Archive for May, 2011

Italy offers financial help to Libya rebels

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Rome will call for wider recognition of uprising and financial relief as Nato members and Arab allies confer in Abu Dhabi in the days ahead

Africa pioneer eyes new ground for Cluff Gold

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The west African gold producer hopes to raise $175m to develop its showpiece Baomahun concession in Sierra Leone, a project that could propel the company towards its goal

‘Concern’ over ME/viral research

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The journal Science has asked the authors of a research paper, which linked chronic fatigue syndrome to a virus, to withdraw their findings.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Gas drilling halted after quake

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Shale gas drillingShale gas drilling is controversial
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Shale gas test drilling in Lancashire has been suspended following an earthquake on the Fylde coast.

A spokeswoman for Cuadrilla, the company carrying out the tests, said drilling was suspended as a precaution after Friday’s 1.5 magnitude quake.

“No fracking will be resumed until the data has been interpreted by ourselves in consultations with the British Geological Survey (BGS),” she added.

On 1 April a 2.2 magnitude tremor also centred on Poulton-le-Fylde.

Shale gas drilling, known as “fracking” involves creating tiny explosions to shatter hard shale rocks and release gas underground.

It has proved a controversial process in the US with environmentalists alleging that shale gas leaking into their drinking supply causes tap water to ignite.

But earlier this month the Commons energy select committee called on ministers to support the process in the UK arguing that environmental problems associated with it in the US could be overcome by tight regulation and good industry practice.

The BGS said it was also monitoring fracking as a precaution. There have been two small earthquakes in Lancashire since fracking began in the county in March.

In an analysis of the April quake published on its website the BGS said: “Any process that injects pressurised water into rocks at depth will cause the rock to fracture and possibly produce earthquakes.

“It is well known that injection of water or other fluids during the oil extraction and geothermal engineering, such as Shale gas, processes can result in earthquake activity.”

The BGS said the April tremor took place 1.2 miles (2km) away from the drilling site but said its monitoring instruments were 50 miles (80km) away.

“Instrumentation much closer to the site, as well as a detailed record of dates and times of injection are required to identify any relationship between the injection process and any seismic activity in future,” the BGS said.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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VIDEO: Augment your reality with new app

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The advertising industry is pinning great hopes on augmented reality technology.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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‘New charges’ for 9/11 suspects

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Military prosecutors have filed new charges against self-styled 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators, reports say.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Bulgaria’s Rightists Divided over Proposed Fiscal Pact

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The two major parties in Bulgaria’s rightist ‘Blue Coalition’ have ended up in a discord over their support for the Financial Stability Pact, a Constitutional amendment proposed by Finance Minister Simeon Djankov.

After on Monday the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party declared on behalf of the Blue Coalition that it will not support the amendment designed to restrict budget deficit, on Tuesday, the Union of Democratic Forces, the other major party in the coalition, said it was in support of the Financial Stability Pact.

UDF Deputy Chair Rumen Hristov explain that the introduction of the fiscal pact is important because it will guarantee lower interest rates, security for foreign investors, and overall financial stability.

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Apple to unveil own cloud service

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will announce details of iCloud, the Californian company’s new cloud computing offering.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Lawyers make ?70m from legal aid

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Barrister carrying his wigThe barrister earning most from legal aid was paid £897,657
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A group of 200 barristers and solicitors’ firms have earned almost £70m in legal aid payments in the last financial year.

The identity of those who received the money will not be published until it is established there is no security risk.

The bill has fallen from more than £100m in 2009-10.

The publication comes as some solicitors are involved in a dispute with the justice minister who has reduced legal aid rates.

Solicitors have withdrawn their services in more than 100 criminal cases arguing that the new rates make it impossible for them to prepare properly for court.

The figures published on Tuesday show the 100 barristers and 100 solicitors’ firms who earn most from the legal aid budget.

Seven firms received £1m or more, while nine others received more than £750,000 and 20 more than £500,000.

Legal aid payments 2010-11

Top earning solicitors’ firm £2,649,736

Top earning barrister – £897,657

The highest earning firm made more than £2.5m.

The barrister earning most from legal aid was paid nearly £900,000 while 16 were paid more than £250,000.

Another 12 were paid £200,000 or more.

The list is currently anonymous because some lawyers have objected to their identities being revealed.

The names are expected to be revealed later this year when the security checks have been completed.

The interim chair of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission, Ronnie Spence, said it was committed to transparency in accounting for public money.

He added that the money paid out may represent payments for work undertaken across a number of years and for a variety of cases.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Bulgaria’s Ruling Party ‘Optimistic’ about Minimum Salary, Pension Raise

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Bulgaria’s Labor Minister Totyu Mladenov has joined the chorus of senior government officials declaring that they are “highly optimistic” about the prospects of raising the minimum.

“We are all optimistic,” Mladenov told reporters after taking part in a meeting of the parliamentary group of the ruling center-right party GERB.

The government has been toying with the idea of raising the budget sector salaries and the retirement pensions, with Labor Minister Mladenov and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov exchanging statements on the topic, while analysts have hinted that a government-declared raise of the minimum wage might be expected over the summer in a move to beef up voter support for GERB ahead of the presidential and local elections in the fall of 2011.

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