[Updated at 10:34 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:
– BP reported that a cap over the subsea gusher collected 7,620 barrels of oil (320,000 gallons) from midnight to noon Monday. Federal researchers estimate the well has spewed between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels (840,000 to 1.7 milllion gallons) of crude into the Gulf every day for weeks.
– BP expects to be able to contain 50,000 barrels (2.1 million gallons) of the now-gushing oil per day by the end of June - two weeks earlier than previously thought, according to White House spokesman Bill Burton.
– The State Department said Monday that 17 foreign countries and four international bodies have offered equipment, expertise and other assistance to respond to the Gulf oil disaster. Offers accepted so far include two skimmers and 13,780 feet of boom from Mexico, eight skimming systems from Norway, three sets of surface-oil clearing systems from the Netherlands, and 9,843 feet of containment boom from Canada.
– Coast Guard, wildlife, environmental and BP officials will host three open houses Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Louisiana. The open houses will give residents the opportunity to talk to experts about the techniques, strategies and materials being used in the response.
– President Obama said Monday that preliminary talks have started with BP executives to try to reach an agreement at his meeting Wednesday with top company officials on how to ensure that damage claims from the Gulf disaster are processed quickly and fairly.
– A White House spokesman said Monday that the administration is confident that it has the legal authority to force BP to set up an escrow account for the purpose of paying damages.
– President Obama, on his fourth trip to the affected region since the disaster began, said Monday that the "full resources of the federal government are being mobilized to confront" the spill and its impact on the Gulf Coast.
– Obama's trip is slated to continue in Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday where he "will deliver a message of support to Pensacola and [Florida] Panhandle communities affected by the spill, and a message of support to troops in time of war," an administration official said Monday.
– The president is also scheduled to deliver an address to the nation Tuesday night.
– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, along with most other Senate Democrats, sent a letter to embattled BP chief Tony Hayward on Monday, urging the company to set aside $20 billion for the purposes of covering both economic damages and Gulf cleanup costs.
– Obama announced the remaining five members of a commission he appointed to investigate the spill. They include: Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences; Terry Garcia, executive vice president for mission programs for the National Geographic Society; Cherry Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Frances Ulmer, chancellor of the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
– A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't think Obama has been tough enough on BP.
– A letter released Monday to Hayward from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-California, says a congressional investigation indicates BP took a low-cost, speedy approach to drilling the broken deepwater well responsible for the spill.
– Hayward is expected to testify before Waxman's committee Thursday.