Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα USA. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα USA. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Πέμπτη, Αυγούστου 07, 2014

WTO Appellate Body rules against Chinese restrictions on access to rare earths and other raw materials (E.C.)

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 7 August 2014:

The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today ruled in the EU’s favour. It confirmed the findings made by a Panel in March 2014 that China’s export restrictions on rare earth, as well as tungsten and molybdenum, are in breach of WTO rules. Backing the claims of the EU and its co-complainants, the US and Japan, the WTO found that China’s export duties and quotas were not justified for reasons of environmental protection or conservation policy.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht qualified the ruling as “another milestone in the EU’s efforts to ensure fair access to much-needed raw materials for its industries”. “This ruling sends a clear signal that export restrictions cannot be used to protect or promote domestic industries at the expense of foreign competitors. I now look forward to China swiftly bringing its export regime in line with international rules, as it did with other raw materials under the previous WTO ruling,” Commissioner said. 

In 2012, China lost another WTO case, brought jointly by the EU, US and Mexico, on export restrictions on raw materials. It subsequently lifted those restrictions. However, it did not lift similar measures, export quotas and duties, applying to other raw materials, such as tungsten, molybdenum and rare earths. The EU and its co-complainants were therefore left with no option but to use the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism again. 

China has argued that its export restrictions on rare earths are part of its conservation policy. But the WTO’s position today is clear: export restrictions cannot be imposed to conserve exhaustible natural resources if the domestic production or consumption of the same raw materials is not restricted at the same time for the same purpose.
Neither the complainants nor the panel contest China’s right to put in place conservation policies. However, as the WTO clarified, the sovereign right of a country over its natural resources does not allow it to control international markets or the global distribution of raw materials. A WTO Member may decide on the level or pace at which it uses its resources but once raw materials have been extracted, they are subject to WTO trade rules. The extracting country cannot impose restrictions only on foreign users. 

Background
The raw materials involved in this case are several rare earths, as well as tungsten and molybdenum. They have a wide range of uses in hi-tech and green goods, automotive and machinery manufacturing, chemicals, steel and non-ferrous metal industries.
Chinese export restrictions have been mainly export duties or export quotas, as well as additional requirements and procedures for exporters. They create serious disadvantages for foreign industries by artificially increasing China’s export prices and driving up world prices. Such restrictions also artificially lower China’s domestic prices for raw materials. As they increase domestic supplies. This gives China’s local industries a competitive advantage and puts pressure on foreign producers to move their operations and technologies to China.
The EU, together with the US and Japan, launched a WTO dispute settlement case in March 2012. Initial consultations with China did not bring an amicable solution. As a result, the WTO set up a panel in June 2012. The Panel report was issued on 26 March 2014 and was full victory for the EU and its co-complainants. China appealed the report on 25 April 2014. The reports will be adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body within 30 days and China will have to comply with the ruling immediately or within a reasonable period of time that it can request for implementation..................http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-912_en.htm?locale=en
7/8/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 23, 2014

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said on Tuesday that all activities related to the South Stream gas pipeline project should be put on hold until it was brought in line with European legislation.

The statement followed reports about the Bulgarian Energy Holding to prepare the decision on a contract with Russia’s Gazprom for a loan to finance Bulgaria’s participation in the project.
The president expressed surprise and indignation at the continuing project work by the government contrary to its public obligations assumed on June 8 to temporarily suspend the project, the presidential press service said.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said earlier this month that Bulgaria would be able to convince the European Commission that its actions with regard to the South Stream gas pipeline project were justified and founded.

“South Stream will be. It’s not a Bulgarian project and I can only speak about what depends on us, not about the project as a whole, geopolitically,” he said.
The prime minister said Bulgaria had received the European Commission’s suggestions and had ordered all work on the project to be halted, primarily the signing of new contracts and agreements, until the two sides were sure that these suggestions were reasonable.
“We will try to convince the European Commission that we were acting correctly. We have enough arguments for that. But if we can’t do that, we will correct the actions the European Commission disapproved of. If we do not work out these issues now, we may face serious legal problems in the future,” he said.
Bulgaria is hoping to reap maximum benefits from the South Stream gas pipeline project, Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev said earlier.
“We should make maximum use of the South Stream project which is important for both Bulgaria and Europe and for which our country will not pay a single lev but we will create jobs, draw a profit and repay the loans for its construction through dividends,” the minister said.
Stoynev said South Stream “needs political support” and was the only project that could guarantee stable gas supplies. “Northern countries get gas from Nord Stream, and we should also have guaranteed supplies for southern countries from South Stream,” Stoynev said.
All participating countries have authorised the European Commission to conduct negotiations on the gas pipeline with Russia. “This is a strategic project for Europe and its construction should begin this year,” the minister said.
In his opinion, the best solution for Bulgaria would be having direct access to the gas supplier.
The contract to build the South Stream gas pipeline in Bulgaria is fully in line with European legislation, the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy said.
“The position of the ministry has been stated many times - the implementation of the South Stream project is important for Bulgaria both for diversifying gas supplies and from the economic point of view,” the ministry said.
“This is why during the talks with Russia in October 2013 Bulgaria, as an EU member state, could reach an agreement between the Bulgarian Energy Holding and Gazprom, under which the South Stream design company will make the gas pipeline capacity available for use by a third party as required by the Third Energy Package. This clearly shows compliance with our commitment to abide by European legislation,” the ministry said.
Stoynev said “the project will be implemented by European rules and will not violate European legislation” and stressed that “the work will be as transparent as possible”.
South Stream will be built across the Black Sea to South and Central European countries to diversify gas supplies to Europe and reduce the dependence on transit countries.
To build the onshore sections of the pipeline, Gazprom has signed agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria...............................http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/741865
22/7/14
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Παρασκευή, Ιουλίου 11, 2014

Fracking: Major Scientific Document Shows Why NY Fracking Moratorium Is Imperative

Less than two weeks ago, local communities triumphed over the fracking industry in a precedent-setting case decided by the New York Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas production within municipal borders.

