News at Noon

From Reuters

Chevron earnings triple

By Matt Daily and Braden Reddall

July 30, 2010

(Reuters) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N), the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported a three-fold jump in quarterly profit on rising oil output, higher energy prices and buoyant margins at its refineries, topping Wall Street forecasts.

The results follow the strong earnings reports from the world’s largest oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) on Thursday.

Chevron’s second-quarter net income jumped to $5.4. billion, or $2.70 per share, from $1.75 billion, or 87 cents per share, a year before. Revenue rose to $53 billion.

From Yahoo Top News

Wildfire explodes in rural hills near Los Angeles


July 30, 2010

PALMDALE, Calif. – Firefighters plan an aggressive air attack at first light Friday against a fast-moving wildfire that exploded in northern Los Angeles County, chewing through more than 7 square miles of dry brush, forcing thousands of evacuations and burning at least three structures.

There is zero containment, authorities said.

Three water-dropping helicopters and hundreds of firefighters worked through the night to get ahead of the blaze that broke out around 3 p.m. Thursday southwest of Palmdale. By early evening the winds picked up and pushed the flames north and east toward the suburbs of Los Angeles County’s inland desert, authorities said.

Recession was deeper than gov’t previously thought

By Jeannine Aversa

July 30, 2010

WASHINGTON – The recession was deeper than the government previously thought.

The Commerce Department, in revisions issued Friday, estimates the economy shrank 2.6 percent last year – the steepest drop since 1946. That’s worse than the 2.4 percent decline originally estimated.

The economy’s plunge underscores why the unemployment rate surged to 10.1 percent in October, a 26-year high.

Officials: Floods kill at least 313 in Pakistan

By Riaz Khan and Roshan Mu

July 30, 2010

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – The death toll in three days of flooding in Pakistan reached at least 313 on Friday, rescue and government officials said, as rains bloated rivers, submerged villages, and triggered landslides.

The rising toll from the monsoon rains underscore the poor infrastructure in impoverished Pakistan, where under-equipped rescue workers were struggling to reach people stranded in far-flung villages. The weather forecast was mixed, with some areas expected to see reduced rainfall and others likely to see an intensification.

Pakistani TV showed striking images of people clinging to fences and other stationary items as water at times gushed over their heads.

Arizona sheriff not relenting after court ruling

By Jacques Billeaud and Amanda Lee Myers

July 30, 2010

PHOENIX – Lost in the hoopla over Arizona’s immigration law is the fact that state and local authorities for years have been doing their own aggressive crackdowns in the busiest illegal gateway into the country.

Nowhere in the U.S. is local enforcement more present than in metropolitan Phoenix, where Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio routinely carries out sweeps, some in Hispanic neighborhoods, to arrest illegal immigrants. The tactics have made him the undisputed poster boy for local immigration enforcement and the anger that so many authorities feel about the issue.

“It’s my job,” said Arpaio, standing beside a sheriff’s truck that has a number for an immigration hot line written on its side. “I have two state (immigration) laws that I am enforcing. It’s not federal, it’s state.”

U.S. embassy employees poisoned by mail: French police

By Nicolas Bertin and Gerard Bon

July 30, 2010

PARIS (Reuters) – Three employees of the U.S. embassy in Paris were being treated for poisoning on Friday after opening mail, a police source told Reuters.

The source was not immediately able to specify the nature of the poisoning or the seriousness of their condition. A spokesman for the U.S. embassy was not immediately available for comment.  (Ed. note: as of 9:45AM EST)

Troops kill senior ‘capo’ of mighty Mexico cartel

By Olga R. Rodriguez

July 30, 2010

MEXICO CITY – Soldiers killed a top leader of the Sinaloa cartel in a raid on his posh hideout, dealing the biggest blow yet to Mexico’s most powerful drug gang since President Felipe Calderon launched a military offensive against organized crime in 2006.

Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a reputed founder of Mexico’s methamphetamine trade, was gunned down trying to escape soldiers in the western city of Guadalajara. Mexican authorities says he fired on soldiers as helicopters hovered overhead and troops closed in.

Coronel was a close associate of Mexico’s most wanted man, Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and was No. 3 in the organization after Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

July is deadliest month of Afghan war for US

By Robert H. Reid

July 30, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan – Three U.S. troops died in blasts in Afghanistan, bringing the death toll for July to at least 63 and surpassing the previous month’s record as the deadliest for American forces in the nearly 9-year-old war.

In Kabul, police fired weapons into the air Friday to disperse a crowd of angry Afghans who shouted “death to America,” hurled stones and set fire to two vehicles after an SUV was involved in a traffic accident that killed four Afghans on the main airport road, according to the capital’s criminal investigations chief, Abdul Ghaafar Sayedzada.

SUVs are often associated with foreigners, but it remained unclear who caused the accident because the occupants fled the scene. Sayedzada said two foreigners’ vehicles at the scene were burned by the crowd.

Dudley to outline BP plans to help Gulf recover

By Kevin McGill

July 30, 2010

NEW ORLEANS – Incoming BP CEO Bob Dudley was set to outline his company’s long-term efforts to help the Gulf of Mexico recover from the oil spill Friday morning, and will be getting help from a Clinton administration-era emergency management official.

The oil giant said Dudley would be in Biloxi, Miss., to announce that former Federal Emergency Management Agency head James Lee Witt will support its recovery efforts. Local officials, especially in Louisiana, have been clamoring for more long-term commitments in the face of reports that the oil spill is dissipating, at least on the water’s surface.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government’s oil-spill response chief, had what he called a frank and open discussion Thursday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and coastal parish officials concerned that the Coast Guard and BP PLC will pull back from the spill response once the oil is stopped permanently.

US expert: China oil spill far bigger than stated

By Cara Anna

July 30, 2010

BEIJING – China’s worst known oil spill is dozens of times larger than the government has reported, and some of the oil was spilled deliberately to avoid an even larger disaster, an American expert said Friday.

China’s government has said 1,500 tons (461,790 gallons) of oil spilled after a pipeline exploded two weeks ago near the northeastern city of Dalian, sending 100-foot- (30-meter-) high flames raging near one of the country’s key strategic oil reserves. It has not updated that estimate since a few days after the spill.

But Rick Steiner, a former University of Alaska marine conservation specialist, estimated 60,000 tons (18.47 million gallons) to 90,000 tons (27.70 million gallons) of oil actually spilled into the Yellow Sea.


  1. Those damned Chinese not reporting accurately the extent of their oil spill!

    Who do they think they are?  British Petroleum?

    Oh wait …

    • Edger on July 30, 2010 at 18:19

    Oh, hey! Look over there! Don’t look at the Gulf of Mexico.

    At least here we can restore the gulf to a pristine state again!

    July 29, 2010

    animation here

    All we have to do is… is… is… sink the giant hundreds of millions of gallons oil blob below the surface where nobody can see the damn thing with poison chemical dispersants and turn it into a giant hundreds of millions of gallons blob of invisible poison out of sight and out of mind.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not still there… and continuing to grow.

    But since it’s now invisible nobody will make the connection when their next child is born with one eye, an arm growing out of his forehead, webbed fingers, and dies of cancer screaming in pain and bleeding from the rectum at six months old.

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