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News Wrap: Coast Guard says California oil spill cleanup may take months

In our news wrap Thursday, officials say 100,000 gallons of oil may have leaked from a ruptured pipeline near Santa Barbara earlier this week. The Coast Guard and California have called in more crews and gear for clean-up efforts. Also, the head of the Boy Scouts of America called for dropping the organization’s ban on gay scout leaders.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The U.S. Coast Guard and the state of California called in more help today to clean up an oil spill that's fouled nine miles of coastline near Santa Barbara. Officials now say 100,000 gallons may have leaked from a ruptured pipeline on Tuesday. Several hundred workers have labored to collect about 20,000 gallons that reached the sea.

    And, overnight, Governor Jerry Brown declared a local emergency, making more crews and gear available for as long as it takes.

  • CAPT. JENNIFER WILLIAMS, U.S. Coast Guard:

    The cleanup operations generally do take time, and you may see some progress early on, maybe in the first week or two, where you can actually see progress being made on the beach. But these types of things continue on perhaps even for months.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Environmental effects of the spill are still being assessed, but some birds have been oiled, and the area is closed to fishing and shellfish harvesting.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The head of the Boy Scouts of America called today for dropping a ban on gay Scout masters. Robert Gates, a former secretary of defense, addressed the Scouts' national meeting, in Atlanta.

    ROBERT GATES, President, Boy Scouts of America: I must speak as plainly and as bluntly to you as I spoke to presidents when I was director of the CIA and secretary of defense. We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our members — in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Gates suggested the policy should be reversed soon to let local chapters decide for themselves.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Malaysia and Indonesia announced today that they will actively search for stranded boats filled with refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh. For weeks, thousands of the migrants have been turned away from landing and left to drift at sea. But today came word that policy is changing, at least for now.

  • ADE SUPANDI, Navy Chief, Indonesia (through interpreter):

    The navy will defer to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry on this matter. The Foreign Ministry discussed it and, for now, as long as the migrants are in difficulty and in need of help, we will help.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Malaysia and Indonesia had already announced they will give temporary shelter to migrants who reach shore.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In Burundi, at least two people died in pitched street battles, as a political crisis deepened in the African nation. Police fired tear gas and live bullets at protesters, who ignored the president's call for calm. They oppose his quest for a third term.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Back in this country, a grand jury in Baltimore indicted six policemen on a battery of charges in the death of Freddie Gray. They're similar to the charges already filed by the state's attorney. Gray died last month after suffering a severe spinal injury in custody.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The man who maneuvered a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol pleaded not guilty to a string of charges today. Douglas Hughes appeared in federal court in Washington. This cell phone video showed the former postal carrier flying up the National Mall and landing on the Capitol lawn in April. He said he was protesting big money in politics.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    On Wall Street, stocks advanced inch by inch. The Dow Jones industrial average gained a third-of-a-point to close near 18,290. The Nasdaq rose 19 points, and the S&P 500 added 5.

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