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Posts Tagged ‘delays’

More delays for Discovery shuttle launch

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 5:12 am

Protests as Australian PM delays climate action

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

SYDNEY, July 23, 2010 (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Friday announced a new “citizens assembly” to guide action on global warming, in a major pre-election speech which was hit by protests and condemned by critics.

Security staff leapt on one demonstrator who invaded the auditorium and led him away in handcuffs, while chanting could be heard through much of Gillard’s address at a Brisbane university campus.

This Sky News television screen grab shows a demonstrator (2nd-R) being tackled by security staff on July 23, 2010 inside the venue at a Brisbane University Campus. AFP

The prime minister made only a slight pause and smiled briefly during the disturbance, which constituted the first hiccup of her tightly managed campaign for August 21 elections.

The 150-strong assembly, to consult over 12 months, was the centrepiece of Gillard’s long-awaited announcement on the environment, a key voting issue in the world’s biggest per capita polluter.

“Through a dedicated discussion, a representative group of Australians drawn from all ages, parts of the country and walks of life will help move us forward,” she said.

“And if I’m wrong and that group of Australians is not ready for the consequence of change, that will be a clear warning bell that our community has not been persuaded as deeply as required about the need for transformational change.”

Gillard said the assembly, helped by a new commission to sift scientific advice, would examine the case for a carbon-trading scheme which twice failed in parliament and was then shelved by ex-leader Kevin Rudd, badly damaging his support.

Australia’s first woman prime minister said she remained committed to a “market-based” solution to pollution as the country bids to cut emissions by five percent from 2000 levels by 2020.

Businesses would be given incentives to act immediately on pollution and Australia would make use of renewable energy, Gillard added, warning that she would only act “in step” with major economies.

But the initiative drew an outraged response from the Greens party, environmental groups and some academics. Greenpeace said Gillard was pandering to the powerful mining industry — seen as influential in some marginal seats.

“I’m pretty disgusted with what the prime minister came out with today,” said Greens Senator Christine Milne. “It was really a pretty weak position on climate change.”

Professor Warwick McKibbin, director of the Research School of Economics at the Australian National University, called the approach “extremely disappointing”.

“The science and expert input has made a strong case for action for more than a decade. A majority of Australians already want to take action on climate change,” he said.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the announcement was just “camouflage” for plans to introduce a carbon tax, while a coalition of green groups said the proposal was an “insult” and “appalling”.

“The citizens’ assembly is basically an insult to the millions of people who did vote for climate change action in 2007,” said the World Wildlife Fund’s Gilly Llewellyn.

Climate change, along with immigration and the economy, is considered a key issue for next month’s elections, where Gillard is seeking a public mandate after her shock ousting of Rudd in last month’s party coup.

Rudd won 2007 elections on an environmental platform and signed the Kyoto Protocol, describing climate change as the “greatest challenge of our generation”.

But the environmental push was derailed by the carbon scheme’s failure and last year’s unproductive UN climate summit in Copenhagen, where Rudd was a leading protagonist.

Gillard’s speech came as United States lawmakers scrapped plans to introduce climate change legislation, potentially setting back global efforts to control the Earth’s warming.

The prime minister, who is in a narrow race with Abbott, was also confronted by about a dozen demonstrators as she arrived for the speech. She later shrugged off the protests.

“We’re at a university, and universities tend to be home to passionate young Australians who make their voices heard in a variety of ways,” she said. “And we heard some voices today.”

Source: SGGP

Leak in choke line delays oil cap test: BP

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

 A leak detected in the choke line has delayed the start of the critical BP well integrity test, the British oil giant said Thursday.

“In preparation for commencement of the well integrity test, the middle ram has been closed and a leak has been detected in the choke line of the 3 ram stack,” BP said in a statement.

“It has been isolated and will be repaired prior to starting the test.”

Procedures leading up to the actual well integrity test, which included disconnecting the Q4000 and Helix Producer vessels which were collecting oil from the wellhead, were already under way when the leak issue emerged.

This still image from a live BP video feed shows oil gushing from a leaking BP oil well-pipe after a new sealing cap was installed in the Gulf of Mexico

Hopes are high that the well integrity test can proceed and finally close a burst well, stopping more crude from surging into the Gulf of Mexico in what has become the United States’ worst environmental disaster.

The test involves shutting off the valves on a 75-tonne cap installed on Monday to evaluate the integrity of the well bore, which stretches down 2.5 miles (four kilometers) below the seabed.

High pressure readings would allow the three valves to remain shut and the well would effectively be sealed, but low ones could mean there is a hole somewhere in the casing of the well where oil is escaping.

Admiral Thad Allen, the former US Coast Guard chief leading the government’s response to the 85-day disaster, earlier gave a green light to BP to proceed with the test.

