Monday, February 27, 2006

PORTS UPDATE

Here's some recent news releases on the ports deal. Notice, they are both British media...not the MSM here.

From the BBC:

High Court bid to block P&O deal

Tankers about to dock at the port of Philadelphia
Dubai Ports will be taking control of six US ports
A US company will try to block the controversial £3.9bn ($6.8bn) takeover of shipping giant P&O by a Dubai firm in the High Court in London on Monday.

Miami-based Eller & Co has lodged a petition arguing the purchase by Dubai Ports World may harm its interests.

Dubai Ports World (DPW) has meanwhile agreed to a 45-day review of the security implications of the deal in an effort to assuage US concerns.

The company said it was surprised by the outcry over the bid.

The company had already agreed not to take over the management of the US ports until security issues had been fully addressed.

However, this has not deterred critics of the deal.

New Jersey officials are taking legal action to try and block the deal, while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is seeking to annul P&O's 30-year operating licence, claiming it failed to seek permission for the transfer of ownership.

"There is a real prospect that the arrangement will lead to US port authorities revoking licences and leases held by joint venture companies which will cause sever financial losses," its petition states.


From Reuters:

Hurdles remain for ports deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers pressed ahead with legislation on Monday to possibly block a state-owned Arab company from taking over key U.S. port operations, despite the White House agreeing to a broader security review of the contested deal.

The review is a face-saving compromise that gives President George W. Bush, who has backed the takeover, more time to quell a bipartisan uproar. But at the end of the 45-day review period, Bush will be in the politically sensitive position of having to authorize or reject the deal.

Bush, who earlier said no additional review was necessary, backs the acquisition and threatened last week to use his veto power if members of Congress sought to derail it. Lawmakers have expressed concerns that the takeover could make the United States more vulnerable to attack because militant Islamists could penetrate the Middle Eastern company and learn of U.S. port security measures.

The ensuing furor has put Bush on the defensive over national security, an issue seen as his strongest political card as he tries to revive his sagging public approval ratings at the start of a crucial midterm election year.

Washington says the United Arab Emirates is a staunch ally in the global war on terrorism and has worked to close the loopholes that allowed al Qaeda operatives to use the Gulf Arab state as a financial and logistical hub before the September 11 attacks.

Several senators from both parties, including Democrat Charles Schumer of New York and Republican Susan Collins of Maine, said they planned to go ahead and introduce legislation to ensure a thorough security review of the ports contract.


There's more that goes with each story....just click the links above each.

1 comment:

Pete Bogs said...

good stuff, Grandpa! I tackled this on my blog today, too... come on by!