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BP weighs ‘static kill’ operation to permanently seal still-leaking well

BP floated a new option Monday to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak and end the economic and environmental disaster sooner than expected. The “static kill” operation would involve pumping heavy drilling fluids known as mud through the blowout preventer valve system that sits on top of the well…

Dick Cheney has heart device implanted

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former US vice president Dick Cheney had a new heart device implanted when he was operated on last week, he said in a statement on Wednesday. Doctors implanted a pump that improves heart function in the 69-year-old Cheney at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, in the Washington…

Israeli flotilla probe: Use of live fire by commandos ‘justified’

Mistakes were made at a “relatively senior” level during Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid boat but the use of live fire by commandos was justified, the results of military probe showed Monday. “Mistakes were made in the various decisions taken, including within relatively senior ranks, which contributed to…

Amputee cat gets bionic feet

LONDON (AFP) – A cat whose back legs were chopped off in a farming accident has been given a new bionic pair, in a ground-breaking feline first in the country. Two-and-a-half year old Oscar lost at least one of his nine lives when he was run over by a combine…

Vietnam plans eight nuclear power plants by 2030

HANOI — Energy-short Vietnam announced an expansion of its nuclear power programme on Tuesday, with eight plants planned for operation over the next 20 years. Atomic power will become one of the nation’s key energy sources, according to the decision posted on the government website. Initial plans called for four…

Update: Toll in US camp flood disaster rises to 16

UPDATE: The toll from flash floods that swept through campsites in an Arkansas national forest Friday has risen to 16 dead, police said. Bill Sadler, spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, said he had no details on the fatalities. Earlier figures indicated 12 people had been killed after rivers rose…

US mandates new safety rules for offshore drilling

US authorities Tuesday ordered offshore drilling rigs to implement new safety measures in the wake of the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The new directive from the Interior Department allows shallow-water drilling — in depths of up to 500 feet (150 meters) — to continue if rigs are in…

Israeli forces board Rachel Corrie aid boat, no casualties reported

Update: Rachel Corrie docked in Israel; Netanyahu praises operation The Rachel Corrie aid ship docked in Israel on Saturday after being prevented from reaching Gaza, with no repetition of the bloody violence that erupted when commandos stormed another aid boat earlier in the week. The Irish-owned 1,200-tonne vessel was escorted…

Israel moves to expel activists as world urges probe

JERUSALEM -Israel moved swiftly on Wednesday to deport hundreds of activists detained during a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, as world pressure mounted for a full investigation of the fiasco. The accelerated deportations came after calls by global leaders on Israel to release the detainees taken off six…

Israel releases footage of aid boat storming

JERUSALEM (AFP) – The Israeli army released footage on Monday of the resistance put up by pro-Palestinian activists as commandos stormed an aid ship headed to Gaza in an operation that has sparked a diplomatic furor. Video images showed troops rappelling down to the deck of one of the vessels…

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