Source: SGGP

BP’s costs soar as storm delays oil containment

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2010 at 8:47 am

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, Jun 29 (AFP) – BP’s costs soared as a major storm stymied efforts to double the amount of oil captured from a ruptured well deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical storm Alex, the first major storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, appeared set to sidestep the massive slick, but its strong winds made seas too rough to attach a third vessel to siphon oil from a containment cap some 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface.

AFP/Getty Images/File – Pete Duchock holds his daughter, Maddie Duchock, as they stand near oil residue

Rough seas could also push the oil deeper into fragile coastal wetlands and has already shifted parts of the slick closer to sensitive areas in Florida and Louisiana, said US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the response efforts.

“Any kind of a surge or a storm would obviously exacerbate the oil further into marshes, which would cause problems, and we’re going to face that potential throughout the hurricane season,” he told reporters.

Even the threat of gale force winds — upward of 45 miles (72 kilometers) per hour — will suffice to force drilling and containment ships to withdraw from the spill site some 52 miles (83 km) off the coast of Louisiana, Allen said.

Evacuations must begin 120 hours in advance, and operations will be shut down for about two weeks to “take down the equipment, move it off to a safe place, bring it back and reestablish drilling,” Allen said.

That would delay the completion of relief wells designed to permanently plug the well until September, and would drastically increase the flow of oil still gushing into the sea some 70 days after the deadly explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

The current containment system is capturing nearly 25,000 of the estimated 30,000 to 60,000 barrels of crude gushing out of the ruptured well every day.

The now-delayed Helix Producer vessel was set to increase containment capacity to 40,000 to 50,000 barrels per day by early July.

Former US president Bill Clinton said blowing up the well “may become necessary” and expressed concern about the ultimate success of the two relief wells currently being drilled.

“This is a geological monster,” Clinton told CNN.

“You could stop that well, but what else might you do that might upset the ecostructure of the Gulf?”

But BP vice president Kent Wells said the energy giant has a “high degree of confidence in the relief wells.”

The first well, which stretches over 16,700 feet (5,090 meters), is now only 20 horizontal feet (six meters) away from the original well, Wells told reporters.

Engineers will drill parallel to the original well for about another 1,000 feet (305 meters) before trying to cut into it and cap it with heavy drilling fluids known as mud and concrete.

“I’m really confident in the team’s chance of being successful here,” Wells said.

BP earlier raised its costs over the oil spill to 2.65 billion dollars, an increase of about 300 million dollars over the weekend that means the energy firm is now forking out about four million dollars an hour.

The firm was also forced to deny reports its chief executive Tony Hayward was set to resign after weeks of taking flak for a string of gaffes and insensitive remarks about the disaster.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Alex gained strength as it moved into the southwestern Gulf after dumping heavy rains across the Yucatan peninsula, having killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

On its current path, Alex is projected to make landfall in Mexico late Wednesday, with most of its force avoiding the oil spill area in the northeastern Gulf off the Louisiana coast.

Alex, which already packed maximum sustained winds of 65 miles (100 km) an hour, was “gradually strengthening,” and is expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

OPEC urged the United States to reconsider legal moves and ditch a ban on deepwater drilling slapped on the oil industry in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

Vice President Joe Biden heads to the region on Tuesday and is due to visit the New Orleans command center before traveling to the Florida panhandle.

Source: SGGP

Greece to compensate tourists for strike delays

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

AFP/File – Tourists are stranded at the Greek port of Piraeus in late May 2010 during a union strike.

ATHENS (AFP) – Greece offered to compensate tourists stranded by labour unrest ahead of a new travel strike Tuesday as unions stepped up their assault against government austerity cuts.

Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos told a news conference that the government would guarantee extra room and board payments made by visitors as rail unions started a series of stoppages.

“We are certain that it will be a calm summer and that there will be no major strike disruptions,” a ministry source told AFP.

“But just in case something happens, the Greek state is prepared to cover these costs,” the source added.

Tourism is a pillar of the Greek economy but strikes and related violence sparked by the country’s debt crisis, as well as the international global crunch were estimated in May to have caused a 10 percent fall in hotel stays, according to tourism associations.

The minister told the press conference late Monday that compensation would even be paid for tourists stuck in Greece during the volcano eruption in Iceland in April that blocked European air routes for several days.

Geroulanos gave no details though of how much the compensation would cost nor how it would be paid.

Thousands of travellers have had holidays in Greece disrupted by successive strikes as the country grapples with a debt crisis that brought draconian wage and pension cuts.

Greece was recently saved from a debt default with a 110-billion-euro (136 billion dollar) bailout loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

But as Athens labours to maximise revenue, tens of millions of euros have already been lost from booking cancellations according to government estimates.

Railway workers on Tuesday began a series of two-hour work stoppages to last until Thursday, disrupting inter-city trains and services to Athens International Airport.

On Wednesday, communist-affiliated ship crews plan to block the main Greek port of Piraeus.

And the country’s main unions have called a general strike — the fifth since the start of the year — on June 29.

Tourism generates about 17 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam Airlines delays new price list

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:47 am

A ticket office of Vietnam Airlines.
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on March 1 said its new price list would take effect from March 10 instead of March 1 as previously announced.

