'Sick as a pig' is a campaigning film produced and filmed in Holland and commissioned by the Soil Association in conjunction with Compassion in World Farming. This exposes the rise of a new strain of MRSA in pigs (called ST398), and links its with the overuse of antibiotics on intensive pig farms throughout Europe. (Press release)
Amongst other claims the producers say 40% of Dutch pigs and up to 50% of Dutch pig farmers are now carrying this new and virulent strain which is spreading into the wider population. First detected in Holland in 2003 it now causes almost one in three cases of MRSA treated in Dutch hospitals, the programme makers said. In Dutch hospitals farmers are no longer permitted in general wards without prior screening.
The widespread use of antibiotics in intensive pig farming is claimed to be the cause for rapid spread of farm-animal MRSA.The Soil association claim some 60-70% of British farmers regularly use large doses of antibiotics in pig production. Organic standards, prohibit the routine use of antibiotics.
A spokesman for British Pig Exporters (BPEX) said: "MRSA has not been detected in farmed livestock in the UK and there is no current evidence that food producing animals form a reservoir in the UK.
Sixty percent of the pork meat the UK consumes is imported. 87% of imported bacon comes from the Netherlands or Denmark. 63% of imported pork and 57% of imported processed pig meat comes from Denmark, the Netherlands or Germany.
"The European Food Safety Authority is undertaking studies, looking at the issue of MRSA in food-producing animals and considering what surveillance and other actions would be most appropriate for monitoring use of antibiotics - which the UK are helping with.
The UK has decided not to publish any British results from the EU survey of pigs for MRSA before November 2009.(Perhaps the problem will disappear if it is ignored - like Blue Tongue in cattle)
The first concete evidence that pigs could infect people with MRSA came in the Netherlands in 2004, when a young woman tested positive for a new strain of MRSA, called ST398. The family lived on a farm, public health authorities moved in in — and found that three family members, three co-workers and 8 of 10 pigs tested all carried MRSA. See Pigs to humans: alert over new MRSA strain Guradian 25th June 2007
A small Dutch study found pig farmers there were 760 times more likely than the general population to carry MRSA (without necessarily showing symptoms), and Scientific American reports that this strain of MRSA has turned up in 12 percent of Dutch retail pork samples.Now this same strain of MRSA has also been found in the United States. A new study by Tara Smith, a University of Iowa epidemiologist, found that 45 % of pig farmers she sampled carried MRSA, as did 49 % of the hogs tested.
Farming UK has a story 2 weeks ago that (MRSA) has been found at several farms in Switzerland by the the Swiss federal veterinary office (BVET).
The bacteria was found in one pig and two cows on farms in the West of Switzerland. In addition, three producers have been contaminated.
The infections were discovered through research by the University of Lausanne and the Institute Galli-Valerio, that investigated over 100 farms on MRSA. They discovered the prevalence of the MRSA strain ST398.
The report says that MRSA in pigs has also recently been established in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Canada and the USA.
To arrive at some understanding of the scale ofthe problem - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 94,000 Americans get serious, invasive MRSA infections each year and nearly 19,000 die. Treatment costs between $3 and $4 billion a year, according to an estimate by Dr. Larry Liu of Pfizer Inc. One study(2006 Morbidity and cost burden of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in early onset ventilator-associated pneumonia) shows Attributable excess costs ) of MRSA amounted to approximately US$8000 per case after controlling for case mix and severity.
Note : 'Sick as a pig' can be viewed online at http://www.theecologist.org/etv/
and http://www.green.tv/ecologist_sick_as_a_pig1 (from 13.30, 20 th March)
It is a new documentary made by the Ecologist Film Unit based on an investigation by Ecostorm for the Soil Association / Compassion in World Farming and the Soil Association report, 'MRSA in farm animals and meat: a new threat to human health'
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
David Amess (Southend West, Conservative and raised as Roman Catholic - also Parliamentary Adviser to the Caravan Club) was busy worrying Paul Goggins (Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office) yesterday and asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reports he has received on levels of anti-Semitism in Northern Ireland since December 2008 Hansard
The estimable Goggins (also raised as a Roman Catholic) explained this was really a matter for the First Minister (Peter Robinson ) and deputy First Minister (Gerry Adams - never knowlingly assassinated a Jew) who are responsible for issues surrounding anti-Semitism.
In a written reply Goggins said he was advised that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) record crimes or incidents that have a religious motivation, however these are not routinely broken down into different faiths (which is odd in this deeply divided part of the Kingdom where they are still shooting police and soldiers).
