May 27th, 2010
09:09 PM ET

Gulf oil spill by the numbers

Here's a look at the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20:

THE COSTS

5,000: Barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf every day, according to BP (BP)

70,000: Barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf every day, according to some scientists (Steve Wereley, associate professor Purdue University)

$1.6 billion: Conservative estimate of economic damage caused by oil spill (Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies)

$760 million: BP's outlay as of May 24, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.

$5.6 billion: BP's 1st quarter 2010 profit, up 135 percent over 1st quarter 2009.

54,096: Square miles of Gulf of Mexico waters (22 percent of total) closed for fishing (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

126: People aboard oil rig Deepwater Horizon at the time of the April 20 explosion (Deepwater Horizon)

11: People who died in the blast (Deepwater Horizon)

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 27th, 2010
08:45 PM ET

Day 38: The latest on the Gulf oil spill

[Updated at 8:00 p.m.] BP resumes "top kill" procedure late Thursday afternoon after suspending operation for 16 hours Wednesday night, BP executive Doug Suttles said.

"Nothing has actually gone wrong or unanticipated," Suttles said. BP spent most of Thursday evaluating the first round of pumping. The light-brown material seen flowing out of the well throughout Thursday was the previously pumped fluid mixed with oil, he said.

[Updated at 11:13 a.m.] The Gulf oil spill is the worst in American history, estimates by government scientists suggest.

[Updated at 10:54 a.m.] Two survivors of the oil rig explosion April 20 that triggered an underwater oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, along with the father of a man who died, urged members of a House committee Thursday to hold the rig's owner and the oil company leasing the rig accountable for the disaster.

[Updated at 10:38 a.m] Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told members of a key House subcommittee Thursday that he remains "very confident and resolute that we will solve the problem" of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 27th, 2010
08:22 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to Newspulse.

BP stops, restarts 'top kill' effort: BP's much-anticipated attempt to cap an underwater gusher in the Gulf of Mexico estimated to be twice the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster, was suspended for 16 hours before it resumed Thursday afternoon.

North Korea warns it will meet war with war: North Korea reacted to a South Korean anti-submarine exercise early Thursday by saying it would meet "confrontation with confrontation" and war with "all-out war,"according to North Korea state-run media.

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Filed under: Most Popular
May 27th, 2010
06:47 PM ET

Repeal of 'don't ask don't tell' passes Senate committee

A Senate committee Thursday passed a measure that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service, but only after a military review of the matter and subsequent approval by President Barack Obama, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
May 27th, 2010
05:39 PM ET

Stocks, oil prices rally amid news over China's holdings

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks stage a big rally

U.S. stocks soared Thursday, with major indexes gaining about 3 percent, after Chinese officials denied that they're reviewing their nation's investment in European bonds.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 286 points, or 2.9 percent, and finished at 10,259. Intel, American Express and Alcoa led the advance. The S&P 500 index added 35 points, or 3.3 percent. The Nasdaq composite rose 82 points, or 3.7 percent.

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Filed under: Economy
May 27th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Web Pulse: Oil, 'Idol' and Coke

Oil: Overwhelmingly, the most searched topic on the web on Thursday was the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, now in Day 38. New estimates of the amount of crude in the water may make it bigger than 1989's Exxon Valdez disaster and the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Louisiana • Web Pulse
May 27th, 2010
01:42 PM ET

7.6 earthquake rocks Pacific

[Updated 6:57 p.m.] Read the full CNN.com story

[Posted 1:42 p.m.] A 7.6 magnitude earthquake has struck off the Pacific island of Vanuatu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake prompted the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a regional tsunami warning for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.

"It is not known that a tsunami was generated," the Warning Center said in a bulletin. "This warning is based only on the earthquake evaluation. An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours."

A tsunami was not expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia or Alaska coasts, the Warning Center said.

The earthquake was 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) deep, according to the USGS. Its epicenter was located 215 kilometers (135 miles) from Luganville, Vanuatu.

It struck at 4:14 a.m. Friday (1:14 p.m. Thursday ET), the USGS said.

The USGS initially classified the quake as a 7.6 magnitude, but later downgraded it.

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Filed under: Earthquake
May 27th, 2010
01:38 PM ET

Gulf oil spill: The blame game widens

As patience runs low and pressure mounts for a federal takeover of the the Gulf Coast oil spill response, the finger pointing is spreading further and wider. We look at who’s getting the flak from commentators and editorials.

Who’s to blame: President Obama?
Being commander in chief, to some, means President Obama should also be chief blame-taker. Many, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, accuse him and his administration of not properly responding to the oil spill. A story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune highlights how some say Obama needs to take charge.

"Where is the President? Does he not understand the magnitude of what is probably the worst environmental disaster in the country? And then we get mixed messages from his various Cabinet secretaries who come down and they say, looks like they are satisfied with the coordination going on," said Rep. Steve Scalise in remarks on the House floor Tuesday just around the time the White House was letting it be known that the president would be visiting the Gulf on Friday.

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 27th, 2010
12:53 PM ET

Obama addresses Gulf oil spill disaster

[Updated at 1:57 p.m.] The president answers the last question from the media and ends the news conference.

