Reuters blog archive

from Photographers' Blog:

A rescue at sea

Mediterranean Sea

By Darrin Zammit Lupi

A barely perceptible dot on the horizon, disappearing every few seconds behind the rolling waves, a rubber dinghy carrying a group of migrants is very easily missed if you don’t know where to look.

Handout photo shows a group of 104 sub-Saharan Africans on board a rubber dinghy wait to be rescued by the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station some 25 miles off the Libyan coast

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship Phoenix set off from the Italian island of Lampedusa the night before in the middle of a lightning storm and had, for the past five hours, been making its way towards the dinghy’s last known position.

MOAS, which started operating at the end of August, has to date been involved in the rescue of some 2,200 migrants crossing from Libyan shores. The Malta-based privately funded humanitarian initiative was set up by U.S. citizen Christopher Catrambone and his Italian wife Regina after the October 2013 Lampedusa tragedies, which left hundreds dead. They were inspired by the Pope’s appeal for entrepreneurs to do something tangible to help and to go beyond just donating money.

Handout photo shows paramedic of the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station examining an ill migrant in the infirmary on board the MOAS ship Phoenix off the coast of Sicily

They bought, refurbished and equipped the 40-metre ship Phoenix and took on a professional crew of rescuers, seafarers, paramedics and humanitarians.

from Photographers' Blog:

Catastrophic lessons in a quake zone

Ya'an, Sichuan province, China

By Jason Lee

It was 8:02 am on April 20th, 2013, three weeks before the fifth anniversary of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake which killed nearly 70,000 people, when another strong quake hit the city of Ya’an in the same province. More than 190 people died, 21 others are still missing, and more than 11,000 people have been injured.

I must admit when I first heard about the disaster, I was a little reluctant to cover it, hoping that this time it wouldn’t be very serious. The catastrophic images from five years ago were still lingering in my head. However, when the death toll started to climb, I quickly cleared my thoughts and got on the next flight to the quake zone.

from Photographers' Blog:

Trapped with a way out

By Mariana Bazo

It would be impossible to think of rescuing miners and not to associate such thoughts to the rescue of the Chilean miners in San Jose, Copiapo, 2010. That really was a glorious rescue after a lengthy sixty-nine day underground wait.

This time in Peru, nine miners were trapped in an illegal copper and gold mine in the desert of Ica, south of Lima.

from Photographers' Blog:

A penguin’s trip home

I went to the police rescue unit to take pictures of a Humboldt penguin, which is on the endangered list, that had been rescued a few days earlier from a beach full of bathers, very far from its natural habitat. The police chief told me, “We’re going to free it. Come with us.” Lima, Peru, is a city on the edge of the Pacific, with buildings and beaches full of summer tourists, traffic, noise and heat…and amidst all that, Tomas appeared.

Tomas was quiet and relaxed while awaiting his transfer to an island where there are entire colonies of his kind. The police rescuers took turns taking pictures with him and chatting about what penguins are all about. They named him Tomas after their cook at headquarters, because they both walked with the same gait.

from Photographers' Blog:

Made in Chile

The first 17 days in August after the miners disappeared underground are spent in silent vigilance, almost in secrecy. We think this will be just another of so many mine disasters that happen around the world, with some anxious waiting followed by a great deal of mourning. The respect for the pain of the 33 families is felt all across that stretch of desert - dubbed Camp Hope. The pain of that vigilance gives way to an outburst of rage against the mine’s owners, who never appear nor give any credible explanation for the disaster.  Rumors of a rescue plan without details cause more confusion as it all seems improvised. When the collapsed mine tunnel is determined to be impossible to reopen, the rescuers pull back as it seems there is no one alive to rescue. The families sink into uncertainty.

(Top-Bottom) Policemen escort the co-owner (C) of the San Jose copper and gold mine where miners are trapped in Copiapo. Relatives of trapped miners wait outside of the mine for news of them in Copiapo.

