Gulf oil disaster - Researchers have doubled estimates of how much oil has been spewing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, reporting Thursday that up to 40,000 barrels (1.7 million gallons) a day may have escaped for weeks. Well owner BP has been able to capture a varying percentage of that oil, first with a siphon inserted into the well riser and since June 3 with a cap that allowed workers to draw nearly 16,000 barrels to a ship on the surface Wednesday.
The change in estimates comes as a delegation of U.S. senators head to the heart of coastal Louisiana on Friday to assess the damage caused by the growing BP oil disaster. Sens. Benjamin Cardin, David Vitter, Jeff Merkley and Barbara Mikulski will be in Grand Isle, Louisiana, one of the early areas hit by the slick created by the underwater gusher.
Joran van der Sloot - Joran van der Sloot told investigators during an interrogation that he knows where Natalee Holloway's body is , but he would neither identify the location nor say what happened to the Alabama teenager the night of her disappearance in 2005, a Peruvian police official said.
"In the interrogation done to the Dutch citizen, he says he knew the location of the corpse of the American citizen, but that he was going to explain everything to Aruban police," said Miguel Canlla, head of the homicide division of the Peruvian national police investigative unit, on Thursday.
Teen sailor - Rescue teams are heading Friday to a remote area in the Indian Ocean to fetch a stranded 16-year old California sailor girl who lost contact as she tried to circumnavigate the globe in her yacht. Abby Sunderland, who is trying to be the world's youngest to sail around the world, had lost satellite contact Thursday and issued a distress call after what appeared to be a rogue wave hit her boat damaging its communications equipment.
"We are absolutely over the moon. We are very, very happy and excited that the Australian search and rescue jumped on this right away, got a plane after her," said Laurence Sunderland, Abby's father. CNN's reporters will follow the story and bring you the latest details on rescue attempts.
World Cup - Thousands packed Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a tribal-themed opening ceremony ahead of the first clash of the 2010 World Cup when hosts South Africa confront Mexico. The big kickoff was preceded by a spectacular ceremony inside the impressive 94,000-capacity arena, where fans were treated to a dazzling array of dancers in traditional tribal costumes as well as music from performers such as Grammy winner R. Kelly, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Nigerian star Femi Kuti.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who was expected to attend Friday's opening of the World Cup soccer tournament, won't be there after the death of his great-grandchild in a car crash, a representative said. CNN.com will be providing constant World Cup updates. Follow CNN World Cup tweets, check out our blogs, Fanzone, a Bluffer's guide for those who may not know much about the event, share your thoughts on iReport, check in with CNN and Foursquare or see a 360-degree stadium view. You also can find everything you need on our World Cup special full coverage page.