NEW ORLEANS — The Philippine ambassador says one of the men critically burned in an offshore oil platform fire has died in Louisiana. The ambassador, Jose L. Cuisia Jr., says in a news release that 49-year-old Avelino Tajonera died Friday, shortly after his wife and three children arrived from Manila. Three other men remain hospitalized. The ambassador says their families are in Baton Rouge. The explosion and fire Nov. 16 also killed 42-year-old Ellroy Corporal, whose body was found in the waters nearby. The search for another man, 28-year-old Jerome Malagapo, was called off. The embassy quotes Consul General Herrera-Lim as saying three Filipino workers who survived the fire are back in Manila after giving statements to federal authorities investigating the fire.
European Union leaders hit impasse on budget deal talks
BRUSSELS — A summit of the European Union's 27 national leaders, charged with agreeing on a long-term budget for the bloc, broke up Friday afternoon without being able to reach a deal. Coming just days after the 17 eurogroup finance ministers failed, yet again, to agree on the conditions for releasing badly needed bailout money for Greece, the failure of the two-day summit raises questions about how the bloc makes important decisions. In most cases, unanimity is required, meaning that each country wields veto power. The EU's top officials, who put in long hours trying to soften up the national leaders individually before putting them together in the same meeting room, tried to put a brave face on the budget deadlock.
Walmart's Indian joint venture suspends employees after inquiry
MUMBAI, India — Walmart's Indian joint venture said Friday it has suspended several employees as part of an internal corruption investigation, another blow to the U.S. company's plans for aggressive expansion in a giant market that is largely untapped by foreign retailers. Bharti Walmart, Walmart's joint venture with India's Bharti Enterprises, said it had suspended “a few associates” and was “committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation.” India's Economic Times newspaper reported that the company's chief financial officer was among the five employees suspended, a claim the company declined to verify.
From Wire Reports