[Updated at 1:56 p.m.] Obama says anyone looking for someone to take responsibility can look to him because it's his job to end the crisis. He said the situation "forces us all to do some soul-searching, and I think that's important for all of us to do."

[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] Asked about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saying the administration had its "boot" on BP's "neck," Obama responded that Salazar is "frustrated, angry and emotional," but that it's important to focus on actions not anger. FULL POST

May 27th, 2010
12:29 PM ET

Soldier's Facebook video taunting Iraqi kids investigated


The U.S. Army is investigating a video a soldier posted on his Facebook page that depicts two Iraqi children being taunted and referred to as gay terrorists.

"The conduct in the video is disgraceful and clearly inconsistent with the high standards expected of every Soldier," a statement from U.S. Army officials in Alaska said.

"The Soldier was directed to remove the video from the website," the statement added.

In the video, the two young boys are shown standing next to each other on a dirt road. The person who appears to be holding the camera asks them if they are homosexual and perform homosexual sex acts. The boys nod but it is unclear if they speak English.

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Filed under: Iraq • Military
May 27th, 2010
11:57 AM ET

Feds shut child porn social networking site

Authorities have shut down a global social networking-like site where members traded child porn, talked about their fantasies and traded tips about not getting caught, according to the Department of Justice.

The investigation into the site is ongoing, the agency said, and it is working with police officials from several countries to try to find members who haven't been identified. More than 50 people have been arrested around the world and 35 convicted since the 2008 start of the investigation, dubbed Operation Nest Egg, the Department of Justice said.

The members "participated in a sophisticated, password-protected Internet bulletin board group, which existed to allow members to meet like-minded individuals with a sexualized interest in children, to discuss that interest and to trade images of child pornography," according to court documents.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S. • World
May 27th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

Director of offshore drilling agency out

[Updated at 11:07 a.m.] Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told the House Appropriations subcommittee that Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum resigned.

"She did it on her own terms and own volition," Salazar said. "But I will say she is a strong and very effective person who among other things helped us break through the very difficult things, which we have a lot more work to do. She helped us with addressing a very broken system. And all I can really tell this committee is that she is a good public servant."

[Posted at 10:51 a.m.] Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service which oversees offshore drilling, has been fired, a source tells CNN.

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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 27th, 2010
09:55 AM ET

Boats involved in spill recovery recalled after crew falls ill

More than 100 commercial vessels have been pulled from the waters off the Louisiana coast after nine people involved in oil cleanup operations reported feeling sick, according to agencies responding to the Gulf oil spill and a hospital spokeswoman.

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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 27th, 2010
09:40 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil cap attempt, gays in military vote possible

An underwater view shows the oil gusher during BP's "top kill" procedure.

Gulf oil spill - BP officials may know by Thursday afternoon whether the oil company's latest attempt to cap the runaway leak in the Gulf of Mexico is yielding results. The "top kill" operation that began Wednesday afternoon was going according to plan, an official said, with drilling mud being applied to the well at a rate of up to 65 barrels per minute. For more on the latest in the oil spill, check out a glossary of terms you need to know, a look at why the oil is still gushing  and why earlier strategies didn't work, or check out CNN's full coverage of the oil spill. 

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May 27th, 2010
08:24 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

9:00 am ET - Synthetic genomics hearing - The House Energy Committee holds a hearing on new advances in synthetic biology and their potential impact.

9:30 am ET - Gulf Coast oil spill and legal liability - People affected by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion testify before the House Judiciary Committee about legal liability issues.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
May 27th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Etan Patz

His was the first face of a missing child to appear on the back of a milk carton. Now, nearly 31 years to the day since Etan vanished from a New York street, authorities are reopening his case.

The communications director for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. confirmed the office is taking another look at the decades-old mystery.

Etan was 6 when he disappeared on the morning of May 25, 1979. "It was the first day that he was to walk two blocks from his apartment to the school bus stop," said Lisa R. Cohen, author of "After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive."

Cohen said, "He had been wanting to do it by himself, and they gave him permission, literally two short blocks."

Etan was never seen alive again.

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May 27th, 2010
05:58 AM ET

World update: Kidnap couple ask new UK PM for help

An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Thursday:

Hostages in video appeal: A British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates have said they "desperately need" new UK PM David Cameron to clarify whether he will work to secure their release.

Reports: Lebanon fires on Israeli warplanes: The Lebanese army fired anti-aircraft guns Wednesday, according to state media, with the government saying Israel violated its airspace. Israeli Defense Forces are declining comment.

Sudanese president starts new term: Omar al-Bashir will be sworn in for a new term amid an outcry from human rights groups over his international war-crimes indictment. Full story

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May 27th, 2010
04:39 AM ET

Practices at Tylenol plant to be examined

Lawmakers have scheduled a hearing Thursday to look into the recall of popular pediatric medicines by drugmaker McNeil Consumer Healthcare, which has initiated four recalls of its products in the past seven months.

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Filed under: Health
May 27th, 2010
01:21 AM ET

Crews involved in oil recovery feeling sick; boats recalled

The Unified Command in Louisiana recalled all 125 commercial vessels in Breton Sound after four crew members in three vessels involved in the oil recovery operations reported feeling sick.

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