Sunday, April 25, 2010

360 Sunday - The World Today

Coast Guard: Oil Leaking From Well At Blast Site

The Coast Guard discovered Saturday that oil is leaking from the damaged well underneath a massive rig that exploded this week off Louisiana's coast, while bad weather halted efforts to clean up the mess that threatens the area's fragile marine ecosystem.

For days, the Coast Guard has said no oil appeared to be escaping from the well head on the ocean floor. Rear Adm. Mary Landry said the leak was a new discovery but could have begun when the rig sank on Thursday, two days after the initial explosion.

"We thought what we were dealing with as of yesterday was a surface residual (oil) from the mobile offshore drilling unit," Landry said. "In addition to that is oil emanating from the well. It is a big change from yesterday ... This is a very serious spill, absolutely."

Coast Guard and company officials estimate that as much as 1,000 barrels of oil is leaking each day after studying information from remotely operated vehicles and the size of the oil slick surrounding the blast site. The rainbow-colored sheen of oil stretched 20 miles by 20 miles on Saturday -- about 25 times larger than it appeared to be a day earlier, Landry said.

Eleven workers are still missing from the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank Thursday about 50 miles from Louisiana's coast. They are presumed dead, and the search for them was called off Friday.

Twister Carves Deadly Path In Mississippi

Rescuers spread out Sunday to scour neighborhoods of splintered homes and twisted debris in Mississippi, a day after a devastating tornado sliced through the state and killed 10 people, including three children.

All was still Sunday morning as the sun rose amid one of the hardest hit areas of Yazoo City. About 40 National Guard soldiers patrolled the area, some in Humvees and others in a Blackhawk helicopter. Dozens of volunteer state troopers and other law enforcement officers also came from far-flung parts of the state to help.

The high winds on Saturday ripped roofs off buildings in hard-hit Yazoo County, a county of about 28,000 people known for blues, catfish and cotton where Gov. Haley Barbour grew up. He described "utter obliteration" among the picturesque hills rising from the flat Mississippi Delta.

"This tornado was enormous," Barbour told The Associated Press as searchers resumed their work.

He estimated at least 100 houses in Yazoo County alone had severe damage but said his estimate could rise later.

Speaking in the parking lot of a heavily damaged restaurant, Barbour said emergency crews would be going to isolated houses in rural areas they had been unable to reach in the first chaotic hours after Saturday's storm.

Around him, he stood against a backdrop of snapped trees stretching to the horizon, houses wiped from their foundations and odd debris -- including a child's stuff toy and a metal boat laying alongside a road.

Meteorologists said it was too soon to tell whether a single long-lasting tornado - or multiple shorter ones - caused the arc of death and damage in far-flung Mississippi communities. The same storm front spawned heavy thunderstorms that raked across the Southeast, snapping trees, damaging rooftoops and scattering hail.

Top Spanish Bullfighter Gored In Mexico

One of Spain's top matadors was seriously injured in Mexico when a 1,100-pound (500-kilogram) bull gored him in the groin and hoisted him into the air, causing major blood loss, his manager said Sunday.

Jose Tomas lost up to 17 pints of blood after being gored Saturday by a beast named Navegante in the Mexican city of Aguascalientes.

The bull's horn penetrated 4 inches (10 centimeters) into Tomas' groin and punctured a vein and an artery, manager Salvador Boix told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser from Aguascalientes.

Tomas, one of Spain's most popular matadors, has a relatively rare blood type - A- - and bled so profusely that bullring officials appealed over the arena loudspeakers for compatible donors to come forward for transfusions, Boix said.

Bullring doctors operated on the 34-year-old Tomas immediately to stabilize him, and he underwent more surgery later at a hospital for more than three hours.

South Korean Minister: Torpedo Likely Sank Warship

An explosion from a torpedo likely sank a South Korean warship that went down near the tense border with North Korea last month, the South's defense minister said Sunday amid growing speculation Pyongyang may be behind the blast.

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said the most likely cause of the disaster was a torpedo exploding near the ship, with the force of the underwater blast ripping the vessel apart. Investigators who examined salvaged wreckage separately announced Sunday that a close-range, external explosion likely sank it.

"Basically, I think the bubble jet effect caused by a heavy torpedo is the most likely" cause for the blast, Kim told reporters.

Kim, however, did not speculate on who may have fired it and said an investigation was ongoing and it's still too early to determine the cause.

Seoul has not directly blamed North Korea for the blast, and Pyongyang has denied its involvement, but suspicion remains given the country's history of provocation and attacks on the South. Local media have increasingly been speculating the disaster was due to a North Korean attack.

Obama: Miners Died In Pursuit Of Better Life

President Obama says 29 victims in the worst mining disaster in a generation died in pursuit of a better life and he's promising safer working conditions underground.

Obama planned to speak at a memorial service Sunday afternoon for the victims of the April 5 explosion at the mine in Montcoal, W.Va., owned by Massey Energy Co.

Investigators have detected high levels of two potentially explosive gases inside the Upper Big Branch mine and say it could be a month before they can get inside to determine what caused the blast.

Obama has ordered a broad review of coal mines with poor safety records and urged federal officials to strengthen laws "so riddled with loopholes that they allow unsafe conditions to continue."

Wisconsin Woman Braves Traffic, Saves 14 Ducklings

A mother duck didn't survive her walk across a busy Wisconsin roadway, but a motorist made sure the 14 ducklings stayed safe - even one that wiggled under her dashboard.

Angela Speed of the Wisconsin Humane Society says the good Samaritan was driving in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb, on Friday when she saw the newly hatched mallards trying to cross a busy road.

The woman told Speed that a vehicle in front of her appeared to intentionally hit the mother duck, leaving her ducklings confused in the middle of the road.

The woman gathered each into her car and took them to the Humane Society.

But an hour later, she heard a peep. A mechanic took apart her dashboard and found the 14th duckling. Speed says the brood is healthy and expected to survive.

US Coast Guard; AP; Reuters; The National Weather Service; The Weather Channel; Wisconsin Humane Society.

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