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PNSI) he explained said there been five such crimes or incidents since December 2008, including at least one of an anti-Semitic nature.
This concen about an illusory wave of Jew baiting, and vile and violent asssaults on the blameless Jews in Northern Ireland has coincided with a very odd public meeting.
More than 200 people attended, including Northern Ireland government ministers, British MPs, and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly met at the Great Hall Stormont on March 12th to hear REvPaisley launch the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel.
According to a Lawyer and a Jew ,Steven Jaffe, principal organizer of the launch, who represents Belfast on the Board of Deputies of British Jews there has been "There has been a upswing in anti-Israel activity in Northern Ireland recently".
According to him “Three local authorities passed resolutions boycotting Israel, as did the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.”
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU -600000 members in 55 unions) launched a report on Israel and Palestine (10th Feb 2009) compiled by senior members who visited the region.
Predictably the DUP dismissed the report as unbalanced and urged unions to concentrate on local economic issues, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams who hosted the report’s launch in Stormont’s Long Gallery commended the trade unionists.
Protestant trade unionist Terry McCorran co-organized the event. He is a member of UNISON - The Public Service Union, the second largest trade union in the United Kingdom, with more than 1.3 million members.How he consulted embers about their collective stance is unknown - you may wish to visit the Trade Union Friends of Israel website.
Henry Grunwald, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, addressed the launch meeting, leaving “no doubt as to the nature of Hamas and its desire to destroy Israel.”
“Clearly Hamas would have to change greatly before it could be admitted into the peace process,” he said. Presumanly beimg the democratically elected government of Palestine / Gaza isn't enough for this Jeffersonian liberal.
More of this at Jerusalem Post
Sir Ronald Storrs, the first British military governor of Jerusalem, explained that the Zionist “enterprise was one that blessed him that gave as well as him that took, by forming for England ‘a little loyal Jewish Ulster’ in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.” The Zionists would be the Orangemen of Palestine.
This entertaining exchange took place yesterday in the House of Commons- the evidently underemployed Dai Davies (Blaenau Gwent, Independent) Hansard asked the Secretary of State for Defence .. " how much his Department has spent on the purchase of new chairs for its main building in the last two years; what the unit cost was of each type of chair purchased; and what best value criteria were applied.
Up strode Kevan Jones (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence; North Durham, Labour) and failed to tell him ..
In the last two years, the MOD has spent £17,687 on new chairs. I am withholding the unit costs of the individual items as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests. The terms of the contract require the contractor, Modus Services Ltd., to seek to obtain best value for money in its purchasing.
The MOD haveType45 destroyers but no missiles, Aircraft carriers have been delayed, Tranche 3 of Typhoon is shortly to be cancelled, FRES is a dead duck, troops are desperately short of helicopters in Afghanistan, MOD housing is a costly decaying shambles, Chinook purchase is till a confusd and confusing miasma , Bowman radio , overweight, over budget ....
.... and the MOD HQ spent £740 per month on new chairs.
Glad to see we are getting our spending priorities right.
Nothing new here though the Daily Mail had a story - "
Fears of Government over-spending have been fuelled today as a row broke out - over the cost of new chairs billed to be the most comfortable seats in the world.
The Ministry of Defence bought 3,000 Aeron chairs, billed as the most comfortable seats in the world, as part of a £350 million refurbishment plan.
That was 5 years ago on 12 July 2004 and the Telegraph took the story up as well.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
From War in Context ..
Hillary Clinton met Pesident elect Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem during her recent visit to Israel. When they entered his office 20 year veteran Mossad appartchik Uzi Arad was at Bibi's" side. Arad’s involvement in the “AIPAC case” and the Franklin spy case (The Pentagon analysts pleaded guilty in 2005 to providing classified information about Iran in a conversation with two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) - this resulted in Arad being barred from entry into the US.
Arad has been denied a U.S. visa since June 2007 under section 212 3(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Consular officers and the Justice Department authority can bar people who may seek "to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage" from entering the country.
As soon as Secretary Clinton and her advisers realized Arad was standing next to Netanyahu in the meeting room, they tried to discreetly avoid diplomatic complications by requesting that “only three participants from each side stay in the meeting”. It was an indirect way of requesting that Mr Arad leave the room. But the US delegation was stunned when Israel’s Prime Minister-Designate kept the former Mosad agent present, choosing instead to kick out Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor. Clinton’s delegation did not say a word about the Netanyahu’s diplomatic slap-in-the-face, hoping the incident would not make headlines. Ambassador Meridor was not so insensitive about the affair. He was so put off that he announced his resignation soon afterwards.
