Four Dead As Migrant Boat Capsizes In Spain

PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: A patrol boat of the Italian Coast Guards (Guardia Costiera) transports migrants towards the port of Palermo, Sicily. PHOTO: Alessandro FUCARINI / AFP)

 

At least four people died when a boat carrying about 30 migrants sank off Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, emergency services said.

Rescuers were searching for more possible victims following the accident off the fishing village of Orzola in the north of Lanzarote island late Tuesday.

“A small boat overturned at around 7:30 pm as it was approaching the coast,” a spokeswoman for the emergency services said.

She said five of those onboard reached land while 15 others were rescued.

“The bodies of two people were found, a search is continuing for others who were on the boat,” she said.

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The head of emergency and security services in Lanzarote, Enrique Espinosa, said two other bodies were recovered and there were currently 28 survivors. He said it was feared that three other people may have died.

More than 18,000 people have landed on the Spanish archipelago over the past year, some two-thirds of them in the past few months, after taking perilous boat trips from the African coast.

Spain’s socialist government announced last week it plans to set up camps for some 7,000 people and launch a diplomatic offensive in various African countries to try to curb the influx of migrants to the holiday islands.

The current wave has echoes of the crisis of 2006 when 30,000 migrants reached the Canaries, prompting Spain to step up patrols and ink repatriation agreements.

AFP

Canadian Platform Spills 3,200 Gallons Of Oil-Mix Into Atlantic

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output

 

An oil platform off the Canadian Island of Newfoundland spilled nearly 3,200 gallons of an oil-water mix into the Atlantic Ocean, and efforts were underway to minimize the environmental impact, ExxonMobil said Thursday.

The spill occurred a day earlier during “routine activities related to removing water” from a platform storage cell, the American oil giant said earlier.

“The estimated volume of oil released from the Hibernia platform was 75 barrels of oil, equivalent to approximately 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons),” according to aerial surveillance, the Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) said in a statement released by ExxonMobil.

That area of the North Atlantic is rich in marine life, including species of whales, but HMDC said “no wildlife has been observed in the area” by specialists who were sent out.

“We’re disappointed the discharge occurred, but we are working diligently to minimize impacts on the environment,” the statement quoted Scott Sandlin, HMDC’s president, as saying.

On Wednesday the company said it temporarily shut the oil platform after discovering the oil-water spill into the ocean.

It was using a range of clean-up measures including a boom-type system deployed over the side of a vessel, assisted by a skimmer.

HMDC said it was monitoring a sheen on the ocean surface with an approximate radius of three nautical miles (3.5 miles, 5.6 kilometers), about 204 miles east of St John’s Newfoundland.

“Vessels have been tasked with monitoring and clean-up of the sheen and requests that all mariners keep a 10 nautical mile berth from this area,” it said.

Hibernia — which opened for production in 1997 and is located about 196 miles east of St John’s — is jointly owned by Chevron, Suncor and Equinor (formerly Statoil) in addition to ExxonMobil, which holds the majority share.

The oil deposit below Hibernia — accessed via underwater drilling — is estimated to contain more than 1.2 billion barrels of oil.

Portugal To Partner With Nigeria On Technology

Technology, Nigeria, Portugal, Manuel Heitor, NSRDAPortugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mr Manuel Heitor, says his country is set to collaborate with Nigeria to expand their bilateral relation.

Mr Heitor stated that the Portuguese government sought to work closely with the Nigerian Government in the area of technology across the various sectors of the African nation’s economy.

He revealed that within the European Union Framework, Portugal has a keen interest to establish a multilateral research observatory for nations on the Atlantic Ocean coastlines, in which Nigeria was one of them.

The Portuguese Minister made the remarks on Thursday in Abuja during a courtesy visit on the Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NSRDA), Dr. Seidu Mohammed.

Solar Impulse-2 Plane To Fly Around The World

solarA solar-powered plane aircraft called solar impulse-2  took off from the Emirates, heading east to Muscat in Oman in what is planned to be a world tour.

Over the next five months, solar impulse-2 would skip from continent to continent, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the process.

The plan is stop off at various locations around the globe, to rest and to carry out maintenance, and also to spread a campaigning message about clean technologies.

Monday’s leg to Oman would cover about 400km and take an estimated 12 hours.

The project has already set a number of world records for solar-powered flight, including making a high-profile transit of the us in 2013.

The round-the-world venture is altogether more dramatic and daunting and had required the

construction of an even bigger plane than the prototype, solar impulse-1.
It’s a deep-breath moment in the history of technology as Solar Impulse soars to the skies.

The price of solar electric panels fell 70% in recent years and costs are expected to halve again this decade.

Deutsche Bank forecasts that, based on current fossil fuel prices, solar would produce power as cheaply as gas in two thirds of the world before 2020.

In the UK, the solar industry thinks it could compete with wind within 18 months and with gas in the near future while in the USA, solar jobs already outnumber coal jobs.

