Gulf oil spill - A U.S. congressman said he will launch a formal inquiry Friday into how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after learning of independent estimates that are significantly higher than the amount BP officials have provided. BP officials have said 5,000 barrels per day of crude, or 210,000 gallons, have been leaking for the past three weeks. But after analyzing videos of the spill, a researcher at Purdue University has predicted that about 70,000 barrels of oil per day are gushing into the Gulf.
President Obama also plans to discuss the Gulf of Mexico oil spill with top aides on Friday; he is to talk publicly about those meetings at 11:50 a.m. ET. The Coast Guard plans to brief reporters on efforts to fight the spill at 10 a.m.
CNN Heroes - Dana Cummings survived two tours of combat duty as a Marine in the first Gulf War without injury. But 10 years later, he lost a leg in a car crash. A divorced father of three, Cummings said he was abandoned by his girlfriend and denied physical rehabilitation by his insurance. Realizing he needed to be strong for himself and his children, he began an intense workout regimen in the hospital. He then found his own brand of rehab in an unlikely place:¬†A surfboard. In 2003, he helped create the Association of Amputee Surfers, or AmpSurf. The nonprofit, volunteer-run organization is dedicated to teaching people with disabilities, most of them veterans, how to surf ‚ÄĒ for free.
Clinton meets with Hague - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to meet at 11 a.m. ET on Friday with new British Foreign Minister William Hague. They plan to speak with reporters at 1 p.m. ET.
The anniversary of the laser - It was described by scientists at the time as ‚Äúa solution looking for a problem.‚ÄĚ But when the first working laser was developed 50 years ago this week at California‚Äôs Hughes Research Laboratory, it didn‚Äôt take long for the concentrated beams of light to find work. Having fascinated science-fiction fans since the late 1800s, lasers (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) have become common, almost commonplace, in modern life.