Netanyahu’s office later explained that Arad’s presence was required in the meeting “because of the Iranian issue,” and furthermore don't give a flying fuck what the US Secretary of State thinks
Arad is an advocate of “maximum deterrence” towards Iran and has said Israel should threaten to strike ‘everything and anything of value.’ He has said Israel should threaten to hit the Iranian leadership and their holiest sites and that they should hit everything together. This comes from the man tipped to become Netanyahu’s national security adviser.
Arad has distinctive vies on the Palestinian people. During an interview on Israel National News TV (Arutz Sheva is a media network based in the West Bank and is seen as the voice of the Jewish settler movement), Arad was asked whether the time has come to abandon the two-state solution. This is how he responded:
Haaretz report today that Israel rounded up 10 Hamas leaders in the West Bank early today , two days after indirect talks between Israel and the Islamic militant group on a deal to secure Gilad Shalit's release broke down.
I don’t think that one has to go that far because at the end of the day, I don’t think the majority of Israelis want to see themselves responsible for the Palestinians. We do not want to control the Palestinian population. It’s unnecessary. What we do want is to care for our borders, for the Jewish settlements and for areas which are unpopulated and to have our security interests served well. But also to take under our responsibility these populations which, believe me, are not the most productive on earth, would become a burden. We want to relieve ourselves of the burden of the Palestinian populations - not territories. It is territory we want to preserve, but populations we want to rid ourselves of.
Among those detained were four Hamas lawmakers, a university professor and a former Hamas deputy prime minister.
Also Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, on Thursday said two of its men died in a missile strike in central Gaza, close to the border fence with Israel - this was denied by the IDF.
O'Bomber allowed Geithner with his dodgy tax paying amnesial record onboard - others swept in have politely found they haven't paid taxes, etc.,
Anybody quaified to work in the US Treasury is running bckwards as fast as they can.
The rats aren't leaving the sinking ship - they just don't want to be aboard and take the blame.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has agreed to hear evidence on torture on Tuesday 28 April at 1.45pm from an expert witness . Craig Murray.
On his website with this welcome news he adds ..
"I will testify that as British Ambassador, I was told there is a very definite policy to accept intelligence from torture abroad, that the policy was instituted and approved by Jack Straw when Foreign Secretary. I will tell them that as Ambassador I protested formally three times in writing to Jack Straw, and that the Foreign Office told me in reply to my protests that this was perfectly legal.
I will prove my evidence with documentation."
Here is the written evidence he will speak to ...
|Mr Andrew Dismore MP (Chair)||Hendon||Labour|
|Mr John Austin MP||Erith and Thamesmead||Labour|
|Dr Evan Harris MP||Oxford West & Abingdon||Liberal Democrats|
|Mr Virendra Sharma MP||Ealing Southall||Labour|
|Mr Richard Shepherd MP||Aldridge-Brownhills||Conservative|
|Mr Edward Timpson MP||Crewe and Nantwich||Conservative|
|Lord Lester of Herne Hill||Liberal Democrats|
|Lord Morris of Handsworth||Labour|
|The Earl of Onslow||Conservative|
|Baroness Prashar||Cross Bench|
SO IT GOES ON ....
Because of the problems in the US, Scotlands biggest buildng society, the Dunfermline (profit last year £2Mn) is ready to unveil losses of £28 Mn +.
The mutual, now 130 years old, with some 240 staff and 34 branches and 38 agencies throughout Scotland, has bad exposure to the crumbling commercial property market and the results of a recent push into buy-to-let loans in recent years - all the fault of the US and not imprudent Scottish bankers.
The Dunfermline is said to have been one of the last in the market to pull out of the 100% plus loans market, while it also had a considerable (and fatal) exposure to buy-to-let loans and lending to commercial property borrowers.
Partners for a merger have been sounded out and Yorkshire Building Society former employer of Jim Willens, the Dunfermline's new CEO is considered a good fit, by those few bankers who understand a good fit when they see one.
Graeme Dalziel the former CEO made a "surprise departure" in December after a 20% workforce cost saving cut in September. He joined as Finance Director in 1998 and became Chief Executive in 2001. he was / is a member of Council of CBI Scotland, the Council of the Building Societies Association and Cooperative Scotland Advisory Board. He is a past member of the Executive Committee of Scottish Council Development and Industry and a past Chairman of the Northern Association of Building Societies.