It delayed the start of its new prices list, so it could offer passengers more diverse and flexible rates.

The new price list, offers passengers 14 price levels for business class, and economy class, as well as for passengers travelling in groups or tourism programs. Passengers can buy tickets at a price lower than the maximum price, the carrier said.

The top price on the Hanoi – HCMC route is VND1.8 million, but passengers can buy the tickets at the lowest rate of VND860,000, depending on flight times and periods.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Report: Japan delays decision on future of US base

In World on December 15, 2009 at 5:36 am

Media reports Tuesday said Japan has delayed until next year a decision on the relocation of a major US military base on the southern island of Okinawa that’s at the center of a growing row between Tokyo and Washington.

Kyodo News Agency said Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had put off a decision on the future of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, attributing unnamed government sources, while the mass circulation newspaper Asahi Shimbun said the decision had been postponed until May.

Spokesmen from the prime minister’s office, Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry could not confirm the reports.

The dispute over Futenma has strained ties between the two allies and trading partners, and the U.S. had hoped for a decision by year-end.

According to a 2006 agreement between Japan and the U.S. to reorganize American troops in Japan, Futenma was to be moved to a less crowded part of northern Okinawa, but Hatoyama has said the relocation site could be changed — perhaps even off the island.

Okinawa residents complain about base-related noise, pollution and crime, and many want the airfield closed and its functions moved off the island entirely.

The 2006 reorganization plan, made under the previous conservative Tokyo government, was aimed at lightening the load on Okinawa, which hosts more than half the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan under a security pact.

Part of the plan involved moving about 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to the U.S. territory of Guam by 2014, but the U.S. military says that plan cannot move forward until Futenma’s replacement facility is finalized.

Hatoyama, whose party came to power in a landslide election in August, has promised that Tokyo would adopt a less subservient relationship with Washington, but has also stressed that the U.S. security alliance was the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy.

His Cabinet is divided and has sent mixed signals on what to do about the future of Futenma. The leader of a left-leaning junior coalition partner has hinted her party would withdraw from the government if the base is moved to Nago.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa have said it would be difficult to find a site not on the island, and have suggested honoring the current agreement. Kitazawa visited Guam recently to check out other options, but warned that pushing for a major change in the plan would hurt trust between the two allies.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Vinamilk delays Singapore share listing

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2008 at 10:19 am

HCM CITY — Viet Nam Dairy Product Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) has announced it will postpone listing on the Singapore Stock Exchange due to the unpredictable fluctuations on the global market.

At the end of October, the dairy producer received approval from the Singapore Stock Exchange to list 8.76 million shares, equivalent to 5 per cent of its charter capital, which would have made it the first Vietnamese company to list on that exchange.

“The overseas listings will help us advertise our trademark on the global market, leading to a business expansion in the future,” said Mai Kieu Lien, general director of Vinamilk.

This would also have been an opportunity to promote the company’s business model and management, contributing to greater competitiveness on both the domestic and overseas markets, added Lien.

“However, due to the global credit crunch which has been drowning worldwide equity markets, we have decided to delay the listing to a better time to achieve the most effective result through the listings,” she added.

In the first 10 months of this year, the company generated VND7.07 trillion (US$420.83 million), representing almost 87 per cent of the year’s target. The company also earned VND1.25 trillion ($74.4 million) of pre-tax profit.

Vinamilk’s shares, coded VNM, increased 4.85 per cent to VND86,500 yesterday. —

Cambodia delays temple talks with Thailand

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

– Cambodia said it will not hold further discussions with Thailand over disputed border territory until a new government is formed, said a senior Cambodian official.

The military standoff at the Preah Vihear temple, and more recently at Ta Moan Thom and Ta Moan Touch temples in Oddar Meanchey province, was not yet an “emergency”, Cambodian Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said on August 4, adding that his country is giving priority for forming a new government.

Following the new government’s formation, another round of talks between Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers and border committees will take place, he said.

Official election results in Cambodia are scheduled to be released on August 9, and a new National Assembly must convene within 60 days of their release.-

Higher fuel price delays Vietjet Air’s flying plan

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm

– Vietnam ’s first private airline – Vietjet Air – said it will postpone its first commercial flight until April 2009 because of high fuel prices.

The airline, which received its license in late December 2007, initially planned to operate the first flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh at the end of this year along with those to Bangkok , Hong Kong and Singapore .

“The price of fuel is a thorny problem for all air carriers, not only Vietjet Air,” Vietjet Air General Director Nguyen Duc Tam said.

“The pressure has forced us to calculate more carefully all expenses. If we maintain our flying plan late this year, we will suffer a heavy loss.”

When the airline made the plan, the price of fuel hovered about 70 USD a barrel. Triggered by higher crude oil prices on the world market, fuel price, which accounts for 65 percent of airlines’ production costs, has increased strongly, sometimes to more than 140 USD a barrel.-