The solar revolution was sparked by government subsidies, which attracted venture capitalists to fund innovation and created a huge market that Chinese manufacturers are battling to exploit.

The solar boom is a huge help in the battle against climate change, but scientists warn it’s not nearly enough. And we must find ways of storing that mighty but capricious power, and making it work with the grid.

Kuramo ocean surge:Be prepared for more surge – Gov.Fashola

The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola has warned residents in the state to be prepared for more ocean surge in what he described as the typhoon season which is raging across cities bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

The governor gave the warning on Saturday while inspecting the devastated Kuramo Beach in Victoria Island, which was destroyed by an over-night ocean surge, killing 16 people.

Mr Fashola described the ocean surge as part of a global environment challenge which the state government will continue to address with innovative and courageous solutions.

Noting that earlier in the day, Hurricane Isaac hit Haiti and some states United States, the governor stated “it is the same Atlantic ocean that is serving Haiti and most of the States and countries of the West African sub-region and Southern Africa to the left of your global map.”

“To your right is the Indian Ocean and right at the bottom around Cape Town is where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic meet. That is the Cape of Good Hope. So, people must understand this that if it is happening in those places, you must expect that there would be consequences down the line. America is going into hurricane season and we are bounded by the same Atlantic.”

Fashola warns of more ocean surge in Lagos

The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola has warned residents in the state to be prepared for more ocean surge in what he described as the typhoon season which is raging across cities bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

The governor gave the warning on Saturday while inspecting the devastated Kuramo Beach in Victoria Island, which was destroyed by an over-night ocean surge, killing 16 people.

Mr Fashola described the ocean surge as part of a global environment challenge which the state government will continue to address with innovative and courageous solutions.

Noting that earlier in the day, Hurricane Isaac hit Haiti and some states United States, the governor stated “it is the same Atlantic ocean that is serving Haiti and most of the States and countries of the West African sub-region and Southern Africa to the left of your global map.”

“To your right is the Indian Ocean and right at the bottom around Cape Town is where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic meet. That is the Cape of Good Hope. So, people must understand this that if it is happening in those places, you must expect that there would be consequences down the line. America is going into hurricane season and we are bounded by the same Atlantic.”

Ripple effect

The governor further explained “it is like when you throw a pebble into a bowl of water, you will see ripples. We will feel the ripple end (of Hurricane Isaac) maybe in a week or two as each storm hits America, as it hits Cuba and as it hits Haiti.”

“Now in the Pacific Ocean, the South East Asian nation, Taiwan and all of them are now being buffeted by serious typhoons. Are we going to pretend that we are not part of that world?” the governor asked.

Responding to the recent criticism that the on-going dredging for Eko Atlantic City could be responsible for the ocean surge, the Governor affirmed his government can beat its chest that “rather than being the cause of the problem, the project had been pivotal to saving the whole of Victoria Island from the Ocean surge”, adding that “people often forget when a problem had been solved.”

Governor Fashola explained that before the Eko Atlantic City project started, it was always front page news that the ocean surge had reached the Nigerian Law School, stressing that the same applied to the Modupe Oshikoya Avenue right in front of the IMB Plaza which was already gone.

“Now, you can drive through a road, now peoples’ homes did not flood. Victoria Island and Ikoyi are saved. Those are the financial heart of Nigeria’s capital markets today, banks, jobs, homes, skyscrapers and hotels. That is what the Eko Atlantic City has done”, he stated.

The governor pledged that since the problem is now manifesting itself in other parts of the state, it means government might have to extend the intensity of its work to the Kuramo parts and protect all of the homes and properties across the coastline up to Alpha Beach and Goshen Estate.

He descried the development at Kuramo as “an emergency that must be dealt with”, adding that if the federal government is not going to come to the aid of the state,  he will find ways to ensure that the State House of Assembly make appropriation for Kuramo. The Kuramo erosion challenge was not included in the budgetary plans for the year, he added.

Shell confrims pump failure in Bayelsa

Shell's office in Port-HarcourtThe Shell Petroleum Development Company on Wednesday confirmed a pump failure at their facility in Niger Delta,  Bayelsa State.

Precious Okolobo who is the spokesman for Shell said, the incident occurred at Nembe Creek, 3 Flow Station, Bayelsa State.

Okolobo said “A pump failure was reported at SPDC’s  Nembe Creek 3 flow station this morning. The pump was immediately shut down,”

“However, some oil escaped from the seal into the saver pit in the flow station with some sheen observed. The pump has been repaired,” the spokesperson said.

“There was no oil spill, and there was no impact on the environment,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee, Nengi James, said the spill was as a result of a technical fault.
He added that the spill had already flown from Nembe Creek to the Brass River down to the Atlantic Ocean.

