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Diary: Did the PM start a fuel frenzy for no good reason?

Now that it has got the nation's motorists queuing in the forecourts, it is important for the Government that other actors in the drama play their allotted roles. The head of the Unite trade union, Len McCluskey, has been cast as the Arthur Scargill of our day, Ed Miliband as the weak leader who takes Unite's money but cannot stop it causing mayhem, and the Daily Mail has added in the "embarrassing" fact that the union official who is handling the tanker drivers' grievances is Diana Holland, the treasurer of the Labour Party.

Talks urged to avert fuel tanker strike

Downing Street urged unions and oil companies today to get round the table for talks to prevent a tanker drivers' strike, as senior ministers met to draw up contingency plans to keep vital services moving.

Djibouti, By Elmore Leonard

To say that Elmore "Dutch" Leonard is a legend in the crime-fiction genre might understate the case. When the American master arrived at London's Savoy Hotel a couple of years ago to collect a lifetime achievement award, an assemblage of his writing peers hovered around the man, resisting the urge to touch his sleeve or kiss his distinctly non-Papal ring. Such genuflection is probably appropriate – and certainly understandable.

Malaysian navy foils hijack attempt off Oman

Malaysian navy commandos foiled an attempted hijacking of a Malaysian-owned ship by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, rescuing 23 crew members and detaining seven pirates, military officials said.

Steel dome to contain oil leak will be 'ready in days'

As BP raced to complete construction of a steel dome it intends to lower over oil leaks almost a mile below the surface of the sea in the Gulf of Mexico, the Governor of Florida warned that his state may sue the London-based company. "It is certainly in the realm of possibility," Charlie Crist said.

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