Graeme Hardie joined as IT Director with previous experience including group IT director at BSkyB, systems manager for Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, and was a senior management consultant at Price Waterhouse.
In 2006, as these problems were brewing , Peter Craigie was voted Finance Diector of the Year by the Bank of Scotland.
A tight lipped , ashen, spokeswoman asked if the Dunfermline stood by a pledge by Mr Dalziel six months ago that the Dunfermline would remain "an independent mutual building society", she replied: "Graeme is no longer here. That was his statement back then, not now. We are committed to remaining a mutual."
Those damned Americans , destroying the savings of prudent Scottish savers.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
A French researcher Christopher Augur 48, an expert in bio-molecular chemistry was en route to the University of Mexico at Iztapalapa. He had arrived in Mexico on 31st January. and changed some money at at the Mexico City Airport- Benito Juarez International Airport. He had four thousand 800 Euros and 370 dollars on his person.
A University car had been dispatched to pick him up, this was intercepted and stopped by three cars and six people got out broke into his car stole his money and shot him dead.
This was not the first time such an assault has happened and the are suggestions of involvement by law enforcement agencies.
Assistant city prosecutor Luis Vasquez said a total of 17 such robberies of people leaving the Mexican capital's airport have been reported since March 2008. The attacks appear to be the work of two or more gangs, or one organization with several cells.
Vasquez said the victims in four of the cases were foreigners: an English man, two Ecuadoreans and a man from Guinea. The rest were Mexican citizens.
Victims in all the attacks were apparently followed in vehicles after they exchanged money at the city's airport and robbed outside the terminal.
Although not directly related there were more than 5,300 drug-related murders in Mexico last year, double the year before, but only a tiny handful have been prosecuted and arrested.
Drug trafficking is still by far the biggest component of Mexico’s economy, estimated at US $60 billion a year. The year end 2008 report of the US Army Joint Forces Command singles out Mexico and Pakistan as the two nations in the world in the most danger of ‘rapid and sudden collapse’ into chaos.
Room 902 of the Amsterdam Hilton is now room 702, the bed is not the original and has been replaced with one that "conforms to modern comfort demands".
This is the Lennon-Yoko Honeymoon Suite - a one-night stay nrmally costs 1,750 euros. Now on the 40th anniversary of their "bed-in", Beatles fans can visit the suite - though not to stay in - from March 21st to 29th when a number of related events will be taking place.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed in the suite from March 24-31, 1969. They vowed to stay in bed for a full week in a "bed-in for peace".Lennon and Ono had just been married in a private ceremony in Gibraltar but were lured to Amsterdam by a Dutchman, Hans Boskamp, who worked for a record company to hold a peace protest against the Vietnam war.
Gallery owner and photographer Nico Koster photographed the event for the Dutch daily De Telegraaf and they will be on show Galerie Moderne , Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 44, 1017 DG Amsterdam.
There will also be a three-part photo exhibition, From Holland with peace
On Sunday 29th from 1400-1800 Hr. there will be a special tribute event to John’s music with Holland’s best cover bands and punkopera Chelennon on the life of John. Tickets at the door € 15,-. Reservations can be made by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
21 – 29 March 2009
Hilton Hotel Amsterdam
1077 BG Amsterdam
Official John Lennon website and his best song.... ever
It ain't fair, John Sinclair
In the stir of breathing air
Won't you care for John Sinclair?
In the stair of breathing air.
Let him be, set him free
Let him be like you and me.
They give him ten for two
What else can the judges do?
Gotta, gotta.....gotta, set him free.
If he had been a soldier man
Shooting gooks in Vietnam
If he was the CIA
Selling dope and making hay
He'd be free, they'd let him be
Breathing air, like you and me
They gave me ten for two
What more can the judges do?
Gotta, gotta....gottta set him freee.
Was he jailed for what he done?
Free John now, if we can
From the clutches of the man
Let him free, lift the lid
Bring him to his wife and kids.
They gave me ten for two
What more can the bastards do?
Gotta, gotta... gotta set him free...
In a report, Dr Foster Intelligence, a private-public partnership company which annually publishes standardised mortality ratio (SMR) league tables for English hospitals they revealed that at Stafford Hospital, about 400 more people died in 3 years between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected. (BBC) Dr Fosters website says .."Our purpose is simple. Dr Foster was founded on a belief in the need for greater transparency about variations in healthcare performance. In so doing, we not only seek to inform patients but to help hospitals assess their own changing patterns of performance and seek out opportunities for improvement."
