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The outlook is deteriorating despite exhortations by the government to consumers to keep spending, to banks to keep lending and to companies to keep producing their goods. Those appeals appear to be having no effect.Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, is technically already in a recession. Indeed, it has suffered a decade of sluggish growth that has left its manufacturing base uncompetitive against producers such as China. Some economists predict the economy could shrink by up to 2% in 2009. Financial Times
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A fire occurred aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the ship’s electrical equipment while the ship was underway in the Indian Ocean within U.S. 7th Fleet’s operating area June 7.No Sailors were injured during the event or the response, and the ship and embarked air wing remain operable and in a safe, stable condition.The ship’s underway firefighting team and watchstanders responded to the electrical fire, set fire boundaries and extinguished the fire.The extent of the damage remains to be determined. An assessment team, led by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from Bremerton, Wash., is en route and will further evaluate the damage.The cause of the fire is under investigation.Nimitz is homeported in Naval Station Everett, Wash., and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.[mappress]US Navy, June 14, 2013; Image: Wikimedi
Baltic Sea, LithuaniaStockholm-based Gripen Oil & Gas AB has submitted application for four offshore licences in the Baltic Sea, offshore Lithuania.Lithuanian Geological Survey (LGT) has conducted 2D seismic surveys across the territorial waters of Lithuania that covers about 11,500 km2, and found between 25-30 prospects and leads. Only two wells have been drilled offshore since the exploration started in the early 1970’s, and both encountered oil. The four offshore licences cover an area of approximately 4,250 km2.According to the Gripen’s press release, the company believes that the fields potentially hold 20-60 mmbo, located in shallow water depths (10-120 m).The main reservoir targets are located at depths between 1,500-2,200m.Licences in Lithuania are awarded with the initial rights to both production and exploration through a tender program for a primary period of 10 years which can be extended subject to an agreed work scope.Explaining the significance and the opportunity to explore the Lithuanian offshore, Niclas Biörnstad, CEO of the company said: “These licence applications for offshore Lithuania represents a major step of the company and fits in with our proven track record of exploring for and producing from Paleozoic reservoirs. The Lithuanian offshore area is vastly underexplored and represents a significant growth opportunity for the company.”[mappress mapid=”1566″]
Air Liquide’s reliquefaction unit for Shell’s bunker vesselAir Liquide Advanced Technologies said it will provide an LNG reliquefaction unit, the Turbo-Brayton, which will be installed on an LNG bunker vessel.Yamal LNG project 30 percent completeFrance’s gas and oil giant Total, which holds a 20 percent stake in Yamal LNG, said that the Novatek-operated project in the Arctic is 30 percent complete.Cheniere, EDF sign another LNG supply dealCheniere Energy’s unit, Cheniere Marketing has entered into another sales arrangement with France’s EDF for the delivery of LNG cargoes on an ex-ship basis (DES) from its Sabine Pass terminal in the U.S.Chart’s liquefaction equipment ordered for Magnolia LNGChart Industries informed that Magnolia LNG, a Liquefied Natural Gas Limited unit, has awarded the company contracts in excess of $40 million.Santos: GLNG starts production on scheduleAustralia’s Santos, the operator of the $16 billion GLNG project, said that the venture started producing its first liquefied natural gas on Curtis Island, Queensland. LNG World News Staff
Author: AP Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. WASHINGTON (AP) – While not usually regarded as a golden age of American cinema, the 1980s produced plenty of popular classics – and a few more of them have now been added to the prestigious National Film Registry.The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that “The Breakfast Club,” ”The Princess Bride” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” are among the 25 movies tapped for preservation this year. They join three other more obscure 1980s titles on this year’s list.The national library also picked a few more recent favorites, including “Thelma & Louise,” Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Rushmore.”The library selects movies for preservation in its audio-visual vault in Culpeper, Virginia, because of their cultural, historic or artistic importance. This year’s picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 700. The choices have become increasingly diverse and eclectic since the registry began in 1989.Still, the library always makes room for some crowd-pleasers.Considered a feminist landmark for its portrait of women who stand up to abusive partners and find liberation on a crime spree, “Thelma & Louise” achieved a rare distinction when its co-stars, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, were both nominated for the best-actress Oscar. (Jodie Foster won that year, for “The Silence of the Lambs.”) It’s the third movie directed by the prolific Ridley Scott to join the registry, following “Alien” and “Blade Runner.”