Monday, July 19, 2010

FP morning brief 7/19

Testing continues on Gulf well after seep detected

Top news: Testing on the capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is continuing after a seep of oil was detected a distance from the well itself. Testing was supposed to have ended over the weekend, but the government ordered the company to continue monitoring on Sunday.
Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard general heading up the response to the spill, said the tests will determine whether it is possible to keep the well closed. If pressure readings continue to be favorable, BP want to keep the well capped until relief wells can be built, probably by the end of July.
This differs from the government's plan, which involves pumping oil up to the surface, but would require the cap to be briefly removed, allowing oil to flow freely into the Gulf for an additional three days. The government hopes to relieve pressure on the well and eliminate the chance of a further leak, while BP is likely looking to keep its positive momentum from last week going. Keeping the well capped would also mean that the precise amount of oil that had spilled would never be known.
CSI Caracas: The remains of Simon Bolivar were exhumed 180 years after his death on orders from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who believes the independence hero may have been murdered.

Middle East
  • More than 40 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated outside an Iraqi army base in Baghdad.
  • Thirty-five trucks of humanitarian aid from Libya arrived in Gaza.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he will make an international complaint about last week's deadly mosque bombing by an insurgent group he says is sponsored by the U.S.
  • A Greek journalist was gunned down outside his home in Athens.
  • Following other European countries, Spain's parliament will debate the banning of burqas.
  • The Hungarian forint fell against the euro after the IMF warned that it had to do more to cut its deficit.
  • At least 17 people were killed in a massacre at a private party in Northern Mexico.
  • Chavez said he will refuse to attend the inauguration of new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and may break off relations entirely.
  • Puerto Rican authorities are on high alert after the capture of a powerful drug lord.
-By Joshua Keating

Mario Tama/Getty Images

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