While the court decision is a victory for the two towns, many New Yorkers continue to rally and push for a statewide fracking moratorium. In this vein, Concerned Health Professionals of New York (CHPNY) today released a major resource to the public, including public officials, researchers and journalists—the Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking................................http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/10/major-scientific-document-ny-fracking-moratorium-imperative/

10/7/14

Τρίτη, Ιουλίου 08, 2014

Russia wants South Stream built as scheduled

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sofia on Monday said the South Stream gas pipeline should be built as scheduled, and urged the European Commission to implement a reasonable approach.

He made the statement at a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Kristian Vigenin, after talks for the expansion of bilateral cooperation and the construction of a Bulgarian section of South Stream gas pipeline.


"From our part, we stressed the need for its construction in the planned timeframe and confirmed our willingness to continue for this purpose the constructive dialogue with all interested parties -- as the project participants, as well as the European Commission, " Lavrov said.

He said his country respected the Third Energy Package and the right of the EU and its members to impose any rules for cooperation in their territory in all areas, but in accordance with the general rules of international law, these rules can not be applied retrospectively.

In turn, Vigenin expressed the hope that the active dialogue with the European Commission will soon allow resumption the construction of South Stream on Bulgarian territory, which was suspended in early June at the insistence of Brussels.

Lavrov said the situation in Ukraine was also discussed, and it is impossible to have any excuses for delaying an immediate ceasefire.

Before the press conference, the two ministers attended the signing ceremony of a bilateral agreement in the field of healthcare and medical science, and validated a postage stamp dedicated to the 135th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Earlier on Monday, Lavrov also met with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski.

Sources: Xinhua -  globaltimes.cn
8/7/14
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Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 08, 2014

Bulgaria suspends works on South Stream project. - Plamen Oresharrski said on Sunday after a meeting with American Senators.

“We have received a request from the European Commission, after which I ordered to suspend the works," - Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharrski said...

Bulgaria suspends works on the South Stream project over the European Commission’s infringement proceedings, Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharrski said on Sunday after a meeting with American Senators.  


“We have received a request from the European Commission, after which I ordered to suspend the works. Further actions will be clear after additional consultations with Brussels,” he said.
Russia has not yet received any official notifications from Bulgaria about the suspension of the South Stream project, the Russian energy ministry told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

The issue however can be raised at the three-party gas meeting between representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union due to be held on Monday in Brussels, a ministry spokesman said.

The South Stream project

The South Stream pipeline was designed to carry Russian gas to the EU bypassing Ukraine.
Gas will be pumped to the Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna before extending overland through Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia to supply gas to the Western Europe via Italy and Austria.
The pipeline’s capacity amounts to 63 billion cubic meters.
[SOFIA, June 08 /ITAR-TASS]
8/6/14
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Σάββατο, Ιουνίου 07, 2014

Michail Gorbatschow: USA haben Vereinbarung über Verzicht auf Osterweiterung gebrochen

Michail Gorbatschow, Ex-Präsident der Sowjetunion, ist der Ansicht, dass die USA durch die NATO-Erweiterung in Zentral- und Osteuropa gegen frühere Vereinbarungen verstoßen haben.

Bei den Verhandlungen über die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands im Februar 1990 hatte die Nato versprochen, sich nicht nach Osten zu erweitern.



 Seit dieser Zeit sind zehn europäische Länder, darunter die baltischen Ex-Sowjetrepubliken Estland, Lettland und Litauen, in das nordatlantische Verteidigungsbündnis aufgenommen worden. „Kann man sich etwa vorstellen, dass (Georgiens Ex-Präsident Michail) Saakaschwili den Krieg vom Zaun gebrochen hätte? Dass er gegen Russland vorzustoßen versuchte, bedeutet, dass ihm Hilfe versprochen worden war“, sagte Gorbatschow am Samstag im russischen Fernsehen.
  • „Das heißt, dass gerade Amerika begonnen hat, die Vereinbarungen zu brechen, auf deren Grundlage man eine andere Welt hätte aufbauen können.“
  • „Es gibt eine faire Politik und eine Betrugspolitik“, äußerte Gorbatschow auf die Frage, ob er sich von den westlichen Partnern hintergangen fühle.
(RIA Novosti).
7/6/14

Σάββατο, Απριλίου 12, 2014

France sends first foreign minister to Cuba in 30 years

 HAVANA: France's foreign minister was expected to arrive in Cuba on Saturday for a brief but historic visit, the first by such a high-ranking French official in 30 years and a sign of the quickening pace of improving ties between the European Union and Havana.

Foreign minister Laurent Fabius was scheduled to have a working lunch with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez before meeting with Cardinal Jaime Ortega and then French businessmen.

Rodriguez met with Laurent in Paris last month.



"We expect him to discuss the start of a political dialogue that will include human rights, and business opportunities provided by economic reforms on the island," a French diplomat said, adding that no agreements would be signed.

