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August 25 - 31 2010
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 29-32
A-level results Credibility of exams in question as grades break all records
WORLD NEWS P15
Last US troops leave Iraq Combat operations officially end despite rising violence
New number two China has become the world’s second largest economy
Sleeping with the enemy Frederick Forsyth talks about his first-hand experience of spying
13 2 16 24 25 40 8 15 19 26 33 36
Bonus Ball 18
Bonus Ball 1
There were four winners of Saturday’s £4.3m jackpot and two winners of Wednesday’s £2.4m prize
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By Rowena Mason SCIENTISTS claim that a huge oil plume the size of Manhattan is lurking under the Gulf of Mexico, casting doubt on claims that threequarters of the oil leaked by BP has evaporated.
Experts from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts said they have found a 22-mile-long “mist” of oil that it is not degrading very quickly. They claim that oil is still present in samples but is colourless and odourless.
The report came as BP delayed its efforts to plug the well finally until early September, meaning the costly operation will have run on for almost five months.
The relief well, which was meant to be drilled within three months, has always been scheduled for completion in August. However, the timetable has slipped because a safety device – a blowout preventer – must be replaced before the operation can be attempted.
Relief drilling is intended to give extra security by plugging the well with heavy fluids and cement from another angle.
BP managed to seal the well in July by pouring heavy fluids and cement down the top, some four months after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20 and sank, killing 11 men. It finally stopped the flow of 62,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean by placing a cap over the top. The relief well is seen as the final hurdle.
However, BP is facing legal pressure on another front after toxic chemicals were
A tern combs a beach for food in Grand Isle, Louisiana: BP’s operation to plug the well will have taken almost five months released from its troubled Texas City refinery in April and May. The oil giant has been hit with a second $10 billion (£6.5billion) lawsuit related to the leak, after a mother claimed the chemicals may have contributed to the death of her child. The legal claim was filed in Texas on behalf of the child’s mother by Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing 12,000 residents in a separate $10 billion complaint over the leak.
The new lawsuit claims the chemicals could have contributed to the death from pneumonia of six-year-old Julius Provost on June 23. A medical examiner ruled the cause of death to be undetermined, noting that the child had fluid on the lungs.
BP declined to comment on the litigation but has emphasised that it does not believe any release of chemicals can be linked to health problems.
Meanwhile, Transocean, the contractor that operated the Deepwater Horizon rig, accused BP of obstructing its attempts to investigate the accident. It wrote to the US government to say the alleged obstruction means “the task of fairly determining the cause” cannot be completed.
A BP spokesman said the claims were “misleading”, calling its efforts to investigate the accident “unequivocal and steadfast”.
By Christopher Hope NEW “legal high” party drugs will be banned immediately under new Home Office powers to halt their escalating use among young people.
Ministers have become concerned about the popularity of so-called “legal high” substances, and have been frustrated by their inability to halt their arrival and sale in Britain.
Last week the “legal high” Ivory Wave was blamed for the death of chef Michael Bishton, 24, whose body was found in the sea in Whitecliff Bay, near Bembridge, Isle of Wight.
Currently, the Home Office’s advisers on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs have to consider the danger of a drug before it can be banned. However, this process is seen as too unwieldy. Instead, under the new powers, ministers will be able to ban
“legal high” drugs for a year, while the advisory council meets to discuss a permanent ban.
Tougher penalties will also be brought in, with suppliers facing up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine if they are caught with a “legal high” substance that has been banned temporarily.
James Brokenshire, the Crime Prevention Minister, said: “The drugs market is changing and we need to adapt current laws to allow us to act more quickly.
“The temporary ban allows us to act straight away to stop new substances gaining a foothold and help us tackle unscrupulous drug dealers trying to get round the law by peddling dangerous chemicals to young people.
“Anyone tempted to try a ‘legal high’ must understand it is not safe to take a substance when you do not know what it is or what is in it
– especially when some are claimed to be pond cleaner or bath salts.”
The new powers are expected to be in place by the end of the year, when an amendment is tabled in Parliament to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act.
Under the proposals, police will be able to confiscate suspected substances and the UK Border Agency will seize shipments entering the country.
Earlier this month, it emerged that six people were admitted to hospital in Cumbria after it was believed they had used Ivory Wave.
The drug – sold for £15 a packet and labelled as “soothing” bath salts – is said to be more dangerous than mephedrone, known as “miaow miaow”. That drug, which was sold as “plant food”, was banned in April after it was linked to up to 26 deaths.
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Mr Grieve said. “If new evidence is put to me I can consider if an application should be made to the High Court that a fresh inquest goes ahead.” Mr Grieve said he was unable to take any action until Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, decided whether to release a number of key documents from an archive used by Lord Hutton for his report. Their release was requested by the doctors who raised their concerns.
The archive includes Dr Kelly’s post mortem examination report, which Lord Hutton ordered sealed “in view of the distress that could be caused to Dr Kelly’s wife and daughters”.
The request was under consideration, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said.
Subsequent to the request, however, the pathologist who carried out the post mortem examination on David Kelly has broken his silence to reveal details about the government scientist’s “textbook” suicide.
Nicholas Hunt has spoken out for the first time since giving evidence to the Hutton Inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death in 2003.
Dr Hunt said he was “horrified by the way [Dr Kelly] had been treated by the government” yet could find no evidence of foul play.
“It was an absolute classic case of self-inflicted injury,” he said last week. “I would welcome an inquest, I’ve nothing to hide.”
He added that he had had “every reason” to look for something untoward and would “dearly love to have found something”.
Dr Hunt also disclosed details of his report, which the Hutton Inquiry banned from publication for 70 years.
His report showed that Dr Kelly had about a dozen cuts on his left wrist, including shallow “hesitation” cuts — made as he summoned the resolve to kill himself.
The post-mortem examination also found that the biological warfare expert’s death was caused by bleeding from the cuts to his wrist, an overdose of painkillers and severe heart disease.
Two of Dr Kelly’s main arteries were 70-80 per cent narrower than normal because of the heart condition — this would greatly reduce an ability to withstand sudden blood loss.
Dr Kelly was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire home a week after being unmasked as the source of claims that the government had “sexed up” a dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.