Ground zero mosque – Those for and against a proposed mosque near ground zero butted heads Tuesday night during a passionate three-hour hearing of New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission. Officially, the hearing was for testimony on whether a more than century-old building near ground zero is worth preserving. Supporters of the landmark status are opposed to a project to build a mosque and community center at the site where Islamist hijackers destroyed the World Trade Center twin towers on September 11, 2001. The commission is expected to vote on whether to grant the building landmark status in August.
Gulf oil disaster – BP was set to continue reviewing testing procedures Wednesday, a day after delaying crucial "integrity tests" on a new stacking cap placed on its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil giant had expected the tests – to check pressure in the well and determine if it can be sealed once and for all – to get under way Tuesday afternoon. But Tuesday night, officials announced that additional analysis of the well testing procedure was needed.
The news came a day after the Obama administration sent a fourth bill for $99.7 million to BP and other responsible parties relating to the energy company's oil spill, according to a statement from the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center. BP and other parties have paid the first three bills, totaling $122.3 million, according to a statement from the center.
'Barefoot bandit' in court – Colton Harris-Moore, the teenager dubbed the "barefoot bandit," is set to appear in federal court Wednesday afternoon in Miami, Florida. The 19-year-old was taken into custody early Sunday on Harbour Island in the Bahamas. He was sought in a string of home and airport break-ins in various U.S. locations along with thefts of vehicles. In the Bahamas, Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to a charge of illegally landing a plane, paid a $300 fine and was ordered deported, his lawyer said.
Tropical storm in Philippines – Eighteen people were killed and 57 others are missing as Tropical Storm Conson moved over the Philippines, the country's National Disaster Coordinating Council reported Wednesday. The storm, known locally as Basyang, had weakened slightly, the council said. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday (4 a.m. ET), its maximum sustained winds were at 53 mph (85 kph) near its center and gusts of up to 62 mph (100 kph).