Since Fabius took office in 2012 he has tried to shift more of France's diplomatic focus toward winning contracts in markets where French firms are traditionally weak, as Paris looks to find growth opportunities overseas.

France is looking to expand its business ties with Latin America and sees Cuba as an important player in the region, given that it hosted a regional summit earlier this year and both Brazil and Mexico are increasing their presence in the country.

  • Fabius was scheduled to return to France Saturday evening, having been in Mexico before stopping in Havana.

Bilateral trade last year was $388 million (280 million Euros), according to the French government, mainly wheat exports to the communist-run Caribbean island.

Construction and engineering firm Bouygues, beverage maker Pernod-Ricard, the Accor tourism corporation and energy company Total, all have investments in Cuba and are among 60 French firms operating in the country.

France has also been leading efforts by the Paris Club of creditor nations to resume debt negotiations with Havana, broken off in 2000.

  • In February, the EU agreed to begin negotiations with Cuba to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights in its most significant diplomatic shift since it lifted sanctions on the country in 2008.

The talks are scheduled to begin April 29 in Havana, according to European diplomats.

  • Cuba has been subject to a U.S. embargo for five decades. It is eager to eliminate the EU's "common position," enacted in December 1996, which links human rights and democracy conditions to improved economic relations.

To do so, the two sides will have to reach a new accord that is agreeable to all 28 member states, including Poland and the Czech Republic, which have taken a harder line on Cuba given their own communist pasts.


Σάββατο, Φεβρουαρίου 15, 2014

U.S.-China Joint Statement on Climate Change. -Office of the Spokesperson U.S. State Department

Washington, DC .In light of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and the related issue of air pollution from burning fossil fuels, the United States and China recognize the urgent need for action to meet these twin challenges. Both sides reaffirm their commitment to contribute significantly to successful 2015 global efforts to meet this challenge. 

Accordingly, China and the United States will work together, within the vehicle of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) launched last year, to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions. 


Regarding practical cooperative actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, the two sides have reached agreement on the implementation plans on the five initiatives launched under the CCWG, including Emission Reductions from Heavy Duty and Other Vehicles, Smart Grids, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, Collecting and Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data, and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Industry, and commit to devote significant effort and resources to secure concrete results by the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in 2014.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/02/221686.htm
15/2/14
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Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2014

US ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over Syrian Chemical Arms Delay/France: concern over delay in Syria's chemical destruction

WASHINGTON, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – US officials said Thursday that they are “concerned” about delays by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government in handing over its chemical weapons to be destroyed under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States.
“It is the Assad regime’s responsibility to transport those chemicals safely to facilitate removal. We expect them to meet their obligation to do so,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.

The US ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is tasked with overseeing the destruction process, said Thursday that Syria’s efforts to move its chemical stockpile to the port of Latakia have “seriously languished and stalled.”
So far the Syrian government has removed only 4 percent of its most dangerous chemicals, including nerve agents such as mustard gas, and “roughly the same small percentage” of its declared toxic materials that can be used to make chemical weapons, Ambassador Robert P. Mikulak said.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the failure of the Government of Syria to transport to Latakia all of the chemical agent and precursors as mandated by OPCW Executive Council decisions,” Mikulak said in a statement to the Hague-based organization.......................http://en.ria.ru/world/20140131/187058725/US-Deeply-Concerned-Over-Syrian-Chemical-Arms-Delay.html
30/1/14
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  • France calls for world to take notice of delay in Syria's chemical weapon transfer
PARIS
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has called on the international community to pay attention to the delay in the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
Fabius said: "It seems that the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons lags behind the schedule, the international community should pay attention to whether the promises given are kept or not." 
The UN Security Council decided on the deadline of December 31, 2013, for the transfer of Syria's chemical stockpile out of the country for destruction.
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for the Syria regime to accelerate the transfer process and criticized it for the unexcused delay in a statement he delivered on January 27.
 http://www.aa.com.tr/en/rss/281352--france-concern-over-delay-in-syrias-chemical-destruction
30/1/14

Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 27, 2014

Russia, US Plan to Jointly Fight Space Threats

MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian and US experts are planning to join efforts in protecting our planet against thousands of potentially hazardous near-Earth space bodies, Russia’s emergencies minister said.

“The collision with the Chelyabinsk meteorite last year showed that space threats could be real and as destructive as huge fires or natural disasters on Earth,” Vladimir Puchkov said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta to be published on Tuesday.
The minister said a joint working group would be set up in the near future to develop solutions to counter space threats.


A meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere undetected by existing space-monitoring systems and slammed into Russia’s Ural Mountain region last February, accompanied by a massive sonic boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring over 1,500.

NASA estimated the meteorite was roughly 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter when it entered the atmosphere, traveling many times faster than the speed of sound, and exploded into a fireball brighter than the sun.

A team of researchers has recently studied two decades’ worth of data gathered by US government-run infrasound sensors positioned around the planet and discovered that 60 asteroids up to 20 meters (65 feet) in size had crashed into the planet’s atmosphere over the period – far more than had been previously thought.

The scientists suggested in a report published in Nature magazine that asteroids like the Chelyabinsk one could strike the planet every 20 or even 10 years, compared with an earlier estimate of once a century.

