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July 21 - 27 2010
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 28-32
Brighton body hunt Police excavate killer’s former garden to look for further victims
Chatsworth clear-out What’s on offer in the Duke of Devonshire’s giant garage sale?
Back to his roots Tom Jones talks to Andrew Perry about his bluesy new album
The biggest fine on Wall Street Goldman Sachs ordered to pay $550m for misleading investors
15 1 25 26 40 43 15 28 32 43 44 45
Bonus Ball 16
Bonus Ball 20
There was one winner of Saturday’s £7.7m jackpot but no one won Wednesday’s £2.7m prize
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By our Foreign staff BP’S CLAIMS to have successfully capped its leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico have been questioned after a potential leak was discovered on the seabed nearby.
The US government ordered the company to produce a report on a “detected seep” near the pipeline damaged in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
It did not disclose what substance had been found to be escaping from the ocean floor but the announcement will raise concerns that an operation to plug a burst pipeline may simply have moved the problem elsewhere.
“Given the current observations from the test, including the detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head, monitoring of the seabed is of paramount importance during the test period,” Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said in a letter to BP chief managing director Bob Dudley.
The government ordered BP to submit a plan for reopening the well if the seep is confirmed.
In the letter, Adm Allen wrote: “I direct you to provide me a written procedure for opening the choke valve as quickly as possible without damaging the well should hydrocarbon seepage near the well head be confirmed.”
Once the cap is released, oil would once again be funnelled to the surface. However, BP said it would take three days to start this process. During this time, oil would be released into the sea.
The London-based company has said it hopes the cap will hold until a relief well can be completed next month, relieving pressure from the undersea reservoir. The White House has been far more
A well integrity test on oil leaking in the Gulf of Mexico
‘It took BP three months to stop their leak. This dripping tap isn’t so simple’
reticent, however, warning that plugging the top of the well could lead to leaks further down.
Adm Allen said BP must maintain co-ordination with government monitors and report in no more than four hours when seeps are detected.
“As a continued condition of the test, you are required to provide as a top priority access and co-ordination for the monitoring systems, which include seismic and sonar surface ships and subsea ROV and acoustic systems,” he wrote.
“When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate and report findings to the government in no more than four hours.”
The Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20 killed 11 workers and the resulting oil leak has been described as the US’s worst man-made environmental disaster. ÞDavid Cameron was due to travel to Washington on Monday night to present a robust defence of BP in response to American anger over the oil giant’s possible role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
The Prime Minister hoped to assure President Barack Obama and senior US
politicians that the company was not involved in the release of Abdelbaset alMegrahi last year.
He was due to blame the terrorist’s release on the SNPled Scottish government and reiterate his dismay at the decision, which was made on compassionate grounds because doctors believed Megrahi would die of cancer within three months. It has since been disclosed that he may live for up to 10 years.
A spokesman for Mr Cameron said: “The Prime Minister’s view is that the decision to release Megrahi was wrong and he deeply regrets the pain that his release has caused.
“However, it was a decision for the Scottish Executive alone.
“On the issue of links between BP and the release of Megrahi, the Foreign Secretary has made very clear that there is no evidence to support these claims.”
The row over the release of the only man convicted of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988 will cast a shadow over Mr Cameron’s first trip to Washington as Prime Minister.
He was hoping to use the three-day visit to develop his personal relationship with Mr Obama.
By Ben Farmer in Kabul BRITISH front-line combat troops fighting the Taliban are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, the Defence Secretary said.
Liam Fox said that within four years the Afghan National Army and police should take responsibility for security, leaving British troops to work only as military trainers. The date is a year earlier than the deadline suggested this month by David Cameron, who said he wanted most troops back by 2015.
Dr Fox said that the Prime Minister’s timetable was somewhat “conservative” and that the Government hoped the withdrawal of combat troops would take place a year earlier.
He spoke as foreign ministers from more than 60 countries converged on Kabul for a conference announcing the clearest timetable yet for withdrawing troops.
A communiqué that was due to be agreed at Tuesday’s conference is expected to see ministers formally back the objective of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, who has said that his country’s forces “should lead and conduct military operations in all provinces by the end of 2014”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Dr Fox said: “It has always been our aim to be successful in the mission and the mission has always said that the Afghan national security forces would be able to deal with their own security by 2014.
“We recognise that there will be further work to do in terms of training and improving the quality of those forces beyond that, which is why we have said training forces may be available after that date. But we have made it very clear that will not be combat forces.”
Reports, pages 6 & 7
Continued from page 1 communities. We need to create communities with oomph — neighbourhoods who are in charge of their own destiny, who feel if they club together and get involved they can shape the world around them.”
The four pioneer communities will be helped by civil servants who will give expert advice if they encounter legal problems or bureaucratic obstacles. Officials will also identify residents with a particular aptitude to receive training to become community organisers.
Volunteers will be able to draw on the Big Society Bank, which would use “every penny of dormant bank and building society account money” to help finance social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups.
Accounts left untouched for at least 15 years would be channelled to good causes. Over time, Mr Cameron said, the bank would provide “hundreds of millions of pounds” to Big Society projects, with money starting to be distributed from April.
The four vanguard communities have asked for help to set up a variety of different schemes.
Windsor and Maidenhead has experimented with a project in which residents received financial incentives to improve recycling rates.
In Liverpool, Phil Redmond, the television producer, is behind a scheme for volunteers to staff a museum outside office hours. There are also plans for council budgets to be given directly to the residents’ groups in individual streets.
Bus and tram services could be commissioned by local people, who would be able to set timetables. One group has asked to buy out local “assets,” including a rural pub. Another project involves bringing internet broadband to a community.
Mr Cameron said: “They’ve all got one thing in common: a firm commitment from this Government to help them realise their dreams.”
Ed Miliband, the Labour leadership contender, said: “Cameron’s government is cynically attempting to dignify its cuts agenda by dressing up the withdrawal of support with the language of reinvigorating civic society.”