“All 33 of us are fine in the shelter.” My family lunch ends abruptly as we see the slip of torn paper on live television. The miners are alive 17 days after their tunnel collapsed 700 meters underground. Six hours later I'm in Camp Hope far from our lunch table photographing the families celebrating. The families learn to laugh again.

from Global News Journal:

Greece gets help, but debt quicksand is all around

After five months of struggling to stay afloat in the quicksand of a debt crisis, Greece has finally asked the European Union and the IMF to throw it a lifeline

Some might think that's the end of it -- Greece now has access to up to 45 billion euros in special funds, it can finance its deficit and refinance its debts at better rates, and speculators (who have metaphorically been stepping on Greece's head while it thrashes around in the quicksand) have to beat a retreat.

from Breakingviews:

Greek rescue echoes Bear Stearns, sort of

Is Greece a sovereign version of Bear Stearns? The world had better hope not. But it's tempting to draw parallels between an incipient Hellenic bailout and the rescue of Wall Street's biggest outlier.

There are of course huge differences between a smallish investment bank and a Mediterranean state. But the European Union's challenge is remarkably similar to the one Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced nearly two years ago: how to help out one of its weakest constituents without encouraging moral hazard and further contagion or complacency.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

Euro zone holds intensive talks on Greek rescue

By Matthias Sobolewski and Renee Maltezou

BERLIN/ATHENS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Euro zone countries held intensive talks on Wednesday on a possible rescue for Greece, whose debt crisis has shaken the entire currency union, as civil servants staged the first big strike against Athens' austerity plans.

Financial markets gave Greece some respite as investors hoped that other European governments would help Athens to head off a possible default on its debt repayments.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

German bank crisis not over -rescue fund head

Hannes Rehm, new head of steering committee for Financial Market Stabilisation Fund (SoFFin), leaves his office after a photo call in Frankfurt February 3, 2009. REUTERS/Alex Grimm (GERMANY)    HAMBURG, Germany, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The financial sector  faces big challenges even after governments intervened massively to prop up tottering banks, the head of Germany's nearly 500 billion euro ($735 billion) bank rescue fund Soffin warned.
   "It's too early to give the all clear. New challenges are on the way," Hannes Rehm told Hamburg's business journalists' club late on Tuesday in remarks for release on Wednesday.
   The G-20 group of rich and developing nations and the EU Commission in Brussels were both setting up new rules aimed at boosting banks' capital requirements, he pointed out.
   In addition, sluggish economic growth meant that banks must add to their "risk buffers" for bad loans, he said, adding that he was surprised that more banks in Germany had not moved to take advantage of new rules allowing them to shift problem assets off their balance sheets and into a "bad bank."
   Regional state-backed lender WestLB [WDLG.UL] is preparing to set up a bad bank, sources familiar with the situation have told Reuters, and other lenders are eyeing the move. [ID:nL1577600]
   "We are seeing a certain reluctance at the moment," Rehm said, adding that Soffin was speaking to some banks but it was unclear what the outcome would be.
   Banks appeared to require more information about Soffin's instruments and procedures, he said.
   Soffin funds have also gone to stock-exchange listed lenders such as the country's No. 2 player Commerzbank <CBKG.DE> and the now nationalised Hypo Real Estate <HRXG.DE>, but less than half of the 500 billion euro pot has been used so far, Rehm said.
   Banks have used 132 billion euros of the 400 billion euros available to back debt issues, while Soffin has also paid out about 25 billion euros to bolster banks' equity capital, he said.
   Germany's biggest bank, Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE>, has not taken any government cash and insists it will not. ($1=.6802 Euro) (Reporting by Jan Schwartz, Writing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Hans Peters) ((Reuters Messaging:; +49 69 7565 1242))
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 08:49:31RTRS [nL7532919 ] {C}ENDS

from Commentaries:

OI! Rexam’s balance sheet is wrecked

Like the contents of a supermarket bargain bin, the dent in the world's biggest can-maker Rexam is much deeper than it looked at first sight. What had seemed like a clever way to avoid losing investment-grade status for its debt has turned into something much worse, and Wednesday's rights issue is only a step away from a rescue by shareholders.

The  4-for-11 at 150p is miles from last week's price of 321p, a shocking fall for a business which was supposed to be recession-resistant, at least. In hindsight, it's odd that we ever thought it was, since cans of Red Bull and Pepsi are hardly essentials to consumers in a squeeze.