Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FP morning brief 7/13

New BP oil cap appears successful

Top story: BP's operation to install a new cap to divert oil from the still-gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico appeared to go smoothly last night. Over the next 48 hours, engineers will test whether the 150,000 pound cap can successfully divert 25,000 gallons of oil per day to a surface ship. High pressure readings in the cap will indicate that it is working. Low pressure will indicate another spill elsewhere in the well. In either case, the flow of oil won't actually be cut off until two relief wells can be drilled, probably in mid-August.

Work on the new system began on Saturday when the old cap, which was capturing only about 15,000 barrels per day, was removed from the well. For three days, oil was flowing freely into the Gulf.

Even if the operation is successful, scientists say oil will continue to wash ashore in the Gulf region for several months and hardened tar balls could continue washing up on beaches for more than a year.

Positive sign? According to a U.N. report, the number of young people infected with HIV in Africa is falling.

  • Ugandan police have found an unexploded suicide vest and made four arrests in connection with Sunday's deadly bombing.
  • The International Criminal Court has added genocide to the charges against Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.
  • Four local journalists were kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria.
Asia and Pacific
  • A rogue Afghan soldier killed three British troops with a rocket propelled grenade.
  • North Korea abruptly postponed a meeting with a U.N. delegation to discuss the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan.
  • Australia's government is protesting Fiji's expulsion of the top Australian diplomat in the country.
Middle East
  • A summer storm flooded the Haitian government's main relocation camp for people displaced by January's earthquake.
  • Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro discussed a variety of topics from nuclear war to energy efficiency in a rare television appearance last night.
  • Cuba freed seven political prisoners on Monday and sent them into exile in Spain.
-By Joshua Keating

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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