World News Brief, Thursday August 5

BP declares oil spill 'under control', three-quarters of oil evaporated (+ graphics); Death toll in Pakistan floods reaches 1500 as food becomes the issue; UN backs Israel's version of events after Lebanon border skirmish; Republican opposition stalls nuclear treaty; and more

Top of the Agenda: BP Says Worst Oil Spill Now History

After nearly four months of failed attempts and nearly five million barrels of lost crude, BP says its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is finally under control. Officials pumping drilling mud into the well to stabilize it reported today that the procedure has worked, and the well is effectively closed (WashPost).

Meanwhile, a government report due out today is expected to conclude that three-quarters of the oil spilled as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has already evaporated, and poses little, if any, additional risk (NYT).

With the worst of the disaster apparently over, questions about cleanup responsibility--and federal and local responses--begin in earnest. The Wall Street Journal notes that with the oil industry's recent tactical success, there's concern over potential costs to the environment, while the Financial Times reports that BP faces more than $20 billion in penalties associated with the spill and its aftermath.


Following criticism that President Obama overreacted to the Gulf spill by suspending all new drilling activities, the White House says it may end its ban on deepwater drilling "significantly in advance" (WashPost) of its November 30 expiration date. But some analysts caution against proclaiming victory too soon (CJR).


This series of graphics from Wall Street Journal offers a pictorial guide to capping the worst oil spill in history.


PACIFIC RIM: Another China School Attack

Three children and at least one teacher have been killed in a knife attack in a Shandong Province kindergarten, the sixth in a string of school assaults this year (NYT). China's official news agency reports a suspect is in custody (Bloomberg).

Japan: With its currency approaching a fifteen-year high against the dollar today (Reuters), Japanese lawmakers are scurrying for solutions to maintain their country's fragile economic recovery.



- UN Says Israel Didn't Enter Lebanon
- Pakistan's Flood Impacts Deepen
- New START Deal Stalled


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