In their 2008 Hospital Guide (pdf) they quote Lord Darzai . "He emphasises the importance of defining and consistently measuring quality, of making information about the quality of
care widely available in order to pinpoint variations and focus on improvement ..."
“The first dimension of quality must be that we do no harm to patients … Safety must be paramount for the Public trust in the NHS is conditional Lord Darzi,NHS Next Stage Review, June 2008 .. Page 9 of Hospital Guide
On Monday, 31st January 2000 the jury at Preston Crown Court convicted Harold Shipman of 15 murders. The earliest murder of which Shipman was convicted occurred on March 6, 1995.
High Court judge, Dame Janet Smith started and enquiry in January 2001 into deaths caused by Shipman.
In 215 cases, which include those for which Shipman was convicted, she concluded that Shipman had murdered them.
In 45 cases, she was unable to be certain, but strongly suspected Shipman might have killed his patient.
Basd on these mortality figures it was better to be a patient of Harold rather than be a patient at Stafford Hospital.
"It could happen again"
In an interview with Dame Janet Smith on BBC Radio 4, Feb 14th (Times) she claimed that 10 years on from the discovery that the Manchester GP had killed more than 200 patients, she claimed too little has been done to introduce safeguards.
A new system of reisration of death will involve the appointment of medical examiners to scrutinise death certificates and also give families a chance to query what is on the death certificate.
Dame Janet expressed serious concern as to how independent the new medical examiners will be as they will be appointed by the Primary Care Trust in that area and work within the trust’s remit, she says.
“It is said that he or she will be independent, but I fear that will be very difficult because I do not see how an employee of the Primary Care Trust can be independent of the National Health Service.”
If proof were needed about how effective Primary Care Trusts can be the experience of Stafford Hospital should be enough for a call for a Public Enquiry to all deaths over the 3 year period in question.
18th November 2008 was the first-ever European Antibiotic Awareness Day, and was apparently celebrated throughout the 27 EU Member States. (website)
The intention was for public health authorities in all Member States to raise awareness (ie spend a lot of money on a publicity campaign) to highlight the need for "rational" use of antibiotics.After all the official website claims " The inappropriate use of antibiotics has become a serious threat to public health in
In the UK - where (unlike many EU countries, antibiotics are only available on prescription ) the Department of Health’s Advisory Committee for Antibiotic Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) organised a national conference (Chairman Professor Roger Finch Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Nottingham and Consultant to the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust + 18 members ) . This was aimed at health science journalists and health professionals in a one day event at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London.
Amazingly, in their literature they claim that inthe UK .."Most patients are prescribed antibiotics without the doctor knowing the cause of the infection." and that ...."Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for respiratory infections when most of these are caused by viruses not bacteria."
If this is the state of education of General Practioners and truly reflects normal practice then we DO have a problem. Surely this cannot be correct ?
Anyway quietly they are having another go.
Professor Brian Duerden CBE, Inspector of Microbiology and Infection Control; Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer with Dr Ridge Chief Pharmaceutical officer , wrote to his colleagues on February 20th to raise awareness to that antibiotics don’t work on colds, most coughs or sore throats. His letter is here (PDF) and if a Doctor can order leaflets online here and simple Guide to Clostridium and MRSA infections.
So that is why the Daily Telegraph had an NHS ad promoting Antibiotic Awareness Day yesterday. Here is a European logo - anyone who can explain the signficance of the hedgehog is welcome to explain - we thought they were currently hibernating.
Kommersant newspaper said today that among a group of U.S. “wise men,” war criminal Henry Kissinger and James Baker, two former U.S. Secretaries of State, will fly to Moscow this weekend for talks with Russian officials after President Barack Obama pledged to “reset” relations with Russia.
Kissinger, who met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in December, is scheduled to arrive before the weekend, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Baker, traveling separately, will hold talks with investors and address a conference on developing Caspian Sea energy resources.
Obama, who may meet Medvedev for the first time in London next month at the G 20 summit, may visit Russia in July.
The Obama administration ants (it is said) to strengthen relations with Russia and win Kremlin support for its policies (?) on Afghanistan, Iran and nuclear arms reduction. Vice President Joe Biden said in February it was time to "press the reset button" after they reached a post-Cold War low under former President George W. Bush.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Offshore oil often involves flaring off gas - now the concept of Floating LNG where the gas is processed offshore for shipment is a major new technology and has lower capital cost to onshore processing.
