BP is set to pay $US1.87 billion (approximately 24.5 billion AUD) for damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The oil giant has reached a settlement with the United States federal government alongside with the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas, over the 2010 oil rig explosion which dumped almost five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement includes compensation for natural resources and economic damage; federal penalties for violation of the US Clean Water Act; and compensation to local governments. The money will be paid out over 15 to 18 years.
Mosques stormed in Boko Haram attacks
Boko Haram gunmen have killed at least 80 people in a remote town in northeastern Nigeria. The militants stormed mosques in the town of Kukawa, gunning down worshippers who were preparing to break their daily Ramadan fast. The victims were mostly men and boys; however, officials have said some women and children were also killed when fighters broke into homes. According to reports, Nigerian soldiers stationed in a town just over ten kilometres away failed to come to the rescue. Boko Haram, who infamously kidnapped almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls last April, became Islamic State’s (IS) West African affiliate when it pledged allegiance to the jihadist group earlier this year.
TransAsia crash: pilot shut off working engine
An investigation into the TransAsia Airways plane that crashed into a Taiwanese river in February has found the pilot error was to blame. The report, released by the Taiwan Aviation Safety Council, details the events leading up to the fatal crash of flight GE235 on February 4. Voice recordings revealed the confusion in the cockpit after an engine failed shortly after take-off. Captain Liao Jian-zong mistakenly switched off the one working engine while attempting to reduce the throttle. He is recorded saying “Wow, pulled back the wrong side throttle” seconds before the plane clipped a taxi and the edge of an overpass before plunging into the shallow river. Forty-three people, including crew members, died in the crash.
Ferry crash in the Philippines kills 38
A ferry carrying 189 in the Philippines capsized due to large waves on Thursday. The vessel had just left port in Ormoc when the waves struck, killing 38. Police and the coastguard managed to save 134 passengers and crew, but 15 people are still missing. Maritime disasters are not uncommon in the Philippines, with dozens dying each year due to overcrowding and the poor condition of vessels.
Italian minister goes on hunger strike
A junior minister announced he has gone on hunger strike to speed up the legalisation of civil unions for same-sex couples. Ivan Scalfarotto, a long-standing advocate for gay rights, hopes his actions will force a more public discussion and drum up more support for the cause. Referencing the recent US supreme court ruling legalising same-sex marriage in the US, Mr Scalfarotto said, “The time has come to do something more to support those working to ensure Italy finally catches up with Kentucky or at least gets near.” The Italian Senate is currently blocking draft legislation that would allow civil unions. – Compiled from internet and wire sources by Jake Nelson and Naomi Winner
Top photo from Deepwater Horizon Response’s Flickr photostream.