A Liberian-flagged cargo vessel, owned by Germany-based dry bulk operator MST Mineralien Schiffahrt, is being held in Duluth, Minnesota, for alleged violations of U.S. law related to the discharge of oily water.Based upon current information in the investigation, it does not appear that the 2000-built vessel Cornelia discharged the water within the port of Duluth – Superior.The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the 24,516 dwt vessel, which has been anchored in port since November 4. The investigation covers the vessel’s crew, equipment, as well as its records.The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota accepted the case for criminal investigation on November 9.The Coast Guard said it is in talks with MST Mineralien Schiffahrt regarding a security agreement that would permit the vessel to depart the port while simultaneously protecting the integrity of the investigation and the interests of the vessel’s crew members.MST Mineralien Schiffahrt operates a fleet of 40 dry bulk vessels ranging from 21,000 to 75,610 dwt. MST also operates three combination vessels for dry and liquid products with a total carrying capacity of approximately 82,949 dwt.
Top government and civil society leaders have formally laid the first foundations of new homes under a housing and social integration programme for tens of thousands of war refugees and other vulnerable people in Serbia being supported by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). The programme aims to provide some 670 new homes for 3,000 refugees and vulnerable people, to build institutional capacities for social housing development, assist the social and economic integration of refugees and displaced people, and help boost the development capacity of local governments in their development planning and municipal information systems, the agency said in a press release. Special ceremonies were held in the municipality of Niš on 9 August, following others in different areas, where senior government and local officials were at hand to witness the start of the initiative. The Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme in Serbia is a three-year effort being funded by the Government of Italy.