Nengi called on the Anglo Dutch oil firm to pay appropriate compensation and embark on a thorough clean-up of the area.

Supreme Court cedes disputed 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State

The Supreme Court on Tuesday conferred on Akwa Ibom State, the ownership of the 76 oil wells along the Atlantic Ocean, ruling that Cross River State has lost its claim to being a littoral state.

According to the Court, Cross River State lost the right of an oil producing state when the federal government under the leadership of former President Olusegun Obasanjo handed over portions of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroun.

The seven justices of the court headed by Dahiru Musdapher, in their ruling, submitted that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) was right in attributing the oil wells to Akwa Ibom at the inter-agencies meeting.

Justice Olufunlola Adekeye, who read the lead judgment, which was unanimous, dismissed the appeal by Cross River State as lacking in substance and merit, insisting that the agreement which initially gave the state rights to the 76 oil wells was upturned by the handing over of Bakassi to Cameroon.

“The facts before the court do not support the claim of the plaintiff to being a littoral state. A non-littoral state cannot claim oil wells offshore as she has no maritime territory. The plaintiff has no maritime territory since the cessation of Bakassi Peninsula and the Cross River estuary which used to be part of the state prior to August 2008. The present position of the plaintiff cannot be blamed on any government agency particularly the National Boundary Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.

“This court cannot because of the influx of refugees from Bakassi into Cross River State, give a legislative judgment. The government of Nigeria has a means of providing for the social needs of the people of Cross River State faced with the social problems thrust on the state due to the cessation of the Bakassi Peninsula to the Cameroun,” the court ruled.

The 76 oil wells had before the judgment of the International Court of in Justice in Hague belonged to Bakassi Local government area of Cross River state.

Bakassi was however handed over to Cameroun on the order of the International Court of Justice as the new owner of the oil rich area after its victory in a boundary legal battle with Nigeria.

However, the Supreme Court said that Akwa Ibom being a littoral state with its boundary directly touching the sea remains the only state that can lay claim and remains the rightful owner of the 76 oil wells in line with the International law.

The Cross River State government had through it counsel, Yusuf Ali, approached the Supreme Court and asked it to compel both the Federal Government and the Akwa Ibom state government to respect the sharing formula put in place by the former President Obasanjo on the 90 oil wells which had been a subject of dispute between Cross River and the Akwa Ibom state government.

Imoke flaws judgement

The Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke has faulted to the judgement of the Supreme Court which handed over 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State.

Mr Imoke said: “As a wronged but law-abiding people, we had hoped for justice. We had hoped for a dispensation of justice that would restore our belief in the timeless saying by the iconic American civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior that “the arm of the moral universe still bends towards justice.”

He said that the judgment differed from the opinion of the people but noted that justice could only be delayed and not denied.

“We maintained our peace and dignity even in the face of what could easily have provoked unprecedented violence and reprisals. We hoped for justice from the highest court in the land. But our hope was dashed. My dear brothers and sisters, our spirit will never be broken,” he said.

Akpabio hails ruling

The Akwa Ibom State governor, Godwill Akpabio, who also spoke to journalists after the judgment, said had the apex court ceded the 76 oil wells to Cross River State, the oil well would have automatically been transferred to Cameroun.

He said: “we are happy that the Supreme Court did justice today, but we hereby extend hands of fellowship to our sister state, we have always lived amicably with one another, and we are committed towards ensuring that the relationship that had always existed between the two states is not jeopardized in any way.”

Titanic Disaster: A hundred year after

Relatives of the victims at a memorial service

A memorial service honoring Titanic victims is held at tragedy site on the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

A solemn memorial was held just after midnight on Sunday (April 15) for the victims of the Titanic tragedy that took place 100 years ago.

A band played music on the deck of cruise ship Azamara Journey.

Wrapped up in blankets to protect themselves against the cold North Atlantic air, relatives of the victims listened to Reverend Robert Lawrence say a brief prayer before two wreaths were tossed overboard to honor the more than 1500 people who died when the Titanic struck an iceberg.

“We’re here tonight at the graves of 1,503 victims on the Titanic. And once again we ask the question why? Why?” Reverend Lawrence said in his homily.

The Titanic was considered unsinkable but foundered in frigid Atlantic waters off Newfoundland on April 15, 1912.

Of the 2,223 passengers, only about 700 were rescued. There were too few lifeboats to save the rest.

Third class suffered the greatest loss – of approximately 710 on board, only some 174 survived. Seventy-six percent of the crew died.

One of those who perished in the icy Atlantic waters was Herbert Fuller Chaffee. On Sunday, Chaffee’s great granddaughter Sharon Willing was on hand to honor her fallen relative.

.”It’s almost as though while I was here he was alive for me and I can now let him go,” Willing said.

The Azamara Journey, which arrived from North America, and the Balmoral from England, converged on the Titanic site late on Saturday (April 14) to mark the anniversary.