Indian Court Convicts Employees In Bhopal Disaster

Seven men will serve time for the chemical disaster in Bhopal, India in December, 1984 that killed an estimated 15,000 people. They're expected to serve two years in prison; an eighth defendant died before the verdict was returned. Some 4,000 people perished during the first three horrific days following the leak. The convicted employees worked for a subsidiary unit of Union Carbide, which is now owned by Dow Chemical.

The Indian Supreme Court determined the former Union Carbide Corp. employees would face maximum charges of death by negligence.

The disaster's effects are permanent for thousands of Bhopal residents who suffer health problems, along with their children, as the BBC reports in this heartbreaking video.

BP CEO Tony Hayward says the big cap on top of the blown oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is catching about 10,000 barrels of oil a day. It's collected in a tube and sent to the water's surface. That sounds good, until you learn the US government estimates between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels could be leaking daily and some observers think it's more than that. Ominously, not all the escaped oil gets to the ocean's surface, where it can be skimmed. Today on Morning Edition, NPR's Elizabeth Shogren talked to scientists who are increasingly worried about the underwater damage.




At least 7 people died when a tornado blasted through Millbury, OH, a town southeast of Toledo. A small boy and his mother died and the grandfather of a high school valedictorian; graduation ceremonies were cancelled because the school is destroyed. The same bad weather also damaged the siding on the building of the Fermi 2 Nuclear Plant, north of Toledo. The plant automatically shut down, according to officials with Monroe County, MI and nobody was hurt.


And the winner is: North Korea, whose lawmakers approved a new premier and key defense minister today. The Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il is still apparently in charge, but the changes suggest North Korea is preparing for a transfer of leadership from Kim to his son, Kim Jong Un. The youngest Kim doesn't seem to have his endearing nickname yet (his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung was "The Great Leader"). But the New York Times suggests the CIA has already dubbed him "The Cute Leader".

The changes could also be linked to North Korea's reported sinking of a South Korean warship last March that killed 46 sailors. North Korea denied responsibility but South Korea referred the matter to the UN Security Council, and began preparations to hold joint naval exercises with the United States. NPR's Mike Shuster reports they were supposed to occur off the west coast of the Koreas.




Boston beat Los Angeles last night in Game 2 of the NBA finals, 103 -94. ESPN's Anish Shroff has the highlights from SC Boston, including a new record set by Celtics guard Ray Allen, who sank eight 3 pointers.


News of disaster fills much of the news today, so here's a minor annoyance from the Failblog folks that just epitomizes the start of the work week.



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