, , , , , ,

Volcker Rule Under Attack as Lawmakers Seek Loophole

Senate negotiators will probably offer changes today that would soften the Volcker rule by allowing banks to sponsor hedge funds and invest their own money, within limits, alongside that of clients.


`Mamma Mia’ Goes Dark, Bankers Stay Home as G-20 Hits Toronto

My Note –

Apparently as the G-20 is meeting this weekend, June 26-27 in Toronto, there are already expected to be 18 different protests including some that started on June 21. Executives and bankers are being told to wear casual clothing rather than suits by their companies concerned for their safety in the financial district where the meetings will be held.

Toronto’s financial services industry is the third largest in North America with its 223,000 employees and now it hosts a 12-block area with 10-foot high fencing and concrete barriers which has been protected for the G-20 meeting with 20,000 police and security officers.

Canada is spending $1.2 Billion dollars Canadian for the G-20 meeting that includes a G-8 mini-summit at a lakeside resort in Huntsville, Ontario. Recent summits have cost far less with the one in Pittsburgh and London costing $18 million and $30 million respectively.

Downtown restaurants, theaters, banks and businesses in the Toronto area have been shuttered through the G-20 summit with its draw of world leaders, protests, protesters. security personnel, economists, lawyers, staff, bureau heads, agency secretaries and staff, government workers and guests.

Those parts are from the article – (paraphrased from their information) – and my note is this one –

The whole advantage of hosting the G-20 meetings and similar meetings is lost if all the businesses are shuttered. There is no way to show off the city and its wonderful food, its wonderful culture and its wonderful environment nor for the cities businesses to enjoy increased inflows of customers with their expense accounts and customer references for those businesses when they go back home, if all the businesses and theaters and restaurants are closed.

The US state department is telling travelers to avoid downtown Toronto because of expected “violent and unpredictable” protests, according to the article and I think these world leaders look at the protesters as an enemy they are “at war with” rather than to consider listening to anything they are saying.

I noticed Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner at hearings this week on CSPAN and on a news segment here and there – along with financial reform and regulations efforts in high swing – should’ve known it was because the finalizing of these G-20 background agreements are being hammered out.

(And they probably wanted the US to be in a much stronger position to say that we’re working on it – rather than for things to look like the legislative process and lobbyists had bogged it down to a standstill, which is more likely the case. – just a note of what I’ve seen in the last three years of this economic disaster.)

– cricketdiane


Recently, I had noticed another news item or two about Russia’s entry into the WTO with Russian Prime Minister Putin’s name tied into the mix. It is a sure sign that a G-20 meeting and its backroom work is underway when things like that pop up here and there.

Here is part of it that I looked up today – This one from 06-17-10

Putin said that Chevron, alongside with other large U.S. companies including Boeing, set up a special group in 2006 to back Russia’s World Trade Organization (WTO) entry bid as well as to “eliminate such archaic obstacles for our cooperation as the Jackson-Vanik amendment.”

The amendment, named after Congressmen Henry M. Jackson and Charles Vanik, was introduced in 1974 to restrict trade with the Soviet Union and other non-market economies until they allowed free emigration, especially of Jews, and other religious minorities.

Putin told a meeting with the U.S.-based Chevron Corporation that such archaic barriers “were created in the previous epoch in relations [between the Soviet Union and the United States] and today hinder development.”



(and this one -)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Russian president arrives in San Francisco to start U.S. visit

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived on Wednesday to San Francisco to start a five-day working tour to pay a visit to the United States and take part in G8 and G20 summits in Canada.

My Note –

Bloomberg just had a story a little bit ago (before 9.46 am EDT) about Russian President Medvedev visiting the silicon valley and other high tech businesses of America today – right now, I suppose. They say he is tweeting about it.

How nifty. I wouldn’t be allowed to tour those facilities and neither would any other American citizen. Hmmmm…….

We are building our own competition. What a concept.

That’s stupid.

– cricketdiane


(and these)


Sunny Start to St. Petersburg Forum

18 June 2010

By Irina Filatova and Scott Rose

Companies, too, said they would take matters into their own hands this year, after initiatives like Russia’s long-running World Trade Organization bid continued to flounder.