“I am very honored and proud to be acknowledged by the Library of Congress,” Scott said in a statement. “‘Blade Runner’ will now have two great ladies to keep him company.”Lauded for its sensitivity, “The Breakfast Club” (1985), from writer-director John Hughes, is the most enduring collaboration of the so-called “Brat Pack,” a short-lived troupe of young stars that included Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy.Two years later, “The Princess Bride” charmed audiences with its mix of fantasy, action and humor and its innovative screenplay that allowed a young boy (Fred Savage) to provide running commentary on the story.With its mix of live action and animation, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was a genuine breakthrough that looks quaint in retrospect. Director Robert Zemeckis’ wacky 1988 film noir, set during Hollywood’s golden age, imagined cartoon characters living alongside their human collaborators and grappling with off-screen complications including blackmail and murder.In “Roger Rabbit,” humans sharing space with cartoons was so novel it had to be part of the plot. Now, thanks to the perfection of digital effects in movies such as “Titanic” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, movie audiences can hardly distinguish between what’s real and what’s animated.“Rushmore” (1998) is the first movie from whimsical auteur Wes Anderson to be added and is one of just a handful of films to be selected fewer than 20 years after its release. Movies must be at least 10 years old to be included.One of a few Disney animated movies not based on fairy tales, “The Lion King” (1994) was part of the studio’s early-1990s renaissance. It proved so sturdy that a Broadway adaptation with avant-garde costumes became wildly popular.This year’s other ’80s selections are “The Atomic Cafe” (1982), a compilation of clips about the threat of nuclear war; “The Decline of Western Civilization,” director Penelope Spheeris’ 1981 documentary about the hardcore punk rock scene in Los Angeles; and “Suzanne, Suzanne”, a 1982 documentary short about a black woman’s struggles with addiction.Director Alfred Hitchcock now has seven films on the registry with the inclusion of “The Birds” (1963). Other titles joining the list are “Blackboard Jungle” (1955), “Funny Girl” (1968), “East of Eden” (1955) and “Point Blank” (1967).The oldest of this year’s selections is “Life of an American Fireman” (1903), considered by film historian Charles Musser to be an innovative early American film for its use of editing, storytelling and the relationship between shots.Among the lesser known but historically significant selections is a series of short films by Solomon Sir Jones, a Baptist minister and amateur filmmaker. Shot on then-new 16mm cameras, his silent films documented African-American communities in Oklahoma between 1924 and 1928. Brat Pack, ‘Roger Rabbit’ added to National Film Registry Published: December 14, 2016 4:31 AM EST SHARE
Controversial proposals for a sell-off of Land Registry operations could face defeat in parliament, a government minister conceded today.Responding to a barrage of concerns from across the house, George Freeman MP, minister for life sciences, said that with a government majority of 12 ‘it does not require many people to take a different view… in order for us to assess the likelihood of getting a measure through’. A consultation on a proposal to transfer Land Registry operations to a ‘NewCo’ in private ownership closed in May. The plan prompted widespread concern about threats to the integrity of the register and potential conflicts of interest. In theory, the government is due to respond this autumn. The debate on a motion opposing sell-off was proposed by Labour MP David Lammy. He accused the government of ‘looking to sell off the family silver to turn a short-term profit, to try and make their sums add up’. He noted that satisfaction with the agency is currently running at 96%.’Far from being a basket case of public sector inefficiency, it is a shining example of a successful public service being run efficiently and effectively. I must state in the clearest possible terms that privatising it would be daylight robbery and a national scandal.’ A Conservative MP, former solicitor Will Quince, said that in proposing the move, the government has ‘misunderstood what the Land Registry is fundamentally about’.He said: ‘It is more than just a data provider or an authority for recording title. It registers title, guarantees rights to land and provides guarantees pre and post completion searches. The reliability of the register is vital to the property market, and any loss of confidence in the register would significantly affect the property and mortgage markets and, therefore, the economy as a whole.’While the Land Registry can, at times, feel clunky and hugely frustrating for property professionals, at its heart it is based on the principles of integrity and impartiality, and I fear it is that that we put at risk if we accept the proposals to privatise.’ Freeman told the Commons that the government had no intention of selling ownership of Land Registry data or creating a private monopoly. ‘We have heard the concerns expressed loud and clear,’ he said. Lammy said the minister had ‘made a case for looking again, but not made a case for privatisation’, which he said would not command a majority in the house. Any row-back by the government would echo the fate of a privatisation plan floated by the last government, which was abandoned in 2014.
