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Huntington Beach reopening after oil spill shut it down last week

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State and local beaches will open at 6:00 a.m. Monday, just over a week after an oil pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean. Officials say they have recovered at least 5,544 gallons of oil and 13.6 barrels of tar balls. They say in a worst-case scenario, more than 131,000 gallons may have spilled into the waters.

“The health and safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. We understand the significance our beaches have on tourism, our economy, and our overall livelihood here in Huntington Beach,” said Huntington Beach Mayor, Kim Carr in a press statement. “It is important that our decision to reopen our shoreline and water be based on data and that we continue to monitor the water quality going forward.”

Beachgoers should remain vigilant for noxious smells and avoid areas with oiled materials and tar balls.

Senator Alex Padilla and California Attorney General Rob Bonta will be in Orange County Monday afternoon for an oil spill briefing, site visit, and media availability.

Crack may have happened up to a year ago

The pipeline was intact in October 2020 before it was deflected by 105 feet, eventually leading to damage to its casing and a crack, according to Jason Neubauer, chief of the office of investigations and analysis for the US Coast Guard. They believe the 13-inch linear crack was likely caused by a ship’s anchor dragging along the sea floor.

Video released Thursday by the Coast Guard showed marine growth on the damaged portion of the pipeline, which was initially enclosed in concrete. Neubauer explained the linear fracture on the pipeline could have been a very gradual crack, which got worse over time.

“This event could be multiple incidents and strikes on the pipeline after the initial event, that we’re pretty confident occurred several months to a year ago,” Neubauer said.

Investigators are also examining geological events, including heavy weather in mid-January, which may have contributed to the crack. A section of the pipe will be taken to the National Transportation Safety Board lab, so investigators can determine when and how the leak occurred.

While similar anchor strikes have happened over the past 10 years, Neubauer said there was only one event which led to an oil spill, which he called a “rare occurrence.”

CNN’s Stella Chan and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.



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Italy’s unions rally against neo-fascist groups after violent protests

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People gather to protest against fascism a week after anti-vaccine riots by protesters including members of the far-right party Forza Nuova, in Rome, Italy, October 16, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

October 17, 2021

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest workers’ unions rallied in Rome on Saturday and called on the government to dissolve the neo-fascist groups involved in last weekend’s violent protests against the COVID-19 health pass.

Last week, police arrested 12 people, including leaders of the extreme right-wing group Forza Nuova, after thousands took to the streets to oppose mandatory ‘green passes’ for all workers.

Some groups broke through police lines to reach the prime minister’s office, while others smashed their way into the headquarters of Italy’s largest trade union, CGIL.

Many of those attending Saturday’s rally waved CGIL’s red flag as they marched from an area close to the city’s main st ation to the central square of San Giovanni on a crisp, sunny afternoon.

Italy’s main unions CGIL, CISL and UIL all called on the government to dissolve neo-fascist and neo-nazi groups at the rally whose slogan was “No to fascism and violence, yes to work, safety and rights”.

“We ask for concrete acts, not just chatter. It is time for the state to demonstrate its democratic strength in enforcing the laws and the constitution,” CGIL’s Secretary General Maurizio Landini said from the stage.

“A country that loses its memory cannot have a future,” he added.

Organisers estimated between 50,000 and 60,000 people took part. CISL head Pierpaolo Bombadieri said participation was as high as 100,000.

“Stay away from our head offices, stay away from the squares,” Bombardiere said, referring to last week’s violent protests.

Last week’s riots drew widespread condemnation, including from Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, the leaders of the rightist League and Brothers of Italy parties, respectively.

Two Forza Nuova leaders remain in custody after a decision by a judge.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti, additional reporting by Jaime Lopez, editing by Christina Fincher)





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