“Everyone has noticed the change in mood compared with the talks held during the previous meetings,” said Renova Group billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, whom Medvedev recently tapped to oversee development of an ambitious innovation center in the Moscow region town of Skolkovo.

Last year’s forum saw a lot of criticism from the business community and politicians over legislative barriers, Vekselberg told reporters after a session dedicated to EU-Russia relations on Thursday.

“What I liked [about today’s meetings] very much was that state officials said they saw a clear priority from business. … It’s business that must initiate new political decisions through specific projects, through implementing specific initiatives,” he said.

“And it’s a crucially important change in the dialogue’s entire format,” he said.

Reiner Hartmann, president of the Association of European Businesses in Russia, said the tone at the forum had changed now that the hangover of the crisis is lifting. “Our partners are now more open for dialogue,” he said. “They see themselves more sober and realistic.”

One noticeable difference this year will be the lack of vodka and other hard alcohol at companies’ stands, Deputy Economic Development Minister Stanislav Voskresensky told Reuters.

“Beverages no stronger than wine” will be allowed on the grounds this year, he said. Medvedev has sought to improve Russians’ health and productivity through an anti-alcohol drive.

Medvedev’s speech Friday is expected to focus on his pet project of modernization, and forum participants said this issue was vital for Russia’s continued economic growth.

“I’d like him to say what he has been saying,” Andrew Somers, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, said, naming as examples Medvedev’s anti-corruption drive, efforts to improve relations with Washington and promotion of innovation.

Like last year, Putin is not on the forum’s list of participants, which includes French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who will make a speech with Medvedev on Saturday afternoon. Putin is scheduled to go to the Yaroslavl region on Friday to inspect a once-struggling engine plant and to meet with investors from Japan’s Komatsu.

“[Putin] created this event. I don’t think he wants to undermine it,” Somers said, when asked about the reaction to Putin’s headline-grabbing trip to Pikalyovo at the opening of the forum last year.

“It’s not in his interest. It [the forum] used to be a Soviet-style thing before he intervened. Now look at these CEOs,” Somers said, speaking after a session attended by ConocoPhillips chief James Mulva, Severstal CEO Alexei Mordashov, Citigroup head Vikram Pandit and other captains of international industry.


Forum participants also said it was time for business to push politicians for a final agreement on Russia’s 17-year bid to join the WTO. Last year, trade officials from Moscow, Washington and Brussels told the forum that the bid could be finalized within a year, only to see their hopes dashed when Russia began to work on a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“Business is moving politics. That’s why if business tells them: ‘Move faster, have fruitful discussions and finally sign it,’ the talks will go better,” Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Slepnyov said.

Rusnano chief Anatoly Chubais berated Moscow for taking so long with the bid, saying no other country in the world had taken “such an endless and senseless path as Russia.”

“We have turned discussing [the bid] into a bad tradition. As far as I understand, it’s business — Russian and European business — that must speak out on this topic clearly,” Chubais told reporters.

Chubais also said this year’s forum stood out from previous years because of its modernization agenda, which he promised would be discussed in terms of specific projects. “The modernization agenda has never sounded like this before,” he said.

Slepnyov said the forum’s main goal was to make business “understand that modernization is serious and it’s possible to make money on it.”

Sixty percent of the forum’s agenda will be about modernizing Russia’s economy, Kremlin economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich told Vedomosti ahead of the forum. He said the rest of the time would be spend focusing on “a look into the future” — a mantra of Kremlin deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov — and global problems related to the economic crisis.

Staff writers Nikolaus von Twickel and Anatoly Medetsky contributed to this report.

Belarus Halts Gas Deliveries to EU

Italian, Russian Firms to Build Helicopter Factory

Medvedev to Put Business First In U.S. Visit

Building Moscow So They Will Come


My Note – other interesting stuff I found wandering about –


Arms Expert Found Dead in Malta

21 June 2010
The Moscow Times

Alexander Pikayev, 48, a leading Russian expert on nuclear nonproliferation, was found dead in his apartment in the Maltese town of Bugibba with a blunt head wound, local media reported.

Police have ruled out murder and said Pikayev simply hit his head on a door when falling, MaltaMedia.com, a local news web site, reported Saturday. Pikayev’s computer was still on when his body was discovered.

Alexei Arbatov, Pikayev’s colleague at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said Pikayev died Wednesday but the incident was only reported Saturday, RIA-Novosti reported.