Despite the growing concern about the asteroid threat, no anti-asteroid defense programs have been developed in practice so far, with only several theoretical concepts being studied.
 http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140127/186966575/Russia-US-Plan-to-Jointly-Fight-Space-Threats.html
27/1/14
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Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 05, 2014

U.S.icebreaker Polar Star to help vessels trapped in Antarctica: AMSA

SYDNEY, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has requested the U.S. Coast Guard's icebreaker Polar Star to assist the Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy and the Chinese vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon)which are stuck by ice in Antarctica.

AMSA has identified the Polar Star as a vessel capable of assisting the trapped vessels.

The U.S. Coast Guard accepted this request on Saturday and will make Polar Star available for the rescue operation, AMSA said in the latest statement.


The Polar Star will leave Sydney on Sunday after taking on supplies prior to its voyage to Antarctica.

It is anticipated it will take about seven days for the Polar Star to reach the scene, dependent on weather and ice conditions.

The Polar Star has been en route to Antarctica since the end of last year, weeks before the MV Akademik Shokalskiy was trapped in Commonwealth Bay.

The intended mission of the Polar Star is to clear a navigable shipping channel in McMurdo Sound to the National Science Foundation's Scientific Research Station.

Resupply ships would use the channel to bring food, fuel and other goods to the station. The Polar Star will go on to undertake its mission once the search and rescue operation is completed, AMSA said. 

english.cntv.cn
5/1/14
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Σάββατο, Δεκεμβρίου 07, 2013

US reassures Gulf allies wary over Iran Defence. -Secretary Chuck Hagel's remarks come at a time of rising tensions in their relationship with the GCC.



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US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the United States will maintain a wide array of military forces in the Middle East to ensure security in the region despite diplomatic overtures toward Iran over its nuclear program.
Hagel, in prepared remarks to the Manama Dialogue security forum in Bahrain, said on Saturday that the Pentagon had no plan to adjust its military presence or planning in the region as a result of an interim accord on Tehran's nuclear enrichment program.


"We have a ground, air and naval presence of more than 35,000 military personnel in and immediately around the Gulf," he said.
Hagel further added that the interim deal with Iran to roll back its nuclear programme was a risk worth taking but that Western diplomacy should not be "misinterpreted."
"We know diplomacy cannot operate in a vacuum," he said.  "Our success will continue to hinge on America's military power, and the credibility of our assurances to our allies and partners in the Middle East."
The Pentagon "will not make any adjustments to its forces in the region – or to its military planning – as a result of the interim agreement with Iran," he added.
In a trip meant to reassure Gulf allies wary of America's diplomatic opening with Iran, Hagel enumerated an array of US weaponry and resources deployed in the region.
The military footprint includes 10,000 US Army troops with tanks and Apache helicopters, roughly 40 ships at sea including an aircraft carrier battle group, missile defence systems, radar, surveillance drones and warplanes that can strike at short notice, he said.

US not in 'retreat'
A senior US defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters the speech sent a message of solidarity to Gulf allies while also conveying a warning to adversaries "that any sort of mythology of American retreat is just wrong-headed."
Gulf allies, especially Saudi Arabia, are concerned over a November 24 interim agreement between world powers and Iran that offers limited relief from Western sanctions in return for Tehran rolling back elements of its nuclear programme.
  •  The nuclear deal has strained US relations with the mostly Sunni Gulf Arab states that view Shiite Iran as a dangerous rival.
Hagel acknowledged "anxieties" in the Gulf were running high. "Questions have been raised about America's intentions, strategy, and commitment to the region," he said.
But he promised the US  "will remain fully committed to the security of our allies and our partners in the region."
Although the Pentagon faced the prospect of steep budget cuts, Hagel suggested the big presence in the Middle East would remain a top priority and largely shielded from spending reductions.
In addition to keeping a robust US force in place, Hagel vowed to bolster the military strength of Gulf states, urging regional cooperation on missile defence.
Hagel said he would travel on to Qatar and Saudi Arabia after the Bahrain conference for further talks.
 aljazeera.com
7/12/13 
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Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 23, 2013

Energieexperte Yergin: "Europa unterschätzt Schiefergas".

US-Ökonom in Wien: Massive Förderung sei enormer Anschub für die industrielle Wettbewerbsfähigkeit...

Die massive Förderung von Schiefergas in den USA ist nicht nur die größte Innovation in der Energiewirtschaft der vergangenen Jahrzehnte, sondern auch ein riesiger Anschub für die US-Wirtschaft.“ Daniel Yergin, US-Ökonom, Buchautor und Energieexperte, ließ bei seinem Vortrag an der WU Wien im Rahmen des OMV-Business Talk keinen Zweifel darin, für wie wichtig er Schiefergas hält.
In den USA seien dadurch zwei Millionen Jobs entstanden, die Staatseinnahmen gestiegen und die Gaspreise gefallen. Der Chemiekonzern Dow wolle nun fünf Milliarden Dollar (3,7 Milliarden Euro) in den USA investiert. „Hätten wir den Konzern vor fünf Jahren gefragt, ob er das machen würde, hätte er wohl gefragt, ob man verrückt sei“, meinte Yergin.

