Archive for 01/31/2012

David Eimer –

Authorities in Liuzhou, a city of 3.7 million in Guangxi Province in southern China, are battling to contain the spread of the toxic chemical, after elevated levels of cadmium were detected on Friday in the Liujiang River, the main source of drinking water in Liuzhou.

Panicked residents were rushing to stock up on supplies of bottled water, after being told not to drink water from the river.

Sluices were being opened upstream in an effort to dilute the carcinogenic cadmium, which was discharged into the Longjiang River and has spread downstream leaving large numbers of fish dead.

Earlier in the week, fire fighters dumped hundreds of tons of dissolved aluminium chloride into the Longjiang River in an effort to neutralise the pollutant, but fears remain that it will continue to flow further downstream and affect other cities.

Local officials, though, are insisting that tap water in Liuzhou is safe.

“The water is still up to national standards and is safe for drinking,” said Gan Jinglin, the head of Liuzhou’s Environmental Bureau.

Full story…

Rob Almeida –

I made my first trip to Singapore back in 2000 as a Division Officer on board USS Paul F. Foster.

As we were making our way up around the northern side of the island to Sembawang, I was absolutely astounded by the virtual garbage dump our bow wave pushed aside as we motored along through the channel.

It was unbelievable how little regard the Malaysians and Singaporeans had for their ocean environment… quite a stark contrast indeed from the relatively pristine streets of Singapore.

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is currently experiencing the same level of frustration and disbelief as they make their way through this global maritime crossroads.

Ken Read, skipper of Puma Ocean Racing remarks,

“It’s an incredible place to sail but the sad part is how much stuff is in the water, how much junk there is in the water,’’ he said.

“How people in the world can’t treat the ocean with more respect is just fully beyond me.”

Full story…


RT – 

Two ships of the US Navy, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen have passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Although their destination is confidential, they are now getting dangerously close to the Persian Gulf.

The ships’ passage was a major operation for the Suez administration as due to safety reasons they had to close off the canal to all other traffic and even shut down the bridge, disrupting the link between the banks for some four hours. The traffic on the roadways alongside the canal was also restricted, Interfax news agency reports.

There are no reports regarding the destination of the vessels, but the news come amid the ongoing crisis in the relationship between the US and Iran. There is mounting speculation that the Annapolis and the Momsen are heading to the Persian Gulf to reinforce the US naval forces already present in the region.

Currently the US has two aircraft carrier groups in the region headed by USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. It is expected that another aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, will join the strike force in March.

Since the EU placed a new round of sanctions on Iran by putting an embargo on Iranian oil, Iran is once again threatening to use military force to close the Strait of Hormuz.

Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti maritime official said on Monday that the Gulf Cooperation Council group of Arab countries have contingency plans for coastguards and naval forces should there be an attempt by Iran to shut down the Strait of Hormuz.

Full story…