International News Desk – At Home: Diesel Spill in B.C. – In Foreign News: Britain denies entry visas to Palestinian soccer team

International News Desk – At Home: Diesel Spill in B.C. – In Foreign News: Britain denies entry visas to Palestinian soccer team

At Home: Diesel spill in B.C.

Burrard Clean has been contracted to clean up a diesel spill off the northern coast of Vancouver after a barge crashed August 20 and lost a diesel truck in the sea.

Booms have been deployed in the area surrounding the spill to prevent the diesel fuel from spreading out to the northern beach of Vancouver Island, and emergency crews believe that relatively little short-term damage will be done since diesel dissipates and evaporates more quickly than other fuels. No residue has been found on the beach as yet and there have been no reports of seabirds in need of cleanup.

Despite this, experts believe that the long-term damage done by the spill may have an impact for the next several years. The issues come primarily with shellfish, all of which will be filtering the diesel-laden water and therefore spreading it to whatever higher life forms consume them. In this way the diesel spill could be retained in the marine ecosystem for years to come (1).

For now, the only negative effects of the contained spill have been reports of birds on shore engaging in more preening than usual–a normal sign of oil or fuel contamination. The spill has penetrated Robson Bight, an ecological reserve where 50 or so orcas have reportedly been seen travelling through the diesel. Local experts say that so far the whales do not seem to have been affected by the mess.

Burrard Clean says that the next step in the cleanup is to comb the beach itself to ascertain whether initial reports have been accurate.

(1) CTV News, 2007. ?Diesel slick from B.C. barge accident disappearing.? Retrieved August 22, 2007, from

In Foreign News: Britain denies entry visas to Palestinian soccer team

New entry visa rules in Great Britain have stopped a Palestinian under-19 soccer team from travelling to England to compete with several local teams, an event organised by Rod Cox in the U.K. Cox is in charge of arranging travel and exchanges between British and Palestinian teams and he is decidedly frustrated at the red tape the young team has faced in coming to his country to compete, something every other team in the world gets to do (1).

Unexpectedly for the Palestinian team, U.K. entry visas will no longer be granted to residents of Gaza without a drawn-out process involving fingerprinting and official photographs. Given the steps necessary to gain a U.K. visa and the timeframe that has been estimated, it remains to be seen whether or not the team will gain entry in time to play their scheduled matches. The team was preparing not only to play games against English teams but also to receive official soccer training and participate in fitness assessments.

According to The Independent, visas aren’t the only thing stopping the under-19s from participating in several soccer games and valuable British training events. Simply finding a route out of Gaza to board a flight has taken its toll as well. With the southern route through Rafah sealed off by the Israelis, the team has been forced to journey north through Erez, where many Palestinians have failed to make it through.

Similar circumstances have stood in the way of senior Palestinian soccer teams as well; when only five members of the World Cup team were allowed into Bahrain three years ago the only solution was for management to recruit players of Arab descent from places like Egypt, Kuwait, and the United States.

Organisers have yet to give up on the journey, and Cox has said that ?on both the British and Palestinian sides there’s a determination that if human endeavour alone can make it happen, then it will? (2).

(1) CBC News, 2007. ?Palestinian soccer team banned in Britain.? Retrieved August 23, 2007, from

(2) The Independent, 2007. ?New UK visa rules halt Palestinian youth football tour.? Retrieved August 10, 2007, from

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