Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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Panetta: No-Fly Zone in Syria Can Wait

Research and Markets: Cuba Oil Markets, 2012

Yahoo! Finance Portfolio
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/fff6zv/cuba_oil_markets) has announced the addition of GlobalData's new report "Cuba Oil Markets, 2012" to their offering.
This profile is the essential source for top-level energy industry data and information. The report provides an overview of each of the key sub-segments of the energy industry in Cuba. It details the market structure, regulatory environment, infrastructure and provides historical and forecasted statistics relating to the supply/demand balance for each of the key sub-segments. It also provides information relating to the crude oil assets (oil fields, refineries and pipelines) in Cuba. The report compares the investment environment in Cuba with other countries in the region. The profiles of the major companies operating in the crude oil sector in Cuba together with the latest news and deals are also included in the report.
- Historic and forecast data relating to production, consumption, imports, exports and reserves are provided for each industry sub-segment for the period 2000-2020.
- Historical and forecast data and information for all the major oil fields, refineries and pipelines in Cuba for the period 2005-2016.
- Operator and equity details for major crude oil assets in Cuba.
- Key information relating to market regulations, key energy assets and the key companies operating in the Cuba's energy industry.
- Information on the top companies in the Cuba including business description, strategic analysis, and financial information.
- Product and brand updates, strategy changes, R&D projects, corporate expansions and contractions and regulatory changes.
- Key mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, private equity and venture capital investments, and IPOs.
Reasons to Buy:
- Gain a strong understanding of the country's energy market.
- Facilitate market analysis and forecasting of future industry trends.
- Facilitate decision making on the basis of strong historic and forecast production, reserves and capacity data.
- Assess your competitor's major crude oil assets and their performance.
- Analyze the latest news and financial deals in the oil sector of each country.
- Develop strategies based on the latest operational, financial, and regulatory events.
Companies Mentioned:
- ONGC Videsh Limited
- Repsol YPF, S.A
- Sherritt International Corporation
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/fff6zv/cuba_oil_markets
Source: GlobalData

Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager.
U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907
Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716
Sector: Oil

Iran confident Israel won’t launch ‘stupid’ attack

“In our calculations, we aren’t taking these claims very seriously because we see them as hollow and baseless,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. (Reuters)
“In our calculations, we aren’t taking these claims very seriously because we see them as hollow and baseless,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. (Reuters)
Iran on Tuesday said it is dismissing Israeli threats of an imminent attack against it, explaining that even some Israeli officials realized such a “stupid” act would provoke “very severe consequences.”

“In our calculations, we aren’t taking these claims very seriously because we see them as hollow and baseless,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a weekly briefing.

“Even if some officials in the illegitimate regime (Israel) want to carry out such a stupid action, there are those inside (the Israeli government) who won’t allow it because they know they would suffer very severe consequences from such an act,” he said.

Iran’s defense minister, General Ahmad Vahidi, was quoted by the ISNA news agency saying that Israel “definitely doesn’t have what it takes to endure Iran’s might and will.”

He called the Israeli threats “a sign of weakness” by “brainless leaders.”

The comments were a response to bellicose rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak in recent days suggesting they were thinking more seriously of military action against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israeli media have underlined the threat, reporting that a decision could be made within weeks. They have also highlighted opposition to the idea by current and former Israeli military officials.

The United States has recently multiplied visits by top officials to Israel in what appears to be an attempt to dissuade the Jewish state from targeting the Islamic republic.

“We continue to believe there is time and space for diplomacy,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.

Israel insists that Iran is on the point of developing nuclear weapons, and says it reserves the right to act to prevent that.

The Jewish state has in the past launched air strikes to destroy nuclear facilities in Iraq and, reportedly, in Syria to protect its own nuclear weapons monopoly, whose existence it refuses to officially confirm.

Iran says its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful, civilian uses.

In the past couple of years it has ramped up uranium enrichment to a level just a few steps short of military-grade fissile material, saying those stocks are needed to create medical isotopes. It has also refused U.N. nuclear inspectors access to suspect military installations.

Renewed negotiations between Iran and the five top U.N. Security Council powers, plus Germany, have taken place this year. They have been downgraded after it became clear they were in an impasse, but not ended.

In the meantime, Iran is suffering from increasingly tough U.S. and EU economic sanctions that have crippled its all-important oil exports.

