12 May, 2010

May/June 2010

Criminal probe of Gulf oil spill seen inevitable - 25 May
With a BP well spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico for a fifth week and President Barack Obama under press to act, legal experts say it is only a matter of time before his administration begins a criminal investigation into the disaster. - Mail & Guardian website

  • BP had warning signs before Gulf blast - 26 May
    BP told congressional investigators on Tuesday that pressure tests on a drill pipe showed a fudnamental mistake hours before the deadly explosion that caused the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, a memo released by two congressmen showed. - Mail & Guardian website

  • On top of a wave - 20 May
    Every oil spill has a silver lining - if you are a lawyer, that is. More than 70 related lawsuits were filed in the two weeks after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th, most of them class actions. - The Economist website

  • US to suspend Arctic drilling : Alaska senator - 27 May
    The Obama administration plans to announce on Thursday a suspension of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic until 2011 as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an Alaska senator said. - Reuters website
  • BP loses 15 percent of market value as US launches criminal probe of spill - 1 June
    As BP hacked away at a pipe gushing oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, investors sawed off 15 percent, or $21.1 billion, of the company's market value Tuesday. - The Washington Post website
  • Sarah Palin blames environmentalists for Gulf oil disaster - 3 June
    In her latest note on Facebook, Sarah Palin is blaming "extreme 'environmentalists'" for causing the gulf oil disaster that has been unfolding for over a month. Her logic is that because environmentalists push for tougher drilling regulations onshore in places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (also known as ANWR) it forces oil companies to explore deeper offshore drilling which has more risks. - The Huffington Post website
  • BP given first bill for Gulf oil spill - 4 June
    The United States government sent BP a $69-million bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Thursday, warning it was only the first invoice, as undersea robots poised to try to curb the leak. - IOL website
  • Judge recusals may hinder Gulf oil spill lawsuits - 8 June
    Lawsuits over the Gulf oil spill are flooding the courts. Homeowners, fishermen and environmetnal groups are all trying to recover damages they suffered because of the gusher. But victims of the spill are beginning to encounter a new complication : judges who can't hear their cases because of conflicts of interest. The federal appeals court in New Orleans recently said it couldn't decide a major global warming case because eight out of sixteen judges steppe aside for one reason or another. - NPR website
  • Oil + water = chaos - 8 June
    When one surveys the business-related carnage of the last few years - the Massey mine diaster, the financial crisis, the BP oil spill - one can't help but be struck by the question : where the heck were the regulators? - Moneyweb website
  • Interior Secretary Salazar seeks to reimpose drilling moratorium - 22 June
    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one. Salazar said in a statement Tuesday that the new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier Tuesday complained there was insufficient justification for it. - Fox News website
  • Oil industry insider describes BP 'monster' lurking in the gulf - 26 June
    With BP's recent admission that 100 000 barrels of oil are leaking into the Gulf per day, confirmation that the wellhead is now tipping as much as 11 degrees, and new video evidence that sea floor has begun cracking under the pressure, I am starting to believe teh semi-apocalyptic worst case scenarios now beign put furth by oil industry insiders. - Mother Nature Network website

  • http://streetgiant.com/2010/06/02/leroy-stick-the-man-behind-bpglobalpr/
    StreetGiant website

Trafigura aLccused over Ivory Coast toxic waste - 1 June
Dutch prosecutors have accused multi-national oil trading firm Trafigura of illegally exporting hazardous waste to Ivory Coast in 2006. The allegations came at the start of a trial in which the firm is accused of breaking Dutch export and environmental laws and forging official documents. - BBC News website

Bhopal disaster criminal court verdicts to be delivered - 7 June
An Indian court is set to deliver a historic judgement on the Bhopal gas disaster, one of the worst modern industrial accidents. Over 25 years after a leak from a chemical plant owned by Union Carbide Corporation, a US company, killed up to 25 000 people and harmed hundreds of thousands more in the central Indian city, the city judicial magistrate of Bhopal will on Monday decide whether a dozen senior managers and directors of the plant should go to jail. The verdict will be the first in a criminal prosecution connected to the tragedy. - Mail & Guardian website

  • Guilty verdicts 25 years after India's Bhopal gas disaster -7 June
    An Indian court sentenced the former top managers of the company blamed for the massive Bhopal gas leak 25 years ago to two years in prison on Monday in the first convictions over teh catastrophe. Eight people were found guilty in the local court in Bhopal over the 1984 incident. - Mail & Guardian website

The Lisbon Review 2010 : towards a more competitive Europe - May 2010
The Lisbon process has been a decade-long effort. At the March 2000 Eruopean Council in Lisbon, Portugal, Europe's heads of state and government set a ten-year timeline to make the European Union "the most competetive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world . . .". In this report the World Economic Forum carries out a review of Europe's progress. - Polity website

Banned : doctor who linked MMR vaccine with autism - 24 May
The British doctor who controversially drew a link between autism and the triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella should be banned from practising medicine. That's the rulling issued today by a panel of the General Medical Council which regulates the medical profession in the UK. - New Scientist website

Prosecutors net 6.5m pounds crime cash - 5 May
A Moscow-based businessman has had 6.5m pounds seized by Scottish prosecutors in the country's largest ever recovery under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Anatoly Kazachkov was connected to a suspicious bank transfer of $10m from an account in Hungary to a Scottish bank in 2004. The cash will be invested in community projects around Scotland. - BBC News website

South African editors condemn jailing of journalist - 7 June
SA National Editors' Forum condemns the imposition of an extremely severe four months' jail sentence - with hard labour - on legendary Zambian editor Fred M'membe of The Post, Zambia's most popular newspaper, for contempt of court. For many years M'membe and his staff have been attcked by the Zambian authorities or holding them accountable for maladministration and misgovernance. - allAfrica website

On Zimbabwe's death row without a lawyer - 12 May
After 13 years on Zimbabwe's death row, George Manyonga is still waiting to see his lawyer. He saw him once, briefly, the day before his trial, but since then he has been left on his own. He has lost his lawyer and now he is losing hope. - BBC News website