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03 Mar 2012 11:15


U.S.: BP reaches massive settlement with Gulf of Mexico investors

  • $7.8B will be paid by BP to thousands affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that occurred in April 2010; the settlement doesn’t bring an end to the oil company’s legal troubles
  • $2.3B of the total settlement will go to the Gulf seafood industry alone; the company also faces separate spill-related legal actions from the governments of Louisiana and Alabama
  • $17B in additional fines could come as the result of a settlement with the US government over civilian fines resulting from the wide-reaching spill, if BP is found guilty of gross negligence source
  • » But are the fines enough to teach BP a lesson? Some say no, including shrimp producer Dean Blanchard, who told The Guardian, “I want my day in court. If they can get off with just paying the money — well, they’ve got plenty of money, they are not really going to learn a lesson.” In addition to the settlement, BP announced that it would use the remainder of the $20 billion compensation fund it raised during the summer of 2010 to settle additional complaints from residents and businesses in the region. In a statement released late Friday night, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said, “the proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast.”

20 Feb 2012 11:07


Biz, U.S.: Mardi Gras worth a heckuva lot more than beads to New Orleans

  • $140 million one estimate as to how much economic impact Mardi Gras has on the New Orleans area each year
  • $500 million another estimate; “There’s no way to know for sure because we don’t sell tickets,” a historian says source
  • » A massive party with a massive impact: “There are a lot of municipalities all over the world that want to copy what we do here in New Orleans because it drives tourism,” claims Barry Kern, whose float-building studio is busy year-round getting designs ready for the event and other similar events elsewhere. And with good reason, too. While the party itself is free, the 100,000 people riding the floats each year can spend as much as $2,000 to $3,000 on costumes, throws and fees. Then when you throw in the thousands of others who spend money on parties, king cakes and other revelry, and the financial impact adds up fast each year.

04 Sep 2011 11:23


World: Mitch Landrieu to New Orleans residents: “Don’t go to sleep” on Lee

  • We’re not out of the woods. Don’t go to sleep on this storm.
  • New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu • Offering a word to residents about the possible danger Tropical Storm Lee poses, particularly because it’s not a quick moving storm. With the potential for heavy rains over extended periods, the storm could test the region’s support system for the first time since Katrina brought it past the brink back in 2005. A lot of rain has fallen in the Gulf Coast region thus far. source

02 Sep 2011 12:37


U.S.: Tropical depression to Gulf Coast: You can call me Lee!

  • It’s expected to become a tropical storm tomorrow. Because we are apparently in the thick of hurricane season all of a sudden, this unnamed tropical depression, which forecasters expect to become Tropical Storm Lee, will likely dump a ton of rain on the region, including New Orleans. We’ll keep an eye on this one and hope it’s not too bad. source

29 Aug 2011 10:34


U.S.: Post-Katrina general: Changing attitudes at play with Hurricane Irene

  • Before Katrina, it was a longstanding tradition in our country for political officials to wait until the last minute to warn, to take action, to evacuate. No more. With Irene, you had mass evacuations — mandatory ones — issued days ahead of time. That was the right thing to do.
  • Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore • Regarding the changing approach to hurricanes since Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana six years ago today. Honore was one of the officials whose work on the recovery from that storm was widely respected. To put his point another way: “I’ve been in the storm business for years and I’ve never seen officials be prudent enough to cancel commercial and sporting events before a storm. Folks in the Northeast did that. The day before Katrina, we had a football game in Baton Rouge. That’s how far the community has come.” So there you have it: The guy who coordinated much of the the Katrina response says they did the right thing on Irene. source

08 Jun 2011 18:50


Politics: Louisiana may have an oil spill off its coast; pending investigation

  • Coast guard investigating alleged oil spill: Stress the “alleged,” as a Coast Guard spokesman has said it’s “too early” to make a definitive judgment. That said, a fisherman reported what he thought to be an oil spill “several miles long” off the Louisiana coast near Venice, and the Coast Guard has deployed to ascertain whether the offending substance is indeed oil, and if so where it may have come from. For obvious reasons, oil turning up off the Louisiana coast reminds us of bad, bad things. We hope like crazy this turns out okay. source

25 Mar 2011 20:59


U.S.: Protip: Convicted murderers should listen to their lawyers in court

  • The only reason she was shot four times is because the gun jammed. Otherwise I would have emptied the gun in her f— head.
  • Convicted Louisiana murderer Isaiah Doyle • Taking the stand during the penalty phase of his murder trial against the advice of his lawyers.  During his statements, he threatened to kill THE JURY. THE JURY. He was convicted on Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of store clerk Hwa Lee. As you might guess from his tone, he showed no remorse for his actions. (via @putneydmsource

06 Sep 2010 10:16


Politics: Louisiana standoff: Bobby Jindal won’t endorse David Vitter

  • Ouch. Someone’s got a big problem. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter is an incumbent and a relative lock for re-election. Too bad that he doesn’t have an endorsement from someone who should be a close ally. “Voters can make up their own minds,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who’s currently very popular in his home state. Why did Jindal pass on endorsing Vitter? Two likely reasons: First, Vitter was involved with a D.C. escort in 2007, and second, Vitter allowed one of his top staffers to stay on the job despite domestic abuse charges, though he later stepped down. Still, that’s kind of harsh. source

02 Sep 2010 16:00


U.S.: Three differences between today’s oil rig explosion and the BP spill

  • it’s not nearly as deep The Deepwater Horizon explosion took place in waters 5,000 feet deep. The rig that exploded today sits in a mere 340 feet of water, making it easier to repair.
  • everyone survived None of the workers were killed in today’s explosion, and they all floated to safety afterwards. In contrast, eleven workers died in the BP explosion.
  • it might be leak-freeAlthough a mile-wide sheen was spotted off the coast of Louisiana, there’s not yet any evidence that any new oil is actually leaking. *fingers crossed* source

02 Sep 2010 11:57