HEADLINES -- August 9, 2010 at 10:25 AM ET
Monday: Drilling to Resume on Oil Relief Well; Aid Group to Stay in Afghanistan After Killings
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Monday that cement forced down the top of BP's blown-out well last week has hardened enough so that workers can begin drilling the final 100 feet of the relief well and seal the well for good.
Also on Monday, BP said that the cost of the spill response so far has reached around $6.1 billion. The costs include spill response, relief well drilling, the "static kill" and cementing of the damaged well, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.
Meantime, the Washington Post reports that as BP works to repair the damage of the oil spill, many Gulf Coast residents are struggling with the emotional and psychological effects:
"People here also fretted about losing the country's attention, long before anybody makes good on President Obama's promise 'to restore the unique beauty and bounty' of the long-troubled gulf."
"The new fear for many people here is that the only thing worse than the oil spill will be the end of it."
The Associated Press reports on how researchers are closely watching the blue crab as an indicator of the health of the Gulf's ecosystem. Scientists are finding specks of oil in crab larvae -- "an ominous sign that crude had already infiltrated the Gulf's vast food web."
Christian Aid Group Will Stay in Afghanistan
A Christian aid group working in Afghanistan that suffered the loss of 10 of its workers in a weekend massacre says it plans to stay in the country and is disputing allegations that it was proselytizing in a remote Afghan province, triggering a Taliban attack.
The New York Times reports on the group's response to claims that the Taliban targeted the group because they were acting as spies and missionaries, and the Washington Post looks into the background of International Assistance Mission.
We'll have more on this story on Monday's NewsHour.
Thousands Dying in Russia, Pakistan and China
Disasters across Russia, Pakistan and China are growing worse:
NPR reports: "As nearly 600 fires continue to rage across Russia, officials say the smog and heat from the blazes have caused the number of deaths in Moscow to double.... the number of people dying in the capital city is averaging 700 a day."
The BBC reports: "Waters have exceeded the danger level at a key flood barrier in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh. The Sukkur Barrage flooding means Sindh faces as much devastation as that seen further north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces."
The Associated Press reports: "Rescuers dug through mud and wreckage Monday searching for more than 1,300 people missing after flash floods and landslides struck northwestern China, one of a series of floods across Asia that have killed hundreds and spread misery to millions more."