This not only allows developers to exploit stranded gas reserves, but also give an opportunity to convert the currently large amount of flared gas from different platforms.
Shell is installing floating LNG facilities off the coast of Iraq, giving them a significant strategic asset to convert flared offshore gas into LNG.The gas will supply power plants and some would be exported as LNG through Basra, also Iraq's main oil export terminal. The terminal would be Iraq's first LNG export facility.
Shell is also said to be considering a floating LNG terminal for gas produced from a gas field off Western Australia. That terminal could be larger, with capacity of up to 5 million TPY.
The global market for floating liquefaction and regassification vessels where chilled liquid gas is converted to vapor state is said to be of the order of US$ 8.5 Bn.by 2015.
Floating LNG concepts offer flexibility, shorter construction period and lower overall cost compared to onshore terminals plus a reduction locally on security and safety poblems associated with land based facilities.
Dedicated LNG vessel designs including Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) are now being developed. Similar in concept to an onshore LNG receiving terminal, they are designed with storage capacities to 300,000 cubic metres.Other LNG facilities may also include Single Point Moorings (SPM) capable of transferring LNG by loading arm or flexible hose and offshore terminals of single or dual berth layout for calmer regions. These berths will replicate onshore LNG terminals and will be capable of mooring carriers of over 200,000 cubic metres.
Samsung Heavy Industries Co. based in Seoul, South Korea already has orders to build by 2012 four floating LNG vessels valued at over $1.2 billion, for Flex LNG Ltd., these are Self supporting Prismatic type B LNG containment systems. The vessels utilize the nitrogen expander liquefaction cycle technology, which enables them to source gas from offshore locations. Delivery was expected by 2012 so they can operate the world’s first floating LNG plant. In Januray they announced a 6 month delivery delay
FLEX LNG Ltd is a British Virgin Islands-based company listed in Norway.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co all in South Korea, made bids for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s vessel,(ye unplaced) which may cost as much as US$5 Bn. and be the world’s biggest Floating LNG facility.
Petroleo Brasileiro, Brazil’s state oil company, may order at least one floating LNG plant from Schiedam, Netherlands-based SBM Offshore NV, a marine equipment supplier and installer. For each barrel of oil at the deposit, called Tupi, there’s 700 to 1,000 cubic feet of gas that can be liquefied on a floating platform for shipment.
Exxon Mobil Corp. with about US$37 Bn in cash and Shell with US$9.7 Bn. have the backing for such ventures straight off the balance sheet and with curent AAA rating have the ability to finance projects, which smaller ventures cannot.
Such huge ventures will also help the big Korean yards who expct to see shipping orders at least halve this year. Only Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world's second-largest shipbuilder, has won a single shipbuilding order this year - valued at US$680 million.
Hyundai Heavy, the country's leading shipyard, has diversified and recently started working on a 100-billion won ($67 million) project to build a plant that makes wind power generators.
Daewoo Shipbuilding has established a joint venture shipping company with the Nigerian National Petroleum Co. to carry crude oil. The Joint Venture - Nigeria Daewoo Shipping Ltd, will have a capital base of US$ 10 Mn., with Daewoo Shipbuilding owning 51 pct and Nigerian National Petroleum the rest.
The company is already involved in a solar energy business project. In 2006, the company exported $60 million worth of solar cell-related equipment to Spain.
Floating LNG plants may cost $550 to $700 per ton of capacity, compared with $1,500 for onshore projects. Such ventures may boost supplies by 12 million tons annually by 2015, a little more than growth in global demand last year.
Short development periods for projects and lower capital requirements help provide Floating LNG provide the much sought after energy security.
PS : Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. delivered the Q-Flex liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Mesaimeer to Qatar-based Qatar Gas Transport Co. Ltd., also known as Nakilat on March 12th.
The 216,000 cubic meter (7.6 MMcf) carrier has been chartered on a long term contract to Qatargas Operating Company Limited. Mesaimeer will be used to ship LNG produced by Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited (3), known as Qatargas 3, to markets primarily in the United States.
Qatargas 3 shareholders are Qatar Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Mitsui & Co., Ltd
Thomas Felix Rudolf Gerhardt Braun - Tom to his friends was born in Germany , the son of a High Court Judge. The family led to Britain. Tom - interned at one time on the Isle of man sharing a dormitory with Max Mosley ent on the Bootham Quaker Scool, York, and Balliol.
