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U.S. Coast Guard suspends search for oil rig workers missing in the Gulf of Mexico

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The US Coast Guard suspended its search for two oil rig workers who went missing after an explosion and fire on a drilling platform off the coast.

“The search is suspended pending further developments,” the Coast Guard said in a statement, adding that it had scoured a 1,400 square-mile area for more than 32 hours using patrol boats, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft.

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The blast on the rig in the Gulf of Mexico Friday injured 11 people, but did not cause a major spill, the Coast Guard said.

There were 22 people on board when the blast rocked the rig operated by Houston-based Black Elk Energy shortly before 9 am (1500 GMT), Sanchez said.

The blaze began during maintenance work when the crew was cutting through a pipe.

The accident occurred one day after oil giant BP agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion in US fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The company also pleaded guilty to 14 counts including felony manslaughter in the deaths of 11 workers.

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That deadly blast aboard the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig unleashed the biggest marine oil spill in the industry’s history and the worst environmental disaster ever to strike the United States.


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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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