Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Aug 9, 2010

BP relief well closes in, eye on weather

LONDON/MIAMI (Reuters) – BP’s relief well is closing in to start a permanent kill of the blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well this week, unless an approaching weather system disrupts the timing, the top U.S. oil spill response chief said on Monday.

“They are closing in on the last 30-40 feet … It’s ongoing and going in segments,” retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told a conference call to update on the final stages of definitively plugging the world’s worst offshore oil spill.

Jul 29, 2010

BP aims for quick well kill

HOUSTON/MIAMI (Reuters) – BP may permanently shut the well that caused the worst off-shore oil spill in U.S. history as early as Monday, the company said as speculation grew over assets it might sell to cover mounting costs.

Incoming BP chief executive, Bob Dudley, said on Wednesday the company would stay involved with the cleanup process in the Gulf of Mexico long after the leaking well was plugged and expressed optimism the damaged environment would recover.

Jul 29, 2010

BP aims for quick well kill and weighs asset sales

HOUSTON/MIAMI (Reuters) – BP Plc may permanently shut the well that caused the worst off-shore oil spill in U.S. history as early as Monday, the company said as speculation grew over assets it might sell to cover mounting costs.

Incoming BP chief executive, Bob Dudley, said on Wednesday the company would stay involved with the cleanup process in the Gulf of Mexico long after the leaking well was plugged and expressed optimism the damaged environment would recover.

Jul 27, 2010

Florida seen at risk from Caribbean dengue epidemic

MIAMI (Reuters) – An epidemic of dengue fever in the Caribbean and Latin America has increased the risk of an outbreak of the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne virus in South Florida, a bioclimatologist and dengue expert said on Tuesday.

Florida’s proximity to affected countries, the flow of people from there and similar tropical climate factors raised the probability of the disease afflicting the southern state after an absence of decades, Dr. Douglas Fuller told Reuters.

Jul 23, 2010

U.S. says Chavez break with Colombia is “petulant”

CARACAS (Reuters) – The United States on Friday criticized Venezuela’s breaking of ties with U.S. ally Colombia as “petulant” and urged President Hugo Chavez to address charges by Bogota of Colombian rebels sheltering in Venezuela.

The State Department made the comments after Venezuela’s army warned Andean neighbor Colombia that it was ready to repel any attacks a day after Chavez severed relations in protest at Colombian allegations of the guerrilla presence in his nation.

Jul 23, 2010

Chavez cuts Colombia ties but fight seen unlikely

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cut ties on Thursday with Colombia in an escalating dispute between the two Andean neighbors over Bogota’s charges that leftist Colombian rebels shelter in Venezuela.

Socialist Chavez, who views U.S.-backed Colombia as a threat, announced he was severing relations after Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s government presented evidence it said showed 1,500 Colombian guerrillas were hiding in Venezuela.

Jul 15, 2010

Chavez “communes” stoke Venezuela democracy debate

CARACAS (Reuters) – Tucked into forested hills in southwest Caracas, a red-brick housing complex for the poor is a testing ground for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s latest step to build socialism in the Latin American oil producer.

The phalanx of simple five-storey apartment blocks, some still being built, anchors the “Cacique Tiuna Commune”. This is one of a network of “socialist communes” that Chavez and his supporters want to extend across the nation in a political and legislative offensive to dismantle “bourgeois” capitalism.

Jul 14, 2010

Venezuela’s Chavez orders review of Vatican ties

CARACAS, July 14 (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez on Wednesday rebuffed criticism from Catholic bishops by
ordering a review of diplomatic ties with the Vatican and
declaring that the pope is “no ambassador of Christ on earth.”

His comments, in which he also called Venezuelan bishops
“cave dwellers,” followed a weeklong dispute between the
leftist leader and the local Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.
It has accused him of trying to impose Cuban-style communism in
the Latin American oil producer.

Jun 2, 2010

2010 hurricane season seen more active than feared

MIAMI, June 2 (Reuters) – The 2010 Atlantic hurricane
season will be even more active than feared, leading U.S.
forecasters said on Wednesday as they predicted 10 hurricanes,
five of them major, with a 76 percent likelihood that a major
hurricane would hit the U.S. coastline.

The outlook from the Colorado State University team follows
predictions by U.S. government scientists for an intense season
that could disrupt efforts to contain a huge Gulf of Mexico oil
spill and also batter earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Jun 2, 2010

Scenarios: 2010 hurricanes may wreak havoc on oil spill, Haiti

MIAMI (Reuters) – The Carib Indian god of evil, Hurican, gave its name to the word “hurricane,” and the 2010 hurricane season that started on Tuesday is shaping up to be a monster of potential malignancy.

Hurricanes are feared every year because of the whirling destruction they inflict on human life, property, crops and industry from the Caribbean to the U.S. southeast Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The annual hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through November 30.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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