News briefs:July 26, 2010

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Wikinews Shorts: August 8, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, August 8, 2009.

Contents

  • 1 Leader of Pakistan Taliban may have been killed in drone attack
  • 2 Hillary Clinton arrives in South Africa
  • 3 Anniversary of Georgian War marked by mutual accusations
  • 4 Police in the United Kingdom ordered to review policing of demonstrations
  • 5 Son of missing Japanese actress Noriko Sakai found safe
  • 6 Seven coalition troops killed within 24 hour period in Afghanistan
  • 7 Hong Kong government to begin school drug testing trials in December
  • 8 Nine killed in Belgium care home fire
  • 9 India and China resume border talks
  • 10 President Kennedy’s sister Eunice Kennedy in critical condition at hospital

Category:July 2, 2005

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? July 1, 2005
July 3, 2005 ?
July 2

Pages in category “July 2, 2005”

Media in category “July 2, 2005”

Fires out at the Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

After two days, the 2005 Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire has finally been extinguished.

The fires began after a series of explosions early on the morning of 11 December 2005. The terminal, known locally as the Buncefield Depot, is an oil storage facility located near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. These were some of the largest explosions ever to occur in the country and the incident has been described as the biggest of its kind in peacetime Europe.

The Hertfordshire Fire Service chief Roy Wilsher said: “There are still some small bund (concrete container) fires, but the tanks are out.”

Fire crews would remain at the scene over the next few days cooling the area to ensure fires did not break out again, he said.

A few residents are being allowed to return to their homes within an exclusion zone set up around the site.

Efforts to cap Deepwater Horizon oil spill delayed again

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 Correction — May 11, 2011 This article incorrectly describes BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An attempt to cap the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has hit yet another obstacle, reported officials from British Petroleum (BP).

Friday night’s attempt to install a 6-inch (15.2cm) tube into the leaking drill pipe was only the latest in a series of efforts by BP to stop or slow down the spill. Previously, the oil company had tried to enclose the pipe with a large container dome, and then lowered a smaller “top hat” container dome. The siphon tube method is designed to reduce the amount of oil flowing into the ocean, but is not a permanent solution to stopping the leak altogether. It will draw the oil from the broken pipe to a tanker at the surface, said BP.

The tube was to be inserted into the broken pipe by robotic submarines, but the attempt on Friday to do so was unsuccessful, causing it to be taken back up for changes. The problem was a metal frame on the tube, which had changed position and this prevented the tube sent down from the drill ship Discover Enterprise from connecting. The tube had not been inserted into the leaking drill pipe before it was brought back up.

BP said that it would try again Saturday night (local time) to slow the leak using a reconfigured tube. If this attempt is unsuccessful, they will use the smaller dome to cap the leak, and may also try to plug the leak by covering it with trash, mud, or concrete. The company is already in the process of drilling relief wells to completely stop the leak, but this is expected to take several more months. The amount of oil currently leaking from the pipe is disputed, and BP said it has spent several hundred million US dollars in response to the oil spill.

BP was also given permission yesterday by the US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency to use chemical oil dispersants to combat the spill.

More than 100 reported dead after Syrian troops move against protesters

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Syrian troops yesterday launched an offensive against protesters across the nation, resulting in around a hundred deaths in the city of Hama and several dozen more in other parts of the country.

The most severe violence took place in Hama, where government troops and tanks, which had previously remained outside of the city for around a month, moved into the city center beginning at dawn. The crackdown left around a hundred people dead in the city, though exact numbers were unclear.

According to the government, the action in Hama was taken in response to the construction of barricades by protesters, though a US embassy official in Damascus denied the claim. A statement on state news agency SANA said that protesters had “set police stations on fire, vandalised public and private properties, set roadblocks and barricades and burned tyres at the entrance of Hama” and that “Army units are removing the barricades and roadblocks set by the armed groups at the entrance of the city.”

Outside of Hama, several dozen more people died in other incidents around the country, leading to reports of a total death toll of 136 people, according to The Telegraph. In addition to civilian deaths, the government said that five military personnel had been killed.

After the events of yesterday, United States president Barack Obama said that he condemned the government’s actions, as did officials from the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Obama also said that the US “will continue to increase our pressure on the Syrian regime, and work with others around the world to isolate the Assad government

Repeal of ministerial control of RU486 bill passes Australian Senate

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Thursday, February 9, 2006

The bill on whether the Australian Federal Health Minster Tony Abbott should not exercise ministerial control of the abortifacient RU486 has passed the Australian Senate February 9, 2006. If the bill passes the Australian House of Representatives, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will exercise control and evaluation of the suitability of the drug for use in Australia.