Arbatov said Sunday that the official cause of death had not been established. He said it would be announced by Pikayev’s widow, who was in Russia when her husband died but is now in Malta.

Kommersant reported that Pikayev had probably suffered a heart attack. But Nikolai Petrov, who worked with Pikayev at the Carnegie Moscow Center, told The Moscow Times on Sunday that Pikayev had not complained about his health in the months before his death.

Pikayev had worked at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations since 1984 and headed its Center for International Security in recent years. He was a consultant for the State Duma’s Defense Committee from 1994 to 2003 and had worked at the Carnegie Moscow Center since 1997.

Pikayev was also a much-cited media pundit and often commented on current events in The Moscow Times.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

(my note – that means he died on June 16, 2010 and he was a specialist in a lot more than nuclear non-proliferation, exceptionally in economic matters and other international interactions.)


EU diplomat: no details on Iran sanctions until July

17 Jun 2010 07:51 GMT
… opponent of the initiative. Cyprus, Greece and Malta, whose ports could lose income from Iranian shipping lines, … detailed discussions in the coming weeks. The UN last week, including Iran ally Russia and non-interventionist …[PDF]


Goldman Sachs 2010 Healthcare ConferenceJune 15, 2010 – Jérôme

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Jun 15, 2010 Goldman Sachs 2010 Healthcare Conference. Jérôme Contamine. Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. Los Angeles, June 15, 2010


India eyes stake in Russian uranium field
‘India is evaluating the option of picking up stake in one of the world’s largest uranium fields in Russia. The possibility of a minority equity stake in the Elkon field in Russia’s Yakutia province, which is estimated to hold 344,000 tonnes of uranium or about 5.3 per cent of the world’s recoverable reserves, is being seen as a step towards securing long-term supplies for the country’s nuclear capacity, a Government official involved in the exercise said. Russia’s state-owned mining firm ARMZ Uranium Holding Company has the licence to the Elkon field, in which a stake was offered in the course of bilateral negotiations during the Russian Prime Minister, Mr Vladimir Putin’s, visit to India earlier this year. ARMZ Uranium Holding, which also has licences for uranium fields in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, had earlier said it is looking for a strategic partner to help it develop the Elkon mine.’

American uranium major now has China as investor

‘NEW YORK: A major Hong Kong-based company, partly owned by the Chinese government has quietly purchased a 5.1 per cent stake in the lone US-owned provider of enriched uranium for use in civilian nuclear reactors globally.

The Noble Group, that bought the stake in USEC, is the world’s second-largest commodities trading and logistics company after Cargill. One of its minority owners is the Chinese government’s sovereign wealth fund, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Noble said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had purchased the shares on the open market from May 25 to June 2.

Noble wants to become USEC’s partner in marketing uranium enrichment for reactors in Asia, particularly mainland China, according to Richard Elman, Noble’s founder and executive chairman. China could prove to be a ready buyer of USEC’s product. It has a major nuclear power plant construction programme underway to help meet its growing energy demands.’


(and this one)

China puts down marker in nuclear power race

Asia Times by Stephen Blank

China announced in late April the sale of two nuclear reactors to Pakistan. This deal is clearly against the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the spirit if not the letter of the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) [1]. Nevertheless, the United States has not and may not even register a protest to this sale in spite of its implications for regional stability.

(the last three listings are from this page of the CSIS website)



(from June 15 CSIS blog above)

Washington objects to China-Pakistan nuclear deal

WP by Glenn Kessler

(from June 14, 2010 CSIS blog)
Germany probes shipments to Iran

WSJ by David Crawford

Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites
Times of London by Hugh Tomlinson

Jordan’s Atomic Desires Test Obama’s Nuclear Agenda

Jordan’s ambitions for a civilian nuclear power sector, while supported by the United States, also raise concerns in Washington about aggravating Israel and an arms buildup in the Middle East, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday (see GSN, Aug. 9, 2009). Amman and Washington are preparing a civilian nuclear trade deal that would give Jordan access to U.S. nuclear technology and expertise.


I also just found these two nifty products for testing ocean water and other water temperatures and chemistry – very nifty for the Gulf of Mexico townspeople and fishermen to sue BP and have some real information to use.

Oh, that’s terrible but so true . . .

