Oil rig spill off Louisiana could threaten coastline
There are fears of an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, as efforts to clear up an oil spill have been suspended because of bad weather.
The BBC Monday, 26 April 2010
A drilling rig leased by the oil company BP exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast last week.
Some 1,000 barrels of oil a day are leaking into the sea from the damaged well, officials say.
They say the oil leak has the potential to damage beaches, barrier islands and wetlands across the coastline.
Eleven workers are still missing and presumed to have been killed in the accident. The search for them has been called off.
More than 100 other workers were rescued.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Dark-horse candidate Nick Clegg is poised to upend the U.K’s two-party system.
By William Underhill | NEWSWEEK
It was an offer that many ambitious young Brits would have pounced on. As a bright and energetic Cambridge graduate in the 1990s, Nick Clegg had caught the eye of his boss Leon Brittan, a former Tory cabinet minister working at the European Union in Brussels. Brittan thought his protégé had a future in Conservative Party politics, and offered to launch his career back in London. But Clegg had other ideas: he signed up instead with the Liberal Democrats, the perennial losers of British politics.Crazy as it seems, the decision paid off. Barely 10 years later, the party, now led by Clegg, is set to win real influence for the first time in Britain’s postwar history in this May’s parliamentary elections.
Schwab case shows pain of a bond market’s collapse on small investors
250,000 individuals say they lost up to $800 million through the brokerage’s YieldPlus fund when the bottom fell out of the market for mortgage-tied bonds.
By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2010
As the government’s lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. over mortgage-backed securities stirred an uproar, a case with a lower profile showed the pain that some small investors suffered in the collapse of the market for bonds tied to home loans.
In the less closely watched case, Charles Schwab Corp. agreed last week to pay $200 million to settle a class-action lawsuit stemming from brutal mortgage-related losses in its once-popular YieldPlus bond fund.
Voter anger fuels New Hampshire congressional candidates
By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 26, 2010
NEWPORT, N.H. — Bounced out of Congress in the 2006 Democratic sweep, former congressman Charlie Bass is trying to win back his narrowly divided district in November.
He’s still a bellwether candidate. But Charlie Bass has changed.
The old version, the one who didn’t believe he would lose until the day it happened, was a traditional New England Republican, moderate in substance and style.
Hungary’s prime minister elect hails landslide election victory
Centre-right candidate Viktor Orbán to focus on stricken economy after winning two thirds of seats
The Guardian, Monday 26 April 2010
Hungary’s prime minister-elect, Viktor Orbán, said yesterday that voters had carried out a “revolution” by giving his party more than two-thirds of the seats in parliament to rebuild Hungary after near financial collapse. With nearly all second round votes counted, the centre-right Fidesz party had won 263 seats, ousting the Socialists after eight years and securing a mandate to enact reforms. “Revolution happened today in the polling booths,”Orbán told some 4,000 cheering supporters in downtown Budapest.
“Hungarian people today have ousted the regime of oligarchs who misused their power, and the people have established a new regime, the regime of national unity.”
Polygamy and fraud claims fan burqa row
By John Lichfield in Paris
Monday, 26 April 2010
The fining of a French Muslim woman for driving whilst wearing a niqab, or face veil, has somersaulted, in the space of a weekend, from political embarrassment to political windfall for President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Controversy raged yesterday after the Government alleged that the husband of the fined woman was a suspected polygamist and social security fraud with possible links to an extreme Islamist organisation.
The interior minister, Brice Hortefeux, who made the allegations in a letter released to the press, was accused by moderate Muslim groups and left-wing politicians of cynical “exploitation” of the affair for political gain.
US intervenes in Iraq election row as feared militia waits in wings
Proposed deal would see incumbent and rival split prime ministerial term
By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil Monday, 26 April 2010
The United States is trying to resolve the growing crisis over the formation of a new Iraqi government, with a deal between current prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and his main rival Iyad Allawi under which each man would hold the post of prime minister for two years at the head of a coalition government, The Independent has learned.
Fearful of growing political turmoil that would make it difficult or embarrassing to withdraw its remaining combat troops by August this year, as President Barack Obama has pledged, Washington has arranged talks about a joint government.
‘Suicide bomber’ targets British Ambassador to Yemen
From Times Online
April 26, 2010
A suspected suicide bomber today attacked a convoy carrying the British Ambassador to Yemen.
One person was killed but Tim Torlot, the ambassador, escaped unharmed after an explosion was reportedly set off near a convoy taking him to work this morning.
The person killed is believed to be the bomber, according to reports. It is understood he was wearing an explosive belt.
Thailand Red Shirts go undercover
• Protest leaders tell supporters to remove red clothing
• Protesters block roads into Bangkok to hinder police crackdown
guardian.co.uk, Monday 26 April 2010 09.40 BST
Thailand’s Red Shirt protesters have told their followers to ditch their signature red clothing so they can go undercover over fears of a possible crackdown. As more bomb threats rattled the tense Thai capital on Monday, there was no violence in the central Bangkok shopping area where protesters remained camped for a 24th day. However, an explosion injured eight people on Sunday evening near the home of former prime minister Banharn Silapa-archa, who is allied to the ruling coalition, police said.
Indian Government to answer claims it tapped ministers’ phones
From The Times
April 26, 2010
Jeremy Page in Delhi
The Indian Government is to answer accusations today that it tapped the telephones of leading politicians, including a minister involved in a growing money-laundering scandal surrounding the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
As tens of millions tuned in to watch the IPL final last night, opposition parties were threatening to disrupt Parliament unless Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister, responded personally to allegations in a magazine last week that the State had eavesdropped on ministers’ calls.
Rwanda crackdown: Human Rights Watch researcher denied visa
Human Rights Watch researcher Carina Tertsakian was denied a work visa in what critics charge is part of a new Rwanda crackdown by strongman President Paul Kagame.
By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer / April 25, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa
The government of President Paul Kagame has denied a work visa to a foreign researcher with Human Rights Watch, a sign of a broader Rwanda crackdown against political opponents and critics, human rights activists say.
On Friday, Rwanda informed Carina Tertsakian – a British researcher with Human Rights Watch – that she would not be given a work permit, alleging that there were “anomalies” among the signatures on her permit application.
Human Rights Watch asked for a meeting with immigration officials in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, but that meeting was denied, and Ms. Tertsakian was expelled on Friday.
Cuba’s ‘Ladies in White’ march blocked again
By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press Writer
HAVANA – A small group of carefully choreographed government supporters shouted down an even smaller contingent of wives and mothers of jailed opposition activists Sunday, preventing their traditional march for the third straight week in another ugly confrontation that may be becoming a Cuban weekend tradition.
The face-off didn’t end for seven hours, when the women finally boarded a city bus to be driven home following being surrounded by jeering counter-demonstrators in a park.