World News - part 2

How Is The Euro Crisis Impacting The Travel Market?

How Is The Euro Crisis Impacting The Travel Market?

WORLD

  • Euro crisis affecting hotel expansion decisions in EU zone
  • Indian hoteliers having trouble raising occupancy due to Euro crisis  
  • Mediterranean cruise lines with increased capacity struggling to attract more US passengers 

No surprise that the Euro financial crisis has major consequences for its 17 members, but it also has an impact on the world travel industry in ways that are both predictable, and in some cases surprising.

Take hotels, for example. No shock that Hyatt Hotels Corp. says it is weighing the financial crisis in evaluating its expansion plans.

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BP, Chevron Losing Oil Spill Battles

BP, Chevron Losing Oil Spill Battles

WORLD

  • BP denied right to collect payment from Transocean to help fund $40 billion needed to clean up Gulf Oil spill 
  • BP required to indemnify Transocean for compensatory damages 
  • Chevron fined $50 million, drilling license suspended due to recent oil spill in Brazil

A US district court judge has ruled that BP Plc cannot collect funds from Swiss-based offshore drilling contractor Transocean Ltd. as reimbursement for billions used to clean up the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP filed a lawsuit in April 2011 alleging Transocean was responsible for paying part of the $40 billion needed for clean up and economic losses.

Judge Carl Barbier wrote in his 30-page decision: “BP is required to indemnify Transocean for compensatory damages asserted by third parties against Transocean related to pollution that did not originate on or above the surface of the water, even if the claim is the result of Transocean’s strict liability.”

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Japan: Fukushima Nuclear Clean-Up To Span 40 Years

Japan: Fukushima Nuclear Clean-Up To Span 40 Years

WORLD

  • Japan sets 40-year roadmap to clean up the wrecked Fukushima
  • Fukushima plan will use robots and other new technologies to navigate hazardous waste
  • Tepco shares drop as a result of potential ramifications stemming from debt it has incurred

The Japanese government has released a 40-year plan that local officials feel is highly ambitious to clean up and decommission the Fukushima nuclear plant.

After being hit by both a debilitating tsunami and earthquake earlier this year, Fukushima was rendered out of commission and injured nearly 160,000 victims. However, Japan’s detailed 40-year plan should eventually return the surrounding area back to normal.

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Brazil Wants $11 Billion From Chevron, Transocean For Oil Spill

Brazil Wants $11 Billion From Chevron, Transocean For Oil Spill

WORLD

  • 3,000 barrels of oil leak into Compos Basin over 8 days in November
  • Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency fines Chevron $28 million after oil spill
  • Chevron announces gas find off west coast of Australia

Brazilian prosecutors are suing oil company Chevron and oil rig operator Transocean to the tune of almost $11 billion. The suit aims to suspend both company’s operations after an eight-day oil spill near Rio de Janeiro in November leaked 3,000 barrels of oil into the Compos Basin.

The suit threatens to thwart the country’s plan to double its crude oil output over the next decade. Brazil relies on Transocean, which operates more than 15% of its oilrigs. Chevron, the second-biggest oil company in the US and third in Brazil after Petroleo Brasileiro and Royal Dutch Shell, fell 3% to just over $100.50 in New York following news of the case. Transocean fell almost 4% to just over $40.

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Can Putin Reinvent Himself To Win Russian Presidential Election?

Can Putin Reinvent Himself To Win Russian Presidential Election?

WORLD

  • Controversial results of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary election put Prime Minister Vladmir Putin’s United Russia Party slightly lead with 53% of vote
  • Russian authorities allowed a massive protest on Dec 10
  • Putin must reinvent himself to rise above presidential opponents, including most recent candidate billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov

The results of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary election, putting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party slightly in the lead, sparked much controversy and protest.

Technically winning only 49% of votes – down from 64% four years ago, the United Russia Party was nonetheless given 53% of the vote after redistribution from the three election parties did not satisfy the 5% threshold.

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Exxon Mobil Report: Will Global Energy Demand Jump 30% by 2040?

Exxon Mobil Report: Will Global Energy Demand Jump 30% by 2040?

WORLD

  • Natural gas supply to increase 60% in 30 years, replacing coal in second place
  • Renewable energy demand to quadruple to meet 15% of demand
  • Hybrid vehicles to make up 40% of all vehicles by 2040

A new report produced by Exxon Mobil shows that the world's consumption of oil, nuclear and natural gas is set to increase over 30% in the next 30 years due to rising population and environmental measures to limit coal use.

The world’s population is also set to grow around 30% to 9 billion by 2040, matching the predicted growth in energy consumption.

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Oil: Saudi Arabia crude output reaches 30-year high

Oil: Saudi Arabia crude output reaches 30-year high

WORLD

  • Saudi Arabia announces oil production of over 10 million barrels per day
  • OPEC to reach oil target deal for 2012, demand estimated at 30 million bpd
  • Oil stockpiles put pressure on oil futures, Brent falls $1.30 a barrel

Saudi Arabia says its oil output has reached a 30-year high of almost 10.050 million barrels per day (bpd), amid EU talks considering placing a ban on oil from Iran. The nation's oil output came close to 10 million bpd in August, and neared 9.5 million barrels in September, October and November.

Analysts are interpreting the announcement as a message to the market that demand is high and production should be in keeping with demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet on December 14 in Vienna to address production policy.

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Trade Panel Presses Forward in Investigation on Chinese Solar Imports

Trade Panel Presses Forward in Investigation on Chinese Solar Imports

WORLD

  • US International Trade Commission votes to investigate Chinese solar imports and impact on US solar industry
  • Investigation may led to Chinese solar imports being heavily charged
  • Democratic lawmakers urge Barack Obama to further probe Chinese solar imports

Members of the Washington-based US International Trade Commission have voted unanimously to move forward in an investigation that may end in Chinese solar imports being subject to heavy tariffs. This vote follows a former complaint in mid-October by Solar World, a German-based company with US branches, calling for heavy countervailing and antidumping duties on Chinese imports.

Solar World claims the Chinese government unfairly boosts solar cell exports through tactics like currency manipulation, preferential loans, cash grants and tax incentives, and proposes heavy importing duties to counteract the alleged negative impact of Chinese imports on the US solar industry.

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EU Seeks Overhaul of Data Protection Rules

EU Seeks Overhaul of Data Protection Rules

WORLD

  • EC vice president calls for makeover of 16-year-old EU privacy laws
  • Policy makers say overhaul would help boost European competitiveness
  • Restrictive rules cost companies around $3.1 billion per year

European Union policy makers have put forward a proposition to harmonize privacy data protection laws to allow internet companies and other businesses deal with one protection authority, and one set of laws.

Viviane Reding, European Commission vice president and justice chief, said the new measures would allow companies to do business across the 27-nation bloc providing their privacy policies met the requirements of the member state where their headquarters are based.

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Oil: EU May Follow US in Tighter Iran Sanctions

Oil: EU May Follow US in Tighter Iran Sanctions

WORLD

  • UK, Canada support latest US sanctions
  • EU considers bloc-wide embargo on Iranian crude oil
  • Crude rises $1.58 to hit $99.79 per barrel in New York

Iran’s simmering tensions with the West are likely to pose new obstacles for the oil-exporting nation, as major importers fall in line with the United States in tightening financial sanctions.

On November 21, Iran’s banking sector was hit by new US restrictions following a report earlier in the month from the International Atomic Energy Agency that it was continuing to pursue a nuclear weapons development program. The United Kingdom and Canada backed the US move, implementing measures that make it increasingly complicated to finance transactions for Iranian crude oil.

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