He spent a short time at Leicester University where Lord Patel met him before he went on to Merton College as a Fellow and later as Warden.
Although his published work was slight he had a massive impact on all who met him. Gregarious, funny, with immense knowledge of Ancient History, epigraphy and ancient Mediterranean cultures. He read, spoke and wrote in many languages and could quote extensively from world literature of all tongues and ages.
We have just been notified of a slight obituary in the Oxford Alumnus magazine that he died aged 73 in a road accident in September last year. There is a Times obit.
Two abiding memories.
The night before the Cuba crisis he produced a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label, which as I was to sit the German language scientific translation examination ( an absolute requirement for a science degree) when Cuba was about to disappear in a puff of smoke, was perhaps unwise.
He appeared one day as Lord Patel was struggling with the Daily Telegraph crossword ... " The last refuge of an empty mind". He has never wasted his time since with another.
He last wrote from his cottage in Wales in the summer. Much missed.
We first notified readers on Friday, January 30, 2009 Qatari LNG gas to arrive in South Wales, real soon now of the expected arrival (some time) of LNG gas in Wales.... 7 weeks later.
It looks as though it might arrive this week.
The Korean-built LNG tanker Tembek can hold more than 200,000 cubic metres of LNG cooled to -161ºc will finally moor at South Hook LNG jetty Milford Haven(Wales biggest port) - probably on Saturday at South Hook 1 at 600 am (Website ship arrivals) - it was originally planned for the first week in February.
Where it will be greeted with planned protests by Safe Haven pressure group (Safe Haven at PO Box 27, Robert Street Post Office, Milford Haven SA73 1WZ ) who plan to sound a World War Two air raid siren to draw attention to the report they commissioned from expert Dr Raymond Anthony Cox, He states that Milford Haven Port Authority has: "Exaggerated the scope and findings of the studies they have commissioned to make it appear that a proper risk assessment of LNG cargo spills to the onshore population has been carried out on their behalf."
Milford Haven Port Authority denies this, saying that a "comprehensive range of professional risk assessments" have been carried out.
Dr Cox also says ....“The MHPA therefore gave its advice to the local planning authorities concerning the planning applications for construction of the terminals without having found out what risks were entailed for the onshore population, still less determining that these were so low as to be acceptable.”
"This will be a notice to all who live along the waterway that LNG is coming into Milford Haven," said group spokesman Gordon Main. "Despite the fact that the Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park, Milford Haven Port Authority, the Secretary of State for Transport, Geoff Hoon and the First Minister, Rhodri Morgan have all seen Dr Cox’s report yet chosen to take no action.”
Remarkably neither the Tepartment for Transport or the Maritime and Coastguard Agency had been involved in the risk assessment process at Milford Haven.
The group will test their siren between midday and 1:30 on Thursday 19th March. They say that the South Hook siren cannot be heard in the public information zone and, as the World War two siren will demonstrate, this is a "failure of will rather than a failure of technology".
Safe Haven is also planing a peaceful protest outside the port authority building, to begin at 7.30am on Friday morning. Spokesman for Safe Haven Gordon Maine says ,
Milford Haven has the potential to process 30% of the UK's gas requirements - with 25% of the UK's petrol and diesel provisions already being handled on the Waterway, Milford Haven is soon to become the new energy capital of the UK. (website)
" We believe, now more than ever, that there is a serious obligation on those responsible for the safety of the Haven’s residents to finally take some action.
"Accepting verbal reassurance from the port authority is no longer an acceptable approach for the county’s politicians."
Looks awfully like earthquake on the banner headline of the Port Authority - do they know something ?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Overnight a US operated Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a compound in the town of Jani Khe in the Bannu district in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province.This is the 2nd Predator strike in 4 days and extends the area of operation of the drones outside the tirbal areas.
Two al Qaeda operatives and two Taliban fighters have been reported killed
Bannu, a Frontier Region, is outside of Pakistan's tribal areas it borders the Taliban-controlled North and South Waziristan tribal areas to the east. According to the CIA, Bannu is effectively under Taliban control.
Today's airstrike is the second outside of Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal areas. The first US strike outside of the tribal areas also took place in Bannu, in the same town of Jani Khel. The Dec. 22, 2008, Predator strike killed at least five people, including Abdullah Azzam al Saudi, a senior (?) Al Qaeda leader / Taliban liason operating in Pakistan's tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province. Newsweek November 2008 say Abdullah Azzam al-Saudi, was regarded by intelligence agencies as a cog, rather than a big wheel.
