Wikinews:Briefs/May 30, 2010

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Today on Wikinews : Statues of Democracy removed in Hong Kong, Canada keep an eye on Deepwater Horizon spill, 30 die in a bus crash in India, Israel declines appeals to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Bangledesh's government blocks Facebook, BP fails to block the oil leak and a Guatamalan journalist dies covering the Pacayan volcano.

Today is Saturday, May 29th, 2010. I'm Patrick Gillett and this is Wikinews.


Canada keeping eye on Deepwater Horizon spill

The Canadian Government is watching the "slowing growth" of the BP oil spill.

Canada is running their dash-8 on a twice a day mission to the gulf, monitoring for signs that the BP Oil slick may expand up the Eastern seaboard into Canadian waters, and to provide assistance to US efforts to contain the spill. This started in May, and is expected to continue until the spill has been fully contained, or no longer needed. Canada has also provided technical experts, research and development teams, and general staffing to assist in spill containment and cleanup.

While the risk is slim that the oil slick will move up the seaboard enough to get into Canadian waters, it is possible. Currently the spill is being held within the Gulf of Mexico, however, as the spill grows each day it is at bigger risk of being picked up by the Loop Current.

"If oil is swept up into the Loop Current—which moves at about 3.3 to 6.5 feet (one to two meters) a second—there's essentially no way to stop it," Tony Sturges, professor emeritus of oceanography at Florida State University, told National Geographic. "Once [oil] gets into the loop current, you can bet the farm it will go around to the south"

After being picked up by the Loop Current, the oil spill could then quickly be carried further by the Gulf Stream, which can travel up to 2.5 metres per second (5.6 mph). This current leads right through some of Canada's best fishing waters, and could potentially even be washed up directly onto the shores of Canada, if not properly contained.

This spill could devastate the fishing industry of Canada, and harm any potential tourism on the beautiful coastal waters of Eastern Canada. So while Canada is offering its hand to the United States as a gesture of assistance, it serves dually as a self assurance that Canada will not be affected by the spill, and to stop it before it reaches the border if it does get picked up by the currents.

Facebook blocked in Bangladesh

Bangladesh temporarily blocked the social networking site Facebook on Saturday, after a man was arrested for uploading content onto it deemed offensive. Other users had reportedly posted other kinds of potentially offensive content, including anti-religious and pornographic materials.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Mahbub Alam Rodin, aged 30, in charges of uploading cartoons of some political leaders on the website. Rodin's activity on Facebook was classified as "offensive", said Commander Mohammad Sohail, director of RAB's Legal and Media side, as reported by The Daily Star.

Malawi President pardons jailed gay couple

The top kill procedure implemented by BP on the leaking Deepwater Horizon oil well on Wednesday has failed. According to David Suttles, BP's chief operating officer, "We have been unable to overcome the flow." Suttles stated that after studying three days of results, BP determined that the procedure was a failure.

On Wednesday, BP began pumping mud into the leaking well, a procedure known as top kill. BP chief executive Tony Howard said it would take at least 24 hours to determine if the procedure was successful. The procedure has worked before in surface situations, but was not previously attempted at 5,000 feet underwater.

The procedure involves pumping heavyweight drilling mud from the surface through a drill pipe, which directs the mud into a manifold lying on the sea bed. From the manifold, the mud is pumped into the blowout preventer, which is sitting on the well.

BP says it pumped 30,000 barrels of mud into the well at rates of up to 80 barrels a minute. After three attempts, the well was still leaking.

The next option, the sixth, is called the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap containment system. This procedure involves a robot using a saw to cut off the leaking pipe and place a cap on the pipe. The LMRP Cap is at the scene and the procedure is expected to take four days to complete.

At least thirty dead after bus accident in India

A bus accident in southern India has left at least thirty people dead — including about ten children — and thirty more injured, according to reports. The incident occurred before dawn in the town of Chitradurga in the Karnataka state. The vehicle, en route to Bangalore, about 200 kilometres from the scene of the accident, drove into a police barricade and flipped over, causing the fuel tank to explode and burn the passengers.

The Press Trust of India news service reports that the driver was among the dead. Senior police officer Labhu Ram also noted that three of those hurt were in serious condition.

Indian police sometimes set up barricades along roads to perform checks; however, some are not clearly marked and not easily discernible in darkness.


And those are the top headlines for May 30th, 2010

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