Monday: BP Installing New Cap on Well; Twin Bombings Kill 64 in Uganda

BY Tom LeGro  July 12, 2010 at 8:58 AM EST

BP continues to install a tighter cap over its leaking oil well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, saying it is ahead of its schedule to get the new, better cap in place.

Once the cap is in place and working properly, officials hope it will capture all of the oil gushing out of the well and that it can all be funneled to containment ships at the surface. The entire process is expected to take another three to five days.

The previous cap had been collecting about 15,000 barrels of oil per day. The well is producing an estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil.

NPR asks “a multibillion dollar question: How much cash will BP need to deal with the colossal oil spill in the Gulf?” Answer: No one knows exactly for sure, but a lot.

The presidential commission appointed to study the causes of the oil spill and to recommend improvements for offshore drilling begins work on Monday.

The Washington Post describes the work ahead:

“Unlike the commissions that investigated space-shuttle accidents and the Three Mile Island nuclear incident, the Deepwater panel must analyze what went wrong while things still are going wrong…. [and] faces questions about whether it has the expertise and objectivity to deliver credible and compelling recommendations.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune wants the commission to think hard about the deepwater drilling moratorium:

“Louisianians are not advocating letting deepwater drilling continue as if nothing has happened and under the flawed enforcement of the past…..But we also understand that the administration’s blanket moratorium can cause as much or more economic damage as the spill.”

You can watch the commission’s live hearings here.

Politico has a look at the Gulf spill’s impact on the climate bill, which Democrats will likely try to introduce in the coming weeks:

“Lobbyists and staffers say they are already starting to see the contours of legislation that is likely to come to the Senate floor — an oil-reform plus clean-electricity measure that sidesteps limits on carbon emissions — and they are gearing up to make the most of the package.”

The Washington Post doesn’t think the oil spill will have much effect on the climate bill:

“For environmentalists, the BP oil spill may be disproving the maxim that great tragedies produce great change.”

Bombings Kill 64 in Uganda

At least 64 people have died in the Ugandan capital of Kampala after two bombs were set off on a crowd gathered to watch the World Cup final on Sunday evening. At least 70 others were injured.

According to the BBC, most of those killed and injured were foreign nationals, with the venues popular destinations for expatriates living in Kampala. One of the dead was an American, reported to be an aid worker from California. At least three Americans, members of a Church group from Pennsylvania, were wounded.

An al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group, al-Shabab, has been suspected in the bombings, which came two days after its commander called for attacks on sites in Uganda and Burundi, two nations that contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

But a BBC correspondent reports that there is no proof as yet that al-Shabab was involved, adding that the blasts could be linked to next year’s elections in Uganda.

Uganda is a training ground for soldiers for Somalia’s transitional government, which al-Shabab is seeking to overthrow. The training program is backed by the United States and European nations.

In some portentous foreshadowing, the Washington Post reported over the weekend on the dangers of watching or playing soccer in Somalia:

“Al-Shabab, a hard-line Islamic militia that is waging a campaign of terror across Somalia, has banned playing soccer in many areas it controls. The al-Qaeda-linked militia, along with Hezb-i-Islam, a rival extremist group, prohibited broadcasts of the World Cup, describing the sport as ‘a satanic act’ that corrupts Muslims.”