Friday, May 28, 2010

FP morning brief 5/28

BP resumes "top kill" as Obama heads to Gulf

Top story: BP has resumed efforts to stop the escape of oil in the Gulf of Mexico by pumping heavy dilling liquid into the well, a procedure known as "top kill." The procedure was halted last night when engineers noticed that too much of the drilling mud was escaping the well along with the oil. BP CEO

Tony Hayward says it will be 48 hours before they know if the procedure has worked and put his confidence level at 60 to 70 percent.

President Barack Obama is heading to the Gulf region today for a briefing on the rescue effort. The president, yesterday, announced major new restrictions on offshore oil drilling, pending results of a comprehensive safety review. S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service became the first federal official to resign in connection with the oil spill yesterday. Obama said on Thursday that the agency had developed a “cozy and sometimes corrupt” relationship with oil companies under the Bush administration.

Somewhere between 18 million and 39 million gallons of oil have now spilled into the Gulf in what is by far the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Milestones: The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan has passed 1,000.

Asia and Pacific
  • North Korea has responded to a South Korean anti-submarine exercise by saying it would meet war with "all-out war."
  • Gunmen in Pakistan attacked two mosques belonging to a minority sect.
  • More than 73 people were killed in a train crash in Eastern India that authorities have linked to Maoist rebels.
  • The U.S. and Japan say they have reached an agreement on the U.S. base in Okinawa.
Middle East
  • A flotilla of cargo ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and supplies are heading for a confrontation with Israeli authorities today.
  • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused countries critical of the Turkish-Brazilian nuclear deal with Iran of being "envious" of their "diplomatic success."
  • Israel has partly reopened a West Bank highway to Palestinian drivers in compliance with a court ruling.
Europe and the Caucasus
Editor's note: The Morning Brief will be off on Monday for Memorial Day.
-By Joshua Keating

Win McNamee/Getty Images

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