Just weeks after the United States and the United Nations imposed new rounds of sanctions, Tehran's ability to ship vital goods has been significantly curtailed as some of the world's most powerful Western insurance companies cut off Iranian shippers out of fear that they could run afoul of U.S. laws.
"Iranian-flagged ships are facing problems all over the world as they currently have no insurance coverage because of the new sanctions," said Mohammad Rounaghi, deputy manager of Sea Pars, an Iranian company that provides services for international ship owners and maritime insurance companies. "Basically, most ports will refuse them entry if they are not covered for possible damages."
Maritime insurer Lloyd's of London announced this month: "The U.S. is an important market for Lloyd's and, in recognition of this, the market will not insure or reinsure refined petroleum going into Iran."
Conditions favorable for tropical trouble
An area of showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave east of the island bears watching. Conditions are favorable for the development of a storm as the system moves west-northwest at about 10 mph. There is a 60 percent chance of the wave becoming a tropical depression or tropical storm by Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Ex-governor wins Democratic primary
Roy Barnes, ousted in 2002 after one term as governor, won the Democratic nomination in his comeback bid, trouncing six opponents. Sarah Palin-backed Karen Handel, former secretary of state, and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, endorsed by Newt Gingrich, advanced to a Republican runoff on Aug. 10. Labor commissioner Michael Thurmond faces Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson in November.
Times Square replica bomb is damaging
Investigators secretly detonated a working replica of the car bomb used in the failed Times Square terror attack, creating a large explosion that destroyed other vehicles and scattered flaming debris. The test in central Pennsylvania showed the homemade bomb, had it been constructed and detonated properly, would have killed or wounded an untold number of pedestrians and damaged buildings along the block where the car was abandoned by Faisal Shahzad on May 1.
Breast cancer drug fails follow-up tests
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended the agency withdraw its marketing approval of the blockbuster cancer drug Avastin for treating breast cancer, concluding new trials since its Feb. 22, 2008, approval showed no apparent benefit. The action, if taken, would not affect marketing of the drug for brain, lung, colon and kidney cancer.
DENVER: A United Airlines flight from Washington to Los Angeles was diverted to Denver after experiencing significant turbulence, injuring about 30 people, one seriously.
HAVANA: U.S. diplomats have told relatives of jailed Cuban dissidents that it will be more difficult for them to apply for asylum in America if they first accept a church-brokered deal to trade jail for exile in Spain.
UNITED NATIONS: U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been added to the U.N. terrorist list, requiring member countries to freeze his assets and ban his travel.
UTAH: Gov. Gary Herbert said two state workers were responsible for compiling and distributing a list of personal information of 1,300 purported illegal immigrants, and that both would be fired.