Senators were allowed a free vote on the issue. The result of the vote on the third reading, the final stage of the bill, was 45 for to 28 in favour of TGA exercising control. 23 of the 26 female senators voted in favour of the bill, while numbers were more evenly split between the male senators; 21 of them voted for the bill and 25 were against.

The bill will be debated in the House of Representatives on February 14, 2006.

Volkswagen engulfed by diesel emissions scandal

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chief Executive of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn issued on Sunday a public apology and announced an outside inquiry would be carried out, after the company became engulfed in a scandal about diesel emissions tests.

Over the weekend there were damaging revelations that the car manufacturer has been using illegal software to enable diesel cars to cheat on mandatory emissions tests.

An investigation into alleged breaches of environmental law was originally initiated on the advice of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a European NGO. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requested tests be carried out by West Virginia University, where the secret software was discovered.

Volkswagen has suffered a significant drop of almost a fifth in the value of its shares. There have been knock-on effects for other car manufacturers who have also seen their share values fall after suggestions that the scandal could extend much further than just Volkswagen.

The company will have to foot the bill for the recall of close to 500,000 VW and Audi cars. There is also the possibility of paying federal fines of up to US$18 billion dollars because the US Clean Air Act sets a maximum fine of US$37,500 for each vehicle that contravenes the requirements of the Act.

The software, known as a “defeat device”, enabled cars to identify when they were being tested and to switch on the emission control system. The devices may have been adding urea to the car exhaust because that would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide. The car would release a fraction of the nitrogen oxide compared to when they were being driven normally. Emissions of nitrogen oxide contribute to smog and are thought to have caused a rise in respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Doctor robbed, car-jacked and locked in boot while car set alight

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Monday, March 19, 2007

A 34 year old obstetrician from Forestville on Sydney’s Northern Beaches has escaped after he was robbed, car-jacked and locked in the boot (trunk) of his BMW, which was set alight. Police say the doctor was locked in the boot while his car was set alight, but was allowed to escape before flames engulfed the vehicle.

The Doctor was believed to have been heading to The Mater Hospital in North Sydney when he was waiting at the intersection of West and Falcon Streets in Chatswood around 3:15AM AEDT when a small red sedan with two men claiming to be police officers signalled him to stop. After crossing the intersection, the doctor stopped his car at the side of the road.

The doctor was then approached by the two men and when he asked to see identification, one man grabbed the keys from his car’s ignition before they both pulled the doctor out of his vehicle, hit him in the stomach with a hammer and stole his mobile phone and wallet. The robbers also demanded his key and credit cards along with their access codes before locking him in the boot.

Police allege that the men drove to several locations to withdraw cash and buy things before driving to Carisbook Street in Linley Point at around 4 a.m. local time where they set the car alight with the doctor still in the boot.

Crime Manager of the Harbourside Local Area Command, Detective Inspector Houlahan said that the doctor then “heard a click in the boot area and he heard someone call out: ‘Get out of the car'”

“When he pushed the boot up he found his car engulfed in flames.”

Det. Insp. Houlahan said the doctor told police he did not unlock the boot himself, and it appeared the man’s captors unlocked it before fleeing.

Det Insp Houlahan said that the doctor appeared to be “very distraught” and tired after the ordeal, and wanted to get home and see his wife and two young daughters.

He could only provide police with a vague description of his captors, but said the men were both Caucasian males aged in their 20s, and that one of them was about six feet tall (183cm) with short blond hair and medium build said Det. Insp. Houlahan.

Retired U.S. vets sue Donald Rumsfeld for excessive service cutbacks

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

One thousand residents of the Defense Department-managed Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. filed a class-action lawsuit on May 24, asserting that the cut-backs in medical and dental services imposed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are illegal. The operating budget for the home was reduced from $63 million in 2004 to $58 million for 2005. The residents cite cuts in on-site X-ray, electrocardiogram, physical and dental services, and the closing of the home’s main clinic and an on-site pharmacy.

Chief Financial Officer Steve McManus responded that the changes not only save money but also achieved improved efficiencies. “We’re really trying to improve the benefits to our residents,” he said.

Most of the home’s costs are paid for by a trust fund and monthly fees paid by residents. By law, the Armed Forces Retirement Homes are required to fund, “on-site primary care, medical care and a continuum of long-term care services.”