UPDATE Monday 16th - strange story from Air Link BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- An Airman was killed by an improvised explosive device March 15th in Eastern Afghanistan. The Airman was assigned to the 755th Air Expeditionary Group's Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Jalalabad.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
More news from Afghanistan today ...
1. Four NATO troops (US ?) were killed in an IED attack in eastern Afghanistan. Two Afghans were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul. The mayor of Kandahar survived a suicide attack that killed one civilian. One British soldier was killed in an IED attack at Musa Qala , Helmand province. The MOD have named him as Lance Corporal Christopher Harkett, 22, from The 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Regiment. (Full list/details of all UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001) (Pic above of Harriers in support flying from Kandahar Airbase)
UPDATE Monday 16th March 900 GMT
The Ministry of Defence has announced that 2 soldiers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, serving with 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards travelling in a Jackal vehicle died in an explosion in Garmsir district in southern Helmand yesterday.
Lord Patel has pointed out the weakness of these vehicles as the driver and front passenger sit over the front axle and any contact with mine is proving if not fatal to cause dreadful injuries. See
Saturday, December 13, 2008 Third IED hits Jackal and the fourth soldier to die in these lightly armoured off roaders in Afghanistan with links to all previous posts.
2.Yesterday's missile strike from a Predator drone in the Pakistan's Kurram tribal agency as said to have targeted a training facility and logistical hub for the Shadow Army, the joint al Qaeda and Taliban paramilitary force operating on the Afghan-Pakistan boarder. (Launched in Pakistan/ Afghanistan ? )
"The Kurram compound served as a training camp and logistical facility for al Qaeda and Taliban fighters assigned to fight in Afghanistan," a "US intelligence official" is quoted .." ....The camp was a big, well guarded facility, one that needed taken out."
The Jackanory is that this "big, well guarded facility" was run by a local Taliban commander known as Fazal Saeed,he may / may not have been there when bombed , he may / may not be killed / inured.
More than 24 Pakistani and Afghan Taliban fighters and Arab al Qaeda fighters were killed in the strike, this on the basis of both Pakistan and Taliban sources.
This camp was ne of several .. another as attacked on Feb. 16 strike rsulting in on more than 30 al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. The camp was run by Bahram Khan Kochi,killed according to an "Afghan Taliban commander".
Last Year the CIA were claiming that The Taliban and al Qaeda last year was running 157 known training camps throughout Pakistani's tribal agencies and the greater Northwest Frontier Province.
This is the 6th strike inside Pakistan thiis calendar year there were 36 recorded cross-border US attacks and attempts in Pakistan during 2008, 29 of these 2008 attacks took place after Aug. 31. There were only 10 recorded strikes in 2006 and 2007 combined.
An ultrasound scanning machine is a basic piece of hospital diagnostic equipment - with many purposes , it has it's main clinical use in examining pregnant women - although other tests including checks for ovarian cysts or cancer, blocked bile ducts, and infertility checks are just as vital.
At Limassol General Hospital (2nd largest twn in Cyprus pop. 170 ,000) it has been broken (amd unrepaired or replaced) for 16 months, with little propesct of the situation changing soon.
This means pregnant women to either go private or travel to Paphos hospital for scans.
Meanwhile if you need a scan pay = OR - €100 by going to private clinics join the queue at Paphos hospital.
Andreas Georgiou, is described as the Supplies and Offers Officer at the Ministry of Healthand explains the bureaucratic delays.
“Although the bidding process has moved on substantially, it is unfortunately a long technical process that allows any bidder to make objections or comments and go to court challenging decisions. We are not evading responsibility, but it is a long process,” he said.
Further more the hapless and hopeless Georgiou explains that contracting a company to provide a new ultrasound machine was not the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, but of the Ministry of Communications.
“In the case of ultrasounds we may be responsible for supplying hospitals, but it is the Electromechanical Services, Public Works Department and the Ministry of Communications that is responsible for the bidding process,” Georgiou said.
According to Georgiou, they are making huge efforts to fix the existing ultrasound, so that it can operate until the new machine finally arrives. “I have asked that we buy a probe for the existing machine until the new one comes. I am making huge efforts for this to happen,” he said. - What no spares ? No maintenance contract ?
Surely a phone call to the manufacturers would be enough ?
Meanwhile medical tourism in the form of Plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry is a booming business on the island .....