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Memoirs, BP and Angela Merkel: Publish And Be Damned?

  • September 9th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

deepwater_horizon.jpg natascha-kampusch.jpegtony-blair-12-06-site.jpgmerkel-resize.jpgPublishing milestones of the week were the autobiography of  Natascha Kampusch in Austria, and more trouble surrounding the memoirs of Tony Blair; BP publishing its apologia in America over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the German Chancellor defending the rights of the  Danish cartoonist under threat from Islamic groups.

NATASCHA TELLS

Nothing damning in the story told by an innocent victim, Natascha Kampusch, 22, kidnapped near her Austrian home at age ten and kept prisoner in a cellar for eight years.

It’s come out this week in her book, 3096 Days.

Those days ended when she escaped, four years ago.

Her captor, a lone young man, was distracted on the phone when she got away, and later killed himself.

The book details indignities she suffered, and relates as well that she saw “both sides of his character”.

TONY SIDE-STEPS

In London, a celebratory party at an art gallery, for the publication of Tony Blair’s A Journey, was cancelled.

The former British Prime Minister said he did not want his guests confronted by anti-war protestors getting ready to picket the event. (See EUAustralia online, “Tony Blair Memoirs …”, 2.9.10).

ANGELA BACKS FREE MEDIA

At Potsdam, Chancellor Angela Merkel (8.9.10) presented a media freedom award to the Danish cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, 75, who published his now-famous depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

The representation of a figure with a turban like a bomb was seen as blasphemous throughout the Islamic community, provoking violent protests and threats against the life of the cartoonist.

Ms Merkel said freedom was essential to democratic life, no matter if there were objections to what was being published.

“Europe is a place where a cartoonist is allowed to draw something like this,” she said.

She spoke against a scheme proposed by a small church in America, to burn copies of the Qur’an, as a protest against the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001, saying that profane act would be “abhorrent” and “wrong”.

BP DISTRIBUTES SOME BLAME

The petroleum company BP has published its detailed report on the explosion and major oil leak from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off the United States.

It described a combination of circumstances and events that led to the disaster, in which 11men died, and oil leaked heavily for three months (20.4.10 – 15.7.10), with huge impacts on the marine environment of the Southern US seaboard.

Those circumstances included a failure of concrete work at the well, then a failure of break-out preventer equipment, and delays in crew taking up warning signs.

Some of the analysis implicated partner companies or contractors in the drilling venture, which in their turn have denied culpability.

BP is committed to massive compensatory outlays and is  facing extensive court action by United states governmental authorities and other interests.

Pictures

Clockwise from top left: Nataschka Kampusch, moblog.whmsoft.net; Deepwater Horizon rig, intact, wikipedia; Angela Merkel, Tony Blair.

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