Marine Science Education Test Kits
[HI 3899BP]

Marine Science Education Test Kits
Click to enlarge

Marine Science Education Test Kits
Click to enlarge

Marine Science Education Test Kits
Click to

HANNA Instruments is now offering a new series of test kits for use by educators and marine science students. These portable kits are specifically designed for teachers to get the most out of their classroom time with well constructed lessons and activities.

The backpack is designed with all the necessary components in one place, reducing the chance of misplacing an item. The durable backpack is ideal to take out in the field for on site measurements. The components are tied together by an extensive teachers manual that includes information about each parameter, classroom activities which are designed to introduce students to each parameter, and detailed field testing procedures. Using the supplied course of study in correlation with HANNA’s parameter test kits and pocket testers, the Marine Science Backpack Lab™ for Education proves teachers with a valuable tool in helping their students assess the water quality of marine environment.

The HANNA Instruments Backpack Lab™ is an example of our innovation and desire to respond to the needs of our customers. HANNA looks forward to supporting teachers with our continuing Backpack Lab™ series.

The HI 3899BP Marine Science Education Test Kit is supplied with the following:

  • 110 tests each for Acidity and Alkalinity, 100 tests for Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, Dissolved Oxygen, Hardness, Nitrate, Nitrogen, Phosphate, Salinity, Conductivity, Temperature and more.
  • Hanna’s pHep®4 waterproof pH/temperature tester
  • Hanna’s DiST®5 waterproof conductivity/Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) tester
  • Hydrometer for Salinity
  • Secchi disk for turbidity
  • Backpack-style carrying case which holds all components of the kit
  • Teachers manual with a curriculum that meets National Science Teachers Standards
  • CD with defination of terms to be used as a Power Point or for transperencies
  • Laminated, laboratory instruction cards with step-by-step field-test procedures
  • Reproducible lab activity worksheets with instructions, goals, hypothesis, and testing procedure results/observations
  • A glossary of key terms for classroom display

For more information, please visit this products


My Note –
Isn’t that nifty? But for the petrochemicals and dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico right now, additional test chemicals might need to be added to the handy system they are offering. Its still nifty though.

– cricketdiane


(And this one – a little pricey but for the Gulf of Mexico spill and its impacts, it sure would be worth having – and for other polluted crap testing too.)

Waterproof pH/EC/TDS/Temp Meter
[HI 991300]
$499.00 $439.68

a href=”//www.aquanet.com/aquastore/popup_image.php?pID=216&osCsid=e5958932e467607295083906f088088d\’)”>Waterproof pH/EC/TDS/Temp Meter
Click to enlarge

Waterproof pH/EC/TDS/Temp Meter
Click to enlarge

Waterproof<br /> pH/EC/TDS/Temp Meter
Click to enlarge

HI 991300 offers you the combination of pH, electro-conductivity, total dissolved solids and temperature measurements. To increase precision, you can select the meter which will work best with your range of conductivity, from purified to brackish waters. There are only 2 buttons, yet you can select from a range of calibration buffers and even the temperature scale (°C or °F) most familiar to you.

The housing is waterproof and rated for IP 67 conditions. The multi-parameter probe, HI 1288, includes pH, EC/TDS and temperature in one convenient, rugged handle. Other user selectable features include different TDS factors from 0.45 to 1.00, and a range of temperature coefficients (ß) from 0.0 to 2.4% for greater consistency and reproducibility. Also selectable are standardized buffer recognition values. To ensure against interference from transient electrical noise, a solid-state amplifier is integrated into the probe.

  • 4 parameters with a single probe
  • Stability indicator and hold feature
  • Over 1500 hours of battery life

HI 991300 is supplied complete with pH/EC/TDS/T HI 1288 probe, with 1 m (3.3 ft.) cable, batteries, rugged carrying case and instructions.

