HEADLINES -- August 3, 2010 at 9:11 AM ET
Tuesday: BP to Attempt 'Static Kill'; Floods Spreading in Pakistan
Crews hoped to begin pumping mud and cement into the blown-out oil well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday in what BP officials said could be the permanent fix to the spill.
Engineers planned to determine whether the blowout preventer could handle the "static kill." If the test is successful, they plan to spend Tuesday through Thursday pumping mud down the well.
BP officials had said for months that a pair of relief wells were the only way to stop the oil leak, but said Monday that the static kill alone might work. The "bottom kill," when engineers put mud and cement into the well's bottom through a relief well, is a process that could take up to seven days and is still an option.
The Washington Post examines what it calls the most crucial safety device on the Deepwater Horizon rig: "the human blowout preventer":
"It is hard to rock the boat -- until it bursts into flames and sinks to the bottom of the ocean -- and a safety policy based on the assumption that any individual will rock the boat is likely to be flawed.
The New York Times reports on the findings of the first major survey of Gulf Coast residents conducted since the BP well was capped. The survey "suggests that the spill's effects have not been contained along with the oil itself."
Floods Spread in Pakistan
Floodwaters that devastated Pakistan's mountainous northwest surged into the heartland Tuesday, submerging dozens of villages. The floods have killed at least 1,500 people and put 100,000 at risk of disease. Fresh rains in the hardest-hit northwest threatened to overwhelm a major dam and unleash a new deluge, reports the Associated Press.
According to the BBC's Aleem Maqbool:
"Just as emergency services and the army said they were making some headway, the rains have come again. That has meant an immediate suspension of helicopter flights to stranded people."
Elsewhere in Pakistan, gunmen in Karachi killed at least 45 in revenge after a prominent lawmaker was assassinated. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports:
"[T]he violence started with "the gruesome and brazen" assassination of Raza Haider, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the political party that runs the city and represents mainly descendants of Urdu-speaking migrants from India who settled in Pakistan when it was created in 1947. ... Within hours, gangs torched buildings in Karachi, and gunfire erupted in several parts of the city."
Militants Kill 5 Iraqi Soldiers, Plant Flag
Suspected al-Qaida militants killed five Iraqi soldiers in an attack Tuesday at a western Baghdad checkpoint and planted the terror group's black banner before fleeing the scene, officials said.