"Aus Europa aber findet ein Exodus der produzierenden Industrie statt"

114 Milliarden Dollar seien seit 2011 in den USA allein wegen der billigeren Energie investiert worden. „Aus Europa aber findet ein Exodus der produzierenden Industrie statt“, sagt Yergin.
Für die OMV ist Schiefergas wegen des Widerstands von Politik und Bevölkerung kein Thema, wohl aber Erdgas. „Der Anteil des Gases aus eigener Förderung soll deutlich erhöht werden“, kündigte OMV-Chef Gerhard Roiss an. 2013 sei ein entscheidendes Jahr im Strategiewechsel der OMV gewesen. Der Konzern wandle sich zu einem Öl- und Gasproduzenten und verringere das Tankstellengeschäft.
Der 2,65 Milliarden Dollar schwere Zukauf von Ölfeldern in Norwegen sei ein wesentlicher Schritt im Konzernumbau gewesen. Drei Viertel der Investitionen würden in nächster Zeit ausschließlich in Öl- und Gasförderung fließen.
kurier.at
22/11/13
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Δευτέρα, Νοεμβρίου 18, 2013

Fast-moving storm, tornadoes threaten US Midwest.

CHICAGO: A fast-moving storm system that produced at least one tornado in Illinois threatened some 53 million people across 10 Midwestern states on Sunday, US weather officials said.

"A confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado" was spotted near Washington, Illinois, located about 145 miles (233 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, the National Weather Service said.

Photos taken at the scene showed structures were reduced to rubble and houses ripped open in Washington, Illinois.



"There is a lot of debris," Sara Sparkman, a spokeswoman for the health department of Tazewell County, Illinois, where Washington is located, told The Weather Channel. "We do know that shelters are being set up in some of the communities because people are being displaced out of their homes because of the storms that hit."

Sparkman added that the storm had caused damage in Washington and Pekin, south of Peoria.

It came out of a fast-moving storm system that was headed toward Chicago and threatened a large swath of the Midwest with dangerous winds, thunderstorms and hail, U.S. weather officials said.

The weather service warned residents of areas threatened by the storm "you are in a life-threatening situation .... take cover now."

At Chicago's Soldier Field, where the NFL's Bears were playing the Baltimore Ravens, officials halted play and told fans to seek shelter due to hazardous weather conditions.

"It does appear that the hardest hit part of the state was down south," Mike Masters, head of homeland security in Cook County, which includes Chicago, told Chicago's ABC-7 TV, cautioning that it was still "very, very early."

The Chicago Department of Aviation, which manages O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, said that as of 1:15 p.m. Central Time (1915 GMT) both facilities were at a ground stop, meaning flights were neither arriving nor departing.

"We obviously have a very dangerous situation on our hands and it's just getting started," Laura Furgione, deputy director of the National Weather Service, told reporters on a conference call.

Tornado warnings were in effect for parts of Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri. Weather officials urged residents of areas with tornado warnings in place to take cover in interior, low-floor rooms of study buildings.

The NWS's Storm Prediction Center said the storm was moving dangerously fast, tracking eastward at 60 miles an hour (97 kph), meaning that just looking out at the storm will not be enough to let people know when to take cover.

"These storms will be moving very fast, approximately 60 miles an hour," said Russell Schneider of the Storm Prediction Center. "They will be at your location and on to the next location in a matter of minutes. As a result, people cannot wait for visual confirmation of the threat."

This storm system has some similarities to the fast-moving derecho that knocked out power to more than 4.2 million people and killed 22 in June 2012, according to Bill Bunting, forecast branch chief at the Storm Prediction Center.

"The line of storms today, we believe, when it's fully mature, will actually be larger than the areas that were affected by the derecho in June of 2012," Bunting said. "However, this will also be accompanied by a worse tornado threat in the areas that we've highlighted and large hail in Illinois and Wisconsin." 

timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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Photos:
 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/midwest-storm-shocking-pictures-show-2802903
18/11/13
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Κυριακή, Σεπτεμβρίου 22, 2013

US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina – secret document...

Exclusive: Journalist uses Freedom of Information Act to disclose 1961 accident in which one switch averted catastrophe.
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. 



The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.

Each bomb carried a payload of 4 megatons – the equivalent of 4 million tons of TNT explosive. Had the device detonated, lethal fallout could have been deposited over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and as far north as New York city – putting millions of lives at risk......http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/20/usaf-atomic-bomb-north-carolina-1961
20/9/13

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  • Comment les Etats-Unis ont échappé de peu à une bombe H...

Un rapport déclassifié révélé par le Guardian montre qu'une bombe atomique a failli exploser en Caroline du Nord en 1961.

Une bombe atomique américaine 260 fois plus puissante que celle d’Hiroshima a failli exploser en janvier 1961 en Caroline du Nord (Est des Etats-Unis), rapporte samedi le quotidien britannique The Guardian en citant un document américain «déclassifié».

Selon le rapport secret sur cet événement, un bombardier B-52 s’est disloqué en vol le 23 janvier 1961, laissant échapper deux bombes Mark 39 à hydrogène au-dessus de Goldsboro, une ville de Caroline du Nord. «L’une des deux bombes s’est comportée exactement de la manière dont une bombe nucléaire est censée le faire» quand elle est larguée intentionnellement: «son parachute s’est ouvert et le processus de mise feu s’est enclenché», révèle le quotidien.

«Un simple interrupteur à faible voltage fonctionnant comme une dynamo, a évité aux Etats-Unis une catastrophe» en empêchant la bombe d’exploser, a ainsi écrit Parker F. Jones, un ingénieur qui travaillait dans les laboratoires nationaux de Sandia, chargés d’élaborer les mécanismes de sécurité pour les bombes nucléaires. Auteur du rapport sur les événements qui a été écrit huit ans après, il a souligné que trois des quatre dispositifs de sécurité n’ont pas fonctionné.
Des millions de vies en danger

La catastrophe aurait pu affecter les villes de Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphie et même New York, mettant «des millions de vies en danger», note le quotidien. A l’époque, l’incident a donné lieu à d’intenses spéculations quant à sa gravité, mais les autorités américaines ont toujours nié que des vies américaines aient été menacées en raison de mesures de sécurité insuffisantes.

