Delays ‘Top Kill’ Effort to Seal Leaking Oil Well in Gulf -

Setback Delays ‘Top Kill’ Effort to Seal Leaking Oil Well in Gulf -

HOUSTON — BP had to halt its ambitious effort to plug its stricken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday afternoon when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid they were injecting into the well was escaping along with the leaking crude oil.

A technician at the BP command center said that pumping of the fluid had to be stopped temporarily while engineers were revising their plans, and that the company hoped to resume pumping by midnight, if federal officials approved.

The technician, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said the problem was not seen as serious. “We’re still quite optimistic,” he said, but cautioned: “It is not assured and its not a done deal yet. All of this will require some time.”

The news of yet another delay in capping the well came on a day of rapid-fire developments from Louisiana to Washington.

‘Top Kill’ Effort Seems to Be Working, U.S. Says Cautiously -

‘Top Kill’ Effort Seems to Be Working, U.S. Says Cautiously -

HOUSTON — The latest effort to plug a gushing underwater oil well in the Gulf of Mexico appeared to be working, officials and engineers said on Thursday morning, though definitive word on its success was still hours away.

At the same time, government experts said that the flow of oil from the well, which has been gushing since an explosion and fire wrecked a drilling rig in late April, was several times worse than the preliminary estimate by BP, the oil company responsible for the rig and the well.

And The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the head of the agency responsible for regulating offshore oil drilling had been dismissed.

BP began the well-plugging maneuver, known as a top kill, on Wednesday, amid hopes that injecting heavy drilling fluid deep into the well could stem the relentless flow of oil that has devastated commercial fishing in the Gulf, fouled miles of coastline and put the company and federal regulators at the center of a political firestorm.

BP warned that success was not guaranteed and that it could fail at any moment. But engineers and geologists following the effort said the likelihood of success grew with each passing hour.

“The operation is proceeding as we planned it,” said Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, in a statement Wednesday evening. “We will be continuing for at least another 24 hours.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Key Senator Backs 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

Key Senator Backs 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal: "

Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska says he set aside his reservations after speaking with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

(Via NPR Topics: News.)

Scores killed in Jamaica violence

Scores killed in Jamaica violence: "
49 dead in running battles between government troops and gunmen loyal to alleged arms dealer and drug lord
The death toll from fierce street battles in downtown West Kingston has risen to 49 and is expected to climb further as Jamaican security forces continue efforts to flush out the alleged drugs baron Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
The latest figures were released after a team led by the public defender Earl Witter and including the Jamaican Red Cross visited the Tivoli Gardens district, scene of the worst fighting.
Witter told local media: 'The police, I gather, have put out a figure of some 26 dead so far. Our own headcount supersedes that. In fact we visited the morgue and were told that no fewer than 35 bodies were lodged there, and most of them were males, mainly young adults.' While at the morgue his team was told of another nine bodies being collected, he said.
At least 37 people are reported to have been injured and the government has appealed for blood donations. In addition 211 people including six women have been detained. The team was sent in by the Jamaican prime minister, Bruce Golding, following claims of abuse by police and soldiers who stormed the Tivoli Gardens ghetto on Monday in search of Coke, 42, wanted on drug and gun-running charges in the US.
He is still at large, with unconfirmed reports saying he slipped out of Tivoli Gardens on Monday while Jamaican soldiers were engaged in an intense firefight. Civilians have been the main victims during three days of street battles between security forces and gunmen loyal to Coke, the alleged leader of the notorious Shower Posse gang, who have erected barricades of barbed wire and junked cars.
Soldiers have told local media of five-hour gun battles in the streets.
A state of emergency has been declared in the West Kingston area, said to be Coke's stronghold and where he is regarded as a benefactor by many people.
The intensity of the fighting in the heart of the West Kingston slums, which is Golding's own constituency, has taken the government by surprise, the prime minister has admitted. More than 2,000 soliders flooded into the neighbourhood after Jamaica agreed to extradite Coke to the US.
Residents in the no-go area have complained of grenades being thrown by soldiers and of bodies being burned in the streets. Witter said they had seen no evidence of bodies being burned.
Golding told MPs: 'The government deeply regrets the loss of lives, especially those of members of the security services and innocent, law-abiding citizens caught in the crossfire.
'The security forces were directed to take all practical steps to avoid casualties as much as possible.'
The 'most thorough investigations' would be undertaken to examine all deaths caused by troops or police, he said. The country's security forces have a reputation for slipshod investigations and being too quick on the trigger.
Security agents would go after 'criminal gunmen in whatever community they may be ensconced', he said.
Government officials told reporters all the dead civilians in West Kingston were men, but people inside the slums who called local radio stations claimed there had been indiscriminate shooting during the all-out assault by police and soldiers.
Gunmen fighting for Coke describe him as a 'godfather' figure who helps provide services and protection to the poor West Kingston community. The services and protection are allegedly funded by a criminal empire that seemed untouchable until the US demanded his extradition.
Coke, also known as the President, has built a loyal following and turned the neighbourhood into his stronghold. One placard seen at a barricade read: 'Jesus died for us. We will die for Dudus.'
US authorities claim he has amassed a vast arsenal in his Kingston home turf and has been trafficking cocaine to the streets of New York since the mid-90s, allegedly hiring island women to hide the drugs on themselves on flights to the US.
The UK Foreign Office is advising British nationals to avoid the areas of West Kingston – Tivoli and Denham Town in particular – and Mountain View because of 'substantial unrest including gunfire'.
'There remains an increased risk of further outbreaks of civil disorder and street violence in Kingston and possibly in other urban centres in Jamaica,' says the Foreign Office advice.
The Shower Posse, referred to by the FBI as 'the most violent and notorious criminal organisation ever in America', is believed responsible for more than 1,000 deaths in the US and Jamaica during the cocaine wars of the 1980s.
Earning its name from its 'showering' of bullets at rivals during gun battles, it operates mainly in Jamaica, the US and Canada. A splinter group called the President Click is known to have operated in the UK – in parts of Brixton in south London known as Little Tivoli.
Former Shower Posse leaders include Coke's father, Lester Coke, who died in a mysterious fire in his prison cell in 1992 while awaiting extradition to the US on drug and murder charges.

(Via The Guardian World News.)

U.S. Pledges to Stand With Seoul ‘Always’

U.S. Pledges to Stand With Seoul ‘Always’: "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Seoul on Wednesday that the U.S. would stand with South Korea as tensions rise on the Korean peninsula."

(Via NYT > Home Page.)

A 2nd KKK Reenactment At School In Gwinnett County

A 2nd KKK Reenactment At School In Gwinnett County: "Another teacher is accused of allowing her students to wear KKK garb."

(Via - News.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

South Korean President Lee says South will invoke right of self-defense

: "Lee says South will invoke right of self-defense"

President Lee Myung-bak on Monday vowed to “immediately exercise (Seoul’s) right of self-defense” if North Korea attempts military provocation again as he announced several countermeasures against the North, which allegedly sank a South Korean warship in March.

“From now on, the Republic of Korea will not tolerate any provocative act by the North and will maintain the principle of proactive deterrence,” Lee said during a televised national address, which was followed by a joint press briefing by the ministers of unification, foreign affairs and defense.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Debate puts focus on immigration

Debate puts focus on immigration: "It was a debate to see who might represent Georgia as the state’s next governor. But there sure was a lot of talk about Arizona Saturday night as the top four GOP candidates for governor squared off in Gwinnett County in a tea party-tinged debate."

(Via Top News.)