Paw Print Rewind #009: May 3rd, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the Paw Print Rewind, a daily look at the top news headlines.

#NepalQuake: Thousands still missing

Thousands of people were still missing in Nepal Friday as food and help began to trickle through to those stranded in remote areas after last week’s earthquake which has killed 6,250.

That death toll could rise further. Bodies are still being pulled from the debris of buildings, where rescue workers have not been able to reach some remote areas.

The number of injured has grown to over 14,350, according to the government.

In the capital of Kathmandu, many unclaimed bodies were being cremated quickly because of the need to avert disease and reduce the stench of corpses in areas where buildings collapsed.

“Morgues are full beyond capacity and we have been given instructions to incinerate bodies immediately after they are pulled out.”

-Raman Lal, an Indian paramilitary force official working in coordination with Nepali forces

Up to 1,000 Europeans are still unaccounted for, mostly around popular trekking routes.

It was hard to trace the missing because many backpackers do not register with their embassies.

“It does not mean that they are buried. They could have left the country without telling anyone before the earthquake struck.”

-Rensje Teerink, ambassador, to reporters

371 people are unaccounted for from France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands, according to their respective governments, while all from Ireland, Croatia, and Romania have been traced.

Aid is slowly reaching remote towns and villages in the nation’s Himalayan mountains and foothills, but efforts to step up the pace of delivery were frustrated by a shortage of supply trucks and drivers, many of whom returned to their villages to help their families.

“Our granaries are full and we have ample food stock, but we are not able to transport supplies at a faster pace.”

-Shrimani Raj Khanal, Nepal Food Corp. manager

Army helicopters have air-dropped instant noodles and biscuits to remote communities.

Many Nepalis have bene sleeping in the open since the magnitude 7.8 quake, with survivors afraid to return to their homes because of aftershocks. 600,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, according to the United Nations.

The government will provide $1,000 in immediate assistance to the families of the dead, as well as $400 for cremation or burial, according to Information Minister Minendra Rijal.

Eight million of Nepal’s 28 million people were affected, according to the UN, with at least two million needing tents, water, food, and medication over the next three months.

FAA proposes Boeing 787 power loss issue fix

The U.S.’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will ask the operators of Boeing’s 787 airplanes to deactivate the plane’s electrical power system periodically.

The new airworthiness directive was prompted by the determination that power control units on a model 787 airplane could shut down power generators if they are powered continuing for 248 days, according to the FAA.

Sudden loss of power could result in the aircraft going out of control, according to the directive.

Boeing is developing a software upgrade to counter the problem. This directive affects 28 airplanes of U.S. registry, according to the FAA.

#MayDay: Turkish police fire tear gas at protesters

Turkish police fired tear gas at hundreds of stone-throwing May Day protesters on Friday, after defying a ban and trying to march on Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Europe’s largest city was under a security lockdown as thousands of police manned barricades and closed streets to stop demonstrators at Taksim.

Riot police chased protesters down side streets in the nearby Beiktas neighborhood, where they fired off tear gas canisters.

Several people were detained after demonstrators threw stones and bottles at police and set off fireworks. Much of Istanbul’s public transport system was shut down as police helicopters circled the city.

Tens of thousands also gathered for marches in the capital of Ankara, where the mood was more festive, with dancing and singing.

“People want to express their problems, but the government doesn’t want those problems to be heard ahead of elections.”

-Mahmut Tanal, opposition politician

The normally crowded Istiklal shopping avenue leading to Taksim was deserted, as shops shuttered and metal barricades blocked off sidestreets.

A usually bustling square, Taksim was filled with police buses, ambulances and satellite broadcast trucks. A pair of tourists emerged from a hotel to find the area sealed off and nervously made their way around police lines.

“I wish May 1 to be celebrated in a festive mood without provocations.”

-Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey president

Exxon profit slips on refining, output

Exxon Mobil’s first-quarter profit dropped in results posted Thursday as margins at the world’s largest publicly traded oil company surged on tumbling crude prices.

“It was a strong quarter [for Exxon]. Their diversified model tends to hold up better in a weaker oil market and that is seen in this quarter.”

-Brian Youngberg, Edward Jones analyst

The Irving, TX-based company earned a first-quarter profit of $4.9 billion ($1.17 per share), down 46 percent from the $9.1 billion ($2.10 per share) earned a year earlier.

Oil and natural gas output was 4.2 million barrels oil equivalent per day (BOED), up two percent from a year ago.

“We expect increased savings over time.”

-Jeff Woodbury, Exxon Mobil vice president of investor relations, on the company’s U.S. shale work

GM to invest $5.4 billion in U.S. plants over next three years

General Motors will spend $5.4 billion over the next three years on its U.S. manufacturing plants to boost production and vehicle quality.

“The common thread among our investments is the focus on product improvements.”

-Cathy Clegg, GM North American manufacturing chief

The investments will create 650 jobs and retain over 15,000 existing positions, according to Clegg.

GM outlined about $784 million of the investments on three Michigan plants, according to the company.

The Detroit-based company will spend $520 million on tooling and equipment for new vehicle programs at its Lansing Delta Township assembly plant, $139.5 million for a new body shop and stamping facility at pre-production operations in Warren, MI, and $124 million at Pontiac, MI’s stamping plant.

Ford expands door latch recall to 156,000 more vehicles

Ford is expanding a recall to include 156,000 more vehicles to fix a potential door latch malfunction.

The recalls include certain Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models.

The driver’s door can potentially unlatch while the car is in motion, increasing injury risk, according to Ford.

The company is aware of two incidents where an unlatched door bounced back to strike the driver and one incident where an unlatched door swung open to strike another vehicle.

BNP Paribas sentenced in $8.9 billion accord over sanctions violations

BNP Paribas was sentenced to five years of probation by U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield on Friday in connection with a record $8.9 billion settlement resolving claims that the company violated sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

Schofield formally ordered the French bank to forfeit $8.83 billion and pay a $140 million fine as part of a sentence that also calls for BNP Paribas to enhance their compliance procedures and policies.

“There’s no question the organization will not tolerate the kind of behavior we have seen in this case.”

-Georges Dirani, BNP Paribas general counsel

The case marks the first time a global bank has pled guilty to violations of U.S. economic sanctions, according to the Justice Department.

Chevron profits drops, beats the Street on refining margins

Chevron reported a 43 percent drop in quarterly profit Friday.

“The good thing about this quarter is that it’s over. Going forward, costs will continue to go down and oil prices are slowly going up, so margins will improve.”

-Fadel Gheit, Oppehneimer oil analyst

“We will continue to sell assets when we can generate good value. Maintaining a competitive and growing dividend is our No. 1 priority.”

-Pat Yarrington, Chevron Chief Financial Officer



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