HI 991300
0.00 to 14.00 pH; 0 to 3999 µS/cm EC;
0 to 2000 ppm TDS; 0.0 to 60.0°C or 32.0 to 140.0°F

0.01 pH; 1 µS/cm EC; 1 ppm TDS; 0.1°C or 0.1°F

Accuracy (@20°C/68°F):
±0.01 pH; ±2% F.S. EC/TDS; ±0.5°C or ±1.0°F

Typical EMC Deviation:
±0.03 pH; ±2% F.S EC/TDS; ±0.5°C or ±1.0°F

EC/TDS Ratios:

Selectable from 0.45 to 1.00 (0.50 default); step is of 0.01 unit

pH Calibration:

Automatic 1 or 2 points with 2 sets of memorized standard buffers

EC/TDS Calibration:

Automatic 1 point at 1382 ppm

Temp. Compensation:

Automatic from 0 to 60°C pH;
Automatic from 0 to 60°C with a selectable b from 0.0 to 2.4% per °C EC/TDS

Probe (included):
HI 1288 pH/EC/TDS probe with built-in temperature sensor, DIN connector and 1 m (3.3′) cable

Battery Life:
4 x 1.5V AAA / approximately 500 hours of continuous use

0 to 50°C (32 to 122 °F); RH 100%

143 x 80 x 38 mm (5.6 x 3.1 x 1.5″)

320g (11.3 oz.)

Accessories (click model link for more information)

HI 1288 –  pH/EC/TDS/Temp probe

HI 710004 –  Soft carrying case

HI 710007 –  Blue shockproof rubber boot

HI 710008 –  Orange shockproof rubber boot

HI 70030P –  12880 µS cal. Sol. (25 x 20 mL)

HI 70038P –  6.44 ppt cal. Sol. (25 x 20 mL)

HI 77100P –  1413 µS & pH 7 sol., 20 mL

HI 77200P –  1500 ppm & pH 7 sol. 20 mL

HI 77300P –  1382 ppm & pH 7 sol. 20 mL

HI 77400P –  pH 4 & 7 sol., 20 mL

Instruction Manual

HI 991300

Instruction Manual (PDF format)

Current Reviews: 1

This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 10 July, 2005.




my note –

Isn’t that great – a little pricey for home use but if my income wasn’t zero – I’d buy one for every house in our family including for each of my children.

I actually came to this site from here -which is also nifty –



Ocean Tech Expo Features In-Water Demos

May 31, 2010 at 06:15 AM

R/V Tioga This year’s Ocean Tech Expo opened under sparkling skies on the Newport, RI waterfront. The event held May 25-27, 2010 provided a wonderful opportunity for companies to display the latest in ocean technology management and exploration equipment. The expo took place at the Newport Yachting Center and this seaside location made it easy for companies to provide “in-water” demos of their products.

Last Updated ( Jun 11, 2010 at 05:51 AM )
Read more…
Team Finds Subtropical Waters Flushing Through Greenland Fjord

Greenland Ice (Dave Sutherland,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland’s glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Last Updated ( Apr 25, 2010 at 10:08 PM )

Read more…

(from website above and this one is from their news today – )

Scientists Call for a New Strategy for Polar Ocean Observation

Jun 23, 2010 at 04:33 AM

Scientists Call for a New Strategy for Polar Ocean Observation

Cost-effective approach could help predict climate change impacts for all marine ecosystems

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—In a report published in this week’s issue of Science, a team of oceanographers, including MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Ecosystems Center director Hugh Ducklow, outline a polar ocean observation strategy they say will revolutionize scientists’ understanding of marine ecosystem response to climate change. The approach, which calls for the use of a suite of automated technologies that complement traditional data collection, could serve as a model for marine ecosystems worldwide and help form the foundation for a comprehensive polar ocean observation system.

The complexity of marine food webs and the “chronic under-sampling” of the world’s oceans present major constraints to predicting the future of and optimally managing and protecting marine resources. “We know more about Venus than we do about the Earth’s oceans,” says Ducklow. “We need an ocean observation system analogous to meteorological monitoring for weather forecasting, but it’s harder to do in the ocean.”

In polar oceans in particular, including the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) where Ducklow and his colleagues conduct research as part of the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research project at Palmer Station, high operation costs and harsh conditions restrict the coverage provided by research ships, where much of the data on this ecosystem is collected. To overcome these hurdles, oceanographers around the world have been developing technologies to complement traditional data collection by research ships. The coordinated use of these technologies will enable sustained observations throughout the year in the polar oceans and could form the foundation for a comprehensive observation strategy the team says.

