May 12th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil spill, severe weather, weed tourism

BP is trying to use a second containment box to stop the weeks-long oil spill.

Gulf oil spill - BP has lowered a second oil containment box in an effort to stop a weeks-long oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil company said. A larger containment vessel was unsuccessful in stopping the flow of oil from the gusher about 5,000 feet underwater. The spill is sending 210,000 gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico each day.

Executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton will be back in the hot seat Wednesday as the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee questions them about the oil spill. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET.

Karzai visit - President Obama will welcome Afghan President Hamid Karzai to the White House on Wednesday for a second day of partnership talks. Obama and Karzai have scheduled a joint news conference for 11:15 a.m. ET. Karzai plans to meet leaders in Congress on Wednesday afternoon.

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May 12th, 2010
09:04 AM ET

100 feared dead in Libya plane crash, child survives

One child is believed to have survived a crash at Libya's Tripoli airport.

[Updated at 9:04 a.m.] One person - believed to be a child - survived the plane crash at Libya's Tripoli airport Wednesday, a spokeswoman from the Royal Dutch Touring Club told CNN.

Sixty-one of 62 Dutch passengers on the plane died, the spokeswoman said.

About 100 people are believed to have died in the crash, the president of the European Parliament has said.

[Updated 7:19 a.m.] A plane carrying 104 people crashed while trying to land at Libya's Tripoli International Airport on Wednesday. And while the airline did not say whether the crash caused fatalities, the president of the European Parliament said about 100 people perished.

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Filed under: Air travel • Libya
May 12th, 2010
08:58 AM ET

BP: 'Top Hat' containment device reaches ocean floor

The "Top Hat" oil-containment device has reached the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico and should be in position over a leaking well head and operational by the end of the week, well owner BP said Wednesday.

A larger containment vessel was unsuccessful last week in stopping the flow of oil from the gusher about 5,000 feet underwater. The spill is sending 210,000 gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico each day, government and company officials say.

The new device, called "Top Hat," is a 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-diameter structure that weighs less than two tons. The structure is being deployed by the drill ship Enterprise.

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 12th, 2010
08:46 AM ET

Family dead in basement after sinkhole swallowed home

The bodies of a Canadian couple and their two daughters were found late Tuesday in the basement of their house that plunged into a massive sinkhole, CNN affiliates reported.

"They were found very close to one another, some of them lying on the couch in the family room in the basement, where we were told that they'd be," said Michel C. Doré, Quebec's associate deputy public security minister, who was on the scene, told CNN affiliate CBC.

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Filed under: Canada
May 12th, 2010
08:18 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

9:00 am ET - Oil spill hearing - A public hearing on the Gulf Coast oil spill continues for a second day in Kenner, Louisiana.

10:00 am ET - Wal-Mart hunger announcement - Retail giant Wal-Mart is expected to make an announcement tied toward its efforts toward eradicating hunger in America.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
May 12th, 2010
08:07 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Benigno Aquino III

The son of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino led contenders for the Philippine presidency Tuesday, as authorities tabulated returns from the country's national elections.

Aquino told CNN on Tuesday that politicians must be responsible to those who elected them.

"We are public servants," he said. "You're the public, you're the masters, you're the one with wants and needs that should be wanted and delivered. And we'll bring it back to that point."

That meant making it possible for people to improve their lives, he said.

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May 12th, 2010
06:35 AM ET

North Korea nuclear claim met with skepticism

North Korea announced Wednesday that its scientists had created a nuclear fusion reaction - a claim nuclear experts quickly cast doubt on.

"Nobody in the world has been able to sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction, the ultimate goal of nuclear technology," said Dan Pinkston, head of the Seoul office of the International Crisis Group. "I don't think the North Koreans are going to start ... putting nuclear power vendors around the world out of business any time soon."
Nuclear fusion is the same process that fuels stars, but has never been sustained in the laboratory by any nation, much less one of the poorest nations on earth. If scientists could harness fusion energy, it could become a long-term, inexpensive power source.

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Filed under: North Korea
May 12th, 2010
05:22 AM ET

World update: Plane crashes while trying to land in Libya

The Afriqiyah Airways plane was flying in from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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

Libya plane crash - A plane carrying 104 people crashed while trying to land at Libya's Tripoli International Airport on Wednesday. The Afriqiyah Airways plane was flying from Johannesburg, South Africa, when it crashed while attempting to land at the airport in the Libyan capital, an airline spokeswoman said. She could not say whether there were any fatalities. Read the full story

China knife attack - A man with a kitchen cleaver hacked to death seven kindergarten students and a teacher in northwest China on Wednesday, before returning home and committing suicide, state media said. Officials do not yet know what prompted the 48-year-old man to attack students at a private school in Shaanxi province. Read the full story

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May 12th, 2010
04:05 AM ET

Vets lobby Congress for repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

Over a hundred U.S. military veterans gathered Tuesday on Capitol Hill to press Congress for quick repeal of the law banning gays from serving in the military.

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • Human rights • Military • U.S. • Veterans
May 12th, 2010
02:37 AM ET

Obama will host Karzai at White House

President Obama will welcome Afghan President Hamid Karzai to the White House on Wednesday for a second day of partnership talks.

Karzai also will meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders later in the day.
The meetings come after some recent well-publicized spats between Washington and Kabul.

Karzai huddled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, saying the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan remains strong and will continue long after U.S. combat troops have withdrawn.  But she said it was unrealistic to expect the two nations to see eye-to-eye on every issue.

"President Obama and President Karzai both understand that the ability to disagree on issues of importance is not an obstacle to achieving our shared objectives, but rather it reflects a level of trust," she said.

Read full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Nancy Pelosi • Politics • U.S.
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