«La bombe MK 39 Mod 2 ne possédait pas les mécanismes de sécurité appropriés pour un usage aéroporté à bord d’un B-52», conclut l’ingénieur dans ce rapport intitulé «Goldsboro revisité, ou comment j’ai appris à me méfier de la bombe H» - en référence au sous-titre du film de Stanley Kubrick, «Docteur Folamour». Ce rapport a été obtenu par le journaliste Eric Schlosser, qui a utilisé le Freedom of information act pour accéder à des documents encore secrets dans le cadre d'une enquête pour son livre sur la course à l'armement nucléaire, Command and Control.

Des documents similaires obtenus par Schlosser montrent qu’au «moins 700 accidents significatifs et incidents impliquant 1.250 armes nucléaires ont été enregistrés entre 1950 et 1968» par le gouvernement.
http://www.liberation.fr/monde/2013/09/21/comment-les-etats-unis-ont-echappe-de-peu-a-une-bombe-atomique_933638?xtor=rss-450
21/9/13
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  • EEUU estuvo cerca de detonar una bomba atómica por accidente en 1961...Dos bombas de hidrógeno cayeron sobre la ciudad de Goldsboro desde un bombardero de las Fuerzas Aéreas estadounidenses...

La aviación estadounidense estuvo a punto de detonar de forma accidental una bomba nuclear de cuatro megatones sobre Carolina del Norte (Estados Unidos) en 1961, según documentos desclasificados divulgados hoy por The Guardian.

El 23 de enero de 1961, dos bombas de hidrógeno Mark 39 cayeron accidentalmente sobre la ciudad de Goldsboro desde un bombardero de las Fuerzas Aéreas estadounidenses, modelo B-52, que sufrió una avería en pleno vuelo cuando sobrevolaba ese estado norteamericano.

Según la información publicada por el rotativo británico, cada uno de los dos explosivos que cayeron tenían una potencia 260 veces superior que la bomba lanzada contra Hiroshima (Japón) en 1945 y uno de ellos comenzó el proceso de detonación.

Aunque el Gobierno de EE UU había reconocido anteriormente que se produjo ese accidente, nunca ha hecho público lo cerca que el artefacto estuvo de ser detonado por accidente y, en cambio, siempre ha negado que se hubieran puesto en peligro vidas de ciudadanos debido a fallos en los sistemas de seguridad.

Al averiarse el avión, una de las bombas descendió del aparato de igual manera que si hubiera sido activada a propósito y fue un interruptor de bajo voltaje el que finalmente logró evitar que el artefacto explosionara y ocasionara, según The Guardian, una catástrofe de dimensiones monumentales......http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/09/21/actualidad/1379755283_262457.html
21/9/13
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  • Nel 1961 gli Usa di Kennedy sfiorarono l'olocausto nucleare....

In North Carolina, tre giorni dopo l'elezione di Kennedy, una bomba atomica cadde da un B 52 spezzato in volo: se non esplose fu solo per un piccolo interruttore che non si accese.

Tre giorni dopo l’insediamento di John F. Kennedy alla Casa Bianca gli Stati Uniti arrivarono a un soffio dall’olocausto nucleare in North Carolina: solo un interruttore a basso voltaggio impedì a un ordigno atomico Marc 39 a idrogeno, sganciato per errore, di esplodere nelle vicinanze del villaggio di Faro provocando una carneficina potenzialmente peggiore di Hiroshima.

Un documento ottenuto dal giornalista investigativo Eric Schlosser sulla base del Freedom of Indormation Act è stato pubblicato oggi sul sito americano del Guardian. La bomba sarebbe stata 260 volte più potente di quella che distrusse la città giapponese alla fine della seconda guerra mondiale. Il 23 gennaio 1961 un bombardiere B52 partito dalla base di Goldsboro si spezzò in volo e uno dei due ordigni che aveva a bordo funzionò esattamente come avrebbe dovuto funzionare una bomba a idrogeno in guerra: si aprì il paracadute e i meccanismi per dar via all’esplosione entrarono in funzione. Il disastro irrimediabile non ci fu solo perché un banale interruttore impedì la strage. Ogni bomba aveva un carico di 4 megatoni: se la bomba fosse esplosa il suo "fallout" radioattivo si sarebbe potuto depositare su Washington, Filadelfia, New York, mettendo a rischio la vita di milioni di persone......http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/esteri/nel-1961-usa-kennedy-sfiorarono-lolocausto-nucleare-952100.html
21/9/13
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  • Zeitung: Atombombe wäre 1961 beinahe über Amerika explodiert...Katastrophe knapp verhindert...

21.09.2013 · Nur knapp sind die Vereinigten Staaten 1961 einer selbstverschuldeten Katastrophe entgangen. Laut einem Zeitungsbericht wäre beinahe eine Wasserstoffbombe über North Carolina explodiert.

Auf dem Höhepunkt des Kalten Krieges sind die Vereinigten Staaten offenbar nur knapp einer selbstverschuldeten Katastrophe entgangen: Beinahe wäre 1961 eine Wasserstoffbombe von der 260fachen Stärke der Hiroshima-Bombe nach einer schweren Flugzeugpanne über North Carolina explodiert, berichtete der britische „Guardian“ am Samstag unter Berufung auf ein kürzlich freigegebenes Geheimdokument der amerikanischen Regierung. Erst im letzten Moment habe ein Sicherheitsschalter die Explosion verhindert.