In their report the scientists, led by Oscar Schofield of Rutgers University, describe a multi-platform approach to ocean observation, where data is collected by a host of automated sources including glider robots that measure ocean characteristics continuously for weeks at a time and tourist vessels, ferries, and other “ships of opportunity” outfitted with chemical and biological sensors. The authors also encourage the deployment of oceanographic instruments on animals such as elephant seals and penguins to provide information on animal behavior and oceanographic conditions. Recent tagging of Adélie penguins nesting near Palmer Station has helped scientists understand the link between nutrient upwelling and penguin foraging.
SLOCUM glider

A Rutgers/Webb SLOCUM glider is deployed from a Zodiac near Palmer Station Antarctica. Automated glider robots can measure ocean characteristics continuously for weeks at a time. (Credit: Jason Orfanon_

“We’re looking for ways to use our existing capabilities to obtain data,” says Ducklow. “Our goal is to make things cheaper and get a lot of them out there. This will help to narrow down uncertainty about the effects of warming on the polar oceans in the coming decades to century.”

The team says the WAP is an ideal location for monitoring the impacts of rapid climate change on marine ecosystems and could serve as a model observation system for marine ecosystems worldwide. The rapid climate change in this region is driving large-scale changes in the food web, impacting everything from phytoplankton—the foundation of the food web—to Antarctic krill, to apex predators such as penguins, whales, and seals.

“The comprehensive deployment of these observational systems will revolutionize our understanding of how marine ecosystems are responding to climate change everywhere, not just in Antarctica,” says Ducklow. “With current observation methods, the data you collect, whether it’s from land or from a research vessel, is limited to access by people. Where we are only getting dozens of measurements a year from data collected by people, you could get hundreds or thousands each day with the use of automated technologies.”

This paper stems from work done as part of the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Program’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Palmer Station, Antarctica. Hugh Ducklow is the principal investigator of the Palmer LTER. Besides Ducklow and Schofield, the paper’s co-authors are Douglas Martinson, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Michael Meredith, British Antarctic Survey; Mark Moline, California Polytechnic State University; and William Fraser, Polar Oceans Research Group, Sheridan, MT.


Reporters may contact

for full text of this paper: “How Do Polar Marine Ecosystems Respond to Rapid Climate Change?;” O. Schofield, H.W. Ducklow, D.G. Martinson, M.P. Meredith, M.A. Moline, W.R. Fraser; Science 18 June 2010 328: 1520-1523 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1185779].

The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas. For more information, visit www.mbl.edu.




My Note –

It seems those are the same gizmos being employed in the Gulf of Mexico to take test samples at different depths (and readings about temperatures, currents, oil plumes, dispersants and crude oil in the water column) from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

– cricketdiane


Also found this wandering about –

From the Daily Press Briefing at the State Department on June 15, 2010


Visit of U.S. delegation of prominent U.S. technology companies to Syria

And in Syria, we have a delegation of prominent American technology companies in Syria engaging the Syrian Government and the local private sector, civil society, and academic stakeholders. The companies participating in this visit include Dell, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Symantec, and VeriSign. Leading the delegation is Alec Ross, the Secretary of State’s senior advisor for innovation, Jared Cohen from the Secretary’s Policy Planning staff and other State Department officials. The initiative is in line with President Obama’s Cairo speech of last year, where he called for expanding cooperation between the United States and Muslim-majority countries and promoting job creation, education, and technological innovation.

The meeting – the visit has several objectives: first, to advance U.S. commercial interests by opening a new and emerging market for U.S. technology exports; supporting access to technologies that facilitate communication innovation which are crucial to meeting Syria’s needs today and in the future; broadening our engagement with both the Syrian Government and people; and supporting the rights and values that Secretary Clinton spoke of in her speech on internet freedom late last year.

My Note –

I think it would be worth looking up that one.

– cricketdiane


And this is interesting from the same briefing above –

U.S. has received additional offers of foreign assistance in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill/Qatar has offered containment booms/Sweden has followed up on an earlier offer to include skimmers


From Today –

Coal mine owner sues federal government over ventilation regulations

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 23, 2010 9:57 a.m. EDT


  • Massey owns mine where 29 workers died in April
  • Company says agency overstepped its authority
  • Design of ventilation systems at issue
  • Use of scrubbers also at issue

(CNN) — Massey Energy Company, which owns a West Virginia coal mine in which 29 workers died in April, has sued the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration over ventilation regulations, the company said Wednesday.

