- Under pressure to step up his response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, President Barack Obama tried to assure the country Thursday that he and his administration are in charge and working feverishly to clean up the mess. The U.S. Geological Survey said new estimates show as many as 25,000 barrels of oil rushing into the Gulf waters each day, or as much as five times oil giant BP's original estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.
- Mexicans drink more bottled water than the citizens of any other country do, an average of 61.8 gallons per person each year, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp., a consultancy. That's far higher than Italy, and more than twice as much as in the United States. A rising mistrust of tap water is behind the thirst for bottled water.
- At least 20 people were killed after terrorist staged a gun and grenade attack on two mosques belonging in a persecuted religious minority, in the eastern city of Lahore, officials and reports said.
- The House of Representatives voted 234 to 194 Thursday night to repeal the military's 17-year-old policy that prohibits gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the nation's armed forces.
- A new immigration law will not be passed in South Carolina this year, but lawmakers set the stage Thursday for one to be debated in 2011. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee met to discuss a bill that would require police to check a person's residency status after he or she was stopped or detained for another reason. It also would make it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work.
- For hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the delay in seating a new government, which already has lasted nearly three months, has complicated everyday errands and added bureaucratic frustration to lives that are hard enough thanks to persistent violence and the lack of basic utilities.
- As oil seeps into Louisiana marshlands, economists say the financial fall-out is only just beginning to spread across the Gulf of Mexico — and possibly beyond. Even if BP teams succeed in capping the undersea gusher, the economic damage could drag on for years depending on how much oil actually lands ashore and how extensive the damage is to Gulf fisheries.
- The Senate late Thursday defeated Sen. Jim DeMint's bid to require completion of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border within a year. The 52-45 vote against DeMint's measure largely followed party lines.
- For the past five days, the people of Jamaica's Tivoli Gardens have been trapped in their homes as government forces hunted alleged drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke and exchanged fire with gang members. Residents described a four-day nightmare of gunfire and chaos that has left more than 70 dead and about two dozen injured. About 560 people have been arrested.
- Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman continued her record-shattering spending streak this spring, burning through $33.8 million in about two months, according to a campaign finance statement filed Thursday.
- The Alaska Legislature's ethics panel decided Thursday to start letting legislators campaign during trips on the state's dime, including raising money for their races.
- Based on recent party maneuvers and elections, it appears that GOP officeholders who have been around for a while are marked for extinction, no matter how effective they have been. They are targeted by a bold, angry, anti-establishment and ultraconservative political breed determined to become the leader of the pack.
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