Hardly a day passes without criminal evidence disclosure (or the lack of it) dominating national headlines. The media cast a spotlight on the issue when a rape trial involving student Liam Allan was abandoned following the discovery of crucial text message evidence that had not been disclosed to the defence. The police and CPS apologised to Allan last week.The glare intensified after another rape trial was abandoned because vital phone evidence was not disclosed to the defence. Then a judge criticised police and prosecutors after a people-trafficking trial was halted because crucial evidence was not disclosed. About 65,000 lines of social media and text messages downloaded from mobile phones were eventually handed over to defence lawyers after the trial started. A woman charged in the case gave birth while in custody awaiting trial.While the police and CPS might normally be lauded for their commitment to tackle this problem, it is difficult to praise them for addressing failings that should never have occurred. Having senior prosecutors and police officers assess all live rape and serious sexual assault cases to ensure disclosure obligations have been met is a good start, but it is not seen to be enough. Claire Lindley, chief Crown prosecutor for London South, said last month it was ‘incumbent on all parties in the criminal justice system’ to ensure disclosure issues are addressed.Moreover, the fact that the Ministry of Justice’s decision to change how it remunerates solicitors for Crown court work is not part of the conversation highlights a shocking lack of joined-up thinking.Disclosure is the release of material gathered during an investigation that is not relied upon by the prosecution but which may be relevant to the case. The prosecution team and police have a duty to review this unused material and determine whether anything in it undermines their case or supports the defence. Anything that does so must be disclosed to the defence team, with everything else listed on a schedule.The CPS and National Police Chiefs Council say that ‘there is a significant resource implication to be considered concerning digital media collected during an investigation, which is invariably complicated due to the sophistication of mobile devices and the extremely large amount of data that requires capturing, analysing, reviewing and disclosing where appropriate’.This is at odds with the MoJ’s justification for reducing the cap on the number of claimable pages of prosecution evidence (PPE) from 10,000 to 6,000 in October. The ministry said ‘it is understood that large volumes of served evidence can contain material of less relevance to the client’s defence, and in many cases is capable of being searched electronically – for example downloads of the entire contents of a mobile phone including thousands of irrelevant SMS messages and pictures’.The Law Society has issued judicial review proceedings against the measure. President Joe Egan explains: ‘The government is cutting the payments made to defence lawyers for considering and responding to evidence served by the prosecution. Their justification for this cut is that electronic and social media evidence is not always relevant to the complexity of the case. However, it was exactly this social media evidence that defence lawyers had to examine in order to secure the exoneration of Liam Allan.’Solicitors had been shouting about prosecution disclosure failures long before Surrey Police chief constable Nick Ephgrave, National Police Chiefs Council lead for criminal justice, admitted that ‘we have had a cultural problem with disclosure where it is too often seen by police officers as a thing to be done at the end of an investigation – becoming subsequent to rather than integral to the investigation’. Changing this mindset, he said, will be an ‘immediate challenge’.A disclosure survey carried out by the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association last summer attracted nearly 300 responses in the first 24 hours.One respondent said: ‘The failure of the Crown to comply with their disclosure obligation is the norm. This leads to miscarriages of justice and defendants routinely acknowledge that the magistrates’ court is no place to get justice. This has now crept into the Crown court where the defence have to constantly fight to get disclosure… In nearly every single case I have at the moment (approximately 50) the Crown have failed to comply with their disclosure obligation and I’ve had to list the case for a mention hearing.’Another solicitor said: ‘There is a culture of the courts giving the CPS the benefit of the doubt by constantly referring to financial pressures or lack of staff. This is an excuse that carries no weight when you see the lack of funding and the work pressures on defence