Archive for May, 2010

Gulf oil spill threat widens, BP shares drop

Monday, May 31st, 2010

VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – Oil from BP’s out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, U.S. forecasters said on Monday, as public anger surged over the country’s worst environmental disaster.

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Rich-poor rifts stall progress at U.N. climate talks

Monday, May 31st, 2010

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – U.N. climate talks opened on Monday, exposing familiar rifts between rich and poor countries which delegates said were likely to delay a re-start of formal negotiations.

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Deepwater Horizon: Top spill

Monday, May 31st, 2010

BP thinks again about how to staunch the flow of oil after “top kill” fails

AFTER three days of trying, on May 29th BP gave up on its attempts to stanch the flow of oil from its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico with a procedure known as “top kill”. The following day, a White House adviser described the spill as the worst in America’s history.

“Top kill” depended on the company pumping large amounts of drilling mud into the blowout preventer, a set of valves which sits on the sea floor at the top of the company’s MC252 well, which was drilled by the ill-fated rig Deepwater Horizon. The idea was to push the mud down the well faster than the pressure of the rising oil and gas could push it back out of the top of the blowout preventer, eventually filling the well with a great enough weight of mud to keep the oil pressed down. To help with this the company fired various sorts of detritus into the blowout preventer, in the hope that the bits of wire and rubber thus introduced would plug the leaks at the top of the preventer and thus help make sure the mud went down, not up. But even with these “junk shots” the company could not get the procedure to work. …

German politics: K?hler quits

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Germany’s president resigns after ill-chosen remarks about the war in Afghanistan

THE powers of the German president are more symbolic than real, but Horst Kohler’s sudden resignation from the job on Monday May 31st was nonetheless a bombshell. He quit days after critics accused him of violating the spirit of the constitution in remarks he made about German military operations abroad. His accusers “flouted the necessary respect for my office,” said a tearful Mr Kohler. His premature departure, the first by a post-war president before the end of his term, piles additional pressure on the coalition government led by Angela Merkel, which is already beleaguered by sagging popular support and the crisis in the euro area. How she proceeds in the search for a successor will say much about how she means to manage Germany during the coalition’s three remaining years in office.

Mr Kohler, a former director of the International Monetary Fund, had been floundering for some time. As a non-politician he lacked influence in Berlin’s backrooms. Earlier presidents had made their mark by rising to historical occasions with ringing oratory. Despite his financial expertise Mr Kohler struggled to find his voice during the economic crisis. The markets had become a “monster,” he told a magazine in May. Hurled sporadically his thunderbolts fizzled. Recently, the press has been giving more coverage to infighting and resignations among his aides than to anything Mr Kohler has had to say. He remained popular but his prestige was ebbing. …

Bulgarian Minister Promises 1st Completed Highway by May 2011

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The Lyulin Highway will be ready by May 15, 2011, making it Bulgaria’s first completed highway, promised Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev.

Plevneliev announced Monday that the government had reached an agreement with the Turkish company Mapa Cengiz, which is building the Lyulin Highway, and that if the firm fails to meet the deadline, it will face a huge penalty.

The 19-km Lyulin Highway is supposed to connect the Bulgarian capital Sofia with the Daskalovo road intersection near Pernik to the west, which will be starting point of the future Struma Highway connecting Sofia with Kulata on the Greek border.

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Gulf oil spill threat widens

Monday, May 31st, 2010

VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – Oil from BP’s out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, U.S. forecasters said on Monday, as public anger surged over the country’s worst environmental disaster.

Source

Bulgaria’s Central Bank Snubs Nationalists’ over Interest Rates Cap

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The heads of the Bulgarian National Bank have expressed their reserve with respect to the idea of the nationalist party Ataka to tie the interest rate on bank credits with the interest rate on bank deposits.

The Governor of the BNB Ivan Iskrov and his three deputies met Monday with the leader of Ataka Volen Siderov to discuss the nationalists’ ideas for a new mechanism for bank regulation.

On Sunday, Siderov, whose party Ataka is a major ally of Bulgaria’s ruling party GERB as it provides it with the necessary votes for a parliamentary majority, announced the formation had new legislation ideas for a future national economic strategy, including the adoption of new regulation stating that the maximum level of interest rates on credits should not be 0….

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Threat from Gulf oil spill widens

Monday, May 31st, 2010

VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – Oil from BP’s out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, forecasters said on Monday, as public anger surged over the country’s worst environmental disaster.

Source

U.N. climate talks resume, negotiation stalled

Monday, May 31st, 2010

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – U.N. climate talks resumed on Monday exposing familiar rifts between rich and poor nations which delegates said would delay the start of formal negotiations.

Source

Crisis Makes Bulgarian EU Commissioner Hurry for Gaza Strip

Monday, May 31st, 2010

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva, will make a visit to the Gaza Strip sooner than scheduled after the crisis caused by an Israeli raid on 6 vessels carrying aid for the Palestinian territory.

Georgieva, who is in charge of humanitarian aid, international cooperation, and crisis response within the European Commission, confirmed Monday in the city of Veliko Tarnovo in Northern Bulgaria her intention to visit the Gaza Strip, but made it clear that the case with the Gaza-bound ships boarded by the Israeli forces will accelerate her planned trip to the Palestinian enclave.

The Bulgarian EU Commissioner revealed that two weeks ago she spoke to high-ranking representatives of the Israeli government in order to notify them of her intention to pay a formal visit to the Gaza Strip in order to become acquainted with the situation on the ground.

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