Am 23. Januar 1961 brach den Angaben zufolge ein B-52-Langstreckenbomber der amerikanischen Luftwaffe bei einem Routineflug über der Stadt Goldsboro in der Luft auseinander. Die Maschine hatte zwei Atombomben an Bord; sie lösten sich und gingen auf die Erde nieder - ohne zu explodieren. In einer acht Jahre später vorgenommenen Untersuchung kommt der für die Regierung arbeitende Ingenieur Parker F. Jones allerdings zu dem Schluss, dass bei einer der beiden Bomben drei der vier Sicherheitsmechanismen, die eine ungewollte Explosion verhindern sollten, versagt hatten. Nur ein einfacher Sicherheitsschalter verhinderte demnach die drohende Katastrophe.
„Wie ich lernte, der H-Bombe zu misstrauen“

„Die Bombe MK39 Mod 2 verfügte nicht über die geeigneten Sicherheitsmechanismen für einen luftgestützten Einsatz“, folgerte Jones in seinem vertraulichen Bericht, den er mit trockenem Humor mit „Wiedersehen in Goldsboro oder: Wie ich lernte, der H-Bombe zu misstrauen“ überschrieb - in Anlehnung an Stanley Kubriks Kultfilm „Dr. Seltsam oder: Wie ich lernte, die Bombe zu lieben“.

Die amerikanische Regierung hatte den Zwischenfall schon zuvor eingestanden - doch erst der Geheimbericht von 1969 bestätigt der britischen Zeitung zufolge, wie ernst die Lage tatsächlich war. Demnach brachte der Zwischenfall das Leben von Millionen Menschen in Gefahr. Großstädte wie Washington oder New York wären betroffen gewesen.

Das Dokument wurde von dem amerikanischen Enthüllungsjournalisten Eric Schlosser bei Recherchen zu einem neuen Buch über den atomaren Rüstungswettlauf entdeckt. Um es zu bekommen, berief er sich auf das Gesetz zur Informationsfreiheit. Er warf der Regierung vor, der Öffentlichkeit die Gefahren durch unzulängliche Sicherheitsvorkehrungen verschwiegen zu haben, um ihre Atompolitik nicht zu gefährden: „Uns wurde gesagt, es sei unmöglich, dass diese Waffen versehentlich detonieren - und doch haben wir hier eine, bei der es beinahe passiert wäre“, sagte er dem „Guardian“.

Nach Schlossers Recherchen verzeichnete die amerikanische Regierung zwischen 1950 und 1968 mindestens 700 „bedeutende“ Unfälle und Zwischenfälle, in die rund 1250 Atomwaffen verwickelt waren.
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/katastrophe-knapp-verhindert-zeitung-atombombe-waere-1961-beinahe-ueber-amerika-explodiert-12584107.html
21/9/13

Πέμπτη, Ιουλίου 18, 2013

Kerry offers halt to east Jerusalem settlement construction to resume peace talks - Israel open to 1967 border formula for Palestine talks

US Secretary of State met Palestinian leader Abbas reportedly proposing suspension of Jewish settlement construction in West Bank and East Jerusalem for 3 months to resume negotiations with Israel.

RAMALLAH

America's top diplomat John F. Kerry offered a three-month halt to the Jewish settlement construction in Eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in a meeting in Jordan on Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in order to resumePalestinian-Israeli peace negotiations and lasting solution, al-Fatah sources said.

Kerry reportedly pledged Abbas US guarantee for the implementation of the proposal, sources added.



Abbas was expected to meet with his top aides on Thursday to assess the US proposal.

The US state secretary also met with representatives of the Arab League on Wednesday in Amman on his sixth trip to the Middle East since he was sworn in as top US diplomat last February.

The Palestinian leader has rejected negotiations unless all West Bank settlement construction stopped, a demand which Israel has refused, defying any conditions for negotiations to resume.
http://www.aa.com.tr/en/rss/205485--kerry-offers-halt-to-east-jerusalem-settlement-construction-to-resume-peace-talks
18/7/13

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  •  Άρση περιορισμών στην κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων στη Δ.Όχθη...Άρση μερικών περιορισμών στην κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων αποφασίζει ο ισραηλινός στρατός, Ο Κέρι παρατείνει το ταξίδι του....

Ο ισραηλινός στρατός θα προχωρήσει στην άρση μερικών περιορισμών που εφαρμόζει για την κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων στη Δυτική Όχθη, προκειμένου να ενθαρρύνει την επανάληψη των ειρηνευτικών διαπραγματεύσεων, μετέδωσε σήμερα το ραδιόφωνο του ισραηλινού στρατού.

"Ύστερα από μια αποτίμηση της κατάστασης ασφαλείας, δύο λεωφόροι στα Εδάφη αναμένεται να ανοίξουν σύντομα για την κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων, μια βορείως της Ραμάλας και μια κοντά στο Μπέιτ Χαγκάι», έναν εβραϊκό οικισμό κοντά στη Χεβρώνα, στη νότια Δυτική Όχθη, σύμφωνα με το ραδιόφωνο του στρατού.

