29.6.15

Puerto Rico governor says island can't pay public debt - Business Insider

Puerto Rico governor says island can't pay public debt - Business Insider: "Puerto Rico's governor is warning that the island can't pay its $72 billion public debt, delivering another jolt to the recession-gripped US territory as well as a world financial system already worrying over Greece's collapsing finances.

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla is hoping to defer debt payments while negotiating with creditors, spokesman Jesus Manuel Ortiz said Sunday night.

"There is no other option," García said, according to The New York Times. "I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics; this is math.""



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26.6.15

NEWS  |  Nigeria's President Dissolves State Oil Company Board  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Nigeria's President Dissolves State Oil Company Board  |  Rigzone: "Nigeria's new President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved the board of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Friday as a first step to cleaning up the oil industry in Africa's biggest economy.

Inaugurated on May 29, Buhari came into power on an anti-corruption platform and a pledge to make the oil sector more transparent. Oil represents 80 percent of the government's revenues but the slide in crude prices since last year has left it struggling to pay its bills.

"The president has said he will clean up the oil sector. That is the beginning of the clean up," Buhari's spokesman, Femi Adesina, said.

The government may be losing money through opaque contracts in which crude oil worth billions of dollars is given to traders in exchange for refined imports, mainly gasoline, international and domestic watchdogs have said."



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25.6.15

USAA Leads $24 Million Round For Connected Car Platform Automatic | TechCrunch

USAA Leads $24 Million Round For Connected Car Platform Automatic | TechCrunch: "Automatic, the connected car platform whose sensor and app combination is sometimes referred to as a “Fitbit for your car,” announced this morning $24 million in Series B funding, led by the investment arm at USAA, a top insurance and financial services provider for military families, which today counts 11 million members. Also participating in the round were new investors CDK Global, and Comcast Ventures, who join existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital and angels Mark Goines, Jared Kopf, Rob Chandhok and Dan Rose.

The company had never publicly announced its funding, but combined with earlier rounds, Automatic now says that it has raised $32 million in total.

Automatic, which competes with a variety of connected car services including Dash, CarMD, Torque, Zubie, and many more, initially focused only on collecting data from your vehicle by way of a car adapter that plugs into the diagnostics port (OBD-II port). This allows it to gather information from your car’s on-board computer which is then shared with the Automatic smartphone app over Bluetooth. With the app, drivers can track their miles driven, MPG, fuel expenses, and more, plus take advantage of features like emergency crash response assistance and a parked car locator, for example."



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24.6.15

A Definite Urgenda: Netherlands loses landmark global warming case, ordered to cut emissions | Ars Technica

Netherlands loses landmark global warming case, ordered to cut emissions | Ars Technica: "In a landmark case that may set a very important precedent for other countries around the world, especially within Europe, the Dutch government has been ordered by the courts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent.

The ruling came from a class-action lawsuit that was brought before the Dutch courts by Urgenda in 2012. The case, rather magnificently, was based on human rights laws. Specifically, Urgenda asked the courts to "declare that global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius will lead to a violation of fundamental human rights worldwide," and that the Dutch government is "acting unlawfully by not contributing its proportional share to preventing a global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius."

Today, a Dutch court at The Hague ruled in favour of Urgenda, ruling that the Netherlands' plans to cut emissions by only 14-17 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 were illegal. Moreover, the wording used by the judges in the ruling is incredibly strong and clear-cut: “The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts ... Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this.”"



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22.6.15

Searchers find body of missing ex-White House chef - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Searchers find body of missing ex-White House chef - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: "Searchers have found the body of a former White House chef who had been missing for more than a week after going hiking in the New Mexico mountains, authorities said.

The body of 61-year-old Walter Scheib was found Sunday night near a hiking trail in mountains in the Taos area, the New Mexico State Police said.

"The body was discovered off the immediate trail," a State Patrol statement said.

Authorities did not provide a cause of death or any other details about the discovery, saying rescuers were still gathering information and more details would be released later.

Scheib was White House chef for 11 years under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and recently moved from Florida to Taos."



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2.6.15

On Opening Day Of Hurricane Season, Dozens of Armed Cajuns Head Out Into Gulf | THE PUSH POLE

On Opening Day Of Hurricane Season, Dozens of Armed Cajuns Head Out Into Gulf | THE PUSH POLE: "Upon learning that June 1st was the first day of hurricane season, dozens of Cajuns ventured into open water in hopes of bagging a category 5.

The first few days of hurricane season are always the busiest for residents of South Louisiana. While the rest of the gulf coast stocks up on batteries and bottled water, Cajuns take a pro-active approach by purchasing bullets and tiny styrofoam hurricane decoys.

Because of the rate of coastal erosion in Louisiana, bayou residents do not even have a place to evacuate to. The nearest shelters are above I-10, and nobody is willing to endure 18 hours of traffic just to catch scabies from a Denham Springs Ramada.

This forces many people to take matters into their own hands by trying to take out hurricanes before they reach landfall. "



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NEWS  |  Mighty Aphrodite: Offshore Cyprus  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Mighty Aphrodite: Offshore Cyprus  |  Rigzone: "The Aphrodite gas field located off the coast of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea represents a lucrative opportunity for the country, which has run into financial hardship over the last few years. Here, Rigzone takes a look at how the project is set to develop.

Discovered in 2011 in Block 12 of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), results from drilling evaluation work indicate that Aphrodite contains a mean estimate gross resource of about 4.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).


The majority stake in Aphrodite is held by Texas, U.S.-based energy firm Noble Energy Inc., which controls a 70-percent portion of the find. Noble also drilled the initial Cyprus A-1 well at the site using the Noble Homer Ferrington (DW semisub). Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, both of which are subsidiaries of Israel's Delek Group, each hold 15 percent of Aphrodite."



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H.R.3361 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): USA FREEDOM Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

H.R.3361 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): USA FREEDOM Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress: "Title VII: Sunsets - (Sec. 701) Amends the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to extend until December 31, 2017 (thereby aligning the expiration date of the following provisions with the expiration date of provisions under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008), specified authority concerning: (1) the production of business records and other tangible things, (2) roving electronic surveillance orders, and (3) a revised definition of "agent of a foreign power" to include any non-U.S. person who engages in international terrorism or preparatory activities (commonly referred to as the "lone wolf" provision). (Currently, such provisions are scheduled to expire on June 1, 2015.)"



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