Deepwater Horizon crisis ‘may be over’
Fishing port reacts with suspicion to claims that engineers could have sealed off the gusher for good
Suzanne Goldenberg in Venice, Louisiana
Scientists pored over a series of pressure tests from BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico today, trying to discover whether engineers had unknowingly already sealed off the gusher for good.
The tests could decide whether the official epitaph for the Macondo is written tomorrow or sometime next week, when crews were scheduled to complete two relief wells that officials have described as the last step in permanently securing the BP well.
The big fat wedding brawl
PARTHIP THYAGARAJAN, TOI Crest, Aug 14, 2010, 12.34pm IST
Infighting among the bride’s family, squabbling with the groom’s side, battles with the event manager, the great Indian wedding turns really ugly almost as soon as the last strains of the shehnai die out…
Delhi-based businessmanAnil Chadha (name changed) was the only one of three sons who lived in the family house his father built in a plush South Delhi enclave. His daughter’s wedding was a four-day affair, with theme events at the Sheraton and at a farm house in Chattarpur. Immediately after the wedding, one of Chadha’s brothers commented to the other brother that Anil had managed to save so much money by living in their father’s house and not paying rent. That was the beginning of a bitter property dispute between the three brothers.
Detroit Goes From Gloom to Economic Bright Spot
By BILL VLASIC
Published: August 13, 2010
DETROIT – After a dismal period of huge losses and deep cuts that culminated in the Obama administration’s bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, the gloom over the American auto industry is starting to lift.
Jobs are growing. Factory workers are anticipating their first healthy profit-sharing checks in years. Sales are rebounding, with the Commerce Department reporting Friday that automobiles were a bright spot in July’s mostly disappointing retail sales.
Early cleanup efforts of gulf oil spill marred by communication woes, scammers
By Kimberly Kindy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 14, 2010
PASCAGOULA, MISS. — Johnny Ray Harris hunted for oil in the gulf near his home for 45 days straight, radioing in coordinates to cleanup crews when he spotted large, inky patches floating in the choppy waters.”I would call it in, but no one ever came. Not once,” Harris said, sitting on his 73-foot-long shrimp boat beside a box filled with unused rubber boots, gloves and coveralls. “What a waste.”
Harris is a part of BP’s Vessels of Opportunity program that promised to turn out-of-work fishermen into a powerful task force, skimming and scooping up oil before it reached the shores of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.
Spain to receive more Cuban dissidents, Church says
The Roman Catholic Church in Havana said on Friday six more political prisoners will leave Cuba for Spain. The move follows the release of 20 other prisoners last month.
HUMAN RIGHTS | 14.08.2010
Spain is to receive six more political dissidents from communist Cuba after a similar release of 20 last month, the Catholic Archdiocese of Havana said Friday.
The move is the result of an agreement between the communist government and the Roman Catholic Church. Officials said the six would be transferred directly from prison to a plane where they would be united with their families and flown to Spain.
In May this year, Cuban President Raul Castro held an unprecedented meeting with Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega. Following that meeting, Castro agreed in June to free 52 of 75 dissidents who were imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown on government opponents. The rest of the group had already been paroled when Castro decided on the release.
Russia to load fuel for Iranian reactor
By Vladimir Isachenkov
Saturday, August 14, 2010
MOSCOW — Russia will load fuel into Iran’s first nuclear power plant next week despite U.S. demands that Iran be prevented from obtaining nuclear energy until it proves it is not pursuing a weapons capacity, Russian and Iranian officials said Friday.
Uranium fuel shipped by Russia will be loaded into the Bushehr reactor Aug. 21, beginning a start-up process that will last about a month and end with the reactor sending electricity to Iranian cities, officials said.
3 Reasons Israel will attack Iran
A long article out this week in The Atlantic argues there’s a good chance Israel will attack Iran over its nuclear program next summer. While there are strong grounds for doubt, here are some reasons author Jeffrey Goldberg could be right.
Dan Murphy, Staff writer
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. But Israel quite simply doesn’t believe the Islamic Republic and fears what a nuclear weapon in the hands of a government with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the top of the heap could mean for them.
Israel is a country whose national psyche was crafted by the Holocaust and has said time and again that it will take preemptive action if it thinks the nation is threatened.
Gravestone Removals Add Fuel to Jerusalem Museum Dispute
By ETHAN BRONNER
Published: August 13, 2010
JERUSALEM – The latest skirmish in the war for every inch of this coveted city focused this week on the dead. Did Israeli government bulldozers, working in the middle of the night, destroy hundreds of historic Muslim graves? Or were the removed tombstones outrageous fakes placed on parkland in a ruse?
Each side in the dispute – a fiery branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel and the right-wing Jerusalem municipality – is accusing the other of shamelessness and indecency. The area in question is in West Jerusalem, a predominantly Jewish area next to a contested site where the Simon Wiesenthal Center is planning a branch devoted to tolerance and human dignity.
Children bear the brunt of Pakistan’s nightmare
The youngest are often the last to eat when disaster strikes, as Andrew Buncombe discovers in Hasanwala, central Punjab
Saturday, 14 August 2010
His small silver car had only made it halfway across the long stretch of submerged road when the engine spluttered, stalled and died, but Dilawar Dil was not perturbed.
As those in the backseat sighed and readied themselves to get out and push, Mr Dil could only smile.
This was a good day, he explained. Having rescued his mother and grandmother several days ago from their flooded village, today – with the help of the Pakistan army – he had gone back for his younger brother and his 14-year-old sister, who were now travelling with him.
An education paradox
CLASSROOM WARS IN SOUTH KOREA , Part 1
By Aidan Foster-Carter
Education in South Korea is a paradox, where two big truths clash. Koreans are incredibly keen, and on many measures do very well. Yet nobody – students, parents, teachers or the authorities – is happy. And now battles are raging, on everything from testing and elitism to teachers’ politics, free school meals and corporal punishment.
Let’s start with the positive. I’m a bit skeptical when Koreans tell you how their Confucian heritage values learning. In theory yes, yet for centuries hardly anyone got to study except a tiny male scholar elite. Modern education – girls not excluded – only arrived with Christian missionaries in the late 19th century.
Uganda’s LRA killed 2,500 people, abducted 697 children over past 18 months
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted more than 697 children over the past 18 months and killed an estimated 2,500 people, according to new reports from rights monitors.
By Jason Stearns, Guest blogger / August 13, 2010
Human Rights Watch and Enough have both released recent reports on the activity of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The Ugandan rebel group has abducted more than 697 children in northeastern Congo and southeastern Central African Republic over the past 18 months and killed an estimated 2,500 people. The violence has been underreported because the areas they operate in are very remote and the LRA doesn’t play much of a political role in the region.
Arrests target Mexico drug cartels
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 2010
At least 19 suspected drug gang members have been arrested in a series of raids across Mexico’s northern states.
Among those detained on Friday was a 29-year-old man suspected of involvement in a car bombing in Ciudad Juarez, the first such attack in they city at the heart of much of the drug-related violence that has left at least 28,000 people dead since 2006.
The man confessed to participating in the July 15 attack on federal police as part of ‘La Linea’ – an armed gang linked to the powerful Juarez cartel, a public security ministry statement said on Friday.