Study: Japan nuclear disaster caused mutated butterflies

Joji Otaki / EPA
This handout photo, released Tuesday, shows a healthy adult pale grass blue butterfly (top) and a mutated variety (bottom). Severe mutations were found in butterflies collected near Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
TOKYO -- Researchers in Japan have found signs of mutation in butterflies, signaling one of the first indications of change to the local ecosystem as a result of last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima, according to one of the first studies on the genetic effects of the incident.
Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, who led the research, collected 144 commonly-found pale grass blue butterflies two months after the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
Initial results indicated that roughly 12 percent of the butterflies showed signs of abnormalities, such as disfigurement in their antennas, smaller-sized wings, change in color patterns and indented eyes, Otaki said.
Even more alarming, when he collected another 238 samples six months later he found that those abnormalities had increased to 28 percent and the mutations had doubled to 52 percent in their offspring.
To see the effects of internal exposure to radiation, unaffected clean butterflies were also fed cesium-coated leaves collected from Fukushima. The result was a reduction in the size of those butterflies, as well as a lower survival rate.
In Japan, a nuclear ghost town stirs to life
The Fukushima disaster occurred after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake knocked out a power line at the plant and generated a tsunami that flooded the facility's emergency generators, destroying the plant's cooling system. Catastrophic meltdowns occurred in three reactors, releasing radiation that has tainted the surrounding environment.
Five nuclear plants in total suffered some level of damage from the earthquake and tsunami; all but Fukushima Dai-ichi were shut down safely.
Story: What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk
'Something has gone wrong'
Otaki, who has been studying these butterflies for 10 years to analyze the effects of global warming, said that butterflies are the best environmental indicators because they are widely found in almost any environment.
"But since we've seen these effects on butterflies, it’s easy to imagine that it would also have affected other species as well. It’s pretty clear that something has gone wrong with the ecosystem,” he said.
View side-by-side the progress that Japan has made since the tsunami and earthquake in March 2011.
However, at the same time, he also warns that because each species’ sensitivity to radiation varies, it was too early to immediately apply these finding to humans.
NYT: For new nuclear chief, concerns over plant safety
But what is clear, said Otaki, is that the genetic changes found in these butterflies indicate a disruption in Fukushima's ecosystem and that more study is needed to learn the full scope of the effects of the radiation released into the environment.
At Hiroshima memorial, Japan leaders vow to listen to citizens in revamp of nuke policy
"Effects of low level radiation is genetically transferred through generation, which suggests genetic damage. I think it’s clear that we see the effects passed on through generations," Otaki added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Syria's ex-PM Riad Hijab says regime is collapsing

Former Syrian PM Riad Hijab gave a news conference in Amman
Former Syrian PM Riad Hijab, who defected to Jordan last week, has said the Syrian regime is collapsing "morally, financially and militarily".
Speaking in the Jordanian capital, Amman, he said the regime did not control more than 30% of the territory.
He called on the opposition abroad to unite and on the Syrian army to stand alongside its people.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is in Syria to assess ways to increase the flow of emergency aid there.
Mr Hijab added he was joining the rebel side and urged other political and military leaders to break away from President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"I urge the army to follow the example of Egypt's and Tunisia's armies - take the side of people," he added.
This is the first time Mr Hijab has spoken publicly since fleeing to Jordan with his family last week.
He is the highest-ranking political figure to defect from the Assad regime.
Meanwhile, an aide to President Assad has flown to Beijing for talks on the crisis with Chinese officials.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said it was also considering an invitation to members of the Syrian opposition.
Beijing has opposed recent UN resolutions on Syria, but backs a ceasefire between the warring parties as well as political dialogue.
On Monday, the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) said foreign ministers preparing for a summit in Mecca had agreed to recommend the suspension of Syria.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi insisted his country was opposed to such a step, saying: "We have to look for other ways, means and mechanisms for resolving conflicts and crises."
'Scaling up efforts'
A picture posted online purportedly showing rebels in Kafranbel (10 August 2012) Human rights and opposition activists say at least 21,000 people have been killed since March 2011
Baroness Amos, the UN under-secretary general and emergency relief co-ordinator, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday in a land convoy from Lebanon, a spokesman said.
She is expected to ask for more foreign aid workers to be given visas, as the Syrian Arab Red Crescent struggles to distribute food to those who need it.
She is scheduled to meet senior Syrian officials, including the newly appointed Prime Minister, Wail al-Halqi, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and his deputy, Faisal Miqdad. Later, she will hold talks with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
The UN said she was expected to discuss ways of "urgently scaling up relief efforts and reducing the suffering of civilians caught up in the fighting", which has intensified in recent weeks and spread to the two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.
Two million people are now estimated to have been affected by the crisis and over one million have been internally displaced. More than 140,000 people have fled the violence and crossed into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
Baroness Amos will then go to Lebanon to meet families who have fled from Syria and to discuss with the government and humanitarian agencies how best to support the refugees.
On Tuesday, fresh fighting was reported by activists in Aleppo, Syria's second city, with the army shelling several rebel-held areas including Saif al-Dawla and Salah al-Din.
In Damascus, people were reportedly fleeing the central district of Qabun, fearing a military offensive as security forces raided two other districts.
Syrian human rights and opposition activists say at least 21,000 people have been killed since pro-democracy protests erupted in Syria in March 2011.