The company is suing over the agency’s use of regulatory authority to control the design of ventilation systems and to limit the use of scrubbers in underground mines.

“We hope the principal beneficiary will be miners, who will have cleaner air, safer mines and more secure jobs,” Massey CEO Don Blankenship said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, contends the federal agency exceeded its regulatory authority to enforce mine safety and health laws by effectively dictating the ventilation plan for each mine.



My Note –

That’s what I said yesterday when that ninny judge in New Orleans decided that the US government has no right to manage the safety and other issues involved in the oil drilling and consequently by precedent of his decision – mining operations and the leases of these oil and minerals operations. This means that Republican appointed judge gave away the rights of the American people and the US government in our interests to oversight of these facilities.

Now, that was utterly too stupid for words.

– cricketdiane


(and this)

Crack found in floor of West Virginia mine where 29 men died

Mine accidents in the United States


Bloomberg showed Commndr Thad Allen announcing that two deaths have occurred today in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill event and its cleanup – one was on a vessel of opportunity and one was a swimming accident. I’m going to go look up those two.

– cricketdiane (my note)


(also – )

the containment cap has been removed – check the pictures on bloomberg right now – unbelievable.

Oil Spill: NOAA expands closed fisheries, video report of sharks near coast, marine deaths

June 23, 7:29 AMGulf Oil Spill ExaminerTony Pann


After more than two months of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, the spread continues to impact marine life.  NOAA was recently opened some of the fisheries in the region, but had to expand the closures once again.  The tally on marine deaths continues to mount, and a reporter took his camera into the shallow waters to find that sharks are being forced closer to the shore where there is a better supply of oxygen.  That video report can be found below.

On June 22, coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen reported that record oil was captured due to all efforts of containment and burning.  The daily catch of 26 thousand barrels is about half of the government estimate (just increased last week).

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

On day 65 of the oil crisis, it continues to spill and spread. Coast Guard Adm Thad Allen did report that Tuesday crews were able to contain a record…
Keep Reading »


Cap removed from leaking BP oil well

Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 11:18 AM     Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 11:27 AM

The Coast Guard says BP has been forced to remove a cap that was containing some of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says an underwater robot bumped into the venting system. That sent gas rising through vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap.

Adm. Allen says the cap has been removed and crews are checking to see if crystals have formed before putting it back on. In the meantime, a different system is stilling burning oil on the surface.

Before the problem with the containment cap, it had collected about 700,000 gallons of oil in the previous 24 hours. Another 438,000 gallons was burned.



Martin Feldman, judge who overturned Obama Gulf drilling ban, had investments in oil: 2008 report

BY Sean Alfano

Wednesday, June 23rd 2010, 7:18 AM

Wednesday, June 23rd 2010, 7:18 AM

U.S. District Judge Martin L. C. Feldman


U.S. District Judge Martin L. C. Feldman

The federal judge who overturned the Obama administration‘s deepwater drilling ban in the Gulf of Mexico reportedly has extensive investments in the energy industry, financial disclosure reports reveal.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman owned roughly $15,000 in Transocean Ltd. stock in 2008.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and triggering the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history, with as much as 127 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.

Feldman’s other financial investments from the 2008 report include Halliburton, which was also involved with the Deepwater Horizon.

On Tuesday, Feldman ruled that the government overreacted, saying one rig’s explosion did not mean others would blow up, too.

“If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing,” Feldman wrote.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal welcomed the decision, saying the ban could lead to “economic catastrophe” for the Gulf Coast.

Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar vowed to appeal the decision immediately.

“I will issue a new order in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate, and within our authorities,” Salazar said Tuesday.

Feldman, appointed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, also sits on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which is devoted to national security cases.

Prior to Feldman’s ruling, the ban on deepwater drilling, pertaining to wells 500 feet or more below the surface, suspended drilling in 33 wells for up to six months.

With News Wire Services


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Gulf Coast oil spill

The spill has gushed at least 1.6 million gallons of oil into waters off the coast.

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

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performing a free concert in Gulf Shores, Ala., next month to demonstrate support for residents and businesses stricken by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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My Note –
I’m going to start a new post with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill info and then see if I can find the news about what Adm. Thad Allen was saying, (where two people were killed or died today in the oil spill mess.)
– cricketdiane