- - Sunday, August 8, 2010

BRITAIN

Report: BP audit noted rig’s flaws before spill

LONDON | A newspaper says it has obtained an internal audit conducted by BP PLC on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that details severe safety flaws months before the Gulf of Mexico spill.

The Sunday Times said in its report that the audit details how the drilling rig, owned by contractor Transocean, did not fully comply with BP’s standards.


The report says that seven months ahead of the April explosion, auditors found 390 maintenance tasks that were more than a month overdue on the rig. These included maintenance work on parts of the blowout preventer, the safety device atop the well that failed to trigger on the day of the accident.

BP and Transocean, which could both face heavy penalties, have disagreed on who should take responsibility for the spill.

NORWAY

Stoning-case lawyer seeks asylum

OSLO | The lawyer defending a woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran said on Sunday that he has applied for asylum in Norway, but hopes Iranian authorities will allow him eventually to return to his practice.

Mohammad Mostafaei told reporters he chose to flee to Norway after obtaining a one-year Norwegian travel visa. He also cited the Nordic country’s prominent human rights profile.

The 31-year-old said he fled to Turkey last week after learning that Iranian officials intended to arrest him. He flew to Norway on Saturday after being detained briefly in Turkey over an undisclosed passport issue.

Mr. Mostafaei maintained a blog that sparked a worldwide campaign to free his client, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was convicted of adultery.

In July, Iranian authorities said they would not carry out the stoning sentence for the time being, but the mother of two could still face execution by hanging for her conviction of adultery and other offenses.

While Mr. Mostafaei is applying for asylum, it’s unclear whether he will stay in Norway. He said he hopes international pressure will force Tehran to let him return to his practice.

FRANCE

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