tampabay.com

Unrest hampers offshore oil drilling

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 12, 2007


NIGERIA 

Chevron Corp. temporarily shut down some operations in Nigeria's offshore waters Friday as the second-largest U.S. oil company scrambled to protect workers and equipment from violence that threatens to drive up gasoline prices.

The company's lockdown in the Niger Delta came just a few days after gunmen seized four American subcontractors from an offshore vessel amid an outbreak of militant attacks.

The temporary suspension of some drilling, logistical support and maintenance work won't immediately affect production in the Niger Delta, said a Friday's statement.

The United States relies on Nigeria as one of its major sources for oil.

LONDON

Tasmanian bones will be going home

A London museum handed over teeth, skulls and skeletons looted from Tasmania in the 19th century to Aboriginal rights campaigners on Friday after a 20-year struggle for their return.

Remains of 17 Aborigines have been held by the Natural History Museum since the 1940s but will be flown today to Tasmania, 125 miles south of mainland Australia. The fragments will be buried in a ceremony next month.

CALCUTTA, INDIA

Father chains up son for marrying

A father is accused of chaining his 19-year-old son for marrying against the family's wishes, police said Friday.

Police rescued Raghu Amin Mollah from his father's house near Calcutta on Thursday.

Abed Ali Mollah was charged with torturing his son for 21 days because he opposed his son's marriage to Shahnaz Khatun, 18. The two families have a long-running feud, authorities said.

TOKYO

Government decides mother knows best

A Japanese proposal to urge mothers to breast-feed their babies and sing lullabies to children was scrapped after critics warned it was too intrusive, a news report said.

The proposal, which would also have recommended parents limit their children's television viewing and promote age- appropriate morals, was to have been announced Friday by an education reform panel.

ROME

Protest aimed at legal rights for unmarrieds

Tens of thousands of people plan to rally today to protest a bill that would give legal rights to unmarried couples, including gays and lesbians.

The legislation, which awaits parliamentary approval, has underscored longstanding tensions in this largely Roman Catholic country between a desire to hold on to church-sanctioned traditions and a push toward greater secularization.