- CVR Wynnewood, Oklahoma refinery boiler blast kills worker
- U.S. jury convicts Mexico's Gulf Cartel manager in drug case
- Anti-Islam filmmaker held at Los Angeles federal jail
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 08:34 PM PDT
HOUSTON (Reuters) - One worker was killed in a boiler explosion on Friday at CVR Energy Inc.'s 70,000 barrel per day (bpd) Wynnewood, Oklahoma, refinery, a company spokeswoman said in a statement.
Another refinery employee was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, according to Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes.
There was no fire following the blast, which occurred at about 6:20 p.m. local time (1120 GMT) because the refinery was shutdown for a 40-day overhaul, Rhodes said.
"There was no threat to Wynnewood or the surrounding communities," Rhodes said.
Neither the company nor Rhodes gave details about the injuries employees sustained in the blast.
Boilers are required at a refinery to generate steam for electrical power production, and for use in the crude oil refining process.
"All other employees are accounted for at this time," said CVR spokeswoman Angie Dasbach. "Company officials are assessing the situation and will provide updates as information becomes available."
CVR acquired the Wynnewood refinery when it purchased Gary-Williams Energy Corp for $525 million in December.
Wynnewood is located 67 miles (108 kilometers) south of the state capital of Oklahoma City.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 07:33 PM PDT
McAllen, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. federal jury on Friday convicted a high-ranking member of Mexico's Gulf Cartel of conspiring to possess and import marijuana and cocaine to the United States, the latest blow to Mexican drug bosses in recent weeks.
Juan Roberto Rincon-Rincon, a so-called plaza boss for the cartel, was convicted on all counts in the drug trafficking conspiracy case following a week-long trial in Brownsville, Texas, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said.
Rincon-Rincon, 41, was accused of heading the cartel's operations in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, a prime area for drug traffickers that borders the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas.
Prosecutors said that under Rincon-Rincon's leadership, the cartel netted more than $20 million from smuggling operations.
Key testimony in the trial came from Rafael "El Junior" Cardenas-Vela, Jr., nephew of former Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, who is serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. prison.
Cardenas-Vela, a fellow cartel plaza boss, pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge this year and awaits sentencing, Magidson said.
Rincon-Rincon faces between 10 years and life in prison at a sentencing hearing set for January.
Rincon-Rincon worked closely with Jorge Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla, who since 2003 allegedly headed the Gulf Cartel following Osiel Cardenas-Guillen's arrest. Mexican authorities arrested Costilla September 13 in Tamaulipas, the north-eastern Mexico state where the cartel operates.
Arrests and turf battles have weakened the Gulf Cartel since 2010, when it dissolved its alliance with the Zetas, which rose to power from a group of Mexican army deserters in the late 1990s.
Mexican authorities said they struck a serious blow against the Zetas on Wednesday, when naval forces arrested Ivan "El Taliban" Velasquez in San Luis Potosi. Velasquez is listed by the Mexican government as one of the country's most-wanted drug kingpins.
Also this month, Mexico arrested Mario Cardenas in Tamaulipas. He is accused of helping run the Gulf Cartel since his brother Antonio Cardenas, known as "Tony Tormenta," was killed in a 2010 gunfight with the Mexican government. They are brothers of Osiel Cardenas-Guillen.
The recent takedowns of high-level Mexican drug cartel members come as the country's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, is set to take office on December 1. About 60,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office in late 2006.
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 06:35 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California man behind an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests across the Muslim world was being held at a federal high-rise jail in downtown Los Angeles on Friday over possible probation violations, a prison official said.
Federal officials, citing safety concerns, were tight-lipped about the conditions of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula's confinement, including whether he was being held with the general population or was isolated from other inmates.
"He is at Metropolitan Detention Center," said Chris Burke, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons, adding that the facility holds 969 inmates.
Nakoula has been described as the producer of a crudely made 13-minute video filmed in California and circulated online under several titles including "Innocence of Muslims." It portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a sexual deviant.
The clip sparked a torrent of anti-American unrest in Egypt, Libya and many other Muslim countries over the past two weeks. The violence coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Nakoula, who has kept out of the public eye for much of the past two weeks amid outrage over the film, was arrested and ordered jailed on Thursday over accusations he violated the terms of his 2011 release from prison on a bank fraud conviction.
Nakoula's attorney, Steve Seiden, citing threats against the makers of the film, had argued unsuccessfully in court that holding Nakoula at Metropolitan Detention Center would be dangerous "due to the large Muslim population there."
But U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal ruled that the Coptic Christian man, originally from Egypt, was a flight risk and had "engaged in a lengthy pattern of deception."
His attorneys declined to comment through a spokesman on Friday about Nakoula's detention, other than to say they remained concerned about his safety.
In Pakistan, railways minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour offered $100,000 last week to anyone who killed the maker of the video, although the country's prime minister's office later distanced itself from that statement.
PRISON HOUSES A SECURE AREA
U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said on Thursday that the warden at the facility was aware of the situation. "He could be protected in custody," Dugdale said.
Authorities have stressed they were not investigating the making of the film itself, and prosecutors said Nakoula was in custody facing eight probation violation accusations.
They did not list the violations but said he had used aliases and could face up to 24 months behind bars if he is found at a later hearing to have violated terms of his release.
Under those terms, Nakoula is barred from accessing the Internet or using aliases without permission from a probation officer, court records show.
Experts familiar with the jail nestled close to a major freeway called the facility's secure area, where they said Nakoula, 55, was likely to be held, an isolated place where he would be cut off from the world, except for the ability to make phone calls and perhaps listen to the radio.
Jail rules at Metropolitan posted online allow inmates to have 10 books and magazines in their cells, in addition to legal, religious and school books, and require inmates to clean the floors of their cell daily.
"He's going to be confined in a special unit where he'd be in a solitary cell, locked up alone and in maddening isolation," said attorney Mark Werksman, who is not representing Nakoula but has represented other inmates held at the same jail.
A spokeswoman for the Marshals Service, which is responsible for Nakoula, said the agency's policy is to not discuss inmate security measures.
Larry Jay Levine, a former federal convict once held at Metropolitan and founder and director of Wall Street Prison Consultants, said Nakoula was likely held in an area called the special housing unit and that he would be kept safe there.
"It's basically a 'ground hog day' kind of existence, because he's not getting out of his cell," Levine said.
Metropolitan, which holds both male and female inmates, opened in the 1980s and is mainly used to house inmates whose cases are being heard at the nearby federal courthouse, as well those serving short sentences.
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
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