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BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill trial delayed in bid to reach deal

deepwater fire
© Associated Press
Fire boat response crews spray water on the burning remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010
A judge in New Orleans has ordered that the start date be put back a week to allow more time to try to negotiate a settlement

The gigantic civil trial resulting from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has been delayed for one week, just hours before it was due to get underway in a New Orleans court on Monday to give BP and lawyers for the tens of thousands who lost their livelihoods time to negotiate a settlement.

Judge Carl Barbier issued an order on Sunday afternoon putting off the start date until 5 March, citing reasons of "judicial efficiency".

A joint statement issued by BP and the plaintiffs' steering committee said the delay was granted to give the armies of lawyers from both sides more time to reach a deal. "This adjournment is intended to allow BP and the PSC more time to continue settlement discussions and attempt to reach an agreement," the statement said.

Briefcase

BP 'close to deal' on Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill

deepwater fire
© Associated Press
The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010 destroying the ecosystem of the Gulf, as well as the health of the people in the surrounding areas.
A partial settlement of claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in the US is very close, sources have told the BBC.

The agreement would be between BP and individuals and companies seeking compensation. BP is yet to comment.

One lawyer told the BBC a deal between BP and US federal and state governments was not close, and talks had halted.

The drilling rig exploded in April 2010 killing 11 men and spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP has so far paid $7.5bn in clean-up costs and compensation.

Stop

Marine Disasters on the Increase: Recent Cruise Ship Accidents

The crippled cruise ship Costa Allegra, with 636 passengers and 413 crew on board, was being towed to the Seychelles main island on Tuesday after an engine room fire knocked out its power in the Indian Ocean.

The vessel's sister ship, the Costa Concordia, capsized off the coast of Italy last month killing at least 25 people.

Here are details of some other recent cruise ship accidents:

Crashes

Costa Europa: The liner slammed into the pier in February 2010 as its captain tried to dock at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in high winds. Three crew were killed and four passengers were injured. The Costa Europa had been on an 18-day cruise from Dubai to Savona and had over 1,400 passengers on board.

Costa Concordia: In 2008, the giant Italian vessel hit the dockside in Palermo, Sicily, in bad weather, causing damage to the bow.

Power Failure

Costa Classica: A power failure was blamed for the Costa Classica smashing into a cargo vessel in China's Yangtze River, injuring three people in late 2010.

Eye 1

Googlegeddon Approaches - How To Protect Yourself

google

In three days from now, Google will implement a unified privacy policy that will allow it to mix data about user activity from all of its different services, creating a huge database that details people's interests and activities.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a good article about this coming event. The article gives a little tip about how to erase your web search history: You have to go to Google.com/history and clear your web history.

Doing this clears the history of your use of the Google search engine, but it doesn't affect the data collected about your use of the other Google services. So, taking this action might prevent Google from using all your search data from the last several years to share a consumer profile of you with its corporate customers... for a while.

Wolf

FOX news edits audience response to John Bolton blowback question



During a taping of the Stossel show at the 2012 International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington D.C., I got to confront neo-conservative war monger John Bolton on the issue of blowback, and it miraculously made it's way onto the Stossel show! I'm guessing we have the man himself, John Stossel, to thank for that.

Of course, this is Fox we're talking about, so there is some disingenuous editing. But the content of my question and Bolton's response is completely intact! Thank you Stossel!

Bandaid

Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.

Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority-sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.

Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society's most oppressive authorities.

Boat

Italian cruise ship adrift off Seychelles taken in tow

A cruise ship left adrift in the Indian Ocean after a power failure with more than 1,000 people on board has been taken in tow, the BBC has learned.
Image
© Agence France-Presse
The Costa Allegra has more than 1,000 people on board

A French fishing vessel is taking the Costa Allegra to a nearby island where passengers will be disembarked before being transferred to the Seychelles.

A fire in the ship's generator room caused it to lose all power.

The ship is from the same fleet as the Costa Concordia, which capsized off the Italian coast in January, killing 32.

The BBC's Katy Watson on Seychelles says that the ship is being towed to the Desroches island, near Alphonse island, south-west of the Seychelles.

Stormtrooper

Eviction of London Occupy camp under way

Occupy London Stock exchange
© EPA
Occupy London Stock exchange has been camped outside St. Paul's Cathedral since last October

After winning a High Court injunction, police move in to dismantle the Occupy London site outside St Paul's Cathedral.

Police and bailiffs began evicting British occupy activists from a protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Occupy London was last week refused permission to appeal against a High Court decision to allow their eviction to proceed.

The Court of Appeal's decision meant the City of London Corporation was free to clear the site.

Light Saber

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Over Boycott of Israeli Goods

Court Finds Suit Is Effort to Chill Boycotters' Public Statements On Issue of Public Concern

Olympia, Wash. and New York -- February 27 - Today, in a lawsuit brought against current and former members of the Olympia Food Co-op board of directors for their decision to boycott Israeli goods, a Washington State court dismissed the case, calling it a SLAPP - Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation - and said that it would award the defendants attorneys' fees, costs, and sanctions. The judge also upheld the constitutionality of Washington's anti-SLAPP law, which the plaintiffs had challenged.

In a court hearing last Thursday, lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP argued that the court should grant the defendants' Special Motion to Strike and dismiss the case because it targeted the constitutional rights of free speech and petition in connection with an issue of public concern.

"We are pleased the Court found this case to be what it is - an attempt to chill free speech on a matter of public concern. This sends a message to those trying to silence support of Palestinian human rights to think twice before they bring a lawsuit," said Maria LaHood, a senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Padlock

Naked Man Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison for Child Porn

Image
© Tarrant Co. District Attorney's Office
US, Texas - You knew the story wouldn't end well when it began with a 57-year-old man wandering around his Fort Worth workplace - naked.

A judge in Fort Worth recently sentenced Kenneth Clyde Jackson to a total of 18 years in prison.

During the trial prosecutors presented evidence that on July 3, 2010, police officers found Jackson at the Regal Plastics warehouse, off East Loop 820.

Officers were not only interested in why Jackson was at the warehouse, but why it was he didn't have on any clothes. When questioned, Jackson said he was at the warehouse catching up on work and was naked because he was hot.

When officers took Jackson back to his workstation, presumably to get his clothes, they saw child pornography pulled up on his computer.