Google loses challenge against EU antitrust decision, other probes loom
By Foo Yun Chee
Google suffered one of its biggest setbacks on Wednesday when a top European court upheld a ruling that it broke competition rules and fined it a record 4.1 billion euros, in a move that may encourage other regulators to ratchet up pressure on the U.S. giant.
The unit of U.S. tech giant Alphabet (GOOGL.O) had challenged an EU antitrust ruling, but the decision was broadly upheld by Europe’s General Court, with the fine trimmed modestly to 4.125 billion euros ($4.13 billion) from 4.34 billion euros.
Thousands have protested in the German capital Berlin against a planned free-trade deal between the EU and US.
Organisers said 250,000 people took part in the rally; police put the figure at around 100,000.
Opponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) say it is undemocratic and threatens consumer and worker rights.
But supporters of the deal, which lowers trade barriers, say it would boost economies and create jobs.
Hundreds of buses shuttled protesters to Saturday’s demonstration in the German capital.
“We are here because we do not want to leave the future to markets, but on the contrary to save democracy,” Michael Mueller, president of the ecological organisation German Friends of Nature, told AFP.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a libido-enhancing drug for women that has been dubbed “female Viagra”.
Flibanserin, a drug produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, recently passed an FDA advisory committee meeting.
The pill is designed to assist premenopausal women regain their sex drive by boosting levels of certain brain chemicals.
The drug has been criticised as having marginal effects.
Russia has renewed its efforts to get the United Nations to recognise 1.2 million sq km (463,000 sq miles) of the Arctic shelf that it lays claim to.
It made a similar move for the resource-rich territory in 2001, but that was rejected by a UN commission because of insufficient evidence.
Russia’s foreign ministry said the fresh bid is backed by scientific data.
But all other countries bordering the Arctic – Norway, Denmark, Canada and the US – reject Moscow’s claim.
All five nations have been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas.
The competition for Arctic resources has intensified in recent years as the shrinking polar ice opens new opportunities for exploration.
Russia said its new submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf contained new arguments.
“Ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research are used to back the Russian claim,” Russia foreign ministry said in a statement.
Russia previously staked a claim to the Arctic seabed in 2007 by dropping a canister containing the Russian flag on to the ocean floor from a submarine at the North Pole.
The new move comes a week after the Kremlin said it was strengthening its naval forces in the Arctic as part of a new military doctrine.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the plans included a new fleet of icebreakers.
Earlier this year, Russia’s military conducted exercises in the Arctic that involved 38,000 servicemen, more than 50 surface ships and submarines and 110 aircraft.
The Liberty ship was a class of cargo ship built in the United States during World War II. Though British in conception, the design was adapted by the U.S. for its simple, low-cost construction. Mass produced on an unprecedented scale, the now iconic Liberty ship came to symbolize U.S. wartime industrial output.
The class was developed to meet British orders for transports to replace those torpedoed by German U-boats. The vessels were purchased both for the U.S. fleet and lend-lease deliveries of war materiel to Britain and the Soviet Union. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,710 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships produced to a single design.
Their production mirrored on a much larger scale the manufacture of the Hog Islander and similar standardized ship types during World War I. The immensity of the effort, the sheer number of ships built, the vaunted role of Rosie the Riveters in their construction, and the survival of some far longer than their original five-year design life, all make them the subject of much continued interest.
Only a handful remain in 2015, two as operational museum ships.
LOOP safely and efficiently offloads tankers of crude oil that are imported into the U.S. from the Arabian Gulf, Russia, West Africa, the North Sea, Mexico and South America. Many tankers that discharge their cargoes at LOOP are supertankers and are designated as either “very large crude carriers” (VLCCs) or “ultra large crude carriers” (ULCCs). These massive ships can be longer than the Empire State Building is tall.
In response to change US supply patterns, LOOP has made modifications to it’s mooring configuration to receive Jones Act compliant Medium Range (MR) tankers to receive cargoes from US ports. It also allows for FPSO shuttle tankers to deliver their cargo to LOOP.
The LOOP oil port and pipeline were specially constructed to accommodate these enormous vessels. Standing in 110 feet of water some 20 miles from land in the Gulf of Mexico, the LOOP Marine Terminal can comfortably accommodate tankers calling at the port.
Once anchored at one of the three single point mooring (SPM) buoys, hoses are attached to a ship’s manifold for offloading. Hi-tech, flexible hoses are attached to the ship’s manifold to receive and transport the crude oil. It is pumped from the ship in an underground pipeline.
Oil movement controllers from LOOP, in close communication with the ship, initiate the offloading of the vessel to the LOOP Marine Terminal where it is pumped into a 48-inch diameter pipeline to the LOOP storage facilities at a rate of up to 100,000 barrels per hour.
The oil arrives at the LOOP storage facility in Clovelly, Louisiana, some 45 miles from the marine terminal. There the oil is stored in a network of underground caverns and aboveground tanks. The LOOP marine terminal, pipeline and storage facilities reside in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) which provides opportunities for companies importing foreign crude oil to optimize their U.S. Customs duties.
The US dentist who killed a lion in Zimbabwe should be extradited to face charges, Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri has said.
There has been a huge online backlash against Mr Palmer. The dental practice he runs in Minneapolis has been closed since he was named as the hunter who shot Cecil.
On Thursday, the White House said it would review a public petition to extradite the American dentist after more than 100,000 signed it.
But spokesman Josh Earnest said it was up to the US justice department to respond to any extradition order.
SS United States is a luxury passenger liner built in 1952 for United States Lines designed to capture the trans-Atlantic speed record.
Built at a cost of $78 million, the ship is the largest ocean liner constructed entirely in the US, the fastest ocean liner to cross the Atlantic in either direction, and even in her retirement retains the Blue Riband given to the passenger liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in regular service with the record highest speed.
Her construction was subsidized by the US government, since she was designed to allow conversion to a troop carrier should the need arise. United States operated uninterrupted in transatlantic passenger service until 1969. Since 1996 she has been docked at Pier 82 on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.