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Purveyor's Journal
Purveyor's Journal
May 1, 2012

Drillers May Frack First, Disclose Later Under Draft Plan

By Katarzyna Klimasinska - Tue May 01 04:01:58 GMT 2012

Natural-gas companies drilling on U.S. land would be permitted to wait until after hydraulic fracturing is completed to disclose what chemicals they used, under a draft rule being considered by the U.S. Interior Department.

A version in February required companies to file a complete chemical makeup at least 30 days before work began, something energy trade groups, including Washington-based American Exploration and Production Council, complained about. They said it could slow energy production on federal lands.

President Barack Obama has pledged to increase U.S. natural gas production in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, releases gas trapped in shale rock by injecting water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet underground. It’s used for almost every new natural-gas well drilled in the U.S.

Requiring disclosure of chemicals “would only be required after the fracturing operation has taken place,” according to the draft, obtained by Bloomberg News.



April 30, 2012

U.N. Says Israel Limits Human Rights Groups, Joins Zimbabwe, Belarus and Venezuela on List

By Haaretz
Published April 29, 2012.

A senior UN official in Geneva last week listed Israel among the countries that she says are restricting the activities of human rights groups.

The statement, issued on Wednesday by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, lists Israel along with countries such as Belarus, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ethiopia and Venezuela.

Israel was named due to the bill approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation six months ago to restrict funding by foreign governments to nonprofit organizations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the bill throughout most of its formulation. However, he ordered it frozen after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said such a law would be struck down by the High Court of Justice.

Although the law never reached the Knesset, Pillay said in her statement: “In Israel, the recently adopted Foreign Funding Law could have a major impact on human rights organizations, subjecting them to rigorous reporting requirements, forcing them to declare foreign financial support in all public communications, and threatening heavy penalties for non-compliance.”



April 30, 2012

Spirit Airlines' Final Answer To Dying Vietnam Vet Seeking Ticket Refund: No!

41 minutes ago

After a weekend of brutal publicity over its refusal to grant a dying Vietnam vet a $197 ticket refund because his doctor forbids him to fly, Spirit Airlines issued has a simple response:


The terse, one-word retort from company spokeswoman Natalie Pinson appears to have grounded any hope that Jerry Meekins, 76, of Clearwater, Fla., might get his money back. Meekins bought the ticket to Atlantic City last month so he could see his daughter before she had surgery of her own. But when his esophageal cancer left his immune system too ravaged for travel, all the airline offered him was another ticket.

"What are they going to do?" Meekins asked the Tampa Bay Times. "Fly my casket up to Atlantic City?"

"Spirit airlines is the most ruthless, uncaring airline that shows callous disregard for its customers and, frankly, [CEO] Ben Baldanza would agree with this statement about his own airline," Kate Hanni, executive director of airline watchdog group FlyersRights.org told FoxNews.com. "They are a low-cost air carrier and all they want to do is grab those revenues at all costs. But when passengers need one ounce of customer service, forget about it!"



April 29, 2012

Netanyahu Considers Elections Amid Exemptions Dispute

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he may call early elections because of disagreements with parties within his coalition over military service exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs.

Netanyahu told lawmakers from his Likud party that the escalating disputes over military service may lead to elections within months instead of in 2013 as scheduled, Culture Minister Limor Livnat told Israel Radio. The friction comes as Netanyahu faces mounting criticism over his posture toward Iran and stalemate in peace efforts with the Palestinians.

“The prime minister said in a very clear manner that he will not give in to extortion, and if various factions make various demands, then we’ll have elections this year,” Livnat said today.

Israel’s Supreme Court in February invalidated the so- called Tal Law that has enabled more than 50,000 students a year in ultra-Orthodox seminaries to avoid being drafted for military service, which is obligatory for Israeli Jewish men and women. Shas and United Torah Judaism, two religious parties in the coalition, are demanding a restoration of deferrals. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party, has led opposition to the deferrals and is demanding that Arab citizens perform alternative non-military service.



April 28, 2012

Motor Sports Seek to Protect U.S. Tax Breaks From Cuts

Dan Houser, the chief financial officer of International Speedway Corp. (ISCA), knows his industry is a potential target for lawmakers scrubbing the tax code for narrow breaks they can eliminate.

The one with the “sexy tag” of a NASCAR tax break, he said, can be twisted and criticized unfairly. The provision lets track owners depreciate capital costs over seven years instead of the usual 15 or 39 years.

A House Ways and Means subcommittee today will scrutinize tax breaks for NASCAR track owners and dozens of other breaks, including tax breaks for producing wind energy, maintaining short-line railroad tracks and making investments in the District of Columbia. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“It just would be unfortunate for something that I think is really a plus to kind of end up on the cutting floor just to have something that’s going to sound nice in the headline,” said Houser, who said the provision encourages his company and others to make investments.

A House Ways and Means subcommittee today is scrutinizing dozens of tax breaks, including for motor sports, producing wind energy, maintaining short-line railroad tracks and making investments in the District of Columbia. The beneficiaries of such breaks are lobbying to avoid becoming casualties of a winnowing effort.



April 28, 2012

For Egypt, Gas Deal With Israel Was Bad Business

CAIRO, Egypt — While much of the world sees Egypt’s decision to cancel a natural gas contract with Israel as a threat to peace, Egyptians say it just makes good business sense.

Last week, Egypt’s government unilaterally cancelled the 7-year-old natural gas deal, citing the failure of the Egyptian-Israeli consortium East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG) to make regular payments.

Not so, says EMG, which told Reuters on Wednesday that the gas supply was interrupted because Egypt failed to protect the feeder pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula from militant attacks.

But politics and peace treaties aside, experts here say the deal — clinched at below-market prices under the notoriously crooked regime of former President Hosni Mubarak — makes little sense for Egypt, a nation scrambling to boost its tumbling foreign currency reserves. Egypt is also struggling with a ballooning demand for energy that will soon outstrip supply.



April 28, 2012

IAEA Confirms Talks To Resume With Iran

Source: Agence France-Presse

AFP - The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Saturday that it will resume talks with Iran on Tehran's nuclear programme in mid-May.

Iran's envoy to the UN watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the official news agency IRNA Friday that a new round of talks would be held in Vienna on May 13 and 14.

But IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor told AFP in an email Saturday that the talks would be a day later on May 14 and 15.

"The purpose is to continue the negotiations started early this year," Tudor said.

Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20120428-iaea-confirms-talks-resume-with-iran

April 28, 2012

Lebanon Intercepts Ship Bearing Arms Destined For Syrian Rebels

REUTERS - Lebanese authorities have found weapons on board a ship intercepted in the Mediterranean which may have been trying to supply Syrian rebels, security sources said on Saturday.

They said the ship, the Lutfallah II, was on its way to Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli when it was intercepted and taken to Selaata port, north of Beirut, for inspection.

An overnight search uncovered weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and rifles in three freight containers, the sources said.

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship had sailed from Libya, via the Egyptian port of Alexandria, the sources added.



April 28, 2012

Guest Lineups For The Sunday TV News Shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — John Brennan, Obama's top counterterrorism adviser; Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; David Walker, former comptroller general.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Robert Gibbs, adviser to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign; Ed Gillespie, adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign; Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

CBS'"Face the Nation" — Former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Brennan; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Govs. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., and Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont.

"Fox News Sunday" — Brennan.

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