solicitors.’Andrew Morris, solicitor-advocate at London firm ITN Solicitors, says that when the defence is dealing with late disclosure and asks the court for more time, blame is sometimes directed towards the defence because it is using up court time to review material the legal team should have received earlier.According to the BBC, 916 people had charges dropped over a failure to disclose evidence last year, up from 537 in 2014/15. Emmeline Coerkamp, a solicitor at Byrne and Partners in London, notes that the figures do not show the cases in which there have been serious disclosure issues but proceedings continued. She adds: ‘The CPS must keep in mind that such evidential disclosure failings have an extremely wide reach, affecting cases across the entire spectrum of criminal law – from rape cases, to City fraud and insider trading scandals.’In 2016 Sir Terence Etherton, then chancellor of the High Court, set up a working group as a result of widespread concerns from court users over the excessive costs, scale and complexity of disclosure in civil litigation. Coerkamp says the CPS should create a similar working group for criminal cases. ‘The fact that no dedicated working group currently exists is, quite frankly, an oversight,’ she says.Morris makes the obvious point that the criminal justice system requires more resources. He suggests funding advocates to look at unused material and complete the disclosure exercise properly. ‘If advocates and barristers are being paid properly, you know the job is being done diligently. Goodwill is close to running out.’The House of Commons Justice Select Committee has begun an inquiry into the disclosure of evidence and the CPS. It will shortly publish terms of reference and call for written evidence. There is no mention of any evidence session. This is a pity as it would create a chance to haul in the MoJ to see if the department stands by its statement that there is no evidence that the rise in PPE reflects a proportionate increase in defence solicitors’ work.
Black rhinos, one of the world’s endangered animals, are seen at a farm outside Klerksdorp, in the north west province, South Africa, February 24, 2016.REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko Black rhinos, one of the world’s endangered animals, are seen at a farm outside Klerksdorp, in the north west province, South Africa, February 24, 2016.REUTERS/Siphiwe SibekoThe number of rhinos poached for their horns in South Africa fell 10 percent in 2016 to 1,054, the second straight year of decline according to government data released on Monday, but conservationists said the levels remain alarming.Rhino poaching rates in South Africa had surged from 83 in 2008 to a record 1,215 in 2014 to meet red-hot demand in newly-affluent Asian countries such as Vietnam, where the horn is prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicines.South Africa has more than 80 percent of the world’s rhino population with about 18,000 white rhinos and close to 2,000 black rhinos, which is why it has been at the frontline of the horn poaching crisis.In the Kruger National Park, the epicentre of the slaughter, 662 rhino carcasses were found in 2016, an almost 20 percent fall from 826 in 2015, South Africa‘s environmental ministry said in a statement.“This decrease can be attributed to the efforts of our men and women on the ground, especially our rangers,” the ministry said.It said the fall in poaching levels came despite an increase in criminal activity in the Kruger.“For 2016 there were a staggering 2,883 instances of poaching-related activities in the park, compared to 2,466 recorded in the same period in 2015.”Those activities included poaching camps, contacts, crossings, sightings, tracks and shots fired.“These criminal gangs are armed to the teeth, well-funded and part of transnational syndicates who will stop at nothing to get their hands on rhino horn,” the ministry said.It noted, however, that outside of Kruger and the Mpumalanga province which borders it, the number of rhinos killed had increased in some provinces.Global trade in rhino horn is banned by a U.N. convention.“Rhino poaching figures remain unacceptably high,” TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, said in a statement.“It’s simply not possible to regard the sustained poaching of three rhinos each and every day as anything less than a continuation of the crisis,” said Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC’s Rhino Programme Leader.In another worrying development, 46 elephants were poached in Kruger in 2016 for the ivory contained in their tusks. A few years ago elephant poaching was virtually unheard of in Kruger.Tens of thousands of elephants have been poached elsewhere in Africa in recent years for ivory, a coveted commodity in markets such as China.