"Στο πλαίσιο της έναρξης των διαπραγματεύσεων μπορεί να υπάρξουν μέτρα αποκατάστασης της εμπιστοσύνης», δήλωσε στο ισραηλινό ραδιόφωνο ο υπουργός περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης Σιλβάν Σαλόμ. Ωστόσο το γραφείο του εκπροσώπου του στρατού διευκρίνισε ότι πρόκειται για μια χειρονομία καλής θέλησης προς τους μουσουλμάνους με την ευκαιρία του Ραμαζανιού και όχι ένα μέτρο για να ευνοηθεί η ειρηνευτική διαδικασία.

Παράλληλα, ο Παλαιστίνιος πρόεδρος Μαχμούντ Αμπάς θα μετάσχει αργότερα σήμερα σε συνεδρίαση του κινήματός του, της Φάταχ και μετά θα συναντηθεί με την παλαιστινιακή διοίκηση, για να εξετάσει τις τελευταίες προτάσεις του Αμερικανού υπουργού Εξωτερικών Τζον Κέρι για την επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων, ανακοίνωσαν επίσημες παλαιστινιακές πηγές.

Ο Κέρι που βρίσκεται στο Αμάν της Ιορδανίας, αναμένει το αποτέλεσμα της συνεδρίασης αυτής για να αποφασίσει για τη συνέχιση του ταξιδιού του......http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathremote_1_18/07/2013_510064
18/7/13
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  • Οι Παλαιστίνιοι ψηφίζουν για την επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων με το Ισραήλ...

Τα παλαιστινιακά όργανα ψηφίζουν επί της πρότασης του αμερικανού υπουργού Εξωτερικών Τζον Κέρι που προβλέπει επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων με το Ισραήλ χωρίς την πλήρη διακοπή της εποικιστικής δραστηριότητας την οποία θέτουν ως προϋπόθεση, δήλωσε παλαιστίνιος αξιωματούχος.

«Η πιο σημαντική πρόταση του σχεδίου του Κέρι είναι μια επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων χωρίς διακοπή ή πάγωμα της εποικιστικής δραστηριότητας», διευκρίνισε ο αξιωματούχος της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης που ζήτησε να μην κατονομαστεί.

«Το σχέδιο προβλέπει την επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων, σύμφωνα με την ομιλία του προέδρου Μπαράκ Ομπάμα που ζήτησε το 2011 τη δημιουργία ενός παλαιστινιακού κράτους στη βάση των συνόρων που ίσχυαν πριν από την ισραηλινή κατοχή του 1967», πρόσθεσε. Το κίνημα Φάταχ του προέδρου Μαχμούντ Αμπάς και η εκτελεστική επιτροπή της ΟΑΠ αναμένεται να ψηφίσουν το απόγευμα επί του θέματος αυτού.

«Το σχέδιο περιλαμβάνει το δικαίωμα για κάθε πλευρά να διατηρεί επιφυλάξεις επί ορισμένων θεμάτων στα οποία υπάρχουν αποκλίσεις, (ο ισραηλινός πρωθυπουργός Μπενιαμίν) Νετανιάχου θα αντιταχθεί σε ένα κράτος εντός των συνόρων του 1967, και οι Παλαιστίνιοι σε ένα εβραϊκό κράτος" την αναγνώριση του οποίου ζητεί ο Νετανιάχου», υπογράμμισε ο αξιωματούχος......http://www.protothema.gr/world/article/295784/oi-palaistinioi-psifizoun-gia-tin-epanalipsi-ton-diapragmateuseon-me-to-israil-/
18/7/13
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  • Palestinians demand Kerry plan changes...

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories): The Palestinians demanded on Thursday that changes be made to US secretary of state John Kerry's Middle East peace plan, following a meeting in Ramallah, an official said.

"Fatah wants to make some alterations to Kerry's plan ... because the proposed ideas are not encouraging for a return to negotiations," a top official of the party of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said.

"The central committee is demanding, for a return to talks ... that Kerry announce they should be based on the 1967 lines," said Amin Maqbul, secretary general of the ruling Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council.

The vote came after two rounds of intensive talks between Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday and Wednesday, who is also Fatah leader, in which they thrashed out the plan.

It was the top US diplomat's sixth visit to the region in as many months to try to broker a compromise formula to allow a resumption of direct peace talks after a three-year hiatus. ....http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Palestinians-demand-Kerry-plan-changes/articleshow/21145558.cms
18/7/13
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  • Israel open to 1967 border formula for Palestine talks 

Israel has agreed to a proposed formula for new peace talks with the Palestinians under which the border of their future state would be along lines that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, but with agreed land swaps, an Israeli official said on Thursday.

The official said that, were the Palestinians to accept the formula, it would be announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who would also describe the future Palestine as existing alongside a “Jewish state” of Israel. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.

Speculation has been rife that Kerry, now in the region for his sixth time since March in an effort to revive peace talks that deadlocked in 2010, may be close to a breakthrough.


Israel has previously balked at agreeing to the 1967 borders as a basis for talks with Palestinians. But the latest proposal addresses a longstanding central demand made by Netanyahu that the Palestinians explicitly recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was conferring with Palestinian leaders on Thursday to decide whether to accept Kerry’s proposals for renewing talks with Israel.

Kerry said on Wednesday after talks with Abbas in neighboring Jordan that gaps between the sides had “very significantly” narrowed. An Arab League committee endorsed Kerry’s proposals for resuming peace talks, saying they “provide the ground and a suitable environment to start negotiations.” 
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com18/7/13---Related:
 

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