18 December 2011

RUSSIA: 20 Dec UPDATE: Family Calls Sunken Oil Rig Tow: A "Suicide Mission";16 Dead...37 Still Missing Off Sakhalin Island; Moscow Called The World's Worst Oil Polluter; 8,000 Protest Putin's Comments.

                                        LINK CHANGE/ LATIMES

     An ongoing tragedy in the frigid waters of Russia's Far East...some 200km/125 miles off Sakhalin Island.
     After what some members of the missing crew's family call..a"suicide mission"...at least 16 are dead...with 37 still missing...when an oil rig being towed to Vietnam...sank during a winter storm.
    Fourteen were rescued...but poor weather hampers new searches.
   AND: From AP/NPR:  A largely unreported slow motion ecological tragedy has long been occurring in many parts of Russia...where many oil spills contaminate the soil.
     Experts estimate that 1% of Russia's oil...some 5mn tons...is spilled there every year...equal to one Gulf Of Mexico Macondo/Horizon disaster...every 2 months.
     Lax enforcement, outdated technology and old, corroded pipes are blamed.
     Stats show that Russia is the world's worst oil polluter.
     Environmentalists especially fear widespread damage from its future Arctic explorations.
   ALSO:  An estimated 8,000 protesters gathered in Moscow and St. Petersburg...against what they believe were rigged elections...and PM Putin's recent  comments and insults about them...for wearing 'condom' badges...and being under the influence of Western paymasters.